Technology

Astell & Kern’s new music players take personal Hi-Fi to a whole new level

If you take your music seriously listen up. Purveyor of premium portable music players, Astell & Kern, has released two new models that you might want to pocket.

Boasting impeccable build quality and state of the art components, both new models are statement players for serious music lovers.

Priced at £649, the Astell & Kern A&norma SR25 supports native playback of DSD256 and 32-bit/384KHz PCM high-resolution files, and for the first time offers LDAC Bluetooth support, allowing users to wirelessly stream 24-bit hi-res audio to compatible speakers and headphones. 

The SR25 provides 20+ hours of continuous music playback, longer than any other Astell&Kern player.

Build quality is also sure to impress. It features a thin aluminium body,  with a volume wheel machined with a vibration-free process used for luxury watches. The 3.6-inch touchscreen display can be operated with one hand.  

Boasting impeccable build quality and state of the art components, both new models are statement players for serious music lovers…

The SE200 is the new premium portable audio king

If you want something even more exotic, then consider the £1,799 SE200, an uncompromising second model in the brand’s premium A&futura series. This is the world’s first portable music player to come equipped with a multi-DAC, a novel innovation that enables users to customise the SE200’s sound to best suit their preferences, or match the type of music being played, says the brand.

The two DACs can be used separately or paired, with a selection of manufacturer-designed DAC filters available to further fine-tune sound characteristics.

The distinctive trapezoid body of the SE200 is unapologetically luxe. It’s hewn from noise-suppressing aluminium, with precision-processed hard wearing ceramic plates inlaid on the top and rear surfaces. 

The volume wheel LED adopts colour coding, allowing you to quickly check volume, bit-rate and DAC status, while the volume knob itself is divided in two to symbolise the two types of DAC on board.

There’s 256GB of on-board memory, with up to 1TB more possible via optional microSD card . That’s enough for literally thousands of studio-grade hi-res albums. High resolution audio can also be streamed using services like Qobuz and Tidal. Typical battery life is 14 hours of continuous playback. 

Using your mobile to listen to music is so gauche, don’t you think?

About Steve May

Creator of Home Cinema Choice magazine, Steve muses and reviews for Trusted Reviews, T3, TechRadar, Home Cinema Choice, Ideal Home, The Luxe Review, Channel News and the i newspaper. He’s also the editor of professional home cinema website Inside CI, and contributor to industry trade magazine ERT. He's on Twitter and Instagram as @SteveMay_UK

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