Astell&Kern A&futura SE180 - The First Modular DAP from Astell&Kern
May 23, 2021 at 1:38 AM Post #121 of 321

chef8489

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For those who are interested, I just posted my SE180 review, including both SEM1 and SEM2 modules. Enjoy the read!

How do you find fitment of the cards into the player? Are the cards same metal as the body? How about the gap when installed?
 
May 23, 2021 at 2:34 AM Post #122 of 321

Nace

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For those who are interested, I just posted my SE180 review, including both SEM1 and SEM2 modules. Enjoy the read!

ak_se180-01.jpg
Total bummer about the included Tidal's lack of offline downloads. Leaves me to wonder, when you sideload Tidal in order to allow offline downloads, are there then two versions of Tidal on there? It's a shame you can't update these apps through the device... I hope there's a good reason for it....
 
May 23, 2021 at 7:51 AM Post #123 of 321
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How do you find fitment of the cards into the player? Are the cards same metal as the body? How about the gap when installed?

The cards seems to be plastic (casing of it) but the top part that sticks out is metal and matches SE180 chassis. The fit is a little springy and there is a very small gap, but it does fit like a glove.
 
May 23, 2021 at 7:52 AM Post #124 of 321
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Total bummer about the included Tidal's lack of offline downloads. Leaves me to wonder, when you sideload Tidal in order to allow offline downloads, are there then two versions of Tidal on there? It's a shame you can't update these apps through the device... I hope there's a good reason for it....

This is identical to all other A&K daps, from SR25 to SE200 and SP2000, no difference here.
 
May 23, 2021 at 11:10 AM Post #126 of 321

HiFiGuy528

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Would I be able to use the SE180 as a DAC/amp with my Mac? Is that what the USB-C output means or is that only for manual file transfer?

Yes, DAC feature is supported on macOS via the supplied USB-C cable or a 3rd party high quality USB-C cable.

My unboxing video:

 
May 23, 2021 at 12:45 PM Post #127 of 321

staticdynamo

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Hmmm. First Portable Player With Interchangeable All-In-One Sound Modules? In A&K products line?
Thinking fairly, the first dap which has changeable DAC+AMP+Output unit would be Cayin N6ii.
Is there something new in SE180?
 
May 23, 2021 at 1:50 PM Post #128 of 321
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@twister6

Thanks!

If you were to download offline files on both sideloaded Qobuz and Tidal, would they be compiled together in the SE180's local files? I assume not, but if it was to get a ROON update, what would that then look like?

I did offline download with Amazon Music HD, files are saved locally on internal storage, and just like on your smartphone can only be accessed from within corresponding app. I don't have any purchased music, that one is probably saved and available to be played by A&K audio player. But I would imagine that offline download content is encrypted and can only be played by that specific app when you logged in.
 
May 23, 2021 at 2:00 PM Post #129 of 321
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Hmmm. First Portable Player With Interchangeable All-In-One Sound Modules? In A&K products line?
Thinking fairly, the first dap which has changeable DAC+AMP+Output unit would be Cayin N6ii.
Is there something new in SE180?

Yes, this one is the first for A&K product line :) As I mentioned in my SE180 review, A&K didn't reinvent the wheel here, just perfected it. In their design you have two side release buttons for easier exchange of modules without a need for screwdriver. Plus, a big step up for A&K to have both 3.5mm SE and 2.5mm/4.4mm BAL on each module, configurable as either PO or LO, and to include LDAC BT codec, plus to have Normal and High gain, and access to Digital DAC Filters on each module. Again, this is all a BIG step forward relative to A&K product line.
 
May 23, 2021 at 2:10 PM Post #130 of 321

Nace

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I did offline download with Amazon Music HD, files are saved locally on internal storage, and just like on your smartphone can only be accessed from within corresponding app. I don't have any purchased music, that one is probably saved and available to be played by A&K audio player. But I would imagine that offline download content is encrypted and can only be played by that specific app when you logged in.
Makes perfect sense! Was just hoping to avoid bouncing back and forth between Tidal and Qobuz offline downloads without purchasing music. Can ROON be sideloaded or does it have to be "ROON capable"?
 
May 23, 2021 at 2:26 PM Post #131 of 321
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Makes perfect sense! Was just hoping to avoid bouncing back and forth between Tidal and Qobuz offline downloads without purchasing music. Can ROON be sideloaded or does it have to be "ROON capable"?

Since I'm not ROON expert, actually never used it, I will leave it up to others who have more experience with it to reply back.
 
May 23, 2021 at 2:33 PM Post #132 of 321
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Makes perfect sense! Was just hoping to avoid bouncing back and forth between Tidal and Qobuz offline downloads without purchasing music. Can ROON be sideloaded or does it have to be "ROON capable"?
The Roon Remote app for Android cannot be sideloaded on any AK player. Roon Ready support will be expanded to additional devices, but currently do not have information on when/if Roon support will be added to the SE180 or other players in the AK line.
 
Astell&Kern Stay updated on Astell&Kern at their sponsor profile on Head-Fi.
 
https://www.facebook.com/astellnkern/ https://twitter.com/astell_kern https://instagram.com/astellnkern https://us.astellnkern.com support@theinvixion.com
May 23, 2021 at 2:36 PM Post #133 of 321

Nace

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The Roon Remote app for Android cannot be sideloaded on any AK player. Roon Ready support will be expanded to additional devices, but currently do not have information on when/if Roon support will be added to the SE180 or other players in the AK line.
Thanks so much for making that clear! With the recent Roon Ready updates for other players, sounds like it might be on the way.

Regardless, are sideloaded Tidal and Qobuz both capable of offline downloads on the SE180?
 
May 23, 2021 at 3:31 PM Post #134 of 321
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Thanks so much for making that clear! With the recent Roon Ready updates for other players, sounds like it might be on the way.

Regardless, are sideloaded Tidal and Qobuz both capable of offline downloads on the SE180?
Correct. The sideloaded Tidal and Qobuz are capable of offline downloads to either internal memory of microSD card.
 
Astell&Kern Stay updated on Astell&Kern at their sponsor profile on Head-Fi.
 
https://www.facebook.com/astellnkern/ https://twitter.com/astell_kern https://instagram.com/astellnkern https://us.astellnkern.com support@theinvixion.com
May 23, 2021 at 6:30 PM Post #135 of 321

Nace

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I did offline download with Amazon Music HD, files are saved locally on internal storage, and just like on your smartphone can only be accessed from within corresponding app. I don't have any purchased music, that one is probably saved and available to be played by A&K audio player. But I would imagine that offline download content is encrypted and can only be played by that specific app when you logged in.
Thanks so much for that! I understand the SE180's file management well now. A separate thing I'm wondering is...

Do all of your offline downloads have to be re-downloaded when you have to manually update the sideloaded version of both Tidal or Qobuz? That would be pretty rough if I have a large offline library.

Also, I know you have demoed your fair share of DAPs and that it also depends on amps and circuitry, but do you have any general description on the difference between AK4497 and 4499 dac chips?
 
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