Astell&Kern launches two new player lines at the High End Show 2018 in Munich, Germany

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  1. JasonNYC
    Astell&Kern launches two new player lines at the High End Show 2018 in Munich, Germany

    A&futura, a new Premium Line and A&norma, a new Standard Line
    A&futura SE100 features premium Hi-Fi performance and includes an ES9038pro 8-channel DAC and Octa-core CPU
    A&norma SR15 features Dual DAC, Quad-core CPU, and Native DSD playback with the best capability at its price point
    Billie Jean, the recently launched IEM, will also be showcased at the show

    IRIVER ( launches its two new Astell&Kern player lines at the High End 2018 Show in Munich, Germany on May 10, 2018. The two new lines are A&futura, a new premium line and A&norma, a new standard line. These two lines join the current flagship line, A&ultima. The first player in the A&ultima line, the SP1000 was launched at High End 2017 Munich. With the debut of A&futura and A&norma, Astell&Kern completes the rebranding of its player lineup. The first model of A&futura is the SE100, and the first model of A&norma is the SR15.


    The A&futura SE100 is equipped with a professional grade DAC chip from ESS, the SABRE ES9038Pro, which offers 8-channel procession of sound inputs. With 4-channels of dedicated processing per left and right channel, the SE100 is capable of producing even more detailed and clear sound with excellent SNR. The SE100 can play back up to 32 bit/384kHz PCM audio and can play Quad DSD natively. Thanks to an updated amplifier design and noise control technologies implemented by Astell&Kern, the SE100 produces 4.1 Vrms (balanced output) from its built-in amp only. The SE100 also features an Octa-core CPU, 5-inch touch screen, 128GB internal storage, support for fast charging, and can play back music for about 10 hours. Its aluminum alloy body design is solid and durable, and the classical design of the volume knob and diamond-patterned glass back plate completes the premium look and feel of the player when holding it in your hand. The SE100 has also been awarded a “Red Dot Design Award 2018”.


    The A&norma SR15 is the first model from Astell&Kern’s new standard line of players. The A&norma line is designed to provide those new to high resolution audio a feature-packed introduction to the Astell&Kern brand. ‘Pragmatic’ Hi-Fi is now available with A&norma. The A&norma SR15 is packed with several features found in previous Astell&Kern flagship devices so that even beginners can enjoy the fullest musical details when listening with an A&norma player. The SR15 uses the proven Master HIFI level DAC chip, the Cirrus Logic CS43198, and features a Quad-core CPU which provides abundant power to process high-res music and creates an intuitive and snappy user experience. The A&norma SR15 can playback up to 24bit/192kHz PCM audio, and single-rated DSD natively. All of these features are packaged in a solid aluminum alloy body that resembles the popular AK70 series. The user interface is also very intuitive and is based on other upper-tier models in the Astell&Kern line.


    In addition to the two new players, Astell&Kern will also showcase its latest high-end IEM collaboration with JH audio, the Billie Jean, which was announced at the 2018 Fujiya AVIC Spring Headphone Festival in Tokyo, Japan on April 28, 2018. Billie Jean is the latest Siren series In-Ear-Monitor(IEM) from the collaboration between Astell&Kern with Jerry Harvey Audio. Billie Jean combines the patented technologies from Jerry Harvey Audio with the world-best quality production of Astell&Kern to produce another new IEM with great sound and quality build. Billie Jean features the patented freqphase® waveguide technology from Jerry Harvey Audio, a 2-way 2-BA design and new internal sound bore design to bring clear and impeccably balanced sound from sub-bass to brilliance range. The new Acoustic Chamber Sound Bore design has been carefully designed to bring a wide soundstage through incomparable dynamic range, without adding any artifacts in the sound production.

    The A&futura SE100 is to be retailed at $1,699 and A&norma SR15 is to be retailed at $699. Each of new model will launch globally in May and June respectively. The Billie Jean is available now at $349.
    Astell&Kern Stay updated on Astell&Kern at their sponsor page on Head-Fi.

  2. audionewbi
    Can you guys describe the marketing behind the three different classes? Looking at the SE100 to me it appears to be more advanced than the ultima sibling yet with a price much more wallet friendly.

    Is it to be expected that for each class we wil have a flagship that is yet to be released?

    If a user wants the best money can buy, so to speak, what family of your product should we looking into?

    Will each family be focusing only on dap or are we expected to see family of product ranging from daps to IEM , headphone, etc.

    Thanks in advance.
  3. JasonNYC
    A&ultima - Flagship, highest quality materials, most features
    A&futura - Intermediate, most popular features
    A&norma - entry-level, users new to AK family, everything you need to get started in hi-res audio

    The different brands are to differentiate the DAPs.
    Astell&Kern Stay updated on Astell&Kern at their sponsor page on Head-Fi.

    TYATYA, Arghavan, Mshenay and 2 others like this.
  4. XERO1

    cathee, Tragic, Currawong and 10 others like this.
  5. oldmate
    Last edited: May 9, 2018
  6. FrostyP
    I like Astell & Kern's design aesthetics but that angled screen is a misstep IMO

    Edit: Since the entire lineup is getting updated with new hardware designs can we expect updates on the software side as well? I'd really like an improved Tidal app.
    Last edited: May 9, 2018
    Jimmyf1312 and Mike-WI like this.
  7. Lerrens
    Would mini-toslink be supported on both models? USB Type-C?
    When would we be seeing full specs?

    I really dig the design, so weird but appealing...
    Really interested in both of them :p
  8. JasonNYC
    No mini-toslink on either player. A&futura SE100 is USB-C. I don’t remember onthe A&norma SR15. I will check.

    The full specs should be on the Astell&Kern global site within the next 24 hours -
    Astell&Kern Stay updated on Astell&Kern at their sponsor page on Head-Fi.

    Lerrens likes this.
  9. JasonNYC
    The SR15 is microUSB.
    Astell&Kern Stay updated on Astell&Kern at their sponsor page on Head-Fi.

    Lerrens likes this.
  10. Lerrens
    Thanks! Looking forward to impressions of these players :D
    CongoFather likes this.
  11. glassmonkey
    Why is the A&Norma ridiculously gimped on its playback capability? DAPs less than half its cost do DSD256 and PCM 24/384. The A&Norma's DSD64 and 24/192 playback looks straight out of 2015. Almost all DAPs released in the last 3 years do DSD128. Why is Astell & Kern stripping features from their entry level player? Is Astell & Kern assuming their product is so darn hot with its awkwardly angled screen that customers will ignore that other brands exist with better features for the money?

    Jiminy, A&K even gimped the connector. Micro-USB?! This is just insulting.

    Also, A&K Ultima, is infinitely better than A&Ultima .Who came up with this rebranding? Is it trying to stay young and fresh for the kids?
    Last edited: May 10, 2018
    solblack, andra555, natemact and 10 others like this.
  12. crabdog
    I have to agree that Micro-USB should be buried already.
  13. intlsubband
    what is the expandable space on these? is it still only 1 micro SD? not really competitive these days. I still can't see a reason to replace the 240 with any of the later models.

    ...I was actually hoping for an improved gen 2 Kann, I like the higher output power and incorporation of standard and micro sd cards, but hoped for a gen 2 with dual DAC. This looks like a Kann 2 is less likely unfortunately.
    Last edited: May 10, 2018
    theUKMrT and alphanumerix1 like this.
  14. CalvinW
    The angled screen is really throwing me off. It seems they are sacrificing usability/ergonomics for over the top designs.
    Niyologist and alphanumerix1 like this.
  15. Niyologist
    Yup. Sometimes simple is better.
    alphanumerix1 likes this.
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