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

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  1. Sound Eq

    but how can that be as the kann balanced is almost twice more powerful

    Then you mention its sound is flat for SE100 how then can it make hd650 full sounding, I am bit confused
  2. Lerrens
    It's true that KANN balanced is more powerful than SE100 balanced, meaning KANN could make HD650 sound louder than SE100 when both pushed to max volume.
    In my usage, when listening to quiet passages of classical music, I won't need to turn up the volume more than 140 on SE100 so it's powerful enough for me.

    The sound however is very different between SE100 and KANN when driving the HD650, there's a sense of unpleasant strain in KANN when driving HD650 in higher volume and listening fatigue kicks in quickly, forcing me to lower the volume, where the sound of SE100 stays smooth and enjoyable
    all the way up to 140. To my ears, SE100 sounds fuller and larger than KANN at the same listening loudness. (Not the same volume setting, but the same perceivable loudness from headphones)
  3. Sound Eq
    wow that is a huge say, as I understand that getting things sounding loud does not mean u nailed it, as that is always my concern, as to me with all daps I have or had I always felt non can drive full size headphones, yes they can get them to sound loud but not optimal

    i wonder if you can confirm that se100 does not sound clinical due to sabre dac
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2018
  4. Lerrens
    I still think portable devices are not able to drive full size cans to their fullest. I'm using Gumby gen5 and Jotunheim at home and I would call the sound of HD650 from those optimal. However, for portable use or maybe using in the office, I find the sound of HD650 from the Mojo to be enjoyable enough for long listening sessions. A lot of DAPs I tried with HD650 are either underpowered or just not enjoyable (leads to listening fatigue easily). I'd say the SE100+HD650 is comparable to the exprience I had with Eitr+Mojo+HD650, it sounds right and makes you want to listen to more music.

    I'm afraid I can't confirm whether it's too clinical or not, I only tried SE100 with hybrid IEMs (XBA-A3) and HD650 and these phones are tonally warmer than most headphones in the first place. I can only say that compared to the iPhone+Mojo, the SE100 is more detailed and vivid, the low and high extends further, but I haven't noticed any digital glare.

    Beware though, I've seen polarizing reviews on Japanese & Chinese forums about SE100's sound signature, so I guess it depends heavily on which headphones you match it with.
  5. Sound Eq
    i have cowon plenue s and had ak380 with amp and kaan, and i would never dare say any can drive any full size headphone planar or hd650 optimally

    so your saying is making me very intrigued
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2018
  6. yong_shun
    Tried Billie Jean! Nice work! :)
  7. JLW654
    Now available in U.K. at £1499.....
  8. JLW654 reviews??
  9. Sound Eq
    i will get mine after 5 days, i hope it sounds as good as my cowon plenue s,, i bought the se100 cause it has tidal and its specs look interesting , so i hope that it will be sounding as great as my plenue s

    all my previous Ak daps, ak380, Kann, ak100ii non sounded better than cowon plenue s

    But I have high hopes for se100 so lets wait and see
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2018
  10. JLW654
    To be honest I have been waiting for the AK since it was announced but got fed up. I was waiting because I liked ( not loved) my AK70. Then they announced the Cowon Plenue mk2 with 256gb internal memory and I bought that. No Tidal etc, as you know just a pure music player. Should have been £1250 but got it with 15% off, so I thought it might be a bit of a bargain and I do love it!!
    I really dont miss the really, really crappy AK file transfer, that used to drive me to distraction. Also I now have a brilliant equaliser that I can actually use! Having said that I hope the new AK satisfies you...regards.
  11. Sound Eq
    no doubt cowon players are amazing, if cowon adds tidal in their next flagship I will be simply fantastic

    At the same time I love AK daps and I have high hopes for SE100
    Last edited: Jul 2, 2018
  12. JLW654
    I look forward to your impressions with interest.
  13. gangfeng
    i love the sp1000
    kubig123 likes this.
  14. JLW654
    Tried it, felt so much like a heavy brick, couldn't get comfortable with it...
  15. Tinnitus Man
    There's an "impressions" thread here - several people have the SE100 already, myself included <waves DAP at screen>
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