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Astell & Kern SR15: A&norma Impressions & Reviews

Discussion in 'Portable Source Gear' started by pitch_black, Jul 29, 2018.
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  1. noobandroid
    my tidal offline playback stutters at times, anyone facing this?
     
  2. nekromantik
    any updates for the next firmware release? @JasonNYC
     
    Tsukuyomi likes this.
  3. Tsukuyomi
    Im wondering that as well, i wonder if A&K tweaked the firmware to make the dap run more efficiently so that it uses less power and doesnt warm up as much :)
     
  4. Oleksandr Hnyp
    Hi guys,

    I've been using my sr15 for about 3 months. My feedback:
    Firmware is not the best, current one is v1.14. The most annoying to me is that player doesn't remember last position in song I was listening before turning it off - is it so hard to implement in android based device which costs ~700$ (Ukraine)? Also I don't like how cues are handled. I also use fiio X5 1st revision - cues are just split into separate files inside directory browser - imho very useful and simple.
    I read about heating issues in this thread. I was also experiencing serious heating issues till I figured out that it was because of the microSD card, something was wrong with it. I reformatted it on the PC, then in player. Now player heats less then before, but still gets noticeably warm when I am listening to it for several hours without turning of.
    I like the sound, its enjoyable, but it lacks power (I am using 3.5 non-balanced output). Fiio is much powerful even on low gain. I really doubt that sr15 can drive high ohm headphones. But at the other hand fiio has noticeable background noise level, while sr15 is silent. Mids and highs seem to be more detailed comparing to fiio but not dramatically.
    I use player with simple IEMs ostry kc06a, and headphones ATH m50x. Would you recommend some mid-range price earphones for sr15 which would be better than mine?
     
    punknotyet likes this.
  5. Tsukuyomi
    I use my Bang&Olufsen H6 Gen2 headphones with my SR15 and they're perfect pairing. powers them wonderfully.
     
    Oleksandr Hnyp likes this.
  6. punknotyet
    1.15 was released couple of weeks ago, but it still not the best :frowning2:.

    My problems with Norma after almost a year of usage (firmware was always up-to-date):

    - serious stability issues:
    1. Sometimes after copying/removal of music files (using connection to Windows 10 PC) and unplugging from PC, I see constantly spinning circle after entering the Folder menu instead of 'Internal storage' and 'SD card' big circles with information about files and free disk space. Fixed only by the restart of DAP, 'System Reset' --> 'Initialize media scan' doesn't help.
    2. Sometimes it becomes especially hot without any reason (playback is stopped, WiFi/Bluetooth are turned off), loses some battery and then turns off (I have 'Auto Power Off' == 'Always turn on'). The funniest part is that after that it can be turned on only after insertion of the micro USB end of cable, even if the other (USB) end of cable is not connected to charger or powerbank.
    3. Sometimes after pressing of physical Pause button (on the left side of DAP) to stop the playback and another pressing after ~5 minutes to continue the playback, the sound in earphones (I use 3.5 jack) disappears. When I turn the screen on, UI shows, that music is playing, but no sound. More pressings of physical or on screen Next/Prev/Pause buttons or other manipulactions don't help. Fixed only by the restart.

    - small bugs:
    1. Sometimes 'x' button in upper-left corner of 'NOW PLAYING' screen doesn't work. It blinks, when I click on it, but nothing happens. Not a big problem - swipe from left to right or click on Home button do the same thing.
    2. Newly added FLAC files with properly filled tag Year show "Year Unknown" after tapping on the album cover of the main screen. Fixed after manual 'System Reset' --> 'Initialize media scan'.
    3. If you have several albums with the same name by different artists, they are grouped together in the Album view. For example "13" by Black Sabbath + "13" by Blur, or "Americana" by Neil Young + "Americana" by The Offspring.

    Most of these issues are of sporadic nature, so I can't describe how to reproduce them, unfortunately.
    The fact, that my music library is quite big (~270 GB / ~21000 files: ~75% mp3, ~25% flac), may be important.
    90% of Internal storage and 93%-95% of micro SD (Samsung EVO Plus 256 GB) are occupied.

    @JasonNYC, please pass this information to your programmers. Thank you in advance.
     
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2019
  7. Psypato92
    How does this compare to the COWON Plenue R? ?
     
  8. JasonNYC
    Thank you for the feedback. I have passed this on
     
    Astell&Kern Stay updated on Astell&Kern at their sponsor page on Head-Fi.
     
    https://www.facebook.com/astellnkern/ https://twitter.com/astell_kern https://instagram.com/astellnkern https://us.astellnkern.com support.inc@iriver.com
    punknotyet likes this.
  9. JasonNYC
    I do not have an ETA at the moment for the next firmware release. Once I know, I will share.
     
    Astell&Kern Stay updated on Astell&Kern at their sponsor page on Head-Fi.
     
    https://www.facebook.com/astellnkern/ https://twitter.com/astell_kern https://instagram.com/astellnkern https://us.astellnkern.com support.inc@iriver.com
  10. Dustpond
    Thank you for including Audible.com in the last update.
    Most appreciated!
     
  11. HiRO84
    Finally found this post about SR15.

    I listen to music by using iPhone with B&O E8 or AK240 gold with PlusSound Silver+Gold 6-wired cable and A12.

    Because of streaming music, I seldom use my AK240 now.

    Should I sell my AK240 and buy a SR15? I found their specifications are quite similar. Do they sound more or less the same?
     
  12. nekromantik
    anyone else have issues with shuffle playback?
    I got around 1500 files in 1 folder which I shuffle but I always seem to get the same songs repeated every time I turn on the player. There is a lot of tracks it never shuffles to.
     
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2019
  13. sensenick
    I think the same thing happens to me. There are many songs that never sound.
     
  14. Oleksandr Hnyp
    There's also bug with shuffle when playing cue playlist: when I start listening from track 1 and it it ends normally, then track 1 starts playing again. The same is reproduced for other tracks. But when I explicitly press go to next song ( >| ) then as expected random track is selected. (firmware v1.15).
     
  15. nekromantik
    yeah shuffle needs to be fixed @JasonNYC
     
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