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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. Drewminus
    Ok, some quick impressions against the Opus #1
    I found the SR15 to have a bit more bass presence than the Opus, a bit more slam and a fair bit more weight, nothing excesive but its there.
    The SR15 also seemed to have a bit more sparkle and air in the highs and vocals in general sounded a lot better, with choral seperation being truly outstanding.
    The soundstage on the Opus seemed to be a bit wider and more natural sounding to me, the SR15 presents a more narrow intimate feel.
    In general the SR15's seperation and clarity is better and I would say it produces a more natural/nicer timbre.
    Overall it seems like the SR15 is tuned to be a bit more engaging than the Opus.
    Also, while the UI is very good on the SR15, and a bit more flashy, I cant help but feel the Opus is still smoother to operate.
    I hope this is helpful
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2018
    robbi22 likes this.
  2. Marcellus1980
    Picked mine up today. I'm new to this and only have an Oppo HA-2 to compare with. I'm using it with a pair of AKG N5005 and I am very impressed. I'm using Tidal streaming at the moment, and so far it sounds fantastic. Transparency is very good, as is the clarity. It's a little warm and I'd say musical but not too much. Balanced makes it more neutral and brings out the highs more. This however is before it's been worn in and it's hard to say how much of this is the AKG's.
    Interface is really clean and easy to use, and I'm most impressed by its size! It's tiny! Early days, but loving it so far!
  3. guerillaw
    Anyone have a comparison of the SR15 vs kann.

    used kann prices comparable to new SR15, so deciding between the two
  4. Cocopah
    Does anyone else who own an SR15 have any issues with the usb dac? Im running Windows 10 on all my systems and it seems to be very intermittent across all of them. Most of the time when I switch it from USB Disk to USB DAC it just instantly disconnects and goes back to disk.
  5. Trueaudio
    I’ve had the SR15 for a month, tried Tidal and several different files formats, ALAC, FLAC, DSD, etc. Not sure if it will support MSQ in the future, but I’ve listened all at 24 bit/192 KHz. Sound quality is very crisp and balanced. Volume has been enough for my Shure 535, planning to upgrade to the 846’s. I also used it with Beyerdynamic T5P when I’m at home and it also sounds really good.

    It’s really well built. You can feel the quality of the product, it handles really well, the operating system is as much as I would want on Music only device. I’m not expecting a smartphone interface.

    Battery life is plenty for what I need. I would say 8 hours. It does heat up, but doesn’t bother me.
    robbi22 likes this.
  6. moby1974
    Was eager to see thoughts, now I am so hyped.

    I have a Cayin I5, fancy a change (£600 max) this one turned up, but now get feeling the change will be not that much for the better.
  7. ce3eoa
    Hi everybody, I bought my SR15 yesterday from Headphone Bar in Vancouver, I loaded my 400Gb card, charged it, and started using it. I used it in my trip back to Chile, last night with my W80, and it sounded very good, I believe this dap matches with the Westones. More impressions in the next days.
    Thesonofkrypton and robbi22 like this.
  8. schleppsound
    I think it would have been better for my first impressions if I didn’t have an older collection of CDs that ripped to 16bit 44.1kHz FLAC ... source material does make a difference. I wish there was a way to improve on that at least - I agree with another poster that the newer stuff on Tidal does sound good but if I wanted that I could have gone to an R3 ... I stopped ripping the CDs because it was disappointing. Newer material on Tidal sounds good - and I can purchase hi res files too so not a total loss!
  9. ce3eoa
    Some ripped CDs sound really good in the SR15, for example Parallel Reallities by DeJohenette, Mettheny, Hancock, and Companion by Patricia Barber. I have a big collection of ripped cds, and many sound as good or better the material streams from Tidal or HR recordings, but also there are good HR recordings
  10. schleppsound
    I don’t doubt it - a lot of my collection is older and it wouldn’t surprise me if the quality went up on “newer, enhanced or remastered” recordings - when it was possible to digitize the collection to fit on an iPod which was the standard then - it was the best I knew. Now I know better and I can’t “unhear” a better quality product once experienced. When they get the compatibility issue sorted between the AK Ripper and the SR15 sorted I’m really curious if direct to device will make any difference - no reason why it should I guess - but maybe!
  11. gazzington
    So is this dap an upgrade on mk2 and how does it compare to Kann?
  12. szore
    I'm having the same problem.
  13. .Sup
    SR15 can act as a usb dac?
  14. szore
    It is supposed to, but I cannot get it to work, and the wifi function so far is terrible.
  15. Cocopah
    Im sure a driver update will fix the usb dac functionality. I also have been having terrible wifi performance.
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