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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. stanleylieber
    I don’t mean using apps to communicate with the device. I mean mounting the internal storage or sdcard just as you would any USB stick or USB drive. My OpenBSD laptop can see the device when I plug it in, but the device does not present its internal storage or its sdcard as a mountable volume. By contrast, my Fiio X1 2nd Gen presents its sdcard as a mountable volume and I’m able to mount it, read, write, and erase files just like I had plugged the sdcard into a card reader.

    Having to use a special program on a specific OS, or otherwise remove the leather case, remove the sdcard, plug the sdcard into a card reader, makes it a lot more complicated just to add and remove music on the device.
     
  2. DeepGroove
    @stanleylieber I'm about to receive a new SD card this week and will update you.
    My experience with the AK240 is that yes - you can transfer music directly to the SD card by having the DAP connected to your computer. Not 100% sure it mounts like a drive, because on Mac you're forced to use Android Transfer to put files onto the DAP/card.

    Basically I never had to take the card out of the player. I don't think any mainstream laptop has a micro sd card reader anyways.
     
  3. stephanemtl
    Can anybody comment on the quality of the sound when Tidal streaming, online and offline? Is it a clear step up from an iPhone or lesser daps?
     
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2018
  4. Andrei Sprogis
    The pre-installed Tidal client on SR15 has some limitations + no offline mode.
    But with last firmware it is possible to install .apk with full android version of Tidal (with full offline functionality).
    But still, no “Masters” quality. Only on Desctop.
    It is clearly an improvement from IPhone sound quality.
     
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2018
  5. singleended5863
    You got to spend more money by buying the CCK (lightning to USB) and USB to 3.5 SE or balanced 2.5 connectors for SR15.
     
  6. krismusic Contributor
    I am very sceptical about "clear improvements over iPhone SQ." The only proof of that which means anything to me is of you are really enjoying your music more in a months time.
     
  7. Andrei Sprogis
    I have this one. But all-in-all, iPhone alerts about “incompatible device”.
     
  8. Andrei Sprogis
    For the reference, I have Chord Mojo and SR15, but my favourite sound is through MacBook Pro... IPhone sounds “ok” but nothing special at all.
     
  9. Trueaudio
    The best proof are your own ears. Everybody seems to have a different opinion about SQ. For me there’s a noticeable difference, but that’s just me.
     
    mmu16 likes this.
  10. krismusic Contributor
    Interesting. I have settled on Mojo as my source and don't believe anything portable will improve over it significantly. How do you feel the sq of the SR15 and the MacBook stack up against the Mojo?
     
  11. singleended5863
    Apple always do that. Did you try to connect and any sounds at all?
     
  12. Taz777
    I've got a few questions about the SR15 with respect to TIDAL support that I'm hoping owners can help with.

    1. I understand that TIDAL MQA will be available in the next firmware release. Is this correct?

    2. TIDAL offline support requires the TIDAL APK to be 'side loaded' onto the SR15 to provide the native TIDAL Android app as an alternative to the stock TIDAL app. If so, how does the TIDAL offline downloading work? On my iPhone with the TIDAL iOS app, I can turn on offline mode for any playlists within the TIDAL app and they will be downloaded/synced to my iPhone. Is this how it works on the SR15?

    3. I've read that I can use the SR15 as a digital audio transport to connect up to an external DAC. I presume all I need is a USB cable with a micro USB plug on one side (for the SR15) and a USB-whatever connector on the external DAC side. Is this the case?

    4. In case the DACs onboard the SR15 (2 x Cirrus Logic CS43198) are better than the ones in my external DAC (2 x ESS Sabre ES9038Q2M), does the SR15 have a line out to feed a headphone amp?

    5. Does anyone have recommendations for a 256GB+ microSD card that works well with the SR15?

    Sorry for all the questions but it's a lot of money (for me) to spend on a DAP that I want to use exclusively for TIDAL online and offline music playback.
     
  13. JasonNYC
    Yes, MQA firmware will be released this week for the SR15.

    Correct. You would need to sideload the Tidal Android app APK in order to use offline mode. Functions the same way as the iOS app. MQA and Tidal Masters will only be available on the embedded Tidal app, which does not support offline mode. No Tidal Masters on the sideloaded Tidal Android app, as LG has an exclusive for Tidal Masters on the Android app until early 2019. Once their exclusive deal is over, Tidal Masters and MQA offline content will be available for all Android-based devices, including AK players.

    You would need an OTG cable, one side microUSB

    Sound is subjective and everyone has their own opinion on DAC chipsets and sound. I will let others comment on this. The SR15 does have a line out function which can be enabled via the menu to output via the 3.5mm or 2.5mm jacks.

    Any microSD card up to 2TB are supported on AK players. I personally use Samsung, Sandisk and PNY without issue. Others may chime in also. We recommend the cards be formatted as FAT32 for best results.
     
    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
    Taz777 likes this.
  14. JasonNYC
    The firmware update this week to add MQA support will add Tidal Masters to the embedded Tidal app. No Tidal Masters on the sideloaded Tidal Android app, as LG has an exclusive for Tidal Masters on the Android app until early 2019. Once their exclusive deal is over, Tidal Masters and MQA offline content will be available for all Android-based devices, including AK players.
     
    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
  15. JasonNYC
    All Android-based AK players will mount as a removable drive only on Windows-Based PCs. Apple does not provide native support for Android devices in Mac OS, which is why you need a third-party app to allow file transfers to the device. Apple tries to keep everyone in their own closed ecosystem.

    Some of the manufacturers have altered the Android code to allow MacOS to see the devices like a flash drive, but it is a known security risk the way it is implemented on Android. Our development team felt the security concerns outweighed the benefits of doing this on AK players, which is why it was not implemented on any of our devices.
     
    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
    Andrei Sprogis likes this.
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