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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. abitdeef
    Yep, I said the 1A because I think the sound is more comparable to the AK, I know the price is higher. But you’re right ZX300 is the logical competition.
  2. bgtip
    Connect your Sennheisser HD6xx in balanced mode and prepare to be amazed.
  3. atmasphere
    right on - well then we are getting a great deal if true!
  4. atmasphere
    time for a new cable!
  5. abitdeef
    Well I had ZX300 and preferred the sound signature of the SR-15. But it sounds fantastic out of balanced- I liked the SE out of the AK more and the general tonality. Just my personal view.
  6. buonassi
    Wow.. a DAP that does bit-perfect Tidal offline with EQ. I thought it was too good to be true, but then I bought one. It's for real. My only gripe is the lackluster battery life and the fact that you can't quick charge it. But c'mon, this is the closest I've come to perfect sound for someone who mainly uses Tidal as their source tracks and doesn't always have wifi.

    The EQ does nothing to dynamics, or reduce resolution IMO. It drops pre-gain by 6db so you don't clip - you have to compensate by turning up the volume. If used correctly, it is very transparent and helps correct minor issues that ear canal resonances produce. It wish it was fully parametric however. As of now, you can only change the Q values so much and the frequencies for the filter are fixed, not user definable. But I'm still able to balance out my IEMs pretty good. For example, my Oriolus mk2 has a peak at 4k (for my ears) and I'm able to dial that back just a tad, and I boost 16k a tad to bring out more air. The changes take a very good listening experience and turn it into a very linear, phenomenal one.

    If I had to guess, the EQ filters are being processed at 32bit floating point, thus retaining full resolution of just about any source material you throw at it. I sincerely doubt AK is going to compromise their DAPs with a substandard EQ solution. Yes, you take a slight battery hit because of the added processing and the increased volume, but man is it worth it.
    bgtip likes this.
  7. abitdeef
    Even if I raise the volume and boost highs it still sounds lifeless compared to no EQ. Just like a veil has been thrown over everything especially the highs.

    Hey I’m glad your happy with it, but I like the way Sony and Cowon, and hiby, or rock box implement Eq- no dB reduction and no clipping. Luckily I love the ‘base’ sound and everything I have sounds amazing with it.
    buonassi likes this.
  8. T.R.A.N.C.E.
    Got a Koss Portapro recabled for balanced with copper litz and it sounds great, there is more control and definition, better texture, couldn't ask for more.

    Colors, bgtip and Tamikster like this.
  9. Herriman
    Hello friends of this forum,
    I have recently bought a SR15 (in Spain) and I love it: great sound and I like the design.
    In the SR15 manual says that it takes 'up to 8 hours' to full charge the SR15 (from 0% aprox) when connected to the computer and up to 4 hours through a recommended wall charger (2 A and 5 v). In my case it take almost 4 hours by the MAC and less than two hours by the recommanded wall charger. I appreciate too that the battery discharges very quickly (non balanced earphones). Could be the battery defective? Should I replace the SR15? Maybe Jason or somebody could tell me if the normal time to charge is that the manual says.

    Many many thanks.
  10. nicodem
    can I somehow see what is playing at my SR15 with any Windows or browser app?
    I would like to control SR15 from my desktop at work without looking at it. If possible.
    Volume Up/Down, pause, next/prev track is enough for me but full control would be great.
    Using Tidal mostly (via installed app) if this also can give some options.
    I know there is some kind of AK connect app but its for Andoid/iOS only?
  11. Shinobi70

    Charging time in your case is quite normal and on par with what I get.

    "I appreciate too that the battery discharges very quickly" - how quickly is that (and at what volume)?
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2019
  12. Herriman
    Thanks shinoby. A full charge lasts about 5-6 hours streaming (qobuz) by wifi at volume 70-80 with unbalanced earphones (3.5 mm).
  13. JasonNYC
    We say it could take up to 8 hours to charge via computer as some computer USB ports charge slower than others, especially if you are using front USB ports on a desktop since they are usually not connected directly to the computer motherboard. Your charging times are normal.

    You mention the battery discharges quickly, but do not mention specific times. How long does it take to discharge from a full charge? What type of files are you playing? How long is the screen on for? Do you have Bluetooth or Wi-Fi turned on? All of these things will affect battery life.
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  14. Tsukuyomi
    I've personally noted the following in my travels with the SR15.
    my SR15 is 100% when i leave my condo. I turn off the screen, put it in my jacket pocket and go about my commute to work.
    my entire commute to work takes roughly 1hr.
    When i get to work, and turn the screen on, i notice it will be at 89-90% battery.

    Screen brightness: 0
    Wifi: off
    Bluetooth: off
    File types: 16bit/44.1 FLAC
    Output: Single Ended with a Bang & Olufsen H6 (2nd generation)
    Average volume output: 60 - 75 depending on song intensity.

    I'm aware due to its compact design, this is possibly the best battery life per hour i'll get of music listening? i could be wrong.
    @JasonNYC do you think this is about average battery life for the SR15?
  15. Herriman
    Thank you Jason. I am happy the charging time would be normal.
    Concerning the battery, as I wrote before it takes about 5.5 hours to discharge. Mainly I use the sr15 for streaming Qobuz. Files 16/44 and 24/96. And the earphones are connected to 3.5 mm.. The streaming is wifi way and the screen is normaly off. Is it normal?
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