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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. ThomasHK
    Absolutely loving this thing. So much more mature as a platform than the AK70.

    Almost flawless UI with only the occasional stutter, but even high end Android phones are not immune to that.
    The inclusion of Spotify and Tidal just elevates this thing to a whole other level. For casual listening on the go, Spotify is my go to so this is awesome. I connect the AK to my phone's hotspot and I can control it over Spotify Connect which makes hassle juggling multiple devices on the go much less. Similarly, AK Connect seems much faster in response times than before.

    I don't have so much experience with DAPs, but it's much better than the AK70 or MKII, no comparison.

    Key sound quality strengths (I only use SE):
    • low frequency extension... this one goes as deep as it can :), but very controlled bass.
    • non fatiguing / non digital sounding high mid/low treble. As my wife said: voices sound real now (compared to AK70). The PP8 can be a little hot in this critical frequency region for fatigue and the SR15 somehow makes it much smoother to listen to over long periods. May have something to with higher output impedance, will have to measure that.
    • Wide and deep soundstage. Definitely much better in that respect than the quite narrow sounding AK70.
    I might try to do some measurements next week or the next compared to AK70 and AK70 mod.
     
    royalemint, pilgrimbilly and buonassi like this.
  2. JeroenTop
    920CBEC7-0DEF-42EE-81B7-C6C0C4ACF830.jpeg Hi all,

    I really like this little gem and use it a lot. Waiting for Roon to arrive (I find the SR15 sometimes a bit of a hassle to deal with, especially with its cover on) and will be all set. I find one thing really annoying: this Back button (Android?) at the bottom right of the user interface. Especially when using Qobuz, because there is where the search function is and the back button and search button overlap.

    Can I get rid of the Back button or is there some other way to access the Qobuz search button?
    Tx in advance,

    Jeroen
     
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2019
  3. ThomasHK
    If press and hold the back button you can move it around your screen
     
    JeroenTop likes this.
  4. JeroenTop
    Thanks so much!
     
  5. atmasphere
    You can definitely move the button. Mine is a bit higher now which helps.

    I completely agree about the case. I love having on there but find it’s really a challenge to get the menu to pull down.
     
    buonassi likes this.
  6. NovaFlyer
    "My Mix" isn't accessible directly on the app. However, I did a work around to make it available on the app and to be downloaded on the side-loaded APK version. On the desktop app, I created a manual playlist called "My Mix 1 PL". Then I just added the songs from My Mix PL to the the playlist I created. Then access My Mix PL 1 via the "My Music" and "My Playlist" section of the app. Works for both the built-in app on the SR15, as well as the side-loaded APK version.
     
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2019
    buonassi likes this.
  7. Vincentaria
    Thank you for your reply Jason, I will wait for further news from your team,
     
  8. AndyGer75
    Hi all,
    does anybody know which fixes are included in FW 1.14? It is OTA but this time no info on the official A&K notes section?! Well, I applied it, but just curious what it is for.
     
  9. JasonNYC
    do you have an example of one of the DACs that you are having issues with?
     
    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. JasonNYC
    The latest firmware update contains bug fixes and OS optimizations. I don't have any specifics on what bug fixes there were.
     
    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
    AndyGer75 likes this.
  11. LyrradMoor
    Hi
    I'm a lurker here and I've read every single page of this thread last night, but I'm suffering from information overload.

    MQA Tidal tracks help please.

    I believe I can download to SD card and play offline but am I right in thinking this must be through side loaded APK?

    Thanks in advance.
     
  12. JasonNYC
    Correct. Tidal offline mode is only available on the sideloaded Tidal app.
     
    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
    LyrradMoor likes this.
  13. atmasphere
    But MQA tracks you might have on the SD card work outside of Tidal too as rare as they might be.
     
  14. LyrradMoor
    Thanks for prompt response.

    I just purchased a 2nd hand unit that allegedly has been used twice with case and 200gb card for sensible money. It's for my son and his 17 year old ears. Everything else I had looked at, again wading through head-fi, seemed to be a question being prepared to live with issues.

    From an outside point of view, what sold this unit for me was this entire thread is pretty much talking about what iem's to choose (my next expensive headache) and user understanding of how to operate.

    I was looking at Onkyo DP-X1 or FiiO NX5iii, but both come with problems before even taking into consideration the difference in sound quality.

    It should be with me Saturday.

    A big thanks to all that have posted here, as it became quickly apparent that this player is a quality item.
     
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2019
    buonassi likes this.
  15. atmasphere
    I went with the Campfire Comet which definitely seem to punch above their weight and am already wondering where to go next. My Sennheiser HD6XX in balanced mode is awesome too. The SR15 is seriously good!
     
    LyrradMoor likes this.
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