The new Astell and Kern SR15 looks set to redinfe the benchmark in Portable Audio players. At the same price as the award winning Astell and Kern AK70 MKII, the A&norma SR15 has Dual MasterHifi tier DAC's from Cirrus Logic, a powerful headphone amplifier, DSD playback and Quad Core processing power.
The unusual design to look at makes alot of sense once this premium player is in your hand.
Hear it in the Headphone Booth at Harrow Audio.
Here's what Astell and Kern have to say:
The A&norma SR15 uses two audio DAC chips for a Dual-DAC setup. These chips are known for their use in Home Hi-Fi systems which offer greater presence compared to the inferior DAC chips designed for mobile devices.
There are many devices that use DAC chips for audio processing, however there are different tiers and quality of chips sought by Hi-Fi audio manufacturers to deliver an experience close to the original performance.
A&norma SR15 has adopted the MasterHIFI™ class DAC, CS43198 for the first time in a portable system. At Astell&Kern, we believe that true Hi-Fi should sound as close as possible to the original performance. The CS43198 is one of few DAC chipsets that is capable of bringing us even closer to the original when it's matched with the analog amp design of Astell&Kern. In result, it brings even more liveliness and warmth of sound without distortion.
Furthermore, A&norma SR15 supports native DSD bit-to-bit, and gets one step closer to the Hi-Fi system.
Cirrus Logic has built its reputation as an expert in audio IC (Integrated Circuit) chips and solutions for more than three decades and has established its distinguished recognition in the audio industry.
Specializing in low power ICs for audio and voice signal processing applications, Cirrus Logic's products span the entire audio signal chain, from capture to playback, providing innovative products for the world's top smartphones, tablets, digital headsets, wearables and emerging smart home applications. Now they have introduced the MasterHIFI™ chipset solutions for excellent audio reproduction performance. MasterHiFI™ class designation is only given to their chipsets that meet their highest audio performance standard. It will deliver your music as the musicians and producers wanted you to hear it.
For more than three decades, Cirrus Logic has built its reputation as an expert in audio IC innovation.
Cirrus Logic's audio innovation continues today with the development of MasterHIFI™ products from the industry's best audio IC design engineers. These integrated circuits, along with embedded software and DSP algorithms, are driving excellence in audio playback in new generations of mobile products. Cirrus Logic audio products with the MasterHIFI designation meet the company's highest standard in high-fidelity audio playback. MasterHIFI™ products deliver the very best performance in sound clarity and pure, euphoric audio listening just like the artist intended. The devices should not unintentionally "color" the audio, but should maintain the “brightest” sounds expected from a recorded track.
Some may think that only sound matters in Hi-Fi systems. While it does matter greatly, there are other factors that influence your immersive music experience as well. A&norma is designed to remove any distracting elements, including noise, distortion and unintuitive user interface.
The Quad-core CPU gives you even more processing power for your digital music and a lot faster, natural UI experience.
Get lost in your music without distractions.
The A&norma SR15 plays any resolution of digital files up to 24-bit/192 kHz, bit-for-bit.
For 32-bit audio, downsampling is performed by the SRC (Sample Rate Converter) method.
DSD is native up to 64 MHz and DSD 128 MHz is converted to PCM for playback.
* 32-bit, 384 kHz is downsampled to 24-bit, 192 kHz, and 32-bit, 352 kHz is downsampled to 24-bit, 176 kHz for playback.
* DSD 128 is converted via DSD-to-PCM to PCM 24-bit, 176 kHz for playback.
A simple USB connection will allow the A&norma SR15 to be used as a digital music storage device and
/or pre-amp to output digital audio through USB. The A&norma SR15 transfers DSD in native format through DoP (DSD over PCM) and converts DSD to PCM for output for external USB Audio that do not support DoP.
A&norma SR15 has adopted the user interface of the A&ultima SP1000, which has grown famous for its intuitiveness and simplicity.
Display 3.3inch WVGA (480 x 800) TFT LCD
Supported Audio Formats WAV, FLAC, WMA, MP3, OGG, APE, AAC, ALAC, AIFF, DFF, DSF
Sample rate PCM : 8kHz ~ 192kHz (8/16/24bits per Sample) / DSD Native : DSD64(1bit 2.8MHz), Stereo / DSD to PCM : DSD128(1bit 5.6MHz)
Output Level Unbalance 2.0Vrms / Balance 4.0Vrms (Condition No Load)
DAC Cirrus Logic CS43198 x2 (Dual DAC)
Decoding Support up to 24bit / 192kHz Bit to Bit Decoding
Input USB Micro-B input (for charging & data transfer (PC & MAC)) / Connection Mode : MTP (Media Device)
Outputs PHONES (3.5mm) / Balanced Out (2.5mm, only 4-pole supported)
Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n (2.4GHz)
Bluetooth V4.1 (A2DP, AVRCP, aptXtm HD)
Dimensions 2.26 ”(57.5 mm) [W] x 3.92 ”(99.7 mm) [H] x 0.63 ”(16.1 mm) [D]
Weight about 5.43 oz (about 154 g)
Feature Enhancements Firmware upgrades supported (OTA)
Frequency Response ±0.030dB (Condition: 20Hz~20kHz) Unbalance / ±0.024dB (Condition: 20Hz~20kHz) Balance ±0.038dB (Condition: 10Hz~70kHz) Unbalance / ±0.065dB (Condition: 10Hz~70kHz) Balance
Signal to Noise Ratio 122dB @ 1kHz, Unbalance & Balance
Crosstalk 137dB @ 1kHz, Unbalance & Balance
THD+N 0.0008% @ 1kHz, Unbalance / 0.0009% @ 1kHz, Balance
IMD SMPTE 0.0004% 800Hz 10kHz(4:1) Unbalance & Balance
Output Impedance Balanced out 2.5mm (1.6ohm) / PHONES 3.5mm (1.1ohm)
Capacity 3,150mAh 3.7V Li-Polymer Battery
Built-in Memory 64GB [NAND]
External Memory microSD (Max 400GB) x1
Supported OS Windows 7,8,10 (32/64bit), MAC OS X 10.7 and up