Never one to let a product cycle get too long in the tooth, Astell and Kern announced today the beginnings of two new product lines to accompany the A&ultima (SP1000, $3.5k) portable digital player in a three tier, more concise organization of high fidelity products. Following a A&*** format and launching with a new player each, the A&norma SR15 will be priced at $699 with the mid tier A&futura landing at $1,699.
If you take a closer look at the norma above, you might notice that the screen appears to rest at an angle offset from the sides of the player. This is not an optical illusion, the inset display for the SR15 takes on a unique design element that puts a slight spin on the traditional DAP interface.
As for the tech specs, we will leave you to the PR release copy:
“The A&norma SR15 is the first model from Astell&Kern’s new standard line of players. The A&norma line is designed to provide those new to high resolution audio a feature-packed introduction to the Astell&Kern brand. ‘Pragmatic’ Hi-Fi is now available with A&norma. The A&norma SR15 is packed with several features found in previous Astell&Kern flagship devices so that even beginners can enjoy the fullest musical details when listening with an A&norma player. The SR15 uses the proven Master HIFI level DAC chip, the Cirrus Logic CS43198, and features a Quad-core CPU which provides abundant power to process high-res music and creates an intuitive and snappy user experience. The A&norma SR15 can playback up to 24bit/192kHz PCM audio, and single-rated DSD natively. All of these features are packaged in a solid aluminum alloy body that resembles the popular AK70 series. The user interface is also very intuitive and is based on other upper-tier models in the Astell&Kern line.”
“The A&futura SE100 is equipped with a professional grade DAC chip from ESS, the SABRE ES9038Pro, which offers 8-channel procession of sound inputs. With 4-channels of dedicated processing per left and right channel, the SE100 is capable of producing even more detailed and clear sound with excellent SNR. The SE100 can play back up to 32 bit/384kHz PCM audio and can play Quad DSD natively. Thanks to an updated amplifier design and noise control technologies implemented by Astell&Kern, the SE100 produces 4.1 Vrms (balanced output) from its built-in amp only. The SE100 also features an Octa-core CPU, 5-inch touch screen, 128GB internal storage, support for fast charging, and can play back music for about 10 hours. Its aluminum alloy body design is solid and durable, and the classical design of the volume knob and diamond-patterned glass back plate completes the premium look and feel of the player when holding it in your hand. The SE100 has also been awarded a “Red Dot Design Award 2018.”
In addition to the new players, A&K is also handling the global distribution for the JH Audio Billie Jean universal fit IEM ($349) which we covered in more depth here. Expect the A&futura SE100 to become available in May and the A&norma SR15 in June.