Astell & Kern’s $1,799 music player lets you switch between DACs


Astell & Kern says its newest audio participant is the primary on the planet to come back with DACs from two separate producers, letting you turn between them to customise the sound to your wired headphones. The $1,799 A&futura SE200 consists of DACs from each AKM (AK4499EQ) and ESS (twin ES9068AS), which have their very own AMP circuits tailor-made to their particular person sounds. After selecting a DAC, the sound may be custom-made additional with a sequence of audio filters.

High finish audio gadgets often embody high-quality DACs. LG usually differentiates its telephones by incorporating a quad-DAC system and headphone jack for higher sound. However, that is the primary time we’ve seen an organization embody DACs from two totally different producers, purely to let listeners fine-tune their audio.

As anticipated from a music participant that prices $1,799, the SE200 helps nearly any music file you possibly can throw at it. It’ll play native 32-bit/384kHz and DSD256 recordsdata, and there’s additionally MQA help so it might probably play or stream hi-res audio recordsdata encoded within the format — helpful should you’re a subscriber to Tidal’s HelloFi membership plan and wish to stream its Master-quality music. There’s 256GB of onboard storage, a microSD card slot that may increase it by as much as 1TB, Wi-Fi connectivity, Bluetooth AptX HD, and battery life is rated at as much as 14 hours.

Externally, the SE200 is managed by way of its 5.0-inch 720p show, and there’s a quantity wheel that may gentle up in several colours to indicate particulars concerning the music that’s presently taking part in, together with its bit-rate, or which DAC is presently in use. There’s a USB-C port for charging, and it’s also possible to use the participant as an exterior DAC to your Mac or Windows laptop.

In addition to taking part in domestically saved recordsdata, the participant can also be appropriate with a spread of streaming companies together with Apple Music, Amazon Music, Spotify, Tidal, SoundCloud, Deezer, and extra. Additional companies may be added by downloading and putting in the suitable Android APK.

$1,799 is so much to spend on a digital audio participant, however on a DAC-per-dollar foundation the A&futura SE200 appears to be like ever so barely much less obscene.