Astell & Kern A&futura SE180

Astell & Kern

Astell & Kern A&futura SE180

Price
£1,399.00
Astell & Kern A&futura SE180
Product Colour
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The third product in the A&futura line, the SE180, continues the trend of exciting innovation for Astell&Kern products, while providing the uncompromised sound quality Astell&Kern is famous for.

With the SE180, in addition to superb audio technology, Astell&Kern wanted to show users an element of fun that is hard to find in most HiFi products.

The DNA of innovation found in the A&futura line continues with the SE180.  It is an advanced audio system created with the technology Astell&Kern is known for around the world.

  • Interchangeable All-in-One Module
  • TERATON ALPHA Audio Technology from Astell&Kern
  • Next Generation Astell&Kern AMP Technology
  • Updated UI with Added Functions for Convenience

With the SE180, premium HiFi Sound is now available through the use of interchangeable, all-in-one modules, by Astell&Kern.

interchangeable all-in-one

With the SE180, Astell&Kern wanted to expand on the multi-DAC idea that was first introduced with the SE200.

Like the SE200, different DACs can be used in one DAP, but they wanted to do something different for the SE180. The introduction of Interchangeable All-in-One Modules, carry on the multi-DAC experience, but add a new and fun experience. This reflects the DNA of the innovation that the A&futura line is known for.

The SE180 is a module-separated product that increases the convenience of connection between the main body of the player and the module. It features an innovative double-locking design that securely connects each component while providing smooth lines that naturally flow without any sense of separateness between the two pieces.

By applying different DAC/AMP configurations, adjusting tuning and outputs for each module, the user can choose the most suitable module for Premium Hi-Fi Sound.

The default configuration module contains the ESS ES9038PRO, an 8-channel DAC mainly used for premium home audio equipment. This DAC provides a wider dynamic range and more detailed sophistication. The module supports 2.5mm, 3.5mm and 4.4mm connections to allow for a greater variety of headphones/IEMs.

circuit separation structure of main body and module

By physically separating the main body from the All-in-One module, Astell&Kern completely block power and RF noise that may occur from the main body.

This creates an independent structure that prevents noise from interfering with music playback.

modules double lock for ease of use

The biggest difference between the SE180 and other products that use interchangeable modules is that the SE180 uses a double-locking mechanism rather than screws to fasten the module to the body.

The first locking structure attaches the module and the body.

The second locking structure informs the user that the module has been securely fastened to the main body.

The spring supported internal connectors of the main body allow reliable audio signal connection and are used to prevent connection failure in case of external shock to the player when on the go.

Astell&Kern ultimate sound solution: TERATON ALPHA

TERATON ALPHA is AK's ultimate Sound Solution to produce audio playback that is close to the original sound through the audio output interface by use of effective power noise removal, efficient power management and amplification with minimal distortion.

TERATON ALPHA features Astell&Kern's patented technologies, which are the result of tens of thousands of hours of continuous research and development to produce sound close to the original sound the artist and producer intended.

next generation advanced AMP technology

It is extremely difficult to push beyond  your previous best.

With the SE180, A&K applied Next Generation AMP technology to push beyond the sound quality others feel is acceptable for Premium Hi-Fi Sound to produce the best sound possible.

From the selection of OP-AMP parts, to circuit design, board layout and tuning, everything has been completely redesigned to produce the best sound.

It is difficult to improve the Signal-to-Noise Ratio (SNR) while maintaining a high output.

adoption of full HD display for improved image quality

The SE180 features a full HD screen to provide a higher quality display.

  • 441PPI
  • 5"
  • 16.7M colours
  • 1920 x 1080

navigation bar for easier navigation

To provide more convenient movement through the player user interface that is consistent with an Android smartphone experience, the SE180 features a new navigation bar, the first in an Astell&Kern player.

Now you can easily navigate with a single touch and deliver music playback information from any screen. The new one swipe feature moves you to the previous screen.

AK file drop to enjoy wireless transfers

The new AK File Drop function in the SE180 makes file transfers easier and more convenient.

Using AK File Drop, you can freely transfer files wirelessly through a PC, smartphone, or FTP program located on the same network.

Music file management is now possible with a cableless, wireless solution.

wireless HiFi sound through BT Sink

The newly introduced BT Sink function connects the SE180 to an external device via Bluetooth, similar to connecting a smartphone with a BT speaker.  Music from an external device, such as a smartphone can now be played back in high-quality on the SE180 using the BT Sink function.

real-time information confirmed by light

The SE180 features a LED volume wheel which displays various playback information, including volume level and bit-rate of the track currently playing.

equipped with Bluetooth 5.0 and support for wireless 24-bit aptX-HD, LDAC Codecs

The latest Bluetooth version provides high sound quality with the convenience of wireless playback to headphones and IEMs.

Bluetooth 5.0 features faster transmission speed, greater range and a more stable wireless connection when compared to Bluetooth 4.2.

Both LDAC and aptX HD is supported to provide audiophiles with the best wireless sound possible.

MQA

MQA (Master Quality Authenticated) is an award-winning British technology that delivers the sound of the original master recording.  The master MQA file is fully authenticated and is small enough to stream or download. Visit mqa.co.uk for more information.  Astell&Kern SE180 includes MQA technology, which enables you to play back MQA audio files and streams, delivering the sound of the original master recording.

design concept

A&futura SE180 is Astell&Kern's first DAC interchangeable DAP, created under the pioneering spirit of the A&futura lineup.  A smooth yet expanding silhouette is the key design element of the SE180.  The continuous and seamless outline of the SE180 and almost infinite number of acoustic settings users can create represents the infinite possibility of tonal scalability.

The volume knob is located in the center of the curves.  It symbolises the way that various tones are gathered and harmonised to emit not only the sound but also light as well. The control buttons on the left side have been eliminated and a single multi-function button has been added for the convenience of one-handed operation.

The A&futura SE180’s ceramic rear cover is reminiscent of a finely crafted art sculpture. You can feel the quality and craftsmanship devoted to your device through the subtle beauty. Gold rings are applied to each audio output port, 2.5mm, 3.5mm and 4.4mm connectors, for harmony and unity through its details.

Specifications
  • Body Color: Moon Silver
  • Body Material: Aluminum
  • Display: 5.0inch 1920x1080 FHD
  • Supported Audio Formats: WAV, FLAC, WMA, MP3, OGG, APE, AAC, ALAC, AIFF, DFF, DSF, MQA
  • MQA playback: Services(Tidal Masters), Local files, External USB, MQA-CD(ripped)
  • Input: USB Type-C input (for PC & MAC)
  • Charging: 9V 1.67A / 5V 2A
  • Wi-Fi: 802.11 b/g/n (2.4GHz)
  • Bluetooth: V5.0 (A2DP, AVRCP, Qualcomm® aptXTM HD, LDAC)
  • Dimensions: 3.03 ”(77 mm) [W] x 5.09 ”(129.2 mm) [H] x 0.78 ”(19.9 mm) [D] (Only body)
  • Dimensions: 3.03 ”(77 mm) [W] x 5.4 ”(137.2 mm) [H] x 0.78 ”(19.9 mm) [D] (Combined with a module)
  • Weight: 9.88 oz (280 g)
  • Feature Enhancements: Firmware upgrades supported (OTA)
  • SAR: Body 10g SAR (W/Kg) _ WLAN 2.4Ghz : 0.016
  • Wheel: LED Light (LED Indicator)
  • Battery capacity: 3,800mAh 3.8V Li-Polymer Battery
  • Battery charge time: about 5hours (Standard : 5V / 2A Charging), about 3hours (Fast : 9V / 1.67A Charging)
  • Built-in memory: 256GB [NAND]
  • External memory: microSD (Max. 1TB) x1
  • Supported OS: Windows 8,10(32/64bit) Mac OS X 10.7 and up
  • Clock Jitter: 25ps(Typ)
  • Reference Clock Jitter: 800 Femto Seconds
SEM1 Specification
  • Model: SEM1
  • Body Color: Moon Silver
  • Body Material: Aluminum, Stainless Steel, Polycarbonate
  • Sample Rate: PCM: 8kHz ~ 384kHz (8/16/24/32bits per Sample) DSD Native: DSD64(1bit 2.8MHz), Stereo / DSD128(1bit 5.6MHz), Stereo / DSD256(1bit 11.2MHz), Stereo
  • Outputs: Unbalanced Out (3.5mm), Balanced Out (2.5mm, only 4-pole supported / 4.4mm, only 5-pole supported)
  • Output Level: [Normal Gain] Unbalanced 2Vrms / Balanced 4Vrms (Condition No Load), [High Gain] Unbalanced 3Vrms / Balanced 6Vrms (Condition No Load)
  • DAC: ESS ES9038PRO (Single DAC)
  • Decoding: Support up to 32bit / 384kHz Bit-to-Bit playback
  • Dimensions: 3.03 ”(77 mm) [W] x 2.99 ”(76 mm) [H] x 0.78 ”(19.9 mm) [D]
  • Weight: 3.53 oz (100 g)
  • Playback Time: about 10.5hours (FLAC, 16bit, 44.1kHz, Vol.50, LCD Off)
Audio Performance
  • Frequency Response: ±0.04dB (Condition : 20Hz~20kHz) Unbalanced / ±0.04dB (Condition : 20Hz~20kHz) Balanced
  • Frequency Response: ±0.07dB (Condition : 20Hz~70kHz) Unbalanced / ±0.06dB (Condition : 20Hz~70kHz) Balanced
  • Signal to Noise Ratio: [Normal Gain] 122dB @ 1kHz, Unbalanced / 126dB @ 1kHz, Balanced / [High Gain] 125dB @ 1kHz, Unbalanced / 129dB @ 1kHz, Balanced
  • Crosstalk: [Normal Gain] -138dB @ 1kHz, Unbalanced / -145dB @ 1kHz, Balanced / [High Gain] -138dB @ 1kHz, Unbalanced / -147dB @ 1kHz, Balanced
  • THD+N: [Normal Gain] 0.0005% @ 1kHz, Unbalanced / 0.0004% @ 1kHz, Balanced / [High Gain] 0.0007% @ 1kHz, Unbalanced / 0.0006% @ 1kHz, Balanced
  • IMD SMPTE: 0.0004%, 800Hz 10kHz (4:1), Unbalanced / 0.0004%, 800Hz 10kHz (4:1), Balanced
  • Output Impedance: 3.5mm (1ohm) / 2.5mm (1.5ohm) / 4.4mm (1.5ohm)

Overall Rating