Innovative DAC design
The innovative interchangeable DAC design not only offers a new level of audio flexibility for the user but also improves the sound performance. By physically separating the main body from the all-in-one module, power and radio frequency (RF) noise generated by the main unit is completely blocked. This creates an independent structure that prevents noise from interfering with music playback.
Shape your sound
The SEM2 Asahi Kasei AK4497EQ Dual DAC will be the first optional module available on launch with the ability to play files up to 32-bit/768kHz PCM and native DSD512. Both the SEM1 (supplied with player) and SEM2 modules support 2.5mm, 3.5mm and 4.4mm headphones connections for accommodating a greater variety of headphones and in-ear monitors (IEM)
Introducing TERATON ALPHA technology
The first player to harbour TERATON ALPHA technology that effectively removes power noise and provides efficient power consumption and amplification right through to the audio output interface stage where the digital-to-analogue signal conversion (DAC) takes place – audio technology Astell&Kern has consistently developed and perfected over the years.
Enhanced user-interface design
The A&futura SE180 user-interface has been enhanced to offer an experience consistent with an Android smartphone. A new navigation bar pinned at the bottom of the screen allows users to control playback and skip tracks from any screen, while a single swipe returns to the previous screen.
Astell & Kern has been particularly prolific in the portable music player market in recent years, having come up with new ways to justify models of different sizes and quirky feature sets. The A&futura SE180 is one of them and, whether you consider the modular design valuable or not, stands as one of the best performance-per-pound offerings in the company’s line-up.
The standalone music player market is relatively niche – and at this price point even more so – but if you’re looking for an excellent-sounding player without spending thousands, the A&futura SE180 is among the best we’ve come across, regardless of its worthy USP.