Astell&Kern today introduces the A&futura SE200, the world’s first Digital Audio Player (DAP), to be equipped with DAC chips from two different manufacturers, ESS and AKM, in one device. The SE200 is the second model offered on A&futura, the brand’s premium line of players with advanced features that bring the original performance to life.
The A&futura SE200 features dual ESS9068Q from ESS and a single AK4499EQ from AKM. The DAP is equipped with not just a single amplifier circuit design, but four independent amplifier section designs. The separate amplifier circuits are designed and optimised following the different characteristics of the AKM and ESS DACs that are used in the player, coupled with DAC filters offering further customisation of the sound signature. The DAP also sports two pairs of 2.5 mm balanced and 3.5 mm single-end outputs, offering independent outputs from the two different amplifier circuits. Essentially, it is two standalone DAC and Amplifier circuits in one chassis sharing a single digital interface.
The A&futura SE200 supports native 32 bit / 384 kHz, DSD256, and MQA playback. It also features LED lighting around the volume wheel, which displays different colours of light, including red, green, blue, and purple, to reflect music playback information. These include volume range, bit-rate of the track currently playing, as well as the current DAC that is being used for playback of music.
The A&futura SE200 also features an Octa-Core CPU, 5.0-inch HD 720 x 1,200 touchscreen, 256GB of internal memory with external storage support via microSD cards up to 1TB. Wireless wise, the DAP supports Wi-Fi, DLNA networking, USB digital audio output, Bluetooth, and Bluetooth Codec aptX HD, as well as support for music streaming services via the brand’s OpenApp platform. On paper, the DAP has a battery life of 14 hours and uses a USB-C port for charging with support for fast-charging.
The A&futura SE200 is priced at USD 1,799 is expected to be available from mid-July 2020.