“Premium Player for the Masses”. This is how the prestigious South Korean firm Astell&Kern defines the second model in its range of affordable high-resolution A&norma portable players. Evolution of the celebrated A&norma SR15, the A&norm SR25 It is a product with an unquestionably audiophile philosophy that brings the sound and technological refinement of Astell&Kern to a wide range of fans.
In these coordinates, the least that can be said about the compact and light A&norm SR25 is that, for the price at which it is offered, it is nothing short of groundbreaking. The reason for such a qualifier is that among other peculiarities, it supports, thanks to a D/A conversion section based on the American firm’s audiophile-grade CS43198 “chip” Cirrus Logicdigital files encoded in native DSD up to DSD256 and PCM up to 32-bit/384 kHz, a feature until now reserved for the elite of Astell&Kern.
Added to this is the new “Performance Mode”, which automatically adjusts the memory based on the size of the file being played to optimize the sound quality. Logically, the correct playback of files high resolution audio like those we have just mentioned requires having a management processor very high performance and memory access speed extremely fast, as well as an appropriate signal path – minimizing possible delays – to process the relevant signals.
Hence the incorporation, in the new portable player of Astell&Kernof a state-of-the-art printed circuit board that is complemented by circuits for each channel specifically designed to achieve signal transmission free of distortion and noise. When it comes to connectivity, the A&norm SR25 includes balanced and unbalanced analog outputs and a USB-C input (for charging and data transfer to PC and Mac computers), to which is added wireless connectivity high resolution (up to 24-bit/96 kHz) via Bluetooth aptX HD and LDAC.
To all that has been said we must add a synchronization clock very high precision, a internal memory 64 GB expandable by another 1 TB via microSD card, a high definition touch screen 3’6 inches and, as a final cherry, a construction entirely made of aluminum executed by an ultra-sophisticated five-axis machine tool identical to those used in the demanding Swiss watch industry.