(Pocket-lint) - Audio specialist Astell and Kern has revealed a new Hi-Res digital audio player, the SE180. It's the third in the company's A&futura series and it has an interesting little trick up its sleeve.
The SE180 features interchangeable DAC (digital to analogue converter) modules, meaning that you can customise the sound to suit you. The SE180 arrives with a default 8-channel DAC traditionally used for premium home audio equipment. Here's how the unit opens up:
This DAC provides a wider dynamic range and greater detail, while there's extensive Hi-Res support up to 32-bit/384kHz PCM and native DSD256 files. The SEM2 Asahi Kasei AK4497EQ Dual DAC will be the first optional module available with the ability to play files up to 32-bit/768kHz PCM and native DSD512. There's also support for MQA playback.
Astell and Kern says that the next module will be available later in 2021 with another in the first part of 2022. The company believes that having a separate DAC improves sound quality as it can be isolated from the main body and any power/radio noise generated.
Elsewhere, the SE180 also boasts a Full HD display, AK File Drop for wireless file transfer to the device as well as a new user interface that Astell and Kern says is more consistent with an Android smartphone. The Bluetooth functionality has also been improved, too.