Astell&Kern have rebranded their recent range of players under the guise of A&ultima, A&norma and A&futura. The SR25 fits under the A&norma class of players and is the 2nd player to be launched in this range after the incredible, award winning SR15. It offers up the same dual DAC chip seen in the SR15, however the CPU has been upgraded to a much faster Quad Core. By switching to the Cirrus Logic and away from the ESS DAC found in other Astell&Kern players, the SR25 maintains incredible, best in class audio like the SE100 yet manages to provide this performance at a lower cost to you. With plenty of power to be paired with many earphones and even some full sized headphones, it makes the SR25 an awesome entry level player for anyone venturing away from using their smartphone for their music playback. The SR25 will enable you to play anything on it from MP3 through to FLAC and all the way up to native DSD if you are so inclined;
The built in 64GB storage enables you to store many of your favourite albums on board, with the ability to add an external 512GB sd card if required. The simplicity of the user interface means that you can access your music and begin listening to it within seconds, thanks in part to its powerful quad core CPU.
Just like the original SR15 the SR25 features the Open App firmware. This lets you install your favourite streaming app directly to the player and enjoy its benefits. This means that If you find that the storage isn’t quite big enough, then you can access millions of songs on TIDAL and stream them directly to the player. This is a subscription service, however it enables you to access all of the latest albums releases along with a curated song list. If you don’t have TIDAL then you can alternatively install music services such as Spotify, which although doesn’t quite offer the same audio quality as TIDAL, manages to provide an extensive database of music to listen to.
The design of the SR25 is somewhat of a talking point with its slanted screen, however, when holding the unit in your hand it means you don’t have to bend your wrist in order for the screen to be straight. It is a design that takes a while to get used to but feels natural after using it for any prolonged period of time. The SR25 has a bigger screen than the SR15 making it much easier to navigate your favourite music.
As with many of the other Astell&Kern range of music players, the SR5 has no shortage connections. The SR25 comes sporting a standard unbalanced 3.5mm socket alongside a balanced output on a 2.5mm socket. The USB output at the base of the unit enables the device to pair up to an external DAC such as a Chord MoJo or a bigger unit such as the Hugo2, Hugo TT2 or even DAVE. (Other DACs are available 🙂 ). For wireless connectivity the SR25 has WiFi and features AptX HD for your wireless headphones. A bonus over the SR15 is the inclusion of the LDAC codec for even better wireless audio transmission to LDAC capable devices.
You can be sure to get from London to New York with the SR25 with its 3150+ mAh battery on board offering a best in class 21 hours of music playback, depending on the quality of the music that you are playing through it.
Proper playback of DSD256 and 32bit/384kHz digital audio requires a high-performance CPU and fast memory speed, along with an audio path suitable for high-speed signal processing.
Optimizing the length of the audio path is a very important part, as failing to properly do so can create a time delay between the signals resulting in sound abnormalities.
With the SR25, the Astell&Kern team developed a completely different PCB design from the existing SR15 to process the high speed signals where required, resulting in audio path lengths that are the same, allowing for super-high resolution sound without any delay.
Furthermore, newly designed audio patterns and power circuits for distortion-free signal transmission and noise rejection are applied to each channel.
The result is an Ultra Low Noise Filter that allows you experience Astell&Kern’s flawless sound, with Zero Noise, on the SR25.
All in, the SR25 is now one of our best value players and provides you with an incredible entry into the dedicated music player market. The massive storage, streaming and array of connectivity options makes it a sensible purchase for anyone wanting to step away from their iPhone or Smartphone and save it’s battery.
±0.10dB (Condition: 20Hz~70kHz) Unbalanced / ±0.12dB (Condition: 20Hz~70kHz) Balanced