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Astell&Kern

High resolution audio specialists Astell&Kern appoints Armour Home Electronics as UK distributor

Hertfordshire, UK Leading audio distributor Armour Home Electronics is now responsible for distributing Astell&Kern’s award-winning range of high-performance audio products across specialist and mainstream retail channels in the UK.  As a global leader in portable and home high-resolution audio products, Astell&Kern will join Armour Home Electronics’ expanding third-party distribution portfolio of complementary, leading audio brands.

As both a distributor and manufacturer Armour Home Electronics has a long-standing and successful track record of high-profile audio distribution, alongside a rich heritage in audio innovation. Today, the company owns five audio brands including Q Acoustics, QED, Systemline, Audica and Goldring, as well as distributing Grado headphones and iFi audio products in the UK.

World renowned Astell&Kern design and manufacture best-in-class high resolution portable audio players and headphones so music fans can enjoy studio-quality music wherever they are. Its range of award-winning models, including the latest A&ultima SP2000 and KANN CUBE portable players, are opening up new markets that Armour Home Electronics will look to penetrate, utilising its extensive network of contacts across specialist and mainstream retail channels to help bring Astell&Kern’s products to a wider audience.

Dave Jang, Leader of Device Business Team at Astell&Kern, commented: “We reviewed a number of strong businesses before selecting our new distribution partner for the UK.  Armour Home offer exceptional in house marketing combined with a strong proven dealer account management and support team. We feel confident that Armour will support the future growth aspirations of our UK business.” 

Chris Emerson, Sales Director at Armour Home, commented: “The continued emergence of high-profile, high resolution audio streaming and digital download services show there is an appetite from consumers to hear studio-quality audio, whether listening at home or on-the-move. This is the perfect time to be partnering with one of the leaders in high-resolution audio systems and playback, Astell&Kern. The company’s innovative, high-performance product range has a synergy with our own brands and perfectly matches the requirements of our UK retail partners.”

Retailers in the UK should direct Astell&Kern product enquiries to Jack Fox, Regional Sales Director – Armour Home:

E: jack.fox@armourhome.co.uk

T: +44 (0)7775 021263

For media requests, please contact

Nick Renshaw, PR manager, Armour Home: nick.renshaw@armourhome.co.uk

About Astell&Kern

Astell&Kern was established in 2012 in Seoul, Korea and is owned by Dreamus (formerly known as iRiver) a 21 year old company also based in Seoul, Korea. The company design and engineer best-in class high resolution audio devices for the playback of MQS studio-quality audio. Combining design and engineering excellence, craftsmanship and high quality materials with state-of-the-art audio technology, Astell&Kern’s range of portable music players, headphones and home audio system deliver audio quality without compromise.

To discover more about Astell&Kern visit www.astellkern.co.uk

About Armour Home Electronics

Formed in 2003, Armour Home is a specialist manufacturer and distributor of audio, AV and multi-room equipment. Having separated from Armour Group plc and restructured its operations in 2015, Armour Home designs, develops and manufactures products under five owned brands – Q Acoustics, QED, Goldring, Audica and Systemline – alongside third-party distribution of Grado headphones and products made by iFi Audio.

http://www.armourhome.co.uk

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Astell&Kern

Past Meets Present: Introducing the SA700


With the launch of Astell&Kern’s first product in 2012, we always aim to deliver uncompromising sound to music lovers. One day we decided to ask ourselves a question “What if we combined Astell&Kern’s first starting point and present?”

We wanted to combine the analog sensibilities that remained in our hearts with the sound technology that has evolved over the years since our first product was released. 

The SA700 is a product where past emotions and current technology meet. The SA700 is an evolution of technology and design that deliver the ultimate sound to Astell&Kern original design and sensibility. 

Emotional Retro Design
Intuitive LED Indicator
New Special GUI
Stainless Steel Body for Premium Sound
Ideal Size for Portability
Dual DAC of AK4492ECB from AKM
32bit / 384kHz, Native DSD256 support 

We took the original design of AK120 and redesigned it into a simple, but refined form. With the latest technology, the deeper and stronger sound of the SA700 delivers new experiences and values ​​not found in other products. 

First DAP Using AKM AK4492ECB DAC

The SA700 is the first DAP to use a AK4492ECB Dual DAC to give a new sound signature.

AKM’s AK4492ECB is a DAC that aims to achieve the best performance in the industry by utilizing the technology obtained by developing AK4497EQ.

It has a lower power consumption and similar audio performance compared to AK4497EQ, making it the best DAC for a portable DAP.

Only Astell&Kern’s Sound Technology know-how has made the DAC’s performance even more perfect. Now you can enjoy premium sound close to the original performance with the SA700 and the AK4492ECB. 

Asahi Kasei

The SA700 uses stainless steel, which is corrosion-resistant and durable, for maximum material strength and beauty.

Since it takes a lot of time, skill and cost to process the material, it is often only used for expensive products. The SA700 uses stainless steel because it provides the perfect sound.

SA700 offers the optimal condition to deliver perfect original sound. 
SA700 is capable of bit-to-bit playback up to 32bit 384kHz and native DSD playback up to 11.2MHz, delivering detailed, distortion-free sound just as the artist intended.

32-bit bit-to-bit Playback by the SA700

Intuitive LED Indicator 

The LEDs around the volume wheel are not just visual effects, but provide the listener information including volume and status of the currently playing song. 

Different colors are displayed depending on the bit depth of the song being played, and 150 levels of red saturation are displayed to reflect the current player volume.

* LED can be turned on or off according to user setting. 

LED Lighting Off 

16bit 

24bit 

32bit 

DSD 

SA700 maintains the convenience of Astell&Kern’s UI combined with a new GUI that reminds users of our 1st generation players.

You can combine Astell&Kern’s past and present through the GUI which is reinterpreted by using Astell&Kern’s various color identities. 

The SA700 is available now price £1299.

To discover more about Astell&Kern and the SA700 visit www.astellkern.co.uk

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Astell&Kern

Astell&Kern announces new A&norma SR25 portable high-resolution music player

Global leader in high-resolution products Astell&Kern has unveiled the second player in its A&norma line of portable high-resolution audio players, the A&norma SR25.

The A&norma line of portable audio players from Astell&Kern are designed to be an industry standard to play back high-resolution audio in a stunning, high-end, luxurious design and reproduce sound as it was intended by the artist and engineer who originally recorded it, at an affordable price.  The SR25 arrives in a stylish Silver Moon finish and now a brand new, striking Black Edition.

The SR25 is an upgrade of the award-winning A&norma SR15 player, and supports native playback of DSD256 and 32-bit/384KHz PCM high-resolution audio.

The SR25 features two Cirrus Logic 43198 MasterClass DACs in dual-mono configuration like the SR15, but adds a number of new features such as a faster Quad-core CPU and newly designed circuitry to improve sound quality enhancements.

Astell&Kern A&norma SR25 in Onyx Black finish

A first for Astell&Kern players, the SR25 adds LDAC Bluetooth support, allowing users to wirelessly stream 24-bit hi-res audio to compatible speakers, headphones or IEMs. The SR25 also provides 20+ hours of continuous music playback, more than twice the playback time of the SR15 and longer than any other Astell&Kern player.

The SR25’s unique design balances user convenience with aesthetic factors. It features an aluminium body with an ultra-precision volume wheel machined with a vibration-free process used for luxury watches. The aluminium body suppresses noise and improves sound quality, while the thin-bodied design allows the user to easily hold and operate the 3.6-inch touchscreen display with one hand.

Astell&Kern A&norma SR25 in Silver Moon finish

“The SR25 is a new premium product that brings the philosophy of Astell&Kern to provide music the way it was meant to be heard, without compromise to an affordable, high quality player, with a luxury design that has received international award recognition,” said Baek Chang-Hum, Director of Dreamus, parent company of Astell&Kern.

The Astell & Kern A&norma SR25 is available now, priced £649.

To discover more about Astell&Kern and the A&norma SR25 visit www.astellkern.co.uk

A&norma SR25 Specifications:

Body material: Aluminium

Finishes: Moon Silver and Onyx Black

Dimensions: 2.5″ (63.5mm) [W] x 4.26″ (108.3mm) [H] x 0.63″ (16.1mm) [D]

Weight: 6.27 oz (178g)

Display: 3.6 inch (720 x 1280) Touch Display

Supported audio formats: WAV, FLAC, WMA, MP3, OGG, APE, AAC, ALAC, AIFF, DFF, DSF, MQA

Sample rate: PCM: 8kHz ~ 384kHz (8/16/24/32bits per sample) / DSD Native: DSD64 (1bit/2.8MHz), Stereo / DSD128 (1bit/5.6MHz), Stereo / DSD256 (1bit/11.2MHz), Stereo

Power output: Balance 4V, Unbalance 2V

CPU: Quad-core

DAC: Cirrus Logic CS43198 x2 (Dual DAC)

Decoding: Support up to 32-bit/384kHz bit-to-bit playback

Input: USB Type-C (PC and Mac)

Outputs: Unbalanced Out (3.5mm) / Balanced Out (2.5mm, only 4-pole supported)

Wi-Fi: 802.11 b/g/n (2.4GHz)

Bluetooth: V4.2 (A2DP, AVRCP, aptX HD, LDAC)

Battery capacity: 3150 mAh 3.7V Li-Polymer Battery

Internal memory: 64 GB

External memory: microSD (max. 1 TB)

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Astell&Kern A&norma SR25 in Onyx Black finish

Astell&Kern A&norma SR25 in Silver Moon finish

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Astell&Kern

Astell&Kern A&norma SR15: Hi-Fi standards redefined

A&norma sets the standard of Hi-Fi audio for novice listeners. The SR15, the first model of A&norma, is the beginning point of the Hi-Fi Audio experience that allows you to enjoy the philosophy and technologies of Astell&Kern, which is accoladed by audiophiles around the world.

Dual DAC of CS43198, MasterHIFI™ tier chipsets from Cirrus Logic
Enhanced audio processing power and snappy UI with Quad-core CPU
Native DSD playback and playback-focused User Interface
Powerful audio performance curated by Astell&Kern’s know-how

The SR15 is the first model of Astell&Kern’s newly introduced standard line.

One Step Closer to the Original Performance

The A&norma SR15 uses two audio DAC chips for a Dual-DAC setup. These chips are known for their use in Home Hi-Fi systems which offer greater presence compared to the inferior DAC chips designed for mobile devices.

There are many devices that use DAC chips for audio processing, however there are different tiers and quality of chips sought by Hi-Fi audio manufacturers to deliver an experience close to the original performance.

A&norma SR15 has adopted the MasterHIFI™ class DAC, CS43198 for the first time in a portable system. At Astell&Kern, we believe that true Hi-Fi should sound as close as possible to the original performance. The CS43198 is one of few DAC chipsets that is capable of bringing us even closer to the original when it’s matched with the analog amp design of Astell&Kern. In result, it brings even more liveliness and warmth of sound without distortion.

Furthermore, A&norma SR15 supports native DSD bit-to-bit, and gets one step closer to the Hi-Fi system.

Cirrus Logic and Hi-Fi Audio Evolution

Cirrus Logic has built its reputation as an expert in audio IC (Integrated Circuit) chips and solutions for more than three decades and has established its distinguished recognition in the audio industry.

Specializing in low power ICs for audio and voice signal processing applications, Cirrus Logic’s products span the entire audio signal chain, from capture to playback, providing innovative products for the world’s top smartphones, tablets, digital headsets, wearables and emerging smart home applications. Now they have introduced the MasterHIFI™ chipset solutions for excellent audio reproduction performance. 

MasterHiFI™ class designation is only given to their chipsets that meet their highest audio performance standard. It will deliver your music as the musicians and producers wanted you to hear it.

Dual DAC’S Balanced Output
Output from other products

An Evolving Legacy in High-Fidelity Audio

For more than three decades, Cirrus Logic has built its reputation as an expert in audio IC innovation. Cirrus Logic’s audio innovation continues today with the development of MasterHIFI™ products from the industry’s best audio IC design engineers. These integrated circuits, along with embedded software and DSP algorithms, are driving excellence in audio playback in new generations of mobile products.

Cirrus Logic audio products with the MasterHIFI designation meet the company’s highest standard in high-fidelity audio playback. MasterHIFI™ products deliver the very best performance in sound clarity and pure, euphoric audio listening just like the artist intended. The devices should not unintentionally “color” the audio, but should maintain the “brightest” sounds expected from a recorded track.

Enhanced Audio Processing Power with Quad-core CPU

Some may think that only sound matters in Hi-Fi systems. While it does matter greatly, there are other factors that influence your immersive music experience as well. A&norma is designed to remove any distracting elements, including noise, distortion and unintuitive user interface.

The Quad-core CPU gives you even more processing power for your digital music and a lot faster, natural UI experience. Get lost in your music without distractions.

24-bit, 192 kHz Bit-to-Bit Playback

The A&norma SR15 plays any resolution of digital files up to 24-bit/192 kHz, bit-for-bit. 
For 32-bit audio, downsampling is performed by the SRC (Sample Rate Converter) method. 
DSD is native up to 64 MHz and DSD 128 MHz is converted to PCM for playback.

* 32-bit, 384 kHz is downsampled to 24-bit, 192 kHz, and 32-bit, 352 kHz is downsampled to 24-bit, 176 kHz for playback.
* DSD 128 is converted via DSD-to-PCM to PCM 24-bit, 176 kHz for playback.

USB Audio

A simple USB connection will allow the A&norma SR15 to be used as a digital music storage device and or pre-amp to output digital audio through USB. The A&norma SR15 transfers DSD in native format through DoP (DSD over PCM) and converts DSD to PCM for output for external USB Audio that do not support DoP.

* USB audio (Digital Out) output is available only when an external device can accept digital input through USB.
* DoP (DSD over PCM): This is the standard for transferring DSD data to a USB interface and sends DSD data by mounting them onto PCM data frames.
* The type of OTG cable to connect the SR15 with a portable amp differs depending on the specs of the amp. An OTG cable is not included in the SR15 package.

New Intuitive User Interface

A&norma SR15 has adopted the user interface of the A&ultima SP1000, which has grown famous for its intuitiveness and simplicity.

– Player is in the main. All functions are centered on “music replay.” 
– Secure access to the music DB and features to manage music files
– Minimum menu depth and simple structure

Using Open APP Service

The Open APP Service enables the user to install specific APK music streaming apps to the device. Copy the desired APK into the Open Service folder of the product and install the relevant App in the Menu-Service of the product.

The SR15 is out now, RRP £599.

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