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Editor’s brief: The term “entry-level” often conjures something mundane and ordinary. However, in the world of hifi audio, “entry-level” may be a misnomer. The latest Astell&Kern A&norma SR25 MKII is one such gadget that completely annihilates any notion that it is “entry-level”, with native DSD256 and 32-bit @384kHz audio support without any downsampling, high quality Bluetooth wireless playback, delivering deep, velvety smooth sound in a great design form factor. The vendor’s release is below.

Astell&Kern unveils A&norma SR25 MKII, the second-generation model of its award-winning, ultra-portable hi-res audio player in Singapore

SINGAPORE, @mcgallen #microwireinfo, November 3, 2021 – Astell&Kern, the global leader in premium portable high-resolution audio devices, introduces the second generation model of its popular and award-winning entry-level player, the A&norma SR25 MKII. Every aspect admired about the original SR25 is retained with the new model improving on the audio performance, adding new features, such as a balanced 4.4mm headphone jack, and tweaking its already eye-catching and ultra-compact design. The A&norma SR25 MKII represents the perfect entry-point into Astell&Kern’s unrivalled world of high-resolution music playback on-the-move.

Astell&Kern A&norma SR25 MKII feature upgrades include:

  • Improved sound performance
  • 4.4mm headphone jack to deliver enhanced dynamic range, bass response, wider soundstage, clearer imaging and more detail in the audio source
  • Replay Gain function to uniformly adjust volume playback from sound sources up to 24-bit/192 kHz
  • AK File Drop for easier wireless file transfers
  • BT Sink function for simpler connection of the SR25 MKII to an external Bluetooth device
  • Extra internal silver-plated shielding, first seen in the higher-end SP2000T, to protect from electromagnetic interference
  • New, more defined volume wheel design
  • New darker and stylish Mercury Dark Silver finish

Even more balance and detail

This new pocket powerhouse may have a familiar look and feel but it delivers superior sound through Astell&Kern’s latest advanced audio design technology. Presenting more detail than its predecessor, the natural high-resolution sonics deliver clearly defined upper and lower ranges and a deeper, more rounded sound.

The addition of the balanced 4.4mm headphone jack, joining the 2.5mm (balanced) and 3.5mm (unbalanced) outputs, means music fans can connect an even wider variety of headphones, IEM’s and devices. The 4.4mm balanced output provides improved dynamic range and bass response, and supports a wider soundstage, while capturing clear imaging and subtle details in the audio source.

As with the first-generation model, the SR25 MII handles an array of high-resolution music formats and sample rates. Support for native playback of DSD256 and 32-bit/384KHz PCM high-resolution audio, brings every music fan closer to hearing the artist’s original studio sound. Should you want to listen to your favourite hi-res music over a wireless connection, the SR25 MKII features the latest high-definition Bluetooth wireless codecs: LDAC and aptX™ HD.

Replay gain

The SR25 MKII also adds Replay Gain functionality to the mix. This automatically and uniformly adjusts volume playback from sound sources up to 24-bit/192 kHz so playlists can be enjoyed throughout without reaching for the volume.

Extra connectivity options

First introduced in the A&futura SE180 player, AK File Drop ensures easier wireless file transfers. Users can wirelessly transfer files through a PC, smartphone, or FTP program located on the same network to make music management even more convenient. Secondly, the new BT Sink function connects the SR25 MKII to an external device, such as a smartphone, via Bluetooth, enabling music to be played back in high-quality on the Astell&Kern player.

Added internal protection

Astell&Kern players apply shield cans to eliminate electromagnetic interference caused when internal components are in operation. First introduced in the higher-end A&ultima SP2000T, the SR25MKII has taken further measures by applying highly conductive, hyper-pure silver plating on the existing shield cans for extra defence against these sound performance-affecting disturbances.

Refined design

The SR25 MKII inherits the overall design identity of the original SR25 model, sporting the recognisable angled top and bottom bezel edges to give the impression the smaller inner rectangle is floating freely from the main body. The new look pattern on the side volume wheel is also more defined and tactile, drawing more attention to this area of the player. Lastly, the new darker hue of silver (Mercury D. Silver) stands apart from the original’s Moon Silver livery.

Protect your A&K player

A protective case in a choice of three eye-catching finishes is available to compliment the SR25 MKII and safeguard this premium player from the vagaries of a life on the road. Made from a soft and durable LASKINA® polyurethane fabric from Italy, this memory material offers protection against external shocks and scratches, while providing excellent grip. The fabric also mimics the texture of classic, high-end leather, for a luxurious and vibrant look, including natural leather-style creases and shine. Finishes include Denim Blue, Orange and Black.

Technical Specifications

  • Model: SR25 MKII
  • Body Colour: Mercury Dark Silver
  • Body Material: Aluminium
  • Display: 3.6-inch HD 720 x 1280 px touch screen
  • 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
  • Output Level: Unbalanced 2Vrms │ Balanced 4Vrms (Condition No Load)
  • CPU: Quad-core
  • DAC: Ciruss Logic CS43198 x2 (Dual-DAC)
  • Decoding: Support up to 32bit / 384kHz Bit to Bit playback
  • Input: USB Type-C input (for charging & PC & MAC)
  • Outputs: Unbalanced Out (3.5mm), Balanced Out (2.5mm, only 4-pole supported / 4.4m, only 5-pole supported)
  • Wi-Fi: 802.11 b/g/n (2.4GHz)
  • Bluetooth: V4.2 (A2DP, AVRCP, Qualcomm® aptX™ HD, LDAC)
  • Dimensions: 2.5” (63.5mm)[W] x 4.26” (108.3mm)[H] x 0.63” (16.1mm)[D]
  • Weight: about 178g (6.27oz)

Pricing & Availability:

The Astell&Kern A&norma SR25 MKII will be available in Singapore immediately at a retail price of S$1,099 (including GST), and can be found at AV One (https://av1group.com.sg), E1 Personal Audio, Headphones.sg, Jaben, Stereo Electronics, and Treoo.com.

About Astell&Kern

Astell&Kern is the ultimate digital music source that brings you Mastering Quality Sound or MQS. Astell means ‘Stars’ in Latin and Kern means ‘Center’ in German. Founded in October 2013, Astell&Kern is a South Korean consumer electronics company that manufactures media players, CD players, headphones, and home theatre products. Astell&Kern’s pursuit is to provide natural and original sound without distortion. The power of true sound from Astell&Kern can now be experienced and has been part of many famous audio exhibitions around the world. Astell&Kern is now admired by music lovers from many countries, including the USA, China, Japan, UK, France, and many more around the world.

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