Under Thy Spell – A Review of the Astell&Kern SE100

On the off chance you haven’t figured it out yet, the Astell&Kern A&futura SE100 is one of the very best players I’ve had the pleasure of testing. Faultless sound, class-leading build and aesthetics, and my personal favorite UI, the SE100 is quite simply luxury done right; it delivers the goods.


The Astell&Kern SE100
Model: SE100
Body Color: Titan Silver
Body Material: Aluminum
Display: 5inch (720 x 1,280) Touchscreen
Supported Audio Formats: WAV, FLAC, WMA, MP3, OGG, APE, AAC, ALAC, AIFF, DFF, DSF
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: Unbalance 2.0Vrms / Balance 4.1Vrms (Condition No Load)
CPU: Octa-core
DAC: ESS SABRE ES9038PRO 8channel
Decoding: Support up to 32bit / 384kHz Bit to Bit Decoding
Input: USB 3.0 Type-C input (for charging & data transfer (PC & MAC)) / Connection Mode : MTP (Media Device)
Outputs: PHONES (3.5mm) / Balanced Out (2.5mm, only 4-pole supported)
Wi-Fi: 802.11 b/g/n (2.4GHz)
Bluetooth: V4.1 (A2DP, AVRCP, aptXTM HD)
Dimensions: 2.98 ”(75.8 mm) [W] x 5.22 ”(132.7 mm) [H] x 0.6 ”(15.3 mm) [D]
Weight: 8.5 oz (241 g)
Feature Enhancements: Firmware upgrades supported (OTA)

Frequency Response: ±0.038dB (Condition: 20Hz~20kHz) Unbalance / ±0.028dB (Condition: 20Hz~20kHz) Balance ±0.074dB (Condition: 10Hz~70kHz) Unbalance / ±0.030dB (Condition: 10Hz~70kHz) Balance
Signal to Noise Ratio: 122dB @ 1kHz, Unbalance / 123dB @ 1kHz, Balance
Crosstalk: 138dB @ 1kHz, Unbalance / 144dB @ 1kHz, Balance
THD+N: 0.0007% @ 1kHz, Unbalance / 0.0006% @ 1kHz, Balance
IMD SMPTE: 0.0006% 800Hz 10kHz(4:1) Unbalance / 0.0005% 800Hz 10kHz(4:1) Balance
Output Impedance: Balanced out 2.5mm (1ohm) / PHONES 3.5mm (1.5ohm)

Clock Jitter: 800 Femto Seconds
Reference Clock Jitter: 250 Femto Seconds

Battery Capacity: 3,700mAh 3.8V Li-Polymer Battery
Continuous Playback Time: up to 11 hours (Standard – MUSIC: FLAC, 16-bit/44kHz, Volume 75, LCD Off)
Charge Time: About 2 hours (Standard – 9V/1.67A Fast charging)

Built-in Memory: 128GB [NAND]
External Memory: microSD (Max 400GB) x1

Supported OS: Windows XP, Windows 7,8,10 (32/64bit), MAC OS X 10.7 and up



Pinky Powers

Pinky Powers

Pinky is an artsy twat. Illustration, graphic design, writing. Yet music escapes him, and always has. He builds his own cables, and likes to explore the craftsmanship of others. He's a stabby one, also. At the first hint of annoyance, out comes the blade. I say he's compensating for something... in a big bad way. If we all try really hard as a collective, maybe we can have him put down.


5 Responses

  1. Nice review, but I found the se100 to be much better overall, particularly in clarity, detail, and musicality than my dx200. After getting the se100 I sold my dx pretty quickly. The dx is fine until you hear the se IMO…

  2. You can’t go wrong with either. It’s up to you. Neither of them suck in any way.

    If you don’t care at all for luxury, and only concern yourself with sound quality, go for Opus#2. It’s less expensive now a days.

    But if you want the sexiest-looking DAP ever, get Astell&Kern.

  3. Great Review! I just picked my SE100 up from B&H yesterday, and from the first few moments it was love! I use Shure SE846’s. Little surprised to here DX200 w/amp8 is on par, tho…

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