Astell&Kern introduces A&norma SR25 MKII and AK Zero1 in-ears

Busy times at Astell&Kern with two new products just released to tempt your wallet. First up is the second-generation version of its entry-level digital audio player, the A&norma SR25 MKII, which the company says improves on the audio performance, adds new features, such as a balanced 4.4mm headphone jack, tweaks to its ultra-compact design, a replay gain function to uniformly adjust volume playback from sound sources up to 24-bit/192 kHz, an AK File Drop for easier wireless file transfers, a BT Sink function for simpler connection to an external Bluetooth device, extra internal silver-plated shielding to protect from electromagnetic interference, a more defined volume wheel design and a new Mercury Dark Silver finish.

As with the first-generation A&norma SR25 (HFC 465), the MKII handles an array of high-resolution music formats and sample rates with support for native playback of DSD256 and 32-bit/384kHz PCM audio. The MKII also features the latest high-definition Bluetooth wireless codecs: LDAC and aptX HD.

The AK File Drop means users can wirelessly transfer files through a PC, smartphone or FTP program located on the same network and the new BT Sink connects the SR25 MKII to an external device, such as a smartphone, via Bluetooth.

The MKII weighs 178g, measures 63.5 x 108.3 x 16.1mm (WxHxD) and boasts a charge time of about 2.5 hours and a playback time of circa 20 hours. A protective case is available in a choice of three different finishes to compliment the SR25 MKII. Made from a soft and durable Laskina polyurethane fabric from Italy that mimics the texture of classic, high-end leather, the finishes include denim blue, orange and black. The price for the player is £700, the case an additional £60.

The company is also launching its latest in-ear monitor, the AK Zero1, featuring three different types of drivers. Composed of a micro planar dynamic driver, dual balanced armature (BA) and a dynamic driver, A&K says: “this unique design combines the sonic characteristics of each driver to produce unprecedented natural audio”. The in-ears come with a CN hi-fi-grade pure silver-coated OFC cable for improved transparency of the audio signal.

The Zero1 comes with five different-sized pairs of silicone eartips and one set of foam tips, along with a carry case. The company is also launching an optional 4.4mm cable, the PEPII, which sports larger aluminium-machined 4.4mm plugs. The price of the Zero1 is £650, the PEPII £120.

Available to buy now, you can find out more on the A&K website here.