Astell & Kern: A & futura SE100 in the test

Astell & Kern A & futura SE100

The new Astell & Kern A & futura SE100 convinces as a very clear and coherent sounding HiRes player with easy access to Tidal. We have the test.

Two years ago, the author found the AK 300 a whole list smaller, but critically critical in practice. But soon after software updates began to eradicate one after the other. Because of the softwareAdvertisement: Among the best technology products on Amazon [powered by contextR] that has matured over the last few years, Astell & Kern’s new A & futura SE100 adds a generous 5-inch display, but there was only one slight point of criticism: the sharp-edged design of the HiRes player, which made it one of a kind Aluminum housing does not make it easy to handle.

And then this: The sale has the optional envelope not only offer also settled, but. So he lies in the hand and is also protected against falling. Finally, the Pretiose, which is equipped with Saber’s high-end 8-channel DAC ESS 9038 Pro, octa-core chip (8-core processor as in a smartphone) and identical power amplifiers, costs 1,800 euros. The price would actually be criticized would not beat the almost as a twin to be designated A & ultima SP1000 with almost 4000 € to book.

Resistance is futile

If genealogy leaves you cold, you can quickly come to the conclusion that he pays a lot of money for something that he can basically do with his smartphone. But that falls short. However, just as powerful as voltage-sensitive output stage offers even with MP3 still a significant boost compared to iPhone and Co. – inversely proportional to the impedance and the efficiency of the handset used. While with the extremely low-impedance Campfire Cascade the difference to the smartphone or tabletalmost small, it is significant for a 300 ohm handset, which affects punch and dynamics. For such results, regardless of the resolution of the source material, you need a costly headphone amplifier because mobile devices can not deliver that immense punch and maximum level – only the ear sets the limit.

This relativises the price of the very clear and harmonious sounding HiRes player, which can be integrated into the network as a streamer via AK Connect via WLAN  and provides convenient access to Tidal. With the AK CD Ripper Ⅱ, the SE100 allows one-button ripping. Enough space is there: Its 128 GB of memory can be expanded with a microSD card by 400 GB.


Never before has a hi-res player from Astell & Kern been so well served – a merit of sophisticated software and a large 5-inch display. In the meantime, the Astell & Kern AK CD Ripper für, which makes the SE100 a full-fledged small music server that can be integrated into the network via WLAN, is now available for 500 euros. It also provides Bluetooth streaming to speakers or headphones with AptX-HD. And the sound is absolutely great, even on quiet listeners.


  • 5-inch display
  • Power and voltage-capable output stage offers significant boost
  • 300 ohm listeners
  • very clear and coherent
  • can be integrated into the network
  • provides easy access to Tidal
  • allows one-button ripping
  • Memory can be expanded with microSD card by 400 GB


  • sharp-edged design is not grifffest
  • you need a costly headphone amplifier

Astell&Kern A&futura SE100 review

Astell&Kern Futura SE100 vs Ultima SP1000

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