Astell & Kern just released the Maserati of MP3 players

Astell & Kern A&futura SE200
(Image credit: Astell & Kern)

Over the years we’ve heard about some pretty heavy-duty MP3 players, but the new Astell & Kern A&futura SE200 might just take the cake in terms of over-the-top performance.

That's because the A&futura SE200, which was announced on Thursday, is the world’s first dual-DAC music player, according to the company. 

The included DACs are the Sabre ESS9068AS DACs from ESS and a AKM4499EQ from AKM that was most recently featured in Astell & Kern’s top-of-the-line SP2000 player.

In terms of other specs, the SE200 has 256GB of storage with support for up to 1TB of extra storage via its microSD card slot, as well as aptX HD Bluetooth wireless, and 32-bit/384kHz file playback.

It also comes at a steep, steep price of £1,799 / $1,799 (around AU$2,600), putting it on par with a Razer Blade Laptop or a 65-inch Samsung QLED TV

It’s a double DAC attack 

For those unfamiliar with them, DAC stands for Digital-to-Analog converter - i.e. the piece of technology inside every audio-producing electronic that turns digital files into analog sound. 

DACs are found in pretty much everything from your laptop to your smartphone, from your iPad to your favorite pair of wireless earbuds. So they’re actually pretty important.

That being said, most DACs are usually good enough at their jobs to create crisp, clean sound when paired with the right amplifier but at the high end it becomes more about personal preference in audio quality… something that may or may not be totally perceptible to the average listener. 

It's obvious that Astell & Kern is targeting distinguished audiophiles who can pick out the difference between DACs and while it might sound a bit like snake oil to some, it's definitely a unique gimmick if nothing else.

Via What Hi-Fi?

Nick Pino

Nick Pino is Managing Editor, TV and AV for TechRadar's sister site, Tom's Guide. Previously, he was the Senior Editor of Home Entertainment at TechRadar, covering TVs, headphones, speakers, video games, VR and streaming devices. He's also written for GamesRadar+, Official Xbox Magazine, PC Gamer and other outlets over the last decade, and he has a degree in computer science he's not using if anyone wants it.