Every product is carefully selected by our editors and experts. If you buy from a link, we may earn a commission. Why trust us?

Astell kern a futura se180 2

Astell & Kern A&futura SE180 Has ‘Reloadable’ DAC Modules

Astell & Kern are going for the “third time’s a charm” with a new addition to the A&futura line. Not that the other members of this venerated line aren’t already charming, but this time the audio company is pulling out all the stops. The SE180 introduces “an element of fun that is hard to find in most Hi-Fi products” to go along with the superb audio technology.

You’ll also like:
‘World First’ Lossless LE Bluetooth Adaptor Unlocks Premium Audio
Master & Dynamic Wraps its Sapphire Glass Earphones in Kevlar
Beolab 28 is Bang & Olufsen’s ‘Most Advanced’ Speaker Yet

Astell kern a futura se180

What is that “element of fun”? The SE180 features “interchangeable, all-in-one modules.” The DAC modules first appeared in SE200. Following that model, the SE180 lets you customize your sound using different DACs to achieve the sound that works best for your ears. The default model consists of the ESS ES9038PRO—an eight-channel DAC that is meant for home audio. This model supports 2.5mm, 3.5mm, and 4.4mm connections so you can plug in more headphones and IEMs.

As a starting point, it also offers a wider dynamic range and is more than sufficient for excellent sound. But if you want to customize things, you can start experimenting with the modules. The different modules have the added benefit of completely separating the speaker from the main body, thus reducing power and radio frequency noise. The modules feature a double-locking mechanism that securely connects each component. The first component to come available is the SEM2 Asahi Kasei AK4497EQ Dual DAC.

Astell kern a futura se180 1

The A&futura SE180 has a 5-inch HD screen and comes in an aluminum case with a rotary volume dial. The 256GB onboard memory can be expanded to 1TB with a microSD card. The SE180 is equipped with Bluetooth 5.0 and it supports Wireless 24-bit aptX-HD and LDAC Codecs. The device also comes with Astell & Kern’s TERATON ALPHA Sound Solution that removes power noise, improves power management efficiency, and reduces distortion in amplification. The SE180 is available for USD$1,499.

Check it out

You’ll also like:
‘World First’ Lossless LE Bluetooth Adaptor Unlocks Premium Audio
Master & Dynamic Wraps its Sapphire Glass Earphones in Kevlar
Beolab 28 is Bang & Olufsen’s ‘Most Advanced’ Speaker Yet

About the author

About the author
STAFF WRITER

Mr Mark Jessen

Mark Jessen studied English at Brigham Young University, completing a double emphasis in creative writing and professional writing/editing. After graduating, Mark went to work for a small publisher as their book editor. After a brief time as a freelance writer, Mark entered the corporate world as a copywriter. These days, his hours are spent mostly in proofing and editing, though he continues to create content for a wide variety of projects. In 2017, Mark completed UCLA's Creative Writing Certification. A prolific writer, Mark has over 20 years of experience in journalism.