Astell&Kern Futura | SE300

The new A&futura SE300 by Astell&Kern

It is the first DAP of the ad house
implement an R2R resistance ladder digital-to-analog conversion.
The available finish is platinum silver.


SE300: The future of analog sound

The A&futura line by Astell&Kern represents the unceasing commitment of the house
Korean for innovation. SE300, is the fourth model to leave the range
A&futura, and it is a superior DAP player which inherits all the technology
of the range and also expands it, implementing new ones.

The SE300 features an ultra-refined R-2R resistor-scale conversion DAC, dual
Class A/AB amplifiers with proprietary TERATON ALPHA technology and, for the first time in a DAP, proprietary FPGA optimization. This is the philosophy behind Astell&Kern sound.

Characteristic Description
Conversion 24-bit fully discrete, built with R-2R resistance ladder
Resistances 96 high precision 0.01% & TCR10 resistors
amplifier stage Double stage with the possibility to choose between class A or AB
Conversion mode Option to choose between OS (Oversampling) or NOS (Non-Oversampling) mode
FPGA technology Proprietary FPGA optimization technology
Screen New Crimson UI/UX theme
Bluetooth Bluetooth version 5.0
Wireless Hi-Fi Support for Hi-Fi wireless connection
    24bit conversion made with R-2R resistor ladder.
    To ensure that the A&futura SE300 DAP reproduces the best sound
    analogue, the project provides for the first time the integration of the DAC and AMP sections.
    The SE300 implements an R-2R DAC , instead of the classic Delta-Sigma more commonly used in audio players. R-2R DAC , also known as ladder DAC, for arranging resistors to form a ladder, generates natural and dynamic Hi-Fi sound, and is extremely technical and difficult to make, as it requires ultra-high resistors . precise and quality to control small currents that are difficult to manage.

    However, despite these technical difficulties, after several years of research and
    development and a lot of trial and error, A&K managed to overcome them to create perhaps the best analog sounding DAP.
    In the process, 96 ultra-precision resistors were meticulously selected one by one and R-2R DAC technology was perfected.

    SE300 brings the analogue sound closer and closer to a digital source and is the result of a long experimentation undertaken for years now, by Astell&Kern, towards the definitive and uncompromising sound reproduction.

    Realizing 24-bit decoding with the R-2R DAC.
    The R-2R DAC inside the SE300 consists of 48 pairs (23xR and 25x2R) for a total of 96 ultra-precise resistors to generate the analog signal, realizing true 24-bit Hi-Fi decoding.

    Ultra-precise resistor design , the key to Hi-Fi sound. To create Hi-Fi sound with an R-2R DAC it is essential to obtain an accurate current value through resistors that have a minimum error range .

    To achieve this, Astell&Kern has selected each resistor for ultra-precision, with an error range of 0.01%.

    Specifications of the ultra-precision TCR10
    To create distortion-free Hi-Fi sound within such a precision design, we also looked into any possible negative impact that could be caused by temperature variations.

    The SE300 has a special specification, TCR10 , to minimize variations in the 0.01% error range of the resistors.

    SE300 card

    Dual amplifier stage in Class A and AB

    The SE300 features a Dual AMP mode .
    Class A amplification , which creates low distortion and natural sound , and Class AB amplification , which reproduces dynamic sounds with high efficiency.

    These two modes allow users to freely choose between the two internal amplifiers based on their listening preferences or the genre of music being played. Class A amplifier mode
    An analog amplifier stage with linear output is integrated inside the SE300 , which amplifies the signal without noticeable distortion or loss , and the result is a smooth, warm and natural sound.

    SE300 energy class management

    The analog signal that comes out of the R-2R DAC is immediately amplified by the class A stage, remaining completely original and without losses.

    The analog amplifier stage in Class AB mode, on the other hand, offers a powerful output with the advantage of high efficiency.
    The sound is very dynamic, defined, with less harmonic distortion.

    Double gain mode, for a superlative Hi-Fi experience

    For use with headphones that are difficult to drive , or the most sensitive IEMs (in-ear
    monitor), an audio device must always provide an adequate output level , depending on the specifications of the connected device.
    The SE300 features a dual gain mode , to perfectly match a wide range of headphones, while always maintaining optimal sound output.
    The gain can be set on two levels: " Normal " or " High Gain " mode, where
    the latter generates a high current output for maximum driver control. If you choose the balanced output, you will have a maximum of 6 Vrms to drive any high impedance headphones .

    Mode Output Level (unbalanced) Output Level (balanced)
    Normal Gain 2Vrms 4Vrms
    High Gain 3Vrms 6Vrms

    TERATON ALPHA , the essence of A&K audio technology
    It would not have been possible to combine an R-2R DAC with ultra-precision resistors with a class A amplifier, considered impossible to miniaturise, without the innovative TERATON ALPHA audio technology. The SE300 is an innovative DAP reader with precise current and temperature control loops, TERATON ALPHA technology and an optimized FPGA design.
    TERATON ALPHA technology is the result of intense research, and it is one
    Astell&Kern prerogative, designed for audio reproduction as much as possible
    similar to the original sound thanks to effective noise reduction, more efficient power management and constant amplification.

    Optimized OS/NOS FPGA system support

    The SE300 uses a developed FPGA (Field Programmable Gate Array).
    exclusively from Astell&Kern which implements optimized OS (Over sampling) / NOS ( Non over sampling ) modes , instead of using commercially available semiconductor chipsets.
    The Astell&Kern FPGA , developed specifically for the SE300 , through its algorithm, supports the best OS (Over Sampling) / NOS (Non-Over Sampling) system, to transmit digital signals to the R-2R DAC.

    NOS (Non-Over Sampling) Mode

    In NOS mode, the player reproduces the pure original sound without the intervention of
    digital processes after decoding the R-2R DAC.

    OS Mode (Over Sampling)

    In OS mode, the digital processes introduced after the DAC cause the dynamics
    expands, with more detail and sonic intelligibility...

    OS/NOS table
    Table 2
    The SE300 features a redesigned Crimson UI/UX themed user interface , transforming it into a "true music player", allowing users to personalize and make their music listening experience unique.
    The new UI/UX has been designed so that users can quickly browse music categories and rediscover songs in their library.
    An easy album art search function has also been added , so users can rediscover the pleasure of viewing and interacting with music album art while listening to their music.
    In SE300
    Crimson theme focuses on edges, simplicity and dark mode keywords. The black with red shimmer color theme reduces eye strain and offers an intuitive user experience, while many other improvements have been made to the usability of the device in terms of App Service, artist display, album sorting and album search function.

    Real-time information confirmed by light Behind the refined volume knob of the A&futura SE300 is an LED light that recalls the movement of the waves on the sea. This LED has the function of immediate control of the functions, such as the resolution in bits and the chosen amplification mode.
    Led side | SE300
    Synthesis Description
    Fhd 5.46 inch Full HD display The 5.46-inch Full HD display makes the SE300 user experience simpler and more accurate at the same time, satisfying the user for its large and extremely legible dimensions .
    Native DSD Native DSD256, 32bit/384kHz support The SE300 supports DSD256 files , up to 32bit/384kHz, allowing you to fully enjoy your favorite music wherever you are .
    Frequency ReplayGain automatically and smoothly adjusts playback volume ReplayGain has also been included , which evenly adjusts the volume of different sound sources. This way you can listen to your playlists without having to turn the volume up or down when changing songs. Supports files up to 24bit/192kHz.
    TO AK File Drop for wireless file transfer The SE300's new AK File Drop feature makes file transfers easier and more convenient. Using AK File Drop, you can freely transfer files wirelessly through a PC, smartphone or FTP program located on the same network.
    Bluetooth Wireless Hi-Fi sound via BT Sink The BT Sink function connects the SE300 to an external device via Bluetooth, similar to connecting a smartphone with a BT speaker. Music from an external device, such as a smartphone, can now be played in high quality on the SE300 thanks to the BT Sink function.


    The word that best identifies the design of the A&futura SE300 is "Stream".
    A&K wanted to characterize the design of the SE300, like many small ripples on the water that turn into waves that crash ashore.
    The aluminum main body features tapered surfaces that represent the
    music flow. In this way we wanted to create a solid but at the same time editable image.
    Intensity has been added using contrasting materials such as stainless steel and glass to further reinforce the 'stream' theme.
    Also, in the lower part, the body curves slightly towards
    the outside, allowing for a more ergonomic grip when using the player.
    If300 x2
    The right side of the SE300 is lined with stainless steel to enhance impact
    visual. The glossy side and trapeze pattern volume knob are
    essential for creating contrasts of great visual impact. The LED lighting of the volume knob is deliberately placed behind it for
    allow light to reflect off the side decorations and knurling of the
    volume wheel, creating the effect of a light bursting from within.
    The rear glass is silk-screened with a new engraving, which still recalls the
    concept of "Streams". The basic motif is the Astell&Kern “A” logo, inserted in
    different dimensions, in order to give a sense of depth and movement based on the inclination of the body.
    Technical features Value
    Model A&futura SE300
    Color Platinum Silver (Platinium Silver)
    Chassis Aluminum and stainless steel
    Display 5.46inch HD (1080 x 1920) TFT LCD touch screen
    Audio formats WAV, FLAC, WMA, MP3, OGG, APE, AAC, ALAC, AIFF, DFF, DSF, MQA
    Sampling frequency PCM: 8kHz ~ 384kHz (8/16/24/32 bits per sample)
    Native DSD up to DSD256 (1 bit 11.2MHz), Stereo
    Exit (Normal) Unbalanced 2Vrms / Balanced 4Vrms (no load)
    CPUs Quad-core
    DAC at decent R-2R
    Decoding It supports up to 32bit/384kHz
    Entrance USB Type C for charging & data transfer (PC & MAC)
    Go out Headphone (3.5mm) / Balanced (2.5mm, 4-pole and 4.4mm, 5-pole), optical out
    Wifi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac (2.4GHz)
    Bluetooth V5.0 (A2DP, AVRCP, aptXtm HD, LDAC)
    Dimensions 76.5x139.5x17.6mm (WxHxD)
    Weight about 317gr
    Updates Firmware upgrades (OTA)
    Resp. in Freq. ±0.038dB unbalanced / balanced (20Hz~20kHz)
    Signal/Noise 114dB @ 1kHz unbalanced, 115dB @ 1kHz balanced
    crosstalk -135dB @ 1kHz unbalanced, -144dB @ 1kHz balanced
    THD+N 0.006% @ 1kHz, unbalanced / 0.006% @ 1kHz, balanced
    SMPTE IMDs 0.005% 800Hz 10kHz(4:1) unbalanced & balanced
    Exit prevented Balanced out 2.5mm,4mm (1.3ohm) / 3.5mm headphone (1.3ohm)
    Drums 5,050mAh 3.8V Li-Polymer Battery
    Autonomy about 12 hours
    Reload 3.5 hr (with standard 9V/1.67A charger)
    Memory Internal 256GB, external microSD (Max 1TB) x1
    Support systems Windows 10, 11 (32/64bit), MAC OS X 10.
    Lifestyle ES300