Review: Astell&Kern SE100 – Smooth Operator

Full Specs

Model

SE100

Body Color

Titan Silver

Body Material

Aluminum

Display

5inch (720 x 1,280) Touchscreen

Supported Audio Formats

WAV, FLAC, WMA, MP3, OGG, APE, AAC, ALAC, AIFF, DFF, DSF

Sample rate

PCM : 8kHz ~ 384kHz (8/16/24/32bits per Sample) / DSD Native: DSD64(1bit 2.8MHz), Stereo
/ DSD128(1bit 5.6MHz), Stereo / DSD256(1bit 11.2MHz), Stereo

Output Level

Unbalance 2.0Vrms / Balance 4.1Vrms (Condition No Load)

CPU

Octa-core

DAC

ESS SABRE ES9038PRO 8channel

Decoding

Support up to 32bit / 384kHz Bit to Bit Decoding

Input

USB 3.0 Type-C input (for charging & data transfer (PC & MAC)) / Connection Mode : MTP (Media Device)

Outputs

PHONES (3.5mm) / Balanced Out (2.5mm, only 4-pole supported)

Wi-Fi

802.11 b/g/n (2.4GHz)

Bluetooth

V4.1 (A2DP, AVRCP, aptXTM HD)

Dimensions

2.98 ”(75.8 mm) [W] x 5.22 ”(132.7 mm) [H] x 0.6 ”(15.3 mm) [D]

Weight

8.5 oz (241 g)

Feature Enhancements

Firmware upgrades supported (OTA)

Audio Performance

Frequency Response

±0.038dB (Condition: 20Hz~20kHz) Unbalance / ±0.028dB (Condition: 20Hz~20kHz) Balance
±0.074dB (Condition: 10Hz~70kHz) Unbalance / ±0.030dB (Condition: 10Hz~70kHz) Balance

Signal to Noise Ratio

122dB @ 1kHz, Unbalance / 123dB @ 1kHz, Balance

Crosstalk

138dB @ 1kHz, Unbalance / 144dB @ 1kHz, Balance

THD+N

0.0007% @ 1kHz, Unbalance / 0.0006% @ 1kHz, Balance

IMD SMPTE

0.0006% 800Hz 10kHz(4:1) Unbalance / 0.0005% 800Hz 10kHz(4:1) Balance

Output Impedance

Balanced out 2.5mm (1ohm) / PHONES 3.5mm (1.5ohm)

Clock source

Clock Jitter

800 Femto Seconds

Reference Clock Jitter

250 Femto Seconds

Battery

Capacity

3,700mAh 3.8V Li-Polymer Battery

Continuous Playback Time

up to 11 hours (Standard – MUSIC: FLAC, 16-bit/44kHz, Volume 75, LCD Off)

Charge Time

About 2 hours (Standard – 9V/1.67A Fast charging)

Memory

Built-in Memory

128GB [NAND]

External Memory

microSD (Max 400GB) x1

OS

Supported OS

Windows XP, Windows 7,8,10 (32/64bit), MAC OS X 10.7 and up

 

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Lieven is living in Europe and he's the leader of the gang. He's running Headfonia as a side project next to his full time day job in Digital Marketing & Consultancy. He's a big fan of tube amps and custom inear monitors and has published hundreds of product reviews over the years.

18 Comments

  • Reply November 11, 2018

    Ivandy Jap

    So exciting!!

  • Reply November 12, 2018

    Jhorman

    Good luck!!

  • Reply November 16, 2018

    Steven Zore

    Great piece. I have the SE100 and I love it, I’m using it with the SE846’s and a balanced Litz cable.

  • Reply November 21, 2018

    Geert

    Lieven, would you pair this A&K with the Cosmic Ears CE6P or CE6B? I like some bass but not mind blowing like.

  • Reply November 23, 2018

    Geert

    Thanks, first ordering the SE100 right now!

    • Reply November 23, 2018

      Lieven

      do check out the SR15 and SP1000M as well!

  • Reply November 24, 2018

    Ken

    How does the se100 handle logging into wifi at a hotel or cafe where I browser needs to pop up in order to agree to terms or provide information more than just a password? My AK70 was useless for streaming at a hotel because of its wifi limitation.

    Ken

    • Reply November 24, 2018

      Lieven

      It actually has been improved and I managed to log into the hotel’s network at Canjam London. That was the SP1000 but it should be the same for the SE100

  • Reply December 16, 2018

    JM

    Does the SE100 handle well headpohnes like the Beyerdynamic DT1770Pro? Currently I pair it with my SR15, but I feel the sound stage and separation very tight… would the SE100 be wider and more spacious 2ith the DT than the SR15? Also treble is more detailed compared to the SR15? Mostly listening to metal… Cheers!

    • Reply December 16, 2018

      Lieven

      No I don’t think you’ll find much improvement by switching

  • Reply January 29, 2019

    Ron B

    Looking to upgrade my pioneer dap 100r which im using with my Oppo Pm1 . Do u think this will be an improvement.
    Love the dac cause its what i have in my oppo 205 and im a huge sabree sounding guy.
    Thanks.

  • Reply March 26, 2019

    Eli

    For using with the hd650 will the SE100 be a better match than the SR15? I saw in the forums that the SE100 should handle them more effortlessly

    I’m mostly listening at low volumes at work (if connected to the ak120ii the volume is at 110)

    Thanks!

  • Reply March 27, 2019

    Mr Drone

    Can the AK SE100 drive 250-600 OHMS cans?

  • Reply April 25, 2019

    Luis André Ferreira

    Great review! Thanks Headphonia!!
    I’m wondering, because you describe the player being smooth and having undesirably amount of bass with some monitors, if the equalizer was on. I heard the EQ is on in default out of the box.
    Normally this player is described being at tad thin and bright compared with sr15 or even SP1000. I’m coming from ak70 1st generation and want to buy a new ak dap. Can’t decide between se100 and sr15. May be an advise from you? Many thanks!!

  • Reply May 17, 2019

    ncanus

    Does SE100 pairs well with Xelento?

  • Reply October 16, 2019

    Mateo

    SE100 and Xelento/Tia Fourté just stunning pair.

  • Reply February 12, 2020

    MICHÈLE MANDON

    SE100 poses a real volume problem on Bluetooth-with my Beyerdynamics aventho wireless
    the volume is really limited-,whereas with the Sony A45 (7 times cheaper !) the same Aventho delivers a powerful volume.
    Any piece of advice is welcome. I don’t mind buying other headphones (with bluetooth) to get more volume.. Thanks

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