A&K SE 180 / when and how in Roon

Core Machine

PrimeMini4 / Corei7 / 8 Gb Ram

Network Details

FritzBox Wlan / Lan

Audio Devices

Auralic Aries Femto > McIntosh C2700 DA2, NAim Cube2 Gen,

Library Size

ca. 50.000 Tracks, (Flac, Flac 24Bit, MQA, DSD)

Description of Issue

I have the new A&K SE 180. Currently it is neither recognized in Roon nor can I play it, it needs a firmware update. Since I have already set up my entire audiophile structure on Roon, the player cannot be used as a portable headphone player. In order to decide whether to keep the player or not, I would like to have answered two questions from Roon:

a) When can Roon and his new partner expect acceptance (update)?

b) Will the player then only be available as an endpoint or can I install the .apk app on the player and thus install Roon there, as is now the case on any simple phone?

As a pure end point, such a player doesn’t really make sense from my point of view. In one hand the mobile phone or iPad, in the other the A&K.

I really hope that at this point, for my decision-making basis, you will want to answer the two relatively simple questions clearly.

The manufacturer says Roon and Roon doesn’t say the manufacturer please :slight_smile:

Best regards, Thorsten.

AK limits Roon compatibility to their premier tier DAPs. I have a SE200. It is not compatible either. The ball is AKs court, not Roons.

The SE 180 should be capable of Roon via firmware update. The only thing I don’t know is in which function. I think Roon should be aware of this. Who restricts or limits what is not important to me. I just want to know whether the SE 180 is planned by Roon (A&K says “Yes” for their part), and in what form (.apk or just as an end point). From my point of view, two relatively simple questions. The SE was my favorite, but since I knew that it would not play with Roon in the future, I waited for the SE 180. It should also be known when the firmware update or Roon compatibility can be expected, the update will not be developed in the future. Ultimately, A&K is now also one of Roon’s new play partners and so I see the question also placed in the right place.

Not even. I own an SP1000M that I bought in part for the promised Roon compatibility and for its small form factor. A&K released Roon-supporting firmware for SP1000 and SP2000, but not for SP1000M :imp:

Well that sucks that your premier player is not supported.

Astell and Kern also stated that Tidal wont be supported on older players due to a change in the Tidal authentication process. I contacted Tidal and they referred me to back Astell and Kern.

I think part of AKs strategy is planned obsolesence to get you to buy a new player.

If it is, it won’t work with me.

1 Like

Here is Astell and Kern’s lame excuse on discontinuing Tidal support on older Android players. Each one points the finger at the other to fix it.

Dear Customer,

Thank you very much for contacting Customer Support, and we are sorry to learn about your experience.

An official updates on issues with embedded Tidal app on Astell&Kern players has just been released on 5/20:

Astell&Kern has identified the issues users are having with the embedded Tidal app. Tidal has changed the authentication method used when logging into third-party Tidal apps. Astell&Kern is working as quickly as possible to make the required changes in the embedded app.

New firmware updates for the SP2000, SP1000, SP1000M, SE200, SE100, SR25 and KANN ALPHA will be released in the second half of May 2021, which will contain an updated embedded Tidal app to fix the authentication issues.

(Meanwhile, please enjoy the fullest Tidal Master streaming quality via the APK-Tidal application that is available on your AK media unit.)

  • Feature page: here
  • APK-Tidal Download: here

There is an issue with the new Tidal authentication policies on the following players - KANN CUBE, SA700, SR15, CT15 and CT10. We are looking into ways to continue to support the Tidal app on these players. More information will be available in May 2021.

Tidal is dropping support for older model Android devices. Unfortunately this means Tidal can no longer be supported on the following players due to the new authentication requirements - AK380, AK320, AK300, KANN, AK70 MKII, AK70, AK240, AK120II, AK100II.

For additional details, you may refer to the official announcement posted on the website: here

The Customer Support Team would like to take this opportunity to express our sincere appreciation for your understanding and support.

I am very sorry for you! Yes, unfortunately that is the case today, it often goes from left to right.

I only use Roon for my own internal library.

Since Roon now also lists A&K as a partner on his homepage, I see my two questions to Roon correctly placed. There will be a strategy, timeline or something similar.

For me it is only about a) time for the SE180 and b) only end point or directly from the player.

The answer will decide whether I want to keep the A&K SE180. I don’t need a mobile player that I control for Roon with another device.

I finally got an answer to my question. Unfortunately not from Roon!

Even if the point doesn’t make sense to me, Roon will, now and in the future, only serve as an end point in connection with Astell and Kern. That means, in addition to the mobile player, another device will always be required to listen to music. The “Remote” function will not be available, installation of the .apk app will not be possible.

This is not practical for me and the new A&K SE180 will leave me again.

I don’t need a mobile player that, despite all its advantages and qualities with a display, cannot be remotely controlled. There may be users who find this function really good on an iPad or similar, but I don’t.

That is the disadvantage if you have aligned your entire infrastructure (music) to one core. An additional dlna server such as Asset in the network and the constant switching on / off of AK Connect would be possible, but is not a solution for me either.

Should Roon still know a different answer / solution, I would appreciate a response.

Many Thanks.

Portable players by design don’t tend to have remotes. They are useful for portable and some desktop applications. Don’t expect any swift action or improvements from AK either. They have a marketing plan, and it doesn’t seem to be concerned with user feedback.

The remote function only referred to Roon.

I agree with you that the number of users who own an AK and at the same time have set up their home infrastructure on Roon does not represent the amount in percentage terms.

However, there are still some users who want to install a Roon.apk and see the current solution as uncomfortable and pointless.

Personally, I think it’s a shame that the end user first has to find out what works and doesn’t work by trying and trying. Roon and A&K are keeping a low profile. We are not talking about a product with € 3.50 at this point.

As you have already noted yourself, both companies should have a strategy or plan. Where would the problem be to answer the questions clearly and purposefully?

In no company, operation or as a service provider can I behave like this when my customers are physically in front of me. Only the digital distance makes it possible.

With this in mind, there are equivalent devices that offer this function.

AK has two players that are compatible in their top tier DAP lineup. AK doesn’t make much of an effort to patch their older players. Basically you need to buy a premium player for Roon use. Personally, I don’t find it that important for a feature on a portable player. The older AK DAPs (Kann) have lost useability with Tidal due an Authentication change. That actually is a bigger deal to me.

AK blames Tidal. Tidal blames AK. AK is not a great company from a service perspective. They make good gear, but the support is not great IMO.

In my opinion, the SE 180 is a premium player and has been on the market for just under 14 days. I had waited for this player on a recommendation because an A&K dealer told me in advance: “He can do Roon” …

Afterwards I can’t even say that he was wrong, unfortunately I talked about the Roon .apk app and it was not mentioned that it only functions as an endpoint. Let’s see what the Fiio M17 will bring, even if Fiio already offers the Roon.apk app … wait!

You number with and from A&K and the mutual hide-and-seek between A&K and Roon was a lesson to me.

Roon support just announced for SE180. Scroll all the way down the linked page. Astell&Kern

Thank you for the information.

After neither Roon Support nor A&K Support nor the dealer responded to my request, I sold the device straight away.

I have already formulated my opinion on this behavior and product above.

Stay healthy.
Best regards.

Roon Ready firmware, just released


Yep, I have it installed, works great.