Astell and Kern SR15


Novice Member
Hi everyone...

1st post , as I used to get questions answered on [email protected] Hi-fi forum, which I've just realised has closed.

I don't post much, but hope this isn't the type of forum that seasoned members simply reply "erm try googling"..

Anyway, my question is this...I'm looking to upgrade from my Fiio X3ii and was very much drawn to the Astell and Kern SR15... admittedly I haven't yet auditioned it. I own a pair of Sennheiser Momentum Over ears which are easily driven by the X3ii and , I'm led to believe the SR15 does well with low impedance cans...however they're not balanced. I don't want to start a war about the benefits of balanced/un-balanced but I notice that the internal circuitry is dual chip so, would I only benefit from this by using the balanced out or would the efforts that have gone into the internal dual chips be to waste by using the un-balanced out. ( i.e downgraded).

Hope this makes sense and thanks for taking the time to read..



Welcome to the forums, enjoy your stay!


Senior Moderator
Welcome to the forum

In my limited testing you'll get slightly better soundstage and separation with balanced. I think it is better to save the money or else put the money towards a better player / headphones. Balanced is not going to change the underlying source or headphone quality into something else


Novice Member

Thanks for the reply...yeah I guess that figures but is the dual chip setup the start of the balanced production ( i.e would I need to listen with a balanced output to recognise the internal symetry) or would listening unbalanced be the equivalent to only one chip (2 into 1)

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