KANN Alpha is a worthy successor to the KANN Cube. Its neutral response helps bring out the best in your headphones, and its well tuned power output ensures that it works with a range of gear from sensitive IEMs to power hungry headphones. Priced at only $1099, the KANN Alpha is a great value too. Check out our full review: https://bloomaudio.com/blogs/articles/astell-kern-kann-alpha-review
KANN ALPHA, the third product in the KANN series of Digital Audio Players.
While the goal of the Astell&Kern KANN line is to provide ultra high power output to drive any headphone or IEM, KANN ALPHA has not forgotten the essence of being a portable DAP, so you can enjoy a near-perfect sound experience wherever you are.
- The first Astell&Kern DAP to feature a 4.4mm balanced output
- Complete separation of balanced lines to provide noise-free output
- Crosstalk of 141dB and top-notch audio performance through a complete circuit redesign
- Powerful 12Vrms ultra-high output support
- 14 ½ hours of continuous playback
- Equipped with the latest version of Bluetooth, Bluetooth 5.0
- Artistic design and ultra-precision metal shaping technology that Astell&Kern has perfected
Noise-Free 4.4mm Balanced Output Port
The newly introduced feature of the 4.4mm balanced output port is exciting, however, the most important part is how we implemented it. KANN ALPHA has physically separated the 2.5mm and 4.4mm outputs using micro relays. When 2.5mm and 4.4mm structures that are connected only to the mute circuit they do not prevent noise interference that may occur because each signal is not properly blocked.
KANN ALPHA boasts noise-free output because we built in an independent structure that completely blocks interference from outputs that are not being used and to be switched off therefore preventing the noise from occurring.
Gold PVD Coating Method
In order to minimize contact noise from the output, a gold PVD coating method is applied to the headphone connector instead of the typical rings used by other products. This improves both design and function.
By adopting NDICS' Pentaconn 4.4mm connector, KANN ALPHA not only satisfies the requests of users, but the implementation boasts excellent quality and durability.
The Highest Level Of Channel Separation(Crosstalk)
KANN ALPHA boasts excellent performance measurement for crosstalk. Channel crosstalk is how much signal leaking there is between the L and R channels. The higher the crosstalk number, the better the separation between channels and the deeper and wider the sense of space that can be felt. As evident with the newly developed audio circuit design, KANN ALPHA features a never before seen Crosstalk measurement of -141dB(High Gain), which is unmatched by any other portable audio products in its class.
Powerful 12Vrms Output With 14 ½ Hours of Continuous Playback
KANN ALPHA supports the same powerful 12Vrms output as the existing KANN CUBE, however the player has been optimized to be more compact. This is achieved through the miniaturization of numerous parts such as resistors and capacitors, by rearranging various components and through circuit optimization. This resulted in the modification of more than 60 parts during the development process.
Ultra-small tantalum capacitors, which were developed exclusively for Astell&Kern through a collaboration with Matsuo Electric in Japan to meet our high performance requirements, supply stable power to the player and suppress electrical noise. This redesigned power circuit used in KANN ALPHA also allows us to achieve 14 ½ hours of continuous playback.
Mid: Unbalanced 4Vrms / Balanced 8Vrms (Condition No Load)
Low: Unbalanced 2Vrms / Balanced 4Vrms (Condition No Load)
Balanced Out (2.5mm, only 4-pole supported 4.4m, only 5-pole supported)
Capacity 5,600mAh 3.8V Li-Polymer Battery
Playback Time About 14.5 hours (Standard : FLAC, 16bit, 44.1kHz, Vol.80, LCD Off, Low Gain)