Astell&Kern KANN ALPHA | Powerhouse Digital Audio Player

Regular price $1,099.00
/

Our Take

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

From Astell&Kern

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.

Model  KANN ALPHA Body Color  Onyx Black Body Material  Aluminum Display  4.1inch HD 720 x 1280 Touch Display Supported Audio Formats  WAV, FLAC, WMA, MP3, OGG, APE, AAC, ALAC, AIFF, DFF, DSF, MQA Sample rate  PCM : 8kHz ~ 384kHz (8/16/24/32bits per Sample) / DSD Native: DSD64(1bit 2.8MHz), Stereo혻/ DSD128(1bit 5.6MHz), Stereo / DSD256(1bit 11.2MHz), Stereo Output Level High: Unbalanced 6Vrms / Balanced 12Vrms (Condition No Load)
Mid: Unbalanced 4Vrms / Balanced 8Vrms (Condition No Load)
Low: Unbalanced 2Vrms / Balanced 4Vrms (Condition No Load)
DAC  ESS ES9068AS x2 (Dual DAC) CPU Quad-Core Decoding Support up to 32bit / 384kHz Bit-to-Bit Playback Input USB Type-C input (for charging PC & MAC) Outputs Unbalanced Out (3.5mm) / Optical Out(3.5mm)
Balanced Out (2.5mm, only 4-pole supported 4.4m, only 5-pole supported)
Wi-Fi  802.11 b/g/n (2.4GHz) Bluetooth  V5.0 (A2DP, AVRCP, Qualcomm® aptX™ HD, LDAC) Dimensions  2.68 ”(68.3 mm) [W] x 4.60 ”(117 mm) [H] x 0.98 ”(25 mm) [D] Weight  about 11.14 oz (about 316 g)

Audio Performance

Frequency Response  ±0.021dB (Condition: 20Hz~20kHz) Unbalanced / ±0.024dB (Condition: 20Hz~20kHz) Balanced ±0.21dB (Condition: 20Hz~70kHz) Unbalanced / ±0.155dB (Condition: 20Hz~70kHz) Balanced
Signal to Noise Ratio 116dB @ 1kHz, Unbalanced / 117dB @ 1kHz, Balanced Crosstalk
-128dB @ 1kHz, Unbalanced / -136dB @ 1kHz, Balanced THD+N 0.0003% @ 1kHz, Unbalanced / 0.0005% @ 1kHz, Balanced IMD SMPTE 0.0003% 800Hz 10kHz(4:1) Unbalanced / 0.0003% 800Hz 10kHz(4:1) Balanced
Output Impedance Unbalanced Out 3.5mm (0.8ohm) / Balanced out 2.5mm (2.0ohm), 4.4mm(1.8ohm)

Clock source

Clock Jitter  25ps(Typ) Reference Clock Jitter  250 Femto Seconds(VCXO)

Battery

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)

Charge Time  About 3.5 hours (9V/1.67A Fast Charging) / 5hours (5V/2A General Charging)

Memory

Built-in Memory  64GB [NAND] External Memory  microSD (Max. 1TB) x1

99.9% of orders placed before 4pm EDT go out the same day. We ship USPS and UPS. Everything we sell has a free shipping option available other than accessories under $50 and international shipping for the few products we sell outside the US.

For items under $300, free shipping takes 2-4 business days. For items over $300, free priority shipping takes 1-3 business days. For items over $1000, we pretty much always will get it to you within business 2 days. Signature is required upon delivery. We also offer a variety of expedited shipping options.

Tracking info is provided via email as soon as we ship.

For more info on our policies, including returns and many other FAQs, head here: https://bloomaudio.com/apps/help-center