Astell & Kern has announced the arrival of KANN ALPHA, the latest addition to the range of high-resolution portable music players. The new model is the third iteration of the KANN series after the original KANN was introduced around three years ago and the more recent is KANN CUBE. The new portable music player comes with an aluminum body and an Onyx Black finish. The volume wheel is combined with a ring with an LED that lights up in various colors to signal information such as the volume level and the bit-rate of the track being played. This feature was taken over from the A & future SE200 model launched this summer.
A&K KANN ALPHA measures 68.3 (W) x 117 (H) x 25 (D) millimeters and weighs approximately 316 grams. On the front, there is a 4.1-inch touchscreen LCD display with HD resolution (720 x 1280 pixels). Inside it, we find a dual DAC (digital-analog converter) ESS ES9068AS, capable of supporting sampling rates up to 384 kHz/32-bit. KANN ALPHA can also play files in high resolution and supports WAV, FLAC, WMA, MP3, OGG, APE, AAC, ALAC, AIFF, DFF, DSF formats, MQA, PCM, and DSD (native) up to 11.2 MHz (DSD256).
Wireless connectivity includes Wi-Fi 802.11 b / g / n 2.4 GHz and Bluetooth 5.0 with A2DP, AVRCP, aptX HD, and LDAC. The USB Type-C 3.0 port allows you to connect PC and Mac to perform the functions of an external DAC. The 5,600 mAh battery guarantees up to 14.5 hours of operation (Standard: FLAC, 16-bit, 44.1 kHz, Vol. 80, LCD Off, Low Gain). Fast charging takes 3.5 hours while standard charging takes 5 hours.
All operations are handled by a quad-core processor. The operating system is a customized version of Android 9.0 compatible with Open APP service. Therefore, you can install the necessary applications (via APK) to access the main streaming services. Apple Music, Amazon Music, Spotify, Tidal, SoundCloud, Qobuz, SiriusXM, Tune-In, myTuner, Bandcamp, and Deezer are supported.
Available connections include a combined unbalanced analog and optical output on a 3.5mm jack, one balanced output on a 2.5mm 4-pin connector, and a second balanced output on a 4.4mm 5-pin connector. KANN ALPHA integrates 64GB of NAND memory which is expandable via microSD (up to 1 TB).
Astell & Kern KANN ALPHA price and availability
Astell & Kern KANN ALPHA High-Resolution Portable Music Player has been priced at $1,099 and it will be available to pre-order through the Bhphotovideo.com website from September 21 and shipping is scheduled for October.