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Astell&Kern KANN Alpha DAP Music Player

$1,099.00 - $2,099.00
In Stock

KANN Alpha is a power house DAP, featuring Ultra-High Output along with a 4.4mm implementation with compact design.

Key Specs

  • Dual ESS ES9068AS DACs, Quad-Core CPU
  • Supports 32bit/384kHz, DSD256
  • 12Vrms Output
  • 4.4mm, 2.5mm & 3.5mm outputs
  • Complete circuit redesign
  • DAC filters
  • Bluetooth 5.0, aptX HD, LDAC
  • Internal storage: 64GB +microSD card slot
  • 4.1 inch HD 720 x 1,280
  • Aluminum body
KANN  Alpha Icons

The Power House

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

First DAP to Feature 4.4mm Balanced Output Port, Completely Noise-Free

The newly introduced feature of the 4.4mm balanced output port is exciting, however, the most important part is how we implemented it. Unlike other manufacturer’s products, 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.

Left-Right Circit

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.

KANN ALPHA L channel, R channel circuit design

Left-Right Channel

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.

A comparison of outputs of KANN ALPHA vs. KANN CUBE vs. KANN

Comparison Chart

Equipped With Bluetooth 5.0 and Support for Wireless 24-Bit Qualcomm® aptX™ HD , LDAC Codecs

KANN ALPHA is the first Astell&Kern player to use Bluetooth 5.0. The latest Bluetooth version provides high sound quality with the convenience of wireless playback to headphones and IEMs. Bluetooth 5.0 features faster transmission speed and greater range compared to Bluetooth 4.2, therefore providing a more stable wireless connection. Both LDAC and Qualcomm® aptX™ HD is supported to provide audiophiles with the best wireless sound possible. The high-quality sound that Astell&Kern is known for can now be heard when using Bluetooth earphones, headphones, and speakers.

Bluetooth Code Bit-rates Compared

Bluetooth version comparison

Features Bluetooth 5.0 Bluetooth 4.2
Speed 2Mbps 1Mbps
Range 40meters 10meters
Power Consumption Low High
Battery Life Longer Shorter

Customize Your Sound

With KANN ALPHA, you can enjoy the fun of creating your own customized sound by selecting among various DAC filters provided by the DAC manufacturer.

KANN Alpha Customized Sounds

Real-Time Information Confirmed by Light

KANN ALPHA features a LED volume wheel which displays various playback information, including volume level and bit-rate of the track currently playing. * LED can be turned on or off according to user setting.

Kann Alpha Real time Lights

Unique Manufacturing Technology Taken to a New Level

Astell&products are often compared with art sculptures in that they feature colorful facets and angles that cannot be found in other products. This is accomplished through the use of extremely precise metal manufacturing technology that has been perfected by Astell&Kern over many years.

The first generation KANN used an extrusion method to form the aluminum body where the KANN APLPHA uses precise metal manufacturing to create a luxurious and detailed design.

A precision mold is then separately manufactured for the high-gloss ceramic top cover. Astell&Kern then uses more than seven different processes including low-speed machining to form the ceramic top cover and prevent cracking.

Unlike other manufacturers, a ring is not simply inserted into the ceramic top where each audio terminal is located, instead a gold PVD coating is applied to minimize noise. A special coating is also applied to the ceramic surface to prevent fingerprints and smudging.

Astell&Kern's proprietary aluminum body design suppresses noise to improve sound quality, while providing the best signal transmission to the audio circuits. With our laser ground extension technology, you can achieve the best sound possible.

The vibration-free processing machines used by Astell&Kern are the same ones used by expensive Swiss luxury watch manufacturers. This is reflected in the crafting of the volume wheel which is processed precisely like the crown of a luxury watch for the best operating feel. Independent machining processing is applied to individual areas to create each small pattern.

Kann Alpha Manufacturing process

MQA hardware rendering is built into the ES9068AS DACs and supports MQA 8x rendering. MQA-CD playback is also supported on KANN ALPHA when playing MQA-CDs using the AK CD-Ripper. You now do not need special, expensive equipment to play back master quality audio CDs. Enjoy the original master sound through the dedicated hardware renderer installed in KANN ALPHA.
MQA and sound Wave Device are registered trademarks of MQA Limited. © MQA Limited 2016

MQA MQA-CD

Qualcomm® aptX™ HD is a product of Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. and/or its subsidiaries. Qualcomm is a trademark of Qualcomm Incorporated, registered in the United States and other countries. Qualcomm® aptX™ HD is a trademark of Qualcomm Technologies International, Ltd., registered in the United States and other countries

A&futura SE200 Sound Type

AK Player Comparison

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KANN Alpha
KANN ALPHA
$1,099
Onyx Black
 
 
 
Aluminum
 
2.68" x 4.6" x .98"
11.14 oz
4.1" Touchscreen
HD 720x1280
Quad-Core Dual DAC:
ES9068AS
(8-channel)
USB Type-C Input
Outputs
3.5mm Unbalance
2.5mm Balance
Optical 3.5mm
4.4mm Balaced
Battery Life
14.5hr Playback
--
5hr charge (5V/2A)
3.5hr chg (9V/1.67A)
Storage
64GB Internal
microSD ≤1TB
 
Supports WAV, FLAC, WMA, MP3, OGG, APE, AAC, ALAC, AIFF, DFF, DSF
Windows 7, 8, 10 (32/64bit)
MAC OS X 10.7+
Wi-Fi, Bluetooth v5.0
Decoding
≤32bit / 384kHz
Native DSD
 
Frequency Response
Condition: 20Hz-20kHz
±0.021dB Unbalance
±0.024dB Balance
Condition: 20Hz-70kHz
±0.21dB Unbalance
±0.155dB Balance
Output Level
2-6 Vrms Unbalance
4-12 Vrms Balance
 
Impedance
0.8 Ohm (3.5mm)
2.0 Ohm (2.5mm)
1.8 Ohm (4.4mm)
Select a DAP to view and compare Specifications
KANN Cube
KANN CUBE
$1,499
Wolf Gray
 
 
 
Aluminum
 
3.4" x 5.51" x 1.24"
17.3 oz
5" Touchscreen
HD 720x1280
Quad-Core Dual DAC:
ES9038PRO SABRE
(8-channel)
USB Type-C Input
Outputs
3.5mm Unbalance
2.5mm Balance
Optical 3.5mm
Mini XLR (5-pin)
Battery Life
9hr Playback
--
5.5hr charge (5V/2A)
4hr chg (9V/1.67A)
Storage
128GB Internal
microSD ≤400GB
 
Supports WAV, FLAC, WMA, MP3, OGG, APE, AAC, ALAC, AIFF, DFF, DSF
Windows 7, 8, 10 (32/64bit)
MAC OS X 10.7+
Wi-Fi, Bluetooth v4.2
Decoding
≤32bit / 384kHz
Native DSD
 
Frequency Response
Condition: 20Hz-20kHz
±0.027dB Unbalance
±0.025dB Balance
Condition: 10Hz-70kHz
±0.07dB Unbalance
±0.087dB Balance
Output Level
2-6 Vrms Unbalance
4-12 Vrms Balance
 
Impedance
0.5 Ohm (3.5mm)
1.6 Ohm (2.5mm)
 
Select a DAP to view and compare Specifications
Select a DAP to view and compare Specifications
Select a DAP to view and compare specifications

Press and Reviews

Astell n Kern Magazine Guide
Astell&Kern Magazine

Guides & Reviews
by Moon Audio

Major Hi-Fi Review
Moon Audio

by Staff
Oct. 2020

Major Hi-Fi Review
Major HiFi

by Alex Schiffer
Oct. 2020

Specs

Technical Features

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), Stereo / 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
Supported OS
Windows 7,8,10 (32/64bit), MAC OS X 10.7 and up
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)
Feature Enhancements
Firmware upgrades supported (OTA)
Body Color
Onyx Black
Display
4.1inch HD 720 x 1280 Touch Display
Weight
11.14oz

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)

Battery & Memory

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

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