Astell&Kern KANN Cube DAP Music Player

In stock

KANN CUBE is the second model of the KANN line, which focuses on high fidelity with powerful output and low noise. The newly designed powerful amplifier and audio circuitry have been strategically implemented to offer a very low noise floor, even with its massive power output, making it an Audio Powerhouse capable of driving the most power-hungry headphones.

Key Specs

  • ESS ES9038PRO SABRE 8-Channel Dual DAC
  • Three Audio Output Modes, Up to 12V of Power
  • Designed for Pro Audio Equipment
  • Quad-Core CPU
  • Supports Low/Mid/High performance modes (up to 12V)
  • 5-pin Mini XLR (4Vrms)
  • Internal Storage: 128GB
  • 5.0" 720x1280 HD Touchscreen
  • Aluminum body
  • 8-hour battery life
  • 32bit/384kHz, Native DSD256 Support
  • Open APP Service for music streaming options
ES9038PRO Dual DAC, 32-bit 384kHz bit to bit play, native DSD, Quad-core CPU, 720x1280 Touchscreen, 5-pin mini XLR, 128GB Built-in Memory, USB-C fast charging

Absolute Audio Powerhouse

KANN CUBE offers 3 different power output options of High / Mid / Low, which can drive any headphone with unprecedented power never seen before in any portable device - 12Vrms for Balanced output and 6Vrms for Unbalanced output. To provide a natural and neutral audio experience with minimal distortion, a newly designed OP Amp and Volume IC manages power optimally and efficiently.

A Comparison of outputs of KANN CUBE vs KANN vs AK380+AMP

Output comparison of KANN CUBE, KANN, and AK380+Amp


KANN CUBE uses two 8-channel DACs, the ES9038PRO, one for the left and one for the right channel. As each DAC chip sends out 8 channels of audio signal through the Astell&Kern Analog AMP Block, you experience unlimited sound stage and the full depth of the original performance.

Dual DACs send 8 audio channels descretely to each left and right channels


The ESS SABRE PRO series of Digital-to-Analog Converters (DAC) is targeted for premium audiophile and professional recording studio equipment. The SABRE PRO series sets a new benchmark in high-end audio by offering the industry's highest dynamic range (DNR) with impressively low levels of total harmonic distortion plus noise (THD+N) in a 32-bit, 8-channel DAC. All PRO SABRE DACs feature ESS's patented 32-bit HyperStream DAC technology which delivers outstanding sound quality and industry-leading performance.

Sabre Pro DACs: ES9038PRO, ES9028PRO, ES9026PRO


ESS has two major lines of DAC chips – the ‘SABER PRO’ for audiophile systems and ‘SABER HIFI’ for mobile devices, such as the LG V10, V20, V30 smartphones or Onkyo DAPs. The SABER PRO DACs are seldom used for DAPs and are primarily used with Pro-Audio systems or traditional Hi-Fi products. The ES9038PRO is the latest DAC from ESS and the SABER PRO line. KANN CUBE is the first DAP device to adopt the SABER PRO DACs in a dual DAC configuration, dedicating 8-channels for the left and 8-channels for the right side.

ESS Technology: Audiophile grade Sabre Pro ES9038PRO DAC

5-pin Mini XLR Output for Even Less Noise

KANN CUBE offers a 5-pin mini XLR connector for the first time in an Astell&Kern player. Thanks to the even lower noise floor and higher audio output through the XLR connection, you can enjoy pure, clear audio playback. It offers easier connection to your home audio systems and active speakers with balanced connections.

KANN CUBE component diagram
KANN CUBE y-type cable with 5-pin Mini XLR to 3pin XLR (x2)
KANN CUBE Pin Out Cable specs

Enhanced Audio Processing Power with Quad-core CPU

Some may think that only sound matters in Hi-Fi systems. While it does matter greatly, there are other factors that influence your immersive music experience as well. KANN CUBE is designed to remove any distracting elements, including noise, distortion and unintuitive user interface.

The Quad-core CPU gives you even more processing power for your digital music and a lot faster, natural UI experience. Get lost in your music without distractions.

Quad Core, Dual Core, and Single Core

Ultimate Sound Quality

The latest ESS ES9038PRO dual-DAC design and the upgraded CPU in the KANN CUBE allows for accurate playback of native 32bit/384kHz audio with no compromise on sound quality. The music is played back, bit-for-bit, just as the artist and engineer intended for it to be heard.

KANN CUBE also supports native bit-to-bit DSD playback up to 11.2MHz for the best sound possible.

32-Bit Bit-to-Bit Playback by KANN CUBE

bit-to-bit playback in KANN CUBE

32-Bit Playback by Other Players

normal 32-bit playback downsampling

Using Open APP Service

The Open APP Service enables you to install specific APK music streaming apps to the device. Copy the desired APK into the Open Service folder of the product and install the relevant App in the Menu > Services of the player.

Using Open APP Service

Tidal, Qobuz, Deexer, Spotify, Amazon Music, Pandora, SoundCloud, TuneIn Radio, myTuner, Sirius Radio, DS Audio

Supported apps include Tidal, Qobuz, Deezer, Spotify, Amazon music, Pandora, SoundCloud, TuneIn Radio, myTuner, Sirius XM, DS Audio, Bandcamp, Melon, Bugs, Music Mate, AWA, QQ Music, KK BOX, KT genie, Joox and Moov.

Design Concept

The isolated sides of the rectangles on KANN CUBE are not simply for looks. They emphasize the role of the device by placing the player’s functions in the correct place for a more intuitive interface and better usability, while also providing a sense of aesthetic stability. The pursuit of connectivity and consistency of form and function is at the core of Astell&Kern's design philosophy.

Combining Astell&Kern’s player performance with the high-powered AMP, KANN CUBE can produce the most powerful performance in the Astell&Kern player lineup and is designed to deliver a heavy and solid impression.

Astell and Kern KANN CUBE portable music player

Product Comparison



Wolf Gray
5" HD Touchscreen
ESS ES9038PRO SABRE 8-channel x2
Up to 32bit / 384kHz
Bit-to-Bit Decoding;
Native DSD
USB Type-C Input
Unbalanced Out (3.5mm)
Balanced Out (2.5mm)
Optical (3.5mm)
XLR Out (Mini 5-pin)
3.4" x 5.51" x 1.24"
17.3 oz
9-hour Playback
-- charge via computer
5.5 hours via 5V/2A
4 hours via 9V/1.67A Fast Charge
128GB Internal
microSD (Max 400GB) x1
Window 7, 8, 10 (32/64bit)
MAC OS X 10.7+
Wi-Fi & Bluetooth (v4.2) Capable


Astro Silver
Eos Blue
4" Touchscreen
DAC: AKM AK4490 x1
Up to 32bit / 384kHz
Bit-to-Bit Decoding;
Native DSD
USB Type-C Input
Unbalanced Out (3.5mm)
Balanced Out (2.5mm)
USB Audio
2.8" x 4.56" x 1.01"
9.83 oz
15-hour Playback
12-hour charge via computer
5 hours via 5V/2A
4 hours via 9V/1.67A Fast Charge
64GB Internal
microSD (Max 400GB) x1
SD (Max 512GB) x1
Window 7, 8, 10 (32/64bit)
MAC OS X 10.7+
Wi-Fi & Bluetooth Capable


Tech Hive Editor's Choice Award


Astell n Kern Magazine Guide
Astell&Kern Magazine

Guides & Reviews
by Moon Audio

What Hifi? Review
What HiFi?

by Becky Roberts
Apr. 2019

Inner Fidelity Review
Inner Fidelity

by Rafe Arnott
Apr. 2019


Body Color
Wolf Gray
Body Material
5-inch (720x1280) Touch Display
Output Level (XLR)
4Vrms (Condition No Load)
ESS ES9038PRO SABRE 8-channel x2 (Dual DAC)
Support up to 32bit / 384kHz bit-to-bit playback
802.11 b/g/n (2.4GHz)
V4.2 (A2DP, AVRCP, aptX™HD)
USB Type-C input (for PC and Mac)
Phones (3.5mm)
Optical Out (3.5mm)
Balanced Out (2.5mm, only 4-pole supported)
XLR Out (Mini 5-pin)
Built-In Memory
128GB [NAND]
External Memory
micro SD (x1)
Supported OS
Windows 7, 8, 10 (32/64bit), Mac OSX 10.7 and up
3.45" W x 5.51" H x 1.24" D (87.78mm x 140mm x 31.5mm)
17.3 oz (493g)
Astell and Kern KANN CUBE dimensions


Feature Enhancements
Firmware upgades supported (OTA)
Supported Audio Formats
WAV, FLAC, WMA, MP3, OGG, APE, AAC, ALAC, AIFF, DFF, DSF, MQA (Support Scheduled)
MQA Playback
Services (Tidal Masters), Local files, External USB, MQA-CD (ripped)
Sample Rate
PCM: 8kHz ~ 384kHz (8/16/32bits per sample
DSD Native: DSD64(1bit 2.8MHz), Stereo
DSD128 (1bit 5.6MHz), Stereo
DSD256 (1bit 11.2MHz), Stereo
Output Level (Phone)
High: Unbalanced 6Vrms / Balanced 12Vrms (Condition No Load)
Mid: Unbalanced 4Vrms / Balanced 8Vrms (Condition No Load)
Low: Unbalanced 2Vrms / Balanced 4Vrms (Condition No Load)
Frequency Response (Phone Out)
±0.027dB (Condition: 20Hz-20kHz) Unbalance / ±0.025dB (Condition: 20Hz-20kHz) Balance
±0.07dB (Condition: 10Hz-70kHz) Unbalance / ±0.087dB (Condition: 10Hz-70kHz) Balance
Frequency Response (XLR Out)
±0.025dB (Condition: 20Hz-20kHz) / ±0.032dB (Condition: 10Hz-70kHz)
Signal to Noise Ratio
Phone Out: 117dB @ 1kHz, Unbalance / 136dB @ 1kHz, Balance
XLR Out: 128dB @ 1kHz
Phone Out: 129dB @ 1 kHz, Unbalance / 136dB @ 1 kHz, Balance
XLR Out: 146dB @1kHz
Phone Out: 0.0004% @ 1kHz, Unbalance / 0.0005% @ 1 kHx, Balance
XLR Out: 0.0004% @ 1kHz
Phone Out: 0.0005% 800Hz 10kHz(4:1) Unbalance / 0.0006% 800Hz 10kHz(4:1) Calance
XLR Out: 0.0006% 800Hz 10kHz(4:1)
Output Impedence
Phones 3.5mm (1/2 ohm) / Balance Out 2.5mm (1.6ohm)
Reference Clock Jitter
250Femto Seconds
Battery Capactiy
7,400mAh 3.8V Li-Polymer Battery
Continuous Playback Time
upt o 9 hours (standard - MUSIC: FLAC, 16-bit/44kHz, Unbalance, Volume 80, EQ OFF, LCD OFF, Low Gain)
Charge Time
About 4 hours (Standard - 9V/1.67A Fast Charging)
About 5.5 hours (standard - 5V/1A General Charging)

5.0 / 5.0
4 Reviews
5 Stars
4 Stars
3 Stars
2 Stars
1 Star
Original KANN is great. KANN CUBE is fantastic. It easily drives my Sennheiser HD820 & Audeze LCD3.
Highly recommended!
September 9, 2019
4 months ago
Excellent DAP from A&K
This is my second DAP from A&K after the ak320, and its really good it has very big sound stage and really good instrument separation also a huge battery and built like a tank, really worth every dime. I've paired it with my custom IEM from Noble Audio the Kaiser Encore, also with my LCD-3 and it has no problem driving a planar magnet headphones after turning the high gain on settings!
July 26, 2019
4 months ago
So far, so good. I just don’t know how to download apps on the device just yet.
July 25, 2019
6 months ago
Amazing Sound and Power !
Great Quality built unit ! Lit up my Focal Elegia headphones with no problem, perfect pairing, I can hear vocals and instruments that were never there on other units. I ordered the case as well as the Cube is a work of art !

Thanks to the Incredible Team at Moon Audio for their assistance throughout the sales and shipping process.

Will be back for more purchases soon.


July 8, 2019
5 months ago
Start typing your question and we'll check if it was already asked and answered. Learn More
Browse 4 questions Browse 4 questions and 12 answers
Largest outboard micro SD card the cube can use?
xrayvision on May 1, 2019
BEST ANSWER: Or whatever the largest SD card that is available at the time, should that change. 512GB is the largest available currently.
How do you add music via a microSD card?
Rich M on Sep 9, 2019
BEST ANSWER: Hi Rich! Great answer Henry. You can add music a number of ways to the KANN Cube. As you know the Cube has internal memory, but to supplement your storage using a microSD card, you can add music by transferring your files directly to the microSD card using an SD card adapter and plugging into your computer or via a card reader. Otherwise, you can insert the microSD card into the KANN Cube and connect via USB-C to your computer. After becoming discoverable by your system, you should be able to copy and paste, or click and drag files into the desired folder (internal or external storage). Also, like Henry mentions, you can install an Android transfer app to move files. Let us know if you need any further help getting your music to your Kann Cube!
Hi, I'm concerned about the the optical 3.5mm output, as far as I understand this is digital output, is that right? But is the same output where to plug the headphones? If so, is also analog output? So how to swap between analog/digital output? The question comes, because I want to plug the A&K to a digital integral amplifier. Thanks
joanfont on Oct 17, 2019
BEST ANSWER: Here is an excerpt from the manual. The Toslink output is a digital output. You will need a TosLink cable for this application. Yes, it is uses the same jack as the 3.5mm Unbalanced output.

"Using an optical cable, connect the KANN CUBE to a
S/PDIF-capable external device to output music through
the external device. Enable output format conversion from
[Menu > Settings > S/PDIF Conversion] to convert the
output to a predefined format upon S/PDIF connection."
I have the HD800S cans and my balanced setup terminates to a (single) 4 pin XLR. I will be purchasing the Cube upon release. Can you provide the adapter to go from the 5 pin mini XLR on the Cube (looks like I'll need female) to the female 4 pin on my phones for my balanced setup?The HD800S's will (probably) run through an amp but it will be interesting to try it straight through the Cube. I suspect the 300 imp. Senns will still grapple a bit bypassing the amp (even with the touted 12 VRMS) but I'm guessing my lower impedance cans and IEM's will do well. Pardon the fact that I kinda asked my question like I'm in a chat forum. If it is unacceptable, just nuke it, I can take it.
Craig B on Jun 10, 2019
BEST ANSWER: The 5 pin mini XLR is Line OutPut only. We can make an adapter from 4 pin XLR to 2.5mm which can be found here:
Pick at least 1ft
Pick female 4 pin Neutrik XLR
Pick Moon Audio Gold 2.5mm TRRS balanced plug.

Now we can build a 5 pin XLR to Dual 3 pin XLRs if you want to use as a source for your Home gear if they have balanced input.

Astell&Kern Kann Cube Features and Review

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Astell&Kern KANN CUBE Unboxing