Thursday, October 8, 2020

KANN ALPHA by Astell&Kern now out in Singapore

Astell&Kern, a global leader in portable high-resolution audio players, announces the arrival of KANN ALPHA, the third model in the KANN performance line of digital audio players in Singapore. 


The KANN series of portable high-resolution audio players are equipped with powerful, built-in amplifier gives high power output for which users can select between low, mid and high gain modes required by headphones to produce near-perfect sound experience. Power output on KANN ALPHA via the 2.5mm or 4.4mm is 12Vrms.

KANN ALPHA is the first Astell&Kern player to feature a 4.4mm Pentaconn headphone jack giving audiophiles more options of headphones and IEMs to connect. Features Bluetooth 5.0, another first for Astell&Kern players, for faster transmission speed, greater range, a more stable wireless connection. LDAC™ and aptX™ HD are supported for 24-bit high quality audio playback.


With the latest quad-core processor, the user interface is fluid throughout navigating menu options and playing back of your favorite music tracks. Sports a 5.0-inch HD touchscreen and carries a 64GB of internal storage that can be expanded via microSD for up to 1TB. You also get Wi-Fi, DLNA networking, USB digital audio output, USB-C for data transfer and fast-charge support, and the ability to use KANN ALPHA as a USB DAC for your Mac or Windows-based PC.

Comes with an independent structure where in there is a separation of the 2.5mm and 4.4mm balanced outputs. Interference from outputs by switching off other sources that are not being used prevents noise from occurring and so producing a noise-free audio playback. 

Supports native 32bit/384kHz and DSD256 playback. Has LED lighting around the volume wheel that displays different colors of light - red, green, blue, and purple to reflect music playback information including volume range and the bit-rate of track currently playing. Runs a customize version of Android 9.0 optimize for music playback. KANN ALPHA boast 14 ½ hours of playback time on a single charge.

Has a redesigned power circuit that brings stable power to the player while suppressing electrical noise.  Gets a newly developed audio circuit design which translate to a never before seen crosstalk measurement of 141dB, unmatched by any other portable audio product in its class.

Equipped with Two ESS ES9068AS DACs that are arranged in a dual-mono configuration for a wider soundstage and better stereo separation. MQA hardware rendering is built into the ES9068AS DACs and support MQA 8x rendering. MQA-CD playback is also supported on KANN ALPHA when playing MQA-CDs using the AK CD-Ripper (available separately). Customize your sound experience by choosing from a variety of DAC filters provided by the DAC manufacturer.  

The aluminum body on the KANN ALPHA provides maximum sound quality, while suppressing noise. Laser ground extension technology provides the best sound possible, without interference or distortion.  To minimize contact noise from the output, a gold PVD coating method is applied to the headphone connectors. This improves both design and function of the headphone outputs and adds a beautiful contrast to the all-black finish of the player. A special coating is also applied to the top ceramic surface to prevent fingerprints and smudging.  

Astell&Kern’s latest user interface and support for Open App service is included in KANN ALPHA, which adds Android APK support, allowing you to install additional music streaming services by simply copying and installing the corresponding APK file to the player.  Services supported include Apple Music, Amazon Music, Spotify, Tidal, SoundCloud, Qobuz, SiriusXM, Tune-In, myTuner, Bandcamp and Deezer (supported streaming services vary by country).  Offline content for supported apps can be stored in either internal or external player memory so you can listen to your favorite music streaming service tracks on the go. 

Pricing & Availability

The Astell&Kern KANN Alpha is launched in Singapore for price tag of S$1,699 (MSRP) and will be also sold via AV One (, E1 Personal Audio, Headphones.SG, Jaben, Stereo Electronics,

KANN ALPHA Specifications:

Body Color : Onyx Black
Body Material :Aluminum
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)

Display: 4.1inch HD 720 x 1280 Touch Display

CPU: Quad-Core

Built-in 64GB [NAND] Storage
Expandable via microSD up to 1TB

Supported Audio Formats: WAV, FLAC, WMA, MP3, OGG, APE, AAC, ALAC, AIFF, DFF, DSF, MQA
Sample ratePCM : 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)
Decoding: Support up to 32bit / 384kHz Bit-to-Bit Playback

Audio Performance

Frequency Response±0.021dB (Condition: 20Hz~20kHz) Unbalanced / ±0.024dB (Condition: 20Hz~20kHz) Balanced

±0.021dB (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+N0.0003% @ 1kHz, Unbalanced / 0.0005% @ 1kHz, Balanced
IMD SMPTE0.0003% 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: Jitter250 Femto Seconds(VCXO)

USB Type-C input (for charging PC & MAC)
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)

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)

Supported OS: Windows 7,8,10 (32/64bit), MAC OS X 10.7 and up

Feature Enhancements: Firmware upgrades supported (OTA)