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Fueling Your Sound KANN ULTRA

Fueling Your Sound

The KANN series is adored by audiophiles all over the world for its performance that focuses on ultra-high output and clear sound.
KANN ULTRA, the 5th product in the KANN series, continues the success of the KANN series by providing the highest output of any Astell&Kern player, the inclusion of Triple Output Sound, and an optimized processor and UI/UX to make it even easier to enjoy clear sound performance.

With four Gain Modes that provides up to 16Vrms of desktop Hi-Fi level output and sound, and ES9039MPRO Dual DAC chips, KANN ULTRA perfectly powers many of today's headphones with high resolution. A separate Pre/Line Out allow users to enjoy the sound with a variety of different devices.

  • Triple Output Mode Featuring Separately Configured Circuit and Amplifier Designs
  • Next-generation Octa-Core processors with significant high-performance improvements
  • Supports 4 preset gain settings with ultra-high output up to 16Vrms (Headphone Out)
  • Equipped with ES9039MPRO Dual DACs
  • Features Digital Audio Remaster (DAR) technology
  • Supports playback up to 32bit/768kHz, Native DSD512
  • Features Astell&Kern's unique TERATON ALPHA technology
  • Battery 8,400 mAh (up to 11 hours of playback)
  • Dual DAC

    ES9039MPRO Dual DAC

  • Octa-Core CPU

    Octa-Core CPU

  • Ultra-High 16Vrms Output

    Ultra-High 16Vrms Output

  • Triple Sound

    Triple Sound

  • Digital Audio Remaster

    Digital Audio Remaster

  • Native DSD 512

    Native DSD 512

  • 32-bit 768 kHz

    32-bit 768 kHz bit-to-bit Play



Triple Output, Triple Sound

KANN ULTRA features a Triple Output Mode that allows you to enjoy Astell&Kern's perfectly prepared sound when connected to demanding headphones, highly detailed IEMs, and external devices.
Instead of simply separating the output ports, Astell&Kern's Teraton Alpha technology allows for separate amplifier/sound design for the Headphone Out and Line/Pre-Out ports to provide the optimal sound for each port.
Complete your powerful Head-Fi system even on portable devices with the KANN ULTRA with Triple Output.

amp gain mode

* HEADPHONE OUT 3.5mm Port : S/PDIF Out supports


The port features 4 preset gain settings and ultra-high output of up to 16Vrms. The headphone port is designed to perfectly run demanding headphones with high impedance using only the player with no external AMP.

Unbalanced (3.5mm)
Balanced (4.4mm)
  • Low Gain 2Vrms 4Vrms
  • Mid Gain 4Vrms 8Vrms
  • High Gain 6Vrms 12Vrms
  • Super Gain 8Vrms 16Vrms

Select Pre-Out mode on the Pre/Line Out port to output sound to an external amplifier or audio device.

[ Pre-out ]
This mode delivers sound through a specially designed Pre out amplifier, instead of the high-powered Headphone out amp.
Pre-Out functions like a PRE AMP and you can control the volume with the volume wheel.

* No Gain or Voltage settings, maximum output 2Vrms/4Vrms


Select Line Out mode on the Pre/Line Out port to output sound that is optimized when connected to external devices.

[ Line out ]
This mode outputs the sound from the DAC directly without going through an amplifier, resulting in the lowest noise level and making it ideal for connecting to external audio devices.
Line Out has a fixed voltage output (4 levels) and no volume control.

* Do not activate the Line Out mode while earphones or headphones are connected to the PRE·LINE OUT port. Doing so may cause permanent hearing loss.


4 Gain Levels And
Outputs Up to 16Vrms
for The Perfect Head-Fi

To run the most sophisticated IEMs and headphones, a DAP needs to be able to fully deliver an output that matches the characteristics of the receiver.

KANN ULTRA features 4 preset gain settings up to 16Vrms, the most powerful output of any Astell&Kern player,
to optimally run the many IEMs and headphones available today.
The current-handling capability of the output port has been increased to reliably run devices of different impedances at the gain Level setting,
and the AMPs have been separated into Balanced and Unbalanced to optimize currents and reduce noise for the best possible sound.

On top of providing the most powerful output, KANN ULTRA features a larger
5.5-inch screen and improved grip compared to KANN CUBE, which was popular
for its high output versatility. Weight of the KANN ULTRA has been significantly reduced to 390 grams.

  • Output Level (SUPER) Unbalanced 8Vrms, Balanced 16Vrms
  • Output Level (HIGH) Unbalanced 6Vrms, Balanced 12Vrms Unbalanced 6Vrms, Balanced 12Vrms
  • Output Level (Mid) Unbalanced 4Vrms, Balanced 8Vrms Unbalanced 4Vrms, Balanced 8Vrms
  • Output Level (Low) Unbalanced 2Vrms, Balanced 4Vrms Unbalanced 2Vrms, Balanced 4Vrms
  • Dimensions (WxHxD) 82mm x 140mm x 24mm 87.75mm x 140mm x31.5mm
  • Weight 390g 493g

* Based on condition no load, there may be differences depending on the measurement method.

The Essence of A&K Audio Technologies

From an ultra-high output that can run even the most delicate headphones, to the Triple Output design, and the complex amplifier design with minimal noise in a compact portable audio player, this would all not have been possible without AK's Ultimate Sound Solution, TERATON ALPHA. Astell&Kern has taken the TERATON ALPHA to the next level with its know-how in noise reduction at ultra-high power, acquired from its predecessors such as the KANN MAX and the CA1000 series.

TERATON ALPHA, engineered through continuous research, is Astell&Kern's unique technology that has been designed to produce audio playback that is as close to the original sound through effective power noise removal, efficient power management and unwavering amplification, and a fully converted audio output interface.

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Upgraded Sound, the Newest ESS Flagship DAC

The KANN ULTRA is designed with dual ES9039MPRO DACs, the newest flagship DAC from ESS, to deliver richer and more expansive sounds that exceed your expectations.

The ES9039MPRO is an updated ES9039PRO model that has a built-in stereo hardware MQA renderer. It has even more advanced modulation than the existing flagship DAC to reduce power consumption, noise and distortions inside the DAC for enhanced audio performance.

Astell&Kern has redesigned the AMP BLOCK to ensure that the clear, high-resolution sound of the ES9039MPRO is clearly expressed through every port of the Triple Output, and each output's characteristics show its own advanced performance.


Audio Block Diagram

Incredible User Experience
with Next-Generation
Octa-Core Processors

KANN ULTRA is the first to feature the next-gen Octa-Core processors with significant performance improvements, allowing you to enjoy KANN ULTRA's incredible sound performance with faster system speeds and a 4th generation UI/UX that flows faster and smoother.

The audio circuit area is physically separated from the processor area, which includes the CPU, memory, and wireless communication components, and is equipped with a dedicated shield can to minimize the heat and noise generated by the processor.

Crimson User Interface, A Music-Only Player

KANN ULTRA features a Crimson-themed UI/UX for the first time in the KANN series, making it a "Player for Music" that leaves an impression
in the process and experience of listening to music.

The Crimson UX/UI is designed so that users can quickly browse music categories and re-discover songs within their music library.
We also added an easy album art search function so that users can re-discover the joy of viewing and interacting with music album art whilst listening to their music.

The crimson theme focuses on edge, simplicity, and dark mode keywords.
The color theme of black with red highlights lowers visual fatigue and offers intuitive user experiences, and includes many other improvements
to the device’s user-friendliness of streaming app services, artist view, album sorting, and album art search function.

Immerse yourself in music with Crimson UX/UI.


Sound Design by DAC Filter

With the KANN ULTRA, you can pick and choose from seven DAC filters to create your own sound style. Design your own sound with the seven DAC filters.

Impulse Response
  • Minimum phase (Default) Low latency, Minimal pre ringing and low passband ripple wave
  • Linear Phase Apodizing Full Image rejection by FS/2 to avoid any aliasing, with smooth roll-off starting before 20k wave
  • Linear Phase Fast Roll-Off Most Common filter with clean suppression and high rejection, best for music with high transients. Provides crisp clean highs wave
  • Linear Phase Slow Roll-Off Low group delay and symmetrical inputs response. Less ringing then Linear phase fast roll off. Punchier bass than LPFR, with clean highs wave
  • Minimum Phase Fast Roll-Off Minimal Pre Ringing, preferred for Imaging and soundstage. No aliasing in frequency domain. Stronger bass than Linear Phase, clean highs wave
  • Minimum Phase Slow Roll-Off Non Symetrical filter designed to minimize pre ringing. Strong punchy bass with good transient attacks wave
  • Minimum Phase Slow Roll-Off Low Dispersion Provides a nice balance of the low latency of Minimum phase filters and the Low Dispersion of Linear Phase filters. Minimal pre-ringing is added to achieve the low dispersion in the audio band wave

Digital Audio Remaster Technology for Even More Vivid Original Sound

The KANN ULTRA is equipped with Digital Audio Remaster(DAR) technology, which was developed to deliver fine sound at higher sample rates.
DAR technology is developed to upsample the sample rate of the sound source being played to go beyond the limits of the source format.
The high sample rate allows more refined playback and offers delicate and analog-like original sound, helping you to enjoy the richness of the original sound,
subtle differences in the nuance of the music and full-bodied sounds at a higher level.

DAR option
Maximum Conversion Rate
  • PCM 44.1kHz range PCM will be converted to 352.8kHz for playback
    48kHz range PCM will be converted to 384kHz for playback
    No conversion will be made when playing DSD with this option selected
  • DSD PCM files lower than 96kHz will be converted to DSD128 for playback
    PCM files over 96kHz will be converted to DSD256 for playback
    DSD files below DSD256 will be converted to DSD256 for playback with this option selected

* The DAR function can be turned on and off and you may select it to suit the source sound and your own preferences.

* Max PCM rate 384kHz/DSD256 conversion play is supported, and the files will be converted to and played in the sample rates that fit the source sound.

Speaker effect when listening through headphones

In a headphone environment in which the left and right channels are clearly separated, ear fatigue may increase during prolonged listening. The moment you turn on Crossfeed, the experience of crisp, but comfortable sound begins.

Crossfeed mixes parts of the original signal from one channel and sends that signal to the opposite channel with a time difference to center the sound image.

Through the use of detailed settings such as Shelf Cutoff, Shelf Gain, and Mixer Level,
you can set the level of crossfeed according to your listening preferences.

Real-Time Information Confirmed by Light

The LED lights on the volume wheel visually represent the power of the KANN ULTRA and show the volume level or the Bit Depth of the currently playing song.

* LED can be turned on or off according to user setting.

  • 16bit
  • 24bit
  • 32bit
  • DSD

Supports Native DSD512, 32bit/768kHz

KANN ULTRA supports playback of Native DSD512 and up to 32bit/768kHz PCM audio with Astell&Kern’s excellent audio technology, allowing you to fully enjoy your favorite music.

Adoption of 5.5-inch Full HD Display

Experience the KANN ULTRA more vividly and comfortably with a wide 5.5-inch, large-screen Full HD display.

AK File Drop to enjoy wireless transfers

The new AK File Drop function in the KANN ULTRA makes file transfers easier and more convenient. Using AK File Drop, you can freely transfer files wirelessly through a PC, smartphone, or FTP program located on the same network. Music file management is now possible with a cableless, wireless solution.

ReplayGain Automatically and Uniformly Adjusts Playback Volume

Replay Gain automatically adjusts the loudness of each song to prevent large fluctuations of volume between different musical tracks. Now, you can enjoy your own playlists seamlessly, at a consistent volume using the Replay Gain feature on the KANN ULTRA.
* ReplayGain supports up to 24-bit/192 kHz sound sources.

ROON ARC App Supported

KANN ULTRA supports the Roon Arc App through Open Service. Roon ARC gives you remote access to your complete, personalized library of artists, albums, playlists, and tags – supported by rich, in-depth metadata that inspires you to discover more about the music you love.

Wireless Hi-Fi Sound Through BT Sink

BT Sink function connects the KANN ULTRA to an external device via Bluetooth, similar to connecting a smartphone with a BT speaker. Music from an external device, such as a smartphone can now be played back in high-quality on the KANN ULTRA using the BT Sink function.

  • mqa_logo

    MQA (Master Quality Authenticated) is an award-winning British technology that delivers the sound of the original master recording.
    The master MQA file is fully authenticated and is small enough to stream or download. Visit mqa.co.uk for more information.
    KANN Ultra includes MQA technology, which enables you to play back MQA audio files and streams,
    delivering the sound of the original master recording.

    The MQA logo is a trade mark of MQA Limited. © MQA Limited 2018

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  • qualcomm_logo

    Qualcomm aptX 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.
    aptX is a trademark of Qualcomm Technologies International, Ltd., registered in the United States and other countries.

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  • LHDC ready_logo

    LHDC is the next generation for the highest quality of wireless audio, with LHDC, there will be no more audio quality disparity between wireless and wired audio devices. LHDC audio technology is perfectly designed for Bluetooth wireless system and can provide both wireless convenient and wired audio quality. Works for all application from video, music and gaming.

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  • roon ready_logo

    Roon Ready network players from our partners have Roon’s high-resolution streaming technology built right in.
    They combine simple setup, daily reliability, and support for the highest level of digital audio performance in the industry.
    Every Roon Ready player is certified by Roon to guarantee the same stellar experience, regardless of its manufacturer, its price, or its features.
    * Roon Ready will be supported through firmware upgrades.

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  • ldac_logo

    LDAC and LDAC logo are trademarks of Sony Corporation.

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The design concept of KANN ULTRA is "Forceful Impact".
The design is an over-scaled volume wheel knob that has been slammed and embedded into the body of the KANN to visually represent its more powerful performance than its predecessor. With the KANN ULTRA, we continued the design identity of the KANN series, which emphasizes the hexagonal columnar body while still keeping it visible.

We minimized the visible parting lines and designed the wheel protectors so that the outer edge of the body where the volume wheel sits naturally acts as a protector and improves usability. These elements emphasize the bold mass of the KANN ULTRA, representing primal power through a solid chunk of metal.

We applied decorative parts that connect with the serrated pattern on the volume wheel knob to make the wheel visually larger and maintain a balance with the massive body, while expressing the powerful performance of the KANN ULTRA. Additionally, the hairline spin decoration applied to the rear of the wheel acts as a delicate detail element along with the lettering engraving, showing the volume wheel knob strongly embedded into the BODY.
Due to the increased size, we have redesigned the orientation of the volume wheel to accommodate usage in different environments, such as on the desk, or held in your hand.