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The Power House, KANN
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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
  • ES9068AS Dual DAC

    ES9068AS Dual DAC

  • Quad-Core CPU

    Quad-Core CPU

  • Native DSD 256

    Native DSD 256

  • 32bit 384kHz bit to bit play

    32bit 384kHz bit to bit play

  • Ultra-High Output, 12Vrms

    Ultra-High Output, 12Vrms

  • LED Indicator

    LED Indicator

  • Bluetooth 5.0

    Bluetooth 5.0

  • Hardware Full Decoder

    Hardware Full Decoder




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.

  • Output Level (HIGH) Unbalanced 6Vrms
    Balanced 12Vrms
    Unbalanced 6Vrms
    Balanced 12Vrms
    Unbalanced 4.1Vrms
    Balanced 8.1Vrms
  • Output Level (Mid) Unbalanced 4Vrms
    Balanced 8Vrms
    Unbalanced 4Vrms
    Balanced 8Vrms
    Unbalanced 2.1Vrms
    Balanced 2.1Vrms
  • Output Level (Low) Unbalanced 2Vrms
    Balanced 4Vrms
    Unbalanced 2Vrms
    Balanced 4Vrms
    Unbalanced 2.1Vrms
    Balanced 2.1Vrms
  • Playback Time 14 ½ Hours 9Hours 15Hours
  • Dimensions (WxHxD) 68.3 x 117 x 25(mm) 87.7 x 140 x 31.5(mm) 71.2 x 115.8 x 25.6(mm)

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

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 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.

KANN ALPHA L channel, R channel circuit design Other Manufacturer 2.5/4.4 Balanced Circuit Structure

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

The Highest Level Of Channel Separation(Crosstalk)

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 version comparison
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.

Impulse Response
  • 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
  • Minimum Phase Slow Roll-Off Non Symetrical filter designed to minimize pre ringing. Strong punchy bass with good transient attacks wave
  • Hybrid Fast Roll-Off Combination of Linear phase and Minimum phase. Fast transient attack, strong punchy bass, crisp highs. wave

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.

  • LED Lighting Off LED Lighting Off
  • 16bit 16bit
  • 24bit 24bit
  • 32bit 32bit
Unique Manufacturing Technology Taken to a New Level

Unique Manufacturing Technology Taken to a New Level

Astell&Kern 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 ALPHA 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.

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  • 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.
    Astell&Kern KANN ALPHA 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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  • ldac_logo

    LDAC and LDAC logo are trademarks of Sony Corporation.

    Discover more
  • 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.

    Discover more


The design of KANN ALPHA shows the beauty from the combination of delicate details and the substantial weight from its powerful performance. Asymmetric triangles that resemble the identity of Astell&Kern surrounds the volume wheel on the solid, sturdy, bold and column-like body of the player. Considering the hexagon as an extension of a triangle, we started with the top side of the player based on the hexagon. The altered shape of the top section was created by pressing the hexagon shape together.

The back side of the wheel protection surface of KANN ALPHA was lifted around the volume control to create a design like the fender of the car, which surrounds the car wheel. Just like the fender's ability to block the sand, stone and mud that pops up when driving a rugged and strong off-road vehicle, the fender on the player protects the volume wheel of the strong, powerful KANN ALPHA.
A gold PVD coating line was added to the ceramic surface around the 4.4mm balanced output. The gold coating minimizes contact noise from output and also adds a beautiful contrast to the all black finish.