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
Native DSD 256
32bit 384kHz bit to bit play
Ultra-High Output, 12Vrms
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)
Balanced 12Vrms Unbalanced 6Vrms
Balanced 12Vrms Unbalanced 4.1Vrms
Output Level (Mid)
Balanced 8Vrms Unbalanced 4Vrms
Balanced 8Vrms Unbalanced 2.1Vrms
Output Level (Low)
Balanced 4Vrms Unbalanced 2Vrms
Balanced 4Vrms Unbalanced 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.
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
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.
- 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.
- Linear Phase Fast Roll-Off Most Common filter with clean suppression and high rejection, best for music with high transients. Provides crisp clean highs
- Minimum Phase Slow Roll-Off Non Symetrical filter designed to minimize pre ringing. Strong punchy bass with good transient attacks
- Hybrid Fast Roll-Off Combination of Linear phase and Minimum phase. Fast transient attack, strong punchy bass, crisp highs.
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
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.
MQA (Master Quality Authenticated) is an award-winning British technology that delivers the sound of the original master recording.Discover more
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
Qualcomm aptX is a product of Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. and/or its subsidiaries.Discover more
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.
LDAC and LDAC logo are trademarks of Sony Corporation.Discover more
Roon Ready network players from our partners have Roon’s high-resolution streaming technology built right in.Discover more
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.
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.
Onyx Black / Urbanely Blue
4.1inch HD 720 x 1280 Touch Display
Supported Audio Formats
WAV, FLAC, WMA, MP3, OGG, APE, AAC, ALAC, AIFF, DFF, DSF, MQA
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
High: Unbalanced 6Vrms / Balanced 12Vrms (Condition No Load)
Mid: Unbalanced 4Vrms / Balanced 8Vrms (Condition No Load)
Low: Unbalanced 2Vrms / Balanced 4Vrms (Condition No Load)
ESS ES9068AS x2 (Dual DAC)
Support up to 32bit / 384kHz Bit-to-Bit Playback
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)
802.11 b/g/n (2.4GHz)
V5.0 (A2DP, AVRCP, Qualcomm® aptX™ HD, LDAC)
2.68 ”(68.3 mm) [W] x 4.60 ”(117 mm) [H] x 0.98 ”(25 mm) [D]
about 11.14 oz (about 316 g)
Firmware upgrades supported (OTA)
±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
-128dB @ 1kHz, Unbalanced / -136dB @ 1kHz, Balanced
0.0003% @ 1kHz, Unbalanced / 0.0005% @ 1kHz, Balanced
0.0003% 800Hz 10kHz(4:1) Unbalanced / 0.0003% 800Hz 10kHz(4:1) Balanced
Unbalanced Out 3.5mm (0.8ohm) / Balanced out 2.5mm (2.0ohm), 4.4mm(1.8ohm)
- Frequency Response
Reference Clock Jitter
250 Femto Seconds(VCXO)
- Clock Jitter
5,600mAh 3.8V Li-Polymer Battery
Continuous Playback Time
About 14.5 hours (Standard : FLAC, 16bit, 44.1kHz, Vol.80, LCD Off, Low Gain)
About 3.5 hours (9V/1.67A Fast Charging) / 5hours (5V/2A General Charging)
microSD (Max. 1TB) x1
- Built-in Memory
Windows 7,8,10 (32/64bit), MAC OS X 10.7 and up
- Supported OS
- Audio was NOT muted during the measurement.
- The image/specification may be changed without notice to improve product performance and quality.