Astell&Kern KANN ALPHA Digital Audio Player

Astell&Kern

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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.

    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 that 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.

    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.

    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.

    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.
    Unique Manufacturing Technology Taken to a New Level
    Astell&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 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
  • General Specifications
    Model KANN ALPHA
    Body Colour
    Onyx Black
    Body Material
    Aluminum
    Display
    4.1inch HD 720 x 1280 Touch Display
    Supported Audio Formats
    WAV, FLAC, WMA, MP3, OGG, APE, AAC, ALAC, AIFF, DFF, DSF, MQA
    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)
    CPU
    Quad-Core
    Decoding
    Support up to 32bit / 384kHz Bit-to-Bit Playback
    CPU
    Octa-Core
    Decoding
    Support up to 32bit / 768kHz Bit-to-Bit Playback
    Input
    USB Type-C input (for charging PC & MAC)
    Outputs
    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)
    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)
    Feature Enhancements
    Firmware upgrades supported (OTA)
    Audio Performance
    Frequency Response ±0.021dB (Condition: 20Hz~20kHz) Unbalanced / ±0.024dB (Condition: 20Hz~20kHz) Balanced
    ±0.21dB (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+N
    0.0003% @ 1kHz, Unbalanced / 0.0005% @ 1kHz, Balanced
    IMD SMPTE
    0.0003% 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 Jitter
    250 Femto Seconds(VCXO)
    Battery
    Capacity
    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)
    Charge Time
    About 3.5 hours (9V/1.67A Fast Charging) / 5hours (5V/2A General Charging)
    Memory
    Built-in Memory
    64GB [NAND]
    External Memory
    microSD (Max. 1TB) x1
    OS
    Supported OS
    Windows 7,8,10 (32/64bit), MAC OS X 10.7 and up