Astell & Kern has announced the arrival of KANN ALPHA, the latest addition to the range of portable high-resolution audio players. The new model is the third iteration of the KANN range after the original KANN arrived in Italy three years ago and the more recent KANN CUBE. The product comes with an aluminum body and an Onyx Black finish. The volume wheel is combined with a ring with LED that lights up in various colors to signal information such as the volume level and the bit-rate of the track being played. This feature was taken over from the A & future SE200 model presented this summer.
KANN ALPHA measures 68.3 (W) x 117 (H) x 25 (D) millimeters and weighs approximately 316 grams. On the front there is a 4.1 "LCD touchscreen display with HD resolution (720 x 1280 pixels). Inside we find a double DAC (digital-analog converter) ESS ES9068AS, capable of supporting sampling rates up to 384 kHz / 32-bit. KANN ALPHA can also play high resolution files and supports WAV, FLAC, WMA, MP3, OGG, APE, AAC, ALAC, AIFF, DFF, DSF, MQA, PCM and DSD (native) formats up to at 11.2 MHz (DSD256).
Wireless connectivity includes Wi-Fi 802.11 b / g / n at 2.4 GHz and Bluetooth 5.0 with A2DP, AVRCP, aptX HD and LDAC. The USB Type-C 3.0 port allows you to connect PC and Mac to perform the functions of an external DAC. The 5,600 mAh battery guarantees up to 14.5 hours of operation (Standard: FLAC, 16-bit, 44.1 kHz, Vol. 80, LCD Off, Low Gain). Fast charging takes 3.5 hours while standard charging takes 5 hours.
All operations are handled by an unspecified quad-core processor. The operating system is a customized version of Android 9.0 compatible with Open APP service. You can therefore install the necessary applications (via APK) to access the main streaming services. Apple Music, Amazon Music, Spotify, Tidal, SoundCloud, Qobuz, SiriusXM, Tune-In, myTuner, Bandcamp and Deezer are supported.
Available connections include a combined unbalanced analog and optical output on 3.5mm jack, one balanced output on 2.5mm 4-pole connector and a second balanced output on 4.4mm 5-pole connector. KANN ALPHA integrates 64 GB of NAND memory expandable via microSD (up to 1 TB).
Availability is scheduled for October at a price of $ 1,099. The Audiogamma distributor will shortly announce the Italian price list.
Apple's smallest TOP of the range? Apple iPhone SE, on offer today by Mobzilla at 405 euros or by Media World at 469 euros.