Astell&Kern KANN Alpha Music Player
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.
'Fundamentally, players such as the Astell & Kern Kann Alpha must deliver hi-res music in a portable design – and it delivers this in spades. It is a powerful and talented machine. Despite stumbling slightly over the integration of music streaming services, we cannot fault its sonic chops. The battery will outlast a road-trip, the power handling is glorious, and the stylish, rock-solid build is (just about) small enough to take with you on your travels – when we’re allowed to do that properly once more.'
WHAT HI-FI 2020
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.
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.
UNIQUE MANUFACTURING TECHNOLOGY TAKEN TO A NEW LEVEL
Astell&products are often compared with art sculptures in that they feature colourful 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 aluminium body where the KANN APLPHA uses precise metal manufacturing to create a luxurious and detailed design.
A precision mould 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 aluminium 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.