Astell and Kern are no strangers to upgrades in their product lineup but today’s announcement of the new KANN player for $999 brings along a large set of features that were previously unavailable or reserved for more expensive models. According to the press release, AK surveyed the audio enthusiasts and included some of the most requested features for the new player. Among the needs and “absolutely must-haves”? More connections for dedicated line out and additional options for external storage.
This time around the AKKANN will have not only the standard mircoSD, but also a full size SD slot for even more storage (576GB total for those counting). The player can still be used as an external DAC like many of the other players in the Astell and Kern library, but the digital wired connection has now been switched over to the Apple-popular USB-C format. Other big bonuses include a larger battery (6,200mAh) and two gain settings on a new, more powerful headphone amplifier (7Vrms, 3x more than previous models). Internal impedance for the amplifier is a very respectable .65 ohms for the 3.5mm single ended jack and 1.3 ohms for the 2.5mm balanced headphone connection.
Helping all those little 1’s and 0’s along is a single AKM AK4490 DAC and VCX0 Femto Clock, also found in the many of the 3xx series of players. The KANN is capable, decoding native DSD rates up to 256 (11.2mHz) and native PCM up to 32/384kHz. Supported connectivity moves the versatility proposition even further forward with aptX HD, DNLA support, WiFi, digital optical and even high resolution music streaming services like Tidal.
The new player comes in two colors, Astro Silver and Eos Blue and is currently available for pre order with a free 256GB SD card as added incentive. Expect units to ship on May 1 of this year.
You can find even more details direct from AK in the video coverage embed below from CanJam SoCal 2017.