It seems that for a while, the rapid-fire launches from the HiFi portable maker Astell & Kern had slowed. But all that empty space filled with silence was finally broken this week with the announcement of a new, larger KANN player entering its second generation of production.
The gain is bigger overall (for a wider variety of headphones), and delivered through three switchable stages. The chipset is also the newest breed of ESS Sabre entries, the ES9038PRO. In a dual mono configuration, this brainpower is assisted by 128GB of internal memory and a 7,400mA battery – claiming a 9 hour runtime for high fidelity listening. The KANN CUBE stays in line with the rest of AK’s high end players with the use Android APK for additional streaming support for a variety of music services.
Personally, I don’t have an issue with a larger size if the extra real estate is utilized for a good cause. A battery of larger size and any good use of isolation from interference all qualify as solid reasons for audiophile use. If you want listen for convenience, any given cellphone provides a great option. If you want to push boundaries while moving, Astell & Kern have a wide line of products for you to peruse.
More specs and details available in the presser below.
Astell&Kern Launches 2nd Generation KANN High Resolution Audio Player – KANN CUBE
New features include:
· Dual ESS Sabre ES9038PRO DACs
· Greater Power Output
· 5-pin Mini XLR
· Quad-Core CPU, More Internal Memory and Larger Battery
· Updated UI, Support for MQA and Open App Service
Tokyo, Japan – Astell&Kern, a global leader in portable high-resolution audio players, launches the KANN CUBE, the second model in the KANN performance line, today at the 2019 Tokyo Fujiya Avic Spring Headphone Festival held in Tokyo, Japan.
The KANN series of portable high-resolution audio players is equipped with a more powerful, built-in headphone amplifier, which provides high power output that allows KANN players to drive any headphone without the need for a separate amplifier. Users can select between low, mid and high gain modes to provide the precise power required to drive your particular headphones. Power output on KANN CUBE is almost twice the output via balanced connection than the previous generation KANN (12Vrms vs. 7Vrms).
Although KANN CUBE has a much higher power output than previous Astell&Kern models, the player features a new amplifier design that produces a low noise floor, delivering the best sound close to the original studio sound, without distortion. KANN CUBE features two (2) 8-channel ESS Sabre ES9038PRO DACs in a dual-mono configuration, providing a wider soundstage and better stereo separation. The ES9038PRO, which is used in high end studio and home pro audio equipment, delivers the ultimate in spaciousness and massive sound scale.
For connection to 2-channel home systems, KANN CUBE features a 5-pin Mini XLR connector. With the latest quad-core processor, the user playback experience is fluid throughout navigating menu options and playing back your favorite music tracks. KANN CUBE features 128GB internal memory and a microSD card slot for additional storage. With a 7,400mA battery, KANN CUBE can play back music for about 9 hours on a single charge. With USB-C and fast charge support, users can fully charge KANN CUBE in half the time as standard chargers. KANN CUBE supports up to 32-bit/384 kHz PCM and DSD256 playback natively and features a 5-inch high definition screen.
KANN CUBE supports MQA (subject to final testing and certification), and with a full decoder built in, can unfold all the way to the original resolution of the file. MQA playback is supported both via downloaded MQA audio files and through the Tidal app, allowing users to stream high resolution audio via Tidal Masters.
Astell&Kern’s latest user interface and support for Open App service is included in KANN CUBE, which adds Android APK support, allowing users to install additional music streaming services to their player by simply copying and installing the corresponding APK file for the music service they wish to add. Services supported include Amazon Music, Spotify, Tidal, SoundCloud, Qobuz, SiriusXM, Tune-In, myTuner, Bandcamp and Deezer (supported streaming services varies by country). Offline content for supported apps can be stored in either internal or external player memory so you can listen to your favorite music streaming service tracks on the go.
KANN CUBE features a high-strength aluminum body, with a rectangular surface. This design provides an intuitive interface and added aesthetic stability. KANN CUBE will be released at the end of May 2019 for $1,499 and will be available in Astell&Kern dealers worldwide in June 2019.