Astell&Kern KANN ALPHA Urbanely Blue (featured)

Astell&Kern’s latest DAP KANN Alpha gains new color and Roon

Editor’s brief: If you like to tough it out with style and hifi audio, the Astell&Kern digital audio players (DAP) are definitely an option. The latest KANN Alpha gains a new color, Urbanely Blue, as well as Roon accreditation. A&K’s KANN Alpha is built like a tank, designed with finessed, fitted with a powerful built-in headphone amp, ready for your audio listening pleasure anywhere you go. Though the same KANN Alpha previously came in Onyx Black, the new Urbanely Blue is a great option if you are one of those who has this DAP in a deep black attache or handbag, and the insanely unique blue hue of this new KANN Alpha makes it easy to find it in a deep abyss of your case or bag anytime (no it doesn’t glow in the dark, but its hue is pretty unique). Read more below.

SINGAPORE – Astell&Kern, a global leader in portable high-resolution audio players, introduces a new colourway for KANN ALPHA, a high-resolution music player that offers the high power output of a headphone amplifier in a more portable design with longer battery life and Bluetooth 5.0.

The ALPHA player is the 3rd generation in the KANN series of digital audio players, which are equipped with a more powerful, built-in headphone amplifier that provides high power output – this in turn allows KANN players to drive any headphone without the need for a separate amplifier. Its first debut last year featured the sleek Onyx Black. Today, the KANN ALPHA arrives in a stunning Urbanely Blue edition, along with support for the multi-music platform, Roon.

Audio file support is extensive for high-resolution fans, with the KANN ALPHA capable of playing up to 32-bit/384Hz PCM and DSD256 files, and also supports MQA playback via downloaded MQA audio files and through the Tidal music app. The KANN ALPHA is also certified Roon Ready, with Roon’s streaming technology built in to provide the highest level of quality and performance in network streaming. Any KANN ALPHA owner with a Roon subscription can wireless stream all their high-resolution music, whether from Tidal, Qobuz services or digital music files stored on a hard-drive, computer or NAS drive, from this immersive music platform to the player.

KANN ALPHA’s interface runs on a customised version of Android 9.0 and supports Android APK, which allows users to install music streaming apps to the player using the Open APP service. Services supported include Amazon Music, Apple Music, Audible, BBC Radio, Bandcamp, Deezer, Qobuz, Spotify, SiriusXM, Tidal, TuneIn and more (supported streaming services varies by country).

Technical specifications

  • Body Colour: Onyx Black / Urbanely Blue
  • Body Material: Aluminium
  • Display: 4.1inch HD 720 x 1280 Touch Display
  • Supported Audio Formats: WAV, FLAC, WMA, MP3, OGG, APE, AAC, ALAC, AIFF, DFF, DSF, MQA
  • Sample rate: PCM : 8kHz ~ 384kHz (8/16/24/32bits per Sample) / DSD Native: DSD64(1bit 2.8MHz), Stereo / DSD128(1bit 5.6MHz), Stereo / DSD256(1bit 11.2MHz), Stereo
  • Output Level (Condition No Load): High: Unbalanced 6Vrms / Balanced 12Vrms ; Mid: Unbalanced 4Vrms / Balanced 8Vrms ; Low: Unbalanced 2Vrms / Balanced 4Vrms
  •  DAC: ESS ES9068AS x2 (Dual DAC)
  • CPU: Quad-Core
  • Decoding: Support up to 32bit / 384kHz 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: 68.3 mm [W] x 117 mm [H] x 25 mm [D]
  • Weight: about 316 g
  • Feature Enhancements: Firmware upgrades supported (OTA)
  • Frequency Response: ±0.021dB (Condition: 20Hz~20kHz) Unbalanced / ±0.024dB (Condition: 20Hz~20kHz) Balanced ;  ±0.021dB (Condition: 20Hz~70kHz) Unbalanced / ±0.155dB (Condition: 20Hz~70kHz) Balanced
  • Output Impedance: Unbalanced Out 3.5mm (0.8ohm) / Balanced out 2.5mm (2.0ohm), 4.4mm(1.8ohm)
  • Capacity: 5,600mAh 3.8V Li-Polymer Battery
  • 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)
  • Built-in Memory: 64GB [NAND]
  • External Memory: microSD (Max. 1TB) x1
  • Supported OS: Windows 7,8,10 (32/64bit), MAC OS X 10.7 and up

Pricing & Availability:

The Astell&Kern KANN ALPHA will be available in Singapore for S$1,699 (MSRP) immediately, and retails at AV One (, Connect IT, E1 Personal Audio,, Jaben, Sam Audio, Stereo Electronics, and