Astell&Kern KANN ALPHA Urbanely Blue (featured)
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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, the industry standard in portable high-resolution audio players, has released a new color option for the KANN ALPHA, a high-resolution music player that incorporates the high power output of a headphone amplifier into a more compact form factor, all while boasting Bluetooth 5.0 and increased battery life.

The KANN ALPHA player is the third generation in the line of digital audio players; all KANN players feature a built-in headphone amplifier with high power output, allowing them to drive any headphone without an external amplifier. In its original release from the previous year, the sophisticated Onyx Black was featured. The KANN ALPHA now comes in an eye-catching Urbanely Blue edition and is compatible with the Roon music streaming service.

In addition to playing up to 32-bit/384Hz PCM and DSD256 files, the KANN ALPHA also supports MQA playback via locally stored MQA audio files and the Tidal music app. The KANN ALPHA has Roon’s streaming technology pre-installed, guaranteeing the best possible network streaming quality and performance. Using a Roon subscription, KANN ALPHA owners can wirelessly stream their entire collection of high-resolution music from the Roon music platform to the player. This includes music from Tidal, Qobuz, and digital music files stored on a hard-drive, computer, or NAS drive.

Because the KANN ALPHA interface is based on a modified version of Android 9.0 and supports the Android APK file format, users can add music streaming apps via the Open APP service. Amazon Music, Apple Music, Audible, BBC Radio, Bandcamp, Deezer, Qobuz, Spotify, SiriusXM, Tidal, TuneIn, and more are all supported services (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