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Customer Reviews

Astell&Kern KANN Alpha

High-resolution portable music player with Wi-Fi® and Bluetooth®

MFR # 3PPM437C-CMBLN1

Astell&Kern KANN Alpha

Astell&Kern KANN Alpha

High-resolution portable music player with Wi-Fi® and Bluetooth®

MFR # 3PPM437C-CMBLN1

9 reviews
View this product

Ticked $$$$

David Adam from Pit of despair on 5/28/2021

Verified customer (What's this?)
Verified employee purchase (What's this?)

I don't know.. It sounds awesome, I'm in love with the sound.. HOWEVER.... the features do not work... The Bluetooth connectivity is annoying. Seem fine if I put it down and do not move it at all. If I am trying to look through a playlist and wiggling my hand a bit it will skip like an old CD. What the heck is going on? I paid good money for this thing.. Wheel lock.. yeah, doesn't work.. Volume still adjusts with wheel lock on.. What the heck.. I paid good money for this. I was able to add Qobuz without issue.. Tried to add Spotify.. No luck.. It's the service they use to describe how to add a service and I am unable to get it added. What the heck.. I paid good money for this thing.. Oh, and the site they direct you to to get these added services is filled with adds and misleading info.. Everything says download and they are ads!!! What the heck? I paid good money for this thing... Honestly, pretty disappointed. I am not a BETA TESTER!! What the heck.. I paid good money for this thing. Should be a working product as described. If I am out of line, let me know..

Pros: Sounds incredible!

Cons: Features do not work $$$$.. Why wouldn't they? This thing only cost over a grand.

Crutchfield response on 6/7/2021
David Adam, we're sorry you're having issues with your music player. Whenever you encounter a problem with anything you purchase from Crutchfield, please contact our Tech Support team. They can help you solve the problem or set up a return within 60 days of purchase. Lifetime tech support comes with every Crutchfield purchase.

1 of 1 found this helpful

Close to perfect

Rolando from SAN JUAN, PR on 5/22/2021

Verified customer (What's this?)
Verified employee purchase (What's this?)

Like most things in life this player is not perfect, I use if primarily to listen to TIDAL using the Sony IER-Z1R and the KANN is able to provide a bit more soundstage, bass and refinement than the iPhone 12. Of course the KANN can drive bigger headphone such as the LCD-3 and yes I can connect the KANN to my computer and use it as AMP/DAC (Via a UBS C cable, this is how I normally use it). However the core issue I find with the KANN is its interface, when I compare it to the iPhone 12 smooth operating system, I find the KANN slow, clumsy and outdated. Yes is sounds better, I can now listen to the LCD-3 outside in the patio but it also cost me $1K and I am now not sure if I only had the Z1R if it would be worth it. In conclusion on the domain of sound (this was really for what I bought it) the KANN sounds is truly awesome (5 stars) however I find the operation system is ehh. Last I have the McIntosh MHA50 (2 stars) and the KANN is much better, hence the KANN could potentially be the best overall player of its class, I just wish it had a better operating system. (overall I am satisfied but not sure if it was worth it)

Pros: The deep impact on the bass

Cons: I find the operating system slow, clumsy and outdated

Crutchfield response on

1 of 1 found this helpful

A&K built-in Tidal app is flawed

Steve from Hawaii on 4/15/2021

Verified customer (What's this?)
Verified employee purchase (What's this?)

Bought this product for its ability to add and the built-in streaming services. When I'm spending this much for a music server I expect to charge, log in and play, we were not able to do either. There is a flaw in the Tidal built-in app that neither party (AK/Tidal) is owning up to. This product does not allow to add services and we tried for many, many hours as instructed (time in my life I cannot get back)

Pros: Crutchfield as always is solid shipping and customer service

Cons: Terrible troubleshoot documentation if any at all....

Crutchfield response on 4/27/2021
Steve, we're sorry you're disappointed with your music player. Whenever you are not completely satisfied with anything you purchase from Crutchfield, please contact our Customer Support team at 1-800-955-9091. Purchases from Crutchfield can be returned or exchanged within 60 days of the purchase.

0 of 0 found this helpful

Astell&Kern KANN Alpha

Crutchfield customer from Silverdale, WA on 3/18/2021

Verified customer (What's this?)
Verified employee purchase (What's this?)

The Alpha was easy to set up and operate. Just plug The USB into the computer and drag those files on over, no additional software required. The sound quality is obvious compared to other audio players. My old songs that were 14 to 18 kbps sounded amazing once played by Alpha. The only few set backs for me were: the size was much bigger the other portable audio players (got to fit all those beautiful processors in there), it takes a little while to initially start up once turned on, and every once and awhile you have to be precise with your index finger when selecting the files (for the touch screen). I will definitely refer this for enthusiasts of music listening.

Pros: Amazing sound quality. 64GB of storage with Micro SD that supports up til 1TB! (Yes please). Easy to set up and operate.

Cons: Bigger than normal portable players. Lengthy startup time and at sometimes a hit or miss when trying to select a song via touch screen.

Crutchfield response on

1 of 1 found this helpful

This and a Set of Headphones Will Always be Close to me

Crutchfield customer from Brentwood, TN on 3/10/2021

Verified customer (What's this?)
Verified employee purchase (What's this?)

For years my primary travel music player has been an Ipod Touch, most recently with an Audioquest Dragonfly Red. I had looked at portable DAC players but didn't commit to one because of size, interface issues and cost. I recently reviewed what players were now available and narrowed my choices to several different models, finally selecting this one. This player is a dream come true. Yes it is bulkier than my go to Ipod but there is no comparison. File compatibility is excellent for my choices of high resolution music and the multiple options for headphone connection let me pick from a number of combinations. My choice is a set of Meze Audio Rai Penta IEM with a balanced 4.4mm cable. The sound is gorgeous especially with high bitrate files. I topped the player off with a 1 TB SD card and don't know if I will ever come close to filling it. I already ripped and loaded 128 CD's to the card in addition to multiple terabytes of high bit-rate albums. The interface works just fine for me. Some reviewers complained it is a little slow but I haven't had any problem finding what I want quickly even with all the files I have loaded. I do want to download Spotify onto it but as most others have cautioned, it isn't intuitive. I know it will take some time to get it on and running. I skipped the A&K case and opted instead for a custom Italian leather case. It fits well and will keep the player safe from scratches with a little TLC. Very, very happy

Pros: Connection Options, file Compatibility, Storage Availability

Cons: A little thick for a pocket. More expensive investment to care for when out and about.

Crutchfield response on
Customer review photo

0 of 0 found this helpful

Astell&Kern KANN Alpha

Crutchfield customer from Northfield, VT on 2/5/2021

Verified customer (What's this?)
Verified employee purchase (What's this?)

The Astell&Kern KANN Alpha is a very fine device so far. The sound is clear and crisp, loud, and amazing when wired into my devices. It also feels very well built, based on heft and the metal material components. Having all of the jack options is also really nice. It accommodates my many various pieces of equipment I have collected over the years. What prevents my rating from being five stars are all superfluous to the sound and musicality. There is no App Store or easy built in way to download other music apps and podcasts. Podcast listening is a big piece of my audio enjoyment. I have found possible ways around this, online, but have not yet had the chance to try. Also, the Bluetooth sounds very good, but has a much shorter range than many other audio devices I have used. In 2021 I would expect to have greater range, not shorter. I also wish there was more than one memory card slot. In order to accommodate my high resolution audio files, I had to invest in a one (1) Terabyte Micro SD Card, which are very expensive still. Lastly, I know the dimensions are clearly explained in the product description, but, it is still much thicker than I was anticipating, and does not easily fit in all pockets. These may seem like a lot of criticisms, but this device is built to play high quality music, and it does it very well! I would also reiterate that it so far seems built to last.

Pros: ?Great sounding musicality ?Exceptional power for headphones ?Great versatility for accepting balanced and unbalanced audio jacks to accommodate a range of equipment ?Seems very well built

Cons: ?No App Store or built-in way to download music and Podcast apps ?Short range Bluetooth ?Only one Micro SD Card slot ?Very heavy and the shape and thickness does not fit easily in all pockets

Crutchfield response on

3 of 3 found this helpful

Solid Player - Many Features

Crutchfield customer from Tualatin, OR on 1/21/2021

Verified customer (What's this?)
Verified employee purchase (What's this?)

I've been pleasantly surprised by how much rich sound and a large sound stage can come from such a small device. Astell&Kern have packed many features into the Kann Alpha, including DLNA access, NAS Streaming, and the ability to stream from the Alpha to a Sonos or similar system. The Bluetooth 5.0 output is clean and stable. WiFi access on this device makes it possible to stream services like Spotify or Qobuz both to the Alpha, and through the Alpha to other local systems. The interface is easy to navigate, and the level control knob gives helpful haptic feedback. Battery life is exceptional, considering all the power this device puts out. The nearly limitless storage (through MicroUSB cards) means you can easily take a dizzying amount of music (even podcasts) wherever you go. I've owned many high-end music players over the years, but none of them where built as solidly at the Astell&Kern Kann Alpha.

Pros:

Cons:

Crutchfield response on

1 of 1 found this helpful

LINDON

Conrad from LINDON on 12/13/2020

Verified customer (What's this?)
Verified employee purchase (What's this?)

This is an extremely well made product, however the software is a little lacking. It is very basic, and even the playlist that it creates has to be periodically expunged or it gets so long that it crashes the system. It is a small thing, but a little annoying at times. The ESS DAC chips that it uses are very full and lively. I also own the SE200 and the SA700, both of which employ the AKM DAC chips, although the SE200 also uses the ESS chip as an option. I find that the SE200 sounds nice, but the ESS chips don't sound quite as good as they do in the ALPHA. The finishing touches to the ALPHA sound is definitely more punchy. The AKM chip gives a wider sound field on both devices that employ them. I love listening to Jazz and Classical on the SA700 or SE200, but the softer, rounder sound that makes Jazz and Classical sing, lacks the punch that I like with the ESS chips. I prefer the ALPHA when listening to Rock. The AKM chips are also more airy, the instruments are more clearly defined with the AKMs, but often it adds to the ambience and sometimes it just feels like the coloring of the ESS chips scratches the itch that I am missing while listening to Rock or Alternative music. A word of CAUTION! Do not judge any of these DACs until you have burned them in! All of them started out feeling lifeless and weak, but after 40-50 hours they began to really come alive. After about 100 hours they all sounded amazingly better than when they were brand new.

Pros: Awesome sound (after burn-in) Robust build. Tons of power Long battery life.

Cons: Software could use improvement.

Crutchfield response on

3 of 3 found this helpful

Pretty sweet DAP

Earik from Windsor on 11/3/2020

Verified customer (What's this?)
Verified employee purchase (What's this?)

I've had headphone amps before, but this is my first high-end DAP. Up until now, I've been using my old iPhone 6s (with the headphone jack) and thought it did a great job. The Kann is just crushes that, omg. It's acutally better than my old Audeze Deckard amp, as well as the $5k Mcintosh one I tested out. Right now I'm running these with a set of Focal Clears, and am pretty impressed.

Pros: great sound quality tons of power built like a tank 4.4mm balanced jack :-)

Cons: wifi connectivity could be better (it's ok, just not amazing) side-loading streaming apps can be frustrating

Crutchfield response on

2 of 2 found this helpful

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