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Astell&Kern Kann

Portable high-resolution audio player (Eos Blue)

Item # 838KANNEB

I spent some time with Astell & Kern's new portable high-res player, the Kann.

I spent some time with Astell & Kern's new portable high-res player, the Kann.

Dolly
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Item # 838KANNEB

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About the Astell&Kern Kann

One powerful portable

I spent some time with Astell & Kern's new portable high-res player, the Kann. Its beveled edges felt great in my hand, and the player had a nice heft to it. Most important, though, was the way music sounded through it. On that score, the Kann delivered beautifully — especially with high-resolution tracks.
Astell & Kern Kann

One powerful portable

I spent some time with Astell & Kern's new portable high-res player, the Kann. Its beveled edges felt great in my hand, and the player had a nice heft to it. Most important, though, was the way music sounded through it. On that score, the Kann delivered beautifully — especially with high-resolution tracks.

Exceptional sound quality

The Kann features a high-performance DAC capable of decoding high-res PCM-based files up to 32-bit/384kHz. It'll also play any DSD files you send its way. You can play high-resolution downloads from sites like HDtracks or TIDAL on the Kann without any down conversion. The Kann even helps lossy MP3s sound their best.

Its high signal-to-noise ratio and low distortion let subtle details come through. High-fidelity, low-impedance output gives your headphones more power than most portable music players, for optimal performance. There's even a high-gain switch for use with demanding headphones.

Touchscreen and simple controls

The player's color touchscreen is simple to navigate. It displays artist and title info as well as album artwork. The Kann features a side-mounted analog volume control, allowing fine, nuanced adjustments.

Expandable memory

The Kann has a 64GB internal memory, which you can easily supplement. The player features an SD card slot for cards up to 512GB, plus a microSD card slot for cards up to 256GB. It's possible to hold up to 832GB of music files in your hand.

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Product highlights:

  • digital music player — plays MP3, FLAC, WAV, ALAC, AAC, AIFF, and WMA files
    • native playback for DSD files (up to DSD256, or 11.2MHz)
  • 32-bit/384kHz DAC for bit-perfect playback of high-resolution audio files
  • built-in headphone amp with normal/high-gain switch for driving even the most demanding headphones
  • USB input allows for use as an external digital-to-analog converter (DAC) with a computer
  • 64GB internal flash memory
  • SD card slot for cards up to 512GB
  • microSD card slot for cards up to 256GB
  • 4" color touchscreen
  • analog volume wheel provides fine level adjustments
  • 3.5mm unbalanced headphone/optical output for connection to headphones, receiver/amp, or an external DAC
  • 2.5mm balanced, 4-pole output for connection to compatible headphones
  • Bluetooth® with aptX HD audio coding for high-fidelity streaming to compatible headphones and speakers
  • built-in rechargeable battery provides up to 15 hours of playback
  • high-speed USB interface (cable included) for drag-and-drop file transfer and battery charging
  • USB output
  • extruded aluminum body
  • 2-13/16"W x 4-5/8"H x 1"D
  • weight: 0.61 lbs.
  • warranty: 1 year
  • Our 60-day money-back guarantee
  • MFR # 3PPM417CCMLAN1

What's in the box:

  • Portable digital music player
  • 39" USB-C to USB cable
  • 2 Protective films
  • microSD card slot cover
  • SD card slot cover
  • Quick Start Guide
  • Warranty Card

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Astell&Kern Kann reviews

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More details on the Astell&Kern Kann

Mark G.

Product Research

Features

High-Resolution Digital Music Player: Astell & Kern's experience with technology and portable devices makes it possible for the KANN to offer dynamic power and performance. KANN is the complete all-around portable high-resolution digital music player with powerful output and studio quality sound. In addition to a high-resolution digital music player, the Astell & Kern KANN can be used an external USB DAC.

AK4490 Single DAC: The Astell & Kern KANN is equipped with a AK4490 Single DAC (digital-to-analog converter) for 32-bit/382kHz PCM audio playback and native DSD playback up to 11.2mHz.

Femto Clock: The Astell & Kern KANN uses a voltage-controlled crystal oscillator (VCXO) high-precision clock with a reference jitter value of 200 femtoseconds. Femto clocks are typically used in high-end audio components. The clock is measured in femtosecond units (one quadrillionth of a second -- or 1/1000 trillion) which allows the device to create a more accurate frequency value and make fine jitter corrections. Typical clock jitter in the KANN is measured at 30 picoseconds (or 30/1-trillionth).

Built-in Memory + External Storage: The KANN has a built-in 64GB internal flash memory for downloading and storing you digital music files. You can also insert a microSD card (up to 256GB) and full-size SD card (up to 512GB) in the memory card slots on the bottom of the device for additional storage capacity (up to 768GB), for a total maximum storage capacity of 832GB. The memory cards should be formatted in FAT32.

Media File Transfer: You can download digital music files from your Windows PC or Mac computer to the Astell & Kern KANN through its USB-C USB port and the included USB-C to USB cable.

  • Supported Audio Formats: The KANN is capable of download and playback of high resolution digital music files up to 32-bit/382kHz; including FLAC, WAV, ALAC, and AIFF. It also supports playback of DSD music files up to 11.2mHz. In addition, the KANN will support highly compressed music files such as MP3, WMA, AAC, OGG, and APE.
  • Computer Requirements: The KANN is compatible with Windows 7, 8, or 10 (32-bit or 64-bit versions of each). It also support Mac OS X 10.7 and up. Mac users need to download and install the MTP program from the Astell&Kern website.

USB DAC: The USB DAC functionality allows the KANN to be recognized as a sound card on a computer. The KANN's micro-B USB port is connected to a free USB port on your Windows PC or Mac computer (cable not included); the music from your computer is then played through the KANN's earphones port for an enhanced listening experience. This USB DAC connection bypasses the inferior soundcard of your computer or laptop and uses the KANN as the USB DAC for better sound quality. It supports playback of PCM (8-384kHz; 8/16/24/32-bit) and DSD (2.8/5.6/11.2MHz) high resolution music files, providing much richer sound through superior ambience and resolution way beyond the limits of the embedded soundcard of your computer.

  • Computer Requirements: Compatible with Windows PC and Mac computer
    • Windows PC: XP (32/64-bit), 7 (32/64-bit), 8 (32/64-bit), and 10 (32/64-bit)
    • Mac OS: OS X 10.7 (Lion) or later
  • Supported Music Files:
    • PCM: sampling rate of 8-384kHz; bit depth of 8, 16, 24, or 32-bit
    • DSD: sampling rate of 2.8, 5.6, 11.2MHz; bit depth of 1-bit
Notes: When using the KANN as a USB DAC, its PEQ settings are not applied.

Balanced & Unbalanced Output: The Astell & Kern KANN is outfitted with a 2.5mm balanced headphone output (L+/L-/R+/R-) and a 3.5mm unbalanced headphone output (L+/R+/GND) for connection with a variety of headphones.

  • 2.5mm Balanced Jack: The KANN features a 2.5-mm/4-pole balanced output for connection with compatible balanced earphones & headphones. This type of connection requires that you connect your compatible headphones to both the unbalanced port (ground) and balanced audio port (L/R) of the KANN. Unlike the unbalanced type, the balanced output type is capable of removing noise (common mode noise) that can occur in "signal + inverting amplifier signal" and has the strength of increasing output due to its double transmitting signals.
  • 3.5mm Unbalanced Jack: The KANN also features a 3.5-mm/3-pole unbalanced output that offers compatibility with a variety of HiFi earphones and headphones.

Built-In WiFi: The KANN features built-in 2.4GHz WiFi (802.11 b/g/n) which allows you to connect to your home's WiFi network wirelessly with support for AK Connect & DLNA.

  • AK Connect: The KANN comes equipped with the AK Connect feature that can be connected with network-ready Astell & Kern devices and speakers (sold separately). It will wirelessly output its sound through Astell & Kern speakers (sold separately).
  • DLNA Compliant: It is also appointed with wireless networking DLNA (Ver. 1.0), which makes it easy to work with NAS/PC on the same network and through an AK Connect app on your Apple iOS 7.1+ or Android OS 3.0 device. The KANN can access and play back music files stored on a computer on the same wireless network.
Note: Firmware/software updates are done over the KANN's WiFi network connection.

Bluetooth Transmitter: The KANN has built-in Bluetooth 4.0 for connecting a Bluetooth speaker, headphone, or receiver so you can listen to your digital music files wirelessly. In addition to support for the standard Bluetooth SBC codec, the KANN offers support for aptX allowing CD quality (16-bit/44.1kHz) wireless audio playback for Bluetooth speakers, headphones, and receivers that also support aptX.

Note: DSD playback is not available via Bluetooth, and performance may be limited for high-res playback; 48 kHz or lower resolution is recommended). Car audio Bluetooth connections are not supported.

USB Audio Out: The KANN can be connected to the USB audio input of an AV receiver or integrated amplifier using an OTG cable (sold separately). The KANN can output PCM music files to your receiver or amp. It can also transfer DSD in native through DoP, or convert DSD into PCM for output to amplifiers that do not support DoP.

User Interface: The Astell & Kern KANN features a high-quality user interface to make it easy to find and select your music files, change the volume, and adjust the sound:

  • 4" LCD Touchscreen: The full-color 4" LCD touchscreen has a resolution of 480 x 800 pixels. The screen displays the title and artist of the currently playing song, along with elapsed and remaining time, with the album art in the background. You can make adjustments to the EQ, set the repeat and random modes, and add the song to a playlist, all using the touchscreen interface.
  • Rotary Wheel: The KANN has a side-mounted rotary wheel for volume control.
  • Hardware Control Buttons: There are five physical buttons on the player (four on the front-panel and one on the top). The top-panel button is for power. The four front-panel buttons include Home/Menu, Play/Pause, Skip Forward, and Skip Backward.

20-band Parametric EQ: The KANN features a parametric EQ and an audio DSP to allow you to make detailed adjustments in the original sound to suit your tastes. The DSP takes the existing 10-band graphic equalizer found in the KANN with ±0.5dB adjustments and upgrades it to a 20-band EQ with ±0.1dB adjustments, plus variable gain and Q values. You can set the EQ curve by simply "drawing" the curve on the touchscreen. The EQ frequency bands include: 30Hz, 45Hz, 60Hz, 90Hz, 120Hz, 180Hz, 250Hz, 380Hz, 500Hz, 750Hz, 1kHz, 1.5kHz, 2kHz, 3kHz, 4kHz, 6kHz, 8kHz, 12kHz, 14kHz, and 18kHz. You can adjust the gain from -5dB to +5dB in 0.1dB increments, and the Q from 0.1 to 4.0dB in 0.1dB increments. If you choose not to activate the Parametric EQ, you can use the Pro EQ presets recommended by professionals.

Gapless Playback: Gapless Playback allows you to play the next song without any interruptions or silence. Gapless playback is only supported between two audio files with identical bit rates, sample rates, and channels.

Power Requirements: The KANN is equipped with a rechargeable Lithium-Polymer battery (6200mAh/3.7V). The battery charges via USB in about 8 hours using a USB port on your computer or about 4 hours using a USB/AC power adapter (sold separately). A 39" USB-C to USB cable is included to connect the player to your charging device. A fully charged battery can provide up to approximately 15 hours of continuous playback time.

Note: The maximum 15-hour continuous play is based on 16-bit/44 kHz, FLAC file format, screen off, 50% of volume, and Normal playback.

Extruded Aluminum Construction: The design of the KANN stands apart from Astell&Kern's other product lines. During assembly, the parts are slid into the aluminum extruded body, and the unique, no-joint design delivers a durable yet sleek appearance. A protective film is included to protect the LCD touchscreen.

Optional CD Ripper (Sold Separately): The KANN can be expanded to a variety of devices through the micro-USB and balanced audio out ports located at the bottom of the player. It can be connected to Astell & Kern's CD-RIPPER to conveniently rip audio CD (all devices sold separately).

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Customer Q&A

Q
Crutchfield asked: Why did you buy this?
A
To hear hi res files and to replace my ipod touch which does not support hi res files [ Octavio  Oct 28, 2018 ]
A
one of two choices. trying the lower priced item first before moving to higher priced item. Heard good reviews about AK. [ Ian  Jul 18, 2018 ]
A
BECAUSE I HEAR IT HAS INCREDIBLE SOUND AND DETAIL AND ALL THE REVIEWS I READ ARE ALL POSITIVE [ JORDAN B  Jan 25, 2018 ]
A
sound quality [ David  Jun 20, 2017 ]
A
Reviews seem very positive with regards to this device. [ Colin  Jun 09, 2017 ]
A
Astell & Kern have always been rock solid devices. Their amps in their DAPS have way more power than in the Pioneer DAP I currently own. Like the blue color instead of boring black. I have 500gb of music so the fact that the KANN can handle 768gb is fantastic. Also thank you Crutchfield Rewards saved an additional $130. [ Keith  Aug 01, 2018 ]
A
The various reviews I read, and the 60 day return policy. [ A  Jun 01, 2018 ]
A
reviews [ ROBERT  Feb 13, 2018 ]
A
Hi-fidelity player with built-in amplifier. From all the research I did, this is clearly the best device on the market. [ DONALD  Oct 25, 2017 ]
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10 questions already asked

Q
Can i install Amazon Music HD app and download music files locally to the player?
[ MusicFan  Oct 22, 2019 ]
2 answers
A
Best answer would be to call austral kern directly. I spoke with them for hours when I first purchased my Kahn. You can get there number on line from there online store. They are out of Irvine California.
[ Ian  Nov 02, 2019 ]
A
Hi, thank you for your question. Unfortunately you will not be able to install Amazon Music HD and play files locally to the Astell&Kern Kann high-res device.
[ Jess  Oct 31, 2019 ]  Staff
Q
Will this play pandora?
[ Darin  Sep 10, 2019 ]
1 answer
A
It will not, this is a High resolution audio player. This will only playback the files that you load onto it.
[ Calvin  Sep 18, 2019 ]  Staff
Q
Will this play pandora?
[ Darin  Sep 10, 2019 ]
3 answers
A
It does not play Pandora.
[ Gregory  Sep 10, 2019 ]
A
It apparently only streams Tidal, Moov and Groovers. In order to play Pandora you would probably have to play it from your computer through the KANN (as a DAC?). I personally only play flac files that I have stored on the two SD cards. From the ads I believe the newer A&K devices stream Pandora.
[ A  Sep 10, 2019 ]
A
No
[ jsmith20601  Sep 10, 2019 ]
Q
how to uploading all drivers needed on Astell & Kern Model Kann?
[ R. Craig  Apr 22, 2019 ]
2 answers
A
To complete my earlier response, I play flac/mp3 using bluetooth to connect to wireless speakers and our car's sound system. I also plug my headphones directly into the device. I have never installed any drivers (that I can recall).
[ A  Apr 22, 2019 ]
A
Mine worked right out of the box (after charging the battery of course). I haven't loaded any drivers. I mainly play flac but also play mp3 and very occasionally wma music files.
[ A  Apr 22, 2019 ]
Q
Can I use the audible app with this device? I am in a spray booth for about 10 hrs a day and want to replace my iPhone with a quality audio player, but I donâ??t want to give up my hundreds of audiobooks.
[ Klae  Mar 03, 2019 ]
1 answer
A
If the audible files are DRM-free (i.e. they are not protected by any Digital Rights Management technology) and are in MP3 format, you should be able to listen to them.
[ Octavio  Mar 03, 2019 ]
Q
can i hook this up with the outputs to a stereo amplifier, eg a 3.5mm stereo plug to rca jacks? and if i do would the vo,lume on the kann still work or not? thanks
[ New User  Aug 21, 2018 ]
2 answers
A
I have the Kann Eos Blue, but I believe if we turn out the lights it is identical to the Astro Silver. I just plugged the necessary cables into my older Onkyo TX-8511 stereo receiver and connected the Kann. I had to plug the cable into the Kann headphone jack. From that point on the Kann volume control worked, as did the volume control on the tuner.
[ A  Aug 21, 2018 ]
A
If you use the 3.5 mm the volume should still work. If you use the unbalanced output volume remains constant and the Kann volume control is disabled.
[ Brian  Aug 21, 2018 ]
Q
Can I connect this via USB to USB in a 2017 OEM GM Bose system?
[ CRAIG I.  Jan 21, 2018 ]
1 answer
A
No. The stereo will not be able to communicate with the player's OS to access the stored content. Even if it could, the stock stereo is not likely to support the higher resolution music files (up to 32-bit/384kHz) you would hopefully have stored on the player's memory. If your stereo offers an auxiliary audio input, you can use the player's 3.5mm audio output for connection and playback through the stereo; you'll just have to control and display the content on the player. This will allow you to utilize the player's much higher quality digital to analog conversion as well. For additional assistance and personalized recommendations, feel free to contact us directly by phone or through our online chat service: https://www.crutchfield.com/support/ContactUs.aspx
[ Ryan  Jan 26, 2018 ]  Staff
Q
Can i use it in my car without having to use blue tooth? And what kind of connection would i need? I
[ Mario  Nov 11, 2017 ]
4 answers
A
I was unable to get the Kann to connect via cable - I attribute this to the car's electronics not the Kann. I connect the Kann via bluetooth AND I connect my cell phone via bluetooth. They both seem to work (it does seem counter-intuitive). At some point I need to return to the question of a wired connection via aux.
[ A  Apr 22, 2019 ]
A
You can use it without blue tooth. You can connect it by the 3.5 mm output or the 2.5 unbalanced output . I use either of these in my vehicle when using my Kann.This allows me to keep my Bluetooth free for my phone.
[ Brian  Nov 11, 2017 ]
A
Yes, you just need a male-to-male headphone connection that you'll plug into your music system's Aux port.
[ DONALD  Nov 11, 2017 ]
A
Yes. I run the 2 volt unbalanced into the aux in on my car.
[ W  Nov 11, 2017 ]
Q
Does the Kann have a manufacturers warranty? If so how long? Is AK good about supporting its product? Do they honor their warranty if any and return policy? Can you buy an extended warranty policy? Has the Kann experienced any issues?
[ Bruce  Jan 21, 2019 ]
4 answers
A
The KANN has a one year warranty in the U.S. I had one question regarding my product (on connecting to a streaming service) that was answered by customer support quickly via e-mail. I don't know whether you can buy an extended warranty. Mine has been trouble free and I am happy with the purchase -- I have downloaded hundreds of CDs onto the device (you'll need an SD card to expand memory) and the sound quality is astonishing. If you have an Apple computer, you'll need to install the Android file transfer program to do that (and of course you'll also have to buy an AK CD ripper). I stream from a high def source as well (Tidal) and that too provides amazing sound. Get a good pair of headphones to really enjoy the experience.
[ William  Jan 22, 2019 ]
A
It does have a manufacturer's warranty.I believe it is one year and there is no extended warranty that I know of. Support takes a while to answer their emails and when they do you don't always get the appropriate answer. Like I said in a previous post. The only thing the Kann does is play music and it does that very well. The OS is quite limited in what it can do. For example, you can't import playlists from other applications. You have to create them in the system which is very inconvenient and time-consuming. This is especially so for mutiple-disc albums. Also, the battery life is much shorter than the one claimed by the manufacturer especially when listening at or about a 100. That being said, I only listen to it for a half an hour at time. The housing can get quite hot when listening to the player for extended periods. I hope this helps.
[ Octavio  Jan 22, 2019 ]
A
I have not had a problem with the unit I purchased I believe Khan has a year manufacturer's warranty back by Crutchfield. I have not seen any indication that they do not honor their warranty were any one saying they had any problems returning. I can tell you Crutchfield supports their products I have had others that I bought too many of or we're not correct and they return them with no issues I don't know if you can buy an extended warranty policy. In terms of the unit Khan it is exceptional. A very expensive unit and worth every penny as long as you load the right music 24-bit or more and have a system to play that on that supports 24 and you are absolutely love it guarantee I couldn't rate it high enough
[ JAMES  Jan 22, 2019 ]
A
My best answer to this would be to call austral kern. There number is on there web site. I spoke to a rep named Andrew who was extra extremely generous with his time. Probably spoke with him every Monday for 4 to 5 weeks to determine which product to buy (kann) and why and to get it set up. We did talk about warrentees and service by to be honest I can't rememember. I did purchase the extra warrentee through Crutchfield. I have talk with Andrew a couple of other times because I purchase a unit not kann for my wife. Through Crutchfield as well. Best to here it from Australia kern directly. Andrew is/was in Southern California Hope that helps
[ Ian  Jan 22, 2019 ]
Q
Up until now I have used iTunes lossless and a iPod classic for my music library on the go. Will I be able to transfer my playlists and purchased songs from iTunes to the Kann from my iMac computer?
[ EDWIN  Apr 19, 2018 ]
2 answers
A
Yes you can, although not quite as slickly as an Ipod. you will need to download the Android file transfer app, which you can find in the online manual for the Kann. The only way it seems to sort is by album or song name, so it will not transfer a "playlist" as you may have it in your Itunes. Hope that helps. All in all I relly like the Kann, the sound quality blows away an Ipod.
[ Gordon Scott  Apr 20, 2018 ]
A
I'm very happy with the Kann, but I use it exclusively to play DSD files in my car. I have my dsd files on a separate hard drive that is connected to my music server at home, so I simply copy the albums/tracks that I want over to the Kann or to the micro memory card. I have not tried to copy anything from iTunes. In my experience getting anything out of Itunes is cumpbersome, but there are probably workarounds that can be found with a google search
[ Roar  Apr 19, 2018 ]
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