About the Astell&Kern KANN MAX
A portable player with audiophile performance
A portable player with audiophile performance
The Astell& KANN MAX portable music player gives you exceptional sound from a variety of high-resolution digital music sources. It has balanced and unbalanced headphone outputs and a built-in amp that can generate a whopping 15Vrms of power. That's the highest rating we've seen yet in a compact digital audio player, and it's plenty of power to drive even the most demanding high-performance headphones. And the KANN MAX has both Bluetooth and Wi-Fi built-in to expand your listening options.
Made for high-resolution music
The KANN MAX plays your downloaded high-res FLAC, WAV, and Direct Stream Digital (DSD) files in their native resolution. Quad high-quality digital-to-analog converters (DACs) give you bit-perfect playback for PCM-based files up to 32-bit/768kHz.
The player is compatible with MQA, a high-resolution audio format used in TIDAL's "Masters" streaming music service tier other music download sites. And don't worry — the KANN MAX delivers finely-detailed sound with your CD-quality and compressed music files, too.
Optimal sound from wireless headphones
The player has Bluetooth 5.0 built-in, which offers better sound and increased range when listening on your wireless headphones or a Bluetooth speaker. It also supports high-quality LDAC and aptX® HD codecs for high-resolution wireless music streaming to compatible products.
Optimal sound from wired headphones
The KANN MAX has a standard 3.5mm stereo headphone jack. And it has two balanced headphone outputs for compatible higher-end headphones — a 2.5mm 4-pole output, and a 4.4mm 5-pole output. These jacks have gold PVD coatings to minimize contact noise.
Built-in and expandable memory
The KANN MAX features a 64GB internal memory. The microSD slot can support cards up to 1TB. The player connects to your computer via an included USB-C cable for speedy file transfers.
More premium features
The player has a 4.1" touchscreen, giving you a clear, high-def view of music selections and menus. A knurled volume control knob lets you make fine adjustments.
- plays a wide range of digital music formats, including MP3, FLAC, WAV, ALAC, DSD, and MQA
- bit-for-bit playback of high-resolution audio files up to 32-bit/768kHz
- native DSD512 support (up to 22.5 MHz)
- 64GB internal flash memory
- microSD slot for cards up to 1TB
- built-in rechargeable battery lasts up to 13 hours
- high-output built-in headphone amplifier
Display and controls:
- 4.1" high-definition touchscreen display
- analog knob on the side controls volume and power
- color-coded LED indicator ring displays information about audio resolution and volume
Processing and wireless features:
- quad ESS ES9038Q2M digital-to-analog converters for bit-perfect playback of high-resolution audio files
- built-in 2.4GHz Wi-Fi (802.11 b/g/n)
- Bluetooth 5.0 transmission for playing through wireless headphones and speakers
- supports aptX HD and LDAC formats for high-fidelity streaming
Connections and specs:
- high-speed USB Type-C port (cable included)
- 3.5mm unbalanced headphone output
- 2.5mm balanced output (4-pole)
- 4.4mm balanced output (5-pole)
- output impedance: 1 ohm (3.5mm unbalanced); 1.6 ohms (2.5mm/4.4mm balanced)
- total harmonic distortion @1kHz: 0.0003% (3.5mm unbalanced); 0.0004% (2.5mm/4.4mm balanced)
- signal-to-noise ratio @1kHz: 114 dB (3.5mm unbalanced); 115 dB (2.5mm/4.4mm balanced)
- crosstalk @1kHz: -124dB (3.5mm unbalanced); -135dB (2.5mm/4.4mm balanced)
- output levels:
- super: 15Vrms (balanced); 8Vrms (unbalanced)
- high: 12Vrms (balanced); 6Vrms (unbalanced)
- mid: 8Vrms (balanced); 4Vrms (unbalanced)
- low: 4Vrms (balanced); 2Vrms (unbalanced)
- aluminum casing
- 2-3/4"W x 4-5/8"H x 15/16"D
- weight: 10.85 oz.
- warranty: 1 year
- MFR # 3PPM447ACMGN0
What's in the box:
- Digital audio player (Brown Mud)
- 39" USB 3.0 cable (Type A USB on one end and USB-C on other end)
- Micro SD card cover
- Protective film (4 pieces - 2 front / 2 rear)
- Quick Start Guide
- Warranty Card
Customer reviews for Astell&Kern KANN MAX
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More details on the Astell&Kern KANN MAX
Overview: Astell & Kern's KANN MAX (PPM44) is the fourth product in the KANN series of digital audio players, following KANN, KANN CUBE, and KANN ALPHA. KANN MAX goes beyond its predecessors by offering four levels of gain and a "Super" output of 15Vrms (balanced), to expand the number of headphones it can drive optimally. The device features Quad DACs with playback of PCM up to 768kHz, Native DSD to DSD512, and MQA files. The KANN MAX has an Anthracite Grey aluminum body with a 4.1" touch display (720 x 1280) for control, menu access, and album art. You can connect wirelessly via Bluetooth or Wi-Fi for streaming, or load your music files onto the built-in 64 GB memory or an optional microSD card for playback anywhere. The device charges with the included USB-C charging cable.
Quad Digital-to-Analog Converters: The KANN MAX uses four ES9038Q2M DACs (digital-to-analog converters). With Quad DACs, one DAC can be fully allocated to one channel for optimum depth and realism. There are separate DACs for the left and right channels of the balanced outputs, and separate DACs for the left and right channels of the unbalanced output. The DACs are combined with Astell&Kern's amplifier circuit technology to make the DACs stronger and able to perfectly decode the files and deliver the original sound without distortion.
Supported Audio Formats: The KANN MAX is capable of download and playback of high resolution digital music files, including PCM, DSD, FLAC, WAV, ALAC, AIFF, DFF, and DSF. The device includes MQA (Master Quality Authenticated) technology, allowing you to play back and stream MQA audio files which have the sound of the original master recording. This includes services like Tidal Masters, as well as Local Files, External USB, and MQA-CD (ripped). In addition, the KANN MAX will support highly compressed music files such as MP3, WMA, AAC, OGG, and APE. The given sampling rates are as follows:
- PCM: 8kHz ~ 768kHz (8/16/24/32 bits per sample)
- DSD Native:
- DSD64: 1-bit 2.8MHz
- DSD128: 1-bit 5.6MHz
- DSD256: 1-bit 11.2MHz
- DSD512: 1-bit 22.4MHz
Balanced / Unbalanced Outputs: The KANN MAX is equipped with 2.5mm and 4.4mm balanced outputs, and a standard 3.5mm unbalanced headphone output. The 2.5mm and 4.4 mm balanced outputs are physically separated with micro relays to prevent noise. The 3.5mm unbalanced output also doubles as a S/PIDF optical mini jack.
LED Indicator: The device has an LED behind the rotary volume dial that glows in different colors and intensity to indicate the bit-rate and volume level of the currently-playing track. The LED glows red to indicate 16-bit playback, green for 24-bit, and blue for a 32-bit rate. If playing DSD tracks, the LED glows purple. You can turn the LED indicator on or off in the Menu settings, as desired.
Power Output Options: The KANN MAX's newly designed OP Amp and Volume IC delivers a natural sounding audio signal with little or no distortion. Four different power output options (Super, High, Mid, Low) are available, so you can drive virtually any headphone or in-ear monitor:
|Output Selection*||Balanced |
|Super||15Vrms||8 Vrms||15 Vrms|
|High||12 Vrms||6 Vrms||12 Vrms|
|Mid||8 Vrms||4 Vrms||8 Vrms|
|Low||4 Vrms||2 Vrms||4 Vrms|
* Condition: No load
Built-in Memory + External Storage: The KANN MAX has a built-in 64 GB internal flash memory for storing your downloaded digital music files. You can also insert a microSD card (up to 1 TB) in the memory card slot on the side of the device for additional storage capacity, for a total maximum storage capacity of 1088 GB. The memory card should be formatted in FAT32. No microSD cards are included with the product. To protect the slot from debris, a Micro SD Slot Cover is included.
Media File Transfer: You can download digital music files from your Windows PC or Mac computer to the Astell & Kern KANN MAX through its USB-C USB port and the included USB-C-to-USB-A cable. The device 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.
Note: For best results, you should make sure your device's firmware is up-to-date before transferring music files.
AK File Drop: AK File Drop is a new wireless function designed to make file transfers easier and more convenient. Music files can be freely transferred wirelessly through a PC, smartphone, or FTP program located on the same network.
USB DAC: The USB DAC functionality allows the KANN MAX to be recognized as a sound card on a computer. When the device's USB-C port is connected to a free USB port on your Windows PC or Mac computer, the music from your computer can be played through the KANN MAX's headphone outputs for an enhanced listening experience. This USB DAC connection bypasses the inferior soundcard of your computer or laptop, providing much higher sound quality. A dedicated driver, available on the A&K website, should be installed to use the KANN MAX as a USB DAC.
Built-In Wi-Fi: The KANN MAX features built-in 2.4GHz Wi-Fi (802.11 b/g/n) which allows you to connect to your home's Wi-Fi network wirelessly with support for AK Connect. AK Connect lets you connect with other network-ready Astell & Kern devices and speakers (sold separately). It requires the AK Connect 2.0 app, which is compatible with Apple iOS 9.0 or later, and Android OS 5.0 and up.
Bluetooth: The KANN MAX has built-in Bluetooth 5.0 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 and AAC, the KANN MAX offers support for Sony's LDAC and Qualcomm's aptX HD codecs. Also supported are A2DP and AVRCP profiles. A comparison of the Bluetooth bit-rates is as follows:
- LDAC (Quality): 990 kbps
- LDAC (Normal): 660 kbps
- LDAC (Connection): 330 kbps
- SBC (Max): 328 kbps
- SBC (Mid): 229 kbps
Bluetooth Sink Mode: Music being played on an external device can be played on the KANN MAX via a Bluetooth connection. When Bluetooth Sink Mode is enabled, you can listen to music files from the external device through headphones connected to the KANN MAX.
20-band EQ: The KANN MAX features a 20-band EQ to allow you to make detailed adjustments in the original sound to suit your tastes. 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 custom EQ, you can use the 20 EQ presets.
On-board Controls: The KANN MAX has a side-mounted rotary wheel for volume control with values from 0 to 80. There are also five physical buttons on the top, front, and side of the player: Power (top), Home (front), Play/pause (side), Previous/rewind (side), and Next/fast forward (side).
Replay Gain: Music files recorded at different resolutions can be played back at different volumes. The Replay Gain feature, when enabled, automatically evens out the volume differences between sound sources for uniform playback. Replay Gain supports sound sources up to 24-bit/192kHz.
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 MAX is equipped with a rechargeable Lithium-Polymer battery (5600mAh / 3.8V). Using a commercially-available 9-volt, 1.67A output adapter, the device can fast charge in approximately 3.5 hours. Normal charging (5V 2A) takes place in approximately 5.5 hours. A 1-meter USB-C to USB cable is included to connect the player to your charging device. A fully charged battery can provide up to approximately 13 hours of continuous playback time.
- Frequency Response:
- ±0.023dB (20Hz-20kHz) Unbalanced
- ±0.026dB (20Hz-20kHz) Balanced
- ±0.035dB (20Hz-70kHz) Unbalanced
- ±0.072dB (20Hz-70kHz) Balanced
- Signal-to-Noise Ratio:
- 114dB @ 1kHz (Unbalanced)
- 115dB @ 1kHz (Balanced)
- - 124dB @ 1kHz (Unbalanced)
- - 135dB @ 1kHz (Balanced)
- 0.0003% @ 1kHz (Unbalanced)
- 0.0004% @ 1kHz (Balanced)
- Output Impedance:
- 3.5mm (unbalanced): 1.0 ohm
- 2.5mm (balanced): 1.6 ohms
- 4.4mm (balanced): 1.6 ohms
- Dimensions: Width 2.732", Height 4.627", Depth 0.943"
- Weight: 10.85 ounces