Astell & Kern is no stranger when it comes to producing high-resolution music players that make your jaw hit the floor, not only because of their capabilities and looks, but because of their price. The Kann therefore should produce a more surprised looked on many faces. That's because the new player from A&K comes with a completely new design, separating itself from the AK-series players, but a spec list that puts that entire series to shame.
A&K's new player can support up to 32-bit/384kHz high-resolution audio files, should you have any, and DSD files up to DSD256. High-resolution files use up a lot of storage space, so it's pretty handy that the Kann has 64GB of storage built-in, but has a full-size SD card slot, alongside a microSD card slot, to expand storage by up to 576GB.
A USB Type-C port will ensure files are transferred quickly, and recharging the Kann should take no time at all. The battery itself is one of the largest Astell & Kern has fitted to a player at 6,200mAh.
You also get a headphone amplifier built-in to improve the sound going to your ears, and headphones can be connected to either the 3.5mm unbalanced or 2.5mm balanced outputs. A balanced output should provide better sound quality, because it adds a reverse phase signal (that's left and right channels), which claims to eliminate unwanted noise interference.
Kann has built-in Wi-Fi and DLNA support for over-the-air software updates and wirelessly streaming files from a server, as well as support for hi-res streaming services such as Tidal.
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So what sort of price would you put on the world's most powerful high-resolution audio player? With some of Astell & Kern's other players soaring past the £3,000 mark, you'd be right to assume the Kann would cost even more. But no, the Kann costs £899 and will be available in Astro Silver from the end of April or Eos Blue from late May.