Kann Alpha

The powerhouse
  • DAP featuring a 4.4mm balanced output
  • Complete separation of balanced lines to provide noise-free output
  • Powerful 12Vrms ultra-high output support
  • 14½ hours of continuous playback
  • Equipped with the latest version of Bluetooth, Bluetooth 5.0
Sale price£1,099.00
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Color: Black
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The Powerhouse


The Alpha is the third in our acclaimed ‘KANN’ range of players - and it’s the most powerful, the most portable, the best sounding and - let’s not pretend otherwise - the best-looking KANN yet.


The power to entertain

Despite being the most compact Kann player yet, the Alpha has huge reserves of power. With an ultra-high 12Vrms output constantly on tap, it’s able to drive any headphone or IEM to significant levels without breaking sweat. Which means it’s the most adaptable digital audio player around.

Balancing act

Kann Alpha is our first player to feature a 4.4mm balanced output alongside its 2.5mm balanced and 3.5mm unbalanced sockets. This level of flexibility, along with Apha’s sky-high power output, leaves you free to use your favourite headphones secure in the knowledge that Kann Alpha is maximising their potential.

Perfect isolation

There’s no point in offering a choice of balanced lines if they share the same circuitry - that’s a recipe for noise interference and performance degradation. So we’ve completely separated the 2.5mm and 4.4mm balanced outputs using micro relays, switching off circuitry that’s not in use and preventing noise interference.

Incredible Wireless Performance

To maximise your wireless listening experience, Kann Alpha is our first player to feature aptX HD Bluetooth 5.0 - range of connectivity, speed of transmission and battery life all benefit. Plus, of course, aptX HD allows wireless transmission of high resolution 24-bit digital files, for perfect A&K sound without wires.

The highest resolution

Kann Alpha features dual DACs - the class-leading ES9068ES by ESS. Which means it’s able to handle 32-bit/384kHz and DSD256 audio files without compression or loss, so you can be sure that you’re hearing everything the artist, the producer and the recording engineer intended.

"Top-tier performance justifies its price tag… During my time with it, I try a range of headphones and the KANN ALPHA drives them all valiantly. Not only that, but it sounds fresh as a daisy and bouncy as a ball; it's a truly enjoyable portable. This is a great new product from Astell&Kern..."

Hi-Fi Choice, 5 Stars, Recommended Award

"If it’s hi-res sonic chops you seek, the KANN ALPHA can deliver it in spades…It is a powerful and talented machine…Listening to hi-res music on the KANN ALPHA is a pure joy."

What Hi-Fi?, 5 Stars

"So if you're in the market for a top-notch musical travelling partner – one that will drive any headphones or IEMs you possess – then this is it. It's an object of beauty to some eyes, whilst fulfilling its clearly defined role expertly and faultlessly. What is more, it leaves your smartphone free to handle other duties that it's much better suited to – like taking selfies."

StereoNET, Applause Award

"If you want the bass power and dynamic punch of a top mains powered DAC, but from a portable player, then Astell&Kern's Kann Alpha is the one to hear. It has plenty of visceral wallop, plus the smooth yet deep revelation of ESS DAC chips… Outstanding - amongst the best."

Hi-Fi World, 5 Globes

"…the Kann is seriously impressive. It has power delivery and sheer ability beyond almost any similarly sized rival while keeping the ‘hewn from unobtanium’ feel we’ve come to expect from Astell & Kern. The Kann is odd but brilliant and because it nails its singular design brief, it warrants Recommendation."

AVForums, Recommended Award

"…the player leverages its power to deliver a muscular and potent presentation that feels effortlessly dynamic…Viewed as a compact, mobile headphone amplifier though, the excellent sonic performance, impressive connectivity and superb build quality will make it a very compelling choice for many headphone users."

Hi-Fi News, Highly Commended Award


Included in the box

  • 1x Astell&Kern KANN ALPHA player
  • 1x USB-C to USB-A cable (1 metre)
  • 3x screen protectors
  • 1x Quick start guide
 whats in the box
General Specifications
Body Color
Onyx Black
Body Material
4.1inch HD 720 x 1280 Touch Display
Supported Audio Formats
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
High: Unbalanced 6Vrms / Balanced 12Vrms (Condition No Load)
Mid: Unbalanced 4Vrms / Balanced 8Vrms (Condition No Load)
Low: Unbalanced 2Vrms / Balanced 4Vrms (Condition No Load)
DACESS ES9068AS x2 (Dual DAC)
Support up to 32bit / 384kHz Bit-to-Bit Playback
USB Type-C input (for charging PC & MAC)
Unbalanced Out (3.5mm) / Optical Out(3.5mm)
Balanced Out (2.5mm, only 4-pole supported 4.4m, only 5-pole supported)
802.11 b/g/n (2.4GHz)
V5.0 (A2DP, AVRCP, Qualcomm® aptX™ HD, LDAC)
2.68 ”(68.3 mm) [W] x 4.60 ”(117 mm) [H] x 0.98 ”(25 mm) [D]
about 11.14 oz (about 316 g)
Feature Enhancements
Firmware upgrades supported (OTA)
Audio Performance
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
Signal to Noise Ratio
116dB @ 1kHz, Unbalanced / 117dB @ 1kHz, Balanced
Crosstalk-128dB @ 1kHz, Unbalanced / -136dB @ 1kHz, Balanced
THD+N0.0003% @ 1kHz, Unbalanced / 0.0005% @ 1kHz, Balanced
IMD SMPTE0.0003% 800Hz 10kHz(4:1) Unbalanced / 0.0003% 800Hz 10kHz(4:1) Balanced
Output Impedance
Unbalanced Out 3.5mm (0.8ohm) / Balanced out 2.5mm (2.0ohm), 4.4mm(1.8ohm)
Clock Source
Clock Jitter
Reference Clock Jitter
250 Femto Seconds(VCXO)
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
External Memory
microSD (Max. 1TB) x1
Supported OS
Windows 7,8,10 (32/64bit), MAC OS X 10.7 and up