Astell&Kern Introduces KANN CUBE Hi-Res Audio Player
Astell&Kern has taken the wraps off the KANN CUBE, its second-generation portable high-resolution audio player in the KANN line, at Tokyo’s 2019 Fujiya Avic Spring Headphone Festival. KANN CUBE will be available in Astell&Kern dealers worldwide in June at $1,499.
The KANN series is equipped with a built-in headphone amplifier providing high power output that allows KANN players to drive any headphone without the need for a separate amp. Listeners can select between low-, mid- and high-gain modes to provide the precise power required to drive a particular headphone, says the company.
Power output on KANN CUBE is almost twice the output, via balanced connection, than the previous generation KANN (12Vrms vs. 7Vrms). And while the KANN CUBE offers higher power output than previous Astell&Kern models, the player’s new amplifier design produces a low noise floor without distortion, according to the company.
KANN CUBE features two 8-channel ESS Sabre ES9038PRO digital-to-audio converters (DACs) in a dual-mono configuration, providing a wider soundstage and better stereo separation. Other products where the ES9038PRO is used include high-end studio gear and home pro audio equipment.
For connection to two-channel home systems, KANN CUBE features a 5-pin Mini XLR connector – a new feature in this second-generation model. With the latest quad-core processor, also new in this generation, the user playback experience has been made more fluid throughout navigation of menu options and playback of music tracks.
The KANN CUBE features 128GB internal memory and a microSD card slot for additional storage. With a 7,400mA battery, it can play back music for nine hours on a single charge. With USB-C and fast charge support, users can fully charge the device in half the time of standard chargers. Further, it supports up to 32-bit/384 kHz PCM and DSD256 playback natively and features a 5-inch high-definition screen.
KANN CUBE also offers support of MQA (subject to final testing and certification), and with a full decoder built in, can unfold all the way to the original resolution of the file. MQA playback is supported both via downloaded MQA audio files and through the Tidal app, allowing users to stream high-resolution audio via Tidal Masters.
Astell&Kern’s latest user interface and support for Open App service is included in KANN CUBE, which adds Android APK support, allowing users to install additional music streaming services to their player just by copying and installing the corresponding APK file for the music service they wish to add. Services supported include Amazon Music, Spotify, Tidal, SoundCloud, Qobuz, SiriusXM, Tune-In, myTuner, Bandcamp and Deezer (with supported streaming services varying by country). Offline content for supported apps can be stored in either internal or external player memory.