Picture Sunday: Astell&Kern KANN

This week’s picture Sunday features the new Astell&Kern KANN DAP. To check out recent Picture Sunday Posts click HERE.


I received the KANN a week or two ago and before it arrived I was a bit confused if I would like it or not. I’m a big fan of AK’s designs but not a lot of positive has been said online about Astell’s latest creation. When I first unpacked it, I have to admit that I found it rather huge and heavy but at the same time I found its looks quite OK, especially as it has AK’s perfect finishing touch. My KANN came in the lovely grey version and while the buttons – which are now all on top – aren’t the prettiest, I still think the design works. You actually get used to the new button style very easily and as the menu structure hasn’t really changed, you simply know what to push and where to look for special options.

One player to rule them all

Basically the Astell&Kern KANN, which is going for $999, is like the AK300 with the “old” external amp connected to it, in one complete package. For Astell & Kern it is the first time combining a high-quality audio player and a high-performance amplifier.

The nice thing is that KANN is now equipped with a line-out circuit designed to set the output values in 4 levels, depending on the user’s listening preference; a significant step up from previous products, which did not provide output/volume control. With the selectable output function, you can fine-tune your sound to suit a home system, car audio, or any other listening environment.

The Astell&Kern KANN now also has an internal memory of 64GB, but this can be easily and flexibly boosted via the unit’s dual memory card slots. KANN supports both standard SD cards and micro SD cards and the memory is expandable up to 768 GB (768+64=832GB!!)

Battery wise the KANN also impresses. Yes, it does take rather long to completely charge the battery but you already get up to 6.5 hours of listening time with a single 1 hour charge through the fast charger. When fully charged, the 6,200mA large capacity battery offers 15 hours of continuous playback!

Sound wise I have really been liking KANN as well, but that part of course will be covered in the upcoming dedicated KANN review. It’s like a sound that’s between that of the AK70 and the AK380 (with iems). But soon more on this!

4.3/5 - (41 votes)

Lieven is living in Europe and he's the leader of the gang. He's running Headfonia as a side project next to his full time day job in Digital Marketing & Consultancy. He's a big fan of tube amps and custom inear monitors and has published hundreds of product reviews over the years.


  • Reply June 1, 2017


    Design wise, this thing looks horrible. It looks like they’ve picked up a generic $20 amplifier off of eBay and said “yep, THIS is what I want our $1000 DAP to look like!” Example: https://i.imgur.com/EUJLmxr.jpg

  • Reply June 20, 2017


    When is the review due to be out?

  • Reply June 20, 2017


    Next week! 🙂

  • Reply August 1, 2017


    Got one and nice unit but do not expect to be able to download and content from Tidal. You can stream it but that is all. You can on a iPhone, but not to an A&K $1,000 PORTABLE audio player?

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