Astell & Kern KANN Alpha

Seems to be in between the kann and the cube, looks interesting


For those who haven’t followed the A&K line, it started out with all-purpose models like the AK240 that Tyll owned and used. But it now has grown into a more IEM-focused premium line with the wonky screen angle, plus a more normal, more-affordable smartphone-like IEM-focused line, plus an over-ear-focused line called KANN after the original model.

The original KANN model was reportedly developed by a separate design team and has received some favourable sound-quality reviews from reviewers who were lukewarm about the lower-powered models. It has a hefty battery built-in that gives it the thickness and heft of the smartphone + amp/dac strap-on pairing that many routinely used.

The second model in the KANN line is called the Cube and goes beyond the original model to push the limits of what can be called portable. Apparently, in urban Asia even fairly wealthy folk live in cramped apartments with space at a premium. The theory is that the Cube is meant to be a full no-holds-barred source, amp and dac separates replacement that can be used both home and office with fairly hungry over-ears.

This latest model, the Alpha, looks to revert back to the hefty-but-pocketable original KANN form-factor but with new whiz-bang technicals.


It’s a pretty beefy player that drives iems very well and can handle full size when it needs to

The cube is really great for headphones, really beefy and it is indeed a desktop replacement product for sure, seems like the alpha is closer to the cube than the og

Very interested to hear the alpha, although I’m a bit less interested in the kann line now that I have the dx220 max for headphones, still looks pretty sweet

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