Posted on 26th April, 2017


Astell & Kern, the undisputed king of portable music players has introduced a brand new model, the Kann.

Pitched as an entirely new design, it's machined from a single piece of aluminium. It's bigger than the previous form factors at just over an inch thick (25.6mm) and weighs in at 278.7 grams.

What you do get as a result of the size though is a claimed listening time of over 14 hours from the 6000mAh battery.

After surveying actual customers Astell & Kern say they have delivered the 'must have' features being asked of them. In addition to microSD storage, there's also a full-size SD slot that supports up to 512Gb which boosts the total capacity to potentially 832Gb.

Astell & Kern Kann Portable Music Player

Digital connectivity has been upgraded to use the USB-C connection, allowing use as an external DAC while the headphone amplifier (with low and high gain options) with internal impedance of .5 ohms. It's also been boosted to 7Vrms. There's a 3.5mm single ended output jack of course, as well as a 2.5mm balanced headphone connection.

Astell & Kern have employed the AKM AK4490 DAC and VCX0 Femto Clock, and the Kann will play virtually all file formats including hi-res material up to 256 DSD and native PCM up to 32Bit/384kHz.

Kann Inputs Outputs

The Kann also supports Bluetooth aptX HD, DLNA, WiFi, digital optical and high-res streaming from Tidal.

The Kann is not necessarily designed to be your go-to compact pocket player, but with the impressive battery life, superior sound quality and hi-res capability we've come to expect from Astell & Kern, it's certainly up to the task in your bag or on the tray table of those long-haul flights.

So why buy it in Australia?

Another local publication more suited to reporting on washing machines and smartphones slammed the Kann and its local pricing this week, suggesting you'd be better off buying it overseas. Aside from the fact they are encouraging grey-imports, the article was factually incorrect in regards to pricing comparisons.

Local distributor Busisoft AV, who are responsible for importing Astell & Kern, Dynaudio, Bryston, Grado and many more have priced the Kann at AUD $1,349.00 RRP.

In the U.S. the Kann is selling (pre-order only) for $999 USD (with a free 256Gb SD Card valued at $129 USD). With an exchange rate of .7324 that equates to $1364 AUD. With GST which will be payable on entry into Australia, $40 USD freight (or $60 AUD, the best price we could find online) the Kann will now cost you $1,560 to buy from overseas. On top of that, there will very likely be duty payable and a customs fee.

That “cheaper price” is not as good as it seems.

Further, Moon Audio, the website suggested by another publication to purchase the Astell & Kern Kann from, is not authorised by Astell & Kern to ship outside of the USA. Distributors have access to check a serial number database which reveals a product's supply chain and non-AU delivered Astell & Kern products are not covered by local warranty.

The Astell & Kern is available for pre-order now from local authorised stockists in Astro Silver or Eos Blue.

For more information visit the Astell & Kern brand page.

Marc Rushton's avatar

Marc Rushton

StereoNET’s Founder & Publisher and still buried deep in the review room auditioning everything from docks to soundbars, amplifiers and headphones. Marc is also the founder of the annual International HiFi Show.

Get the latest.

Sign up to discover the best news and review from StereoNET in our FREE Newsletter.

Posted in: Headphones
Tags: astell kern  busisoft