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The newly introduced feature of the 4.4mm balanced output port is exciting, however, the most important part is how Astell&Kern implemented it.
Unlike other manufacturer’s products, KANN ALPHA has physically separated the 2.5mm and 4.4mm outputs using micro relays.
When 2.5mm and 4.4mm structures are connected only to the mute circuit they do not prevent noise interference that may occur because each signal is not properly blocked.
KANN ALPHA boasts noise-free output because Astell&Kern built in an independent structure that completely blocks interference from outputs that are not being used and to be switched off therefore preventing the noise from occurring.
In order to minimise contact noise from the output, a gold PVD coating method is applied to the headphone connector instead of the typical rings used by other products. This improves both design and function.
By adopting NDICS' Pentaconn 4.4mm connector, KANN ALPHA not only satisfies the requests of users, but the implementation boasts excellent quality and durability.
KANN ALPHA boasts excellent performance measurement for crosstalk. Channel crosstalk is how much signal leaking there is between the L and R channels.
The higher the crosstalk number, the better the separation between channels and the deeper and wider the sense of space that can be felt.
As evident with the newly developed audio circuit design, KANN ALPHA features a never before seen Crosstalk measurement of -141dB(High Gain), which is unmatched by any other portable audio products in its class.
KANN ALPHA supports the same powerful 12Vrms output as the existing KANN CUBE, however the player has been optimized to be more compact. This is achieved through the miniaturization of numerous parts such as resistors and capacitors, by rearranging various components and through circuit optimization. This resulted in the modification of more than 60 parts during the development process.
Ultra-small tantalum capacitors, which were developed exclusively for Astell&Kern through a collaboration with Matsuo Electric in Japan to meet their high performance requirements, supply stable power to the player and suppress electrical noise.
This redesigned power circuit used in KANN ALPHA also allows 14 ½ hours of continuous playback.
KANN ALPHA is the first Astell&Kern player to use Bluetooth 5.0. The latest Bluetooth version provides high sound quality with the convenience of wireless playback to headphones and IEMs. Bluetooth 5.0 features faster transmission speed and greater range compared to Bluetooth 4.2, therefore providing a more stable wireless connection. Both LDAC and Qualcomm® aptX™ HD is supported to provide audiophiles with the best wireless sound possible. The high-quality sound that Astell&Kern is known for can now be heard when using Bluetooth earphones, headphones, and speakers.
With KANN ALPHA, you can enjoy the fun of creating your own customised sound by selecting among various DAC filters provided by the DAC manufacturer.
KANN ALPHA features a LED volume wheel which displays various playback information, including volume level and bit-rate of the track currently playing.
* LED can be turned on or off according to user setting.
Astell&Kern products are often compared with art sculptures in that they feature colorful facets and angles that cannot be found in other products. This is accomplished through the use of extremely precise metal manufacturing technology that has been perfected by Astell&Kern over many years. The first generation KANN used an extrusion method to form the aluminum body where the KANN ALPHA uses precise metal manufacturing to create a luxurious and detailed design. A precision mold is then separately manufactured for the high-gloss ceramic top cover. Astell&Kern then uses more than seven different processes including low-speed machining to form the ceramic top cover and prevent cracking.
Unlike other manufacturers, a ring is not simply inserted into the ceramic top where each audio terminal is located, instead a gold PVD coating is applied to minimize noise. A special coating is also applied to the ceramic surface to prevent fingerprints and smudging. Astell&Kern's proprietary aluminum body design suppresses noise to improve sound quality, while providing the best signal transmission to the audio circuits. With our laser ground extension technology, you can achieve the best sound possible.
The vibration-free processing machines used by Astell&Kern are the same ones used by expensive Swiss luxury watch manufacturers. This is reflected in the crafting of the volume wheel which is processed precisely like the crown of a luxury watch for the best operating feel. Independent machining processing is applied to individual areas to create each small pattern.
Support for MQA 8x Rendering and MQA-CD. Enjoy the original master sound through the dedicated hardware full decoder installed in KANN ALPHA. KANN ALPHA includes MQA technology, which enables you to play back MQA audio files and streams, delivering the sound of the original master recording. MQA-CD playback is also supported on KANN ALPHA when playing MQA-CDs content using the AK CD-Ripper. You now do not need special, expensive equipment to play back MQA-CDs.