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Astell & Kern KANN ULTRA Hi-Res Audio Player

Product SKU: kann-ultra

 

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Product Details

↓ Details provided by Astell & Kern

Astell & Kern KANN ULTRA Hi-Res Audio Player Overview

Fueling Your Sound

The KANN series is adored by audiophiles all over the world for its performance that focuses on ultra-high output and clear sound.

KANN ULTRA, the 5th product in the KANN series, continues the success of the KANN series by providing the highest output of any Astell&Kern player, the inclusion of Triple Output Sound, and an optimized processor and UI/UX to make it even easier to enjoy clear sound performance.

With four Gain Modes that provides up to 16Vrms of desktop Hi-Fi level output and sound, and ES9039MPRO Dual DAC chips, KANN ULTRA perfectly powers many of today's headphones with high resolution. A separate Pre/Line Out allow users to enjoy the sound with a variety of different devices.

  • Triple Output Mode Featuring Separately Configured Circuit and Amplifier Designs
  • Headphone Out / Pre-Out / Line Out
  • Next-Generation Octa-Core Processors With Significant High-Performance Improvements
  • Supports 4 Preset Gain Settings With Ultra-High Output up to 16Vrms (Headphone Out)
  • Equipped With ES9039MPRO Dual DACs
  • Featured Digital Audio Remaster (DAR) Technology
  • Supports Playback up to 32-bit/768kHz, Native DSD512
  • Features Astell&Kern's Unique TERATON ALPHA Technology
  • Up to 11 Hours of Playback (Battery 8,400mAh)

Triple Output, Triple Sound

KANN ULTRA features a Triple Output Mode that allows you to enjoy Astell&Kern's perfectly prepared sound when connected to demanding headphones, highly detailed IEMs, and external devices.

Instead of simply separating the output ports, Astell&Kern's Teraton Alpha technology allows for separate amplifier/sound design for the Headphone Out and Line/Pre-Out ports to provide the optimal sound for each port.

Complete your powerful Head-Fi system even on portable devices with the KANN ULTRA with Triple Output.

Astell & Kern KANN ULTRA Hi-Res Audio Player Triple Output

1. Headphone Out

The port features 4 preset gain settings and ultra-high output of up to 16Vrms. The headphone port is designed to perfectly run demanding headphones with high impedance using only the player with no external AMP.

Gain Unbalanced (3.5mm) Balanced (4.4mm)
Low Gain 2Vrms 4Vrms
Mid Gain 4Vrms 8Vrms
High Gain 6Vrms 12Vrms
Super Gain 8Vrms 16Vrms

2. Pre-Out

Select Pre-Out mode on the Pre/Line Out port to output sound to an external amplifier or audio device.

[Pre-Out] This mode delivers sound through a specially designed Pre-Out amplifier, instead of the high-powered Headphone Out amp. Pre-Out functions like a Pre-AMP and you can control the volume with the volume wheel.

Astell & Kern KANN ULTRA Hi-Res Audio Player Pre-Out

3. Line Out

Select Line Out mode on the Pre/Line Out port to output sound that is optimized when connected to external devices.

[Line-Out] This mode outputs the sound from the DAC directly without going through an amplifier, resulting in the lowest noise level and making it ideal for connecting to external audio devices.

Line Out has a fixed voltage output (4 levels) and no volume control.

Astell & Kern KANN ULTRA Hi-Res Audio Player Line Out

4 Gain Levels and Outputs up to 16Vrms for the Perfect Head-Fi

To run the most sophisticated IEMs and headphones, a DAP needs to be able to fully deliver an output that matches the characteristics of the receiver.

KANN ULTRA features 4 preset gain settings up to 16Vrms, the most powerful output of any Astell&Kern player, to optimally run the many IEMs and headphones available today.

The current-handling capability of the output port has been increased to reliably run devices of different impedances at the Gain Level setting, and the AMPs have been separated into Balanced and Unbalanced to optimize currents and reduce noise for the best possible sound.

On top of providing the most powerful output, KANN ULTRA features a larger 5.5-inch screen and improved grip compared to KANN CUBE, which was popular for its high output versatility. Weight for KANN ULTRA has been significantly reduced to 390 grams.

  KANN ULTRA KANN CUBE
Output Level (Super) Unbalanced 8Vrms, Balanced 16Vrms  
Output Level (HIGH) Unbalanced 6Vrms. Balanced 12Vrms Unbalanced 6Vrms, Balanced 12Vrms
Output Level (Mid) Unbalanced 4Vrms, Balanced 8Vrms Unbalanced 4Vrms, Balanced 8Vrms
Output Level (Low) Unbalanced 2Vrms, Balanced 4Vrms Unbalanced 2Vrms, Balanced 4Vrms
Dimensions (WxHxD) 82mm x 140mm x 24mm 87.75mm x 140mm x31.5mm
Weight 390g 493g

* Based on condition no load, there may be differences depending on the measurement method.

TERATON ALPHA, The Essence of A&K Audio Technologies

From an ultra-high output that can run even the most delicate headphones, to the Triple Output design, and the complex amplifier design with minimal noise in a compact portable audio player, this would all not have been possible without AK's Ultimate Sound Solution, TERATON ALPHA. Astell&Kern has taken the TERATON ALPHA to the next level with its know-how in noise reduction at ultra-high power, acquired from its predecessors such as the KANN MAX and the CA1000 series.

TERATON ALPHA, engineered through continuous research, is Astell&Kern's unique technology that has been designed to produce audio playback that is as close to the original sound through effective power noise removal, efficient power management and unwavering amplification, and a fully converted audio output interface.

Astell & Kern KANN ULTRA Hi-Res Audio Player Teraton Alpha

Upgraded Sound, the Newest ESS Flagship DAC

The KANN ULTRA is designed with dual ES9039MPRO DACs, the newest flagship DAC from ESS, to deliver richer and more expansive sounds that exceed your expectations.

The ES9039MPRO is an updated ES9039PRO model that has a built-in stereo hardware MQA renderer. It has even more advanced modulation than the existing flagship DAC to reduce power consumption, noise and distortions inside the DAC for enhanced audio performance.

Astell&Kern has redesigned the AMP BLOCK to ensure that the clear, high-resolution sound of the ES9039MPRO is clearly expressed through every port of the Triple Output, and each output's characteristics show its own advanced performance.

Astell & Kern KANN ULTRA Hi-Res Audio Player ESS Flagship DAC

Audio Block Diagram

Astell & Kern KANN ULTRA Hi-Res Audio Player Audio Block Diagram

Incredible User Experience With Next-Generation Octa-Core Processors

KANN ULTRA is the first to feature the next-gen Octa-Core processors with significant performance improvements, allowing you to enjoy KANN ULTRA's incredible sound performance with faster system speeds and a 4th generation UI/UX that flows faster and smoother.

The audio circuit area is physically separated from the processor area, which includes the CPU, memory, and wireless communication components, and is equipped with a dedicated shield can to minimize the heat and noise generated by the processor.

Astell & Kern KANN ULTRA Hi-Res Audio Player Core Processors

Crimson User Interface, A Music-Only Player

KANN ULTRA features a Crimson-themed UI/UX for the first time in the KANN series, making it a "Player for Music" that leaves an impression in the process and experience of listening to music.

The Crimson UX/UI is designed so that users can quickly browse music categories and re-discover songs within their music library.

We also added an easy album art search function so that users can re-discover the joy of viewing and interacting with music album art whilst listening to their music.

The crimson theme focuses on edge, simplicity, and dark mode keywords. The color theme of black with red highlights lowers visual fatigue and offers intuitive user experiences, and includes many other improvements to the device’s user-friendliness of streaming app services, artist view, album sorting, and album art search function.

Immerse yourself in music with Crimson UX/UI.

Astell & Kern KANN ULTRA Hi-Res Audio Player Crimson User Interface

Sound Design by DAC Filter

With the KANN ULTRA, you can pick and choose from seven DAC filters to create your own sound style.
Design your own sound with the seven DAC filters.

Filter Description Impulse Response
Minimum phase (Default) Low latency, Minimal pre ringing and low passband ripple wave Minimum phase (Default)
Linear Phase Apodizing Full Image rejection by FS/2 to avoid any aliasing, with smooth roll-off starting before 20k wave Linear Phase Apodizing
Linear Phase Fast Roll-Off Most Common filter with clean suppression and high rejection, best for music with high transients. Provides crisp clean highs wave Linear Phase Fast Roll-Off
Linear Phase Slow Roll-Off Low group delay and symmetrical inputs response. Less ringing then Linear phase fast roll off. Punchier bass than LPFR, with clean highs wave Linear Phase Slow Roll-Off
Minimum Phase Fast Roll-Off Minimal Pre Ringing, preferred for Imaging and soundstage. No aliasing in frequency domain. Stronger bass than Linear Phase, clean highs wave Minimum Phase Fast Roll-Off
Minimum Phase Slow Roll-Off Non Symetrical filter designed to minimize pre ringing. Strong punchy bass with good transient attacks wave Minimum Phase Slow Roll-Off
Minimum Phase Slow Roll-Off Low Dispersion Provides a nice balance of the low latency of Minimum phase filters and the Low Dispersion of Linear Phase filters. Minimal pre-ringing is added to achieve the low dispersion in the audio band wave Minimum Phase Slow Roll-Off Low Dispersion

Digital Audio Remaster Technology for Even More Vivid Original Sound

The KANN ULTRA is equipped with Digital Audio Remaster (DAR) technology, which was developed to deliver fine sound at higher sample rates.
DAR technology is developed to upsample the sample rate of the sound source being played to go beyond the limits of the source format.
The high sample rate allows more refined playback and offers delicate and analog-like original sound, helping you to enjoy the richness of the original sound, subtle differences in the nuance of the music and full-bodied sounds at a higher level.

*The DAR function can be turned on and off and you may select it to suit the source sound and your own preferences.

*Max PCM rate 384kHz/DSD256 conversion play is supported, and the files will be converted to and played in the sample rates that fit the source sound.

Digital Audio Remaster

DAR option Maximum Conversion Rate
PCM 44.1kHz range PCM will be converted to 352.8kHz for playback
48kHz range PCM will be converted to 384kHz for playback
No conversion will be made when playing DSD with this option selected
DSD PCM files lower than 96kHz will be converted to DSD128 for playback
PCM files over 96kHz will be converted to DSD256 for playback
DSD files below DSD256 will be converted to DSD256 for playback with this option selected

Crossfeed, Speaker Effect When Listening Through Headphones

In a headphone environment in which the left and right channels are clearly separated, ear fatigue may increase during prolonged listening. The moment you turn on Crossfeed, the experience of crisp, but comfortable sound begins.

Crossfeed mixes parts of the original signal from one channel and sends that signal to the opposite channel with a time difference to center the sound image.

Through the use of detailed settings such as Shelf Cutoff, Shelf Gain, and Mixer Level, you can set the level of crossfeed according to your listening preferences.

Astell & Kern KANN ULTRA Hi-Res Audio Player Crossfeed

Real-Time Information Confirmed by Light

The LED lights on the volume wheel visually represent the power of the KANN ULTRA and show the volume level or the Bit Depth of the currently playing song.

Astell & Kern KANN ULTRA Hi-Res Audio Player LED Lights

Additional Features

  • Support Native DSD512, 32-bit/768kHz
  • AK File Drop to Enjoy Wireless Transfers
  • ROON ARC App Supported
  • Adoption of 5.5-inch Full HD Display 
  • ReplayGain Automatically and Uniformly Adjusts Playback Volume
  • Wireless Hi-Fi Sound Through BT Sink

In The Box

  • KANN ULTRA Device x 1
  • USB Type-C Cable x 1
  • Quick Start Guide x 1
  • Warranty Card x 1
  • microSD Card Slot Cover x 2
  • Protective Film (Front x 2, Rear x 2)

SPECIFICATIONS

Model

KANN ULTRA

Body Color

Astro Gray

Body Material

Aluminum

Display

5.5-inch HD 10800 x 1920 touchscreen

Supported Audio Formats

WAV, FLAC, WMA, MP3, OGG, APE, AAC, ALAC, AIFF, DIFF, DSF, MQA

Sample Rate

PCM: 8kHz ~ 768kHz (8/16/24/32-bits per Sample)
DSD Native: DSD64 (1-bit, 2.8MHz), Stereo / DSD128 (1-bit, 5.6MHz), Stereo / DSD256 (1-bit, 11.2MHz), Stereo / DSD512 (1-bit, 22.4MHz), Stereo

Output Level

Headphone Out

[Low Gain] Unbalanced 2Vrms / Balanced 4Vrms (Condition No Load)

[Mid Gain] Unbalanced 4Vrms / Balanced 8Vrms (Condition No Load)

[High Gain] Unbalanced 6Vrms / Balanced 12Vrms (Condition No Load)

[Super Gain] Unbalanced 8Vrms / Balanced 16Vrms (Condition No Load)

Pre - Line Out: Unbalanced 2Vrms / Balanced 4Vrms (Condition No Load)

CPU

Octa-Core

DAC

ESS ES9039MPRO x 2 (Dual-DAC)

Decoding

Support up to 32-Bit/768kHz Bit-to-Bit Playback

Input

USB Type-C Input (For Charging & PC & MAC)

Outputs

Headphone Out: 3.5mm (Unbalanced Out, Optical Out), 4.4mm (Balanced Out, only 5-pole supported)

Pre - Line Out: 3.5mm (Unbalanced Out), 4.4mm (Balanced Out, only 5-pole supported)

Wi-Fi

802.11 a/b/g/n/ac (2.4/5GHz)

Bluetooth

V4.2 (A2DP, AVRCP, Qualcomm® aptX™ HD, LDAC)

Dimensions

3.24" (82.4mm) [W] x 5.55" (141.1mm) [H] x 0.96" (24.4mm) [D]

Weight

About 13.75oz (390g)

Feature Enhancements

Firmware upgrade supported (OTA)

Operating Temperature

0℃ ~ + 40℃ (32℉~ 104℉)

 

Audio Specifications

Frequency Response

Headphone Out

±0.006dB (Condition: 20Hz~20kHz) Unbalanced │ ±0.004dB (Condition: 20Hz~20kHz) Balanced
±0.016dB (Condition: 20Hz~70kHz) Unbalanced │ ±0.020dB (Condition: 20Hz~70kHz) Balanced

Pre-Out

±0.022dB (Condition: 20Hz~20kHz) Unbalanced │ ±0.023dB (Condition: 20Hz~20kHz) Balanced
±0.023dB (Condition: 20Hz~70kHz) Unbalanced │ ±0.023dB (Condition: 20Hz~70kHz) Balanced

Line Out

±0.002dB (Condition: 20Hz~20kHz) Unbalanced │ ±0.002dB (Condition: 20Hz~20kHz) Balanced
±0.007dB (Condition: 20Hz~70kHz) Unbalanced │ ±0.006dB (Condition: 20Hz~70kHz) Balanced

S/N

Headphone Out: 115dB @ 1kHz, Unbalanced │ 119dB @ 1kHz, Balanced

Pre-Out: 110dB @ 1kHz, Unbalanced │ 126dB @ 1kHz, Balanced

Line Out: 110dB @ 1kHz, Unbalanced │ 125dB @ 1kHz, Balanced

Crosstalk

Headphone Out: -134dB @ 1kHz, Unbalanced │ -140dB @ 1kHz, Balanced

Pre-Out: -128dB @ 1kHz, Unbalanced │ -128dB @ 1kHz, Balanced

Headphone Out: -129dB @ 1kHz, Unbalanced │ -121dB @ 1kHz, Balanced

THD+N

Headphone Out: 0.0004% @ 1kHz, Unbalanced │ 0.0004% @ 1kHz, Balanced

Pre-Out: 0.0012% @ 1kHz, Unbalanced │ 0.0005% @ 1kHz, Balanced

Line Out: 0.0013% @ 1kHz, Unbalanced │ 0.0005% @ 1kHz, Balanced

IMD SMPTE

Headphone Out: 0.0006% 800Hz 10kHz (4:1) Unbalanced │ 0.0006% 800Hz 10kHz (4:1) Balanced

Pre-Out: 0.0006% 800Hz 10kHz (4:1) Unbalanced │ 0.0006% 800Hz 10kHz (4:1) Balanced

Line Out: 0.0006% 800Hz 10kHz (4:1) Unbalanced │ 0.0006% 800Hz 10kHz (4:1) Balanced

Output Impedance

Headphone Out: Unbalanced Out 3.5mm (1ohm) │ Balanced Out 4.4mm (1.3ohm)

Pre-Out: Unbalanced Out 3.5mm (3.5ohm) │ Balanced Out 4.4mm (5.7ohm)

Line Out: Unbalanced Out 3.5mm (6.5ohm) │ Balanced Out 4.4mm (10.7ohm)


Clock Source

Clock Jitter

25ps (Typ)

Reference Clock Jitter

200 Femto Seconds

 *Audio specifications based on Low Gain

Storage Capacity

Built-In Memory

128GB [NAND]

External Memory

microSD x 1 (Max. 1TB)

 

Battery

Capacity

8,400mAh 3.8V Li-Polymer

Charge Time

About 4.5 hours (9V 1.67A Fast Charging) | 6.5 hours (5V 2A General Charging)

Playback Time

About 11 hours (Standard: FLAC, 16-bit, 44.1kHz, Vol. 50, LCD Off, LED On, Low Gain)

 

Supported OS

Supported OS

Windows 8, 10, 11 (32/64bit); MAC OS X 10.7

*Audio was NOT muted during measurement*The image/specifications may be changed without notice to improve product performance and quality

 

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