Astell&Kern KANN Alpha Portable Player/Headphone Amp Alpha Class

Alpha Class

The KANN Alpha shares its software with the rest of the Astell&Kern family, processing being handled by a Quad-Core CPU that appears to be both fast and stable in use. Options for customising the player's performance are extensive, with filter and EQ adjustments available for wired playback as well as the ability to specify a preferred Bluetooth codec and how information is displayed on the screen. There are some nice touches too. Switch between the gain settings and the volume automatically cuts to prevent damage to your hearing – not to mention your headphones.


On the downside, the business of installing apps via APK [Android Application Package] can be fiddly. If you have music tagged and edited on an SD card though, the browsing experience is a relatively good one. The biggest problem with the interface, however, is not the software but the screen. The KANN Alpha has a significantly smaller screen than the last Astell&Kern player we tested (the A&futura SE200) and using the on-screen keyboard can be frustrating. Some users may gravitate to using a third-party app on a smartphone if the experience is preferable.

Seoul, South Korea
Supplied by: Armour Home Electronics, Herts
01279 501111