Posted on 26th April, 2019


Astell&Kern has just announced the arrival of the KANN CUBE, the second model in the KANN performance line.

The KANN CUBE announcement was made today at the 2019 Tokyo Fujiya Avic Spring Headphone Festival held in Tokyo, Japan.

Astell&Kern KANN CUBE

The KANN series of portable high-resolution audio players pack a more powerful built-in headphone amplifier meaning they can (or, KANN) drive any headphone without the need for a separate amplifier.  Additionally, you get the choice of low, mid and high gain modes to provide the precise power required to drive your particular headphones.  Power output on KANN CUBE is almost twice the output via balanced connection than the previous generation KANN (12Vrms vs 7Vrms).

Although KANN CUBE has a much higher power output than previous Astell&Kern models, the player features a new amplifier design that produces a low noise floor. The upshot of this is you get close to the original studio sound, without distortion.

Astell&Kernn KANN CUBEKANN CUBE features a pair of 8-channel ESS Sabre ES9038PRO DACs, as found in plenty pro-audio kit, in a dual-mono configuration, providing a wider soundstage and better stereo separation. You also get 32-bit/384 kHz PCM and DSD256 playback support.

Additionally, the KANN CUBE features a 5-pin Mini XLR connector so you can hook it up to your 2-channel hi-fi.  

Thanks to the latest quad-core processor being used you can expect a fluid user experience displayed on the 5-inch HD screen. There is 128GB of internal memory that can be further expanded via the microSD card slot. The hefty 7,400mA battery enables the KANN CUBE 9 hours of playtime from a single charge. When it comes to topping up with go juice, the USB-C fast charge port halves the recharging time when compared to lesser, standard chargers.

KANN CUBE supports MQA (subject to final testing and certification), and with a full decoder built in, can unfold all the way to the original resolution of the file.  MQA playback is supported both via downloaded MQA audio files and through the Tidal app, allowing users to stream high-resolution audio via Tidal Masters.

Astell&Kern KANN CUBE

Astell&Kern's latest user interface and support for Open App service are included in KANN CUBE, which adds Android APK support. All of that means that you can install additional music streaming services to the player by simply copying and installing the corresponding APK file for the music service. Services supported include Amazon Music, Spotify, Tidal, SoundCloud, Qobuz, SiriusXM, Tune-In, myTuner, Bandcamp and Deezer (supported streaming services varies by country). Also, offline content for supported apps can be stored in either internal or external player memory.    

KANN CUBE features a high-strength aluminium body and will be released at the end of May 2019 for $1,499 and will be available in Astell&Kern dealers worldwide in June 2019.


Jay Garrett's avatar

Jay Garrett

StereoNET UK’s Editor and Bass playing gadget junkie. He’s captained the good ship GadgetyNews for over a decade, making low jargon high tech a very handy thing. His passion for gadgets and Hi-Fi is second only to being a touring musician.

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Posted in: Headphones
Tags: astell & kern  astell kern