Astell & Kern KANN
$1,349, astellnkern.com.au KANN sounds like a supervillain! It’s not evil, but you’re not far wrong. Although Astell & Kern’s new pocket player is unlikely to take over the planet, the KANN is more than equipped to win the battle between drab smartphone sound and premium high-res audio. I’m still not sold on high-res audio... What are you, a sound heathen? High-res audio is the only way to experience your favourite bands the way they were truly meant to be heard, with the clarity of real life. The KANN can handle audio files ranging from 32-bit/384kHz high-resolution PCM and DSD audio, right up to Quad-rate (DSD256) files, delivering both top-end clarity and exceptional audio detail. Take that, smartphone. Ok, T3, I’m listening... If the KANN’s high-fidelity audio isn’t enough to float your boat, what about parametric EQ, Wi-Fi connectivity, a built-in headphone amp and support for high-res streaming services such as Tidal and Moov. USB-C connection means faster charging and data transfer, too. I’m impressed. So how much storage is KANN packing? Out of the box you’ll find 64GB of built-in flash storage, but full size and microSD slots enable expansion up to 576GB. That’s alot of music. The design is swish, too. You betcha. The rugged aluminium body works in harmony with the four-inch WVGA touchscreen, plus there are volume and playback controls in case you’ve forgotten how to use physical buttons. Cool! When is this out? Ah, so now you want one, do you? Well lucky for you, the Astell & Kern KANN, in both Astro Silver and Eos Blue, is available to buy now.