Astell & Kern Kann £899

What Hi-Fi (UK) - - Awards 2018 -

As Os­car Wilde once re­marked, ‘noth­ing suc­ceeds like ex­cess’. Astell & Kern’s Kann player has cer­tainly taken that to heart. Its larger-than-life de­sign won’t be to all tastes, but its su­perb sound qual­ity makes it all worth­while.

It’s flex­i­ble too – there are line-out ports so you can use this as a mu­sic source in your home sys­tem as well as tak­ing it out and about. The Kann also has aptx HD Blue­tooth sup­port and can hold around 1200 al­bums.

There’s lash­ings of depth and de­tail from this player that will make you re­luc­tant to take off your head­phones. The Kann traces the peaks and troughs of a track with­out ever al­low­ing the mu­sic to feel weighted down or com­pressed. It also keeps each mu­si­cal strand or­gan­ised in a spa­cious pre­sen­ta­tion.

Nor is this player bi­ased in favour of par­tic­u­lar mu­si­cal gen­res, as our au­di­tion list of Daft Punk, Frank Si­na­tra and Child­ish Gam­bino re­veals.

Dy­namism, great tim­ing and an insightful per­for­mance – it’s all here. When it comes to bang for your buck – even at this price – the Kann ex­cels.

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