Astell & Kern Kann Cube
What Hi-Fi|September 2020
Astell & Kern Kann Cube
Portable music player | ₹TBA Astell & Kern’s most powerful personal music player prioritises hi-fi hook-up, but it isn’t exactly portable

KEY FEATURES

32-bit

32-bit/384kHz and DSD256

Tidal Masters

128GB

128GB built-in storage

When is a portable music player not a portable music player? When it’s the size of a block of cheese and weighs around half a kilo. Despite being listed under ‘portables’ on the company’s website, the Astell & Kern Kann Cube is unlikely to find its way into many pockets. But before you write it off completely, the Kann Cube isn’t designed to be portable, and the only deception here is that it isn’t actually a cube.

Like the Award-winning Kann, the Kann Cube is a music player with built-in storage, a DAC and a headphone amplifier. But the inclusion of some new features make it better suited for integration into a desktop or hi-fi system.

The clearest indication that the Kann Cube isn’t intended to be a portable player is its five-pin mini XLR connection, designed to connect the player to an amplifier’s traditional 3-pin XLR stereo input with a compatible cable (not included). It’s a first for an A&K player, and also the first time we’ve seen the connection on such a device. The Kann Cube also features 2.5mm balanced and 3.5mm headphone outputs.

No hint of bias

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September 2020