Astell and Kern have already started off the year quite strong with the release of their first true wireless earphone, the UW100. Now they look to continue the year with their announcement of three different products, one new DAP, a new IEM, and a new DAC dongle.
This new DAP is the latest edition to their KANN series of players, called the KANN MAX. The last outing from this line was the KANN ALPHA, which was a great product from A&K, but now they are looking toward the future and giving this line something new. Here is what you can expect from the KANN MAX:
- 4-step gain level with maximum 15Vrms output
- Perfect circuit design with ultra-high output and low noise in even smaller sized player
- Equipped with Quad Sabre ESS ES9038Q2M DACs for clear, exceptional sound
- TERATON ALPHA, the epitome of Astell&Kern technology
- 32-bit/786kHz & Native DSD512 bit-to-bit playback
- Bluetooth 5.0 & 24-bit codec (Qualcomm® aptX™ HD, LDAC) support
- ReplayGain automatically adjusts the volume to be consistent across tracks
- BT Sink & AK File Drop for wireless file transfers
Next up is a brand new IEM, following up from A&K’s first effort the AK Zero1. This is not actually another Astell & Kern branded IEM, but rather a continued collaboration between A&K and Campfire Audio. Both companies have teamed up again to create a new IEM called Pathfinder. Here are its key features:
- World’s first Dual-Chamber Balanced Armature Driver from Knowles
- New Dual Custom 10mm Dynamic Drivers
- Campfire’s T.E.A.C. Technology (Tuned Acoustic Expansion Chamber)
- Radial Venting Acoustic Chamber, 3D Printed, for a wider soundstage and more presence
- Beryllium Copper MMCX Connector
- Handcrafted IEM made in USA
- Three silver-plated copper cables included (2.5mm, 3.5mm & 4.4mm)
Finally, Astell and Kern are releasing a new DAC dongle, not unlike the PEE51 that they released last year. This new DAC dongle is called the HC2, and it will be Type C with a lightning adapter for iPhone users. Here are its main features:
- Supports 4.4mm Balanced Output
- Powerful 4Vrms
- Equipped with Dual Cirrus Logic CS43198 MasterHIFI™ DACs for True Hi-Fi Sound
- 32-bit/384kHz & Native DSD256 bit-to-bit playback
- Dual Noise Shielded Cable
- Compatible with iOS and Android Devices
- Optional Android APP (for Detailed Volume Control)
- Roon Tested
You can find these products and their prices soon at Audio46.
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