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Astell & Kern's new KANN Cube DAP features dual ESS Sabre DACs, quad-core CPU, and MQA support (updated)

By Kenny Yeo - on 2 May 2019, 1:33pm

Astell & Kern's new KANN Cube DAP features dual ESS Sabre DACs, quad-core CPU, and MQA support (updated)

The new Astell & Kern KANN Cube. (Image source: Astell & Kern)

**Updated on 2 May 2019 with details on local pricing and availability**

In 2017, Astell & Kern introduced the KANN to their line-up of digital audio players.

The KANN was supposed to bring the features found in Astell & Kern's more expensive models to a greater audience by having a lower price point. Now, there's a second KANN model and it's called the KANN Cube.

The KANN Cube features updated DACs, a higher power output, and adds MQA support.

The KANN Cube features a 5-inch touch display with a resolution of 1,280 x 720 pixels and is powered by a quad-core CPU. It has 128GB of built-in memory which is expandable via a microSD card slot.

Inside the KANN Cube are two ESS Sabre ES9038 Pro DACs used in a mono configuration so each DAC is responsible for handling only a single channel of audio. High-res music support is up to 32-bit/384kHz PCM and DSD256 (11.2MHz).

Power output has been nearly doubled. The first KANN had a power output of 7Vrms through its balanced connection while the new KANN Cube has a much more robust power output of 12Vrms through its balanced connection.

(Image souce: Astell & Kern)

Speaking of which, the KANN Cube has a standard 3.5mm headphone jack and a 2.5mm balanced output. It also has a 5-pin Mini-XLR output for use with home audio systems and active speakers.

Unfortunately, the KANN Cube doesn't have the new 4.4mm Pentaconn balanced output that is gaining popularity among many other new DAPs.

MQA support is currently undergoing final testing and certification and can be used with the Tidal App to enjoy high-resolution music through Tidal Masters.

The KANN Cube charges via USB-C  and offers up to 9 hours of listening time.

The KANN Cube will be locally in Singapore in June and is priced at S$2,349.

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