There are digital audio players (DAPs) with run-of-the-mill features for budget-conscious users. And there are next-level DAPs with ultra-high-end features for those with discerning tastes.
The KANN MAX from South Korean consumer electronics brand Astell & Kern — a company that specializes in state-of-the-art audio products — is definitely geared toward the latter.
What is KANN MAX?
You can think of the KANN MAX as an Apple iPod on steroids. It’s a portable DAC that delivers extreme performance with high output and crystal clear sound.
“This is the fourth DAP in the KANN series that’s beloved by audiophiles the world over,” writes Forbes tech journalist Mark Sparrow
. “The KANN achieves a higher output than the KANN ALPHA, its award-winning predecessor.” And it builds on Astell & Kern’s reputation for high-quality sound.
It’s set to launch in mid-June 2022 and will retail for $1,300.
KANN MAX Key Features
For starters, this product
“provides four levels of gain and up to 15Vrms output so that a wide array of headphones can be driven in an optimal state. It “features ESS ES9038Q2M Quad-DAC together with Astell & Kern’s unique audio technology to provide the best performance you can feel from a portable DAP.”
Next, it features TERATON ALPHA
, a patented audio technology developed by Astell & Kern that converts digital signals to analog. It gives listeners a sound that’s as close as you can get to the original created by the artist without extraneous noise. In addition, there’s 32-bit/768kHZ, native DSD512 support, Bluetooth 5.0, and ReplayGain — a feature that ensures consistent volume for every track. It also features a PVD coating in the headphone connector to ensure a completely secure connection.
As for size, the KANN MAX is 68.3 x 117 x 23.6 mm and weighs 10.76 ounces. This makes it smaller and lighter than previous incarnations of the KANN product line, such as ALPHA, CUBE, and the original KANN. While the 13-hour playback time is slightly less than what the KANN ALPHA offers at 14.5 hours, it’s still respectable. Fast charging takes about 3.5 hours, while full charging takes about 5.5.
If you’re serious about your portable audio, this new product has pretty much everything you could ask for. The obvious catch, of course, is its hefty price tag.
A Viable Apple iPod Replacement
The KANN MAX may be overkill if you’re on a budget and simply looking for a DAP with basic features. For comparison, the most expensive iPod Touch only costs $399
. Yet, it’s certainly worth considering if you’re a hardcore audiophile and want the best of the best.
$1,300 is, understandably, out of many peoples’ price range. But if you’ve got the money to spare and are looking for a top-of-the-line DAP, it doesn’t get much better than the KANN MAX. This brings us to our final point.
How Long is a Portable Audio Warranty?
When you purchase a portable audio device, it’s important to protect it from accidents such as drops, spills, and cracks. While most products like these have a manufacturer’s warranty, it typically is limited to 90-day to one year. With that, you’re only covered for manufacturing defects during that short period.
That’s why it’s smart to purchase an extended portable audio warranty that provides ongoing protection well past the end of the manufacturer’s warranty. Upsie, for example
, offers two or three-year plans with coverage being exactly the same as the manufacturer’s warranty. There’s also that all-important coverage for drops, spills, cracks, and more.
Unfortunately Upsie cannot protect the Kann Max at this time. However, they can cover other audio devices, headphones, laptops and more.
If you ever need to make a claim, you can do so 24/7 through Upsie.com
for quick repair or replacement. And with prices up to 70 percent less than in-store offers, you can find the perfect plan at a reasonable rate.
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