It was a busy week for the high-end portable audio brand Astell & Kern, with the launch of the fourth member of its Kann digital audio player lineup plus a new pair of in-ear monitors in collaboration with Campfire Audio.

Supporting even the most demanding headphones for high-impedance audiophiles, the Kann Max boasts an output of 15 Vrms, which is higher than the powerful Alpha launched in 2020, but comes wrapped in a more compact and lightweight – although still a trademark corner – chassis.

The 2.68 x 4.6 x 0.92-inch (68.3 x 117 x 23.6 mm) performance-focused digital audio player is reported to be the first in the Kann series to boast four digital -An analog converter ES9038Q2M, one for each of the devices amplifier channels and includes a redesign of the circuit aimed at low noise delivery, despite the increase in output power.

Astell & Kern’s Teraton Alpha sound technology is also included, for the promise of “audio reproduction close to the original sound”. Kann Max can play locally stored high-resolution audio files up to 32-bit / 768-kHz PCM resolution, as well as its own DSD512. And it has a feature that equalizes the volume levels in the songs up to 24-bit / 192 kHz.

The Kann Max DAP is the first in the production line to include four ESS DACs

Astel and Kern

For the wireless generation, Bluetooth 5.0 is included with 24-bit aptX HD and high-resolution LDAC codecs, as well as 802.11n Wi-Fi also for direct streaming of content and for facilitating wireless dragging and playback of files from PC or mobile device.

Listeners can be connected via 2.5mm or 4.4mm balanced or 3.5mm unbalanced audio ports with gold PVD coating, playback is controlled via a 4.1-inch 720×1280 touchscreen, volume wheel offers LED indication of transmission speed, processor brains come courtesy of a quad-core processor and has 64 GB of built-in storage plus microSD expansion.

Users can expect continuous playback for up to 13 hours before the 5600-mAh Li-Po battery needs recharging, with fast charging supported.

The Kann Max will go on sale mid-next month for $ 1,300

Astell & Kern has teamed up with first-class handheld manufacturer Campfire Audio to launch the IEM Pathfinder, which is reported to be the first in-ear monitor to use dual-camera driver technology.

The hybrid design includes dual-aperture balanced armature drivers and custom dynamic drivers. The former is said to offer more natural mid-range playback, while delivering “extended and smoother treble sounds”.

If you need some fantastic new in-ear monitors to go with your new Kann Max DAP, Astell & Kern offers you the hybrid IEM Pathfinder
If you need some fantastic new in-ear monitors to go with your new Kann Max DAP, Astell & Kern offers you the hybrid IEM Pathfinder

Astel and Kern

Campfire Audio’s radial ventilation technology makes its debut in these IEMs by placing 10mm dynamic drivers in a 3D printed acoustic camera and emitting through a hole in the front of each driver to promise strong bass and midrange as well as wider sound stage for listeners.

IEM comes with three different cables, allowing users to plug them into one of Kann Max’s balanced / unbalanced audio jacks, as well as a good selection of earbuds in a variety of sizes.

The IEM Pathfinder will be available from mid-July for $ 1,900.

Product pages: Kan Max, Pathfinder IEM

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