Astell&Kern Launches KANN ALPHA Digital Audio Player
Dec 18, 2020 at 7:07 AM Post #751 of 1,600

Pezzab

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The indicator is incorrect. A Blue LED color indicates a 32-bit track being played. As stated above, the LED color does not display correctly when playing tracks via OpenApp.

It seems the LED indicator creates more problems than it solves. If the bitrate that is displayed above the album artwork is accurate then this should be the information Kann users ought to trust.

Personally I don't need a visual indicator to reinforce my conviction that what I'm listening to sounds good or not and especially when I don't stare at my device all the time when I'm listening to music :relaxed:
 
Dec 18, 2020 at 11:39 AM Post #752 of 1,600

Andrew Harper

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@JasonNYC

I'm curious, is it possible to install a standard style app on the player?

The one that comes to mind is the app for my B&W PX7's. The app allows changes to the noise cancellation, etc. App is here. APK is here

I guess the only other app I would use is a podcast app but I can live with that on my phone only if needed.

If I'm using Bluetooth on the plane for example, having the ability to change the settings on the headphones would be great but I don't know whether it's possible as all the documentation refers to streaming apps.

Thanks in advance.
 
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Dec 18, 2020 at 1:02 PM Post #753 of 1,600

CANiSLAYu

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It seems the LED indicator creates more problems than it solves. If the bitrate that is displayed above the album artwork is accurate then this should be the information Kann users ought to trust.
Agreed, but A&K players don’t show the bitrate for third party apps. You’ll notice most of the discussion is around Tidal and Qobuz, not local files. HiBy and FiiO players have the capability to show the bitrate in the status bar, including third party apps.
 
Dec 18, 2020 at 1:26 PM Post #754 of 1,600

PortableMusic

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It seems the LED indicator creates more problems than it solves. If the bitrate that is displayed above the album artwork is accurate then this should be the information Kann users ought to trust.

Personally I don't need a visual indicator to reinforce my conviction that what I'm listening to sounds good or not and especially when I don't stare at my device all the time when I'm listening to music :relaxed:

from my personal point of view, and of course, ymmv for everyone else, if they say the colors indicate a certain bitrate, then this function ought to work properly. a function that doesn't work properly is going to directly impact users' confidence in that unit's performance, or even that brand name!
 
Dec 18, 2020 at 1:49 PM Post #755 of 1,600

Vitaly2017

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from my personal point of view, and of course, ymmv for everyone else, if they say the colors indicate a certain bitrate, then this function ought to work properly. a function that doesn't work properly is going to directly impact users' confidence in that unit's performance, or even that brand name!


I have that same feature on my hiby R8 and I personally never pay attention to the colors identifications for the file resolution being played.... Only time I find that light useful is to show me that my device is charging, you know.
 
Dec 18, 2020 at 3:10 PM Post #756 of 1,600

WyattEarp

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@JasonNYC

I'm curious, is it possible to install a standard style app on the player?

The one that comes to mind is the app for my B&W PX7's. The app allows changes to the noise cancellation, etc. App is here. APK is here

I guess the only other app I would use is a podcast app but I can live with that on my phone only if needed.

If I'm using Bluetooth on the plane for example, having the ability to change the settings on the headphones would be great but I don't know whether it's possible as all the documentation refers to streaming apps.

Thanks in advance.
Unfortunately, only approved apps can be installed on AK players
https://www.astellnkern.com/eng/content/support/faq/list.asp
 
Dec 18, 2020 at 6:31 PM Post #757 of 1,600

Pezzab

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from my personal point of view, and of course, ymmv for everyone else, if they say the colors indicate a certain bitrate, then this function ought to work properly. a function that doesn't work properly is going to directly impact users' confidence in that unit's performance, or even that brand name!
In which case A&K have made themselves hostage to fortune by implementing a feature that doesn't work consistently across all formats. I'm not bothered too much as I switch it off anyway.

I'm very happy with the device but even so it seems pretty unrefined in terms of UI for a device priced north of a grand. Then again this is also my first DAP so perhaps my expectations are unrealistic.
 
Dec 18, 2020 at 7:59 PM Post #758 of 1,600

PortableMusic

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In which case A&K have made themselves hostage to fortune by implementing a feature that doesn't work consistently across all formats. I'm not bothered too much as I switch it off anyway.

I'm very happy with the device but even so it seems pretty unrefined in terms of UI for a device priced north of a grand. Then again this is also my first DAP so perhaps my expectations are unrealistic.

so...after i griped a bit in my previous comment, i must say that despite the reasonably high price of the Kann Alpha, and its non-functional bitrate indicator LED, nevertheless, i still am quite happy with my purchase.

the reason?

they got the BIG things right.

that does it for me. they really hit the right notes with the KEY elements of what a DAP must do properly. the other features are all fluff.

example: the 9068 DUAL, not even one single one, but dual dac chips, the latest, and the one with baked in, no-issues MQA hardwired decoding. well, that's a main event.

then, the power output in dual mono form. i use the Empyreans. no issues. granted, the Empyreans are known to be relatively easy to drive.

so, griping on bitrate indicator aside, net/net, this is a smashing success of a DAP at this price point. i know this is very subjective, but for me, i received the right combination of essential features at this price point.
 
Dec 19, 2020 at 7:52 AM Post #759 of 1,600

Andrew Harper

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I'm very happy with the device but even so it seems pretty unrefined in terms of UI for a device priced north of a grand. Then again this is also my first DAP so perhaps my expectations are unrealistic.

This is not aimed at you but I'm just making a general comment :)

I've only owned one DAP which at the moment is the Pioneer 300R.

However on all the DAP's I've tested and played with (Fiio, Shanling, A&K) they all suffer from a sort of "incomplete" feeling here and there, and I think in the main it's because these companies are just small. It's not a bad thing but when you come from the seamless user experience of an iPhone or iPad I can see why some people end up disappointed. So for example some settings on a DAP are in the music player, some are in the android settings, some are in the drop down settings, not all people nowadays have the patience for that sort of thing.

Unlike an Apple or Samsung who can throw millions at the development of a phone and it's software, these are very niche companies (with admittedly a small customer base) and they always seem to have to make small comprises somewhere. For example relying on people to manually install APK files so they can stream music is quite a technical thing and some users wouldn't have a clue or couldn't be bothered when they can do the same thing on their phone in 30 seconds.

I think that's why I'm still undecided at the moment, Fiio use Android 7.0 on their players which looks like will be redundant from app support next year, Shanling make some great players but they don't support gapless playback (even on their £1000+ model).

This A&K model is about 95% of what I need so I may go for that one.

With regards to the streaming apps and the volume light ring support, these are third party apps remember. It's not A&K's responsibility to make them work as such. When it comes to Apple it's the responsibility of the app developer for the app to function with their hardware not the other way around, until then Apple will not allow it on their appstore. So in fairness to A&K it's letting an app that doesn't talk to it's hardware to work in a roundabout way so we can have that facility.

Perhaps the simplest option for A&K is when they next do a firmware update, it will have the option of switching off the light ring when playing any installed app that is not A&K. Unless Spotify, Tidal, et all develop apps to work with the A&K hardware we are not going to get that feature. I'm not defending them I'm just wondering how the app works. Out of curiosity does the volume light ring on the Fiio M15 work with streaming apps? That is a similar feature.
 
Dec 19, 2020 at 2:33 PM Post #761 of 1,600

PortableMusic

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This is not aimed at you but I'm just making a general comment :)
...
Perhaps the simplest option for A&K is when they next do a firmware update, it will have the option of switching off the light ring when playing any installed app that is not A&K. Unless Spotify, Tidal, et all develop apps to work with the A&K hardware we are not going to get that feature. I'm not defending them I'm just wondering how the app works. Out of curiosity does the volume light ring on the Fiio M15 work with streaming apps? That is a similar feature.

i'll go a step further: if it's a non A&K app, i.e. Tidal loaded separately, the light ring should, by DEFAULT, be turned off.

it's far worse to have a light ring giving incorrect information than no light ring at all, just witness all the pages of comments on this thread alone!
 
Dec 20, 2020 at 2:43 AM Post #764 of 1,600

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My IER Z1R is a good match to Alpha sound-wise. All my other HPs and IEMs need EQing and the existing EQ is very poor in terms of effect. There was talk about Audeze making a special EQ for A&K tailored for their HPs. I hope this materializes one day soon. I intend to but SE200 next month for its filters, and am looking forward to SP3000 (4.4 / multi-dac / one terabyte). I'm hopeful. If only we get Tidal in our country here!
 

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Dec 20, 2020 at 10:37 AM Post #765 of 1,600

Vitaly2017

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My IER Z1R is a good match to Alpha sound-wise. All my other HPs and IEMs need EQing and the existing EQ is very poor in terms of effect. There was talk about Audeze making a special EQ for A&K tailored for their HPs. I hope this materializes one day soon. I intend to but SE200 next month for its filters, and am looking forward to SP3000 (4.4 / multi-dac / one terabyte). I'm hopeful. If only we get Tidal in our country here!


ohhh yea I am also waiting for the sp3000 CC with 4.4mm :) @JasonNYC any heads up available for this future release?
 

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