Astell&Kern debuts KANN MAX DAP, AK HC2 Dual DAC cable and Pathfinder in-ear

Astell&Kern has been rather busy of late, launching three new products: the KANN MAX digital audio player (DAP), the AK HC2 Dual DAC cable and Pathfinder in-ear monitor.

The KANN MAX portable DAP is the fourth addition to its KANN series and boasts a higher power output (15Vrms) than its predecessor, the Kann Alpha (HFC 473). It comes housed in a more compact and lightweight chassis and is equipped with an ESS ES9038Q2M Quad-DAC, proprietary TERATON ALPHA Sound Solution technology able to support playback of files up to 32-bit/768kHz alongside native DSD512. Bluetooth comes in the shape of v5.0, supporting aptX HD and LDAC, while a Replay Gain function adjusts volume playback from sound sources up to 24-bit/192kHz.

Alongside wi-fi support, the KANN MAX features AK File Drop for wireless file transfers. Users can shift files through a PC, smartphone or FTP programme that’s located on the same network. Claiming 13 hours of continuous playback with a charge time of about 3.5 hours (9V 1.67A Fast Charging) or 5.5 hours (5V 2A General Charging), the KANN Max boasts 64GB of on-board memory that can be expanded up to 1TB via its microSD card slot.

It’s made of aluminium, comes in Anthracite Grey, features a 4.1in, 720 x 1,280-pixel touchscreen, measures 68 x 117 x 24mm (WxHxD) and weighs approximately 305g. Priced at £1,200, you can add a case which comes in three colours – black, beige or blue – priced at £109.

Next up, the new AK HC2 Dual DAC Cable, which the company describes as: “an uncompromising and ultra-compact way of transforming the audio of your iOS and Android smartphone and tablet and Windows or Apple laptop computers.”

It comes with a 4.4mm balanced headphone connection, 4Vrms output, a CS43198 Dual DAC, an Android app and is made from aluminium. Dual shielded to minimise distortion and signal noise, the cable is also Roon Tested. It weighs circa 29g and costs £169.

Finally, comes a new collaboration with American company Campfire Audio to launch the Pathfinder in-ear monitor. Featuring Dual-Chamber Balanced Armature driver technology, A&K reveals its new in-ears are the first to employ Campfire Audio’s new Radial Venting Technology for dynamic drivers, claimed: “to deliver more powerful bass and a larger soundstage”.

Also boasting an all-new ribbon design with Silver-Plated OFC copper Litz cables intended to minimise signal distortion, the Pathfinder features custom Beryllium Copper MMCX connectors and each earphone integrates a 3D-printed, acoustically optimised interior chamber to enable the drivers: “to deliver the highest audio quality possible and create a natural and accurate sound”.

Regarding the eartips, there are five pairs of Final Audio E-Type tips bundled (XS/S/M/L/XL), three pairs of Campfire Audio Marshmallow tips (S/M/L) and three sets of silicone tips (S/M/L), plus there’s a leather zip case, earphone protection sleeve and a tip and cable storage pouch. The shell is aluminium with a hand-polished stainless steel threaded spout and it’s priced at £1,900.

Available to buy now, you can find out more about the KANN MAX here, the Pathfinder in-ears here and the AK HC2 Dual DAC Cable here.