Astell & Kern KANN CUBE Portable Media Player

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  • ES9038PRO Dual DAC
  • 32bit 384kHz bit to bit play
  • Native DSD
  • Quad-core CPU
  • 720 x 1,280 Touch Display
  • 5pin Mini XLR
  • Built-in Memory
  • USB Type-C Fast Charging




KANN CUBE is the second model from the KANN line, which focuses on high fidelity with powerful output and low noise. This player is designed to offer a very low noise floor, even with its massive power output.


High performance, low-noise amp makes KANN Cube an Absolute Audio Powerhouse
Dual ES9038PRO DACs, the current flagship SABRE DAC chips from ESS designed for Pro Audio Equipment
5-pin Mini XLR output for even less noise
32bit/384kHz, Native DSD256 support



Introducing the Astell&Kern KANN CUBE, which achieves more powerful output and lower noise.



The Absolute Audio Powerhouse


KANN CUBE offers 3 different power output options of High / Mid / Low, which can drive any headphone with unprecedented power never seen before in any portable device - 12Vrms for Balanced output and 6Vrms for Unbalanced output. To provide a natural and neutral audio experience with minimal distortion, a newly designed OP Amp and Volume IC manages power optimally and efficiently.


A comparison of outputs of KANN CUBE vs. KANN vs. AK380+AMP


Unbalance 6 Vrms
Balance 12 Vrms
(Condition No Load)
Unbalance 4 Vrms
Balance 7 Vrms
(Condition No Load)
Unbalance 3.85 Vrms
Balance 7.66 Vrms
(Condition No Load)
Unbalance 4 Vrms
Balance 8 Vrms
(Condition No Load)
Unbalance 2 Vrms
Balance 2 Vrms
(Condition No Load)
Unbalance 1.88 Vrms
Balance 1.88 Vrms
(Condition No Load)
Unbalance 2 Vrms
Balance 4 Vrms
(Condition No Load)




KANN CUBE uses two 8-channel DACs, the ES9038PRO, one for the left and one for the right channel. As each DAC chip sends out 8 channels of audio signal through the Astell&Kern Analog AMP Block, you experience unlimited sound stage and the full depth of the original performance.


The ESS SABRE PRO series of Digital-to-Analog Converters (DAC) is targeted for premium audiophile and professional recording studio equipment. The SABRE PRO series sets a new benchmark in high-end audio by offering the industry's highest dynamic range (DNR) with impressively low levels of total harmonic distortion plus noise (THD+N) in a 32-bit, 8-channel DAC. All PRO SABRE DACs feature ESS's patented 32-bit HyperStream DAC technology which delivers outstanding sound quality and industry leading performance.



ESS has two major lines of DAC chips – the 'SABER PRO' for audiophile systems and 'SABER HIFI' for mobile devices, such as the LG V10, V20, V30 smartphones or low-priced DAPs. The SABER PRO DACs are seldomly used for DAPs and are primarily used with Pro-Audio systems or traditional Hi-Fi products. The ES9038PRO is the latest DAC from ESS and the SABER PRO line. KANN CUBE is the first DAP device to adopt the SABER PRO DACs in a dual DAC configuration, dedicating 8-channels for the left and 8-channels for the right side.

<2>5-pin Mini XLR output for even less noise


KANN CUBE offers a 5-pin mini XLR connector for the first time in an Astell&Kern player. Thanks to the even lower noise floor and higher audio output through the XLR connection, you can enjoy pure, clear audio playback. It offers easier connection to your home audio systems and active speakers with balanced connections.




Pin Out KANN CUBE 5pin Mini XLR to 3pin XLR Y-type Cable
- 5pin Mini XLR (A) 5pin Mini XLR (B1) 3pin XLR (B2) 3pin XLR
GND 1 1 1 1
L+ 2 2 2 -
L- 3 3 3 -
R+ 4 4 - 2
R- 5 5 - 3
Body ColorWolf Gray
Body MaterialAluminum
Display5inch (720 x 1,280) Touch display
Supported Audio FormatsWAV, FLAC, WMA, MP3, OGG, APE, AAC, ALAC, AIFF, DFF, DSF, MQA(Support Scheduled)
MQA playbackServices(Tidal Masters), Local files, External USB, MQA-CD(ripped)
Sample ratePCM: 8kHz ~ 384kHz (8/16/24/32bits per Sample) / DSD Native: DSD64(1bit 2.8MHz), Stereo / DSD128(1bit 5.6MHz), Stereo / DSD256(1bit 11.2MHz), Stereo
Output Level[Phone Out]
High: Unbalanced 6Vrms / Balanced 12Vrms (Condition No Load)
Mid: Unbalanced 4Vrms / Balanced 8Vrms (Condition No Load)
Low: Unbalanced 2Vrms / Balanced 4Vrms (Condition No Load)
[XLR Out]
4Vrms (Condition No Load)
DACESS ES9038PRO SABRE 8channel x2 (Dual DAC)
DecodingSupport up to 32bit / 384kHz Bit-to-Bit Playback
InputUSB Type-C input (for PC & MAC)
OutputsPHONES (3.5mm) / Optical Out (3.5mm) / Balanced Out (2.5mm, only 4-pole supported) / XLR Out (Mini 5pin)
Wi-Fi802.11 b/g/n (2.4GHz)
BluetoothV4.2 (A2DP, AVRCP, aptXTM HD)
Dimensions3.45 ”(87.75 mm) [W] x 5.51 ”(140 mm) [H] x 1.24 ”(31.5 mm) [D]
Weight17.3 oz (493 g)
Feature EnhancementsFirmware upgrades supported (OTA)
Audio Performance
Frequency Response[Phone Out]
±0.027dB (Condition : 20Hz~20kHz) Unbalance / ±0.025dB (Condition : 20Hz~20kHz) Balance
±0.07dB (Condition : 10Hz~70kHz) Unbalance / ±0.087dB (Condition : 10Hz~70kHz) Balance
[XLR Out]
±0.025dB (Condition : 20Hz~20kHz) / ±0.032dB (Condition : 10Hz~70kHz)
Signal to Noise Ratio[Phone Out] 117dB @ 1kHz, Unbalance / 117dB @ 1kHz, Balance
[XLR Out] 128dB @ 1kHz
Crosstalk[Phone Out] 129dB @ 1kHz, Unbalance / 136dB @ 1kHz, Balance [XLR Out] 146dB @ 1kHz
THD+N[Phone Out] 0.0004% @ 1kHz, Unbalance / 0.0005% @ 1kHz, Balance [XLR Out] 0.0004% @ 1kHz
IMD SMPTE[Phone Out] 0.0005% 800Hz 10kHz(4:1) Unbalance / 0.0006% 800Hz 10kHz(4:1) Balance [XLR Out] 0.0006% 800Hz 10kHz(4:1)
Output ImpedancePHONES 3.5mm (1.2ohm) / Balanced out 2.5mm (1.6ohm)
Clock source
Reference Clock Jitter250 Femto Seconds
Capacity7,400mAh 3.8V Li-Polymer Battery
Continuous Playback Timeup to 9 hours (Standard - MUSIC: FLAC, 16-bit/44kHz, Unbalance, Volume 80, EQ OFF, LCD OFF, LOW GAIN)
Charge TimeAbout 4 hours (Standard - 9V/1.67A Fast charging) About 5.5 hours (Standard - 5V/2A General charging)
Built-in Memory128GB [NAND]
External MemorymicroSD x1
Supported OSWindows 7,8,10 (32/64bit), MAC OS X 10.7 and up

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