February 10, 2023 Comments Off on ASTELL&KERN KANN MAX REVIEW

With the KANN MAX, you get the typical Astell&Kern approach to sound. That means a more neutral tuning with a normal amount of body (weight), and a high technical level with plenty of energy. Combine all that and you get a precise yet musical sounding DAP.

The MAX has excellent PRaT and the presentation is spacious and airy, especially in the mid region. Sound stage-wise the MAX also performs well, even though the highest-end DAPS still up the level a bit. What I really like with the MAX is the depth and layering you get, especially in the bass and mid sections. With the ESS DACs, you just know the KANN MAX will be a strong performer when it comes to precision, detail and revealing all the musical details. The note extension is a pleasure to the ear. I must admit, I really like listening to AK DAPs.

The Astell& Kern KANN MAX is the kind of DAP that grows on you. It doesn’t seem to be spectacular at first sight, but for some reason you keep going back to it. That’s usually an indication the DAP is doing multiple things right!

I have been mostly using KANN MAX when on the go, but it also often (together with the SP3000) is my to go to DAP at home for late night listening sessions. The MAX doesn’t only sound good (typical AK style), it also is beautiful, well built and very easy to use. It also has a nice number of features and personalization, as well as streaming possibilities.

The only thing I am missing with the KANN, is the new UI of the SP3000. I am not sure we’ll see something similar in the future with the KANN series, but I do hope it will improve and fix the screen reactivity. While it certainly is a powerful DAP, I with the majority harder to drive headphones didn’t quite find them to perform at the same level as with a desktop setup. But hook up a not so tough to drive full-sized headphone, and the KANN MAX will impress.


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