Home Headphones Kennerton Magni headphone review — very unusual dynamic headphones

Kennerton Magni headphone review — very unusual dynamic headphones

by Paul Dmitryev
Kennerton Magni headphone review — very unusual dynamic headphones

I have been enjoying isodynamic Kennerton Thror flagship, and now I have a mid-budget Magni model that is interesting in several ways, including sound, of course.

There’s no doubt that it is transducer that is responsible for the result in sound. For this model manufacturer has found unusual dynamic driver with mylar diaphragm with graphene powder on top. As a result the driver has very good speed characteristics and preserves all advantages of dynamic transducer. There are wooden ear cups, especially processed using company’s know-how. The headband is made of steel. All this makes an interesting model with the sound quality of the upper-mid segment. It is available for purchase from the official website.

Specifications

  • Acoustic design: close-back
  • Transducer: dynamic, 50 mm
  • Frequency range: 10 Hz – 50 kHz
  • Sensitivity: 112 dB/v
  • Max power: 250 mWt
  • Impedance: 33Ω
  • Cable: 2 m, detachable with 3.5 mm jacks as connectors
  • Weight: 392 g.

Packaging

There is no wooden packaging this time, it’s kept for advanced segment, but you will get a more useful thing with Magni. There is a stylish artificial leather pouch with band to wear over the shoulder. It looks and feels really good.

Apart from headphones you will get cable and 6.3 mm to 3.5 mm cable.

Design and comfort

This is a usual Kennerton experience — wood, metal and protein leather. The cups are made of wood and there are several types to choose from. They are especially processed to ensure maximum longevity and durability. The outer parts (this is a closed-back model) are made of metal and compensating holes are looking impressive in the form of company logo — the bat. Overall build quality is traditionally great and even more expensive models sometimes do not have such good build quality.

The headband is made of thin springy steel and there is a soft band with automatic tension system that provides headphones with correct weight balance. The force is very accurately balanced — headphones hold well on head but there is no discomfort. The cups are held with regular standard “forks”.

Earpads are quite soft, of average depth and they are fully over-ear that ensures comfortable wear and sound isolation. Sometimes it lacks ability to turn the cups vertically to ensure correct fit, but it is all about finding the correct position of Magni on head — they are really comfortable even without it. As in any other closed headphones you will have to make breaks, though to give rest to ears.

Magni have not bad isolation, you can hear something from outside, but people don’t hear your music at all, given you keep resonable volume. Of course Magni are not about portable use, but they will be great for open space at work.

The cable is detachable and symmetric, 3.5 mm jacks are used to connect the cable to ear cups. Stock cable has slight microphone effect because of nylon cover, but it provides additional strength. The headphones react well to cable rolling and here is the field for experiments both with sound and comfort.

Sound

I have used the following equipment for listening purposes.

  • Yulong DA10 и Resonessence Labs Concero HP в роли ЦАП и усилителя
  • Apple MacBook Pro Retina 2016 в роли источника
  • Audirvana+ в роли плеера
  • Lotoo Paw Gold Touch, Astell&Kern A&ultima SP1000 и другие в роли портативных плееров
  • Записи высокого разрешения в Lossless-форматах (Dr. Chesky The Ultimate Headphone Demonstration Disc и другие)

I have allowed 120 hours of burn in with audible changes within the first 100 hours.
To make it simple, Magni resemble Thror in overall presentation — they are neutral too, but due to correct micro dynamic balance they do not go to cold monitor sound.

Bass are accentuated in comparison to the rest of the frequency range, but this accent is moderate. Lows are fast, faster than most dynamic transducers can offer. Of course it is not the speed of planars, but they are leaders in their segment. There is good balance between weight and textures and together with great depth and control it makes the headphones really universal. They cope with natural bass and synthesized variants well. The headphones are not basshead, but bass is springy and thick.

Mids are neutral, with good resolution and accent on micro details. Macro details are presented well too and this makes headphonews sound not monitor. The headphones are emotional and have good transitions, of course, with correct recordings and source. Magni have good sound stage, it is above average in terms of depth and width and it is rare for closed back models.

Highs are the most tuned part of range in the model. The quantity is slightly diminished but at a correct amount and they sound very natural (in terms of closed backs). The overall sound is therefore comfortable and does not lack overtones and decays. Resolution is good, overall presentation is natural, attacks and decays are slightly slower than real but layering is good.

I can’t speak too much about comparisons since this is the only model of this price segment in my collection now and the only one I heard is MrSpeakers Æon, but they are isodynamic with more micro details and more monitor presentation — quite a different sound.

Compatibility

These headphones require source of normal power. They are not hard to drive on paper, but for example they are better driven balanced than single-ended from any portable player. I feel they have average sensitivity, since on the other hand they do not require too much power. The question of source remains to taste since the headphones are quite neutral.

In terms of style the headphones are universal but require quality recording. They gain 8 out of 10 in terms of bad recording sensitivity.

Example tracks

Renée Zellweger — For Once in My Life I don’t know who will be the next Oscar nominee, but if I were a cinema critic, I should say Renee Zellweger should make it. The Judie movie dedicated to Judie Garland (known as Dorothie role performer and Lisa Minelli mother) should have been a regular biopic, if not for Zellweger who turned it to epic with her acting and her singing. Of course we are interested in the latter. Kennerton play the musical part and the vocals great. In the soundtrack there is also a great duo with Sam Smith and acknowledged classics — Over the Rainbow.

https://tidal.com/track/111785964

Trialogue — My Favourite Things Biologist, physicist and neurobiologist come into studio… It might be some anecdote, but those are the real musician professions. Chris McMurran: fortepiano, Arvin Vaghela: bass and Alexander Blackwell: percussion — this is the band that has created one of the best jazz releases of this year, for me, of course. I might choose any track, but this is really a well-known piece and it suits Kennerton well — resolution, emotions and volume that underline great recording quality and dives the listener deeper into the track.

https://tidal.com/track/120970171

Hootie & the Blowfish — Miss California Let’s finish with a great example from the American rock-scene. The band Hootie & the Blowfish was founded in South Carolina in distant year of 1986 and develops American “narrative” rock style. This track is a vivid example of their creativity and lyrics are as important as music. Magni, with their detailed and precise mids, are suitable for this track very well. Of course, instrumental part is played well too, just assess piercing and airy coda that finishes the track.

Conclusion

If you search for the closed back model with unusual sound for this form-factor — neutral and detailed presentation, Magni should be the first model in your short list.

Translated by: Vadim Kolchev

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