Review: Kennerton Odin

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test kennerton odin

The Kennerton Odin is an open-back, Planar Magnetic model designed to be paired up with a high-quality headphone amplifier or an audiophile DAP. These headphones stand out from the vast majority of the competition as they use Planar Magnetic technology instead of traditional dynamic drivers, just like the Audeze LCD-3, Audeze LCD-4, Oppo PM-2 EU and HiFiMAN HE-1000 V2.

Here are some explanations:

The working principle of headphones is not fundamentally different from that of loudspeakers. Although headphones are generally fitted with only one wideband driver -while speakers use several drivers- their working principle is very similar. As the Russian specialist in this domain, Kennerton offers of wide range of dynamic driver headphones. For its flagship model, the Odin, the brand uses Planar Magnetic technology.

Planar Magnetic:  the headphone driver reinvented

Traditional headphones, whether they are open or closed models, on-ear or over-ear, are fitted with dynamic drivers. These drivers are extremely similar to speaker drivers and are often made up of a small cone (paper, mylar, or metal) attached to a basket by a circular surround. The base of the cone is attached to a copper coil surrounded by a permanent magnet. When the audio signal is sent by the amplifier (the DAP?s amplifier for example), it runs through the driver?s coil and creates a magnetic field which interacts with the magnet. The coil is then set in motion and combines with the driver?s cone to create sound via vibrations. The main drawback -so to speak- of this technology is that a very small coil works with a big cone via a small contact surface.

test kennerton odin
The Kennerton Odin headphones? headband adjustment system.

Planar Magnetic drivers are not fundamentally different from dynamic drivers. The vibrations of the membrane are caused by the interaction between two magnetic fields -one created by a wire conducting the signal sent by the amplifier and one created by the magnets. The mechanical coupling between the wire and the surface is a lot more important than that of the coil and the cone, which results in an optimal transient response. Moreover, Planar Magnetic technology uses several rows of powerful magnets situated on either side of the cone instead of a single magnet.

The result: the sound is a lot more immersive and precise as the membrane moves a lot faster than the cone of a dynamic driver. The transient response is considerably increased, along with the sound accuracy. The important emissive surface also optimizes the breadth of the sound stage.

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The Kennerton Odin headphones? headband adjustment system.

Kennerton Odin: manufacturing quality

The materials used to build the Kennerton Odin tell us a lot about the overall quality of this model. Although it is simply made of leather, wood, and steel, the materials are of the highest quality. These headphones have a vintage look straight out of the box. They feel like a collector took great care of them throughout the years. The materials, the workmanship, and the finish are all spectacular. Kennerton points out that the wooden earcup shells, in addition to being designed to optimize sound restitution, are sanded, treated with oil, cooked, and polished before going through a high-temperature drying process and receiving a layer of wood patina as a finishing touch. Nothing less!

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The Kennerton Odin is an open-back model fitted with acoustic cloth to conceal its transducers.

Kennerton Odin : specs

The Kennerton Odin features a set of 80mm Planar Magnetic transducers fitted with 10 µm thick polyamide film. The driver has a frequency response of 15 Hz – 50 kHz and a sensitivity of 104dB at 1 mW. Its nominal impedance rating is 35 Ohms, which means these headphones can be used with any portable device or home source, regardless of its power rating: smartphone, audiophile DAP, portable headphone amplifier, Hi-Fi headphone amplifier, or USB DAC.

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The Kennerton Odin’s earpieces are covered with genuine lamb leather.

Kennerton Odin: accessories

The Kennerton Odin comes with a protective case and a 2 m long detachable cable with a 6.3 mm jack connector, which comes in its own wooden box.

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The storage cases of the Kennerton Odin and its detachable cable.

Kennerton Odin: test conditions and listening impressions

We used the Kennerton Odin with a FiiO X7 Mark II DAP, and we listened to studio and CD quality FLAC files.

Sound signature:the sound restitution is warm, and the drivers were obviously optimized with great precision. Kennerton is in familiar territory, and these headphones were made for music lovers first and foremost. The low-mid range is clearly emphasized, to the point that we were initially taken aback by the slight sound coloration. It is also worth mentioning that we had tested the much more neutral Focal Clear headphones right before testing the Odin. The emphasis on the low-mids results in a rich restitution of vocals -especially with male voices- as well as exemplary articulation. The transient response is absolutely exceptional: the inflexion of a note, on bass guitar for example, is easily perceptible and spices up the restitution. The Odin’s dynamic capacity is excellent, even at high volume. Each sound, each instrument, each voice is extracted without the slightest difficulty, and the listener is captivated -if not mesmerized- by the long-lasting note fade-outs, which can be heard until the very last moment.

Sound stage: the Kennerton Odin makes it especially easy to pinpoint artists and instruments in the studio or on stage -when the live soundtake permits it. The excellent transient response brings out details usually muffled by traditional headphones. It is therefore easier for the listener to pinpoint artists and instruments in the soundstage.

Lows: the lows are swift and precise and benefit from a satisfactory frequency response for an open-back model. The energy is well balanced, with a slight emphasis on the high-bass range, which works well with the aforementioned low-mids, although with a bit less accentuation.

Mids: the midrange is especially accentuated by the Odin, at least in the low-mids. The high-mids are full of well-arranged details. We noticed a little bit of harshness at high levels, probably because our DAP was reaching its limits.

High: the high range benefits from an extensive response and is free of any  excessive brightness.

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The Kennerton Odin’s unbalanced detachable cable with its mini-XLR connector.

Conclusion

What we liked:

  • The transient response
  • The audible note fade-outs
  • The tones
  • The manufacturing quality
  • The absence of plastic parts

We would have liked:

  • A more intuitive headband adjustment system

The Kennerton Odin headphones stand out for the richness and accuracy of their sound restitution. This model ensures a precise tone restitution and is ideal for listening sessions in a quiet environment.

test kennerton odin

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