🔷 Kennerton Gjallarhorn

This is the official thread for the Kennerton Gjallarhorn

This thread is for discussion and reviews.

  • Type: Over Ear
  • Amp needed: Yes
  • Closed Back

:red_circle: Kennerton Link

[Reviews]

Z Reviews…

2 Likes

I’m not even gonna try to pronounce that

4 Likes

Oh I would LOVE to hear these.

1 Like

Google Translate to the rescue. Of course that’s modern Norse, not old Norse.

I literally just saw this a week ago and happy that there is a thread started for this. I’m super intrigued by these cans. They don’t have to be amazing, I’m just hoping they are different enough to justify owning. Like the audio quest nighthawks. If it just sounds good, like any other decent headphones in it’s range and doesn’t do anything different, My interest will probably be lost. The horn driver is really enticing to me, Just being able to say I own a pair of cans that are horn driven is a major selling point.

Honestly I’ve had them for a few days and they are pretty sick, easily something staying in my collection so far

6 Likes

I’m so glad to hear that!

Do they produce sound in a unique enough way to justify owning?

I own a pair, I’ve had them a few weeks, I’m going to spend the weekend listening to them exclusively. I’ll post more complete feelings about them then.
They sound very different to anything else I own, Bass heavy slanted down. But they will manage to sound very open, Very dynamic, can sound really good with rock, metal or other bass heavy genres.
It’s a sound signature it still takes me a few minutes to adjust to when I swap from another headphone, but my current feeling Is they are worth owning.

3 Likes

Awesome man! That’s all I really needed to hear is that they do something unique with the sound. Have you run them off of a tube to see if they benefit from that amp location at all?

They are pretty terrible of cheaper tube amps I have, the DNA Stratus works on the 8 Ohm out, but for most people I’d recommend Solid State.

I think so, the overall presentation is very unique with a surprisingly large stage imo, very punchy and the way it portray macro and micro detail in contrast with each other is hard to really describe. The bass is pretty punchy and fun, not super slammy or impactful but prominent, midrange has good timbre and a fun tuning, and treble is actually pretty solid and capable. But the presentation is just really different in a good way, similar in a way to how the hawks have a unique presentation. While it’s not natural sounding it’s very engaging and fun.

Amp wise it’s actually pretty picky, you want to make sure you have amps with low noise floor and lower output impedance. I haven’t tried mine on some of my tube amps but for the most part I stick to ss

4 Likes

On my apex I have to put it to iem mode for example lol. But most reasonably quiet solid state amps do the job well but will change the sound depending on the amps character

Yes forgot to mention the noise floor issue with amps.
They are 116 dB/mW, if your amp has an audible noise floor you will hear it.
I had a noisy cable in my system, that was an audible buzz the the Gjallerhorn, until I tracked it down.

1 Like

Man I am so happy I have found this site because I have gotten so much useful information. Just knowing that these do something different is justifiable to own them. Looks like imma have to start saving. I own the thx 789. Hopefully that is quiet enough for these, haven’t had any issue with it on any other cans in the past.

That should be quiet enough for these, the thx have a very low noise floor

Some thoughts on the Kennerton Gjallarhorn GH50.

I picked this headphone up on a whim, the claim of being the first horn-loaded headphones was enough to intrigue me.

The Gjallarhorn is a closed back headphone with a 50mm Graphene coated dynamic driver, which I assume is the same driver as used in the Magni, but in the Gjallarhorn Kennerton claim horn-loading of the driver.

I had looked at the pictures of the driver cavity and was unconvinced that horn-loading would have any impact in such a small space.

Short version is I still don’t know for sure it’s the horn-loading, but it’s a very unique sounding headphone and it does have some of the characteristics I equate with horn loaded speakers, a sort of immediacy, directness and impact that is unique to horns.

General impressions
The Gjallarhorn is not a Neutral headphone, FR slants down all the way through the frequency range. It’s a pleasing/fun bass heavy tuning.
It’s the most open sounding closed back headphone I have heard, and I own Eikons and a Verite Closed.
It’s incredibly dynamic sounding. It’s not a prticularly resolving headphone, but it does have good microdynamics.
Bass is plentiful, and rendered in a very pleasing way, though it doesn’t exhibit great slam or impact, I don’t really miss them
The Midrange has good impact and timbre in the vocal range.
The treble is pleasant, it is rolled off, it’s most noticeable to me in the sound of cymbals/high-hats, they lack some of the splash I would normally expect, and it lets the Gjallarhorn render even poor recordings in a way that makes them pleasing.

Nothing really sounds bad on these headphones, they really good with Bass heavy music, Rock, Metal, some Blues, it’s actually an good listen with some classical material, tonality isn’t neutral, but the staging makes for a good experience. I don’t do EDM, but I’d imagine they would work well.

Comfort
It’s a very light headphone, Kennerton claim 440g, mine weigh 380g without the cable.
I don’t like the newer Kennerton headband, the steel frame will ring if you knock it, they rely on the flexibility of that band for the rotaion of the cups and the elesticated headband feels cheap.
The holes in the ear cups are relatively deep but small, small enough to touch my ears most of the area of the cups, this can take some getting used to, but I didn’t find it too bad even over longer listening sessions. Pad rolling might be an option, but I suspect that the deep narrow pads are contributing to the “horn-loading”.

Amp pairings

Short version - Pick something SS or a Hybrid with a clean sound and low output impedance. Stay far away frm entry level valve amps.

You will need an amp with a low noise floor, they have 116 dB/mW efficiency, and if your amp hums or hisses you will hear it.
I did try them connected to my phone and they get plenty loud, but they lose a lot of the dynamics they have when used with an external amp.

Reasonable priced tube amps - ZDT Jr, Haggerman Tuba, SW51+, Bottlehead Crack + SB – Just Don’t, uncontrolled bloated mess
Liquid Platinum - Yes big thumbs up - you’ll need a balanced cable
Whammy - Yes thumbs up
Schiit Jotenheim - Sure
ZMF Pendant 8 Ohm - noise floor is a bit high, but it doesn’t sound unpleasant.
DNA Stratus 8 Ohm out - Sounds great, but probably you wouldn’t buy the amp just to drive these.

I really like this headphone, Mines staying in my active listening rotation. It put the Aeolus in it’s case.

9 Likes

:+1:

Honestly thought it would be a gimmick as well, glad it wasn’t the case lol

Thanks, @Polygonhell. That sensitivity seems really high. I know horn-speakers typically are quite sensitive. Do you think the horn loading here helped drive up that sensitivity?

I’m also curious if a higher-end version of this headphone that went for a more neutral tuning would not be as forgiving as you say these are. Was the bass-heavy tuning here necessary for them to not be too revealing by that horn and high sensitivity “amplifying” the flaws - for lack of better term?

I can’t really comment on the mechanics.
The Magni is 114 dB/mW, so there must be something to the horn boosting sensitivity, remembering at volume doubles every 3 dB’s

I think the tuning is deliberate, If I had to guess, the horn-loading probably lets them generate more pressure for the bass frequencies, and they are likely just playing off it.

3 Likes