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Kennerton Thror

Rating:
4/5,
  • thror-6-900x900.jpg

    We are proud to announce our new flagship model - Thror, Odin's successor. It has a new, higher class and better performing driver. The new driver is made of high-tech materials and includes a new patented membrane, which delivers better resolution, extraordinary tonal balance and a perfect sound scene.

    In addition we fixed the main Odin's issues - the weight. Thror is much lighter - 480 gr vs. Odin's 680.

    The new model also has a new, more comfortable headband and a high class cable.

    • new unique high end driver
    • new wider headband with soft fill and better genuine leather
    • new cable

Recent Reviews

  1. earfonia
    The Gentle Thror
    Written by earfonia
    Published Jan 5, 2019
    4.0/5,
    Pros - Neutral and relatively uncolored sound signature. Pleasant and Non-fatiguing for long sessions. Very good built quality.
    Cons - Dynamic, Instrument separations, and stereo holography are not the best for a headphone in this price category.
    Webpage:
    https://kennerton.com/thror
    https://kennerton.com/headphones

    RAA Measurement of Kennerton Thror:
    https://reference-audio-analyzer.pro/en/report/hp/kennerton-thror.php


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    I would like to give a big thank to Zeppelin & Co. (Singapore) for the loan of the Kennerton Thror for review purposes!


    Kennerton Thror, Odin's successor, reminds me a lot of the Kennerton Odin. Therefore in this review, I will be referring to my review of Kennerton Odin to highlight some aspects of the Kennerton Thror.

    My review of the Kennerton Odin:
    https://www.head-fi.org/showcase/kennerton-odin.21886/reviews#review-17108

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    Kennerton has improved some design aspects of Odin on Thror, mainly the weight and cable. Thror is lighter and more comfortable than Odin and has better cable with proper ¼” headphone jack. Besides that Kennerton use a newly designed high end 80mm planar-magnetic driver on Thror. And like the Odin, Thror also comes with various wooden cups. The one that I review here is Thror Bog Oak.

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    Pros:
    Neutral tonality, perceived as very smooth and refined sounding.
    Good treble response yet immune to sibilant.
    Pleasant and Non-fatiguing for long sessions.
    Generally lighter and more comfortable than the predecessor, the Kennerton Odin.
    Easy to drive.
    Very good built quality.

    Cons:
    Dynamic, Instrument separations, and stereo holography are not the best and the most holographic for a headphone in this price category.
    The nice wooden box is again, like the Kennerton Odin wooden box, cannot accommodate the headphone with the headband extended and with the cable attached.

    Suggestions for Improvements:
    Dynamic, resolution and instrument separation could be improved further for a more realistic and lively musical experience.
    The box should be designed to be able to keep the headphone after we use it, without the hassle to remove the cable and readjusting the headband.
    Balanced cable should have been included in the package.




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    Sound Quality:
    Sound observation is done mostly using the balanced cable, driven from the balanced output of Questyle CMA600i USB DAC and Headphone Amp.

    Smooth, refined, neutral, and polite are probably the best few words I would use to describe the sound signature of Kennerton Thror. The smooth, fluid and cohesive sound with the polite presentation are probably the most prominent characters from the sound signature. Technically it could probably be related to the flat perceived frequency response and the absent of any annoying peaks and dips that translates to a very coherent sound from bass to treble. It has good clarity, but not tuned to be a clarity and detail oriented headphone such as the HD-800. Thror has neutral and good quality bass that extends pretty low, that I think many audiophiles may find it good and sufficient, but I do prefer slightly more bass dynamic. Thror bass, especially around the midbass, is fuller sounding than HD800, therefore it is actually quite satisfying, but the sub-bass rumble is not very cinematic. To me, Thror tonality sounds neutral. It is not bright nor warm sounding, just neutral, probably with some very mild emphasize on the midrange area. Those who are treble sensitive but still would love to hear a good level of clarity and good quality treble would probably find Thror sounds very pleasant and Non-fatiguing even for long session listening, while still providing a good amount of clarity. Unlike some V shape tonality headphones with stronger bass and treble, the neutral and polite presentation of Thror might not give a strong wow effect on the first try, but the smooth and refined sonic signature is very pleasant for long sessions.

    I would say Thror with its relatively uncolored sonic signature is a good all-rounder. Thror presents classical, vocal, and jazz in a neutral, sweet, and intimate manner. it is just a bit shy with some bassy modern genres.


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    In comparison to Kennerton Odin, Thror perceived as having a more neutral tonality than Odin, and Odin can be perceived as mildly having a more V shape tonality than Thror. Odin has Slightly fuller midbass and more treble presence than Thror. Therefore bass may sound more satisfying on Odin due to slightly more dynamic, but the bass sounds more linear on Thror. Thror also shares the pleasant, rather forgiving, and non-fatiguing sonic character of Odin. Dynamic wise Thror is more polite than Odin, while Odin has slightly more oomph with a slightly more dynamic and lively presentation. Thror also shares some of Odin’s sounds characteristics such as the smooth, refined and cohesive sound. It also shares the tonal density characteristic of Odin, but Thror doesn’t sound as thick as the Odin. So Odin tonal density is slightly denser than Thror, but there are some similarities on tonal density characteristic between the two that makes them special. To me, Thror is like the more neutral, less colored version of Odin. While Odin is like the more dynamic and lively sounding version of Thror. I would say, it is not about which one that technically sounds better, but it is more a matter of personal preference. To me, I personally prefer a more dynamic and lively musical presentation, so the Odin suits my preference better. But those who prefer a more neutral version of Odin may find that Thror sounds better.

    Compared to my Sennheiser HD800 and Hifiman HE-6, Kennerton Thror is smoother and less grainy. I can say that Thror sound signature is very smooth and grain free. It is about as smooth as the Odin. When using liquid viscosity as an analogy, if HD800 and HE-6 roughly have the viscosity of water, Kennerton Thror is slightly thicker with slightly higher viscosity but slightly less thick than the Odin. HD800 and HE-6 are more lively and dynamic with more spacious stereo holography. While Thror sounds smoother, more polite with a more intimate presentation. Both HD800 and HE-6 sound brighter than Thror, therefore the perceived detail and resolution from HD800 and HE-6 might sound slightly higher, but it doesn’t mean that Thror is less capable in retrieving detail and resolution. Thror actually has pretty good detail and resolution but not as emphasized as both HD800 and HE-6. It is like a picture processed with different sharpening level. Same amount of detail but with the different perceived level of detail.

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    At this price point there is a lot to be expected from Kennerton Thror, therefore I will be rather extra picky when pointing out what factors that I think could be improved from Kennerton Thror. No doubt Thror is a very good sounding headphone, but at this price point, people will observe it with a magnifying glass. Here are some factors that I think from my point of view and subjective personal preference, could be improved.

    In the sound quality department, first I prefer the dynamic to be tuned to be a little more lively. When listening to ‘Bach Toccata And Fugue’ from ‘Dr. Chesky's Sensational, Fantastic, and Simply Amazing Binaural Sound Show’ album, I would like to feel the dynamic and grandeur of the pipe organ, especially the sub-bass rumble and vibration of the lower notes. But I didn’t really get that realistic feeling like I was in that church and listening to the live performance of a pipe organ. The higher register produced smoothly and faithfully by Thror, but the lower register although tonally correct, it lacks dynamic and weight to it. I know it is a very difficult task for a headphone to mimic the dynamic of the lower register of a church pipe organ, but at this price category, I expect Thror to perform better in the bass dynamic, especially on the sub-bass area.

    The second improvement in sound quality that I would like to hear is the stereo holography which in my opinion is not very spacious. In comparison, Sennheiser HD800 sounds more spacious and holographic than Thror. This could probably be a personal preference, and those who prefer the more intimate presentation could probably prefer Thror over the more spacious sounding HD800. I just personally prefer spacious sounding headphones.

    Other improvements that I can think of are probably to include the balanced cable in the package, and to improve the design of the wooden box to accommodate the headphone with the headband extended and the cable attached. But those are secondary.

    One thing I need to mention here is, like the Odin, Thror is also relatively easy to drive. It has the same 42 ohms impedance, with slightly less sensitivity than Odin, so at the same volume setting Odin will sound slightly louder. But Thror is still quite easy to drive that many modern DAPs today will have sufficient output level to drive Thror to adequate loudness. From all the DACs and amplifiers I have at home, I prefer the matching with Questyle CMA600i which has great resolution and detail retrieval ability.

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    Comfort
    Although Kennerton Thror is about 20%-27% lighter (depending on the type of wood) than Kennerton Odin, at around 480 grams (headphone only) it is generally still a bit on the heavy side. 400 grams would be my threshold for what I would consider as a lightweight headphone. But the level of comfort is subjective as seasoned head-fiers sometime could wear even heavier headphones for hours without comfort issue. While those who are not used to headphones sometime may have comfort issue even with a very lightweight headphone.

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    For me, so far I have no comfort issue with Thror. The headband construction with the adjustable driver position provides good fit and comfort. Headband clamp force is probably medium in my chart, not too hard, but not light either. Just nice for me. And the fine lambskin leather pad feels great and comfortable.

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    Cable
    The cable is detachable using 4 pins mini XLR, with similar pin assignment as the Odin and Audeze LCD headphones. So Audeze LCD headphone cables can be used for Thror and vice versa.

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    The stock cable is an unbalanced cable using ¼” headphone jack. A more proper connector for a headphone in this size and category, than the Odin’s cable that comes with 3.5mm headphone jack. Balanced cable with 4 pins XLR is optional. I think for this price the balanced cable should have been included. Why I think the balanced cable should have been included is because audiophiles that would buy a headphone at this price will most likely have DAC or headphone amplifier with balanced output.

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    Similar design 'flaw' as the Odin’s wooden box, the Thror nice wooden box is unfortunately rather useless for daily use. It is only useful to keep Thror when we want to keep it for a long time. The wooden box cannot accommodate Thror with the headband extended and the cable attached. That means after we adjusted the headband to fit our head and attached the cable, we cannot use the box to keep the headphone without removing the cable and re-adjust the headband back to the shortest position. To me this is really annoying. Kennerton should have designed the box with slightly larger cavity to be able to accommodate the headphone with the cable attached and the headband extended at maximum.

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    I’m glad to see that Kennerton keeps improving their planar-magnetic headphones, and Thror reflects well their effort to make some of the best planar-magnetic headphones. As Odin's successor, Thror performs really well, although sound quality wise I would say it is probably on par and not necessarily better than Odin. Even if my personal preference for sound signature leans more to the Odin sonic signature, but I would say both are technically very good sounding headphones. Once again kudos to Kennerton!




    Equipment used in this review:

    Headphones:
    Hifiman HE-6
    Sennheiser HD800

    DAC & Headphone Amplifiers:
    Questyle CMA600i




    Some recordings used in this review:
    16 Albums - A 1000px.jpg

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