Kennerton LSA HP2
Mar 12, 2021 at 12:32 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 93

FullBright1

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Update : 3-13

LSA HP2 Ultra - Mini Review 3-12-2021

I wanted to give you some insight regarding this set of Audiophile Headphones.
This is my Honeymoon right out of the box assessment.

Dac/Amp used :

Matrix Pro I-3
Prism Sound Callia


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The LSA HP2 is the Underwood HiFi version of the Kennerton Gjallarhorn.
""""The GJallarhorn is a $1,300.00 Kennerton phone which uses a superb new horn loaded 50 mm driver with a bio-cellulose and paper membrane with a graphene coating.
The Underwood LSA HP2 is the same exact gear except for a slight cosmetic difference.
Same Sonics and the Price is $799 USD, shipped from Underwood anywhere in the world."""
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Let me get the required info out of the way :


Gear comes in the usual brown Kennerton cardboard box / Nice soft case.

1. Comfort : Good. . Very Light Headphones.... Lowish clamping pressure.

2. Design : Same metal Frame and headband Kennerton uses on most of their Headphones.

3. Cups : Wooden...Probably Maple with Leather Pads that are round and medium soft. Large ears may feel them slightly.

4. Cable. You get one, its 5ft and fabric and slightly microphonic. IF you want the Gold very nice upgrade, 1.5 meter, its $150 USD shipped from Underwood HiFi.
However, You probably have this type cable.
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So, let me get right into the sound and sonics...

This is a clean analytical detailed analysis machine.
IT will be right at home in a music studio being used for Tracking, Mixing, and Mastering.
Or for the Audiophile who is into Abyss Headphones or who loves clean detailed sound as is not in love with a low mid hump as the HP2's do not have one.
This is my opinion.....If Abyss made a wooden cup $1000 set of closed headphones, somewhat based on the sound of the OG Abyss 1266, it would sound similar to the LSA HP2.
If you've not heard the 1266, let me tell you that it has a clinical analytical sound.
Where the HP2 is different is that its closed, and its more natural sounding and it's analytical vs clinical.
Is also very easy to drive.

As compared to the Meze Empyrean, the Meze is much smoother, more round-toned.... and less detailed.
As compared to the Quad ERA-1, the Quad is much warmer, tho the Quad does offer a lot of detail.
As compared to the Senn HD800S, the HP2 easily matches it for Detail, but is more natural sounding.

And i can tell that break in will really elevate this headphone into a Class all by itself.

Specs :

Treble : Analytical and extended, yet not annoying or harsh. Female vocals will pop and percussion, guitar, snare, synths, sound excellent through these headphones.

Midrange: Clean clear natural, with additional presence. Lots of detail. More analytical then warm.

Low Mid/Upper Bass : Not dominate yet quite revealing. This is kept well in control which allows the HP2's sound to shine as very resolving and analytical.

Bass : Balanced, reaches low, textured, and goes DEEP.

Tonality : Natural but very articulate and expressive and dynamic.

Timbre : Insightful

Instrument Separation: Very Good

Soundstage : The 50mm Dynamic Drivers sit inside shallow cups with fairly deep pads. Nice depth of soundstage and width is perfect. Its not so wide that the center is reduced as you find with HD800S's . The soundstage is very well designed.
This is a very well tuned set of headphones

FR : Musical Diagnostics

So what is this headphone trying to do?
Its trying to be incredibly insightful and accurate while sounding natural within that context.
This is a fine line, because, typically, the more analytical the less musical. So, with this Gear there is an impressive amount of information being revealed that deems their sound, overall crystal analytical, yet, the gear has been tuned with "musical sound" as the framework.

The HP2-s sound is not laid back, or mellow, or clinical.
Its not sterile or dry or treble etched.
Its natural and analytical.
This gear is all about dynamic attack and detail retrieval and absolute clarity.
I brand this type of sound "Microscopes on your ears", but, in this case, there is a natural quality to the sound that is impressive.

Does a warmer sounding set of closed headphones exist? Sure.
Does a more forgiving set of closed headphones exist? Sure.
Does a better sounding set of closed Headphones exist? I can't think of one. But remember, this gear is relentless in it pursuit of detail, and that is why i compared it earlier, to the Abyss 1266.
I didn't say it sounds like that set of Headphones, i said that if Abyss made a $1000 set of "sounds kinda like a closed version of the 1266" then the LSA HP2 is certainly within that Family Tree.

Verdict : This could be the
closed set of headphones that sets the bar.
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Mar 29, 2021 at 7:25 AM Post #3 of 93

Daiyama

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Your review is very intriguing.
A lot of superlatives, it sounds like a dream come true for closed back headphones.
To be honest, it sounds a little bit to good to be true.

Better than the original, for nearly half the price.
Why should Kennerton build a cheaper headphone for a different company, which is better than their own headphones?
Any idea how they made this happen?
 
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Mar 30, 2021 at 8:24 AM Post #4 of 93

BubbaJay

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Great review and as someone that's had the HP-2 for almost 2 months now I agree with pretty much everything you said. I will say that as time goes on they start to sound a little less analytical but it's a very small change so don't think it's going to warm up a lot after burn-in or anything.

These are one of the best sounding headphones I've ever had and anyone looking for an analytical very detailed and revealing headphone should really consider the LSA HP-2.

Also they got the driver wrong on the Underwood Hifi site because it uses the same graphene coated driver as the Gjallarhorn and there is no biocellulose or papper membrain used in the driver, I believe that's the driver from the open-back Vali.
 
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Aug 5, 2021 at 4:27 PM Post #5 of 93

Archerious

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Just got my LSA-HP2 in and wow I'm impressed. The more I listen the more I like them.

Some impressions in casual/poor writing below (on break at work, don't have too much time till later to correct grammar)

tia - deal with devil
good, but nothing special, very similar to HD650, but closed back
the left seems slightly louder? might just be the song

man human by denki groove
bass isnt as impactful as arya but similar to HD650, expected a bit more for a closed back pair costing $849 w/ Zebra wood
the mids and other instruments sound really good at 2:08 part of song
vocals at 2:48 sound a little more distant than the Arya, and even more so than the HE6SE
ZMF Eikon was better, but this can so far impresses me more than the ZMF Atticus did

tig-hug by evexsou
good instrument separation especially at 0:35
bit bright around 1:20, oddly enough the can i less similar to HD650 in that regard, its more alive in the treble
1:48 good instrument separation again
2:02 good detail
2:52 vocals are not artificially sounding like the Arya comes across with its giant soundstage, this is more intimate like HE6SE.

kan saete kuyashiiwa
1:00 lovely vocals really intimate presentation

kogarashi sentiment - monogatari
0:33 guitar in left is quiet but there
Vocals are intimate around 0:48


notes: will need to look up EQ profiles for kennerton cans and see if one would work out well for the HP-2, that may help


comfort is great on the cans, lightweight
All tests using Gumby, Apple Music lossless, and Jot2.
 
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Aug 10, 2021 at 7:39 AM Post #6 of 93

EternityInParis

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Just got my LSA-HP2 in and wow I'm impressed. The more I listen the more I like them.

Some impressions in casual/poor writing below (on break at work, don't have too much time till later to correct grammar)

tia - deal with devil
good, but nothing special, very similar to HD650, but closed back
the left seems slightly louder? might just be the song

man human by denki groove
bass isnt as impactful as arya but similar to HD650, expected a bit more for a closed back pair costing $849 w/ Zebra wood
the mids and other instruments sound really good at 2:08 part of song
vocals at 2:48 sound a little more distant than the Arya, and even more so than the HE6SE
ZMF Eikon was better, but this can so far impresses me more than the ZMF Atticus did

tig-hug by evexsou
good instrument separation especially at 0:35
bit bright around 1:20, oddly enough the can i less similar to HD650 in that regard, its more alive in the treble
1:48 good instrument separation again
2:02 good detail
2:52 vocals are not artificially sounding like the Arya comes across with its giant soundstage, this is more intimate like HE6SE.

kan saete kuyashiiwa
1:00 lovely vocals really intimate presentation

kogarashi sentiment - monogatari
0:33 guitar in left is quiet but there
Vocals are intimate around 0:48


notes: will need to look up EQ profiles for kennerton cans and see if one would work out well for the HP-2, that may help


comfort is great on the cans, lightweight
All tests using Gumby, Apple Music lossless, and Jot2.

What I like about these is you can use them as portable headphones. Good sound isolation and lightweight, even comes with a bag to carry them around in. The cups swivel so you can lay it around your neck. One of the best SQ on the go. If you bend the top corners of the steel headband inwards you can get more bass. Try pressing the cups towards your head and see if you notice anymore dynamics/low end.
 
Aug 10, 2021 at 11:03 AM Post #7 of 93

FullBright1

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What I like about these is you can use them as portable headphones. Good sound isolation and lightweight, even comes with a bag to carry them around in. The cups swivel so you can lay it around your neck. One of the best SQ on the go. If you bend the top corners of the steel headband inwards you can get more bass. Try pressing the cups towards your head and see if you notice anymore dynamics/low end.

Be careful pressing the cups, as you can cause the center dome to dent, and if that happens, you'll lose volume in that speaker.
You then have to take the cup apart and get the dent out.
There is a video on youtube that shows you how, just in case.
 
Oct 20, 2021 at 6:53 PM Post #8 of 93

Shane D

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I am SO tempted to order these...
 
Oct 21, 2021 at 3:43 PM Post #9 of 93

LostnAmerica

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I am SO tempted to order these...
A general question, will the lastest version HP-2 SE sound the same as the original HP-2's? I'm looking to get one or the other, with the SE version really a good looking set... thank you.
UPDATE: I posed a question and an answer came back from the LSA website (Larry). The two are identical in build and sound signature and the only difference is a cosmetic one, whereas the HP-2 Ultra SE has the Zembrano wood... Anyway, I drank the koolaide, and was fortunate to find a used pair today that's about a month old...They will be here early next week. It feels like Black Friday and Christmas combined, pretty excited. I'm definitely looking forward to listening to some great music with these...
Cheers
 
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Oct 24, 2021 at 8:19 PM Post #10 of 93

LostnAmerica

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The Ultra se' are scheduled to arrive Thursday. Yay!
 
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Oct 24, 2021 at 8:59 PM Post #11 of 93

Shane D

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A general question, will the lastest version HP-2 SE sound the same as the original HP-2's? I'm looking to get one or the other, with the SE version really a good looking set... thank you.
UPDATE: I posed to question and an answer came back from the LSA website (Larry). The two are identical in build and sound signature and the only difference is a cosmetic one, whereas the HP-2 Ultra SE has the Zembrano wood... Anyway, I drank the koolaide, and was fortunate to find a used pair today that's about a month old...They will be here early next week. It feels like Black Friday and Christmas combined, pretty excited. I'm definitely looking forward to listening to some great music with these...
Cheers
Did you ask the seller why he sold them so quickly? Instant dislike? He must be taking a big loss.
 
Oct 24, 2021 at 9:14 PM Post #12 of 93

LostnAmerica

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Did you ask the seller why he sold them so quickly? Instant dislike? He must be taking a big loss.
Yes I did. He has a large collection of headphones and loves to try them and move them out. he was reducing his inventory, he did put about 90 hours on them and contrarily, he really liked the sound, just too many sets of cans. Here is the response I received regarding the quick sale..."
Hi there. I am impressed so far with them, compared to the HP-3 I tried first. Wide soundstage, sparkle in the highs, slightly forward midrange, tight/deep bass response and excellent detail. I have around 90 hours of break in time. There are no sonic differences in the regular HP-2 versus these. I can ask Walter at Underwood HiFi to make sure. I think it is more cosmetics.
And yes, he did lose some $ on them but looks like he can afford to do that in which I am thankful. I was going to buy a new pair from LSA ($849). Now I don't have to break them in... :)

Cheers
 
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Oct 26, 2021 at 9:33 AM Post #13 of 93

Shane D

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I decided to hop on the LSA bus this morning. Underwood is having a bit of a sale. I got them for $799.00 this morning.

And now the wait.
 
Oct 26, 2021 at 10:09 AM Post #14 of 93

trellus

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I decided to hop on the LSA bus this morning. Underwood is having a bit of a sale. I got them for $799.00 this morning.

And now the wait.
Woohoo! I am definitely looking forward to your impressions! I have great hope for these and your assessment is going to really help. 👌🏽
 
Oct 26, 2021 at 10:44 AM Post #15 of 93

LostnAmerica

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I decided to hop on the LSA bus this morning. Underwood is having a bit of a sale. I got them for $799.00 this morning.

And now the wait.
Nice score, That's a pretty good deal there. I too, will be waiting for your impressions...mine will be here Thursday (yay!)
Cheers
 

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