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FloRolf

[Review] Kennerton Magister

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Posted · Original PosterOP

Hey Everyone!

As for my 5k post i *finally* got something special!

I got the opportunity to review the Kennerton Magister headphones, on which Kennerton gave me a discount.

Xxxxxxtra large thanks to Kennerton at this point!

So as you already know now, this review is about the Magister headphones by Kennerton.

First of, Kennerton is the russian premium partner of Fischer Audio, based in scandinavia.

The name Kennerton actually comes from the german "Kenner" and "Ton" which means "Expert" and "Sound".

I can confirm this since i'm german ;)

Putting it the other way around (TonKenner) would actually be better but doesn't sound as good in english.

The Magister is their mid tier, limited edition (350 pieces), premium headphone based on Fischer Audios FA-003TiW but it got

upgraded quite a bit. Other than this they also have the Vali and Odin. Odin being their top tier planar magnetic headphone.

Magister however is an dynamic headphone.

It features the following specs:

Frequency Response 10-26.000 hz

Impedance 64 Ohms

Sensitivity 101 dB

42mm driver size with Titanium coating

Weight 384 gramms

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PACKAGING

I received a small package from Kennerton which i imagined to be much larger.

They wrapped the main headphone packaging in a layer of bubble wrap and that's it.

After that though, you get this really cool and oldschool looking box. It kinda reminds me of

Bioshock for some reason O.o

As you can see i got #70 out of 350!

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Anyways, in the box you get:

1. The fabric carrying case with the headphones,

2. An extra pair of cushions made out of velour

3. Two cables, the thick one (premium) and the long, wibbley one

4. A certificate of warranty (3 years)

5. A manual

6. A CD with some russian jazz music

and i additionally received a personal message from the CEO,

thanking me for purchasing a Kennerton product. All self written. Nice touch indeed!

Case With Headphones and extra pair of cushions

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Thick premium Cable

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Cheaper thinn cable

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Certificate of warranty

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Envelope with the manual

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Russian Jazz CD,

which is very awesome in my opinion! I listen to Jazz stuff

from time to time and this one is really good. It's all russian so

i don't understand anything but the music is nice!

Also the quality of the recordings is pretty awesome.

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Special personal message from CEO, AWESOME looking card, love it! :o

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Overall the packaging and contents was pretty good! They didn't come as wrapped as my

Hifimans but still not many possibilities of damaging during shipping. I'd give it an 10/10,

not much to improve!

BUILD QUALITY

Now let's just move on to the looks and build quality.

The finish of these headphones is VERY beautiful. One of the most beautiful headphones i've seen.

It features wooden cups made out of over 2000 year old bog oak wood. On the box it actually says

2090+/-50years and that is no joke, they are actually that old. Pretty cool to know this but they say

it also changes the sound and signature because over the time the wood was burried in swamps it became really strong

and hard, that's why it is called "iron wood" sometimes.

They also have a really complex pyramid design inside the cup, consisting of 41 Pyramids and some rings on the outside.

The process of making a cup like this takes multiple days (+2000 years to get the wood :P) and is completely described

in the manual, if you are more interested. Most of the headphone is handmade but the complex cup design is mostly CNC machined.

The cups also have a Kennerton Stamp on them, which is made of metal and gives the headphones an even more

premium feel.

Kennerton_Magister_2.jpg

So that was the first thing that sets them apart from the FA-003TiW, but it surely wasn't the last thing.

The ear cushins as well as the headband are made out of real lambskin leather and you can actually smell that at first.

As you saw earlier, they supply you with an additional pair of velour pads, which is pretty cool and gives you even more value.

The next thing is the cable. You get one "normal" and quite long cable which i haven't used yet.

But you also get this really thick premium cable, both with a 6,3mm adapter. It is detachable from the headphones

with two 3.5mm connectors. The cable itself is nice but it's a little too thick and can't bend as good. It is also really

noticable when it rubs against your clothing (especailly zippers!) because of the poor sleeving above the splitter to the two 3.5mm connectors.

Other than that it's a pretty solid cable and it fits perfectly inside the cup and won't fall off.

I also heard people say the thick cable can't hold the 6.3mm adapter but that isn't true, but sadly it's not screw on like the other cable.

"Yarbo Audiophile" Cable, 6.3mm

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Kennerton branded 3.5mm splitters

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I found it a little sad that the ear cups themselves can not swivel in any direction, they are just centered stiff.

It's not like you want to fold the headphone for better travelling but it's still nice to have for comfort.

The mounting in general looks pretty identical to Beyerdynamics mounting and it can even fit alien heads as well as

smaller heads. You can feel a nice and satisfying clicking noise when adjusting the cans.

The left and right indicators are located on the cup mounting and look really sweet and shiny in silver.

This makes the headphones look a little bit modern in their overall oldschool design. I really like that approach.

There are pretty much no imperfections in the stitching. The cups are perfect and the mounting is perfect aswell.

Overall for build quality and looks I would give these headphones a 10/10!

COMFORT

In pretty much every review i've read about them, people complained about the really tight fit of the cans.

I was expecting similar to my HE400i which i like a lot and it's also said about that they are very tight.

But the Kennerton really squeezes your head compared to the Hifiman! It is unreal how strong they are.

The good thing is, you can always stretch too tight headphones but you can't really tighten too loose headphones,

so i appreciate that. They still didn't have to make it THAT strong.

After first putting them on you feel a little squeezed but after some time my head started to hurt because of the headband.

I felt that the weight of the headphones mainly centered on the mid of my head. So after a short time you start to feel it,

which made me quite sad. As for now my favorite headband design comes with the HE400i. The weight distribution is perfect and

even after hours you can't feel them although they are quite heavy.

Because of the fact that i was really unimpressed with the comfort i decided to buy an additional headband for the

Magister. This looks absolutely terrible and completely destroys the look of the headphones.

But the good thing? Now they are comfy as hell! After some time they don't squeez as much anymore either and with the new

ugly headband you can wear them for hours! I'm still looking for a different padding because this is really ugly

right now but comfort is my first priority.

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Condluding: comfort is probably the biggest weakness of these headphones out of the box, which is giving them only a 5/10.

Though with the "mod" they are quite comfortable and wearable shooting them up over the standard DT880 imho.

They are still a little tight.

A small comparison to my other cans:

HE400i: a solid 10/10, no compromises

Magister: 5/10

"mod" Magister: still a little tight 9/10

DT880: pretty good but not perfect 8.5/10

K7XX: "Meh" but because they are much lighter, a 7.5/10

SOUND QUALITY

First of my testing equipment:

Mp3's aswell as WAV's from my Computer

Over USB to my

O2 Amp/Dac Combo at 2.5x gain

With the premium cable and a 6.35mm adapter.

In terms of sound quality it was rather different than what i was used too.

You can debate that topic quite a bit but Kennerton recommends a 50hour burn in before the headphones can life up to their full potential.

Can you actually hear a difference? This and much more in the next episode of... NO, no we do it now!

So of course i tried them before the burn in and they sounded quite muffled with a lot of, let's call it, "background base". I had the feeling

there was this constant brumming which was quite uncomfortable for me. This had me thinking i made a bad purchasing decision after all that glorious design

and build quality but i gave them a chance because well, i spent a couple hundred bucks on them!

But not only the background base had me worrying but also weren't they that clear and punchy like i wanted them to be.

They were honestly just not good sounding. Not bad, but certainly not good.

So i gave them 15hours with some charts music and all kind of stuff i listen too.

Quite surprisingly they sounded a lot better with a lot less background base. Additionally i then noticed that the actual base increased in clarity and female vocals

just sounded plain awesome! On that level of sound i felt okay about my purchase but my HE-400i still had a big edge over them.

Of course they are both very different cans and i know that!

So i thought to myself okay, Kennerton recommends 50hours and even 15-20 makes them sound a lot better. So i fired up that Amp and gave them another night or two.

The result was amazing. Honestly. With all other cans i own i didn't notice any burn in and even couldn't believe that that would ever change anything.

With these Headphones it changes pretty much everything but the cool design and quality.

The annoying and headaching background base was gone completely, the actual base is now punchy and 'fast' responding.

Female vocals stayed the same or even improved a little more over the previous 15h burn in.

Now that we got that out of the way and can confirm a noticeable burn in on these headphones i can move on to a deeper analysis of the sound quality.

Lows and Base 9/10

The base, as desribed earlier, is quite present still even without that background base. I think a main reason that the base in nicely impacting is the closed design.

And that was what i was seeking with buying closed cans. They are not destroying your ears like overkill subwoovers in your neighbors sons VW Golf that he thinks are cool but they are there.

I don't think (although i haven't personally tested) they can mess with TH-900 or something in terms of base but i like it.

Other low frequency sounds are also clear and differenciated.

Mids 9/10

I'm not that kind of guy who knows a lot about the audiophile terms about headphones and for some reason i can talk about lows and highs much better than mids. But here we go.

Since we can call male aswell as some female vocals into the mid or higher mid department i can comment about that.

Earlier i described female vocals as awesome and they are clear and powerfull. I love it when can hear the slight cracking in the voice as if they whisper directly into your ear.

Male vocals are also nice but that's not nearly as noticeable as female vocals.

But instruments, especially an arcustic guitar, maaaan i like that! The Magister do that justice like no other. Same story as with the females imho.

If the song and recordings are good you notice and appreciate it immediately.

Highs 8/10

Highs are also pretty good and meet my taste very well. They are not harsh in any way but rather destinct and clear when they appear. I'm not a "high-head" if that's even a thing and

i prefer a warm sound with smooth highs, which is what the Magister deliver.

They probably have better highs than my HE400i which highs i really really like but the Magister might even be better for me because they are a bit more distinct!

Leak 10/10

I'm usually headphone-listening alone and for myself so i can't discuss leakage from an outside standpoint but when putting them over my knee the sound is really pretty much gone.

Leakage is almost none, which is good but also useless for at-home-headphones, which i recommend them for!

However when you just take them of and they are not on a knee or head, you can hear a lot! They are little speakers that way.

Isolation 10/10

The isolation is phenomenal! No really, it blocks out soo much outside noise, i love it! This was actually one of my greatest purchasing reasons as i heard about that before.

I have a mechanical brown keyboard which is pretty loud when you bottom out the keys and that noise is almost completely gone when putting the headphone

on and it is gone when you fire up some music. Exactly what i wanted but more for my roomm8 than for my keyboard. Both works fine though!

Soundstage 10/10

The soundstage is a pretty strong point of the Magister! You get a real great "roomy" feeling when music is running.

Instruments can be located easily and it just feels like you are in this giant room or even more like a big cave. At first this was

kinda annoying to me but with some burn in and a little getting used to i became really faszinated by it.

The Kennerton really puts my dt880, 400i and k7xx to shame when it comes to soundstage.

Also this is very usefull when it comes to gaming, which i'll come to later again.

Amplification 10/10

This 64 Ohm headphone really does not need much amplification.

Using my o2 combo at 2.5x gain it is more than happy with like 10% volume, around half as much as for the hifiman.

And it scales like crazy, every tiny bit after comfortable listening volume starts to hurt. You could easily use this headphone to destroy your ears so please be carefull and start on a low level!

I haven't tried these with my phone or anything yet but that should not be a problem whatsoever. I would still recommend a decent amp though, alot of people also recommend

a tube amp but i don't have one to test that out unfortunately. It would probably further increase smoothness and warmness so that's a plus!

Gaming 10/10

Gaming probably doesn't really come to mind at first when talking about $900 headphones but we had the music experience already and for me personally, gaming plays a huge role in my life.

Mostly i'm playing cs:go so that's what i'm focussing on.

Some people say that the soundstage in cs itself isn't really great but i think different. It is very important to have a good pair of cans to locate the enemies and not get knifed in the back.

The Magister do a great job with that. You can easily hear footsteps and therefore locate enemies more easily. The soundstage of the headphones allows for a pretty good localization.

You can determine if the enemie is near or further away, behind a wall and from where he is shooting from.

I would certainly not recommend these headphones if your only purpose is gaming but they are very good at that too.

PRICE TO PERFORMANCE

Naturally i'd say they aren't that good of a value at a pretty large $899 price tag. Out of the box they are uncomfortable and just

plain don't sound very good.

After giving them a few hours and modding them comfortable for $15 though, their value goes up rapidly!

So later i'd still not say they are worth that much, keeping in mind they are based on $199 FA-003Ti's.

But with the Magister you get a really premium feeling and rare headphone so for a real enthusiast i'd say they are

worth it.

For me personally, i got them on a discount so for me they value at a great 10/10, for everyone else i'd go down to

a 8/10 probably, depending if you like the signature or not.

CONCLUSION

So after an ~3000 word story about the Kennerton Magister, let's come to and end and conclude everything i just said.

The Magister are indeed a really nice pair of headphones. You have to give them some time to fully appreciate their sound

but the design can be appreciated as soon as you take it out of the box. Again, one of the most beautiful headphones i've seen (before i "ugly-modded" them)

With all the points adding up from above we got ourselves:

Packaging and contents - 10/10

Build Quality - 10/10

Comfort - 5/10 (9/10)

Sound Quality - 9.5/10

Value - 8/10

In total I would give these beautiful and good sounding headphones a 8.5/10 or a 9.5/10 after "ugly-modding" them

because the comfort is pulling them down pretty massively.

I would actually go as far as saying they are my favorite headphone right now. I still like the HE400i and in a very

quite environment they can shine even better but i don't have a quiete einvironment all the time

so the Magister are the better allrounders.

Thank you everyone for hanging in with me and for reading, hope you enjoyed and maybe even

consider the Kennerton Magister!

- FloRolf


i7 2600k @stock - Cryorig C7 - Asus P8Z77-i Deluxe - Asus GTX 1080 Strix - 16gb HyperX Fury 1866mhz - EVGA 750G2 - 250gb 840 EVO - 6TB WD My Book Duo (Reds) - Enthoo Evolv ITX - Dell U3415W - Benq XL2411T - Samsung 60KS7090 - Qpad MK-85 Brown - Logitech MX518 - Thrustmaster T500RS - Blue Yeti Platinum - Hifiman HE-400i - Kennerton Magister - Beyerdynamic DT880 250Ohm - AKG K7XX - Fostex TH-X00 - O2 Amp/DAC Combo - One Plus 3T - Noblechairs Icon

Reviews: GTX 780 DCU2 // 8600GTS // Hifiman HE-400i // Kennerton Magister
Folding all the Proteins! // Boincerino

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Awesome review, but I think my next purchase will be on some new HiFiMan' s!


Intel Core i7-6700K | Corsair H105 | Asus Z170I PRO GAMING | G.Skill TridentZ Series 16GB | 950 PRO 512GB M.2

 

Asus GeForce GTX 980 Ti 6GB STRIX OC | BitFenix Prodigy (Black/Red) | XFX PRO Black Edition 850W

 

 

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Posted · Original PosterOP

Awesome review, but I think my next purchase will be on some new HiFiMan' s!

Love my hifimans! You just missed the sale on the 400i and 560 didnt you? Pretty awesome cans.

Oh and Thanks! :)

 

Damm that is expensive,but they look awesome! Enjoy them

Well it's not that expensive for a nice set of cans but still not cheaper either. I will certainly enjoy them ;)

@GamerDude here's the review btw! :D


i7 2600k @stock - Cryorig C7 - Asus P8Z77-i Deluxe - Asus GTX 1080 Strix - 16gb HyperX Fury 1866mhz - EVGA 750G2 - 250gb 840 EVO - 6TB WD My Book Duo (Reds) - Enthoo Evolv ITX - Dell U3415W - Benq XL2411T - Samsung 60KS7090 - Qpad MK-85 Brown - Logitech MX518 - Thrustmaster T500RS - Blue Yeti Platinum - Hifiman HE-400i - Kennerton Magister - Beyerdynamic DT880 250Ohm - AKG K7XX - Fostex TH-X00 - O2 Amp/DAC Combo - One Plus 3T - Noblechairs Icon

Reviews: GTX 780 DCU2 // 8600GTS // Hifiman HE-400i // Kennerton Magister
Folding all the Proteins! // Boincerino

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