The Magni is one of Kennerton Audio’s more accessible models. I’ve previously listened to their Gjallarhorn GH 50 JM and Thror models, both of which I found exquisite. However, at around $749, the Magni sits well below the $1,299 price of the Gjallarhorn GH 50 JM and the $3,499 price of the Thror. I’m interested to hear a lower price model from Kennerton, as I can tell they’re not willing to make many compromises in their build or design. The Magni still features many of the same elements and mechanisms as Kennerton’s higher priced models, so I was eager to see how it would sound. I also did a video review of the Magni, which you can watch here.
What’s in the box:
- Kennerton Magni
- Leather carrying case
- 2 meter OFC wire cable with gold plated 6.3mm TRS connector
Look and Feel
The Magni stays consistent with Kennerton’s go-to rustic-modern design. They feature a matte-black metal frame and wooden rim on the ear cups. This rim is available in Dark Ash, Oak, and Mahogany. I have the Mahogany finish, and find the light beige color has a nice contrast to the stark black frame. The ear cups are large, soft, and spacious, and the leather headband provides a lot of comfort. I think these are a sophisticated looking pair of headphones. They depart from the hyper-modern, futuristic, or high tech focus a lot of brands have been taking on for their designs lately. I like the vintage touch Kennerton adds to their products.
These are closed back dynamic headphones, though one of their big selling points is they’re meant to mimic some qualities of planar-magnetic technology. The Magni feature Kennerton’s signature ultra-thin Graphene membrane, paired with an engine that uses an aluminum voice coil to increase conductivity. Its driver uses a compression system, with a soft suspension on the membrane that takes advantage of the acoustic chambers created by the ear cups.
These have a low impedance of 33 Ohms. While they don’t need extra output, I think these would benefit from some amp coloring. I largely used them without one for this review to get their uninterrupted sound.
Wow! The Magni spreads its wings and flies with its soundstage. The sense of space these have, especially for a closed back headphone, really blew me away. I listened to Andrew Bird’s “Roma Fade,” and the Magni cast its violins far into the ether while allowing its guitars and mallet instruments to rest on the sides with plenty of space. The Magni’s separation and layering was also a majorly impressive feature for me. Like the other Kennertons I’ve heard, they really gives each sound its own space to breathe. If you want width and atmosphere, definitely check out the Magni, it doesn’t mess around on this front.
These have a super clean, punchy low end response. The Magni avoids any muddiness and delivers low end in a neatly tied up package. They’re not gonna beef up your low end a ton, but don’t worry, they’ll respect and handle it with care. I tried out Teyana Taylor’s “Come Back to Me” and found it accurately translated the warmth of its kick and bass. The Magni doesn’t want to push the low end more than the rest of the spectrum, unlike many headphones on the market right now. For many listeners, this may be a refreshing level of balance.
The Magni has a very prominent mid range. It holds a more resonant tone, so if you want more impactful high mid these are the way to go. For those looking for a hyper-smooth listen devoid of any grit, these may feel harsh at times. I mostly enjoyed their mid range, it felt like it gave the music an extended sense of presence. I listened to a lot of Jessie Ware’s mellow disco record What’s Your Pleasure? and felt the Magni’s handled it’s half-vintage-half-modern tonality quite well. At times I wanted a little less high mid. I might pair these with an iFi Signature or any tube amp to warm them up slightly. The mid on these would also make them great as reference headphones.
The Magni is one of the brighter headphones I’ve heard in a while. Overall, its high end feels clean, balanced, and luke-warm. At times, they begin to feel a bit sibilant and harsh, though not a detrimental amount. If I had it my way, these could be a hair darker, but only a hair. The high end is hitting the spot for me 95% of the time, and on many songs 100%, but it could use a little bit of fine tuning. Critiques aside, it’s impressively detailed and textural, and makes sure the Magni never looses its edge.
This is one of the better closed back headphones I’ve heard at this price point, and rivals those with much higher price tags. The width of its soundstage separates it from many similar closed back models on the market right now. I think the Magni may be a good way for Kennerton to further grow their customer base to people not keen enough to get their priciest models yet. Everything I’ve heard from Kennerton so far has been really impressive. If they keep playing their cards right, I think they may be on their way to becoming an essential HiFi brand.
Kennerton Magni is available at Audio46.