I’ve been gradually making my way through Kennerton’s catalogue of headphones, having tried the Gjallarhorn, Thror, Thekk, Magni, and Vali. So far, I have not found a dud in the group. Having ventured into the lower and higher ends of their price spectrum, when I got my hands on their Wodan model, I had some idea of what to expect for $2,699 from the St. Petersburg-based company. Let’s talk about these unique, high-end headphones, and see if they continue Kennerton’s great track record thus far.
What’s in the Box
- Wodan Headphones
- Leather Carrying case
- 2m Cable with 6.3mm termination
Look and Feel
All of Kennerton’s headphones share a similarly vintage, semi-industrial look. The Wodan’s large metal frame and polished wooden ear cups make it feel both luxurious and long lasting. Its look feels neutral enough to not off-put anyone, and stylish enough to make a subtle, old-school statement. Their big, cushy ear pads and automatically adjusting headband ensures these are extremely comfortable too. The only pitfalls these have build-wise are their size, which feels a bit bulky at times, and their weight of a full pound, which is certainly not the lightest.
These are Planar-Magnetic, open-back headphones. Kennerton was unsatisfied with the classic planar driver design, and decided to redesign it and produce their own from scratch. The Wodan are made of aerospace grade aluminum and steel for their bodies and wood on their ear cups.
These have a frequency response of 10Hz – 55kHz and an impedance of 38 Ohms
The Wodan’s soundstage will almost undoubtably be the first thing you notice about it. The width of this headphone far outdoes the already high standard set for open-back headphones in the current market. As I’ll further expand upon in this review, the Wodan has an extremely realistic sound, and its precise sound separation and holographic layering are some of the most important ingredients for creating this life-like character. These create a sense of surround sound, of the noise coming from far outside the headphones in all directions. The Wodan are highly immersive and atmospheric, allowing the listener to step inside the sound, and the sound to step outside the listener.
These do not have an intense low end response, shying away especially from the sub range. While I don’t dislike less sub-heavy headphones, I don’t tend to love them. However, the Wodan may be the first pair of more upper-low-end-focused headphones I’ve truly admired. The low end itself is still very full, punch-tastic, and gratifying. It seems these avoid a heavy rumble in favor of maximizing their organic quality. On bassy, electronic productions, the Wodan may not be your go to, but on almost anything else, it can knock the low end out of the park in a very clean, controlled manor.
The Wodan have a very neutral midrange, the best type of mid range in my personal opinion…Nothing feels deeply boosted or cut in the mids, this area of the spectrum all given a very purified, warmed up sound. The Wodan’s mid range allows detail, definition, and increased vocal presence while avoiding over-extenuation of the high-mid area or creating sibilance. It also keeps the low-mid light enough to avoid any sense of stuffiness while not eliminating too much presence and creating a hollow sound. Listening through Hiatus Kaiyote’s new album Mood Valiant, I found the Wodan gave nice attack to percussion of all timbres, along with crisp, refined vocal translation, and an overall great balance of sharpened edges and softened peaks.
These have a very airy brightness to them, with a definite boost in the high end but not even a hair metallic or hissy. Listening through Amy Winehouse’s Back to Black, the Wodan’s high end boost works as a means for bringing out detail and articulation instead of adding unwanted texture and reflections. The whole album felt brought to life instead of just “brightened up.” This is what I liked about the highs on these, they felt so natural and intimate, and didn’t over-modernize the sound. I think these headphones could be good for both those who want overt brightness and those who tend to shy away from it, as their high end is just so smooth, warm, and comfortable, it would be hard to hate.
The Wodan may be my new favorite headphone from Kennerton. Its consistently balanced, non-fatiguing tuning and next-level soundstage had me encapsulated from my first listen, and made these very hard to put down. If you’re looking to shell out the big bucks for a pair of Kennerton Headphones, these could become your gold standard.
- Huge soundstage
- Versatile, balanced tuning
- Smooth, clean highs
- Bulky, heavy
- Less versatile low-end response
You can purchase the Kennerton Wodan at Audio46