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Kennerton Rognir Review (Closed Back Headphone)

amirm

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This is a review and detailed measurements of Kennerton Rognir (Rögnir) closed back planar magnetic headphone. It was kindly purchased new by a member and drop shipped to me. Rognir comes in many colors but cost seems to be the same € 3,250 (US $3,770).

Clearly high quality material is used in construction of this headphone:

Kennerton Rognir Review Planar Magnetic Headphone High-end Closed back.jpg


The look is a bit fussy for my tastes but you may think otherwise. Fortunately despite its weight this is a very comfortable headphone to wear for me:

headphone weight database.png


The cups are round and have an inside diameter of 60 mm and depth of 22mm.

Note: The measurements you are about to see are made using a standardized Gras 45C. Headphone measurements by definition are approximate and variable so don't be surprised if other measurements even if performed with the same fixtures as mine, differ in end results. Protocols vary such as headband pressure and averaging (which I don't do). As you will see, I confirm the approximate accuracy of the measurements using Equalization and listening tests. Ultimately headphone measurements are less exact than speakers mostly in bass and above a few kilohertz so keep that in mind as you read these tests. If you think you have an exact idea of a headphone performance, you are likely wrong!

It was not hard to fit the unit on the measurement fixture.

Kennerton Rognir Measurements
Let's start with our usual frequency response:

Kennerton Rognir Measurement Frequency Response Planar Magnetic Headphone High-end Closed back.png


Whoa, what is this? Why such a chewed up response? I don't think I have ever seen so many variations at such low frequencies in a headphone. I had to filter the heck out of it to get some idea of what the response looked like:


Kennerton Rognir Measurement Frequency Response Smoothed Planar Magnetic Headphone High-end Cl...png


Is it me or the ups and downs have a repeating rhythm from 200 Hz to 2 kHz? Anyway, not good no matter how you look at it including our relative frequency response:

Kennerton Rognir Measurement Relative Frequency Response Planar Magnetic Headphone High-end Cl...png


Distortion at 94 dB is low but we need to boost the very area where it is the highest:

Kennerton Rognir Measurement Relative distortion Planar Magnetic Headphone High-end Closed back.png


Kennerton Rognir Measurement distortion Planar Magnetic Headphone High-end Closed back.png


Every measurement points to the same acoustic disturbance including group delay:

Kennerton Rognir Measurement Group Delay Planar Magnetic Headphone High-end Closed back.png


Typical of planar magnetics, its impedance is flat and low:

Kennerton Rognir Measurement Impedance Planar Magnetic Headphone High-end Closed back.png


Sensitive is a bit better than average:

Most sensitive headphone 2021 review.png


So you should be able to drive it with many devices.

Rognir Listening Tests
I was listening to my every day Dan Clark Stealth before switching to the Rognir and boy did it feel like someone turned the lights off! Every bit of life got sucked out of music with no highs. The sound was flat and boring with no spatial effects. Given how bad the frequency response was, I was not hopeful that I could improve it much but I was wrong:

Kennerton Rognir Equalization EQ Parametric Planar Magnetic Headphone High-end Closed back.png


Every filter worked to pull up the performance of this headphone. The sum of those 5 filters transformed this headphone like nobody's business. Spatial qualities came back in spades and combined with thundering sub-bass, it was a delight to listen to it. Power handling is superb when driving it with my RME ADI-2 DAC, easily sticking a subwoofer in each of my ears as I turned up the volume for a second! :eek: :D

I was very surprised at the effect of the little filter at 880 Hz which I added at the end. It really improved clarity of the headphone and seemed to reduce its distortion.

Conclusions
Company says they designed their own driver which I guess is good. What is not good is that the design does not seem to have benefited from simple closed loop of measurements to identify the acoustic events that cause all the variations we have seen. Out of the box the sound is just not good for any level of money let alone what they charge. In a lucky turn of events however, equalization is superbly effectively in giving life to these headphones and making them quite worthwhile.

Out of the box, I cannot in any shape recommend the Kennerton Rognir. With equalization, it turns from a frog to a prince and so very acceptable and even great.

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As always, questions, comments, recommendations, etc. are welcome.

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sweetchaos

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To import this PEQ profile into 'Equalizer APO', use:
Preamp: -9.1 dB
Filter 1: ON PK Fc 20 Hz Gain 6.0 dB Q 0.5
Filter 2: ON PK Fc 239 Hz Gain 4.2 dB Q 3.0
Filter 3: ON PK Fc 884 Hz Gain -2.0 dB Q 5.0
Filter 4: ON PK Fc 4380 Hz Gain 9.0 dB Q 3.0
Filter 5: ON HS Fc 12000 Hz Gain -2.0 dB Q 1.0
Otherwise, see my PEQ guide.
..................................................................................................................
For those who don't have PEQ-capable app, and want to use GEQs instead:
See my GEQ guide for 10-band, 31-band, and 127-band GEQ profiles.
 
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amirm

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godmax

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@amirm What dB value for Headroom management in Roon do you use?
Can you say what kind of pads this Rögnir came with? Are they perforated on one side or normal (since the photo is taken from the back side, it is hard to tell)?
 

Robbo99999

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Holy Shmoly, that frequency response graph, haven't read the rest of the review, feel I don't need to! (I will in a bit though!)
 

Jimbob54

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Holy Shmoly, that frequency response graph, haven't read the rest of the review, feel I don't need to! (I will in a bit though!)
Spoiler : good after eq
 

Robbo99999

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Holy Shmoly, that frequency response graph, haven't read the rest of the review, feel I don't need to! (I will in a bit though!)
Spoiler : good after eq
Aww, you spoilt it! :D Well, for Euro 3250 I think I'd put another headphone on my shortlist! No point in putting up with such a jagged & erratic frequency response even if it did alright in the subjective review....interesting to see the lack of effect of the jagged frequency response on Amir's subjective rating (even after EQ that would not be fixed) which might put this variable into some kind of perspective, but where there are other better value & less jagged frequency response headphones out there then this one would surely stay off my list.
 

restorer-john

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They clearly have bulk bought some cheap headphone (or frame) and stripped off the headband adjusting mechanism, slapped on a frame covered in leather? and stitched up some horrible looking pads. So, they made a driver and a hideous cup. It looks fully frankensteined.

Who buys this stuff? And why? I just don't get it.
 

flipflop

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We can't be EQ-ing all the time unless the listening rig involves a PC all the time.
There's plenty of EQ software to choose from for smartphones and tablets. And then there's the Qudelix-5K for hardware PEQ.
These days, there's no good excuse for not equalizing your headphones.
 

PierreV

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I don't consider the price.

Measurements here are truly awful. We are told that this horror can be rescued by EQ and ultimately sounds almost great. Aren't we 100% in subjective territory here?

In other device categories (and also probably for other headphones), we often have seen conclusions such as "unacceptable issues/performance at this price". AVRs costing half the price of those headphones, with a dozen or so functions, have been thoroughly panned for a few dBs of SNR in some secondary role...

Those headphones reviews really puzzle me at times.
 

Madjalapeno

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They clearly have bulk bought some cheap headphone (or frame) and stripped off the headband adjusting mechanism, slapped on a frame covered in leather? and stitched up some horrible looking pads. So, they made a driver and a hideous cup. It looks fully frankensteined.

Who buys this stuff? And why? I just don't get it.
Ah, but you see, in removing all the cheap crap, and replacing it with fancy crap, they have sonically given it magic. The electrons are happy to travel one way into such beautifully painted covers. They just whizz around at 200Hz harmonics and that explains the sine wave in @amirm results. Try a door stop on your head next and you wouldn't even need EQ.
 

Robbo99999

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Measurements here are truly awful. We are told that this horror can be rescued by EQ and ultimately sounds almost great. Aren't we 100% in subjective territory here?

In other device categories (and also probably for other headphones), we often have seen conclusions such as "unacceptable issues/performance at this price". AVRs costing half the price of those headphones, with a dozen or so functions, have been thoroughly panned for a few dBs of SNR in some secondary role...

Those headphones reviews really puzzle me at times.
I really do think Amir should be honest with his subjective reviews, and it's quite clear he was with this headphone because it actually goes against the measurements....and I think it's right & clear that he continues to do so, which I respect. But like I said in an earlier post I wouldn't buy these headphones given the jaggedness of the frequency response and the price, no need to compromise if you don't need to. We just have to make our own decisions, and I think if someone was gonna spend 3000 Euro on a headphone that they'd research alternatives without just looking at the latest review with a good panther rating....so the ball's in our court too.
 

xykreinov

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It's reviews like these that really test cognitive bias
 
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PierreV

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It's reviews like these that really prove Amir is good at keeping cognitive bias at bay.
No one is good at keeping cognitive bias at bay. There are mitigation strategies, for those situations that don't allow outright elimination of cognitive biases (such as properly set up double blind tests). But the mitigation strategies are not proven effective (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8397507/).

That being said, even if Amir has managed to get rid of all sources of cognitive biases, his subjective opinion would not magically become an objective opinion it would remain a "free of cognitive bias subjective opinion".

That's not a big issue for me as I trust Amir's subjective opinions to be better, in their general applications, than mine. In fact, I suffer from a cognitive bias that makes me treat Amir's subjective opinions as better than other subjective opinions. I recognize this, and can't overcome it ;)

Still, it annoys me a bit that almost all headphones reviews end in an "EQ to subjective taste" conclusion. To remain true to the spirit of this site, a set of measurements after EQ could be provided. But yes, it would be time-consuming and probably lead to the same discussions that we have now...

Amir himself said

"I was very surprised at the effect of the little filter at 880 Hz which I added at the end. It really improved clarity of the headphone and seemed to reduce its distortion."

While I don't doubt Amir's honesty in his subjective opinion, that one looks like magic/random luck to me, given the measurements. It would be interesting to understand the why behind this tweak.
 
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