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Kennerton Rognir Review (Closed Back Headphone)

pozz

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it actually goes against the measurements
How? His EQ was based on them and he listened to the problem areas.

The issue is that we don't have a good sense of which measured problems are unacceptable. Why is it that a few filters are so effective? Is there anything about the design itself that says we should have anticipated the problem? I don't know about you, but I simply have no idea what the measurements will look like when just looking at a picture of headphone.

At the same time we have so many choices for good headphones (with smooth, eyeball pleasing FR and low distortion) that it pushes this intellectual problem to the side.
 

Robbo99999

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How? His EQ was based on them and he listened to the problem areas.

The issue is that we don't have a good sense of which measured problems are unacceptable. Why is it that a few filters are so effective? Is there anything about the design itself that says we should have anticipated the problem? I don't know about you, but I simply have no idea what the measurements will look like when just looking at a picture of headphone.

At the same time we have so many choices for good headphones (with smooth, eyeball pleasing FR and low distortion) that it pushes this intellectual problem to the side.
You're just repeating what I said, I wouldn't buy this headphone because of the jagged frequency response that isn't totally smoothable with EQ, which is my reason too in response to your question. As to how important an ultra smooth measured frequency response is vs a choppy one is harder to answer, which I alluded to in my previous post....but like I said I would err on the side of caution and instead choose a (better value) headphone with smoother frequency response for any short list.....but it's logical to think that smoother is better, I don't know about you, but I wouldn't prioritise speakers with jagged spinoramas!

(I don't know why you're talking to me about pictures of headphones and how that relates to the measurements - in your second paragraph, I think you've been looking at your avatar too long!)
 
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restorer-john

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To me, it's just like the Bose 901s. Take an absolute wreckage of a speaker, built from rubbish drivers, put a ton of them in a box and EQ the hell out of them to make the entire product partially acceptable. Tell people it's 'better sound through research' and reap the benefits- for decades.

The entire premise of dedicated and customised EQ with headphones, when they are used on a wide variety of gear is just ridiculous to me. Source impedances vary, drive capability varies and no two situations are identical. A pointless exercise, especially when 99% of gear out there has no ability to apply 'custom' curves to the connected headphones.

Get it right without EQ or go home.

What's next? Shall we modify the transfer functions of otherwise perfect power amplifers on the fly too, in order to compensate for the limitations of the connected transducers? (Oh, we already do that with DSP speakers)

Just another case of "fix it in the mix", instead of getting it right in the first place.
 
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pozz

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You're just repeating what I said, I wouldn't buy this headphone because of the jagged frequency response that isn't totally smoothable with EQ, which is my reason too in response to your question. As to how important an ultra smooth measured frequency response is vs a choppy one is harder to answer, which I alluded to in my previous post....but like I said I would err on the side of caution and instead choose a (better value) headphone with smoother frequency response for any short list.....but it's logical to think that smoother is better, I don't know about you, but I wouldn't prioritise speakers with jagged spinoramas!

(I don't know why you're talking to me about pictures of headphones and how that relates to the measurements - in your second paragraph, I think you've been looking at your avatar too long!)
My point is that buying decisions are easier than the intellectual questions, where we don't have many satisfying answers. "Goes against the measurements" is a clearly inadequate description of why this headphone does well when listening with a few correction filters applied. That puzzle speaks to our overall inability to interpret the data and evaluate physical designs.
 

Robbo99999

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My point is that buying decisions are easier than the intellectual questions, where we don't have many satisfying answers. "Goes against the measurements" is a clearly inadequate description of why this headphone does well when listening with a few correction filters applied. That puzzle speaks to our overall inability to interpret the data and evaluate physical designs.
If you've seen a worse frequency response than the headphone in this review then I'd be curious to see it.....it's one of the worst frequency responses I've seen measured on this site! Frequency response is the most important aspect of a headphone, as cited by Olive & Toole, so ignore it at your peril! Smooth is logically better than severely jagged - by all means buy this headphone, and even if it was a $100 headphone I'd probably sit back & laugh at you. His subjective impressions certainly go against the measurements, sharp & large variations in frequency response starting from 1kHz up, and below 1kHz is no party either although below 1kHz is easily correctable in EQ given those particular measurements. If you want to nit pick, stare at your avatar and have a conversation with yourself instead - you've been largely repeating what I wrote in my initial post anyway (with different words & emphasis), so you are super nitpicking, you'd really be better off having an argument with yourself.
 
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Jimbob54

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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.

And its been said before (and stated by him why he doesnt do it too) that we would really like to see the FR and distortion charts after the said EQ. I suspect the reality is our hearing is far less sensitive to jaggedy FR charts than our eyes- hit the big areas of weakness and you can salvage many duds.
 

Remlab

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I suspect that the large, shallow, flat and perfectly round back cups are causing the issue by causing standing waves and cancelations, not just with the diaphragm and diaphragm housing, but also with the users head, similar to two large parallel walls in a room. The opposite of this is the basic shape of Dan Clarks closed back designs, which try to mitigate these types of problems as much as possible.
 

godmax

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I suspect that the large, shallow, flat and perfectly round back cups are causing the issue by causing standing waves and cancelations, not just with the diaphragm and diaphragm housing, but also with the users head, similar to two large parallel walls in a room. The opposite of this is the basic shape of Dan Clarks closed back designs, which try to mitigate these types of problems as much as possible.
Kennerton seems at least to try something different with the cup structure on the inside to be not flat, maybe this also the reason for the spikes:
A1F9F513-0BE5-4005-9F97-3484B3974911.jpeg
 

acbarn

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Wow, that FR looks horrible. Thanks for uncovering another ridiculously overpriced, boutique headphone. Hopefully these reviews will eventually force these companies to clean up their act and build technically proficient products that are commensurate with their price.

The “after EQ” results are puzzling. It’s hard to see how those adjustments to the FR would make the subjective differences described in the review. It feels as if there’s more to unpack here...
 

peniku8

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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.
agreed, I'd be lost without EQE on my iphone
 

Remlab

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Kennerton seems at least to try something different with the cup structure on the inside to be not flat, maybe this also the reason for the spikes:View attachment 159642
The size of those individual structures are very small though(A 20khz wavelength is .675"), so the structures should only affect the response above around 15khz which is pretty much reflected in the 1/3 octave smoothed response, which is almost perfect. Below 15 khz, the structures should have less and less of an affect on the response, the lower you go, and cancelations and reinforcements will have more and more of an effect, especially in the midband. Looking at the distortion plots, you can see how the resonances are getting more and more disturbed from 10khz down to 1khz
 
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xykreinov

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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".
Agree with all of this. I guess "keep at bay" isn't "rid of completely" in my book.
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...
I've thought about this a lot too, and have been putting off doing a write up about something similar.
I may be missing something, but I'm curious why reviewers don't use programs like REW and AutoEQ to save them time in the EQ process. Not only is it quicker, but I've always found it much easier to adjust to taste using band settings generated by these programs vs. from scratch.
Regardless, I might create a video guide for reference, since I can't find any other videos that concisely explain everything.
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.
I mean, this can's frequency response is definitely among the wildest roller coasters in the ASR amusement park. I don't see much tangibility in the hows of its EQ
 

xykreinov

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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.
The only problem I face with software PEQ is latency. Using it with things like rhythm games and video editing is a no go.
I'm just glad pretty much all hardware PEQ is only 5ms or less. That's fine to deal with.
 

xykreinov

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To me, it's just like the Bose 901s. Take an absolute wreckage of a speaker, built from rubbish drivers, put a ton of them in a box and EQ the hell out of them to make the entire product partially acceptable. Tell people it's 'better sound through research' and reap the benefits- for decades.

The entire premise of dedicated and customised EQ with headphones, when they are used on a wide variety of gear is just ridiculous to me. Source impedances vary, drive capability varies and no two situations are identical. A pointless exercise, especially when 99% of gear out there has no ability to apply 'custom' curves to the connected headphones.

Get it right without EQ or go home.

What's next? Shall we modify the transfer functions of otherwise perfect power amplifers on the fly too, in order to compensate for the limitations of the connected transducers? (Oh, we already do that with DSP speakers)

Just another case of "fix it in the mix", instead of getting it right in the first place.
The situation is lame, yeah. I've always been frustrated with how EQ is more often seen as a bandaid for trash instead of amelioration for already great gear.
 

flipflop

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Noob

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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.

Looks like you want him to repeat the frequency response and distortion measurements after eq so that you can compare the charts.

I would also like this. But it is doubling the amount of work he needs to do per headphone.
 

Robbo99999

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The only problem I face with software PEQ is latency. Using it with things like rhythm games and video editing is a no go.
I'm just glad pretty much all hardware PEQ is only 5ms or less. That's fine to deal with.
You should be alright with using EqualiserAPO and PEQ on PC, as there is effectively zero latency - have a look in the bottom left of the following screenshot - latency with maybe 20-30 filters enabled is 0.0ms, so I'd count that at as zero latency:
No latency.jpg

The "Init.Time" I think is Initiation Time, so just the length of time of initiation of the EQ when you switch profiles (I think), but indeed it says Latency = 0

I use an EQ for gaming and don't notice any latency issues.
 
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