Kennerton Audio Gjallarhorn


Closed-Back Over-Ear Horn-Loaded Dynamic Driver Headphones

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Horn loaded headphones are rare for one reason – they require knowledge, experience and craftsmanship that is possessed by very few designers but get them right, and… OMG! The most important advantage of horn headphones is the ability to develop a suitable sound pressure and with reference level dynamics from the first milliwatts with minimal distortions. Their sensitivity not only means that you don’t require huge power to drive them but more importantly the detail that the headphone extracts from a moderate level of power is extraordinary.

The Kennerton Gjallarhorns reproduce the most subtle musical nuances and most fully and accurately convey the emotions of performers. The horn design in the headphones creates a perception of presence & weight, gives outstanding micro & macro dynamics and a wide directional pattern in the horizontal plane. High and medium frequencies played through a horn have a completely different energy and transparency. Low frequencies, reproduced through a horn, have a natural fullness and power. The bass performance of these headphones has to be experienced to be believed.

The JM Edition is a version of the Gjallarhorn headphones which has implemented the modifications made by John Massaria, one of the first owners of Gjallarhorns. Kennerton considered John’s modifications to be worthy of a separate model and then built the official Kennerton workshop version of it. You can read in depth about the modifications first-hand, from JM himself. The team at Kennerton named this model ‘JM Edition’ to honour his contribution.

One of the reasons audiophiles keep coming back to Kennerton is the sublime woodwork craftsmanship that define the brand. The range of finishes and the attention to detail result in a real pride of ownership. If you can actually stop listening to them, the next challenge is to try to stop looking at them!

Known for their skill in crafting wood, Kennerton have gone an extra mile with the design and build of the Gjallarhorns. Carving, hand sanding, hand polishing, soaking in Italian wood oils & wax… this is the opposite to an electronics corporation pumping out headphones on a robotic production line. This is boutique hand crafting with traditional techniques passed down through generations.

To say that the Gjallarhorns are exceptional value for money is an extreme understatement. This is a true David that will have many Goliaths nervous. Along with the open-back Vali Neoteric, it is no wonder why these two models are Kennerton’s highest selling products. If you are searching for a closed-back headphone constructed from luxury materials by people who are at the top of their field, then look no further. If you want a sound that is emotionally captivating and addictive, then you have found your soulmate in the Gjallarhorns.


Kennerton Gjallarhorn JM Edition DuskJM Edition Dusk
JM Edition
Kennerton Gjallarhorn GH50 DuskGH50 Dusk
Kennerton Gjallarhorn GH50GH50

What’s in the Box?

One set of Gjallarhorn headphones of the model of your choice.
Kennerton Gjallarhorn JM Edition Dusk
Kennerton cable 3.5 to 6.3 High Quality OFC Cable
High quality 2m length cable with 3.5mm Rhodium Plated Connectors & Gold Plated 6.3 TRS Connector.
Comfortable Eco-Leather Case
Keep your headphones safe from damage and easily portable with a premium full-sized headphone case. The elegant exterior provides great protection from knocks and the outside environment and the soft internal lining keeps your headphones safe from scratching and damage.
Kennerton case



Kennerton Audio Gjallarhorn GH50 JM Edition Review

Kennerton Gjallarhorn GH50 Headphone Review


Sound News Silver Award

Sound News Silver Award

I am going to award them with our Silver Award for a different way of thinking and for taking the leap of faith in releasing such an interesting design philosophy to the masses. There are quite a lot of decent performing closed-back headphones, but unique in every way? None of them.

High Performing Graphene Membranes

It all started with the development of a new high-tech material called “Graphene”. Graphene is a two-dimensional sheet of carbon that is only one atom thick! Its physical properties are truly unique:

  • It is 300 times stronger than steel
  • It has no internal resistance
  • It is incredibly light

As currently the production of pure graphene membrane is very challenging, time-consuming and can cost a fortune. Kennerton decided to create a hybrid of Mylar and powdered Graphene applied by a special thermal method. This technique enabled them to significantly improve the characteristics of the classic dynamic driver, such as the strength of the membrane, its rigidity and the absorption of parasitic resonances.

This high-tech membrane required the corresponding uncompromising “engine”. Therefore, they have equipped the driver with an ultra-light aluminium voice coil (CCAW), covered with a very thin layer of copper to increase its conductivity. The coil is set in action by a powerful magnet made of NdFeB alloy, which in size and power of the magnetic field is exceeding 3-4 times the magnets of similar drivers from their competitors. All of these engineering solutions gave the speaker an extraordinary dynamic range, stunning detailing of sound, very low distortion, and brought the sound quality of the driver close to the sound of planar-magnetic technology.

Over the past years they had created several promising headphone prototypes based on these technologies and one of them was even released for one of their partners projects. But it was only through a lot of research and experimentation that they were able to get the sound quality to the parameters that fit into the framework of Kennerton products.

The new driver is a compression type system – its membrane has an extremely soft suspension and additionally relies on the elasticity of the air volume of the acoustic chamber, represented by the earphone cup.

This is engineered this way in order to lower the resonant frequency of the dynamics and accordingly the depth of reproduced low frequencies. This feature makes the driver extremely responsive to even the slightest change in acoustic design, its volume and filling. In addition, the membrane “warms up” (it enters the nominal mode of operation, gets rid of internal stresses, gets softer in places of suspension bending) for quite a long time – at least 72 hours of work. For a complete “run-in” it usually takes up to a week of the total operational time for the headphones to reach their sonic potential.

Kennerton were able to achieve high compatibility both with hi-end systems and with low-end devices, while maintaining a consistently high level of sound, limited by the capabilities of the source, rather than the headphones themselves.

For the Kennerton Gjallarhorn, a steel headband with a minimum of moving parts is used which means maximum reliability. Headphone cups made of precious wood are not only beautiful and just pleasant to touch, but also bring warm and natural notes to the sound of the headphones, eliminating the intrusive “plastic” overtones of competitors’ models. Lightweight design, self-adapting to the user’s head and genuine leather ear cushions provide the highest comfort for long-term listening.

Lambskin Leather Cushions

    • Soft ear cushions for maximum comfort.
  • The design places driver at optimum distance from ear, improves soundstage/imaging, and musical coherence.
Kennerton Ear Cushion

The Manufacturing Process of the Kennerton Wooden Cups

  1. All wood types used for making the headphones’ assembly and cups always undergo multiple different processes. Drying and coating methods which have antibacterial substances are used, making the cups pleasant to look at and resistant against environmental factors.
  2. The wooden cups are crafted by specific in-house developed procedures. Factors such as wood types, grain, age & design geometry all influence the sound and this knowledge & experience is implemented in these headphone designs.
  3. The cups are manufactured by 3D modelling controlled by precision machinery. The machines have the highest available accuracy and repeatable processing quality.
  4. After the milling operation, the cups are sanded and polished by hand.
  5. After sanding, the wood is coated by using special oils to protect it from humidity and prevent it from deteriorating.
  6. The cups are processed with microwaves for several minutes in order to avoid the deterioration of the oils.
  7. The cups are covered by hot bee-wax and dried in a special drying chamber for about 1.5 hours. Temperatures are set between 60 – 74 degrees centigrade depending on the type of wood.
  8. Drying is followed by the cups being cooled at room temperature for at least 6 hours.
  9. The cups are ground for the second time, hot wax is again applied, which is again followed by drying the cups at the same temperatures for about 8 hours.
  10. The closing stage of the work includes thorough polishing of the cup, laser engraving of the logo and other elements as per the design. In some cases, patina forming treatment is applied for a decorative finish that makes the surface look perfect.
  11. If the client prefers a varnish coating instead of a wax coating, we cover the product with three layers of eco-friendly, super-strong polyurethane varnish with intermediate drying and polishing of each layer. We use only the best and safest Italian materials, which are traditionally used in restoration workshops and in the manufacture of musical instruments.

Note: Each pair of headphones is one of a kind, and due to the nature of handwork, slight variations in wood grain may occur.

Kennerton Gjallarhorn GH50 Dusk

Product Specification

Driver Graphene-coated multilayered composite
Driver Unit 50mm
Frequency Response 10 – 50,000 Hz
Sensitivity 116 dB
Impedance 33 Ohm
Maximum Input Power 250 mW
Cord length High quality 2m detachable copper cable made from OFC wires terminated with a high quality gold plated 6.3mm TRS connector
Weight 406 g (without cable)
Warranty 3 Years. Transferable (consult Headphone Nirvana)


Additional information


JM Edition Dusk, JM Edition, GH50 Dusk, GH50