Disclaimer: Kennerton Audio supplied Algiz for the purposes of this review. I paid nothing for them. They go for 449$ USD. You can find out all about them here: Kennerton Audio Algiz.
Driver Unit: 10 mm speaker
Frequency Response: 20 Hz – 20000 Hz
Sensitivity: 100 dB
Impedance: 100 Ohm
Maximum In: put Power: 50 mW
Cord length: 2 x 1.4 m
Build and presentation
It’s not hard to work a Bruce Springsteen Nebraska ethic into this review. Something down homey, something about the struggle of the blue-collar lad or ladess. Something evocative, and sad. But not even Used Cars holds a candle to the fumes coming out of Kennerton’s snug, pie-cut earphone box. It’s the first thing I noticed. It’s the first thing my wife noticed. Then, after prising it open, the ear pieces, and earphones, fell out. Inside, the non-mic’d black cable was a tangled mess.
Which perfectly describes my experience with these earphones.
It’s fair to say that certain boxes smell like only they can. Master & Dynamic’s MH40 and MH30 jump out of boxes smelling like chemical skunk. Kennerton’s boxes are smaller, and therefore, in a large room, less potent. But where Master & Dynamic’s engineering, styling, branding, and build quality totally redeemed the box, Kennerton just smell.
Algiz is the most expensive earphone in Kennerton’s lineup. It’s a powerful, warm-sounding earphone. But it neither looks, nor feels up to its price. And it’s not built up to post-100$ standards. I’m sure that Kennerton’s Fischer Audio-friendly engineers and designers care. But their Chinese factory doesn’t give a shit. Kennerton would do good to find a better one. 449$ USD and Algiz’s foamy, ribbony, and even carrying case parts, are alternatively yellowed at the edges, or black like someone snubbed out a fag where the earphones go. The carrying case looks suede. It’s as suede as MEelectronics’s cases are. But MEelectronics go for much, much less.
As for Algiz, myriad sloppy notches line its aluminium body, its filters screw in at crooked angles, and coaxial jacks into which you must really, really, really push its cables, are cramped, and hard to feed. And they’re proprietary. I can’t jam other dual-pin calbes inside. Which is a shame. Algiz’s cable pins look like they’re made from cheap, old paper clips. One of mine is already twisted. Even meagre cable swapping will break these cables.
That aside, Algriz should weather well. That’s because they start out already weathered. There’s no way you can tell the difference between a pair that’s straight out of the box, or straight out of a key-and-coin pocket. But the cables… the cables could garret a wild turkey. Unfortunately, they, too, are poorly finished. The Kennerton lgo plates aren’t flush with the y-split, and may snag on something. I’m not decided about the clip. It’s kind of cool having a clip on the back of the y-split, but it’s so tiny, and so cheap that after a bit of use, I expect it to bend off. There’s also one on the back of the mic. On the back of the mic. The mic doesn’t stretch all the way down to a t-shirt. Maybe it’s designed to pinch onto skin. I have no idea.
It comes with two sets of sound-tuning filters. There is virtually no visual distinction between the two. Actually, after turning them over and over in my paws, I found it: the normal ones are slightly more burnt on their bottom sides. The treble filters shine a bit more. Ho hum.
And Algiz comes with pretty good variety of ear pieces, including high-density foamies and dual-flanges. I’ll be honest here: had Kennerton had their way at the factory, Algiz would, apart from its proprietary cable, be pretty cool. If real life worked out as well as 3D renders, Algiz would be both handsome and professional. But we live in a fallen world. Kennerton typography is just bold enough, just horny enough, and Algiz just eye-catching enough to etch itself into your memory. But it’s a 449$ USD earphone built to 100$ standards.
I’ve not been blessed with great-shaped ears. Typically, my right ear gets along with any earphone, while my left does not. This is especially so with Algiz, which houses a large 10mm driver, is a bit longer, and a bit thicker than many earphones. I can’t get my left ear stay battened down for longer than 5 or 6 minutes, no matter the ear piece. With the cable looped over the ear, Algiz stays put in my right ear, but as always, my left is problematic. When down, the same is mostly true. Your mileage may vary.
I think the mic’d cable both looks and feels nicer against the skin. It’s less energetic, and keeps flatter against body. The other one, though, is less rubbery, and doesn’t catch on clothes as badly. Both cables are somewhat microphonic. Wearing them over the ear eliminates most of that.
Of course, fit is personal. You may get right along with Algiz. And, if your neck is short enough, you may even find use for the mic clip.
All about sound after the jump or the click HERE: