The Flux Lab Acoustic Atlas just won our desktop DAC/AMP of the year award and it is a technically strong performing, neutrally tuned and powerful sounding unit. In single ended mode it already makes Thror sing with good detail, excellent speed and control and good body. Bass is full comes with excellent impact, though the layering isn’t the very best here. The mids are detailed, clear and very musical, with a normal/natural amount of spaciousness, airiness and separation. Treble is clear but not he most lively in single ended mode. In balanced mode Thror here sounds more spacious and wider, with improved extension and depth/layering. Body-wise you get neutral, less in bass and mids but it’s right enough and linear. Precision and detail retrieval levels go up, and extension and timbre improves. The result is a linear, musical, yet highly technical sounding Thror which at the same time sounds very musical. The difference with the US4+ is in the speed, clarity and neutrality, where the Niimbus goes for smoothness, more body and musicality. Thror is an excellent headphone with both amp, they’re just making it differently flavoured.
On paper Thror should be fairly easy to drive so why not try it directly from the higher end DAPs in our collection. From the Astell&Kern SP2000 your volume has to go quite a bit up but it does get the job done. This in the sense that you get volume, but it’s nowhere near the level of the Thror when powered from a desktop amp. The body, power and impact is really missing here, though the powerful KANN CUBE actually manages to produce a better result. If you just want bass and body, then you could hook it up directly to the Lotoo PAW6000, but here the refinement, precision, detail and cleanness are missing when using the 4.4mm balanced output. And there’s the Luxury & Precision LP6 which was built to power full size headphones. This DAP actually pulls it off and you get a really good sounding Thror, with good body, speed and control. Voices and mids here are incredible and you from top to bottom get good body. Bass is full and has good impact. Mid timbre is excellent and extended, and treble is energetic, clear and lively. It’s impressive.
In general – unless you own the LP6 – I still wouldn’t advise listening to the Thror directly from a DAP, but Thror buyers probably never had that in mind either.
The comparison with Odin was done with the Niimbus Audio US4+ and the Flux Lab Acoustic Atlas as DAC.
The Odin sounds bigger and bolder and has a more “in your face” approach. It’s not as refined and technically strong as Thror. Odin has bigger/good impact and body overall and bass is bigger and has way more impact.
Odin’s mids and vocals compared to Thror sound more forward and aggressive. The refinement, spaciousness, naturalness and timbre here are not as good as with Thror. The treble section actually is nicely extended in Odin but it again is more in your face.
To me Thror is the upgraded, higher end version of Odin and I prefer it over Odin at any time, but many other Kennerton fans actually prefer Odin over Thror because of the bigger bass presentation and fuller main body.
Both are great headphones and both will please a different type of listener, but the technically best performing headphone of these two clearly is the Thror.
The headphones in this list are all reference headphones and they all perform extremely well, they’re just differently tuned. It’s impossible to say which one of these is best as it all depends on your personal preference. Comparisons were all done in a fully balanced configuration with the Niimbus Audio US4+ amplifier and Flux Lab Acoustics Atlas DAC.
The Meze Audio Empyrean is a full bodied and warmer sounding flagship than Thror. Thror is more neutral where the Meze is very soft, smooth and musical in its delivery. The Empyrean’s bass is bigger in body and impact, but it isn’t as tight and fast as it is with the Thror. The mids section of the Empyrean is warmer and richer, and the treble section is much softer and less energetic, precise. The Empyrean and Thror are both awesome headphones, and like with the Odin, it’s just for a different type of listener. It does however make the headphones complementary as they’re quite different.
The Rosson Audio Design RAD-O compared to the Thror is again very different. The RAD-0 does everything so effortless and it makes it sound more relaxed. Both headphones have great detail retrieval but the Rosson is a tad more musical, airy (mids!) and smooth in its delivery, where Thror is more reference, clear and detailed sounding. Body and bass wise I actually put these closely together, as they’re both fast, precise and detailed but have no bass emphasis. The mid body of the Thror is lighter and sounds more forward and energetic, where the RAD-0 is more soft and relaxed. The RAD-0 vocals are also softer, where they have a slightly sharper presentation on Thror. Treble on the Rosson is less pronounced and again smoother, where the Thror is more focusing on detail and clarity. Treble extension is good with both headphones, but it’s more pronounced and clear on Thror. With the RAD-0 it’s smoother and thicker.
And yes, even more on Sound on the next page, right here.