Review: Kennerton Audio Jimo – K10’s stuffy, bassy, little brother


Like every Kennerton earphone thus far tested, Jimo has a couple of sound-wise benefits. The first is that it isn’t super sensitive. 98dB is pretty low, actually. The second is that its nominal impedance of 32Ω isn’t that hard to drive. Hardware tests have borne this out. Even ho-hum level DAPs should be able to kick a pretty flat, pretty stable signal into Jimo at all frequencies. Which means that you shouldn’t need an amp. And even if you just have to use an amp, and even if you amp hisses like the Dickens, it should hiss less through Jimo than many similarly priced competitors. Which is a blessed godsend.

And overall, Jimo sounds great. It is more balanced, and contrastier than either Algiz or Laguz. There’s more to it than bass. And lo’ and behold: the soundstage has expanded a notch.

Its bass goes low with a lot of sound pressure. Ice Cube’s Do Ya Thang goes R-U-M-B-L-E R-U-M-B-L-E R-U-M-B-L-E straight at your brain. Mostly in line with Cube, Faithless’s higher-tuned bass synthesisers in She’s My Baby go BOOM like no one’s business. They don’t flatline, but you get the sense that even Jimo has a ceiling. But even so, neither mid and high bass drift further afield to affect the midrange. Nor do low lows bottom out or lose headroom. Bass resonates to the limits of its extension, then poofs out with excellent speed. I’ve yet to force Jimo out of line, which is more than I can say for Ultrasone’s IQ.

In short, bass tracks nearly perfectly with mids. It won’t wow you for space or 3D image. And it trades absolute detail for heavy-handed control. Which is to say: if you really like sussing the contours and trembles of acoustic bass guitar and kicks, Jimo won’t do it for you. Jimo simply doesn’t have the resolution for that. Instead, it is about control, and from a bassy perspective, about balance.

Jimo’s low to high mid contrast and speed are spot on. In fact, if you’re in for a slightly warm slant, trance and Jimo get right along. High mids shine and sparkle. They are just this side of perfectly neutral, which give female vocals an edge, especially regarding balance against highs and lows.

But for a small suckout between high mids and highs, Jimo nails transitions to render clean, fast, and moving trance. Still, for my tastes, its bass has just a bit too much pressure. But I’m really quite the long-listening trance head. If you’re more of a sometimes-trance listener, Jimo’s high bass pressure probably will nail your druthers. And honestly, the way it balanced high mids with bass really is spot on for trance, so we’re splitting hairs.

As for easier genres, Jimo has no problems at all. Maybe, just maybe, female vocals won’t be spot on, but male vocals will be. Jimo basically nails everything. The best compliment I can pay is the following:

“Jimo, Noble Audio K10’s stuffy, bassy little brother.” Those are my words.

End Words

Jimo isn’t inexpensive. It’s not got a great accessory kit. But its ear pieces aren’t as hairy as Algiz’s and Laguz’s. And unlike Algiz, it’s not poorly tooled. It boasts good-sound: bass-driven and semi-contrasty. Its upper mid range is nearly spot on for tough genres like trance. It fits better than Algiz. If it weren’t for Kennerton’s decision to use an incompatible cable, it would be an easy recommendation. As it is, I’m conflicted and confused. As should be all potential Kennerton customers. As is Kennerton.

Kennerton: slow down. Think about it. You nailed Jimo’s sound signature. It’s even built well. Kicking it out the door before it’s ready, or even compatible with your other earphones, is really stupid.


Back before he became the main photographer for bunches of audio magazines and stuff, Nathan was fiddling with pretty cool audio gear all day long at TouchMyApps. He loves Depeche Mode, trance, colonial hip-hop, and raisins. Sometimes, he gets to listening. Sometimes, he gets to shooting. Usually he's got a smile on his face. Always, he's got a whisky in his prehensile grip.

1 Comment

  • Reply March 29, 2016

    Michael Gunin

    Do you think Jimo will work fine for jazz, soul, funk, classical? I use iBasso DX50 as a source.

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