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Sendy Audio Aiva

Rating:
4.875/5,
  1. PinkyPowers
    The Glistening of Morning Dew
    Written by PinkyPowers
    Published Apr 21, 2019 at 7:22 PM
    4.5/5,
    Pros - Fit and finish. Aesthetics. Comfort. Sound.
    Cons - A little bright. Lacking mid-range warmth.
    ~::I originally published this on THL. Now I wish to share it with my Head-Fi fellows::~

    :: Disclaimer ::

    MusicTeck provided Aiva free of charge for the purpose of my honest review, for good or ill.

    Aiva sells for $599.
    www.MusicTeck.com
    SendyAudio on Amazon

    ______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

    When sweet man Andrew of MusicTeck asked about reviewing the SendyAudio Aiva Black Beauty series headphone, I had to look it up first. This is a product and a company I had never heard of. Yet when my eyes beheld her beauty from one of the promotional images online, I knew I wanted her. That might not be the sentiment of a proper audiophile, but what can I say… Aiva is that gorgeous.

    Unboxing 01.jpg
    Unboxing 02.jpg
    Unboxing 03.jpg
    Aiva 06.jpg
    It’s no wonder the final product looks this good. SendyAudio takes the handcrafted, labor-intensive, quality material approach to manufacturing, and they take it seriously. I can’t find any plastics here, just leather, metal, and wood, and some sort of a hybrid earpad. At a weight of 420g, everything feels tight and well-built. There’s no squeaks or rattles. The pads and headband are incredibly soft and comfortable. In terms of build quality, it’s ******* perfect.

    Aiva 01.jpg
    Pads 01.jpg
    Headband 01.jpg
    Aiva 02.jpg
    Aiva Black Beauty is a planar magnetic set of over-ear headphones, utilizing a 97x76mm ultra-nano composite diaphragm. The frequency range starts at a super-low 5hz, and rises all the way to 55Khz. With a sensitivity of 96dB and 32Ω impedance, she’s not terribly difficult to drive, although she’s not exactly easy. These headphones are obviously made for a desktop amp, or at the very least, a powerful mobile device. I assume it’s open-back design. It certainly looks and sounds that way. But I wouldn’t be shocked to find Aiva classified as semi-open, either. None of the promotional materials I’ve read say one way or another.

    Included is a hard-shell leather protective carry case. It’s relatively small, as these things go, and, like the headphones themselves, well-made. My sister proclaimed it the Ass Case, and I suspect you understand why. Indeed, there is an unfortunate posterior resemblance. Must they follow the contours on the outside as well? Oh well.

    Carry Case.jpg
    I am awfully pleased with the cable. It’s rare to see a naked braided cable from the headphone manufacturer. And even rarer when that cable is terminated for 4.4mm TRRRS balanced. It comes with an adapter which turns it into 3.5mm TRS single-ended. Personally, I wish it was setup as 2.5mm TRRS, as I have adapters for 2.5mm-to-4.4mm, but nothing that goes 4.4mm-to-2.5mm. The stock cable is a pretty standard 6N Oxygen-free-Copper. Then there is a $250 upgrade cable called Asura, using 7N OCC copper conductors.

    Cable 02.jpg
    Cable 01.jpg
    Connector 01.jpg
    SendyAudio Aiva Black Beauty is a creature of clarity, articulation, and transparency. Vibrancy and detail retrieval are at the forefront, though Aiva never forgets the importance of balance, with decently bodied notes. It’s one of the best headphones for $500-$600 I’ve heard.

    Aiva’s treble sparkles, possessed of much air and light. There seems to be an upper treble peak to emphasize the wispy, twinkly aspects of these notes. The extension is phenomenal. It’s like there’s no roof; the venue sounds so open, the music floats freely upward. Details and micro dynamics are highlighted. There’s sharpness to the presentation many will like. For those desiring a smooth, relaxed sound, Aiva may be a bit much. Though I must say, it does not come off harsh or strident. Simply energetic, dynamic, and fun.

    Vocals are wonderfully revealing. They really pop. All the grit and texture of your favorite singers shines through in a big way. While Aiva does not deliver the lushest reproduction, neither is it brittle or devoid of soul. I personally favor a rounder, warmer sound, though Aiva does not struggle to captivate my ears. Indeed, there’s a magic happening I thoroughly enjoy.

    Aiva 03.jpg
    Mid-range instruments are potent and precise. There is but a touch of warmth and harmonic overtone, though it’s clear the greater portion of the tuning aims for vivacious, resolving energy. High-hats are sharp and vicious, and electric guitars have sick crunch.

    The bass is, well, planar magnetic bass. If you don’t know what that means, you are missing out. I’ve owned a number of planar headphones, and while they haven’t all been the best at everything, one aspect stands out every time. The low end has impossible reach, and moves so freely, with so much surface area. The result is a… presence… an entity. And a big one. It’s an unmistakable thing. I also happen to think planar bass sounds more real and lifelike. But that could just be Pinky projecting his evil will. Aiva’s bass is really rather neutral in measure. It doesn’t stand out in quantity, only quality. It’s textured, detailed, and versatile. Both acoustic and electric sound amazingly right.

    Aiva 05.jpg
    The soundstage is narrow. Surprisingly narrow for headphones of such an open design. Yet there’s a decent amount of depth, and the height feels limitless. Aiva exhibits great skill at separating the layers and rendering an accurate image. Her resolution is sharpened to a menacing edge. Indeed, in most technical areas, the Avia Black Beauty is a top performer.

    HiFiMAN’s Sundara ($499, Review HERE) is a perfect set of cans with which to compare against. They are around the same price, both tuned for neutrality, and are open-back planar magnetic in design. Sundara has the truer neutral. It feels genuinely flat, all throughout the frequency range. Aiva has bright, sparkly treble, which sounds splashy compared to Sundara’s smooth, mature highs. The mids and bass are remarkably similar on these two cans. Yet because of that disparity in treble, there’s a personality shift which affects everything, changing the fundamental feel of the headphone. Aiva comes off more aggressive and energetic. Sundara sounds relaxed and effortless. This difference in philosophy is perhaps mostly a matter of preference. Some might find Sundara boring without that edge of excitement. To my ears, however, Aiva suffers from a hint of artificiality. It’s really only apparent in direct comparison to Sundara, which sounds noticeably more natural. Furthermore, Sundara has the wider soundstage. Nothing enormous, but it helps to create the more pleasing presentation. In terms of detail, resolution, layering, and all that, both headphones are on equal footing, more or less. Though Aiva, with her more aggressive bent, may seem to have the edge here.

    The iBasso SR1 ($499) immediately stands out as the warmer, bassier monitor. The notes are fuller, vocals are lush, and that low-end fills things out in a more satisfying way. The SR1 is simply not meant to be neutral, unlike Aiva and Sundara. While the treble is potent and detailed, it’s not as accentuated as Aiva. Combine that with an obvious emphasis on bass, and you have a spectacular, fun transducer. It becomes ever so slightly V-Shaped, with the vocals taking a step back. But not too much! They aren’t small or far away, they just aren’t as big and close as with the other two headphones. iBasso’s balance is superb. It’s musical, resolving, and transparent, tonally rich, sharply detailed, airy and powerful. It does everything, and does it well. Including a nice, roomy soundstage. Certainly wider than Aiva. And in all technical merits, it’s right up there with the other two. All three headphones are damn near equal in comfort, though the SR1 does suffer from microphonics traveling along the cable. So you don’t want to move your head too much whilst wearing them.

    Because of Aiva’s neutral-bright tuning, you should be weary of DAPs and DACs with too much of those same qualities. Unless you are perfectly immune to that kind of thing. For best results, pair her with a warm, robust source.

    The Audio-GD NFB-28 (around $800) has been my desktop DAC and Amp for a few years now. I’ve never felt the urge to upgrade, it’s so bloody good. As a SABRE DAC, you get the profound detail and resolution the brand is known for, but as an Audio-GD product, all that is presented in a warm, organic, and utterly natural way. Plus, there is more than enough power to fill Aiva out to her fullest. I cannot imagine a better setup to drive these cans.

    Aiva & DX200 01.jpg
    The iBasso DX200 with AMP8 ($899, Review HERE) is ideal for Aiva in many ways. First, AMP8 has balanced 4.4mm output, and Aiva is terminated for exactly that. Second, AMP8 produces high current, which these headphones crave. Finally, the sound signature of the DX200>AMP8 is bold and clear, spacious and impactful, detailed and musical. In other words, it encourages Aiva’s strengths, and helps with her weaknesses. This is the DAP I’d take to the back porch for a beer and a cigar.

    Of course, if you’re looking for the lightest-weight system for true mobility, and willing to sacrifice some audio quality without feeling as if you’re listening to utter ****, then the Hidizs AP80 ($139, Review HERE) is my recommendation. For those who hold price, size, and performance with equal importance, this player is something special. It’s not the best in any one of those categories, but taken together, I’ve yet to find a better option. Unfortunately, its tuning isn’t quite as warm as I’d want for Aiva, but the pairing isn’t at all bad.

    Aiva & AP80 01.jpg
    For a company I’d never heard of, SendyAudio crafted an exquisite headphone. Aiva Black Beauty Series is a triumph of performance, design, and comfort. When detail and resolution are at the core of your need, and nothing makes you quite so happy as oodles of treble sparkle, Aiva should be on your short list. This sort of tuning can go terribly wrong. It’s a testament to SendyAudio’s skill that they created something so pleasurable. I can’t wait to see what they come up with next.

    -~::Pinky_Powers::~-

    Aiva 04.jpg
  2. ngoshawk
    Sendy Aiva...a gift from the clouds
    Written by ngoshawk
    Published Apr 18, 2019 at 11:36 PM
    5.0/5,
    Pros - Clouds!
    Build.
    Cost.
    Finish.
    Gorgeous wood look.
    Cable.
    Sound, tastefully presented, with excellent air.
    Gorgeous looks.
    Clouds!
    Cons - Ummmm...still thinking about that give me a year or so...
    Sendy Aiva: $599, available from Musicteck: https://shop.musicteck.com/collections/sendyaudio/products/sendyaudio-aiva-black-beauty-series-97-76mm-planar-magnetic-headphones?variant=18480633839678

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    Intro:



    Perusing the Musicteck site, which I do not do often enough, I noticed a couple of items. One, which has been on my radar for a long time, and another that piqued my interest simply by looking at the image. This review is about that item. The Sendy Aiva. To say I was smitten would be like a dog anticipating a new bone. Needless to say, my tail wagged, and tongue was panting like said dog. You think I jest, but…I quickly contacted Andrew, with whom we arranged a model. This is about that model. First and foremost, the Aiva was purchased at a discount for an open and honest review. And of course, I would have it no other way.



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    After the order (which included the other item), I read all I could about Sendy and the Aiva. I found a brief thread on Head-Fi (https://www.head-fi.org/threads/new-sendy-audio-aiya-impressions.900362/) and a mention by another reviewer, with copy/paste items from a foreign webpage. Images of the Aiva were superb. This was indeed a looker. Having been stolen by @PinkyPower Atticus, the Aiva recalled the way I looked at his gem upon arrival. But first, a brief history.


    From the Musicteck page description: SENDYAUDIO (SHI YI Technology Co., LTD.) founded in 2015 and is made up of the elite teams who worked in audio industry earliest in China. Black Beauty Series is 2019 new positioning products of SENDYAUDIO, and it took three years of hard research and development. We adhere to the use of traditional craftsmanship, coupled with the selection of high-quality natural solid wood as the material for the housing. The whole production process consumes a lot of manpower and time, which include material selection, CNC machining, engraving, grinding, polishing as well as repeated oiling and drying. The finish texture of each individual piece is unique.


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    Intro YouTube video from Sendy:



    From the video, you can see the care taken in making the cups. Hand sanded, and finished with several layers of poly, the company states the finish will keep the headphones together through many weather variations. The first time I have heard a company address humidity and such as a concern. Grado never mentions the sort, but no one concerns themselves with deterioration either. What I can say is that the Aiva finish is top notch, superb. No blemishes, and definitely built to last.

    Very little is out there regarding Sendy Audio, but from my perusing’s the talk is of how the Aiva punches well above their weight. Some call for a raising of the price to $1k. Well…I for one am glad they do not cost that much. Could they? Well, I guess you will have to read on to find out.

    Suffice to say, I really, REALLY like this set of headphones so far. I would state that this isn’t quite your typical planar sound. There is a bit of dip in the mids (to me as opposed to a flat response), but not enough to bother me. Some have posted graphs, buuuuuttt…I’m not going there. Nope, no way.



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    Specs:
    • Driver Type: Planar Magnetic
    • Driver Size: 97*76mm
    • Frequency Response:5-55Khz
    • Sensitivity: 96db
    • Impedance: 32Ω
    • Weight: 420g

    Included in the box:

    1. Aiva Headphone
    2. Headphone Hard Leather Carry Case
    3. Headphone Balanced Cable with 4.4mm Plug
    4. 4.4mm Female to 3.5mm (SE) Male Pigtail Adaptor



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    Gear used/compared (prices USD unless noted otherwise):


    Focal Elear ($700, 2.5bal cable)
    Campfire Audio Cascade ($800, 2.5bal cable)
    ZMF Atticus (from memory, $1099, 2.5bal cable)
    Mr. Speakers Ether-C Flow ($1500, 3.5/6.3se cable)
    Grado GH-2 Limited Ed ($650, 3.5se cable)

    iFi Pro iDSD & xDSD used for MBP and XDuoo, others run on their own accord.

    MacBook Pro/ iFi Pro iDSD
    XDuoo x10tii/ iFi Pro iDSD & xDSD
    Shanling M5s
    Questyle QP2R

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    Songs used:

    Too bloody many to list all, but you want songs, so there you go:

    Coldplay-All I Can think About Is You
    Coldplay-A Message
    Coldplay-White Shadows
    Dona Onete-Sonos de Adolescente
    Los Lonely Boys- Heaven (en Espanol)
    twenty one pilots-Trees
    twenty one pilots-Car Radio
    twenty one pilots-Heathens
    Damian Marley-Everybody Wants To Be Somebody
    Damian Marley-So A Child May Follow
    Damian Marley-The Struggle Discontinues
    Ziggy Marley-Lighthouse
    Ziggy Marely-See Dem Fake Leaders
    Mark Knopfler-Laughs And Jokes And Drinks And Smokes
    Santana w/ Mana- Corazon Espinado
    twenty one pilots-Trench

    shuffle SD card music

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    Unboxing:

    Coming in a recycled brown top/bottom box, I get an immediate sense of environmental awareness. A good start. Laden with a drawing, which hearkens back to the early 1900’s on the front and silver decal in three languages on the back one could start to understand the simplicity from which the Aiva comes. A simpler time, but none the less important.

    Taking the lid off there is a hard foam insert glued to the TOP of the lid, which is used to hold the headphone case in place. The bottom has molded hard foam conforming to the shape of the case. Not much to see, but simplicity again. The black hard case, which holds all inside is quite reminiscent of a Mr. Speakers case and similar in proportion. Slightly smaller in size, and less sturdy, the case will still protect the headphones quite well. Replete with four “feet” on the bottom, the case can stand on its own without scuffing the case. A nice touch.

    Opening the black hard case, you are met with a chorus of angels singing. No, reeeaaallllyyy.

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    A thick zipper (better in fact than some I have, which cost more…) opens neatly to reveal that chorus, errrr headphone and a reclaimed material cloth bag. With a grab handle to boot, the case is quite functional. This is tingling my environmental senses, it is. Inside that bag of course is the superb cable and the adaptor converting 4.4bal to 3.5se. To say the cable is beautiful, would be say that Elle McPherson is beautiful…Hmmm…I went from angels to a beautiful woman. Apologies.

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    Pulling the hefty weight-wise cable out, I marvel at the look. Four braids of thick gauge copper meet your eyes. Each end has silver jacks, complete with the cloud pattern. I quite like the pattern and will go more into that in a moment. With a splitter that looks to be Cocobolo wood, or something similar, the Sendy name is engraved; while the slider shows the company’s Crane logo. Both works well, but I do have long-term concerns surrounding the slider. It is fairly small and is made of wood. The cable is gorgeous to look at and brings a slightly warmer touch to the sound.

    Some mention that this cable as an aftermarket would cost $300-400 dollars (actually $250 on the MusicTeck site, so…). I somewhat concur and do enjoy the (what seems to be) hand weaving of the cable strands. With imperfections down the line (just the look of hand-braiding, NOT the cable itself), you get a hand-made feel more and more.

    Then…the…headphone…and it really is more stunning in person than images. Superb. Sublime. Sensuous. Sumptuous. I could go on but won’t…for your sake.

    [​IMG]
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    Fit & Finish:

    Tasteful. A singular word, which can mean so much more. It can denote the palate of food. Or it can signify a thought, action or behavior, which is thoughtful in deed and in good taste. This could describe the Aiva in one word. But that one word could also signify a simple thought, action or deed. Yet again, this could be apt for the Aiva. But there is more. Humility and a humble nature would intertwine as well.

    Each Aiva set is unique, much like the Grado GH-2, or any ZMF headphone. The wood can be matched, much like Zack at ZMF does when concocting sets, but the character of each set is singular. Special. Oneness. Here that trait follows (especially since I saw a darker model in a video), and that is a wonderful trait to have.

    The headband is well made utilizing flat aluminum strips for structurally rigidity. In comparison, the Ether-C Flow uses round bars, which can seem flimsy even if they are not. There is some bend here, but not like the Flow. With a nice (p)leather strap just below, the headphones should contort to most heads out there. Plus, with excellent clamp-tightness the strap stays put, adjusting firmly but easily. No plastic is used between the swivel and band either. Nice to see. Swiveling like a Fostex, but much better, the adjustment is more limited fore/aft than others I have tried. But not once have I had an issue.

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    Even the rivets, which hold the band and yoke to the earcup themselves is laden with the Sendy logo, a Red-crowned Crane (Grus japonensis). The Crane denoting honesty and integrity fits the simplicity to be found yet again.

    Finishing with the highlight, the ear cups and overall appeal, you are not disappointed. Near-flawless construction embodies honesty and integrity at its heart. With multi-layers of poly the cup will stay protected. Hand polished, and handmade, the electronics and cup fit together extremely well. Only a slight imperfection from the fit of the electronics to the cup was had on one side. And, truth be told, it seemed to be a small fleck of wood left in place mistakenly. After carefully brushing the fleck off, no mismatch could be seen. I do expect flawless construction, and this is about as close as you can get. The metal cloud “grate” fits over the silver dust cover quite well, giving a nice 3-D look to the side.

    The pads are on the more unique side. Shaped asymmetrically with the thicker part to the back (and bottom) they are also made of two different materials. The shape continues to vary as you hit the top, with a “cut out” to help fit your gray cranial matter. Thick and plush the pads fit very well and extended sessions do not bother. Not too plush, with good feel this is among the best fit and feeling headphones I have had the honor of trying. With the right amount of compression, and that strap a good fit is had all around.

    The front part of the pad is of a suede material, which is very comfortable and does not attract dirt/etc. Call it a hybrid pad if you will, but the pads are quite comfortable. This is one good looking unit.

    [​IMG]
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    Sound:

    Apparently the Aiva was the hit of CamJam NY in some circles. After one listen, I can understand why. On looks alone, this could easily demand twice the asking price. The look is simply superb. Beautiful, well-built and tasteful. Artfully displayed with the cloud motif and polished, coated wood cups. This is a beauty. But we’ve already covered that.

    With many planar headphones, one can semi-rightly assume that the bass response will either be elevated or flat. Think Fostex. While the sound fits what people are looking for, there can be a bloaty-bass on some models. I think that is an unfounded punishment of a sound, which many like. I only use it for comparative purposes. Here though, there is not any of that. The bass is tight, fairly fast decaying and solid. Not as fast as the Ether-C Flow 1.1 mind you, but quite acceptable. This is not meant to compete with those TOTL headphones or have the bass of the Campfire Audio Cascade, no. That bass signature is meant to be present but support the extremely good clarity of sound. And it does. Quite well. Not reaching particularly deep the bass signature is one, which can be enjoyed as part of the overall signature. And it does so very well.

    My panacea of course is the mid sound. I have a hard time discerning difference in intricate mid patterns, so I focus on the overall signature. And here to me it is quite extraordinary. On twenty one pilots Don’t Forget About Me, the bass is strong from the drum. As the keyboard enters along with Tyler’s vocal’s you begin to understand what might make the Aiva such an extraordinary critter. Clarity, separation (even to me…) and detail are exquisite. It is almost like I can discern the air moving around each finger as it strikes a note of keyboard. Almost alarming, it is. I may exaggerate a bit, but the sensation is one of top-notch response. Follow that with Los Lonely Boys Heaven and that guitar riff as the song comes on and you have to sit down. I immediately played the song again with the Ether. Yes, I could discern the difference, but how close they were (OK, PRETTY close) to presentation made me smile.

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    Quietly Making Noise from Mr. Jimmy Buffet through the XDuoo x10t ii/iFi Pro iDSD lends me with true appreciation of how the treble is presented. That detail of clarity comes through almost too strictly. This is a pretty tight song, but there is still true feeling and south seas sound galore. You go inside the song through this combination and it is good. No sibilance whatsoever, no overly bright treble to me, this is good stuff up top. I do not get a sense of much sparkle, which to me would have made the top end simply sublime. That would have been too much to ask at this price I do believe.

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    Not the widest sound stage, this is not meant to be an other-worldly sensory sound of stage. No, it is meant to have that airy feeling of an open-back with width sufficient to dispel any claustrophobic feelings one might have. Sufficient height and depth make up for that somewhat narrower stage. I’m OK with that as the sound is so good. Separation and layering are good as well. Not the best, not the worst. Clarity helps separate what you hear well.

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    As this is an open-back, there is no isolation so what you hear, your partners hear. End of story. Then Blurryface comes on, and I just turn the volume up…a good bit, too. Clear highs, sensuous vocals. Bass, which is fast tight and deep give the Aiva a smile in my book. This is reverence. SRV’s Riviera Paradise comes on next, and I pour another of KC’s finest whiskey, J. Rieger & Co.

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    Comparison:

    Sendy Aiva ($599) v Focal Elear ($700ish, 2.5bal cable):

    The Elear first came to me on a tour from TTVJ (fantastic person for our hobby). I immediately fell for the warmer signature, which fit my bill. It helped that I was playing them through the ampsandsounds Kenzie, which to this day is one of the best amps I have ever heard. Through that tubey goodness, I fell hard. I still very much like the Elear, but do not use it enough, mostly for comparisons such as this. A shame too, for the bass is sublime through the iFi Pro iDSD/XDuoo x10t ii combo. Better reach than the Aiva, with a bit more grunt as well, the bass comes through nicely using the LQi 2.5bal cable. Not quite the clarity of the Aiva, but a wider sound stage. This is a really good set up. Sting’s voice comes through clean and clear. I will admit that the purported dip in mids of the Elear does not bother me at all. I find the sound excellent, fitting my taste for a warmer signature well.

    The Aiva definitely has a somewhat brighter signature, with more clarity as a result (to me). That alone should say how good the Aiva represents sound. I would call this a wash, especially if you can find a used Elear. Caveat-many find the Elex or Clear to be better sounding than the Elear. I have not heard either, only the Elegia. As such, I still like the Elear more. Fit and feel of the Aiva is miles ahead in my book, as I consider it well above on the comfort level. The Aiva are harder to drive as you would expect with a planar as well.


    Sendy Aiva ($599) v Campfire Audio Cascade ($800, 2.5bal cable):

    Again, the Cascade is easier to drive, much easier. Fit is well behind the Aiva as well. Almost clamp-like this is probably the only aspect of the Cascade, which I do not like. Having used @Wiljen ‘s pair long term, I was lucky to find a barely used pair on Head-Fi at a time when new ones were not available. I do not regret the purchase one bit. Bass is rumbly and superb. Some say it overpowers the overall signature. I say that it sets the tone. Vocals are not lost in the fray either. Treble has a bit of sparkle, but feels a bit disconnected to the overall sound. In my less than professional opinion, this was done to counter the bass. Drums come across clean, crisp and clear. Sound stage is very, very good for a closed-back as well. When I want to jam out in the presence of the family-unit, I pull out the Cascade. Or the Atlas, but that is another story.

    Listening the Pink Floyd’s Any Colour You Like, you have that psychedelic sound, which just makes the Cascade sing. This is late night drinking sound of the solo variety. And it is extraordinary. The Aiva on the other hand is a bit mellower believe it or not. Along for the same late-night session, but more subtle. Less sparkle up top than the Cascade, the Aiva presents a more balanced approach. It is hard not to like both, and I do. They are different enough (well, duh) to enjoy both. Different enough so that having the Cascade as a closed-back and the Aiva for open-back would be a superb compliment to each other. I am very lucky, indeed.


    Sendy Aiva ($599) v ZMF Atticus (from memory, $1099, 2.5bal cable):

    The first time I heard the Atticus of @PinkyPowers, I was smitten. He point-blank told me the Atticus sated his purpose for an open back. We spent two glorious weeks together. And a definitely longing was had in my heart upon their return. I was sad. I went to school with a chip on my shoulder, and a loss of step. Not even my favorite single-malt could bring me from the funk. Until I heard the Aiva. It was like having a pair of Atticus again, almost. The Atticus presents sound extraordinarily well, with full detail, clarity to die for and a sound stage of small concert hall proportions. The look is stunning and counters the girthy-size of the pair. They are superb, presenting sound like it was meant to be heard. Delicate female vocals were sublime. Punchy male vocals were thrusting in quality. Complicated music was simplified in presentation, without losing that detail. It was hard to justify a better pair of open-backs of which I had heard. Until the Aiva. But, put an asterisk by that “until.” For you see, the Aiva does about 80% of what the Atticus does, but for 50% the price. Don’t get me wrong, I would love to someday have a pair of the Atticus. But until then, the Aiva not only reminds me of them, but reminds me very well.


    Sendy Aiva ($599) v Mr. Speakers Ether-C Flow ($1500, 3.5/6.3se cable):

    The Ether-C Flow came about after researching headphones equivalent to the Atticus. I wanted a TOTL closed-back, to “finish my lineup” so to speak. After researching many, I came across a barely used pair and took the plunge. I do not regret it even though a well-known publication had the Ether-C Flow in the bottom half of a comparison test. I have always tended to go against popularity, so I went with them. I was able to have the pair on hand with the Atticus for a four-day period and found myself staying up very late. What a time. The fit-n-finish of the Ether-C is astonishing. Exemplary fit allows one to fully experience the sound. With pads similar to the Atticus, as in pillow-like you should be able to easily find good fit.

    I find the bass to be quite good, with a bit of rumble, song-dependent of course. Every Tear Is A Waterfall gives good rumble, delicate detail from the acoustic guitar and vocals of heavenly ascent. This is what I was searching for with a TOTL. The clarity rivals my DaVinci X. Phenomenal. The Aiva cannot match that, and it isn’t meant to, no. The Aiva is more open, a bit more laid-back but with excellent clarity. And for the price, hard to beat, period.


    Sendy Aiva ($599) v Grado GH-2 Limited Ed ($650, 3.5se cable):

    Right off the bat, you notice how bright the Grado is. Almost bitingly bright, I have to re-adjust to the sound. Plus, as an on-ear, the fit can take a bit to re-acclimate. Once past that though, the sound is clear, bright and clean. I will state that as a result of being easy to drive, and with that bright sound, the Grado cannot be turned up too much for my taste. It becomes too bright. Not sibilant, but a bit too much. The bass is good, with as bit of rumble, but not like some of the others mentioned here. They are not meant to be that way. Sound stage to die for is a key focus of the Grado, and as such, separation and layering is almost as good as anything in my stable. I do still like the Grado, but they will most likely leave my corral as they get very few looks from me these days.


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    Sources:

    The Aiva through the Shanling M5s provides me with the sound of which I search. Bold, fairly deep reaching bass, and a fullness wrought from what I call the “Shanling sound.” This is a very good pairing, and more than enough power is had with the pair. Intricate detail takes a backseat to seat of the pants rich and full sound. I could get used to this pairing. Again, detail falls behind the XDuoo/iFi Pro iDSD as one would expect; but the rich sound from the M5s is almost a match for the tube sound emanating from the former pair.

    Using the 4.4bal to 2.5bal adaptor only let the balanced aspect of the cable shine through, and it was good. An increased sense of layering and separation. I could note a bit more air between the notes as well. While this may have been a bit of placebo, I do get a better sense of layering and separation when I use balanced cables. This of course is a main object of using balanced cables in the first place, so that is good.

    The Aiva/Questyle QP2R sound brings back the clarity completely. Playing Neon Gravestones, I am reminded why I like the song so much. Deep full bass arises from the song itself. And with this pair, there is no hiding from any fallacies of sound. There is none. This is TOTL portability sound for anything I have. And this would work for most, short of those who have the Lotoo Paw Gold or Cayin N8. Both are exemplary, and for those seeking TOTL DAP territory, the Aiva will not embarrass itself. I consider the XDuoo/iFi pairing on par with the two mentioned. At least to me they are…

    So, you can see that the Aiva is multi-dimensional with respect to source as well. I will admit that my favorite pairing was the XDuoo x10t ii/iFi Pro iDSD. The XDuoo is superb in its own right as a transport/turntable. Throw in the tube sound of the iDSD and this is good enough for me. Exemplary.


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    Finale:

    With each comparison, I begin to understand just how good the Aiva really is. It isn’t that the Aiva necessarily beats all comers, no. But when you combine the beauty of the overall unit, with a wonderful copper cable, the intricacy of detail imbued upon the scroll work and wood. The multiple layers of protection on those wood cups. The just right thickness and feel of the band. The sturdiness of the yoke. The just right thickness and shape of the cross members. The oh-so-cool multi-fabric pads (including what I would assume is real lambs’ leather). The robust jacks, inlaid with the cloud pattern; replete with coiled spring, which matches the overall appeal. The handwoven aspect of the cable. And then…the sound… For the price, you are definitely hard pressed to beat the sound. I can say with a high degree of certainty that you will be very hard pressed to find something at this point which sounds this good AND looks as gorgeous. I will openly admit that it was the look, which drew me to contact Andrew. I was enthralled with the cloud lattice. The wood cups, laden with multi-layers of protection, plus the copper cable, which compliments the gorgeousness. This…is…good…stuff, indeed. Find one. Borrow one. Listen to one. Audition one. Listen longer. You may just do what I did and smile the whole time I wrote this review. Delightful stuff.

    I end this with the live version of Riviera Paradise, one of my all-time favorite SRV songs, especially live while he is sitting on the edge of the stage swinging his legs. This is the perfect closing song to the Aiva, what with the three dimensions of the live version. A fitting end, and I kick back with that KC whiskey and enjoy. Go find this critter, you shouldn’t be disappointed.

    I thank Andrew for the opportunity to try (and keep!!!) the Aiva. It will reside on equal terms with my Ether-C Flow and DaVinci X. I can think of no higher praise than the company in which I will consider it.

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    1. volly
      Great read, thank you! She's a beauty!
      volly, Apr 19, 2019 at 8:53 AM
    2. ngoshawk
      Ah, thank you! I most likely could have written another 3-4000 words in praise, but hopefully I get the point across. This is indeed a beauty. Thanks again. Cheers.
      ngoshawk, Apr 19, 2019 at 10:58 AM
  3. Whitigir
    5 stars for Price-Performances-Build quality
    Written by Whitigir
    Published Apr 9, 2019
    5.0/5,
    Pros - Soundstage, details, clarity, imagines, build quality, tremendous price to performances, accessories
    Cons - Nothing at this price-performance-build ratio.
    It has since been a long time to have once encountered with something that is new release with price-performances that can hit so many spots, and for it extremely price-performances ratio, I can only have it rated 5 stars. You can find unboxing video from my YouTube here



    Short sound impressions here



    Build quality impressions here



    Musicteck is an authorized dealer in the USA

    Here is a written review for Aiva. Please remember that each of us have different experiences and preferences. Always try out the gears and trust your own ears :)

    The gears I used: Dx200Titanium EX Modified, Amp8 EX Modified, MiniDynalo DIY, LKS004 upgraded OCXO, custom-Built PC with Linear Supply and OCXO. Balanced cables and upgraded cables all around.

    The Aiva is reviewed with completely Stock cables and accessories, which comes with 6N OCC 4 cores cables and 4.4mm style, with adaptors to 3.5mm and 1/4”

    The pretty name that is such as beautiful as the build quality, the Aiva, a product that comes from SendyAudio, a company that is so new that I wouldn’t be aware of it if I was not at Canjam NYC. Following is my review impression regarding the Aiva headphones. I was offered this free Sample from Musictek for my honest impressions since I expressed my interests regarding the Aiva at Canjam. I am not affiliated to SendyAudio or Musicteck, and once again, what you are reading is just my honest observation from my own experiences. Even though the free sample was provided, but it will not influence my point of view. Special thanks to Andrew and Musicteck.


    The pros: soundstage width, details, and emphasize on treble frequency but without being offensive with sibilants. However, the trebles fidelity and emphasis has no room to flex, you either like it or you don’t.

    The cons: the drivers and the ear pads inner spaces is a little too shallow, the sizes are small. I have a small ears and it barely fit over the ears. The Depth of the sound stage could be improved
    221D55E1-4509-402E-B925-C4EA9B959BAD.jpeg
    Sound signature: Aiva has a neutral sound signature that is closer to Hd800 with good clarity and transparency. There is a small dip in the mid spectrum that is compromising the vocal and some mid instruments extensions and emotions in trade off for clarity and airiness. There is a little emphasis after this Dip, and toward the lower treble spectrum, which is enjoyable if you like this sound signature and details. The Aiva appreciate to be paired with warmer DAP or source. Cayin N8 did wonderful when I tried the combination


    Bass: a very fast bass respond with good sub bass details but slightly lacks the extensions of much higher end headphones such as Stax Sr-009 and SR-009S. However, the mid bass punches together with the neutral signature. The Aiva appears to be very dynamic and speakers like. The low spectrum is with natural decay and clean off resonances. It makes the HD800S while having a lower bass and extensions, to appear with resonances, when listen closely and analytically enough. This is where I would call the Aiva of being closer to the regular 800 in signature. It is also understandable since the 800S has a helmholtz insert. These are neither good nor bad, but rather more personal preferences. I am just speaking out loud the differences here.


    Timbres: while the HD800/S series has many things done right, and always praised for it soundstage, the timbres never appears to be fully balanced and realistic enough in my opinion. The Aiva also has this compromises as mentioned above, a small dip at mid spectrum and small emphasis toward trebles. This is a compromises on timbres and musicality for clarity and transparency. The 800S May have a more musicality than the 800, while the Aiva is even cleaner than both. However, without the offensive sibilants, good sound stage, dynamic, I feel that Aiva will be much appreciated from anyone who love neutral signature with clarity, details, and soundstage.

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    Sound stage: Aiva has a pretty wide soundstage, but with a different presentations from Hd800/S. I would say that it is as wide as the Sennheiser, but not as deep. While some people may find the 800 and S to have unnatural soundstage, the Aiva offer a more natural soundstage that is just as wide, holographical and spherical. Yet, the Depth of stage isn’t going to go as Far and Deep as higher end such as HD800/S or my top of the tier KG-T2 and SR-009S/009. But I am definitely very impressed by the airiness, transparency, clarity, details, and soundstage width of this headphones.


    Trebles: with great details and good extensions. But due to a little emphasis at lower trebles, it may overwhelm other details within the high spectrum. This is where the Hd800/S would fare better in my preferences. Aiva doesn’t lack details in trebles in comparison, but rather different.


    The Aiva is a little strange in matching up with amplifiers. It is relatively easy to get loud just out of an iPad Pro or DAP, but I found that there are 2 things that Aiva can do better when matched with a more powerful amplifier. The soundstage expansiveness, and the treble details, extensions can both be taken up further with a real desktop amplifier. I can enjoy Aiva out of DX200 as a DAP, and even Cayin N8. But to further enhance the experiences, the Mini-Dynalo can make the Aiva really sing

    30618B0B-9E04-4032-B904-1C5F624D4A25.jpeg

    Finally, let put all the comparison aside, and talk about price/performances ratio. The Aiva is a killer for it ! To be able to resemble more closely to Hd800 in it strength of soundstage and clarity at just $599 ? The build quality of solid wood housing, zero squeaks, and merely 450gr. The Aiva is a winner to me. Even when compare to Ibasso SR-1 , Sony Z7, Fostex TH-X00, at similar price point, all needed some personal tweaks. Out of the box, the Aiva would show it strength without tinkering around, the solid build and beautiful appearance is also a winner here. I have not tried to investigate into tweaking the earpads as there is no need to do so from my observations. Sound performances is all subjective, but if you or anyone who love soundstage, the Aiva is clearly a better choice, while if you love bass fidelity and timbres then SR1 (with PT1 pads) has compromised the soundstage for just that and would be more preferable. I would totally recommend the Aiva for any beginner to enjoy high-end performances, only if you love clarity, details, soundstage. I would not recommend if you love bass extensions, musicality, and is treble sensitive.

    Aiva comes with a carrying leather case, a cables pouch that contains stock OCC cables terminated to 4.4mm and a short adapter of 4.4 female into 3.5mm male to be using with single ended source, and a 1/4 adapter. One special plus about this leather case is that it can stand on it own, and I can use it as a headphones stand for picture and short time period. Just how cool is that ?

    Would need about 200 hours burn-in to have improvements on bass and trebles extensions

    images

    1. F0A7743E-BCEF-446F-B300-E39F51E8319F.jpeg
      DrummerLeo, MD80, twister6 and 2 others like this.
    1. omniweltall
      Thanks for the review
      omniweltall, Apr 9, 2019
      abvolt likes this.
  4. DrummerLeo
    High Value Planars New Choice—Sendy Aiva Review
    Written by DrummerLeo
    Published Mar 30, 2019
    5.0/5,
    Pros - Unbelievable High Value, Great Details, High Resolution, Balanced and Relaxing Tonality
    Cons - None
    Intro

    Last week I was asked to do a review of Sendy Audio Aiva—a new comer planar headphones to the mid-range market. To be honest, I have never heard of neither Sendy nor Aiva before, and I was out of sub $1000 headphones quite a while, so by all means I was not that excited about hearing them.

    When Aiva was still on the way to my home, I did a little bit research online about Sendy Audio and Aiva. Sendy Audio is a new Chinese headphones manufacturer, Aiva and her litter sister Aiya (a planar IEMs) are their first two products. Aiva is a full-size planar headphones with driver size of 97mm x 76mm, 32 Ohm impedance, 96dB sensitivity. From the reference, I can pretty much tell Aiva can be driven on both portable players and desk top systems, and I will provide my impressions on both systems in the later sections.

    I also read some reviews from various reviewers before I actually hear them. From those reviews, I had a basic idea about how they sound like, but words can never express how much I was surprised by them.

    In this review, I will provide sound impressions of Aiva on three audio systems: DX200 with amp8, JDS Atoms and Topping D30, Cayin HA300 and Burl B2 Bomber. I will also provide impressions from two of my friends, both of them are experienced audiophiles.

    Before going into the review, I want to thank Andrew provides me this demo, and the Sendy Audio Aiva is now available at Musicteck or Amazon.

    Build and Comfort

    The build quality and appearance of Aiva is almost luxury considering they are only $599. Aiva is very well build with nice looking wood cups, cloud or fish scale shape metal covers, and soft fabric-leather hybrid pads, it is just beautiful. The wood cups are very shiny and smooth, I feel the quality is even better than the wood on my Susvara.

    The size of Aiva is similar to Aeon, slightly smaller than hd600/650/660s. With weight of 480g, Aiva is on the heavier side, but I don’t have any issue of wearing them for 3 to 4 hours. The head band distributes the weight very well, which makes me feel that they are way less than 480g.
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    Sound Impressions

    With DX200: I think DX200 is sufficient to Aiva. The details, clarity and sound stage is able to stand out. However, I do find the overall sound signature is darker compare to both two desk top systems, especially the Cayin and Burl combo. Also, I need to turn the volume up to 80 and I just need about 60-65 when pairing with Ultrasone Tribute 7.

    Although Aiva is not as easy to drive as those mainstream portable headphones, they are still quite enjoyable. Bass quantity is just about right, not too much but enough. The bass is soft but elastic. The mid is a little recessed but still with good body and very clear. The treble is very smooth and detailed. I was quite surprised by the treble from this combo, because dx200+amp8 usually gives me a sharp impression when pair it with other IEMs or portable headphones. But the treble from Aiva is very well controlled, there are some peaks in the treble region, but those peaks rarely affect the overall presentation. The soundstage is fairly large and 3 dimensional. The vertical dimension is limited due to the power of dx200, the overall soundstage is way more natural when pair with ha300.

    With JDS Atoms and Topping D30: This entry-level desk top set up is sufficient for most dynamic headphones and some planars, from my experience, it is more than enough to drive Aiva.

    Bass: The biggest difference I got is from bass. When pairing with JDS and Topping combo, the bass is significantly deeper. Also, the quantity is a lot more than it with dx200 which makes the overall sound more V shape.

    Mid: The mid is slightly more bodied but because of the increasing quantity in bass, it is still more V shape than with dx200. Under this combo, even though the upper mid is slightly recessed, it is still very well textured, plus the extraordinary clarity and details, the overall mid presentation is very elegant and pleasant.

    Treble: The treble is brighter by a just a little bit on this stack, there are more peaks or sparkles in treble region. I didn’t hear significant more details or larger soundstage when switching between these two. The extra sparkles make Aiva sound more fun, and it has an unbeatable performance in genres like funk and blues.

    Tonality: The overall tonality is slightly warmer and more musical. I feel this combo gives Aiva flesh and bones compared to dx200. Under this setup, I’m able to get Sendy’s tuning ideology that they are trying to make a headphone that is relaxing and fun. I can never imagine a headphone that can be relaxing and fun simultaneously before I tried Aiva. In this industry, often time “relaxing” and “fun” are two opposite tuning approaches, that relaxing headphones like Hifiman He1000, Mr.speakers Ether flow are laidback, slow and gentle, fun headphones like Fostex TH900 and Focal Utopia are engaging, speedy and sharp. Aiva has found a perfect balance between these two approaches. It has a gentle bass with enough quantity then transmits to a clean, well textured mid then to a bright, transparent treble with right amount of sparkles which add enough fun factors. Finally, all the elements mingle with the slightly warm and colored tonality plus 3D soundstage coheres everything smoothly.

    With HA300 and Burl B2: This is the main source I’m using in my home. HA300 is a great amp that is capable from low impedance headphones like th900 to power consuming monster Susvara. From my experience, this combo is able to make Aiva to another level.

    Bass: Compare with JDS and Topping combo, the bass quantity is somehow reduced, but it is way better controlled and noticeably tighter and punchier. However, I don’t think the bass from Aiva is mean to be powerful, it is still relatively soft and very relaxing. The bass style is pretty close to HEK or Mr.speakers instead of LCDs.

    Mid: The mid from this combo is bumped up a little bit. I no longer have a V shape feel when pairing Aiva with HA300 and B2. On the contrary I found the mid is actually my favorite part under this setup. Don’t get me wrong, Aiva’s mid is still not that presented, it is at a right place cohered with other frequency perfectly. As many other headfiers’ reports, there is a dip in the upper mid at around 5Khz -6Khz. I think this is the reason why I felt the mid is somehow recessed from the JDS+Topping and DX200. However, with more and more experience, I think this is a little trick played by Sendy. The 5-6Khz frequency range is mainly the overtone of snares and strings instruments as well as the harmonic of vocals. So how it affects the sound? I found there are 3 major effects.

    1. It increases the overall clarity without downgrade in smoothness. As we all know every driver has its own capacity, at this price range anyone of us shouldn’t expect headphones have the capacity that can match Susvara or Abyss 1266. I think it is a clever move to make a compensation on some less important range. The dip of that range reduced some overtones, but the main body of vocals and instruments are not affected. The transition from mid to treble is dry and clean, the planar driver gives Aiva ability to maintain the smoothness.

    2. It limits the genres that Aiva can fit with but emphasizes what Aiva is good at. For genres like metal, rock and classics the reduce in overtones makes these genres less exciting and incomplete. Aiva can do so many good things, but if you are a metal fan or classic lover, I can’t recommend Aiva for you. Aiva is mean to be a relaxing, smooth and clean sounding headphones just let them do what they are good at.

    3. The vocal may sound recessed in some record. Most of vocals are under 3khz, however when producing music, producers tend to push the vocals to about 3.6khz-4khz and the harmonic is at 5kbhz-6khz. However, in some recent records, I found some vocals are pushed to around 5khz, these records may have recessed vocals with Aiva.

    One of the most pleasing things I could ever do is to put on Aiva and listen to Celine Dion’s albums. The vocal is lively and without pressure, all the details of instruments are put at the right place without interruptions.

    Treble: The treble from Aiva is simply amazing, I could never imagine headphones at this price range could deliver a treble like this. It is clean, detailed, smooth and fast. It is not overly bright and not dark for sure. What else can we expect?

    Tonality: The overall tonality of Aiva is super musical, slightly warm but not too much. It is very clean and relaxing. I can find lots of similarities in tonality when comparing Aiva with Susvara and HEK, it is so matured and well done.

    Comparison

    I have to say Aiva put me into a hard case when I was choosing competitors for her. I thought about to compare Aiva with headphones in the similar price range, but first I no longer owning another headphones in this price range, the only two planars I have right now is Susvara and D8000, second I think Aiva will just simply beat headphones at this price range to nowhere based on my impressions. So, to be rational and think as a buyer seeking for headphones in this price range, I will mainly compare Aiva with headphones that originally priced around $1000 and now you can get a USED at around $600(usually more than $600). Luckily, I have friends and I borrowed some headphones for this comparison. So, I selected 2 planars and 2 dynamics to make these comparisons.

    Planar Round 1: Aiva vs Hifiman HEXv2

    This is the cheapest competitor I can get that is close to Aiva’s price in planar category unfortunately. You can possibly get a used HEXv2 around $600 if you are lucky.

    Build Quality and Comfort: I really don’t have much to say. From Aiva I can only see quality and luxury at least in this price range, but from HEXv2 I can only see “quality issues”. Although one is new, the other is used for about 2 years, anybody can tell the differences. Solid wood vs simple plastic, twisted thick cable vs lab looking cable, where is the question? Both are very comfortable, Aiva is on the heavier side, but the head band distribute weights very well.

    Sound: Well, if a headphone has a good sound and it is comfortable to wear, build quality is not an issue for me. But HEXv2 can’t beat Aiva sadly. HEXv2 has slightly more bass, Aiva has tighter bass, in bass region these two headphones are basically equally good, Aiva sounds a little bit more aggressive. The mid from HEX is slightly more presented, but Aiva is cleaner and has more details. I got a way more focused presentation from Aiva than HEX, I think HEX is a bit too loose in the mid-range, yes HEX is more relaxing, but I think it sacrifices too much in imaging and clarity. Similar in the treble, Aiva is just clean and exciting, well HEX is relaxing but muddy.

    I do use Susvara as an overall reference, when I switch from Susvara to Aiva, I do notice I’m switching from a hi-end headphones to a cheaper headphones. Susvara has higher resolution, even more details and better density and micro-dynamic in every frequency, but Susvara is 10 times more expensive than Aiva at MSRP, the difference is not that huge, it is more like switch from Susvara to a HEKv2 with portable device if make any sense. However, when I switch from Susvara to HEXv2, the difference is huge, largely because what Susvara is good at is HEX’s weakness.

    Planar Round 2: Aiva vs Hifiman HEKv2

    I know this is an unfair matchup, I was trying to borrow an Aeon or Ether(non-flow) or LCD2 but I just failed to do so.

    Build Quality and Comfort: Similar in the previous comparison. HEKv2 has slightly better quality than HEXv2 but it still has some minor issues like the cable connection problem on the headphones side (it is still there on Susvara…).

    Sound: To make this review short (I know this is already fairly long), I can simply tell you the winner is HEK as you expected. I like HEKv2, and I used to own them for a very long time. HEKv2 is just a unique exitance in the market, it is the true relaxing master. From the bottom to the top HEKv2 is just soft, gentle and comfort, Hifiman played a game of comfort tuning to an unbeatable level on HEKv2.

    Now the question is do I think Aiva is a cheaper alternative to HEKv2? Yes, I do. Aiva is like a “youthful” version of HEKv2, Aiva is more aggressive in bass and treble, I immediately notice the sharpness from Aiva when switching between Aiva and HEKv2. Both of them are a little thin in the upper mid like most of planars, Aiva is a bitter thinner. Therefore, the overall presentation is smoother and more mature on HEKv2, and more fun and rawer on Aiva. One thing we do need to keep in mind that is HEKv2 consume more power, on Topping+JDS combo, HEKv2 sounds weak and lack of dynamic.

    There are roughly $1000 price difference between a USED HEKv2 and a NEW Aiva. The difference is there, and I don’t think Aiva can completely replace HEKv2, both of them have great value in their price range if you are looking for relaxing and comfortable headphones. But if you have already owned a primary headphones has different tonality like abyss-1266 or utopia and you are looking for a secondary headphones, I do recommend you to save some money and buy a Aiva, it won’t let you down. $1000 can buy 200 burgers, you know what I mean.

    Dynamic Round 1: Aiva vs Beyerdynamic T1

    Build Quality and Comfort: Both of them are very well made, Aiva looks fancier. T1 on the other side is very simple and practical. I think T1 is probably the most comfortable headphones that I’ve every wore. It is light and the pad is extremely comfortable and sealed very well without any pressure, Aiva is heavier and a bit tight in comparison.

    Sound: These two headphones are completely different by any means, no where close. Aiva is a relaxing and fun, T1 is analytical and serious. The fun factors on Aiva can stand out immediately in this comparison which makes Aiva more likeable. T1 is one of few headphones that can match the clarity and details with Aiva. T1 has a more stable and stronger sound. T1 doesn’t have any fancy tuning approach, it is objective uncolored, almost studio monitors alike.

    My opinion on these two is that it depends on your preference. It is very simple, both of them are in crazy value right now, and both of them can outperform other headphones in this price range easily. However, the issue is Beyerdynamic has 600 ohms impedance, it is hard to drive, and you also need a lot more investments on sound related accessories like headphone cables, interconnection cables, tubes for tube amps to adjust T1 to a more likeable sound. Basically, I’m saying Aiva is a simple “buy and enjoy” type headphones, T1 need a system for it, but from my experience T1 probably will have more potential (I did build a system for T1 and it sounds amazing, but I only tested Aiva for review purpose).

    Dynamic Round 2: Aiva vs Sennheiser HD800s

    Build Quality and Comfort: Both of them are very well made, and I like both appearances. If T1 is the most comfortable headphones I’ve tried, HD800s is a close second. It is lighter, almost no weight, the pads large and soft. Aiva again is on the heavier side, it is not that heavy if no comparison.

    Sound: HD800/HD800s is known for their soundstage especially width. They are almost unbeatable in this sector (probably abyss-1266 is the only one as far as I know that may be larger). Aiva has narrower soundstage width, but it is slightly deeper which makes Aiva sounds more 3 dimensional. I can get more details from HD800s, Aiva comes very close though. HD800 has larger dynamic range, bass reaches deeper on HD800s, the treble is also more expanded. HD800s sounds a bit serious and analytical like T1, however, HD800s sounds a little hollow in mid-range, Aiva is more bodied and warmer. Both of them have a bright and smooth treble, where HD800s is brighter.

    I like both of them, every time I put on HD800s I was impressed by its great dynamic, large soundstage, and neutral and lively tuning. I was impressed by Aiva as well, I like the relaxing yet fun tuning and how settled they sound. You can probably get a USED HD800 at around $700-800 or HD800s around $1000. The difference is there but not that much, you need to consider you preference and current equipment to make a right choice. In my opinion, HD800/HD800s are “must try”, but not everyone will love them, some may feel the treble is too sharp some may feel the bass is not enough, but they still defined what $1000 level headphones should be, they are solid references. On the contrary, Aiva is such a unique and enjoyable headphones. Although, I don’t think you have to try Aiva, if your preference doesn’t fit with Aiva, for example, you only listen to metal or large-scale symphony, I doubt anyone will dislike Aiva. Sometimes we need music to give us power or inspire us, but often time we just want to relax with music surround us Aiva does a perfect job for relaxing purpose.

    Afterword and My Friends’ Opinions

    I think I’ve released enough impressions and my opinions. I have never written a review long like this, even in my mother language. I was so impressed by Aiva. After I passed the Aiva to another member to do the measurement I started to miss her. I was always thinking if I am owner of headphone brand targeting this price range, what should I do to compete with Aiva? But my brain limited my ideas, that’s why I can only be a buyer instead of a creator of headphones. I’ve asked Sendy Audio when they will release higher end level headphones, they do not have a schedule yet. I think they need to improve their productivity first lol, they need 7 days to make 1 Aiva, this will be a big issue.

    When I received Aiva, I invited two of my friends to try them. I can’t exactly recall their words, but I can still remember their impressions. Both of quite impressed by Aiva, especially when they heard the price (neither of them has heard Aiva nor Sendy Audio before). Here are their opinions:

    Ang: He was initially impressed by the outlooking and build quality of Aiva. He tried Aiva with DX200, after few songs he noticed the upper mid dip. I asked him to try on my HA300, and he said Aiva somehow similar to his 009. He also mentioned that if Sendy is going to release higher-end level headphones, he will try them immediately and he hope the next headphones from Sendy can keep the same tuning ideology.

    Jacob: He is the most impressed one among us. He said Aiva touched him a lot, he was not that impressed when he was trying my Susvara and D8000. He said Susvara and D8000 are just what they should be at their price, Aiva is way beyond that, he had the same feel when he was trying HD800s.

    Aiva is a great release from Sendy Audio, as their first headphones, I think Sendy did a great job. I’m sure I’m not the only one who is enjoying Aiva and looking for their next level headphones. Welcome to the headphones community Sendy Audio!
      MD80, Joong, Arthur Li and 8 others like this.
    1. View previous replies...
    2. uptildawn53
      I've been curious as to the Sendy Aiva .. just heard about them 2 weeks ago .. seems from a price point, they deliver and then some .. Thanks for the informative review(s).
      uptildawn53, Apr 4, 2019
    3. singingbee
      any chance on reviewing their planar iem aiya?
      singingbee, Apr 6, 2019
    4. Whitigir
      Man...I got sea sickness from those vids...and realistically, I don’t have such feeling even on the boat on the seas...

      I rather read Leo’s review LOl!
      Whitigir, Apr 9, 2019