SIVGA Phoenix - wooden flagship dynamic driver headphone

General Information

SIVGA PHOENIX Over-Ear Open-Back Headphone
Handcrafted Zebrawood Design


The SIVGA PHOENIX headphone features a dynamic driver embedded in a beautiful Zebrawood housing. The soft, padded headband and earpads are designed to deliver maximum comfort for long listening sessions.

The wire of the outer stainless steel grill is covered by a black coating lacquer, then processed by an aviation-grade aluminum CNC. Finally, the aluminum undergoes an anodizing and sandblasting process.

SIVGA's Exclusively Developed 50mm Dynamic Driver

The SIVGA PHOENIX is equipped with SIVGA's exclusively developed Polycarbonate Ultra-thin diaphragm, these headphones are built for enjoying all types of music. However, their real power shines when listening to heavy bass music such as dubstep, EDM, and hip hop.

Wide Soundstage

Each earcup is outfitted with a stainless steel grill. The open-back design creates an expansive soundstage with pinpoint imaging. The clarity and soundstage of the SIVGA PHOENIX are simply unbeatable.


The expansive soundstage, deep, rich sound, and excellent craftsmanship of the SIVGA PHOENIX headphone, deliver a very high price to performance ratio to headphone users worldwide.


Superior Sound Quality


Designed for the discerning audiophile, the SIVGA PHOENIX delivers superb performance. Powerful bass, with an extended treble and well-balanced frequency response. the sound of the SIVGA PHOENIX, is powerful, dynamic, and balanced. The low 32Ω impedance makes it easy to drive from any source.

Supreme Long-Lasting Comfort

Imported suede leather covers the whole elastic headband, so that is more comfortable on the head. The earpads are ergonomic, soft, and allow maximum comfort. The ear muff's inner layer is made of soft, inert sponge. The ear cups have enough room to avoid causing any pressure on the ears while also providing a good seal.

The outer material of the earpads is made of soft, plush, skin-friendly velvet. The padded headband and soft earpads allow the listener many hours of comfortable music listening without interruption.

Easy To Drive From Any Source

With a quoted nominal impedance of only 32Ω, The SIVGA PHOENIX is a pretty sensitive headphone. Users can easily drive them from any PC, smartphone, or even game controller.

Using professional audio players will bring out the best of the headphone. The sound character changes dramatically, the dynamic range expands, and the bass considerably tightens up.

3.5mm High-Quality Detachable Cable


3.5mm detachable oxygen high-quality cable (3m), 3.5 mm to 6.3 mm adapter is included.

Technical specs:
  • Style: Over-Ear
  • Transducer Type: Dynamic Driver
  • Driver Diameter: 50mm
  • Sensitivity: 103 dB±3 dB
  • Impedance: 32Ω±15%
  • Frequency response: 20 Hz-20 kHz
  • Plug: 3.5mm
  • Cable Type: Removable 3.5mm
  • Color: Zebrawood
  • Weight: 296 gm

Latest reviews

ryanjsoo

Reviewer for The Headphone List
ryanjsoo's Reviews
Sivga Phoenix Review – The Charmer
Pros: Excellent bass weight and extension, Clear and natural vocals, Rich and lush presentation, Good soundstage expansion and layering, Gorgeous build and design, Great carrying case
Cons: Separation suffers from its fullness, Average technical performance in-class, Reasonably limited range of headband adjustment, Thin earpads can affect long-term comfort
TLDR –

Through its unique combination of qualities and thoughtful execution, the Phoenix is able to carve out a reasonably uncontested niche in the audio market for bass lovers who still value clear vocals and a spacious soundstage.



Introduction –

SIVGA are a Chinese audio company founded in 2016 who focus on stunning wooden designs and competitive pricing. They work hand-in-hand with Sendy Audio, their premium division, who recently achieved renown for their well-received Aiva planar magnetic headphone. The Phoenix is their latest creation, an open-back over-ear headphone featuring a huge 50mm dynamic driver. Signature to Sivga, the Phoenix features a premium bill of materials with special mention going to its gorgeous zebra wood cups. Sivga promises a rich and natural sound from its custom dynamic driver with moderate pricing placing it in direct comparison to some of the most acclaimed planar magnetic options on the market such as the Hifiman Sundara. Still, this is a unique approach and one that does feel well-executed to boot.

The Phoenix sits just below the planar P-II in Sivga’s line-up at $299 USD. You can read all about it and treat yourself to a set on Sivga’s website. See also Sendy’s website for their premium planar offerings here.


Disclaimer –

I would like to thank Collin from Sivga and Mark from Capisco Ltd very much for their quick communication and for providing me with the Phoenix and Upgrade Pads for the purpose of review. All words are my own and there is no monetary incentive for a positive review. Despite receiving the headphones free of cost, I will attempt to be as objective as possible in my evaluation.


Specifications –

  • Driver: 50mm Dynamic Driver
  • Impedance: 32 ohms
  • Sensitivity: 103dB
  • Frequency Response: 20 Hz – 20 kHz
  • Weight: 296g

Behind the Design –

Special Film


The Phoenix’s dynamic driver features a uniquely developed polycarbonate film and independently developed diaphragm structure. The company specifies a clear focus on rigidity in order to reduce modal breakup at high frequencies. Meanwhile, a lightweight construction with copper-clad aluminium voice coil promises an agile transient response for a detailed, extended and low-distortion sound. This is enhanced by the adoption of a 3mm thick rubidium iron boron magnet that provides strong driver control and low-end drive. A 32-ohm impedance makes the Phoenix easy to drive.


Unboxing –

dsc00615.jpg

Sivga creates a premium unboxing experience for the Phoenix with a gorgeous wood-grain and carbon-fibre textured hard box that slides open to reveal a zippered hard case. The case is excellent, moulded specifically for the Phoenix to provide a perfect, extra-secure fit during storage. It has a faux-leather texture and feels very well-constructed, four feet on its base enable the case to stand upright as well. Inside are the headphones and cable within a drawstring hessian pouch. Sivga also provides a 1/4″ adaptor for use with desktop amplifiers. Altogether, a well-considered and high-quality experience!


Design –

Immediately, it’s hard not to appreciate the gorgeous painted stainless steel and zebra wood build that stands out as a defining feature of this headphone. The Phoenix appears premium in materials and provides a timeless retro aesthetic with adjacent chrome and woodgrain drawing the eye. The metal hangers and headband are reasonably lightweight but feel sturdy in the hand, reinforced by well-weighted and smoothly articulating hinges. Due to its compact dimensions, the Phoenix also is far from a heavy headphone at just under 300g despite its construction mostly employing robust metal parts.

dsc00616.jpg

This experience is complemented by a slide-to-adjust suspension headband with a wide, padded goat leather strap. It feels super soft and, being authentic leather, should also hold up better over time than faux so long as it is appropriately maintained. The pads are super soft with memory foam interior that conforms well to the individual’s head shape. The sides are pleather, and the face made from a soft suede that provides a comfortable and slightly more breathable experience.

The cable attaches via 2.5mm mono plugs which is a less popular choice these days but still commonly available on aftermarket cables. Unfortunately, I am not so enthusiastic about the Phoenix’s stock cable which is thin and flimsy, barely thick enough to be an IEM cable. Albeit, the cable is very light and unobtrusive, it is also very compliant and doesn’t irk during listening. The connectors are metal and terminations have a nice strain-relief, the 3.5mm plug, in particular, employing a robust spring-loaded one. Still, the thinness is a concern for longevity to me, I would like to have seen a more robust cable that better complements the build of the headphones themselves.


Fit & Isolation –

Looking over the design, I was expecting a very comfortable fit, however, the Phoenix’s compact dimensions mean there are some concessions for all-day at-home listening. The headband has fairly limited adjustment relative to most competitors. I personally felt I required slightly more length as I was just able to fit the headphones with the setting maxed out. Otherwise, the headband is comfortable and didn’t form any hotspots for me over time. Though do keep in mind, that If you find yourself maxing out the slider on most headphones, the Phoenix may not fit.

dsc00613.jpg

In addition, while the earpads are soft and compliant, they are also very shallow. The opening is large enough to engulf my ears by a hair, however, the lack of width means the drivers are constantly pressed against them, causing soreness after an hour or two of listening. The discomfort was mild and I was able to listen for longer, though the Phoenix does feel more to me like a portable headphone than a full-size open-back as a result. The lightweight build and slim pads to me seem contradictory for an open-back design that is not ideal for portable use, and yet it almost appears geared towards it.

This may be the intention of the design as it does isolate considerably more than most open-back headphones, albeit not nearly to the extent of a closed-back model yet alone the stronger ANC performers out there around this price. This does mean they do in a pinch for basic commute. Still, they do leak sound which is not ideal for public transport. I feel the pad design is intentional to deliver the best sound, that said.

Upgrade Pads

For those concerned about the earpads, Sivga do offer OEM protein leather replacements that offer an additional half-centimetre of width for only $15. The pads are held in place by a twist-lock like most competitors making pad swapping easy – though of note, they do rotate clockwise rather than anticlockwise to disengage so take care to twist in the right direction during removal. The company was kind enough to send over a pair for evaluation. Though they aren’t as breathable as the stock pads with an entirely faux leather construction without the velour of the stock pads, but do successfully provide more of an over-ear fit. For my ears, they were noticeably more comfortable for longer listening sessions as they reduced contact between the driver and my ears. I think this is a fine option and a reasonably priced extra, though do note that they will change the sound quite noticeably as I will touch on in the


Sound –

Tonality –


As audio enthusiasts, I feel we have a tendency to demonise bass emphasis. I personally feel it is best to consider personal preference here and to judge tonality on a case by case basis. For the Phoenix is a warm, rich and slightly bass-orientated headphone yet also an articulate and charming one. This also makes it quite unconventional for an open-back. Nevertheless, it retains modest balance overall, with a subtle L-shape, bringing the vocal range forward with some upper-midrange emphasis alongside a crisp lower-treble in equal measure. I would not consider this to be an especially high-contrast sound with a generally warmer and fuller expression instigated by its robust bass of which mid-bass steals the show, being most prominent in the sound. There’s a moderate dip entering the midrange for separation before a gentle rise to a small 3kHz hump that brings vocals forward and enhances their clarity. The treble is reasonably even with a small lower-treble peak enhancing articulation and detail presence. Altogether, a coloured yet involving sound that doesn’t sacrifice too much balance.

Upgrade Pads

dsc00622.jpg

Sivga’s upgraded earpads offer a strong sealing shape and pleather construction which impacts the sound. Swapping to the upgrade pads, I noticed a more bass-forward sound with a more laid-back midrange. As emphasis appears to be mostly within the sub/deep-bass rather than the mid-bass, bloat is not exacerbated. However, I did find these pads to sound less coherent than the stock units, as bass became a bit boomier and less defined. In return, you do receive a more pressurized and hard-hitting low-end that generally draws more focus. The midrange was more recessed but also higher-contrast with enhanced clarity. The stock pads were more natural to my ear in addition to being more balanced. The high-end appeared relatively unchanged and I didn’t hear a large difference in terms of soundstage either. However, the further increase in bass quantity and more laid-back midrange are something to consider if you currently enjoy the sonic balance but would like more spacious ear pads.


Bass –

The low-end draws attention with its size and power forming the foundation of a fun and engaging sound. It has a clear bias towards the mid-bass, though the sub-bass still provides commanding presence with a satisfying slam and pressure enabled by impressively strong extension, especially for an open-back headphone. Rumble is clearly defined though impact could be more focused. The mid-bass has a moderate hump instigating a punchy, full and warm low-end presentation with a heavier note weight. There’s a gentle slope downwards through the upper-bass and lower-midrange that redeems separation and prevents excess bass spill. Bass itself isn’t bloated to my ears, but notes are clearly enlarged and full which can sap definition on some tracks.

The note presentation as well goes hand in hand with the tuning, being smooth whilst upholding decent speed to retain definition and separation. Sub-bass attack is slightly more diffuse despite the hearty increase in note weight so slam doesn’t pound the skull and the bass is characterised by a smoother texture overall. I see this as a positive, preventing the headphone from becoming overly fatiguing and bass dominated. Mid-bass control is a standout performer, being a bit quicker than the sub-bass and delivering impressive tightness and definition. There isn’t a huge amount of separation due to its fullness though a nice, natural decay enables a presentation that is well-textured, lush and easy to appreciate. Surely compared to some planar competitors, the Phoenix is not quite as agile and defined, but brings its own unique qualities here that reward in equal measure.


Mids –

Relative to the bass, mids occupy a slightly laid-back position though they remain far from veiled or recessed. Considering its bass tuning, the Phoenix has good extension and openness alongside impressively strong note definition. Though do note that separation and definition are not a defining feature of this headphone, which is more characterised by its lushness enabled by its generally warmer and full-bodied character. In turn, it has a rich, filled-in note structure without a hint of dryness whilst maintaining good, if not great separation. There remains as well, admirable balance between male and female vocals. However, instruments do sound more obviously coloured to my ears, being richer, warmer and also slightly more laid-back. Nonetheless, they sound organic and not over-done in terms of colouration which might be to your preferences. Vocals, however, really steal the show, being empowered with a more forward position, sitting just behind the bass.

They possess enhanced clarity and articulation on behalf of the upper-midrange and lower-treble tuning. Accordingly, the vocal presentation is glossy and clear if a touch raspy at times, though also never thin or sharp with the headphone’s rich warmth and body acting as ballast. I find vocals to strike a good balance, they aren’t too intimate or peaky, similarly, not especially prone to muffle or chestiness due to the small lower-mid dip. The midrange on a whole upholds a respectable amount of cleanliness and a natural voicing with its progressive emphasis. Though this remains a clearly coloured sound, linearity was never the intention and I feel the tuning is well-considered for a bass-orientated headphone. It is not so easy to come by a headphone that provides richness and clarity in equal measure and executes this in such a natural fashion, especially within this price range.


Highs –

The Phoenix provides a crisp and energetic high-end expression that lifts its presentation and enhances its atmosphere. Focus centres around a small peak just above the lower-treble that grants treble instrumentation with a lighter note weight and provides the impression of a more sparkly and separated performance. Regardless, there is good texture here alongside ample body to retain a mostly natural presentation altogether, although this is clearly not the Phoenix’s priority here as body remains clearly on the thinner side. Rather, the small emphasis permits treble details to cut through its otherwise thicker voicing, enhancing intelligibility and fine detail retrieval. The Phoenix is far from the most detailed headphone I’ve heard but provides a satisfying combination of focus and clarity here and, much like the midrange, does so sans sharpness and fatigue.

To reiterate, this is not a bright headphone but a slightly more open sounding one, a well-considered tuning decision given its lusher sound below. It has average detail retrieval in-class but details are more apparent given its slightly more energetic tuning. Extension as well never feels lacking though it too is clearly not on the level of a higher-end model with minimal micro-detail and sparkle in its top-octave. The Phoenix nonetheless, provides a distinct foreground and background, creating a nicely layered presentation with good cleanliness that draws further focus to its energetic foreground detail presentation. Despite this, it also has a good amount of air due to the small middle-treble peak and its stronger headroom surely works much to its advantage in crafting the impression of overall balance and continuity.


Soundstage –

Despite not being outstanding from an extension and detail retrieval point of view, the soundstage is impressively expansive, especially considering its slightly less-open form factor. The Phoenix offers a good combination of out of the head width and impressive depth too, providing a slightly oval presentation. It’s no HD800 but never feels remotely closed in either. Imaging is a good performer as well with a defined centre image and reasonably sharp directional cues.

Like most headphones in this price range, it offers a nice lateral spread with an emphasis on organised, defined layers, but little ability to accurately project coronally besides lead vocals. Still, this makes for an involving presentation that is clearly above the average headphone. Separation is a weaker point of this headphone, not a poor performer, but certainly not outstanding either due to its generally lusher presentation. It errs on the rich and coherent side over being separated and highly-defined but has a little added contrast that prevents congestion.


Driveability –

dsc00619.jpg

With a 32-ohm impedance and 103dB sensitivity, the Phoenix was designed to be easy to drive. Being an over-ear headphone, it also isn’t especially sensitive to source noise. As always, the numbers do not tell the full story with regards to driveability.

Output impedance sensitivity

I would estimate that the Phoenix has a fairly flat impedance curve given that there were minimal audible differences between the Hiby R6 (10-ohms) and Shanling M2X (1-ohm). Subtle differences were discernible between the sources though likely this is due to the colouration of the sources themselves. This means a low-output impedance is not required to provide a sound faithful to the company’s design and the Phoenix can be enjoyed from high-impedance sources such as tube amplifiers.

Driving power

Switching between my desktop stack with THX789 and Topping D70s with the Shanling M2X revealed that the Phoenix does scale nicely with better sources. The M2X did an admirable job driving the Phoenix, in fact, bass extension was about the same as was overall frequency balance. The Phoenix even sounded balanced from my Xperia 5 II’s integrated headphone jack and no noise was perceptible on any of these sources. That said, the desktop source clearly sounded the best, the transient response was noticeably sharper, with higher note definition from bass to treble. It was more detailed and focused but there wasn’t a huge change in sub-bass power or overall balance. In addition, the desktop stack provided a more spacious soundstage though not by a huge degree.

Suggested Pair Ups

The Phoenix is indeed easy to drive as promised by the company both with regards to power and output impedance. Though it does thrive with a bit more power, aiding a more detailed and defined presentation. In my testing, the Phoenix is best paired with a neutral to analytical source due to its smooth and lush nature. Warmer and smoother sources may overly blunt its presentation. My personal preference is for a more detailed source with a sharp transient response such as the iBasso DX200 with AMP5 which provided the more defined and textured sound.


Comparisons –

dsc00620.jpg

Meze 99 Neo ($199): The Meze 99 Neo is a warm and dense portable headphone that shares a beautiful aesthetic and build with the Phoenix. It is even more bass orientated with a more laid-back midrange. Its bass, however, is quite linear with just a little upper-bass emphasis that is mostly responsible for its warm and full sound. The Phoenix is a little cleaner and more dynamic, the 99 Neo is a thicker sounding headphone with greater bass presence but at the cost of being less textured and articulate. The Phoenix has slightly better extension on top, granting it a higher energy bass despite being less bassy overall. The midrange is clearer and cleaner on the Phoenix with higher contrast and better separation.

The 99 Neo is warmer, fuller and more laid-back. It sounds more coherent with a denser upper-midrange which makes it sound noticeably thicker and less open. Both sound quite natural, but the Phoenix strikes a better balance to my ears. The 99 Neo has a more pronounced lower-treble, especially by contrast to its more recessed upper-midrange. The Phoenix is slightly more detailed and also offers greater headroom, though neither are especially resolving at the very top. The 99 Neo, despite its closed-back design, offers almost the same soundstage width. The Phoenix offers better separation and sharper imaging.

Sennheiser HD6XX ($220): The HD6XX is a staple around this price range, its clean and natural tonality making granting it timeless appeal. From a technical point of view, however, it’s easy to see how the industry has progressed over the last decade. The Phoenix has noticeably stronger extension in the bass alongside a generally fuller and more emphasised low-end. Both are warmer headphones, the Phoenix more so. Despite having more bass, the Phoenix has stronger definition and dynamics down low. The midrange is cleaner and more linear on the HD6XX in addition to being less vocal-forward.

The Phoenix is clearly more coloured, having greater clarity and articulation in addition to greater body and warmth, it sounds higher contrast. On the contrary, the HD6XX is more even and accurate, it’s a little over-articulated but altogether, a cleaner and more natural sound. The treble is more forward on the HD6XX but also less detailed with a hazier transient response. The Phoenix sounds more focused in the foreground and has a bit more headroom. In turn, the Phoenix also has a noticeably more spacious soundstage and I find it has sharper imaging too.

Hifiman DEVA/Sundara: The Hifiman models are all staples around this price range. The DEVA is basically a bumpier Sundara with a little less range but at a substantial discount and with wireless functionality. Compared to the Phoenix, the Hifiman headphones are clearly more balanced and linear, the Sundara especially so. The bass extension is clearly the best on the Phoenix and it has the most mid-bass on top, having the fullest voicing and greatest note weight, the Phoenix has the best dynamics by a good amount and hits the hardest down low. The Sundara and DEVA are both lightly warm but mostly balanced headphones, both are more separated and defined than the Phoenix with greater speed and sharper note attack. The Phoenix is actually the most vocal-forward of the lot, the Sundara being u-shaped, the DEVA a touch more vivid.

The Hifiman headphones sound more even, slightly smooth in the case of the Sundara, slightly clear for the DEVA. By comparison, the Phoenix has more upper-midrange presence and noticeably stronger contrast. It is more articulate but also less refined. The treble tells the same story, the Phoenix being slightly more energetic than both, but also less detailed. The Sundara especially has noticeably better extension and headroom, being generally more linear, accurate and resolving in the treble. The Sundara has the largest soundstage, the DEVA being about on par with the Phoenix. The Phoenix has more defined layers but the Sundara and DEVA both have more accurate localisation alongside stronger separation due to their more balanced tuning.


Verdict –

dsc00609.jpg

The Phoenix is a fairly unique headphone and this means you should keep your expectations in check. Due to its colouration, those wanting a pure sound should look elsewhere and, accordingly, do not expect perfect genre versatility either. This headphone wears its colours on its sleeve, what buyers receive is a punchy, dynamic yet articulate sound in an aesthetically striking shell; a positive impression further reinforced by a premium build and accessory set. On the contrary, this isn’t the most detailed nor extended sound out there and those requiring a large headband adjustment range or with wider ears may find the Phoenix’s compact dimensions challenging. It cannot be denied that Sivga has admirably executed what they set out to achieve; balancing a hearty bass with a clear yet natural vocal range and energetic high-end without introducing fatigue at any level. This is not so easy to achieve and demonstrates careful consideration on Sivga’s behalf. Through its unique combination of qualities and thoughtful execution, the Phoenix is able to carve out a reasonably uncontested niche in the audio market for bass lovers who still value clear vocals and a spacious soundstage.

The Phoenix is available from Sivga (International) for $299 USD at the time of writing. I am not affiliated with Sivga or Capsico and receive no earnings from purchases made through these links.


Track List –


Arcade Fire – The Suburbs

Archive – Controlling Crows (Parts I – III)

AKMU – SAILING

Bob Segar – Night Moves

Courtney Barnett – Tell Me How Your Really Feel

Eric Clapton – Unplugged

Gorillaz – Plastic Beach

Fleetwood Mac – Greatest Hits

John Legend – Once Again

MAMAMOO – reality in BLACK

MGMT – Oracular Spectacular

Modest House – Good News For People Who Love Bad News

NIKI – lowkey

Nirvana – Nervermind

Radiohead – OK Computer

Social House – Haunt You

suggi – cheer up!

TOTO – Toto IV

Vampire Weekend – Father of the Bride

Vaundy – strobo
  • Like
Reactions: Cat Music

aznablerey

New Head-Fier
Sivga Phoenix, or How I Didn’t Realize I Liked Bass This Much.
Pros: Warm and comforting sound
Well built
Small profile on head
Optional pads are killer
Super easy to drive
Included case and cable are great
Cons: Super easy to drive (you get noise on some amps)
Original pads are just OK for some and painful for others
Doesn’t fit big eared or big headed people
So I’ve had the Phoenix for almost 8 months, during which I’ve not grown tired of listening to them- which is something of a rarity in my experience. At this point, I would usually pack a pair of headphones up and sell them on to the next person. Keep that in mind as I give a rundown of the following categories... Build, Comfort, Accessories, Sound, Optional Accessories
Build
Leather(ette?) suspension strap mated to a steel spring headband, wooden earcups with chrome/black metal accents, weighty in hand but light on head. Major winner here. Wish the chrome ring on the side was blacked out, which I might do myself should I open the headphones up. The only plastic you’ll find on the headphone are the sliders into which the leather(ish?) strap connects. It is closed up with penta-star screws, which I tightened down a bit just to add more resistance to the sliding mechanism. Honestly it was fine out of the box but I’m a stickler for... whatever. OCD.
Comfort
With the original pads, I could wear them for hours with no problem. I have a medium-sized cranium according to Shoei, and there is room to spare on the strap slider. That said, I bought the new revision pads which do away with the microfiber front panel and go full-on perforated leather(like?). These pads are softer, due to the added thickness. Now I can’t go back to the original pads. I must say that the sound is only slightly changed, and I would argue it has made the midbass a little more punchy and impactful. Could be my imagination so who knows. Quick note: I wear glasses, and there is no difference in bass response when I wear them with either set of pads so there you go glasses-wearing folks. There’s a place for us...
Accessories
The case is killer, allows room for the headphones, cable and my DAP (Hiby r3 pro). I could probably squeeze in an extra cable while I’m at it. The included cable is a bit long for my use- I walk around the house with my dap in my pocket so a 6’ cable is too much. I was able to pick up a 1.2m single ended cable, and went out of my way to pick up the 1.2m balanced cable intended for the Sendy Aiva. That cable looks glamorous, and certainly increases volume when I use it, but makes no real change on sound quality like frequency response or clarity.
Sound
Warm, oh so warm. I find it a very easygoing sound that makes me want to keep going from song to song without stop. Bass is thick, perhaps too thick (could it ever be?), and “thickness” is the word I would use for the mids. Vocals have a deepness, a roundness to them due to the elevated upper bass. By contrast, listening to my monitoring cans (Koss Pro4s which I’ve had for 2 years) presents everything as thin, hollow and airy. The highs are perhaps slightly elevated compared to the mids, but you’ll never find a sibilant S or T. I can fall asleep with these on, which is something I like to do.
Optional Accessories
As I said before, the cable for the Sendy Aiva, while it looks really pretty and offers more volume with less input, isn’t worth the expense for this headphone. Honestly it was a vanity purchase for me. I use it maybe 1/3 of the time. The new pads are worth the investment, as they’re dirt cheap and make the headphone more comfortable for the majority of people.

Verdict: 4.5 out of 5
I dock 1/2 point for it’s size not working for everyone.
Is this a ”do it all” can for everyone? No, not even for me. I do mixing and monitoring on another pair (Pro4s), gaming on yet another pair (SHP9500), and have a pair of in-ears (Legacy 3) to boot. HOWEVER, the Phoenix are my go-to when it comes time to just enjoy my music. Regardless of genre, they sound fantastic. They will be in my permanent collection.

Note on competition:
When I purchased the Phoenix, I was also in possession of the Sennheiser HD6XX. I then purchased the HD660s, to do a comparison of the three headphones. I don’t own the Sennheisers anymore. You infer what you like.

Attachments

  • 08BA9D58-2AAE-4B71-AB45-9A84FC8BBC61.jpeg
    08BA9D58-2AAE-4B71-AB45-9A84FC8BBC61.jpeg
    3.2 MB · Views: 0
  • Like
Reactions: Cat Music

DallaPo

New Head-Fier
Warm, musical and bassy
Pros: safe tuning
dynamic, fun bass
warm and musical
processing
Cons: somewhat lifeless mids
tiny design
not the best all-rounder
stage
Rating: 8
Sound: 7.8

c137dc_02c7de6e623e4e5f91164524195905f0~mv2.webp


Intro
SIGVA has specialized in developing headphones with a noble wood finish. The PHOENIX is their current flagship and is aimed at bass-hungry listeners with audiophile demands. Whether the PHOENIX can do justice to this remains to be seen. The low impedance and high sensitivity of the PHOENIX should make it suitable for any playback device.

c137dc_84d46378fbcc405eb33e791835ef2eb6~mv2.webp


Handling
Zebra wood sounds promising, but in the end it is a type of wood (which exactly is not specified) that has a naturally zebra-like grain, which means that several woods can be considered. It's nice to look at, though, and gives the otherwise more filigree PHOENIX a rugged character. Likewise, this also raises sonic expectations, as I associate wood looks with a warmer and more physical sound, which the PHOENIX indeed delivers.

In general, the PHOENIX turns out a bit small, which means it may not fit on every growler, which I would count mine among. On me, the comfortable and flexible headband is on full stop. The ear pads are comfortable, but unfortunately also fall out a bit too small. Here SIGVA probably had rather smaller people in focus when dimensioning their headphones. However, they have recognized the problem and deliver larger pads, for which, however, another 12 € are added. With the original, soft and ergonomically shaped pads, the PHOENIX wears more like an on-ear, but still quite comfortable. Here, however, I also see problems with people who provide their brain even more space than I do.

In the package we get a fabric-covered and supple cable with 2.5mm mono jack as headphone jack and 3.5mm stereo jack for the music source. An adapter to 6.3mm is included in a small cloth pouch.

In addition, the cable has a reinforcement at the stereo connection to prevent cable breakage.
There is also a nice hardcover case for transporting the headphones.

The isolation suffers from the open design, but there are even airier representatives.

c137dc_4098f9a54064463a833ec3d7a7346a00~mv2.webp


Sound
Bass

The PHOENIX clearly focuses on the bass. I can't think of any open headphones where I felt such an impact from the bass, because the bass of the PHOENIX is quite physically perceptible. It has a good texture, is full-bodied and quite punchy. However, it lacks a bit of firmness, which is then also noticeable in the interplay with the mids. For me, this limits the usability of the PHOENIX a bit, because I would reach for this headphone less for rock or pop (which should not exclude these genres, however), but all the more for electro or hip-hop, where it can also fully play out its bass performance. I enjoy the bass and even if it is not the tightest representative, it convinces me with its organic and dynamic character. Nevertheless, certainly not for everyone, especially when it comes to critical listening, although the PHOENIX is equally capable of bringing out finer bass passages.

Mids
I have a bit of a hard time with the mids. These are very physical and voices have an intimate character. For me, they are a bit too influenced by the bass and lack clarity. If you prefer more restrained and thicker mids, you can certainly do better with this presentation. I would like to see more liveliness and a cleaner transition between bass and mids. Rarely, the mids can get a bit harsh, but that is absolutely tolerable for me.

Details are brought out well and tonally the mids are largely correct, if a bit too warmly tuned.

Trebles
The highs are fundamentally solid. They don't have outstanding extension or the very highest resolution, but I like the relaxed approach as I don't feel like I'm missing anything either. Yes, hi-hats could be a bit zippier and sharper, and I'd also like more transparency overall, but here the mids tend to be the spoiler, as they already provide a somewhat spongy foundation, which is then harder for the highs to enhance. Sibilants are not discernible and generally the treble has a very good longterm listenability and a silky character.

Stage
What surprises me is the much more intimate stage than we are used to from open headphones in general. This is also a small drawback for me, as I feel a bit constricted here and there and this fact sometimes stresses me out when listening to music, as I always have the feeling that the PHOENIX wants to, but doesn't manage to break the imaginary wall. Nevertheless, the stage doesn't seem claustrophobic or anything like that.

Imaging
The imaging works well within the available space and is also divided into several layers. However, it isn't particularly airy and is laid out more like an ellipse with an eye on the stereo area, so there is certainly still " air upwards" on the Y-axis.

c137dc_84c5e3f2fbe34dfb9243797a3d2a2093~mv2.webp


Outro
For me, the SIVGA PHOENIX is more of a fun headphone, but it certainly has audiophile qualities, especially with its unobtrusive and relaxed signature, though it is not something for critical listening. For this, it lacks a bit of clarity and resolution, or rather, the dominant bass and the somewhat shy, warm mids are a shortcoming.

Since the PHOENIX could be operated at a more than sufficient volume without any problems at all tested sources (HUAWEI P40 lite, LG G6+, various USB DACs (including ZORLOO ZTELLA), Lenovo P51, various headphone amps (including SMSL SH-8)), it is certainly also an idea for mobile use, but you should always be aware of where you are due to the open design. Likewise, the technical performance can vary somewhat.

To that end, the PHOENIX is comfortable for extended periods of time despite its smaller pads, which make it on-ear. However, these can be replaced with a circumaural version, where there is an additional cost (€12).

If you're looking for a fairly competent open headphone for electro, hip-hop, EDM or R&B with a relaxed and intimate signature, the PHOENIX is well worth a try.

c137dc_1754bd8c07b74afe8b3f84a5c566e322~mv2.webp


Thanks to SIGVA for providing the test headphones.
___________________________________________________________
More reviews: CHI-FIEAR
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CHIFIEAR/
Last edited:

Comments

There are no comments to display.
Top