SIVGA SV021

General Information

Sivga-SV021-Over-ear-Close-back-Wood-Headphone-with-High-Fidelity-Sound.jpg_Q90.jpg

Sivga-SV021-Over-ear-Close-back-Wood-Headphone-with-High-Fidelity-Sd.jpg_Q90.jpg

Sivga-SV021-Ovr-ear-Close-back-Wood-Headphone-with-High-Fidelity-Sound.jpg_Q90.jpg


e36d5501c3574cc2873a327a7b5496c0.jpg



beef980fb18ea5f7c0f06e95e10c67d3.jpg
c2fd9304ddddd4261a084eafdff4e74e.jpg
9bc8eb09cd007a11a7d59ec77a8fafbb.jpg
f00183a474e25d3945647c6c7ab65634.jpg


Specifications:

StyleOver ear
Transducer typeDynamic driver
Transducer sizeφ 50mm
Frequency response20Hz - 20KHz
Sensitivity105dB +/- 3dB
Impedance32 Ohm +/-15%
Cable length1.6M +/-0.2M
Connectorφ 3.5mm
Weight275g

Latest reviews

Animagus

Reviewer at Twister6
Sivga's new closed-back DD headphone - Robin
Pros: Highly attractive boutique build quality and design, lightweight, easy comfortable fit, W-shaped fun, exciting and musical sound signature, good clarity and resolution, good micro-detail retrieval and instrument separation, good choice of materials for construction, attractive box.
Cons: Not for people looking for a reference-neutral headphone, loose-ish fit even in the lowest setting because of less clamp force which makes snugness of fit dependent on head size and its sound signature's perception dependent on fit, might be big for smaller head sizes.

About SIVGA.

SIVGA is based out of Dongguan (China) and was founded by two childhood friends, Jian Zhou and Rongchun Pan who shared a common love for music and good quality headphones. Jian had been working in the field of headphones for nearly 20 years before he founded SIVGA Audio, where he was a senior technical engineer of a leading OEM headphone factory in China and led the R&D, headphone design, craftsmanship as well as manufacturing departments. During his career in the last company, Jian worked with many international well-known headphone brands and played a very important role in helping those brands grow. Rongchun on the other hand was an avid audiophile who obsessed over the ultimate pursuit of sound quality and with a very keen sense of hearing and rich experience, he developed a good knack of tuning headphones. SIVGA are an OEM as well as have their own line of headphones under the brand names -SIVGA and Sendy Audio. They follow boutique as well as modern efficient manufacturing techniques where their wooden ear cups are built and finished by hand whereas all the metal parts used in the headphones are CNC machined to perfection. We previously reviewed Sivga's open-back dynamic driver headphone Phoenix and open back planar magnetic flagship headphone PII. Check 'em out if you're interested in knowing how they perform.

The product was provided to me free of charge for the review in exchange for my honest opinion.

Links - Official Website | AliExpress Store ($179)

Sivga Robin Box



Technical Specifications.

  • Driver - 50mm Dynamic Driver
  • Frequency response - 20 Hz - 20 kHz
  • Sensitivity - 105 dB +/- 3dB
  • Impedance - 32Ω +/- 15%
  • Cable - 1.6m single crystalline copper with braided fabric sleeve
  • Jack - 3.5mm
  • Weight - 275g

Included in the box.

  • Robin headphone
  • Braided fabric sleeve cable
  • Headphone carry sack
  • 3.5mm to 1/4" adapter

Sivga Robin Box 1.jpg
Sivga Robin Box 2.jpg


Technology and Design.


Colours - Robin is available in 2 colours - Brown and Black.

sivga-robin-brown.jpegsivga-robin-black.jpeg

Dynamic Driver - Looking at the driver specs, I reckon Robin has the same 50mm dynamic driver as the open-back headphone, Phoenix but I'm not sure. As per SIVGA, the team developed this ultra thin and flexible diaphragm in-house and its physical characteristics ensures good dynamic performance and detail representation.
  • Magnet - 3mm thickness high performance Nd-Fe-B which provides stronger power to the driver.
  • Coil - The coil is made of special copper clad Aluminium wire.
  • Diaphragm - Combined with self developed diaphragm structure, this unique in-house developed polycarbonate diaphragm solves the problem of easy deformation.
Sivga Robin Dynamic Driver


Ear cups - Robin's ear cups are made of high-density rosewood and are CNC machined, sanded and then lacquered and polished to high gloss. The ear cups tilt but do not swivel.

Ear pads - The ear pads are detachable and made of leather with soft memory foam cushioning.

Sivga Robin Earpads


Headband and Yoke - The headband is made of good quality high protein leather with well done visible stitching. The adjuster and yoke are made of metal and have a matte finish.

sivga-robin-headphone-adjuster.jpegsivga-robin-yoke.jpeg

Build quality.

Be it the rosewood wooden ear cups, the matte finished metal yolk and headband adjuster or the high-protein leather headband and ear cups, Robin oozes of good boutique build quality and all the components look and feel high-quality and premium for the asking price.

Cable - The stock cable looks and feels quite nice but is slightly microphonic.

Sivga Robin Solo 2


Fit and Comfort.

Robin's size is slightly on the large side if you compare it to headphones like AKG K371 but is quite lightweight and extremely easy to manage and wear. It has a very comfortable fit for my medium sized head but there's a catch for smaller head sizes. Robin's ear cups do not exert a lot of clamp force and neither does the headband exert a lot of pressure on the head even in the lowest setting. This does make for a loose-ish comfortable fit but not a very snug one. I can see this being a problem for smaller head sizes as it may fit a bit loose, which will also make perception of its sound signature subject to individual fit. For medium to larger heads, Robin will feel very comfortable for long durations without any discomfort ever creeping in.

Sivga Robin Solo 3


Sound Analysis.

Robin has a W-shaped sound signature and is tuned to be a more fun, lively and exciting listen than a neutral-reference one. In my opinion, judging it as a reference headphone or its ability to hit a reference target curve would be doing it injustice because it isn't tuned to be one at all. So, I thought I'll explain its sound relative to what I consider reference-neutral but try to see if it can work as an everyday fun and musical headphone to sit back and enjoy music with or not. Nevertheless, if you're a strong reference head looking for a reference headphone, this isn't it.

Robin has a 10dB bass boost, recessed lower-midrange, an upper-midrange forwardness of around 8dB ear gain and a brighter, sparklier and zingier lower-treble and upper-treble character. Robin's signature's main focus is on bass punch and treble sparkle than lower-midrange body fullness. It has a leaner, open and airy presentation with instrument tonality that sounds like you're listening to a live concert in an arena than an accurate and natural sounding studio. Compared to a reference target curve, the Harman 2018 AE OE target, it has more sub-bass, significantly more mid-bass and upper-bass in the 60-250Hz range, a dip in lower-midrange around 500Hz, less ear gain (upper-midrange forwardness) in the 2-5kHz and brighter lower-treble and upper-treble by around 5-8dB.

Even though it is quite a bit away from reference-neutral, it performs quite well as a fun and musical headphone. It has a nice musical quality to it where it not only has good bass punch but even the livelier treble, which isn't the most linear, sounds vividly musical and exciting in most songs.

Note - As I stated before, Robin's sound signature's perception depends on tightness of clamp force based on head size since its lowest headband setting isn't as tight as required for a snug fit in case of smaller head sizes. As a result, if you don't have a snug fit, you'll perceive a bit more treble and less of sub-bass rumble.

Let's break it down further...

Bass – Robin has a strong 10dB bass shelf boost from 250Hz and down. As a result, it not only boosts sub-bass but also mid-bass and upper-bass significantly. Needless to say, Robin has a strong bass presence which highlights bass in all songs but does it in a more tasteful manner than complete domination like in a bass-head headphone. It has deep sub-bass rumble as well as mid-bass punch and boom. Kicks have an in your face punch if they are prominent in the song. Overall, bass presentation is not the tightest or the quickest in this price segment but is fairly good. It has good resolution and detail retrieval, especially owing to its bright character, so it's very easy to discern notes and small nuances in bass playing.

Midrange – Robin has a recessed lower-midrange because of a wide band 4-5dB dip around 500Hz. As a result, it has a leaner presentation but doesn't tend too lean as the bass boost adds lots of weight to the signature. What I also hear this dip doing is pushing snares deeper into the soundstage and increasing perception of depth as a result. Robin does have a forward upper-midrange presentation but lesser ear gain than the Harman Target. As a result, guitars and orchestral instruments have just a little less forwardness and presence as they do in Sennheiser HD650/HD6XX (which have as much ear gain as the Harman Target), but do not sound recessed at all. In fact, the overall signature actually presents guitars, drum shells (particularly snares) and even vocals in a very vibrant manner without ever coming off as shouty or peaky.

Treble – Robin has a nice treble boost which infuses energy and excitement into the signature, enables very good clarity and micro-detail retrieval and has good extension till 20kHz. This is neither a headphone for warmth lovers nor reference heads but for those who like a more lively, energetic and fun presentation. Its treble isn't the most linear but assists in bringing out the details in music while sounding musical and exciting most of the times. At times, you do notice its main treble peaks (at 5.5kHz, 8kHz, 11.5kHz and 16kHz), especially when a song has instruments with treble information in those areas because they are particularly boosted above neutral. They do add a bit of extra sparkle and sizzle to hi-hats, cymbals and vocals but that's to be expected of W-shaped headphones and IEMs. Robin doesn't add sibilance from its own end but doesn't mask it either if the song has it. Overall, it has a sparkly, open and extra airy upper-treble presentation which greatly helps in micro-detail retrieval as well as an expansive soundstage for a closed-back headphone.

Soundstage, Separation and Imaging - Robin has an impressive wide and deep soundstage for a closed-back, especially considering its asking price. A lot of it has to do with its tuning and it definitely is quite an interesting and intriguing listen. It has really good separation and imaging for a closed back headphone at its price too.

Drivability - Robin is quite easy to drive with its 32Ω/105dB sensitivity and can be driven to fairly loud levels with smartphones and laptops.

Sivga Robin Desktop 1

Comparisons.

Sivga Phoenix - Phoenix is Sivga's open-back dynamic driver headphone. I'm guessing they both use the same dynamic driver looking at the driver specs but are tuned very differently. Phoenix is a warm sounding headphone whereas Robin is a bright W-shaped headphone. Phoenix has a slight bass boost too but Robin has bigger bass boost by around 5dB in comparison. Phoenix has slightly fuller instrument body owing to slightly fuller lower-midrange whereas Robin has a wide band dip around 500Hz and a leaner presentation as a result. Both have a similar forward upper-midrange presentation but Phoenix has slightly more presence around 4-5kHz. Post 5kHz, Robin is brighter than Phoenix in lower treble and much airier and sparklier in its upper-treble presentation. Phoenix has a more even and linear treble presentation but tends towards warm and smooth whereas Robin sounds livelier, sparklier and zingier, hence more exciting. Even though Phoenix is an open-back headphone, Robin actually has the wider and deeper soundstage presentation and is also much open and airy sounding in comparison. Both have good detail retrieval and separation but Robin has more aggressive micro-detail retrieval because of its brighter signature.

AKG K371 - In my opinion, K371 is the epitome of value for money in closed-back reference headphones. Robin is a more fun tuned, bright W-shaped sound signature in comparison whereas K371 closely traces the Harman Target curve and is the more accurate and natural sounding headphone. K371 has sub-bass boost of around 6dB but Robin has not only a much more significant sub-bass boost but also boosts mid-bass and upper-bass significantly in comparison. K371 has better bass tonality, transients and accuracy whereas Robin has more punch and boom. K371 has a very accurate and linear midrange presentation with a nice forward upper-midrange whereas Robin has a dip in lower-midrange but similar ear gain/forwardness in upper-midrange. Robin is significantly brighter and airier in its treble presentation whereas K371 is quite neutral, tending a bit towards warm. K371 has better instrument tonality and timbre, and sounds more natural as a result whereas Robin is livelier and energetic sounding in comparison. Robin has a more expansive, open and airier soundstage, mainly because of its brighter and leaner signature. K371 has a very good soundstage for its price and design but sounds more like what it is, a closed-back headphone. Robin has more aggressive micro-detail retrieval because of its brighter signature but K371 is no slouch and does it quite well, while maintaining a more accurate and natural sounding signature because of its reference tuning.

Audio Technica M50x - Robin has a livelier sound signature compared to M50x. Robin has a stronger bass boost of 10dB whereas M50x has a 5dB boost below 200Hz. Robin's bass has more dynamic punch but M50x has slightly better speed. M50x too has a slightly leaner bodied presentation because of a dip in lower-midrange around 350Hz but it is smaller than Robin's 5dB dip around 500Hz. Both have a similar forward upper-midrange presentation but M50x has slightly more presence in the 4-5kHz range. Robin is brighter in its lower-treble as well as upper-treble presentation whereas M50x sound warmer in comparison. Robin has a bigger and much more open sounding soundstage as well as better separation and micro-detail retrieval.

Sivga Robin Solo 1


Conclusion.

Robin presents very good value in the sub-$200 segment with good boutique build quality and an interesting, exciting and musical W-shaped signature. My main nitpick with it is its loose-ish fit, even in the lowest setting for smaller heads, because of less clamp force and a slightly big headband, which makes overall snugness of fit dependent on head size, and its complete sound signature's perception dependent on fit as a result. If Sivga can make Robin's clamp force a bit more firm and the headband slightly smaller to allow the headband adjuster's lowest setting to be lower, it'll make Robin's fit more consistent universally. Besides that, Sivga has nailed most things in the headphone, using premium materials like Rosewood cups, high protein leather headband and earpads as well as matte finished metal headband adjuster and yoke. If you're a person who likes and prefers reference and neutral sounding headphones more, Robin might not be your thing but if you're looking for a headphone that presents music in a livelier, more energetic and fun way, definitely give Robin a shot!



Gear used for testing and review.

  • DAPs – Hiby R6 2020 | iBasso DX160
  • Desktop – Universal Audio Apollo Twin -> Drop THX AAA 789 Amp
  • Laptop – Apple Macbook Pro 15″
  • Phone – OnePlus 7 Pro

Reference Songs list.

  • Foo Fighters – The Pretender, Best of you, Everlong & Sonic Highway album
  • Coldplay – Paradise, Up in flames & Everglow + Everyday Life Album
  • Biffy Clyro - A Celebration of Endings & Ellipsis albums
  • Ed Sheeran – Thinking out loud, Bloodstream & Galway Girl
  • Dave Matthews Band – Come Tomorrow album
  • Dua Lipa – Future Nostalgia album
  • Chainsmokers – Somebody, Sickboy, This Feeling & Closer
  • John Mayer – Slow dancing in a burning room, Stop this Train, Say & A Face to Call Home
  • Gavin James – Always & Hearts on fire
  • Switchfoot – Meant to live & Dare you to move
  • Porcupine Tree – Sound of Muzak, Blackest Eyes & .3
  • Our Lady Peace – Do You Like It & Innocent
  • Linkin Park – Papercut, Somewhere I belong & Talking to myself
  • Maroon 5 – She will be loved, Payphone & Lost stars
  • Lifehouse – All in all & Come back down
  • Breaking Benjamin – Diary of Jane
  • Karnivool – Simple boy & Goliath
  • Dead Letter Circus – Real you
  • I Am Giant – Purple heart, City limits & Transmission
  • Muse – Panic station
  • James Bay – Hold back the river

Moonstar

100+ Head-Fier
SIVGA SV021 (Robin) Headphone Review
Pros: Fast & Accurate Bass Response,
Transparent & Lively Midrange Tuning,
Energetic & Pretty Well Extending Treble Presentation,
Quite Open/Spacious Atmosphere with good sense of Air for a Closed Back Headphone,
Build Quality & Build Quality,
Comfort
Cons: Upper Midrange & Treble may sound a bit too energetic,
No Protective Hard Storage Case,
Cable is a bit too long (160mm) / Not a big fan of cables with fabric insulation (Subjective)

SIVGA SV021 (Robin) Headphone Review



Introduction:


SIVGA Electronic Technology Co., Ltd, is a Chinese brand located in Dongguan city of China, focuses on designing and producing high-end audio products include wooden earphones, In-Ear Monitors with multiple drivers and planar magnet headphones. All products of the company are designed and produced internally.

The SIVGA SV021 (also called Robin) is the latest member of the Headphone Series with Dynamic Driver. The SV021 features a 50mm diameter Dynamic Driver with an in-house developed Special Polycarbonate Film Diaphragm, which is integrated in to CNC machined and hand polished ear cups made of solid wood material.




20210818_195012.jpg





Disclaimer:


I would like to thank SIVGA for providing me the SV021/Robin Headphone for review purposes. I am not affiliated with SIVGA beyond this review and these words reflect my true and unaltered opinions about the product.




Price & Availability:


The MSRP price for the SIVGA SV021 Headphone is about 179,00 USD. More information’s can be found under the links below;





Package and Accessories:

The SIVGA SV021 came in a pretty big cardboard box with some product brandings and an illustration of the Headphone on the top.

This box contains the following items;
  • 1 x SIVGA SV021 Closed Back Headphone
  • 1 x Detachable Cable with Dual 2.5mm to 3.5mm Single Ended (TRS) Headphone Plug
  • 1 x 3.5mm to 6.35mm Male Adaptor
  • 1 x Carry Bag


Packaging-1.jpg








Design, Build Quality, Comfort:

The SIVGA SV021 is beautiful looking closed back headphone with solid wood ear cups that is pretty lightweight with only 275 grams. The SV021 is available in two color options, which are in Black and Rosewood like my review unit.

Colors-SV021-1.jpg


The build quality of the SV021 is top notch and the combination of lightweight aluminum, solid wood, pleather (protein leather) and fabric material gives it a nice look and feel. It doesn’t show any remarkable imperfections like gaps and annoying cracks when you bend the headband.

20210818_195120-scaled.jpg


The ear cup holders (hangers) are made of aluminum material with a nice silver finish.

20210822_174201-scaled.jpg


The headband and outer surface of the earpads are made of pleather (protein leather) and do have a pretty nice light brown color. Even the small stitches on the headband surface do have a very good craftsmanship.

20210818_195153.jpg


The top of the headband has a pretty soft padding and offers a pretty comfortable wearing experience even after some long listening periods, thanks to the relative low clamping force.

20210822_174210.jpg


The headband adjusting mechanism is showing the size of the headband with small notches.

20210818_194935-01-scaled.jpeg


Both ends of the headband have metal parts in the same silver color and do sport Left and Right markings on the outer surface, while you can see two fixing screws per side at the inner surface of each part.

20210822_174234.jpg


The ear cups are the main attraction of the SV021 that are made of natural rosewood material that have been processed with a 5 axis CNC carving. The ear cups do have a nice glossy piano paint finish and do sport laser engraved SIVGA brand logos on each surface.

20210818_195005.jpg


On the top of each ear cup are opening for the dynamic driver.

20210818_195033.jpg


Both the left and the right ear-cups do sport 2.5mm female headphone inputs.

20210818_195040-scaled.jpg


The replaceable earpads are pretty thick and are ultra soft. This makes the SV021 to a very comfortable headphone, even for longer listening periods.

20210822_174321.jpg


The pressure of the headband and is not very high, while sweat rate of the earpads is at fairly acceptable levels.

20210822_174248.jpg


The SV021 comes with a detachable that has fabric isolation in brown color that has a length of about 160mm. To be honest I am not a big fan of cables with a fabric insulation.

20210818_194801-01-scaled.jpeg


The cable has two 2.5mm male connectors, one for the left and one for the right ear-cup.

20210818_195218.jpg


Each of the connectors features a metal housing with left and right marking, while the plugs do have extra ring indicators (red for the right and green for the left channel).

20210818_194828-01-scaled.jpeg


This cable has a metal Y splitter in the same silver color like the headphone and ear cup pugs.

20210822_174136.jpg


The 3.5mm headphone jack has a straight profiled metal housing that sport the SIVGA logo in black color. The headphone plug has also a flexible strain relief in form of a spring that offers extra durability.

20210818_194653-01-scaled.jpeg







Technical Specifications:

  • Model : Robin / SV021
  • Headphone Design : Open Back
  • Driver Type : 50mm Diameter Dynamic Driver with Polycarbonate Diaphragm
  • Frequency Response : 20-20kHz
  • Impedance : 32Ω / ±3dB
  • Sensitivity : 105dB / ±3dB
  • Cable Length : 160mm
  • Headphone Plug : 3.5mm Single Ended
  • Ear Cup Plugs : 2.5mm TRS
  • Weight : 275grams





Drivability & Pairing/Synergy:

The SIVGA SV021has an impedance of 32 Ohms and sensitivity of about 105dB, which looks pretty efficient on paper. However, I suggest you to pair it with sources that do have better levels of amplification, such like portable or desktop amplifiers (xDuuo XA10, FiiO Q5s, PALAB M1-Mini) or powerful DAP’s (iBasso DX220 MAX, iBasso DX300) that do offer a much better synergy and overall sound performance. The positive effect of such sources was especially audible in the lower frequency register.




Equipment’s used for this review:

  • Headphones : SIVGA SV021, FiiO EH3 NC
  • Sources : iBasso DX220 MAX, FiiO M11 Pro, xDuoo XA-10, PALAB M1-Mini, iPad Air2


20210822_174103-scaled.jpg








Albums & tracks used for this review:

  • Hayley Westenra – Odyssey Album (Dezzer HiFi)
  • Dionne Warwick – Walk On By (Flac 16bit/44.1kHz)
  • Sarah McLachlan – Angel (Flac 24bit/48kHz)
  • Sertap Erener – Aşk (Flac 16bit/44.1kHz)
  • Edith Piaf – Non Je Ne Regrette Rien (Flac 16bit/44.1kHz)
  • Diana Krall – So Wonderful (DSF)
  • Aretha Franklin – I Say A Little Payer (Flac 24bit/96kHz)
  • David Bowie – Heroes (Flac 24bit/192kHz)
  • Barry White – Just The Way You Are (Flac 24bit/48kHz)
  • Isaac Hayes – Walk On By (Flac 16bit/44.1kHz)
  • Sting – Englishman in New York – (Flac 24bit/48kHz)
  • Eric Clapton – Wonderful Tonight (Flac 24bit/96kHz)
  • U2 – Sunday Bloody Sunday (Flac 16bit/44.1kHz)
  • Portishead – It Could Be Sweet (Spotify)
  • Charly Antolini – Duwadjuwandadu (Flac 24bit/192kHz)
  • Chopin – Nocturn No. 20 In C-Sharp Minor (Flac 16bit/44.1kHz)
  • Fazıl Say – Nazım Oratoryosu (Live) (Flac 16bit/44.1kHz)
  • Vivaldi – Le QuarttroStagioni “The Four Season” (Deezer HiFi)
  • Otto Liebert& Luna Negra – The River (Flac 24bit/192kHz)
  • Bro Safari, UFO! – Drama “Party Favor Remix” (Deezer HiFi)
  • Toutant – Rebirth (Deezer HiFi)
  • Armin Van Buuren – Vini Vici (Deezer HiFi)
  • Really Slow Motion – Deadwood (Deezer HiFi)
  • Jo Blankenburg – The Magelan Matrix (Spotify)
  • Massive Attack – Angel (Flac 24bit/48kHz)
  • Lorde – Royals (Flac 24bit/96kHz)
  • Lunatic Soul – The Passage (Flac 16bit/44.1kHz)
  • Deftones – My Own Summer (Shove it) (Flac 16bit/44.1kHz)
  • Metallica – Sad but True (Flac 24bit/96kHz)
  • Opeth – Windowpane (Flac 16bit/44.1kHz)
  • Megadeth – Sweating Bullets (Tidal Hi-Fi)
  • Rush’s – Leave That Thing Alone (Flac 16bit/44.1kHz)
  • Slayer – Angel of Death (Spotify)s
  • Liquid Tension Experiment 2 – Acid Rain (Spotify)
  • Yosi Horikawa – Bubbles (Spotify)







The Sound:


The SIVGA SV021 has a slightly warmer than neutral tonality and offers a great sense of headroom and airiness for a headphone with a closed back design. The bass response has a moderate sense of depth and intensity, while the speed and control is on a pretty good level. The midrange on the other hand sounds nicely transparent, mildly recessed but fairly detailed with both vocals and instruments especially when I paired it with good sources like the iBasso DX220 MAX or PALAB M1-Mini. The treble range is bright and energetic and shows a good level of resolution for a headphone at this price range.

Please note that this review was written after a burn-in period of 75 -80 hours. I have used the stock ear pads, the stock cable and have pair it mainly with the iBasso DX220 MAX, FiiO M11 Pro, xDuoo XA-10 and PALAB M1-Mini.


20210822_174058-01-scaled.jpeg




Bass / Midrange / Treble / Soundstage:

The subbass region of the SIVGA SV021 shows a fairly good sense of depth, intensity and rumble, while it is produced in a quite controlled way, when I do listen to songs like Bro Safari, Ufo! “Drama”. Massive Attack’s “Angel” or Lorde’s “Royals”. The subbass decay is on a good level and gets better after some burn-in (about 50 hours) and with a good powerful source.

The midbass region of the SV021 on the other hand sounds more pronounced and detailed compared to the subbass area. For example; instruments such like kick drums, electro guitars or violas are reproduced with an efficient sense of depth and intensity, while the resolution is top notch especially with good sources like a PALAB M1-Mini or the iBasso DX220MAX.

20210818_194859-01.jpeg


The SIVGA SV021 shows a slightly warmer than neutral midrange tonality with good level of headroom, clarity and airiness. The midrange sounds slightly recessed while the general resolution in this area is pretty high due to the pronounced upper midrange tuning.

The lower midrange shows a moderate level of depth, intensity and extension, which adds instruments such like acoustic guitars, trumpets or violas and to male vocals male vocals like Barry White, Sting or Isaac Hayes a sufficient sense of fullness and musicality, while I would wish a tad more depth and body.

The upper midrange region on the other hand is more highlighted and shows a better level of resolution/micro details compared to the lower midrange area. It sounds energetic and detailed, while it is not very forgiving to poor recorded tracks. Instruments such like violins, flutes or pianos are pronounced and are shown with a good level of extension. Female vocals such like Hayley Westenra, Aretha Franklin or Diana Krall are reproduced with a good sense of transparency and vividness, while they are close to sibilance at higher volume level.

20210818_195124.jpg


The SIVGA AV021 shows a pretty strong treble emphasis with good level of extension and detail retrieval for a product at his price range, while it is unforgiving if you listen to songs with poor record quality. This tuning makes the general presentation of this area energetic and highly dynamic.

Instruments such as pianos or crash cymbals can do sound a bit harsh in fast and complex passages, depending of the quality of the recorded track, while the SV021 offers in general an above average treble performance for its price tag in terms of quantity and sharpness, which will for sure satisfy many treble-heads.

20210818_195012.jpg


The SIVGA SV021 offers a pretty airy and spacious soundstage presentation for a headphone with a closed back design, especially for this price range. The soundstage shows a pretty good sense of depth and wideness with adequate amount of air and space between vocals and instruments for a fairly natural and precise separation.






Comparison:




SIVGA SV021 versus FiiO EH3 NC (wired):

The FiiO EH3 NC shows in general a warmer tonality and slightly fuller presentation with lower sense of clarity and definition, while the SIVGA SV021 sounds a tad more neutral, transparent and airy with better sense of headroom.

The subbass region of the SIVGA SV021 shows a better level of depth and is also superior in terms of decay and control when I do listen to them to songs like Massive Attack’s “Angel” or Lorde’s “Royals”. The midbass region of the FiiO EH3 NC shows slightly more quantity, depth and intensity. The SIVGA SV021 on the other hand offers a better level of resolution and sense of authority/control in this area.

The midrange of the FiiO EH3 NC has a warmer tonality with a smoothed out character. The SIVGA SV021 is slightly more neutral, bright and energetic in direct comparison. The lower midrange of the EH3 NC shows a bit more body and depth when I do listen to male vocals or to instruments such like acoustic guitars or violas. When it comes to the upper midrange, I can say that the SV021 is more highlighted and detailed in this area, which adds it a slightly better sense of transparency and airiness. The SV021 is also more suitable for female vocals or instruments such like violins, flutes or pianos that do need more energy in the upper midrange area.

The treble range of the SIVGA SV021 is in general more pronounced, detailed and shows a better sense of extension. The FiiO EH3 NC is less detailed and energetic in this area and offers a smoother and more relaxed presentation.

The soundstage of the SIVGA SV021 is more spacious/expansive and airy compared to the FiiO EH3 NC. The SV021 has the upper hand in terms of both soundstage depth and wideness.

20200509_205403-1.jpg






Conclusion:

The SV021 is a highly comfortable and premium looking closed back headphone from SIVGA that has a pretty energetic, transparent and lively presentation with great sense of airiness and headroom for a headphone with a closed back design, which shows its true potential if you pair it with more powerful sources.





Pros & Cons:

  • + Fast & Accurate Bass Response
  • + Transparent & Lively Midrange Tuning
  • + Energetic & Pretty Well Extending Treble Presentation
  • + Quite Open/Spacious Atmosphere with good sense of Air for a Closed Back Headphone
  • + Build Quality & Build Quality
  • + Comfort

  • – Upper Midrange & Treble may sound a bit too energetic
  • – No Protective Hard Storage Case
  • – Cable is a bit too long (160mm) / Not a big fan of cables with fabric insulation (Subjective)


Thank you for the Read!​

ngoshawk

Headphoneus Supremus
Sivga SV021: Do the goods back the looks?
Pros: Gorgeous looks
Excellent build
Fit and finish are stellar
Lad back signature comes across well
Fairly deep reaching bass
Treble (to me) does not have that peakiness mentioned by some
Cons: No case
Somewhat polarizing signature
Cloth bag "case" only
Sivga SV021 ($149): Do the goods back the looks?

4.25 stars


SV021

fjJ6fie.jpg


Intro: Coming off the Phoenix review, I saw many who really liked it, and some who were lukewarm to it. I liked the Phoenix but did not think it went far enough to separate it from the crowd. Collin contacted me about reviewing the SV021, their affordable closed back headphone made of Rosewood. I accepted the gracious offer and perused some of the initial reviews, which were out but not that detailed. Upon arrival, I opened the box to this gorgeous unit, and craftmanship, which is impeccable. After listening to ensure all was good, I placed the unit on continuous play for a minimum of 75hrs as others in my queue (and moving daughter-unit to college) took precedence.

It is understood that the unit may be asked back for at any time or sent to another reviewer. Until then, the unit is mine to keep, but not sell as that is STILL really uncool.

*The SV021 is now also available in black stained Rosewood, with black cups. More mainstream in color, the two choices complement each other nicely.

Screen Shot 2021-08-30 at 6.51.39 PM.png



Specs:

Driver: 50mm Moving-coil
Impedance: 32 +/-15% ohm
Frequency Response: 20Hz-20kHz
Sensitivity: 105dB+/-3dB
Weight: 275g



In The Box:

SV021 unit
2.5mm dual to 3.5mm tan braided cable
Hemp carrying bag
Instruction manual
3.5mm to 6.35mm adapter


cczb0Kw.jpg


Gear Used/Compared:

Thinksound ON2 ($130, discontinued)
Final Audio Sonorous III ($299ish)
Kennerton Magni V2 ($650)

Cayin N6ii (E01 motherboard)
MacBook Pro/EarMen Sparrow
Shanling M6 Pro



Songs:

Alex Fox
Pink Floyd
Buena Vista Social Club
Elton John
Stevie Ray Vaughan
Shane Hennessy
Jeff Beck
Dave Matthews



Unboxing:

Coming in a black textured/patterned box much like the Sendy Aiva, the SV021 has a white outlined image of the unit on the front and specifications in various languages on the back and the slogan, “created with craftsman spirit.” Lifting the lid off you are met with a thin soft foam cutout placed over the unit. Remove that and you find a cutout soft foam insert, which houses the SV021, cable, hemp carrying bag, and adapter. That’s it. Not bad, but I would invest in a $20 case to carry the unit, for on beauty alone it is worth it.

NXtk1w7.jpg


Technicals:

Utilizing a 50mm in-house derived driver with an ultra-thin polycarbonate diaphragm and fiber, the SV021 is not groundbreaking by any means. Set in a plastic cup, which can be accessed by rotating the earcup off, it seems quite normal.

Using a 3mm thick magnet made of Nd-Fe-B, the pull of it is strong enough to drive the 50mm unit well. Speed is helped by a copper clad aluminum wire, ensuring high sensitivity as well as good dynamic performance and speed of driver.

hWUMtE3.jpg


Build/Fit/Finish:

As mentioned in my Phoenix review, other manufacturers could take lessons from Sivga/Sendy on build quality. The Rosewood on the SV021 is impeccable in quality and finish. With a thick poly coat over it, there does seem to be a “fakeness” to it mentioned by some, but all one need do is look at it, and you realize the unit is superbly built. Etched on the outside of the earcup is the SIVGA logo. Some come with white accenting, others with burned in black. Mine came in black, and that is all right, due to the understated nature of it.

With 2.5 mono jacks on the bottom in gold accent, the tan cable ends in 3.5mm se, but an included 6.35mm se jack can be used. The yokes are in burnished silver-gray, and darn near scratch proof. Adjusting is easy with detents making for easy adjustment. The unit stays put as well. Soft tan pleather graces the headband and earcups giving a luxury car-like elegance. I was not sure if I would like it in pictures, but upon having the unit in hand, it is flat gorgeous and would match several high-end autos if placed inside for your listening pleasure. Those tan earcups are soft and sensuous in feel, compressing the right amount for my head. An excellent seal is the result, but it is not completely air-tight, rather mostly. And that is OK. Taking the unit off with music playing, I clapped the earcups together and could barely hear any sound emanating from within. And this was at a good volume as well. Each yoke is labeled “L” or “R” for ease of use as you could easily switch the equally balanced unit build-wise. Other than some slight mismatching on the seam sewing of the headband, the overall feel and look is of impeccable quality. As I said, Sivga has their craftsmanship down pat.

Fit with those cushy earcups is quite good, giving the right amount of grip for my head. In rather violent shaking, the unit did not move wither side to side or fore/aft. Compression is just right as a result for me. I will add that the pads can get a bit warm in hot weather, but most closed cell pleather/leather cups do to me. Overall quality makes this one of the best if not the best at its price.

3xBKLAX.jpg


Sound:

Summary:

Many times, as a reviewer our time is at a premium. Especially if this is a hobby, which it is to the vast majority. That said, if you keep organized you can give initial impressions and then burn the unit in while other units are being reviewed. I always burn units in, whether called for or not. It is my philosophy that users want to hear how the unit sounds in a year’s time as well as brand new, should there be any change. Many manufacturers advocate burning their units in. Some do not. Sivga made no such charge, but after an initial listen the unit was put onto my Shanling M0 for 75+hrs straight of music. Personally, I did not hear much change, and would be averse to stating any changes did happen based upon my shortcomings. That said, the initial listen was favorable as was the burned in listening.

Bass to me is just about right, with adequate push down below. Speed is not quite as fast as I would have thought, but we are talking about a sub-$150 unit not oriented towards bass. As such there is a bit of bloom to it, and this can render a bit onto the mids. Not nearly as withdrawn to me as some find it, but that bleed into the mids does hinder my enjoyment just a bit. Guitar work such as on Dave Matthew’s Black And Blue Birds sounds wonderful, even if his voice is a bit too far forward. There is the bloom of bass, but it is countered by the treble push, which some have noted is too hot at certain frequencies. I tend not to EQ anything in or out, and do not find it too bad with my high frequency aversion tendency. Soundstage is wide and high but lacks a bit in depth. Not thin of depth by any means to me, but less deep than wide and high. That height gives a good spatial area for the notes to linger, giving a warmth to those notes, which is a laid-back treat.

fYAX4oE.jpg


More:

As stated above, once really should devote more time to a unit, even if upon first impression it is not favorable. One of my least favorite IEM’s ever was downright horrible to me. But of good faith, I listened diligently and fulfilled the obligations necessary to promote who it might be good for. And this was an IEM, which was seeing good acclaim from many. Not me.

That bass note is not as taut as I would like, but it does reach to good depth. That lack of tight nature coincidentally also highlights a bit of thinness to that bass to me. It does not have the girth, which to me should correspond to that depth. I’m not sure what it is, but while I like the bass, it could present a bit richer, warmer signature to be fully satisfying to me. On complex auditions it can cover a bit of the mids as well, hinting on that bleed into the mids. Attack is fairly rapid, but the lingering decay aspect colors what could be a very good bass. It is enjoyable, nonetheless. Tightening up the bass speed would make the bass a bit more coherent to me and make that lingering into the mids less intrusive. At least that’s my take.

PzCYUKE.jpg


Digging deep into Nirvana’s live version of About A Girl, Curt’s vocals are sublime and pastoral. Cutting through the accompanying instruments as well his vocals define the good points of the mids to me in that male vocal genre. A bit thick in presentation, this counters that bit of thinness of the bass. Almost fighting for control, the end is still a pleasantry of sound melding. It really is pretty decent for a sub-$150 headphone, even if others promote much better detail retrieval. The SV021 is not bad by any means, it simply isn’t class leading in clarity if that is what you are looking for. A review mentions how it is a bit veiled in presentation. I can hear this but personally I do not think it hinders the sound. At least in my interpretation. That warmth pervades here as a result. A bit of laid-back nature if you will.

Moving up top, the treble is known for a couple of peaks, which are grating to some. Either due to my losses or my preference for a lifted but not too far forward treble note make this adequate to me and does not hinder my listening pleasure in the least. Not grating, too bitey or screeching to me, the treble could use a bit more push up top to separate away from the mids more. This might stretch the space of notes giving better spatial representation as well. On twenty-one pilots Isle Of Flightless Birds, a very bright song to begin with, the treble note comes out as crisp and a bit too hot. So, there is that ability to stretch notes up, but the song to me is a very hot recording on that end. I have never been able to turn that song up volume-wise as much as I would like on most every IEM or headphone unfortunately.

mevp5Z5.jpg


As mentioned above, soundstage is wide and high, but lacks a bit of depth. The aforementioned twenty-one pilots song is an excellent judge of stage. Keyboard floating between sides and with Tyler’s vocals slightly left of center, the support instruments space out well across the stage. This is a fabulous song for judging such items as airiness and stage as well as complexity. For the SV021, it does an admirable job, but could use a bit of help with the detail department. In fact, if I had to point out the limiting factor of the SV021 it would be the ability to present notes cleanly. This is not a bad thing, as the IEM I just finished “suffered” the same “fault,” but I still liked it very much. On a song such as Drunken Soldier, by The Dave Matthews Band, that lack of clarity actually plays well into the song. You imagine yourself on the deck of a pirate ship as fighting is going on everywhere whence you jump across to those darn British ships.

eAcWQVg.jpg


Comparisons:

Sivga SV021 ($199) v Thinksound ON2 ($130, discontinued):

A certain Canadian reviewer and I share a certain affinity with Thinksound. Based in Canada helps his count, but for me (and he) the sound is what drives us. Purchased after reading his review, I picked up the ON2 for a song. I am truly sad that it is discontinued for if you could only afford one portable on-ear that mimics a closed-back and love a bassy, saucy sound, the Thinksound would be it. I lament that I do not get to listen often enough and each time I scribe about it, vow to listen more. Bass that might make the Legend X or CFA Cascade blush and adequate enough detail highlight this gem. It’s major shortcomings (but not to me) are that it is an on-ear (better seal then most closed-backs) and it lacks that succinct detail retrieval. Not meant to be the best at details, the ON2 is a raucous, fantastically good listen. If it came down to that, the Thinksound would trounce the Sivga. But if you want better detail retrieval, with a bit less bass, and less forward vocals, the SV021 might be the better choice.

No matter, find a used ON2, purchase it and use it on the commutes in the morning. You will be like a Wall Street Tycoon after your morning listen.

O5p0YW5.jpg


Sivga SV021 ($199) v Final Audio Sonorous III ($299ish):

Following on the heels of the excellent Sonorous viii, the iii is the “budget model” with similar tuning. From what I hear, the Sonorous viii is a wonderful sounding headphone, which has taken many by storm. The Sonorous iii was a used purchase to fill a niche in which I had a need. The sound definitely comes across as near class leading at the price point, even at full retail. A good, clean reach of bass sets the foundation and the mids to me are simply sumptuous. Rich in tonality, but not syrupy or thick. Full bodied with the right amount of depth to make it a wonderful listen. Treble presents itself as a bit far forward for my tastes and a bit lifted, but not in an artificial manner. Very good for guitar work and orchestral songs, the Sonorous iii plays nicely with Alex Fox. Throw in male vocals, and you get equally good tone. Dave Matthews Black And Blue Bird is a wonderful love song with the right weight and clarity. When the cymbal hits come in, they are true and succinct. With the SV021, there is a small sense of artificiality with this song, but not enough to worry me.

You might think this an unfair comparison what with the price discrepancy, but to me it puts more credence at how well the SV021 can perform.

w5iS8Ez.jpg


Sivga SV021 ($199) v Kennerton Magni V2 ($650):

Even though this is V2 of the Magni, I fell for it upon first listen. To me this is the target at this price, and rightly so. Gorgeous of look (but not quite the flawless construction of the Sivga) and a wonderfully deep, rich bass. Vocals can come across as slightly subdued or withdrawn; which you might even call a bit muddled. But it is not. That “muddling” is simply the whole of the unit working together as a cohesive unit. There is a reason that Kennerton headphones are gaining a near cult-like following and to me the Magni sets the low end closed-back standard. This is also the reason that the company LSA uses the Kennerton guts as their template. Less expensive of price, but equally adept, it is a wonder that Kennerton allows this. No matter, I do believe it is because they see the benefit of having good sound for all. Much appreciated, it is.

AtwJpP5.jpg


Finale:

Finishing this up while Van Morrison plays in my ear is quite a treat. His voice is so powerful, that the wrong listening unit can become quite painful. A bright IEM or headphone might immediately turn you off. And yes, I will admit that there are a couple of spikes in the SV021 sound signature. But they do not bother me like some others I have on hand. Vocals are a bit withdrawn as a result, but to me this lends to the overall appealing laid back tonality present. Is it flawless like the construction? No. Should it be for the meager price offered? Maybe, but I think that is an unreasonable standard with which to set. When looking for a headphone and listening, you should orient your search on the music in which you listen mostly, then tailor to that. If the headphone then sounds good with your favored genre, you have met your marker. If it also sounds good in the other music in which you listen, that is indeed a bonus.

But this holds true as well: should you be looking for something so specific as to only favor your preferred genre? To me, no. If you do, then you may have too much disposable income. And to me, here is where the SV021 can cross those lines. Rich of sound, even with the peaks, but not necessarily tied to one genre. Does it work best for something such as mellower listening? Sure. Does it perform best for say EDM or classical? Probably not, but it will certainly suffice, especially when you combine the price and superb build. Again, my first impression of the color combination was of a car interior. But in hand, it really is quite gorgeous. Plus, I have just been told you can now purchase this model in black (see pictures). Stained black Rosewood is all right, but to me you hide the character of the wood itself by doing so. That said, if you prefer a more subtle look, then indeed the black is the best choice. This does seem weird to me as I usually prefer more subdued looks. No matter, I still like the SV021.

Finally, there have been a couple of reviews, which seemed to pan the SV021, and do so quickly. To me doing so might be their modus operandi, but you really need to be informed on all fronts to make your decision. I like the SV021, they do not. This is how it should be, but the reviews must be of a thorough nature. I have had items, which I really, really did not like, but I still went through the motions, promoting the item for who MIGHT like it. And I think that is the way it should be. You may indeed make your impressions early after a couple of hours, and they may not change (as I mentioned). But to dismiss it after that short time is shorting your obligations as a reviewer and one, we need to take seriously. I like the SV021 for its laid-back nature, potent and placeable bass, even if it is not as taut or deep as I would like. Mids are good, but not great. They portray the sound adequately, but do not shine. If you prefer a shining set of mids, look elsewhere. If you want a thoroughly competent, rich, warm signature that presents itself as laid back, for an affordable price and with gorgeous looks and build; then the SV021 may be one at which to look.

I thank Sivga for the review sample, I do like the SV021 for what it presents: that richness of sound, coupled with a laid-back signature and gorgeous looks, which I like. That’s it in a nutshell. That’s why I like it.

VGW3tUy.jpg


Comments

scottsays

100+ Head-Fier
Just got mine from Amazon----have had them on for 5 minutes now----all I can say is they are absolutely gorgeous looking and are extremely comfortable so far--light as a feather , the pads are like pillows on the ears, obviously time will tell if this will remain the case but so far these are the most comfortable headphones I have EVER worn-seriously.
Sound----need to be broken in--they are a $ 150 pair of headphones--I would go with the above video review--so far I can tell they are very clean and detailed--no doubt--when they break in I think they will fill in and be really good. So far I am VERY pleased.
I have a balanced cable from a Thieaudio Phantom Planar that fits the jacks so have 2.5 mm balanced all set up----one of the reasons I was not hesitant to buy. The stock 3.5 cable is very good---high quality-----I say this is a very good buy for the price.

Well built--really gorgeous---super light weight--cannot express how comfortable these are--and have full confidence they will break in and sound really good. I love the Phoenix I purchased a few months ago and 10 minutes in I can safely say these are a winner for the price-----I am very happy with these! 😎
 

scottsays

100+ Head-Fier
After breaking them in all weekend----these are excellent, certainly a bargain in the $ 150 price range. Rich, smooth, clean--COMFORTABLE, well built and really snazzy looking. I say another homerun for Sivga---
Would LOVE to be able to get these earpads for other models--seriously--these are the most comfortable earpards/earphones ever-----
Hard to believe this kind of quality is available for such a low price-(in terms of audiophile dollars).
I will others who are better describe the sound do a in depth review--all I can say that i am very well pleased with the purchase and am enjoying these VERY much--nothing but praise at this price point---satisfied. 😋
 

voja

100+ Head-Fier
Everyone, the black version has been released. Holy crap are they pretty!
 

Seledor

New Head-Fier
Ive been thinking about getting this headphone. looks awesome. but the thing about these asian and Sivga headphones is they look good in the pictures, but when you get them they are very small. i dont want another pair of small headphone i have to cram my ears into like the 00's.
 

voja

100+ Head-Fier
Ive been thinking about getting this headphone. looks awesome. but the thing about these asian and Sivga headphones is they look good in the pictures, but when you get them they are very small. i dont want another pair of small headphone i have to cram my ears into like the 00's.
It would be worth asking people who already have them. I know @RikudouGoku should have one coming his way very soon.
 
Top