SIVGA Phoenix Headphone Review
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 Phoenix is the latest member of the Over-Ear Headphone product series with an open back design that features a 50mm diameter dynamic driver. This dynamic driver has a uniquely developed polycarbonate film diaphragm with 3mm thick Ne-Fe-B magnet and a coil that is made of special copper clad aluminum wire material.
- SIVGA Web Page: http://www.sivgaaudio.com/
The Phoenix headphone was provided to me by the SIVGA for review purposes. I am not affiliated with SIVGA beyond this review and these words reflect my true and unaltered opinions about the product.
The MSRP price for the SIVGA Phoenix is 299,99 USD and can be purchased from the links below;
Package and Accessories:
The SIVGA Phoenix came in a pretty big box with brandings and an illustration of the Phoenix on the top and some technical detail at the back side.
The box is in black color with exceptions of the sides that do have a wooden effect.
This box contains the following items;
- 1 piece x SIVGA Phoenix Over-Ear Headphone
- 1 pair x Headphone Cable
- 1 piece x Headphone Carrying Case
- 1 piece x Cable Bag
The Headphone Carrying Case with zipper mechanism is made of leather and sports the SIVGA branding on the top. The case has a lanyard and zipper mechanism is of very high quality.
The inner surface of the hard carry case has a fabric coating to avoid the Phoenix from any possible scratches.
The detachable cable is approx. 160cm long and features a nice fabric coating. The cable wire is made of high purity single crystalline copper material.
The cable has two 2.5mm male connectors, one for the left ear-cup and one for the right ear-cup.
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).
The cable of the Phoenix sports also a metal Y splitter in black color.
The cable features a 3.5mm headphone jack with a straight profiled metal housing in black color that sport the SIVGA logo in white color. The headphone plug has also a flexible strain relief in form of a spring that offer extra protection.
The Design, Build Quality, Comfort:
The SIVGA Phoenix is an Over-Ear Headphone with an open back design that features a wooden ear-cups which gives it a very nice look and premium feel.
The overall build quality of the SIVGA Phoenix is of very high quality and doesn’t show any imperfections like such like gaps and annoying cracks when you bend the headband.
The housing of the ear-cups is a combinations of zebra wood and stainless steel grille with a black backing varnish. The zebra wood housing is made by CNC carving, together with multiple processes such as grinding, polishing and painting, etc.
The main part of the headband is made of stainless steel material with a matte black painting. The clamping force of the headband is not too much for my average sized head which makes the Phoenix ideal for long listening periods.
The connection parts are on the other hand are also in black color and ae made of aviation grade aluminum material with CNC machining that should offer a higher durability.
The headband holders/hangers do have the SIVGA logo on both sides and do have Left (L) and Right (R) indictors in white color.
Each ear cup has a 2.5mm female connector that offers a tight and secure connection.
The headband has an up & down adjustment and a rotation adjustment mechanism. The headband is not very large so if you have an above average head the size of the Phoenix could maybe tad small for you.
The headband padding is made of suede leather with a bulged design to avoid pressure and to offer extra comfort for longer listening periods.
The ear pads of the SIVGA Phoenix do have a soft and very comfortable padding with low pressure to my ears.
This ear pads do have a protein leather (pleather) surface on the outside and a very skin friendly fabric surface that is ideal for skin contact, especially in warm summer periods. The fabric surface offers better anti-sweating compared to ear pads with a pleather/leather surface.
The SIVGA Phoenix has an average weight of approx. 296gr which is quite ok for a full sized over-ear headphone.
The SIVGA Phoenix is a headphone with an open back design. It has not the same open back design such like a Sennheiser HD600/HD650 or the HiFiMAN DEVA and can be described as semi open because of a damping material under the grille that .
This semi open design reminds me to those of the Philips Fidelio X2 is more effective against noise/sound leakage from the outside to the inside and from the inside to the outside.
- Driver : 50mm diameter dynamic driver with polycarbonate film diaphragm
- Frequency Response : 20Hz – 20 KHz
- Sensitivity : 103 dB +/-3dB
- Impedance : 32 Ohm
- Cable Length : approx. 160cm
- Headphone Plug : 3.5mm TRS
- Weight : 296gr
The SIVGA Phoenix is a pretty easy to drive full sized headphone thanks to a low impedance of 32Ω and a sensitivity of 103dB which makes it highly compatible with relative weak sources like Smartphone’s, Tablet’s and DAP’s with low amplification.
Equipment’s used for this review:
- Headphones : SIVGA Phoenix, HiFiMAN DEVA
- Paired Sources : iBasso DX220 MAX, FiiO M3 Pro, Samsung Galaxy S9+, IPad Air2
Albums & tracks used for this review:
- Dave Brubeck – Take Five (DSD 2.8Mhz)
- Gogo Penguin – Raven (Flac 24bit/192kHz)
- Otto Liebert& Luna Negra – The River (DSD) – Binaural Recording
- Vivaldi – Le QuarttroStagioni “The Four Season” (Wav 24bit/88kHz)
- Tina Turner – Let’s Stay Together (Flac 24bit/88kHz)
- Edith Piaf – Non, je ne regrette rien (Flac 24bit/96kHz)
- Aretha Franklin – I Say a Little Prayer (Wav 16bit/44.1kHz)
- Diana Krall – So Wonderful (DSF)
- No Doubt – Hella Gut (Spotify)
- Elton John – Your Song (Flac 24bit/192kHz)
- David Bowie – Black Star (Flac 24bit/96kHz)
- Dave Gahan – Kingdom (Flac 16bit/44.1kHz)
- Eric Clapton – Layla (Flac 24bit/96kHz)
- B.B. King – Riding With The King (Flac 24bit/96kHz)
- Audiomachine – Blood and Stone (Spotify)
- Daft Punk – Doin’ it Right (Flac 24bit/96kHz)
- Armin Van Buuren – Vini Vici (Spotify)
- Lorde – Royal (Flac 24bit/48kHz)
- Photek – The Hidden Camera (Spotify)
- Massive Attack – Angel (Flac 24bit/192kHz)
- Portishead – The Hidden Camera (MP3 320kpbs)
- Michael Jackson – Billie Jean (Flac 24bit/96kHz)
- Liquid Tension Experiment 2 – Acid Rain (Flac 16bit/44.1kHz)
- Twerl – Lishu (Spotify)
- U2 – Sunday Bloody Sunday (Flac 16bit/44.1kHz)
- Opeth – Windowpane (Wav 16bit/44kHz)
- Metallica – Sad but True (Flac 24bit/96kHz)
- Megadeth – Sweating Bullets (Flac 24bit/96kHz)
- Slayer – Angel of Death (Flac 24bit/96kHz)
The SIVGA Phoenix has a mildly V shaped sound signature with a nicely done warm tonality and entertaining presentation. The bass is deep, textured and full bodied; the midrange is emotional and detailed, while the upper midrange and treble region offers a surprisingly good level of extension, airiness and sparkle.
The SIVGA Phoenix shows a surprisingly good performance in terms of subbass depth and extension for an open back headphone, which I believe is because of the large driver and semi open back design. The depth and quantity is maybe not on par with a bass-head headphones but should be in general quite enough for most listeners.
The general tonality of the subbass is pretty warm, soft and full bodied with good level of rumble which offers also good controlled at the same time with no remarkable distortion.
The subbass quantity and speed is great with bass intensive genres such like Hip-Hop, EDM, Trance or Pop, etc. and has shown a quite exiting performance with some of my reference songs like Massive Attack’s “Angel”, Daft Punk’s – Doin’ it Right ” or while listen to more complex tracks such like Gogo Penguin’s “Raven.
The midbass region of the SIVGA Phoenix is tight and impactful in its presentation, along with a good level of speed and control for a full sized headphone at this price range. Instruments like bass guitars or cross drums are fairly accented, soft and warmish in its tonality with good amount of impact and intensity.
The general bass response of the SIVGA Phoenix is pretty fast and controlled with good level of layering and resolution. What I do really like about the Phoenix is the softness and general timbre of the bass tonality, which is not overwhelming or too boomy in its presentation.
SIVGA offers with its Phoenix headphone a pretty lush, full bodied and musical midrange presentation that shows also a nice amount of clarity, airiness and resolution. The midrange of the SIVGA Phoenix shows a performance that is above its price range.
The SIVGA Phoenix is a pretty successful open pack headphone in terms of definition and separation of instruments and the vocals, while the vocals are slightly more upfront compared to the instruments.
Male vocals do sound fairly detailed and emotional, with a good level of depth and fullness thanks to the well-tuned lower midrange character. Male vocals such like David Bowie, Eric Clapton or Elton John do sound pretty emotional and are very pleasant to listen to.
Female vocals on the other hand do sound quite intimate, detailed and pretty lively with moderate level of extension. The timbre while listen to female vocals such like Tina Turner, Edith Piaf or Diana Krall is outstanding for a Headphone at this price range. The general presentation of female vocals is warmish, emotional and pretty rich in terms of detail and doesn’t shows any unwanted like sibilance.
The general instrument tonality of the SIVGA Phoenix is warm smooth and musical. Instruments like pianos are mildly bright, pronounced and vivid. Instruments like acoustic guitars are slightly warm, bassy and musical, while pianos are soft in the lower midrange.
Other instruments like violins are fatigue-free and do have a moderate level of brightness.
Instruments like saxophones and the tuba are very successful in terms of thickness and depth due thanks to the pretty successful subbass depth.
Upper Midrange & Treble:
The SIVGA Phoenix shows a pretty balanced upper midrange character which is neither too low nor too high in terms of intensity. It offers enough detail and clarity for female vocals and instruments like the trumpet or clarinet. Here are no remarkable issues like over sharpness or sibilance. The upper midrange transitions are in general fairly controlled and do show a sufficient level of extension that is pretty enough for a headphone at this price region.
The treble range of the SIVGA Phoenix is bright, slightly warm and very controlled. The general emphasis and airiness is on a moderate level with good amount of sparkle. The hits of instruments like does of the Hi-hats do come a bit from the background and the extension in on an average level.
Other instruments like the ride and crash cymbal are more highlighted and do have a better extension. If you want a good amount of clarity and sparkle but at the same time a fatigue-free presentation with sufficient extension, the SIVGA Phoenix is a good option for you.
Soundstage & Imaging:
The SIVGA Phoenix is an open-back headphone that means you could high expectations in terms of soundstage performance. Yes, the Phoenix is pretty successful and shows an above average performance in this area, especially for a headphone at this price range, but due to a slightly damping of the drivers behind the grilles the Phoenix sounds a bit more narrow compared to other open-back headphones like my HiFiMAN DEVA or the Sennheiser HD650 that I have listened many times before.
The SIVGA Phoenix is also successful headphone in terms of imaging with its fairly precise placement of the instruments and vocals.
SIVGA Phoenix versus HiFiMAN Deva (wired):
Both the SIVGA Phoenix and the HiFiMAN Deva are full sized open-back headphones, while the main difference is the driver technology. The Phoenix features a dynamic driver while the Deva is a headphone with a planar magnetic driver. The driver technology has a pretty noticeable effect on the sound character and overall performance that I will explain below.
The SIVGA Phoenix has a warmer, fuller and more musical tonality compared to the HiFiMAN Deva that shows also a fairly warm, slightly brighter and more neutral tonality.
The SIVGA Phoenix has the upper hand in terms of subbass depth, quantity and extension with its pretty powerful 50mm diameter dynamic driver. The Phoenix offer more subbass rumble while the HiFiMAN Deva has the upper hand in terms of speed. The Deva offers slightly better subbass layering and control and shows a faster decay, while both are pretty equal in terms of detail retrieval.
The midbass region of the SIVGA Phoenix shows more impact, better extension and weight compared to the HiFiMAN Deva which is a bit shy in this area. The Deva has a slightly advantage in terms of speed while the control is pretty similar.
The midrange of the SIVGA Phoenix is slightly more forward and shows also a warmer overall tonality and fuller character. The HiFiMAN Deva offers a more neutral slightly more recessed and brighter tonality that has less weight in this area compared to the SIVGA Phoenix. The Phoenix has the upper hand in terms of lower midrange depth and extension which makes it more successful with male vocals and with instruments such like violas, trumpets and acoustic guitars. The HiFiMAN Deva shows slightly more upper midrange intensity and extension which makes it slightly more ideal for female vocals or instruments such like violins or flutes.
The midrange of the HiFiMAN Deva sounds more airy and spacious, while the SIVGA Phoenix shows a more intimate and musical presentation.
The treble range of both headphones is quite successful in terms of control and detail retrieval. The HiFiMAN Deva shows slightly more sparkle and higher amount of airiness, while the SIVGA Phoenix offers a smoother presentation which makes it more ideal for longer listening periods.
Both Headphones are successful in terms of soundstage performance and separation of instruments and vocals. The HiFiMAN Deva has the upper hand in terms of soundstage width and airiness. The SIVGA Phoenix on the other hand is slightly more successful when it comes to the soundstage depth.
The SIVGA Phoenix is a full-sized headphone which offers an amazing value for your money in terms of sound performance, esthetics, comfort and overall build quality. It has one of the best bass performances I have heard form an open back headphone and shows also a detailed and musical midrange, along with a treble range that has a good level of extension and control. The wooden ear-cups ae very attractive and the ear pads are very comfortable, while the hard case which is made of leather is also a nice addition.
Pros & Cons:
- + Overall Bass Performance
- + Midrange Tonality and Detail Retrieval
- + Musical Instrument and Intimate Vocal Presentation
- + Build Quality and Esthetics
- + High Value for your Money
- – Headband is maybe a bit small for bigheads
- – None for a Headphone at this price tag