SIVGA SV021 (Robin) Headphone Review

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.

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.

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

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.

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.

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

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.

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.

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

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

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

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

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.

The cable has two 2.5mm male connectors, one for the left 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).

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

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.

 

 

 

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

 


 

 

 

 

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.

 

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.

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.

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.

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.

 

 

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!

 

 

 

 

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