I have heard about this brand for several years already. I found out about this brand on the “unknown” American site Amazon, where a few years ago, a very small and ambitious Chinese company was conducting a very aggressive marketing campaign, but under the Sandy audio nameplate. This put me in a small stupor, and I could not understand what is the difference between Sandy audio and Sivga audio and whether they are different brands.
As it turned out, Sandy audio turned out to be a sub-brand of Sivga audio specializing in “high-end” headphones, as stated in plain text on their official website, and Sandy audio, in turn, was a “more popular brand” producing headphones of a lower class. than Sandy audio.Sivga Audio SV021 and now we will figure out how good they are and whether they can compete on equal terms with models from more eminent manufacturers.
Contents of delivery
The headphones come in a black box made of carbon, where surprisingly you won’t find all those “Hi-res”, “High-definition” stickers and so on, which make the headphones much cheaper out of the box. Here is only a picture of the model itself and its name, nothing else. Such a design decision, not even for headphones, but just for the box, predisposes to itself well and tunes in to the fact that there is a high-quality thing inside.
In the box itself, you can find a high-quality 3.5 mm double cable, a 3.5 to 6.3 mm adapter and a storage bag. This very bag disappointed me a little, of course I would like at least some kind of protective case, but even thanks for it, since the same Sennheiser and Beyerdynamic in this price range do not offer you either a case or a cover.
Workmanship and tactile feel
Sivga Audio SV021 are assembled more than soundly. To tell the truth, I expected significantly worse workmanship and, in general, the materials used to make the case. There is not a single plastic part in these headphones at all, only steel, leatherette and wood. At first I was a little surprised at the lack of plastic for such a small cost, but then I realized what was the matter. Having studied the brand in even more detail, it turned out that Sivga Audio not only develops headphones on its own, but also completely manufactures and assembles them itself. In fact, in this price range, this is very rare, because often hi-fi headphone manufacturers do not bother with their own production facilities for budget headphones and simply place giant orders in Chinese factories, to which they have absolutely nothing to do.
Sivga Audio SV021 turned out to be very comfortable. Thanks to the incredibly soft ear cushions and headband, large cups and low weight, they are practically not felt on the head. Discomfort will not occur even after 4-5 hours of listening. Moreover, in my memory, these are the first full-size headphones in which I felt comfortable even with glasses, because, unlike most other full -size headphones , the headband here is very pliable and does not squeeze the head from the side, but at the same time, the headphones sit tight enough to keep in one position on the head.
Of course, when I first saw SV021 live, they, oddly enough, immediately reminded me of Meze 99 classics . Yes, structurally (and as it turned out in sound) these models are completely different, but looking at the wooden bowls I expected the warm and tube sound that I once got so imbued with in 99 classics.
Surprisingly, I could not classify the SV021 as a relaxation headphone, and even close. I will not say that they are sharp, but I would rather describe them as balanced, but with a slight bias towards sharpness. In terms of detail, they impressed me very much for the money, especially the low frequencies. In general, bass comes to the fore here, but within reason. The width of the stage is also very good with good positioning of the tools, but of course, taking into account the price. SV021 are picky about the quality of recordings and genre omnivorous, but at the same time it must be said that in terms of the nature of their sound and presentation, they are better revealed with more intense music.
I liked them the most. Collected, dynamic and deep – this is how the bass can be characterized here. At the same time, he does not attract all the attention to himself and plays in harmony with the top and middle.
The mids are bright, rhythmic and well detailed. Thanks to a kind of airiness, the instruments sound unobtrusive and practically without synthetics.
Moderately sharp and have good detail. Sometimes you can hear an overabundance of emotionality when compared with the reference, but this makes the overall sound even more exciting.
Comparison with competitors
To tell the truth, this model does not have much competition. Naturally, everyone will ask the question: “But what about Audio technica ath-m40 / 50x, Beyerdynamic dt 770/990 pro, Koss pro 4S, Philips SHP9600?” no equal. Firstly, all models from the list, except Philips, are headphones for working with music and already initially have a different sound character. Secondly, Philips SHP9600, as well as Beyerdynamic dt 990pro, have an open design, so our comparison here will not be entirely fair.
Ultimately, taking into account all of the above, I decided to take for comparison the Koss pro4S, which I recently reviewed, and the Beyerdynamic dt 770 pro , which many people buy completely for other purposes and use exclusively at home.
The Koss pro4S will feel a little easier on the head, but overall, they will be slightly inferior in comfort to the SV021 due to the thinner ear cushions. Despite this, the Pro 4S has a foldable design, and, unlike the SV021, has a high-quality carrying case in the kit, which will certainly be a plus if you want to take your headphones with you.
The Pro4S sound is drier than the SV021 due to its monitor orientation and is more picky about the source and equipment.
Beyerdynamic dt770pro boasts the fact that they are assembled in Germany, which certainly adds confidence in the quality of the product and, according to reviews from many friends, I can say that this is unconditionally one of the most durable headphones in the world. In addition, almost all the parts in these headphones can be replaced if necessary without any problems.
It seems to me that this is the very case when, without any exaggeration, it can be argued that the Chinese were really able to do a good thing with an adequate price tag. Sivga Audio SV021 turned out to be truly audiophile and have their own pronounced character of sound, which can conquer a considerable number of people. The workmanship and comfort deserve special praise, but still there is one small drawback – the lack of a comprehensive carrying case. Yes, there is a bag, but it can only protect it from dust. In general, I repeat, I really liked these headphones, and I am looking forward to getting to know the older brothers of this model.