I’ve been long awaiting a new over-ear headphone to sink my ears into for quite some time. Leave it to SIVGA to satisfy those needs with a fresh new release. In the past, SIVGA has been a solid brand that’s delivered very good to excellent closed-back and open-back headphones. Last year, the Phoenix made a big impression in the world of affordable open-backs, and now they’re trying to do the same with the new closed-back SV021. In the past, SIVGA has released other headphones in this specific series, like the SV004 and SV006 to name a few. They’ve mostly been successful in combining a detailed timbre, wider soundstage, and fine wooden construction all for a generous price. At $149, can the SV021 follow suit?
What You Get
- SV021 Headphones
- Cable with 3.5 mm termination
- 3.5mm to 1/4” converter
- Drawstring fabric bag
The SV021 comes with all the basic necessities you need with a closed-back headphone, but I just want to touch on how good the material on the drawstring bag is. Although it’s barely a concern while analyzing the quality of the headphones, I appreciate the work SIVGA puts into all its items. It’s not exactly a big deal, but the carrying pouch just has a great feel to it.
Look and Feel
What a classy look the SV021 has. SIVGA’s main aesthetic has always been on brand through all their products, but here it’s brought to a whole new level. The build quality here is just outstanding for an over-ear headphone at this price. With the SV021, SIVGA keeps the wood style, while polishing the earcups with a glossy resin. Combined with that are these huge beige ear pads made from leather memory foam. These are completely detachable too, making them easy to replace in case something happens to them. The cups are supported by metal yokes reminding me of how Focal designs their headphones.
With the classical style the SV021 sports, the headphones appear like they fit well next to a collection of vinyls. As for its comfortability, have no fear. The SV021 is surprisingly lightweight, to the point where I wasn’t sure if the headband was adjusting properly. It turns out their natural positioning was just that loose and airy, almost reminding me of how some HiFiman headphones feel. That being said, the SV021 offers a good amount of support, and fit naturally circumaural over my ears. I was able to enjoy the headphones for long, non-fatiguing hours of listening.
Under the hood of the SV021 is a 50mm dynamic driver, made with an ultra-thin diaphragm. It uses PC and fiber and a coil made from a special copper-clad aluminum wire. There’s also a 3mm high performance magnet that aims to provide strong power to the driver system.
I know never to expect anything less in this area from SIVGA, but the soundstage of the SV021 is just great. SIVGA’s open backs produce some of the best spatial imaging around this price range, but their closed-back headphones don’t skimp out on width and depth either. You’ll find the output here to be exceptionally natural, like the sounds are blooming from their respective source rather than from a driver. It’s an image that quickly establishes great height for its signature, layering the sounds over and behind each other with a great amount of separation. Vocals appear like they’re properly centered, taking a forward position over other elements in the sound field. Instrumentation and effects bounce around the mix for a highly immersive stereo image, with each sound properly communicating distance and positioning.
The low frequencies showcase a ton of strength and clarity while still being incredibly well balanced. Its response immediately makes a grand impact, adding lift to the timbre. They do a respectful job staying clean, all while showcasing emphasized rumble and thickness. I appreciated its scale while not bleeding into the mids and feeling bloated. It gives you everything you’d want with a closed-back headphone without being “bass-centric” in the sound signature. The frequencies keep their pace, and provide fine clarity while adding just enough color to be enjoyable.
Some of the lower mids feature a good bit of warmth, with the fundamental and upper midrange riding smoothly with it. There’s great detail and tones to be had here, but it’s definitely not going to be as colorful or rich as the bass. The midrange feels consistently flat and even without any shred of blandness to its timbre. Each frequency band is well formed and defined, but won’t strike you the way the bass and low mids do across the frequency spectrum. That being said, a few elements do stand out. There’s a great sense of accuracy here, as the flatter response across the mids gives the timbre more range, all while providing textural smoothness to the sound signature.
As the bass jumps out at you, so does the brightness of the highs, almost on an equal level. Some of the frequency response can prove to be harsh for some, having more treble emphasis than even the Beyerdynamic DT 770s. I enjoyed this extended high-end, as it added a lot of qualities I look for in my preferred sound signature. Each element has a clear tail, with sibilances on full display. You get clarity and coloration, with a coating of brightness to give the sound signature a nice sheen. Only at some points did I think the piercing of the highs was over-the-top, but I mostly felt like the timbre had character.
This is an excellent closed-back option for the price. It has a great style, fine comfort, and a sound signature you can sink your teeth into. When it comes to soundstage, it just might be one of the best for under $200. If you’re looking for something casual, but with just a bit more kick, I’d look no further than the SV021. SIVGA has crafted a wooden headphone that can be enjoyed by casual listeners and audiophiles alike.
Pros and Cons
- Classy style
- Comfortable earpads
- Excellent build quality
- Expansive soundstage
- Clear bass
- Colorful timbre
- Highs might be too harsh for some
You can find the SIVGA SV021 here.