SIVGA Phoenix Headphones Review – Open-backed headphones with premium wood & aluminium build

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SIVGA Phoenix Open-Back Headphones Review Rating

Summary

The SIVGA Phoenix are a good pair of open-backed headphones with a slight bass emphasis. The end result is an enjoyable warm sound without losing too much accuracy, and I found that they worked well across all genres.

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SIVGA are a Chinese brand that was established in 2016 and manufacture a range of affordable but audiophile focussed headphones.

One of the brand's main characteristics is the use of wood across a wide range of its products. This includes their flagship magnetic planar P-Ⅱ headphones, the Phoenix I am reviewing today, and the affordable Robin SV021 I will be reviewing in the next few days.

SIVGA Phoenix 50MM Polycarbonate Film Zebrano Headphone
  • SPECIAL FILM - The uniquely developed...
  • SOUND - Triple frequency equalization. Clean...
  • WEARING DESIGN - According to the ergonomically...
  • LOW IMPEDANCE - 32Ω low impedance makes more...

Specification

  • Style: Over-Ear Open Back
  • Transducer Type: Dynamic Driver
  • Driver Diameter: 50mm
  • Sensitivity: 103 dB±3 dB
  • Impedance: 32Ω±15%
  • Frequency response: 20 Hz-20 kHz
  • Plug: 3.5mm
  • Cable Type: Removable 3.5mm
  • Colour: Zebrawood
  • Weight: 296 gm

Design and Comfort

Robin SV021 vs Phoenix

One of the main reasons why people will want these headphones is the overall aesthetic. They are made from a combination of zebrawood and aluminium. With wood being quite a rare material for electronics and headphones, these inevitably remind me of Grado headphones which I suspect inspired the design.

The headphones look visually impressive, and the overall build quality feels superb,

Unlike most of my reviews, these are open-back circumaural with a dynamic driver headphone using a 50mm Polycarbonate Film dynamic driver.

The ear cup design is reasonably small and circular (rather than oval), and the end result is that my large ears don't quite fit inside them, with the pads resting on some of my ear.

Even though I would prefer earcup to sit over my ears fully, I found the headband pressure to be quite low and the overall comfort of these to be good and generally pleasant to wear for long periods.

The earpads are removable, and SIVGA sells replacement either with the cloth finish or pleather. The pleather earpads will likely offer a slightly different sound profile.

Like most good quality headphones, the cables are detachable using 2.5mm L/R jacks, and SIVGA also sell replacement or you can upgrade them from various other brands.

Sound Quality

I tested the SIVGA Phoenix with my FiiO K5 Pro and the THX Onyx dongle and used both local FLAC files and Tidal MQA. I also tested them with the 3.5mm jack on the Realme 8i and was able to drive the headphones without much issue.

The headphones have a slight emphasis in the low and mid-range, which provides a pleasant and warm sound profile.

For the low end, as far as bass emphasis goes, this is about as subtle as you can get. Bass comes through when needed, and they can easily handle very bass-heavy tracks, but they are far from basshead headphones.

Mid-range is good, it is perhaps a little more recessed compared to the bass, but with the lows only having moderate emphasis, I didn't find there was any perceivable bass bleed. There is an excellent separation of vocals and instruments.

There is a bit of drop off in the highs, I wouldn't class them as being too dark, though. I am also quite sensitive to highs and easily find them harsh, so I prefer this frequency to be a bit more subtle. With the treble not being too bright, I found that these headphones were not fatiguing, and the comfortable earpads made the headphones usable for prolonged periods.

With these being open back, the soundstage is improved compared to all the headphones I have reviewed recently, which have all been closed back.  

I recently reviewed the Meze 99 Neo headphones, and I would say they are less neutral and more energetic in comparison to the SIVGA Phoenix. I'd say I prefer the Meze, but that's more personal preference. They are a bit more fun to listen to and less analytical.

I have also been checking out the more affordable closed-back SIVGA Robin SV021. Initial impressions when I put them on was that I preferred them, the earcups fit over my ears better, and the initial sound quality was good. However, the treble is boosted slightly with these, and I found them more fatiguing to wear with my preference quickly switching back to the Phoenix.

Price and Alternative Options

The SIVGA Phoenix are currently £235 and available from Amazon with plenty of favourable reviews.

If it is the design that attracted you to these, then the SIVGA SV021 Classic Wooden is worth considering at £149. The pictures on Amazon seem more aesthetically appealing than the Phoenix.

Open-back headphones are not quite as common as closed-back, but there are plenty of excellent alternative options both above and below these in pricing.

I haven't used any of these, so I can't comment on performance in comparison. None of them has the same visual appeal as the SIVGA.

Beyerdynamic DT 990 PRO are often recommended as one of the best value open back headphones on the market, and you can currently get them for £111 on Amazon.

The Philips Fidelio X2HR/00 headphones are also highly regarded at just £124.99

The Sennheiser HD 600 are the gold standard for relatively affordable neutral open-back headphones priced at around £280 and currently available from Scan.

Overall

The SIVGA Phoenix are a good pair of open-backed headphones with a slight bass emphasis. The end result is an enjoyable warm sound without losing too much accuracy, and I found that they worked well across all genres.

The build quality, aesthetics and sound quality easily justify the £235 price tag on Amazon currently.

Last update on 2021-11-28 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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