SIVGA SV006 / SV007 headphones
+ Wooden earcups! Superb looks, feel and build; excellent value for money; good volume from mobile devices; comfortable fit, bass not overly boosted.
– Can sound a bit forward; slight shut-in, nasal quality to overall sonic.
+ Wooden open-back earcups! Superb looks, feel and build; excellent value for money; loads of accessories; open soundstage.
– Bass could do with more impact, round circumaural cups on the small side.
THERE are polarised views on hi-fi products from Chinese manufacturers (Chi-fi as it is labelled sometimes). It’s either they don’t get the credit they deserve – or they have a bad rep.
Looking at it in broad terms, it’s understandable why. On the side of the “ayes”, they tend to cost less (significantly so, sometimes) than similar products from most other countries. The “nays”, however, say they are all flash – they look the part but don’t have performance to match.
What you can’t deny about the Sivga SV006 and SV007 headphones, however, are that they definitely look like premium products. Both sport great build quality, with wooden earcups and metal frames. They are a little on the heavy side at about 340g but have well-padded headbands and earpads which give acceptable comfort.
The finishing on both pairs is excellent, really. The headband and earcup pads are pleather-wrapped while exposed metal parts are smooth to the touch. The standout feature are the maple wood-like earcups – gorgeous grain with a lovely deep brown colour.
Both are very different designs, however. The SV006 is of the closed-back variety with rectangular-shaped earcups while the SV007 is an open-back pair with round earcups. They have different specifications, too – the SV006 has 32 ohms impedance with 105dB sensitivity while the SV007 has 16 ohms impedance and a sensitivity of 100dB. While both can be driven with mobile devices, the SV006 exhibited a higher output volume.
Both are packaged beautifully and come with carrying cases, which were a little too large to my liking, frankly. The SV006 provides just the essential accessories – just the single miked detachable cable (with quarter-inch adaptor) but the SV007 comes with two cables (one sans mic) and an airplane adaptor.
There’s not much to do except to plug in the cable and adjust the headband. All cables were fabric-wrapped and come with 3.5mm plugs, which go into the left side of the headphones. The quality is decent enough – there’s some resistance when plugging it in and they fit with an audible click – but not overly tight that make removing them an issue either. The headbands feel like they will stand up to some decent abuse and the detents are sturdy as well.
One thing you need to keep in mind is what these headphones cost. Given how they look, it is easy to get carried away. They are not in the high-end side of things and do display limitations. Neither are they entirely neutral – there is forward-sounding nature and the treble can appear brash at times. This means they won’t envelope you in a warm sonic blanket but they are definitely fun to listen to. You will be able to hear detail and a get degree of finesse, but not in abundance.
They do share a similar sonic signature, but each imparts a very different “flavour” to the sound.
SV006 – If you desire more bass in your music, this would be the obvious choice of the two. Due to its closed-back nature, there’s more lower-frequency presence and impact. What I like is that it’s not overly done. It may not reach the lowest of frequencies but neither will it assail your eardrums with throbbing, bloated and indistinct thumps.
There was, however, some shut-in and nasal quality to the sound which didn’t quite sit with me. It’s fine with bass-heavy or more upbeat music, but with acoustic, instrumental or vocals, I’d have preferred a more relaxed approach to the sound.
SV007 – Its open-backed design is exactly what the aforementioned types of music needed. With this, there was more space for the music to breath, a more expansive soundstage of sorts. It sounded quite lovely with some light jazz and classical music, and even managed to render some multi-layered vocal music quite well.
Conversely, bass presence took a significant hit. It doesn’t get to the point of being anaemic, but it definitely could have done with more body.
THE LAST WORD
There’s great value on offer with these two pairs of headphones. Similarly-priced cans from more established manufacturers are predominantly made with loads of plastic, which is simply not the case with the metal and wood of the SV006 and SV007.
But it all ultimately boils down to sound quality, and these will match other cans within their price bracket. They may not exhibit performance levels above their class – they are built to a budget after all – but the fit and finish are a clear cut above the rest.
Sources: Sony HAP-Z1ES HDD audio player; Toshiba notebook running Windows 10 and jRiver Media Centre; iPhone 7 / Amplification: Chord Mojo DAC/headphone amp / Headphones: HiFiMAN HE-400i, Mitchell and Johnson MJ2
Malaysian price: RM459
Malaysian distributor: Stars Picker Audio Library (+603-6156 1984) / Find your distributor.