This is a review, listening tests, equalization and measurements of the SIVGA SV021 headphone. It is on kind loan from a member and costs US $149.
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I find the SV021 not only attractive to look at, but also touch given its luxurious fit and finish. Hard to imagine it is such a low cost headphone! Alas, the cups are a bit small for me and so not very comfortable.
Let's put the SV021 on the GRAS measurement stand and see how it performs.
SIVGA SV021 Measurements
Let's start with our usual frequency response measurement:
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I usually align the response at 425 Hz. Here, that is strangely the lowest output level with both bass and treble shooting way up. I tried to get the bass to match in both channels but could not. Maybe the pads are deformed differently or the driver response is different. Relative response shows a lot of variation which may be hard to accurately EQ:
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Overall distortion is rather low but a couple of resonances stick way out:
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Seeing how we need to reduce the bass energy anyway, that region will look better post equalization. Here is the absolute level of distortion:
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Group delay is not revealing of much:
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Impedance is flat and low:
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Combined with better than average sensitivity, it should be a relative easy headphone to drive:
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SIVGA SV021 Headphone Listening Tests and EQ:
I started to listen to the headphone and it sounded good! It was not until I created the filter set and performed AB that I realized that the out of box "headphone showroom sound" was flawed:
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Without the filters, the sound was closed in and just not interesting. With the filters in place, the sound nicely opened up and bass tightened. I threw in a couple of very sharp filters to reduce the resonances/distortions at the frequencies I measured. Sighted, it seemed to reduce distortion and clean things up further. With all 6 filters in place, I actually sat back and started to enjoy the sound of the SV021! Spatial effects had improved fair bit and I could "feel" the notes and resolution of the music. There was little to complain about other than slight discomfort.
Lesson for people who say: "listen before you measure."
If I had done that, I would have told you that it sounded fine! The truth come out in AB testing against equalized response which required measurements.
While I really like the fit and finish of the SV021, the out of box tuning is clearly aimed at making a good first impression with a lot of bass and to some extent, treble. Likely this is why the average review rating on Amazon is 4.5 stars. Are yourself with frequency response measurements, develop an EQ and now the headphone becomes very nice sounding. Distortion is reduced to very low levels resulting in clean and well composed sound.
Given how bad the out of box response is, I can't recommend the SIVGA Robin SV021. If you own it though, deploy some EQ and you can get very good sound out of it.
As always, questions, comments, recommendations, etc. are welcome.
are much appreciated using: https://www.audiosciencereview.com/forum/index.php?threads/how-to-support-audio-science-review.8150/