I honestly can’t remember the last time I owned a set of earphones with this new retro style. If I can recall, I think I might have been in middle school. Since then in-ear headphones have pretty much taken over both consumer and audiophile listening spaces. There have been a few brands that have tried to bring back this classic design, and now Sivga is taking a shot. Sivga is not new to consumer-grade earphones, but the new M200 is the first to feature this throwback build. They only cost $49, so it’s not much of a gamble, but can Sivga make this retro design worthwhile?
What You Get
- Carrying case: 1pc
- Sponge cover: 2 pairs
- Earhook: 1 pair
- Clip: 1pc
Look and Feel
So what exactly makes the M200 a retro earphone design? If you think of the first earbuds that came with the iPod then that’s pretty much what we are talking about. Sivga has returned to this style to make you remember what was special about it, as well as to stand out from other budget-fi options currently out there. The M200 sports a nice silvery surface that appears sleek and of higher value than your usual plastic buds. Its aluminum housing brings a level of durability to these economical earphones, complete with a stainless steel mesh that brings up the value even more.
For its fit, I mainly wore the M200 like your standard IEM, with the cable looping around my ear. It even accommodates that choice by supplying its own ear hooks. Of course, you are going to lose isolation with this style of build, but wearing the M200 I forgot how light and comfortable earbuds could be without sticking something in my ear. The earphone’s main speaker grilles sit on top of your ear canal naturally and even have a fine level of security to them.
Inside the M200 is a 15.4mm driver that uses a PET transparent diaphragm with a copper ring. A high-performance magnet is also implemented to shape the output and provide a stronger performance.
20Hz – 20KHz
114dB +/- 3dB
32 Ohm +/-15%
It has been so long since I’ve listened to a pair of earphones with this design I almost forgot what they even sounded like in the first place. With in-ear monitors taking over, it’s easy to forget what earphones sounded like before we became used to all the isolation most models bring. I didn’t think it made much sense to go back to this build for sound quality sake, but after hearing the M200 I started to remember what the appeal was. Without the conventional isolation long spouts and ear tips bring, the soundstage opens up more naturally which the M200 uses to great effect. The staging here is exceptionally wide to a point where it feels like the sound is extending passed my shoulders. It was like this consistently, but especially with classical tracks and film scores. There’s rarely any real dimension to the imaging, but it does fine work linearly offering a traditional stereo field.
If you want bass out of the M200, get ready to push these suckers in because it’s the only way you’re getting any kind of kick out of these earphones. While holding down on their surface increases their overall presence, it also takes away some of the natural pleasantries this tone is capable of. The low-end presence is quite thin but there’s still a solid framework for the bass that keeps the sound signature from feeling like it is completely missing.
There’s a solid amount of detail shown in the midrange considering the price. Frequencies appear at a fine resolution and have a few gripping timbral aspects that help them stick out. Instrumentals are clean and share a pure tone throughout their spectrum, offering pristine appearances from string instruments and acoustic guitars. Vocals also retain a level of clarity that get a bump in the upper mids for crisper response. I think it should be reiterated how thinly everything comes across, but it doesn’t detract from the more resolving characteristics of this budget earphone.
Nothing about the treble really calls much attention to itself. Their tone provides a simple but smooth and natural tail-end to the M200’s overall musicality, delivering a fulfilling timbre to its frequency response. They glide over you while sometimes catching a peak or two, but most fall into the neutral category.
The Sivga M200 is a pleasant surprise for someone who hasn’t listened to a pair of earphones like this in quite some time. Their retro design is somewhat of a novelty, but Sivga’s standard for craftsmanship is still well on display. The sound signature is natural and detailed where it can be, and its stage is incredibly wide for $49. If you’ve been nostalgic for a pair of earphones like this, then I would say the ME200 is a perfect choice.
|· Wide soundstage
· Detailed mids
· Smooth highs
· Durable retro design
· Great cable with mic
|· Limited bass response
The Sivga M200 is available at Audio46.