The Phoenix is the latest over-ear, open-back headphone from Sivga. I’ve been able to test a few different models, and I’ve been very impressed with the overall design of their products, aesthetically and sonically. My first impression with Sivga is always its unique presentation. Each headphone has this artisan quality like it was sculpted by a mystical forest elf that only speaks in riddles. The Phoenix will go for $299.99, a competitive price that’s a considerable deal when compared to other open-back headphones. The Phoenix doesn’t ever feel like it’s missing anything though, it reaches its own heights and stands out among a lot of other open-back headphones in this price range.
WHAT YOU GET
Opening the box reveals an odd-looking hard-case. The headphones don’t exactly bend in any significant way that makes it compact. So instead the hard-case just bulges out where the cups are. The case will protect the headphones well and good, but they aren’t exactly made for carrying around. The hard-case zips open to reveal The Phoenix, and their detachable cable. That’s pretty much it, you get the case and the headphones. Sivga uses a 3.5mm oxygen cable made by single crystalline copper wire, with an included 6.3mm adapter. The cable is braided and feels durable, which is funny considering one of the reasons detachable cables are made is so if one stops working for some reason, you can replace it easily without buying a new pair of headphones. I don’t ever see this cable fraying in any sort of way, but if you prefer a better cable you can still use this model.
LOOK AND FEEL
Sivga is known for their visually impressive headphones and The Phoenix is no different. The first thing you’ll notice immediately is Zebrawood housing. Nothing beats the handcrafted precision of Sigva’s headphones, but the Phoenix looks especially sleek and polished. The cups open back are made with a stainless steel grill with black baking varnish. The overall look of The Phoenix is simply incredible, and I don’t believe there are any other headphones on the market with this sense of craftsmanship. That’s just the look, not the biggest driving factor when choosing what pair of headphones to buy. But The Phoenix also feels extremely comfortable. They’re made from high protein leather and skin-friendly velvet fabric. The earpads are soft and wrap around your ears nicely, like a soft hug. The adjustable headband has a bulged design, making it so there’s not a whole lot of pressure coming down on you. My listening session with the Phoenix lasted several hours in which I never experienced any significant ear fatigue. A fine fit for any listener.
The Phoenix features a dynamic driver 50mm in diameter. Its impedance drives the signal at an appropriate amplitude from any device. Sound is by no means squished, it outputs a natural representation of dynamic range. I did find myself fighting with my volume control, as quiet sections of certain tracks have a hard time breaking through properly, although using an amplifier is an easy fix for this issue. That might be a factor in the open-back nature of Sivga’s design for the Phoenix. In a room by yourself, this isn’t an issue with an open back headphone, but in public settings, it might be a tiny nuisance. I prefer it this way, as I do believe The Phoenix is best experienced when listening by yourself when you can appreciate the little details of tracks a little bit more, rather than using them to pass the time on commutes. Let’s get into those details properly.
The lower frequency bands are unique in their texture and layering. The bass and low mids resonate in width without feeling too heavy. They don’t feature the smoothest textures, but they never bleed and exceed in the timbral definition. Low mids and bass layer with each other, complementing the sense of clarity the low end has. Hip hop tracks still feel punchy without being overbearing. Bass instruments in particular sound well defined. The smallest amount of rumble is kept into a tightly balanced mix.
The biggest stand out of the Phoenix to me is how mid-range vocals sound. They make the vocal ranges feel expressive, especially when you start to hear higher range vocal harmonies that shine through the more imposing low mid-tones. I felt like they just cut through well without being bloated. Distorted guitars sound especially crunchy, you get a rustic quality that I like hearing in more heavy rock tracks. They don’t have the largest reach, as the lower mid bands resonate so much that the mids don’t get too much of the limelight, but I never thought they were lacking in any way. The mids impress with their balance and natural quality.
I feel a little mixed on the higher end of things. They have great textural quality but don’t strike me as having a great amount of width as the low end, which I feel that a headphone like this can benefit from. However, they are mostly crisp, and certain elements like sibilance sound particularly nice. Higher toned instruments sound like they naturally integrate within the sound field. Very little of it is colorized but remains distinct in its timbre. Nothing ever sounds sparkly, but the response is overall natural.
Sivga’s Phoenix is a lovely headphone, and if you’re in the right space, can shine. I feel like the Phoenix’s are made special for comfortable, at home listening. Hanging out on your porch letting the sounds become part of the world. In terms of a reference headphone, it’s flat in most ranges except for a pretty colorful low end. As a product for casual listeners, it’s a fresh and enjoyable sound. The Phoenix’s soundstage sets a pretty high bar in terms of other open-back headphones in this price range. It’s a great sound, and also, you get some of the most unique looking cans around, with their Zebrawood design, and expertly crafted parts for what should be a headphone that’ll last you a very long time.
You can order a pair from the following stores
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