Sivga SW001 Review
I’m no stranger to Sivga’s over-ears; I recently had a pretty good time reviewing the newly released Sivga Luan. But this is the first Sivga in-ear that I’ve had the opportunity to try. Looking at the tiny, wooden housing of the $250 Sivga SW001 right now before having listened to it, my curiosity is piqued. Is this a gimmick? Or does Sivga have something special here? Let’s take a look inside the box, talk about the Sivga’s SW001’s fit and design, and finally, get into what it sounds like.
What’s in the Box?
- 2 MMCX Cables, one with a mic and one without
- 3 Pairs of Silicon Tips
- 2 Pairs of Foam Tips
- 1 Pair double-flange silicon (medium size)
- Pocket sized, semi firm leather carrying case
Fit, Accessories, and Style
Sivga’s SW001 is small – in fact, it’s tiny. It’s safe to say no one is going to find it too big and burdensome for their ears. While earphones this size can sometimes be tedious to handle, I didn’t have issues with the SW001. The face of the earphones have carved indents that are a perfect size and shape for a fingertip, making the initial process of getting them into my ears pretty easy and fuss-free. The light weight, small housing, and rounded edges makes listening with the SW001 a particularly comfortable experience. No complaints yet.
We also see a fairly generous assortment of accessories that come with the SW001. I like seeing the little-bit-above-average braided cable, the inclusion of an extra cable with a microphone, and the double flange silicon tips along with the standard foam and silicon tips. And finally, a classic Sivga carrying case: russ brown leather, semi firm, and 100% classy. So, while I have to admit that the external packing/presentation is a little kitschy and dated, this book is best not judged by its cover. Once again, the Sivga SW001 is checking the right boxes.
And finally, how the SW001 looks. Not everyday you see wooden earphones, am I right? (cue laugh track).
It’s unique, maybe polarizing – I’m fine with it. It wouldn’t be Sivga if it wasn’t wooden. Be your own judge.
|(1)8mm DD, (1) BA
|20 Hz – 20 kHz
Some surprisingly nice qualities to go over. While the Sivga SW001 doesn’t aim for a large or ethereal stage, there’s some vivid dimensional presence within its more insular character. What may have impressed me the most was the SW001’s depth. Pans passed fluidly a few inches in front of my face with a rounded character. Height isn’t a persistent or dominant quality, but at times I was distinctly aware of feeling hi-hats present themselves a few centimeters above my eye brows. Mono vocals perched themselves dead center, and were intimately positioned as if they were a few inches inside of my head.
The staging and imaging isn’t insane, but its present, pleasant, and tasteful. Earphones at this price point often come across as sounding flat and linear in their spatial character, so the SW001 is faring this review pretty well so far.
Props to Sivga for including the frequency response graph with the earphones. Let’s talk about it.
I’m liking what we see in the low end: a bass boost concentrated on subs and the lower mid bass region from 20 – 100 Hz, with more modest high bass amplitudes at 200 to 300 Hz. Low-center mids are moderately tented between 300 and 500 Hz with an amplitude peak at 400 Hz, while the remaning center mids from 500Hz to 1kHz roll off into semi-recessed high-mids from 1 kHz to 2 kHz.
There’s a dynamic impact and fatness to the bass that finds clarity and separation thanks to the carved out high bass frequencies. While the tenting we see in the low mids is perhaps a little unusual, I hear what Sivga is doing here: giving listeners a warm low mid tone that isn’t smudging and blending with overdone high bass. Keeping firm low end and mid range seperation can be tricky with warm signatures, but the SW001 does a great job in this regard. Strong bass, rich mids, and a nice distinction between the two – pretty ideal for an easy listening oriented signature, which is obviously Sivga’s angle with the SW001.
The SW001 brings some spark in its lower treble, which is the big bold spike we see spanning for 2 to approximately 4 kHz. While this serves the function of bringing a welcome lift to the otherwise soft and warm signature, the lift is unusually concentrated and at time leads to some odd dynamics in the upper frequencies. The specific issue is that the SW001 can be a little peaky with an occasional glaring quality in its low treble. On the other hand, the low treble emphasis brings out a nice drive on acoustic and electric guitars a lot, which pairs well with their meaty, low mid fundamentals. A similar thing can be said for vocals on the SW001: moderately emphasized fundamentals in the low mids, balanced with more driving, chest-y sort of overtones.
Occasional low treble peaks aside, the SW001 pulls off a relaxing and non-fatiguing signature that was easy for long, casual listens.
I’m starting to think that my favorite side of Sivga comes from the headphones and earphones that aren’t trying to show off, but rather do the a great and safe job on the basics. This is as true for the SW001 as it is for the over-ear Luan. The Sivga SW001 is unlikely to blow your mind – it’s more concerned with providing you with a fun and easy time. A pretty solid performance from Sivga.