Updated: Jan 8
Warm, musical and bassy in deutsch
frequency range: 20 - 20000 Hz | sound pressure level: 103 dB | impedance: 32 Ohm | dynamic
For me, the SIVGA PHOENIX is more of a fun headphone, but it also has audiophile qualities.
Bass Mids Trebles Stage Imaging
8.5 7.5 8 7 8
Processing Comfort Earpads Headband Weight
9 8 8 8 296 grams
Price 265 €
Pro Contra - safe tuning - somewhat lifeless mids
- dynamic bass - tiny design
- warm and musical - not the best all-rounder
- processing - stage
SIVGA has specialized in developing headphones with a noble wood finish. The PHOENIX is their current flagship and is aimed at bass-hungry listeners with audiophile demands. Whether the PHOENIX can do justice to this remains to be seen. The low impedance and high sensitivity of the PHOENIX should make it suitable for any playback device.
Zebra wood sounds promising, but in the end it is a type of wood (which exactly is not specified) that has a naturally zebra-like grain, which means that several woods can be considered. It's nice to look at, though, and gives the otherwise more filigree PHOENIX a rugged character. Likewise, this also raises sonic expectations, as I associate wood looks with a warmer and more physical sound, which the PHOENIX indeed delivers.
In general, the PHOENIX turns out a bit small, which means it may not fit on every growler, which I would count mine among. On me, the comfortable and flexible headband is on full stop. The ear pads are comfortable, but unfortunately also fall out a bit too small. Here SIVGA probably had rather smaller people in focus when dimensioning their headphones. However, they have recognized the problem and deliver larger pads, for which, however, another 12 € are added. With the original, soft and ergonomically shaped pads, the PHOENIX wears more like an on-ear, but still quite comfortable. Here, however, I also see problems with people who provide their brain even more space than I do.
In the package we get a fabric-covered and supple cable with 2.5mm mono jack as headphone jack and 3.5mm stereo jack for the music source. An adapter to 6.3mm is included in a small cloth pouch.
In addition, the cable has a reinforcement at the stereo connection to prevent cable breakage.
There is also a nice hardcover case for transporting the headphones.
The isolation suffers from the open design, but there are even airier representatives.
The PHOENIX clearly focuses on the bass. I can't think of any open headphones where I felt such an impact from the bass, because the bass of the PHOENIX is quite physically perceptible. It has a good texture, is full-bodied and quite punchy. However, it lacks a bit of firmness, which is then also noticeable in the interplay with the mids. For me, this limits the usability of the PHOENIX a bit, because I would reach for this headphone less for rock or pop (which should not exclude these genres, however), but all the more for electro or hip-hop, where it can also fully play out its bass performance. I enjoy the bass and even if it is not the tightest representative, it convinces me with its organic and dynamic character. Nevertheless, certainly not for everyone, especially when it comes to critical listening, although the PHOENIX is equally capable of bringing out finer bass passages.
I have a bit of a hard time with the mids. These are very physical and voices have an intimate character. For me, they are a bit too influenced by the bass and lack clarity. If you prefer more restrained and thicker mids, you can certainly do better with this presentation. I would like to see more liveliness and a cleaner transition between bass and mids. Rarely, the mids can get a bit harsh, but that is absolutely tolerable for me.
Details are brought out well and tonally the mids are largely correct, if a bit too warmly tuned.
The highs are fundamentally solid. They don't have outstanding extension or the very highest resolution, but I like the relaxed approach as I don't feel like I'm missing anything either. Yes, hi-hats could be a bit zippier and sharper, and I'd also like more transparency overall, but here the mids tend to be the spoiler, as they already provide a somewhat spongy foundation, which is then harder for the highs to enhance. Sibilants are not discernible and generally the treble has a very good longterm listenability and a silky character.
What surprises me is the much more intimate stage than we are used to from open headphones in general. This is also a small drawback for me, as I feel a bit constricted here and there and this fact sometimes stresses me out when listening to music, as I always have the feeling that the PHOENIX wants to, but doesn't manage to break the imaginary wall. Nevertheless, the stage doesn't seem claustrophobic or anything like that.
The imaging works well within the available space and is also divided into several layers. However, it isn't particularly airy and is laid out more like an ellipse with an eye on the stereo area, so there is certainly still " air upwards" on the Y-axis.
For me, the SIVGA PHOENIX is more of a fun headphone, but it certainly has audiophile qualities, especially with its unobtrusive and relaxed signature, though it is not something for critical listening. For this, it lacks a bit of clarity and resolution, or rather, the dominant bass and the somewhat shy, warm mids are a shortcoming.
Since the PHOENIX could be operated at a more than sufficient volume without any problems at all tested sources (HUAWEI P40 lite, LG G6+, various USB DACs (including ZORLOO ZTELLA), Lenovo P51, various headphone amps (including SMSL SH-8)), it is certainly also an idea for mobile use, but you should always be aware of where you are due to the open design. Likewise, the technical performance can vary somewhat.
To that end, the PHOENIX is comfortable for extended periods of time despite its smaller pads, which make it on-ear. However, these can be replaced with a circumaural version, where there is an additional cost (€12).
If you're looking for a fairly competent open headphone for electro, hip-hop, EDM or R&B with a relaxed and intimate signature, the PHOENIX is well worth a try.
Thanks to SIVGA for providing the test headphones.