Sivga, new on the scene barely twelve months ago, is in the process of establishing a reputation for finely crafted headphones with an audio-led pedigree at relatively competitive price points. The Sendy Apollo headphones, a Sivga stablemate, were a step forward towards the higher end of their portfolio, these new rosewood-framed Oriole headphones offer a step ahead in this range too.
The Sivga Oriole is a circumaural closed-backed headphone. It features a 50mm circular dynamic driver with a claimed frequency response of 20Hz – 20KHz. It claims a sensitivity of 108dB (+/- 3dB) and an easy driving impedance of 32 Ohm (+/-15%). The cable is split to each ear which is upgradable if desired, the 1.8m fabric sheathed cable is a good length for on-the-go listening.
Out of the Box
The feel of these headphones is solid with the leather ear cups and headband being notably soft and springy! The ear cups are made of rosewood, there are three breathing holes at the top. They are well-finished with a laser-cut logo on the outside of the cup. The cups are held in place with a brushed metal housing that rotates a reassuring 180 degrees in all directions. They fold nicely flat for transportation purposes.
Overall, I feel as if the headphones belie their price point. I have the black pair but there is also a light brown version with a natural wood finish.
In the Box
There is, with the headphones themselves, a 1.8m fabric sheathed cable to a 3.5mm jack, a 6.35mm jack adaptor and a hemp cloth bag.
The headphones are a relatively light 280g. They are priced at $199, a UK price will be confirmed.
A list of EU distributors is here.
At this time HF&MS has the Earmen CH-Amp stack which is a premium streaming headphone amplifier solution. I’ve also been listening to Audioquest DragonFly Red with the laptop.
The headphones, like the Robins, are extremely comfortable indeed, as pleasant as I can recall, up there with Meze’s headphones, remarkable. They are also light and very acceptable for longer listening sessions. A vigorous head shake does little to dislodge these headphones. The fabric cable is super quiet and has a good length.
It is pretty clear this stack is rather special, it features the Earmen CH-Amp, a headphone amplifier (and preamplifier), the streaming Staccato and the Tradutto DAC, all of which are powered with the Earmen PSU. The headphones are driven by the CH-Amp.
I usually start with a bass-heavier track to see where the low end is, like the opening landing scene track called 2049 (Tidal Masters 16-bit, 44.1kHz) from the Blade Runner 2049 soundtrack. Here the Sivga Oriole offer a large soundscape that is impressive, the bass response is more than adequate. Moving to a complicated classic rendition of The Four Seasons (Tidal Masters 16-bit, 44.1kHz) by Nigel Kennedy the violins are fast and resonant in the quiet bits. It is a lighter presentation than I would prefer but nonetheless very engaging. For a bit of midrange detail, it is Hurricane (Tidal Masters 24-bit, 48kHz) by Bob Dylan. Here, after choosing the wrong source for this track, where some mushy midrange was apparent, I found the 24-bit version that was clean and crisp.
Switching, by accident, to a more vocal-led piece, Stab Getz’s The Girl from Ipanema (Tidal Masters 24-bit, 44.1kHz) is presented in soft light with excellent detail, clean guitar, and a lovely breathing saxophone. There is plenty of space for the cymbals to move and the channel separation is excellent in this track. Listening to Taylor Swift’s lockdown track exile (Tidal Masters 24-bit, 44.1kHz) with Bon Iver, Justin Vernon’s vocal is so deliciously deep in this presentation, it so pure. There’s a great bit of detail I hadn’t heard before in the track where you can actually hear some birds chirping in the background, clearly caught on the recording tape.
What about a bit of Rock? My go-to guitar track with loads of noise going on is Burn It to the Ground (Tidal Masters 16-bit, 44.1kHz) by Nickleback. This is a tough track to navigate and it certainly is not really to my taste but here the Orioles cope with the noise with a fair degree of coherency that is vaguely pleasing. In my experience, these Orioles are impressive.
Audioquest DragonFly Red
I’m finding the DragonFly slightly lacking detail in light of the heightened response of the Earmen, credit to the Oriole headphones for reflecting this change in resolution. The soundstage, nonetheless, is comprehensive enough from my laptop where the rosewood construction adds to the volume in the headstage. On the move, with my Pixel smartphone and the dog, there is enough here to hear these are lightweight and commuter-friendly headphones for a quality listen on a train journey and the like.
Sivga is doing an excellent job here of improving its ranges and this product builds on this progress. With access to Chinese technology, lower overheads and limited marketing there is a focus here on high quality and excellent value for money.
If you are after some closed backed commutable, comfortable, high-quality headphones, these are your guys. With a warm and resonant soundstage offering plenty of detail with the right source, these headphones offer an excellent, alternative to the mainstream, solution.
Cable upgrade options
At this price, very little
Full details are on the company’s site.