If looks could kill!
PROS: Highly attractive design, premium boutique build quality, lively energetic sound signature, clarity and detail retrieval, excellent choice of materials for construction, smart comfortable headband design, comfortable ear pads, high quality stock cable and case.
CONS: Planar driver crinkle, its weight can be felt slightly after wearing it for a few hours, needs more upper-midrange ear gain, some might feel it is too bright in its upper-treble presentation.
The product was sent to me free of charge for the review in exchange for my honest opinion.
About Sendy Audio.
Sendy Audio is the more premium sub-brand of Sivga. Sivga is based out of Dongguan (China) and was founded by two childhood friends, Jian Zhou and Rongchun Pan who shared a common love for music and good quality headphones. Jian had been working in the field of headphones for nearly 20 years before he founded SIVGA Audio, where he was a senior technical engineer of a leading OEM headphone factory in China and led the R&D, headphone design, craftsmanship as well as manufacturing departments. During his career in the last company, Jian worked with many international well-known headphone brands and played a very important role in helping those brands grow. Rongchun on the other hand was an avid audiophile who obsessed over the ultimate pursuit of sound quality and with a keen sense of hearing and rich experience, developed a good knack of tuning headphones. SIVGA are an OEM as well as have their own line of headphones under the brand names -SIVGA and Sendy Audio. They follow boutique as well as modern, efficient manufacturing techniques, where their wooden ear cups are built and finished by hand and all the metal parts used in the headphones are CNC machined to perfection.
- Driver Type: Planar Magnetic
- Driver Size: 97*76mm
- Frequency̴ Response: 20-40Khz
- Sensitivity: 96db
- Impedance: 32Ω
- Weight: 420g
Included in the box.
- Aiva headphone
- 4.4mm Balanced cable
- 4.4mm to 3.5mm adapter cable
- Headphone carry case
- Cable sack
Technology, Build Quality and Design.
As per Sendy/Sivga, it took them 3 years of hard R&D, tuning and innovation to finish and perfect the planar magnetic driver, overall industrial design, material selection, acoustic damping and final manufacturing. They state that all parts right down to the screw were independently designed.
Aiva like the P-II oozes of boutique build, design as well as premium quality right from the ear cups to headband and grill design. In fact Aiva one ups the P-II in all aspects of design. Aiva is a very well thought out product with an obsessive focus on every minute detail in design. It has massive eye candy quotient and I’m impressed.
Planar magnetic driver (Ultra-nanometer double sides composite diaphragm) – The diaphragm of AIVA driver is made of high strength and high flexibility material, whose thickness is only 3 microns. As per Sendy Audio – This ultra-thin material ensures very clear performance for medium and high frequencies as well as good dynamic characteristics. It has high definition, clear details, good information, tightness and a wide sound stage.
Natural Zebra wood cups – The wooden cups are made from natural Zebra wood. They are cut by CNC but are sanded, finished and stained to perfection by hand, which is labour intensive and requires very good skilled craftsmen. The cup grill has a black metal ring with a very nice and attractive fish scale mesh design.
Ear pads – Aiva has hybrid ear pads made of perforated high protein leather and velvet fabric on the side. It was designed after consulting data of various face shapes which helped them design a custom shape by varying the foam thickness of the ear pads at different points that touch the cheek, jaw and mastoid. All the contours helps it fit more snugly and comfortably than normal ear pads. The inner part of the ear pad is oval in shape and is designed to engulf the outer ear completely. All of this results in a very easy and comfortable fit. More on this in the ‘Fit and Comfort’ section below.
Headband – Aiva has the same headband design as Sivga Phoenix. The matte black headband is CNC machined from stainless steel. The head pad is made out of high end suede, which is extremely comfortable for hours on the end. It is attached to adjusters which are clamped to the headband and is optimised to adjust automatically when you wear the headphones, as per your head shape and size. You can further adjust it manually as per your liking.
Cable – Aiva comes stock with a very nice 4-core 6N Single Crystal Copper OCC balanced cable with 2.5mm headphone connectors and a 4.4mm jack termination. It has a very nice wooden Y-split and circular chin slider. The connectors and jacks casings are made of high quality stainless steel, and seem rugged and built to last. The cable is soft and supple; wraps up very easily and unwraps without much effort or entangling. It’s not the softest cable in the market but I’m very happy to see a well built premium cable with a headphone in this price range.
SIVGA also offer the same 4-core 6N Single Crystal Copper OCC with different jack terminations such as a 4-pin XLR as well as different adapters to purchase separately aftermarket. They are all hand built in their own factory and are all built to order as per your requirement. SIVGA were kind enough to send me another cable with a 4-pin XLR termination, a 4.4mm female to 4-pin XLR male adapter as well as 4.4mm female to 1/4″ jack adapter to try P-II’s pairing with my desktop setup.
Leather Case – Aiva comes with the same case as Sivga Phoenix but has Sendy Audio logo on top and bottom. It is small and very travel friendly as it can easily fit into a standard size laptop bag. It is made out of leather and is very well built. It has 4 feet at the bottom to stand the case upright if you ever want to, though I don’t know when one would wanna do that.
Fit and Comfort.
Even though I consider Aiva medium-heavy at 420g, it fits quite comfortably. The suede head pad does not exert a lot of pressure on the head and the adjusters adjust automatically based on your head size, plus you can set them manually too. The ear cups don’t exert a lot of clamp force and they can swivel a bit to fit according to the shape of one’s jawline quite nicely. What’s even better are the ear pads that are wonderfully shaped and feel like they’ve been customised for one’s head and ears specifically. Of course, since Aiva isn’t as light as the HD6XX, you’re also aware of it being on your head. I didn’t experience neck or jaw pain but I did start feeling the weight after a couple of hours, especially if I didn’t take any breaks in between.