I recently reviewed Sendy Audio’s flagship, Peacock, and loved the incredibly deep soundstage and highly natural sound profile. The being said, it was admittedly pricey. So, I was interested to see what the brand could do for a third of the price. What sound characteristics can you expect from the Apollo, and how well does it perform?
In the Box
4.4 mm Balanced Cable
3.5 mm Adapter
Soft Cable Case
Look and Feel
The Apollo is a relatively light and compact headphone, especially when compared to Sendy Audio’s much pricier flagship model. The ear pads are sensuously soft, both in texture and when sitting against the ears. They’re made from “high protein materials,” so, maybe tofu. The headband, however, is made from real goatskin and feels top quality. Anyway, at the end of the day, it’s all about comfort. And they felt great on my ears even through long listening sessions. These cans also appeal to the eyes. Polished rosewood wraps around the steel mesh ear cups with a design in the middle that looks like sunshine. Hence, the name, “Apollo”. In short, it’s got a vintage cosmic vibe with just a hint of 2023. I dig it.
The Apollo employs a 68mm planar magnetic driver and uses a composite diaphragm designed to produce soft, natural vocals and a solid bass. We’ll see if this theory works in practice below. At 16 Ohms, these cans are very easy to drive, and even a little DAC dongle should do the trick if you decide to connect it your phone. In the box, you’ll find a balanced 6N OCC braided cable with a 4.4mm termination. A 3.5mm adapter is also included if you choose to use an unbalanced connection.
The Apollo presents remarkably accurate imaging. However, the stage feels a little compact at times, and distant instruments feel slightly veiled, losing a touch of resolution when instruments are sitting far from the ear. That being said, the nuanced placement makes for an entertainingly colorful soundscape. So, although you won’t hear soaring heights or expansive width, it’s still a fun time, particularly when paired with a doobie.
You’ll hear a moderate bass response from the Apollo, at least in upper half of the low-end. When the bass creeps to lower frequencies, you’ll feel hear more oomph. But it seems it terms of balance, the low-end will suit more “conservative” audiophiles than it will bass-heads. The bass is also clean, natural and quite well detailed, lending an authentic feel to strings and double basses in this range.
You’ll hear a pretty even balance in the mids. Sometimes, I craved a little more dynamism in this range. Though the tone is very realistic, often the Apollo lacks a little color or liveliness. Perhaps some of this shortcoming lies in the fact that the resolution is less than top notch, which becomes most apparent in heavy mixes. Separation could be a little better between notes, such as in acoustic guitars in the low mids as well. But again, if you’re listening to classical or jazz tracks, you’ll certainly appreciate the pure, unsaturated timbre of acoustic instruments in this range. And vocals also feel highly realistic, creating a sense of intimacy in the performance.
Although the highest frequencies remain easy on the ears, much like in the Sendy’s flagship model, the Peacock, the mid to upper treble seems to protrude a little at times. John Coltrane’s “In a Sentimental Mood,” paints a good example. Although the saxophone melody line should be taking center stage, the piano accompaniment seems to be particularly highlighted in the first half of the track. That being said, though the mix may be a touch contrived at times, the tonality of the instruments themselves feel realistic and uncolored in this range as well. So again, overall, jazz is an enjoyable listen on these cans.
For those who enjoy a little scatting and a good dose of Yo Yo Ma, the Apollo is a solid buy. Certainly, the Apollo presents a sound quality that is true to the instrument, which purists will appreciate. Still, rock and pop fans who listen to tracks with heavy instrumentation may want to look for something with a little more definition color. So, although the Apollo may not be the most versatile choice, it is certainly worth a listen if you enjoy a natural sound and primarily listen to acoustic genres.
You can buy the Sendy Audio Apollo at Audio 46.
|Sendy Audio Apollo
|68mm Planar Magnetic
|20Hz to 40kHz