In the headphone world, “wooden” typically goes hand-in-hand with “luxury”. Exotic wood finishes are usually reserved for those rare headphones that regard themselves as one-of-a-kind works of art. But thanks to the Chi-Fi revolution and the unstoppable march of industrial progress, wooden headphones can be increasingly found on the cheap.
SIVGA Audio is a Chinese company that makes a wide array of headphones, including several with wood finishes. Wooden earbuds, wooden IEMs, wooden over-ears… you name it. And today Headphone Dungeon takes a look at their newest open-back model, the SV004. At just under $100, will it deliver high-end luxury to the masses?
SIVGA Audio SV004 Open-Back Wooden Headphone Review
At first glance, the SV004 is a good-looking pair of headphones. It comes with a solid rubber carrying case, and two detachable cables; one unbalanced, one balanced, (both 3.5mm) and a ¼” adapter. And all of this in a nice cloth carrying case. The cables are finished with cloth as well, which does impart an extra air of quality.
The cans themselves have very soft faux-leather pads and headband, brushed chrome yoke and of course, the wooden cups. The wood grain is finished in a way that makes it look plastic, however. And no verification as to whether the wood is real or not (but let’s give them the benefit of the doubt). They don’t quite look like a luxury pair, but they do look very spiffy for under $100.
I think the SV004 is extremely comfortable. As mentioned, the headband and pads are soft and thickly padded. The cans are lightweight and easy to forget about after I put them on.
Being open-backs, you can expect a wider soundstage and more detail than a typical pair of closed-backs, and the SV004 does not disappoint.
The sound is warm and mellow, with a relaxed feel. These headphones aren’t very punchy or in-your-face. And while they are warm, the low-end doesn’t jump out at you. So bassheads need not apply.
I dig the frequency response of the mids and high-end. They sound natural, but not like a pair of typical reference headphones. I wouldn’t call these headphones cold or analytical, even though they do sound flatter. What am I trying to say here? They’re nice and easy. Neutral, but with just enough charm to keep them from sounding boring. The box says “the sounds of nature” and if you use your imagination, it’s not too far off.
For older styles of music, these headphones are great. They’ve got a good soundstage for the price, and some nice upper-midrange details. Jazz sounds great, as does 60’s rock and instrumentals. The sound signature compliments the warmth of recordings made on tape. But for modern, punchier music, you may be better off with something harder-hitting like the Grado SR80e.
The SV004 is comfortable, looks good and sounds good to boot. If you want to pretend that you spend exorbitant amounts of money on wooden headphones, get the SV004. You can probably fool anyone at a distance of 10 feet or more that you’re wearing a $1000 pair instead of $100. But seriously. The build quality feels solid, and little details like the detachable balanced cable make these headphones feel like slightly more than $100.
Pros- Comfy, sounds good, looks good.
Cons- Not punchy enough for some genres.
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