Sivga is known for its reasonably priced open-back headphones, like the Pheonix and SV0023. They’ve released wired earbuds in the past, but the new SM002 looks to be an attempt at being IEMs. Following other chiFi trends, the SM002 looks to give you an audiophile sound for an economical price, which fits Sivga’s already established selection. Can the SM002 reach those heights for only $180?
What You Get
- SM002 IEMs
- 2 cables (one with mic) with 3.5mm termination
- 3 sizes silicone tips
- 3 sizes foram tips
- 3 sizes of double-layer silicone tips
Look & Feel
The SM002 has a few different variations. There are red, gunmetal, and silver variants of these IEMs. This review tests the red version and it’s a solid build for the price. Its shape reminds me of a smaller version of Shure’s Aonic line, which gives you an easier fit overall. Nothing about the SM002 is flashy, even with its multiple colors, but I still find it to be a nice earpiece.
There are three drivers within the Sm002. It’s a hybrid system that contains a single 10mm dynamic driver, and two balanced armature units. You can switch out the nozzles, but the standard ones were used for the majority of this review. They cab be easily driven from any 3.5mm headphone output.
Sivga’s over-ear headphones usually offer a nice expansive soundstage with spacious imaging. With no frame of reference for what they could do with a pair of IEMs, I’m pleasantly surprised with the SM002 here. Immediately, you get a sense that your tracks are properly spread out, adhering to natural stereo patterns and positioning. It’s wider than you would expect, with some elements appearing like they’re leaking right past the shells. This is an open headspace where the performances happen around you in a bubble, rather than in a linear sound field that just appears like a straight line. You feel like you’re in the middle of the mix, which I did not expect these one hundred and eight dollar IEMs to do so successfully. All of the sound elements have a large scale too, with big instruments and effects painting a grand display for your music to revel in.
From the first second that you start listening to the SM002, you get hit with a wall of bass. It’s a concentrated supply of thunderous tone, reaching depths far above its price range. The sub-bass has a ferocious rumble that vibrates clearly without resonating into confusion. It leaves room for the mid-bass to provide a cinematic slam that generates a substantial bass form. Everything about it is tuned to excite you while still managing to keep control of overextension. The frequencies are presented cleanly, without divulging into disorder and fogginess.
With the emphasis on the low frequencies, some of the midrange will be relaxed in comparison. However, there is still a lot more detail to be had here, and it brings out the sound elements in a natural way. Everything is easy to localize in the mids, with clean frequency content that is given a good amount of room to take a clear shape in the mix. Most of the accentuation will be in the low mids, displaying a warm timbre over most of the range. So, most of the room that is offered in the mids end up being mostly occupied by these expressive bands of frequency. It’s all well organized though, prioritizing articulate instruments and vocals that feel full and enjoyable.
The highs express a lot of height and texture the sound signature in a delicate sparkle. It’s a wispy timbre that showcases good detail, giving instruments and vocals a colorful tail. The resolution isn’t quite as sharp, but some piercing elements do cut through at times. I wasn’t as distracted by this, but I can see it being an issue with those who are more sensitive to that region of frequency.
I’ve been a fan of Sivga’s output for a while, but the SM002 has really surprised me with its excellent sound. The soundstage and imaging are immaculate for the price, and the bass is fast and gripping. Everything comes in super clearly, almost in a way that feels completely unique for this price bracket. For me, this is a no-brainer if you’re looking for a great pair of IEMs for less than two hundred dollars.
The Sivga SM002 is available at Audio46.