SIVGA Oriole Review

SIVGA Oriole review featured

In this review, I’m looking at the Sivga Oriole closed-back over-ear headphones. The Oriole features high-density rosewood earcups and in-house designed 50mm drivers. The price is $238.

Disclaimer: This sample was provided by SIVGA for an honest review. All observations and opinions here are based on my experience with the product.

SIVGA Oriole Review
Verdict
The SIVGA Oriole is a step up from the previous Robin headphones in fidelity and build quality.
Add your rating here!0 Votes
Pros
Clarity and vocal presence
Tight, agile bass
Crisp, natural highs
Cons
Not the most detailed sound
Upper midrange can be aggressive
4
Our Score
WHERE TO BUY

SIVGA Oriole

A mantis stalking a cicada is unaware of an oriole behind.

Chinese proverb
Specifications
  • Driver: 50mm dynamic driver
  • Frequency Response Range: 20 – 20000Hz
  • Impedance: 32Ω
  • Sensitivity: 108dB
  • Weight: 280g
  • Price: $238
What’s in the Box
  • SIVGA Oriole headphones
  • Detachable fabric sheathed cable
  • Hemp carrying bag
  • 3.5mm to 6.35mm adapter

Design

Sivga is known for making attractive, well-built headphones and the Oriole is no exception. The rosewood earcups with their laser-engraved branding are sanded and polished by hand and finished with a piano gloss clearcoat. The end result is a classic yet contemporary aesthetic that looks classy and premium.

There are 2 colourways available: brown and black. I think both look fantastic. The metal framework matches the wood nicely and feels sturdily built. The adjustment sliders have a nice tactile click and stay firmly in place. Both earcups rotate 180 degrees which is a feature I love in headphones. It means it’s easy to sit the headphones either around your neck or flat on a surface and adds to the overall user experience.

SIVGA Oriole details

Soft padded protein leather covers the headband and helps evenly distribute pressure on top of your head. Likewise, the earpads are soft and plush and large enough to prevent my ears from touching the driver enclosure.

To further enhance comfort, the clamping force is fairly light and the weight is just 280g. Needless to say, the Sivga Oriole is a comfortable headphone that most people should be able to wear for hours at a time.

The stock cable is very lightweight and has a fabric sheath that keeps it very supple. Matching aluminium components adorn the cable from top to bottom and both the connectors and plug have knurling. In addition, all the components have good strain relief from top to bottom. Unfortunately, the cable suffers from microphonics and any movement causes vibrations which result in a lot of noise being transferred to the thin rosewood earcups.

Sound

Gear used for testing includes the SMSL DO200 MKII > Ampapa A1, Hidizs AP80 Pro X and xDuoo XD05 Bal.

The Oriole is an efficient headphone and thus it doesn’t need extra amplification. But as always, using a quality source will bring out the best in your headphones.

Summary

Sivga states that the Oriole delivers a “balanced, natural and accurate sound” and by golly, I think they’ve done it! The sound signature adheres closely to the Harman over-ear 2018 target which is fairly transparent with a little colouration added for musicality and naturalness.

For a closed-back headphone, the Sivga Oriole has a nice roomy soundstage. It’s wide enough to reach the periphery of the headspace on the left and right. It also has good forward layering. As a result, instruments and vocals sound like they’re in a real-world space and not just a flat 2D plane in front of the listener.

On my very first listen, I thought the bass sounded a little loose and boomy. I don’t remember the song I was listening to but my initial impressions were of a bass-centric tuning more akin to the Sivga Robin. However, after just a couple of hours of breaking in, I realized the sound was fairly neutral. I guess either the headphones or my brain needed a little time to align.

The relationship between the bass, midrange and treble is fairly linear, although, at times, the upper midrange puts a foot forward. So, for the most part, the Oriole is a non-fatiguing headphone but on certain tracks, it can get edgy.

Instrument separation and resolution are somewhat average. Although the stage is reasonably wide, notes sometimes have a fuzzy outline, especially in complex music. The detail retrieval is quite good but if you’re looking for the most minute micro-details, you won’t find them with the Oriole.

SIVGA Oriole with tube amp
Bass

Oriole’s bass is punchy and agile. For the most part, the bass is delivered with punch and celerity but it doesn’t lack impact when it’s needed. The sub-bass can growl with some ferocity too. Not only that, but sub-bass notes have some nice texture to them – the rolling synth bass in Nas’ “Take it in Blood” is a good track to highlight this.

Just above, I said that the bass is balanced with the mids and treble. While that’s true, the Oriole can still deliver some thicker, meaty bass notes. For example, the kick drum in 417.3’s “46” is thumping in my ears as I write this. It carries over a little into the lower midrange but doesn’t cause any significant smearing.

Midrange

The lower mids are fairly relaxed but the upper midrange can be strident and thin at times. This is most notable to my ears with certain electric guitars and trumpets; on some songs with either or both of those, I find myself turning down the volume to avoid the squawking.

However, this type of upper midrange tilt sounds great for female vocals and acoustic instruments. Furthermore, it adds to the clarity and presence of Oriole’s midrange presentation. If you like a brighter midrange, you’ll probably enjoy this one. But if you prefer a rich, saturated midrange then you’ll need to look elsewhere.

Treble

Oriole’s treble is crisp but sweet. There’s no sharpness or sibilance present in the treble but it has enough energy to give the overall sound a lift. It’s not especially precise or detailed and micro-detail retrieval is only average. It’s obvious that the treble tuning is aimed at creating a natural tone rather than being clinically exacting.

Sivga Robin SV021 wood earcup and metal yoke

Comparison with the SIVGA Robin

The Sivga Robin (review here) sounds mellower and warmer. Surprisingly, Robin’s soundstage is just as wide but the Oriole has a more defined centre image and note density.

In terms of bass quantity, Robin is not far ahead of the Oriole, except in the upper bass region. As a result, bass guitars and string instruments are more prominent in the soundscape.

The big determining factor that causes the difference between these 2 headphones is the upper midrange tuning. Robin’s upper mids are more laid-back, fuller and richer. In comparison, Oriole’s upper mid bands are pushed well forward, making the overall tonality brighter and adding heaps of extra clarity in the process.

The Robin has thicker notes from top to bottom, giving it a very inviting and cozy sound that you could listen to all day. The Oriole, on the other hand, is a lot brighter albeit clearer and anyone who’s sensitive to the upper mids region might find it fatiguing.

Both headphones have a pretty forgiving treble but the Robin is easily the one to recommend to anyone who is sensitive to high frequencies as it is considerably darker in tone. Oriole’s extra treble energy increases its clarity and creates better definition and sharper transient attacks.

SIVGA Oriole rosewood earcup

Verdict

The Sivga Oriole is another good headphone from Sivga and one that I think improves on the previous Robin both sonically and in build quality. Sure, there are people who will still prefer the Robin for its satiny lushness but those looking for a more high-fidelity sound will find that in the Oriole.


Stay in the Loop with the Latest News and Updates!

We don’t spam! Read our privacy policy for more info.

Founder of Prime Audio
Subscribe
Notify of
guest

0 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Stay in the Loop with the Latest News and Updates!

We don’t spam! Read our privacy policy for more info.

0
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x
()
x