The Robin SV021 is the latest closed-back headphone from the company Sivga which has a 179$ price tag.
I would like to thank Sivga for providing me with the review sample of Robin.
The Robin has wooden (rosewood) ear cups and comes in two colors, matt black (dark brown actually) and shiny brown which Sivga calls “piano high gloss”. It’s using different varnish for polishing basically. Some like matte, some like shiny. It is a good thing that Sivga is giving these two colors and two workmanship options.
Depending on the color you choose you get different color detachable cable too. With the matte dark brown option comes a black cable that has black metal connectors. With the shiny brown comes a brown (or orange?) cable that has silver metal connectors. The cable is covered with woven material, feels soft and quality in the hand. But it’s on the longer side (1.6m) for mobile use and has some microphonics.
The internal structure of the Robin houses an in-house developed 50mm dynamic driver (diaphragm made of polycarbonate and fiber) with a 3mm thick high-performance Nd-Fe-B magnet and a coil that is made of special copper-clad aluminum wire.
The earpads of the Sivga Robin are detachable. They are on the thick side. They have ultra-soft memory foam inside and are covered with very thin and soft leather. All these and having only 275g weight make the Robin very comfortable I can say.
The combination of wood and metal materials makes the design classic and fashionable for sure. The Robin has the looks and takes a lot of attention right from the beginning. I think we can also say that the look is the first selling point of the headphone with the price. But what about the sound?
While the Robin is easy to drive, I always recommend pairing both IEMs and headphones with a headphone AMP or DAC or both if possible. You just can’t have the same level of quality from a phone’s or laptop’s simple 3.5mm output.
Form: Closed-back headphones
Drivers: 1 x 50mm dynamic driver with ultra-thin diaphragm made of polycarbonate (PC) and fiber.
Impedance: 32 Ohms
Sensitivity: 105 dB ± 3 dB
Frequency Response: 20 Hz – 20 kHz
Removable Cable: Y
Source Jack: 3.5mm
Cup/Shell Jack: 2.5mm dual-mono jack
Weight: 275 g
These were the specs of the Sivga Robin SV021, let’s talk about the facts.
Before I begin with the sound, there is a fact that we need to talk about. Actually 2 facts. The first one is how big is your head (or not) and the second is the clamping force of the Robin or the lack of it depending on the size of your head. Just like in the IEMs it’s very crucial on the headphones too, to have a good/snug fit to get the best sound performance of the unit. So if you think you have a rather small head (to be honest, I don’t know how you can determine this, I thought I have a big head but it seems that I’m average, did not need to adjust the size on the Robin), you should think twice before buying the Sivga Robin because the lack of enough clamping force affects the sound signature very much.
For example, I read a couple of reviews saying that the treble is harsh and fatiguing. In my experience this wasn’t the case, I can say that the treble performance of the Robin is perfect. This may be the case of not having a slug fit of the reviewer. Yes, it goes high, but never bothers in any way. You get very good detail retrieval performance which is surprising for this kind of price range. I may be one of the most sensitive guys when it comes to sibilance because I mostly listen to instrumental and acoustic tracks which have high pitch piano and guitar solo notes, rock and blues tracks that have high octave male and female vocals, never had a problem with the Robin in that matter.
Talking about the instruments, I really liked the clarity and separation of the Robin. The timbre, not the best that I have heard, but again surpassed my expectations I must say.
One of my new favorite tracks for testing the sound stage, instrument separation, timbre quality etc. I listened to it many times testing the Sivga Robin and enjoyed it so much. The sound stage is very wide and deep compared to many IEMs, this is normal of course, but being a closed-back headphone, wasn’t expecting this level of a big space.
Dani Wilde’s vocal performance in this track, forward sounding just as I like, her voice and the acoustic guitar she plays together having a good level of tonality. So fun to listen to.
Another acoustic instrumental track which I like very much lately, which includes saxophone alongside electro guitar mainly. The saxophone is my favorite brass instrument. The Robin really does a good job on the tonal quality and the timbre.
Male vocals also sound forward enough, not recessed, I think that Sivga Robin has a W-shaped sound signature which suits the genres that I listen to more, this is one of the aspects that I like this headphone I guess. Both male and female vocals have a good texture.
Talking about the bass performance of the Robin I can say that Robin has a strong bass presence. In a fairly tasteful way. It has a deep sub-bass rumble as well as a mid-bass punch. It has good clarity on this frequency range too, going along with mids and treble.
The Sivga Robin surprised me as I said. I realized how much I missed a good level of clarity and fairly bright-sounding earphone to match with my library that I can listen for hours without discomfort both in sound and wearing. It surprised me because I have read mixed reviews about it before I get it to review (thank you Sivga) and wasn’t sure what to expect. Not everyone’s cup of tea for sure if you have a taste in the warm and dark-sounding headphones. Now thinking its sound characteristic I can easily say that the Robin will suit for gamers out there also very well. It will probably out-class many so-called “gamer headsets” in this price range with its very good sound stage and detail level capabilities.
I wish the Robin had a stronger clamping force for a better fit for smaller heads and a hard case in the box would have been very nice. But for 179$ it’s a no-brainer to recommend this one.