Sivga P-II Planar Magnetic Headphone Review

Sivga is a Chinese headphone maker that has been around for a number of years making a variety of wood-based headphone products using dynamic drivers. More recently, they've explored the use of Planar Magnetic drivers and that is what we'll take a look at today in their new planar, the Sivga P-II.

First off, this review sample was provided to me directly from Sivga headphones, and outside of presenting me general information and specs on the unit, I have not been persuaded to write any opinions other than my own. This Sivga P-II retails for $399 is available on Amazon and Ali-Express, as well as a number of other online retailers.

My first question I have for the Sivga P-II is if this really is a new headphone or not? Sivga may be an OEM for many other brands, and I do realize that Sivga and Sendy Audio are related, as the popular Sendy Aiva and the P-II are remarkably similar in looks and design, including marketing brochures. The only difference is the wood type.

In addition to this, I once quickly owned and returned the Monoprice M570, which again, is strikingly similar to this unit, except for a different headband, wood type and finish, and branding. While I am at it, there's also the BLON B20 Planar and the Takstar Planar Magnetic headphones which all share similarities of driver, design, and just the differences in cup material. In the case of the cheaper Takstar unit, it does not use wood, and chooses a cheaper plastic housing.

So, before I get any further, I'll reiterate that there are possibly up to 5 variants of this headphone out there with different woods and aesthetics, and not surprisingly, most of them measure quite similarly though with some subtle changes based on perhaps the housing materials and pads, as well as accessories.

Now back to the regularly scheduled programming...

The P-II is a very attractive headphone and built very well to go along with it. The walnut cups are oval and finished giving it a stylish light brown look. The grill design is intricate and very visually appealing to me, with an inner grill that features an increasingly larger hole design as you move out from the center, and an outer grill that features a rounded-diamond pattern and an exterior black metal bezel. The cups are pretty stunning to look at and looks quite premium and luxurious.

The headband is a suspension type that reminds me of a much more premium and sturdy version of Hifiman's older headband style on models such as the Arya, HE560 and HE400i. The headband design allows for 180 degree swivel of the cups, in either direction, and a full solid metal design. The suspension strap isn't as nice as the Sendy Aiva's leather strap, but it P-II still has a nice cushioning system on the soft pleather material that is comfortable on the head.

The overall weight of the headphone is on the heavier side for me. It weights just under 500 grams, and while it doesn't cause immediate neck strain, I do feel the weight of it compared to other headphones I own. Clamping force is pretty light, and that is a plus, and so the overall feel and comfort is actually pretty good despite the weight.

The pads included are a plastic-faux-leather material with a unique fabric liner that touches the face that I've only seen used on the other similar planars mentioned earlier. It is a very comfortable pad and also features a unique angled design. While most angled pads are cut straight from one the rear to the front end, this pad has some contour changes in it and isn't symmetrical across any axis. The top is thinner than the bottom, and the back is thicker than the front. 

The included cable reminds me of a thicker IEM cable, but it's very nicely braided, soft and supple. The two-tone brown look is also very pleasing to the eyes and its termination to a 4.4mm balanced jack will make it compatible with many dedicated audio players and some of the newer balanced amplifiers out there. It also comes with a 4.4mm to 3.5mm adapter that matches the cable styling. The cable stands at 1.8M or about 5 feet.

The P-II is packed with a 97 x 67 mm planar driver which is double-sided magnet. This does contribute to the weight though, but its a common design among many planar headphones out there. The driver size is smaller than most of the competing products from Audeze and Hifiman, but is similar to that of the Audeze LCD-1 and Sine. Because of the rectangular design, the driver housing is oval, which makes it more compact than the large round competition.

Sound Impressions

Immediately before I had originally unboxed the Sivga P-II several weeks ago, I was in the midst of listening exclusively to a trifecta of Hifiman planars: the Susvara, the HE6SE V2, and the HE400SE. They all projected a similar tonality and response, with varying levels of resolution and intricacies. I had very much been acclimated to the Hifiman sound I had already enjoyed for nearly a decade.

So swapping over to the Sivga P-II, I experienced a lot of nuanced critical thoughts on this headphone immediately. Going from the, what I call, neutral sound of the Hifimans, I found the Sivga a tad warm, perhaps dark, with a strange haziness and some resonant artifacts in its sound signature. Looking back at my notes, the quick impressions were:

Bass: OK.

It reminded me a bit of how my memory of the Monoprice M570 and Sendy Aiva was except perhaps not quite as bright in the treble range. I then plotted the graph to see how my sound impressions fared. Measurements shown below are using a clone of the GRAS 43AG system with a compensation to match the system. The first graph is the raw data, while the second one is smoothed out a bit on my Headphones Measurement tool with some contextual comments in red.

Of course, this was my first impressions after just putting them on for an hour or two. I continued to listen to this headphone off and on over the past month and accumulated more notes and thoughts on this planar headphone.

As I listened to it more, the warmer and more veiled (darker?) sound of the headphone came out a bit more but didn't present as many ear challenges as it did immediately after listening to a brighter headphone. Acclimation to the sound.

One thing that did not seem to go away, however, was the level of fuzz that was apparent in each song I listened to; no matter if it was Lo Moon's Loveless, Fleetwood Mac's Dreams, or Crooked Still's Half of What We Know. Each of these tracks of different genres and vocal styles still had a layer of haze to it that didn't seem to go away. The P-II definitely does not present the crisp, clear and feather-like sound of a typical Hifiman. Instead, it's more weighty, and more cloudy. It sounded more analog.

The P-II does a good job of presenting bass with a nice rich sound that can extend very low into the subbass. The linear response is solid, though I do find it does lack a bit of texture and depth capability of better drivers or headphones.

The mid-range is such as mixed bag, that I don't really know where to begin. It has meaty lower mids, but is flawed by the strange resonance and clipping that occurs right in the middle of the vocal range, and that can make things sound cloudy, bright, dark, or sometimes missing. It's a strange phenomenon, and its definitely there, though depending on the singer, it may or may not present as big of a problem as others.

The veil of the upper end is also shown very definitively to me on the measurement I took. There's an early drop-off in treble frequencies which causes a lot of the music I listened with to have a sort-of "behind the curtains" aura to it. Some folks prefer a bit more laid back upper-midrange and treble, so this may provide that more easy tuning in this area for those that are sensitive here.

I felt the general soundstage to be wider than average, and on par or just slightly less than many planars I've tried, and more open than something like my Sennheiser HD600 reference. The depth and layer capabilities do seem a little lacking, with some of my virtuoso jazz and bluegrass tracks not sounding as filled-in and intricate as I would hear in some other products I own, whether that be mid-range IEMs or headphones, or my top of the line flagship gear.


The P-II from Sivga is a very attractive and well-built headphone with a nice set of accessories. The wood cups are really attractive, and the grills add to the luxury. Pack this set with a very nice included headphone case and cable and this has the looks and feel to be a winner.

Unfortunately for me, I am not as big of a fan of its overall sound. Whether it be tonal balance issues or some slight technical performance gaps, I don't find this is the best suited for my own personal take. I do think there are people who may enjoy this one, especially if you can bypass the odd voice performance.

In my listening time with acoustic non-vocal genres, I didn't find these offensive at all and the warm body and relaxing veil provided a decent analog listen. This one may perform well on electronic dance genres, where the mid-range is lesser importance.

All that said, the P-II is almost there. With a few tuning changes, perhaps, it can really rock the under $500 world with its build and beauty. I hope there's an improved iteration in the future.