- Quality and sonority of the low end.
- Great feeling of body and fullness in the upper mids.
- Very good build quality.
- Remarkable cable.
- The treble is soft, which can also be an advantage.
- Not too detailed.
- The stage and separation are average.
- I would have liked an option without microphone and with balanced connector.
- It lacks a bit of clarity, brightness and transparency.
- It does not come with full foams.
Link to the WEB
As can be read on its website: «Dongguan Sivga Electronic Technology Co, Ltd, was established in 2016. It is located in Dongguan city in China. It is a comprehensive enterprise integrating R&D, production and customer service. Sivga focuses on innovation and production of high-end headphones. It has rich experience and technology in the headphone acoustics industry. The key engineering team consists of many elites in the field of electronics and acoustics. From raw materials to finished products, Sivga’s entire staff brings together their spirit of mastery to provide customers with an extraordinary quality living experience.»
Sivga’s philosophy is to manufacture a delicate and perfect product. To achieve this, every step and every part of the work must be carried out carefully and with good implementation. Only in this way can the product stand the test of time.
Admittedly, the Sivga brand is not new to me, although I have not had the pleasure of reviewing any of their products. Normally oriented towards headphones, they also have several IEMS on the market. In this case, the model to review is neither one nor the other. These are the only earbuds in their catalogue: the Sivga M200. As I have already mentioned, these are earbuds priced under $50. They are all-metal and use a high-purity, silver-plated cable, which incorporates a remote control and microphone. The driver is a 15.4mm DD with a transparent PET diaphragm and a high-performance magnet. Let’s see what other surprises this product has in store.
- Driver Type: 15.4mm dynamic driver with transparent PET diaphragm.
- Frequency Response: 20Hz – 20kHz
- Sensitivity: 114dB ± 3dB
- Impedance: 32Ω ± 15%
- Cable length: 1.2m ± 0.2m
- Jack connector: SE 3.5mm
- Weight: 24g.
The Sivga M200 comes in a small, dark blue box. Its dimensions are 118x85x36mm. On the main side you can see the silhouette of the product inscribed in silver ink. The logo of the brand is on the upper left side and the model on the lower right side. On the back side everything is inscribed in the same silver ink. Large Chinese characters stand out in the middle, underneath is a slogan. The brand logo is at the top. At the bottom are the specifications, in Chinese and English. At the bottom are the contact details.
After lifting the lid, a black cardboard with the logo in large print appears in the centre. Thanks to some notches, this protection can be removed. Underneath is a grey zippered case, just like so many other IEMS I have reviewed lately. It has the logo screen-printed in white. Inside are the rest of the accessories:
- Sivga M200 earbuds.
- 3 pairs of white foam donuts.
- 2 pairs of black foam donut earbuds.
- 1 pair of rubber ear hooks.
- 1 clip.
- 1 Velcro strap for cable management.
- 1 instruction manual in Chinese and English.
Among the accessories, the case and the over-ear guides stand out. I will talk about them in the ergonomics section. However, it is true that it is not a normal thing to include this type of accessory in earbuds. As a negative point, there are no complete foams included.
Construction and Design
The Sivga M200 is constructed from aviation grade aluminium alloy by a precision machining process. It has a matt champagne anodised colour. The entire surface has a delicate roughened/sandblasted treatment. The earbuds consist of a semi-spherical capsule, whose diameter is 16.7mm. Its full thickness is 14.6mm. On the back side there is a cone with a lower diameter of 7.65mm and a maximum diameter of 9.4mm. The stud protruding from this cone, which carries the cable inside, is 10.3mm, with a maximum diameter of 3.4mm. The rim of the capsule is formed by a black rigid plastic ring. The protective metal grille is micro-perforated and made of stainless steel. On both sides of the rear cone there are 3 holes arranged in a vertical line. The outer face of the rear cone has two levels, the edge is slightly chamfered and the centre is flat, on which the letters R and L are inscribed to indicate the channel.
The cable is made up of 4 silver-plated OFC strands. I have to say that the gold-plated 3.5mm SE plug sleeve is one of the best designs, ergonomically speaking, that I have ever seen on an earbud. The sleeve is long and metallic. Near the connector you can read the brand logo and it has a larger diameter of 9.2mm. The middle part is 8.1mm in diameter and has a rough surface that makes it easy to grip. The edge is bevelled and ends in a metal spiral that protects the cable at its exit. The full length is 27.7mm, excluding the spiral. The splitter piece is also metal, with a similar design, but without a gripping surface. It is smooth and has a ballistic shape with three levels of different diameters. The lower part is bevelled, the centre is the longest part and reads the model. The pin is a metal disc with two holes through it from its edge.
The remote control mixes metal parts (aircraft-grade aluminium alloy) with plastic buttons. It has volume up and volume down functions. The central button is multifunctional. One press to stop and resume music. Two presses, next song. Three presses, previous song. During a call, one press un/hangs up the phone. Two presses rejects the call. The microphone is on the back of the control, a hole can be seen on this side. It is made of high quality silicone.
The design is good, quite good, I would say. It is elegant and beautiful. The capsules are not very big and the stud is thin, enough to be comfortable and prevent rotation. The diameter of the capsules is not too big and the rim is not too thick. The wire is very good, not too thick and white and shiny. It has a slight tendency to take shape. I miss that the remote control is not optional. As I said, the plug sleeve is one of the best I’ve tried in earbuds.
Adjustment and Ergonomics
The Sivga M200s can be worn with the stud down and with the stud up, thanks to rubber over-ear hooks. However, I have to say that the over-ear use was unsuccessful, I didn’t get a good fit, nor did I get a good sound. Although, I must say that the rubber ear hooks are very comfortable and can be used with other IEMS. The only negative is their thickness.
Used in the traditional way, with the stud down, the fit is immediate. You can rotate until you find the best fit or until the stud prevents further rotation. At this point, the fit is the most perfect and also coincides with the best position to maximise musical quality and bass perception.
The negative point is that the contact of the stud, over the hours, becomes more annoying, compared to capsules of the PK type. As a result, both the fit and ergonomics are remarkable, but inferior to the more comfortable PK type capsules, with a more durable and precise fit.
To describe the profile of these M200s I have to go by what is specified on the manufacturer’s website: «Bass is moderate, vocals are natural and treble is bright. The soundstage is wide and relaxed. That’s a good summary, but a bit bold. It’s a neutral, mid-centred profile with good clarity, but with a soft, not overly extended treble. In reality, these are not as bright as the earbuds specify, but are in line with other earbuds in the range. But we’ll go into more detail in the following sections.
It bears repeating, bass is moderate. Although the adjustment of the M200s and their possible rotation may benefit from a greater sense of bass presence. First of all, I want to highlight the very low frequency pure tone test. This is usually a very tough test for this type of headphones. But the M200s passed with flying colours. Despite the limitations of these headphones, the loudness of the LFOs are very realistic and not overly coloured. There is physicality and realism in sub-bass reproduction below 40Hz and it was a surprise to find that their timbre is quite realistic, even natural. Very good.
As for the punch, it’s a little more boomy, not as dry, tight or concise as you might expect. The truth is that it is more enjoyable and its slight sustain makes it more attractive. It’s not as quick in its retrieval and this brings a hint of warmth and roundness to the low end. It is adept at presenting complex bass lines and is able to represent them realistically and without perishing. As I said, it is not too fast, nor is it very technical. To that must be added a little darkness and the gumminess I mentioned earlier, to generate a slightly warm, slightly muddy, but pleasant and musical result. The tendency to clump the bass means that the bass lines are not completely clear, nor well defined. But neither is it an indecipherable magma. On the contrary, although it does not possess much resolution, the bass is dense, full-bodied, with a punch beyond neutrality and a very musical, pleasant and quite resolute performance. Thus, its execution is never problematic and the electronic tracks are reproduced in a remarkable way, from the point of view of fidelity.
What is clear is that the M200s are not V-earbuds, because their midrange is quite full starting from the bottom. As the frequencies grow, though, their emphasis feels more controlled. In the first half of the midrange there creeps a slight warm darkness that brings a point of physicality to male vocals, without getting into muddy territory. I would have preferred a point of greater projection in the middle or upper-mids, to compensate for the initial bodily feel, which sounds denser and fuller. There is a slightly cavernous perception, something that generates a punchier and broader base. This works in favour of the male voices and makes the female voices sound less clear or bright. With less clarity and transparency, female voices develop more sparse and less rich. The highs work on the detail aspects, but the mid-highs don’t come through enough to provide a more realistic or fuller sonority and timbre. More sparkle, light and projection are missing. The result is a duller and sparser midrange, limited in its harmonic extension, but with a marked and broad fundamental. Despite all this, there is a good level of clarity and a good point of transparency.
The treble is incipient in its initial state. Their spark is fine, delicate, subtly incisive. But only up to the point where they are stretched. The range softens early and the extension is not very marked. It’s not a lofty projection either. But at least in the early part there is quality in its definition and level of resolution. It’s a pity that they fizzle out so soon. No, they are not brilliant treble. At least not completely. But I must admit that in its first part the performance is even skilful and enjoyable. One misses a greater extension, some more sparkle, brilliance and presence, also more air.
Overall, the width of the stage is good, although this is to be expected from earbuds. But the depth is more surprising thanks to the good work and the more than remarkable execution of the bass, which allows the scene to be extended frontally. The laterality and stereo feeling is average, acceptable, though not very remarkable. The same goes for height, but to a lesser degree. The surrounding sensation is average, not noted for having much three-dimensionality. The sound does not appear ethereal, nor is it too separated. The sensation of transparency, luminosity, clarity is in accordance with the distance between the notes: none of these points is very remarkable. The level of resolution and definition are expressed in the same way: it works quite well at the macro level, while the micro level is intuitive, but without being expressed or developed.
The image is fine, the location is there, but the roundness of the notes can blur the final result. A little more light and a sense of air is missing.
The NiceHCK EB2S are slightly cheaper earbuds, but have some similarities to the Sivga M200. Both are metal, have a conical shape and a downward-facing stem for the cable. The M200s have a shorter cone and smaller, thinner stems. Although, frankly speaking, they don’t look much alike, even the colour is different, there is a shared design idea. The larger cone of the EB2S and the longer stem make it easier to fit with the fingers inside the bell. The M200s are more minimalist, the stem is much smaller and thinner, which does not help initial positioning inside the ear. Once in place, however, this is not a problem. The slimmer, longer, tapered cone of the EB2S benefits ergonomics slightly compared to the Sivga.
The EB2S need a little more volume to sound at the same sound pressure level as the M200’s. The Sivga’s are a little more sensitive.
The bass of the M200s is subtly more boomy and extended than that of the EB2S. In the pure tone test, the realism is superior in the Sivga, they reach lower, sound more natural, the sonority is darker, less artificial. The EB2S has a more forced and coloured behaviour reproducing pure LFOs, although it is a bit more technical, concise and precise. There is more punch in the M200s and the result is more energetic, with a little more punch, but with a more accurate, harsh and complex timbre. There is also more extension and size in the lows of the M200s, something that reaches into the mid-bass, giving more body in that phase and providing more warmth. Behaviourally, the M200s are better able to represent more complex bass, generating a more natural and realistic reproduction, with a more appropriate timbre and more pleasing sensations. The EB2S are adept and perform well in these passages. But comparatively speaking, they are a little dry, less juicy and the end result is slightly inferior overall.
In the midrange, the tuning is different. While the M200s are based on a fleshier, wider, denser and more powerful first part, the EB2S are more distant in this phase, but somewhat more balanced in the ratio between the low-mids and high-mids. This makes the male vocals and drums sound more full-bodied, punchy and physical. Meanwhile, the EB2S are lighter, somewhat thinner, giving a more distant, but more even presentation in this background. This more concave midrange feel allows the highs to stand out more, as if they were more defined by sounding clearer and closer. The highs of the M200s are on a more even plane than the mids, despite the drop in presence from the low-mids to the high-mids. In the EB2S, the female voices sound a little more precise, with a more natural timbre and more accurate harmonic representation. On the M200s, the female voices are warmer, losing some of the sparkle and liveliness that the EB2Ss provide. But, in general, the M200s’ mids are more complex, richer and more descriptive than the NiceHCKs, whose overall representation is less explicit and simple.
The treble of the M200s is softer in the EB2S. The first sparkle of the NiceHCK is more visible and natural. It brings a more discernible and noticeable sparkle and brightness. In the M200s, the first highs don’t stand out too much and feel integrated with the mids. There is more of a V-feel to the EB2S, while the M200s are more ¬. The M200s generate a fuller, bigger and more extended sound in all bands, perhaps that penalises the treble presence. But they also have good extension, albeit less pronounced. The visibility of the highs in the EB2S is clearer, they can be observed in a simpler way, because they are more alone and naked. However, it is true that their extension in the first phase is longer and they also have more energy, being finer and sharper.
At the soundstage level, there is more depth in the M200s, with deeper, meatier bass, which expands the soundstage in that sense, even gaining laterality. However, their sound is denser and more complex, but less projected. The lighter, more treble-present feel generates a cleaner, clearer and more transparent feel in the EB2S, offering a point of greater definition, airiness and separation. However, their presentation is more upfront, simple, relaxed and less expansive, but with more light and sparkle. The M200s, being denser, can sound a little muddier. They take advantage of their less expressive mids and more treble presence to offer more vivid, finer detail. At first glance, there is a more obvious resolution in the EB2S. But, in the end, the ability to reveal micro-detail is deeper in the M200s, especially in the midrange.
The Sivga M200 are earbuds with a stylish, attractive, durable design. The small size of the earbuds and their parts is remarkable. It has a great cable with microphone, but it’s a pity that there is no option without it. The cable parts are of high quality, some of the best I’ve tried for under $100. The level of accessories is remarkable, although full foams and more of them are missing. The ergonomics are advantageous, but such a minimalist design, with a small cone and stem, can make it difficult to fit faster.
In terms of sound, the quality of its bass is surprising. At first I thought it was going to be very light in the low end, but this is not the case. Its presence goes beyond neutrality and its behaviour is very good, offering a very natural and realistic timbre, from the sub-bass to the mid-range. And this is something that is not very common in earbuds of this range. Without being very powerful in this area, it has a certain boominess, as well as a remarkable behaviour and depth.
The mid-range is dense and full from the start, though it relaxes as the frequencies advance. This generates quite a lot of body and physicality in general, favouring the base of the male voices. The result is a complex, large and expressive mid-range, with a fairly good level of macro detail and incipient micro detail.
The high end feels balanced with the mids, without standing out individually. Its tuning is smooth, with an energy that doesn’t stand out, though with more than acceptable extension.
The soundstage is deep, with a good stereo feel, although the density and grandeur of the sound limits the sense of transparency, separation and air in it.
Overall, the Sivga M200s highlight the bass and mids, while softening as the frequencies advance, losing a point of sparkle, liveliness and joy in the high end.
Sources Used During the Analysis
- Aune X8 XVIII Magic DAC + EarMen ST-Amp.
- Aune Flamingo.
- Hidizs AP80 PRO-X Red Copper LE.
- TempoTec Variations V6.
- Xduoo Link2 BAL.