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Sound: *******1/2
Value: *******1/2
(Read about our ratings)

In a sea of black plastic, fake chrome, and monochromatic color choices, it’s great to see some gorgeous new headphones. The Sivga P2 Pro headphones are a stunning combination of oak, leather, and stainless steel. I liked how the Sivga Luan headphones looked when I reviewed them last year, and these are a step above.

Sivga

Inside each comfortably padded earcup is a 97mm × 76mm planar-magnetic driver built using ultraviolet lithography. Even the braided, detachable cables look the part. At $449 (all prices USD), the P2 Pros are at the lower end of the open-back, planar headphone market, but they certainly don’t look or feel it. That’s all well and good, but the real question, as always, is how they sound.

In the box

Unlike a few headphones I’ve reviewed recently, there’s a lot included in the box. First, a lovely hard-shell carrying case with a leather exterior. Inside that is a hemp carrying bag for the cables. These have 3.5mm plugs on the earcup ends and a 4.4mm Pentaconn balanced plug on the other. There’s a short additional cable to convert the balanced plug to 3.5mm mini, and a standard 3.5-to-6.35mm (1/4″) adapter. In other words, everything you’d need to connect them to just about any source right out of the box.

Sivga

Use

Like the Sivga Luans, the P2 Pros are exceptionally comfortable. The foam earpads feel wonderfully soft. There’s a bit more clamping pressure than I’d like, but I assume that will loosen over time. At 435gm, they’re weightier than the Luans. To give you an idea, the lightweight Sony WH-1000XM5 headphones are just 250gm, while the Audeze LCD-5s are 420gm. They’re not as heavy as the big LCD-X headphones, which are 612gm. Which is to say, they’re comfortable, but if you’re sensitive to heavy headphones, these aren’t light.

They also need a bit of power. I turned up the Schiit Audio Magni more than I’ve needed to for a few recent reviews, but not excessively so. My Sony NW-A306 media player, which is not much of a powerhouse, struggled a bit. But I was able to get a decent listening volume out of the P2 Pros via the Sony.

Sound

Overall, the sound of the P2 Pros is fairly balanced, with a bit more treble than bass and a slight dip in the lower midrange.

Sivga

To test out the prowess of the planar drivers, I cued up Aimee Mann’s “Goose Snow Cone” (Mental Illness, 24-bit/44.1kHz FLAC, Super Ego Records / Qobuz). I’ve heard the opening bells of this track range from crystalline and harsh to muffled and dull. Through the P2 Pros, they had just the right amount of ring and clarity. Mann’s voice was well-centered in the soundstage, with the rest of the instruments spreading out over my shoulders. While the P2 Pros certainly feature the expected openness of an open-back design, I’ve heard some that sounded more open. The overall sound was well balanced, but there wasn’t much deep bass.

The P2 Pros did really well with “Holding On” from The War on Drugs’ A Deeper Understanding (24/44.1 FLAC, Atlantic Records / Qobuz). The band was well spread out across the soundstage, yet Adam Granduciel’s vocals were dead center. Each instrument had space in the mix, though there seemed to be a bit of a gap between the mids and the bass. It sounded a little like a 2.1 system where the speakers were rolled off too high for the sub to fill in. That would be more extreme than how the P2 Pros sounded, but that’s the general idea. I would have liked a bit more low bass, but I tend to like more bass than most.

Sivga

Up next was Leonard Bernstein conducting the New York Philharmonic in the second movement of Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 (24/192 FLAC, Sony / Qobuz). Each instrument, especially the percussion, had a delightful immediacy and attack. To see how the P2 Pros would handle even more power, I connected them to a HiFiMan EF400 amplifier ($529, review pending). Replaying the above track, the Sivgas sounded a little more dynamic and a little less constricted, and I was able to get greater volume out of them. The difference wasn’t enough that I’d say you need to get an amp that costs as much (or more) than the P2 Pros, but they certainly take whatever power you want to throw at them.

Comparison

I was eager to compare the P2 Pros to the HiFiMan Sundara headphones. At $300, they’re a bit cheaper than the Sivgas, but they’re also open-back planars. They’re also a recent favorite. The most notable difference, even before the music starts, is how much lighter the Sundaras are. They’re heavier than the lightweight Sony XM5s, but at 342gm, they’re noticeably lighter than the P2 Pros. If you’re planning on wearing something for long hours at the computer, this difference is notable.

Sound-wise, both share the wide soundstage typical of open-back headphones. With Daft Punk’s “Give Life Back to Music” (Random Access Memories, 24/88.2 FLAC, Columbia Records / Qobuz), the Sundaras delivered a lighter, airier sound. There was less bass, but it was better controlled compared to the P2 Pros. As far as bass goes, I’d say neither of these headphones are ideal. The Sundaras need a bit more bass overall, and the P2 Pros need better definition. That said, neither are bad, just different.

Sivga

Speaking of different, next up I grabbed the Bowers & Wilkins Px7 S2e headphones ($399). These aren’t open-back, nor do they have planar-magnetic drivers. They’re even—horror—Bluetooth. However, at $400 they’re close in price to the P2 Pros, and they have a bass-friendly sound I felt would contrast well with the Sivgas. Not surprisingly, given the different tech, the Px7s didn’t have nearly the expansiveness of the P2 Pros. For closed-back headphones, the B&Ws produced a decent soundstage, but it wasn’t nearly as open as the Sivgas. The Px7s had more, and deeper, bass. I liked it, but as I said in my review, it’s not for everyone. The P2 Pros have more bass than, say, the Sundaras, but far less than these. The bass of the P2 Pros was also a little more flat than you get from the B&Ws. Lastly, the planar drivers of the P2 Pros added more realism to the snap and attack of percussion instruments.

Conclusion

Sivga certainly designed and crafted the P2 Pro headphones to be stunning. They look and feel far more expensive than their price suggests. The metal and wood are more substantial than the various plastics found on most competitors. With that tactile delightfulness comes weight, but there aren’t many planar-magnetic headphones that one would call light. The one lighter pair that comes to my mind is the Sundaras, which don’t look anywhere near as good as the P2 Pros.

Sivga

When I reviewed the Luans, my main issue was how bright they were. The P2 Pros don’t have that problem. They even out the sound and add in many of the best characteristics of planar-magnetic drivers. Overall, a solid pair of gorgeous headphones.

. . . Geoffrey Morrison
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Associated Equipment

Sivga P2 Pro Open-Back Headphones
Price: $449.
Warranty: One year.

Sivga Electronic Technology Co., Ltd.
Building No. 1, Juhui E Valley, High-tech Industrial Zone
Jinfu 2nd Road, Tangchun Village, Liaobu Town
Dongguan, Guangdong, China 523000
Phone: 0086-0769-22885985

Website: www.sivgaaudio.com

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