Affordable headphones from a brand you've never heard of promise "hi-fi" sound

Affordable headphones from a brand you've never heard of promise "hi-fi" sound
(Image credit: SIVGA)

When it comes to headphones, if you want quality, you have to pay for it, right? Generally speaking that's true, but there are a number of exceptions to the rule – budget models that sneak under the radar with features and performance way beyond their asking price.

Chinese brand SIVGA is hoping its new headphones fall into this category. Its two new models promise hi-fi-quality sound, yet cost just £149 / $150 (about AU$265).

The Oriole and Robin feature 50mm drivers – this is a size commonly found in audiophile headphones, and is much bigger than the 30mm drivers found in more mainstream fare like the Sony WH-1000XM5.

The company has previous in this area. It's previously specialised in proper hi-fi headphones like its recent SV023 – these have an open-backed design for a wider, more open soundstage. And they've generally garnered positive reviews.

At 208g, the Oriole and Robin are a lot lighter than some hi-fi headphones, and they come with both a braided cable with 6.3mm adaptor and a balanced cable for listening on high-end personal media players. The memory foam earpads should add a touch of class.

Sivga Robin

(Image credit: Sivga)

The two wooden pairs come in light or dark brown colours, but with different finishes. They offer different sound signatures too.

The Oriole model comes in a high-gloss finish, and has a sound signature described as "balanced and wide, ideal for classical and jazz music". Nice, as John Thomson in the Jazz Club skit from The Fast Show would say. The Robin has a matt finish and has a "lively, forward sound" that would suit rock, pop and dance music. That's according to SIVGA – without testing them, we can't comment on the sound quality.

Both models come with a hemp bag and both have the same feature set and price. They're available now from Amazon in the UK and US.

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Joe has been writing about tech for 17 years, first on staff at T3 magazine, then in a freelance capacity for Stuff, The Sunday Times Travel Magazine, Men's Health, GQ, The Mirror, Trusted Reviews, TechRadar and many more (including What Hi-Fi?). His specialities include all things mobile, headphones and speakers that he can't justifying spending money on.