Sendy Audio Peacock Review: This Ain’t No Ordinary Planar Magnetic Headphone!

SendyAudio Peacock Planar Magnetic Wood Headphone

$ 1,490.00
SendyAudio Peacock Planar Magnetic Wood Headphone
8.3

Build

9.0/10

Features

9.0/10

Sound

7.0/10

What We Dig

  • Luxurious Build
  • Warm, Natural Sound
  • Supreme Comfort

What To Think About

  • Technicality is a little behind the competition

TL;DR

While the Sendy Audio Peacock’s build quality and comfort are top-notch, its tuning and overall resolution are just a step behind the competition. Nevertheless, some may find its natural, easygoing sound and wide soundstage appealing.

Intro

Earlier this year, I reviewed a couple of headphones from SIVGA, a China-based company known for its affordable wood-centric designs. Those two models, the SIVGA Robin ($149) and Phoenix ($255), were pretty good for their price points. They both had decent detail and soundstage, but their elevated top ends won’t suit everyone.

This time around, I’m checking out the $1499 Peacock, the flagship Planar Magnetic headphone from their sister company, Sendy Audio, a brand dedicated to premium (Read: more expensive) headphones.

Like its budget cousins, the Sendy Peacock is also made of wood, but it has a much more robust construction than the SIVGA headphones, as well as luxury touches like leather and gold plating. I have to say, pictures really don’t do the Peacock justice, you need to hold it in your hand to appreciate it.

At its price point, this Sendy Audio headphone plays in a really competitive space occupied by well-respected models from Hifiman and Audeze, so I know many will ask “Is it worth the cash?” Does it have a sound worthy of a flagship planar magnetic headphone? Well read on, and I’ll tell you what I think!

Disclaimer: The review unit I have on hand is provided by SIVGA. No input has been given regarding the content contained in this evaluation. The review unit will be returned once my evaluation is complete.

Specs

  • Style: Over-ear
  • Transducer type: Planar magnetic driver
  • Transducer size: 88mm
  • Frequency response: 20Hz-40kHz
  • Sensitivity: 103dB +/-3dB
  • Impedance: 50 Ohm
  • Cable length: 2m
  • Connector: 4.4mm balanced
  • Weight: 578g

Build/Features

As I said before, pictures really don’t do the Peacock justice. Whether you go for the ornate design or not, once you feel the heft of the beautiful wood cups along with the softness of the goatskin earpads you have to respect the craftsmanship.

While I have mixed feelings about all the gold trim, I still respect the choice to use a real gold plate for the accents, and it looks really brilliant up close. I also love the smell of the goatskin wrap on the headband and suspension, plus the neat gold stitching that borders it.

The name Peacock comes from the pattern on the side of the cups, it’s meant to look like a peacock spreading its feathers which I can see, albeit vaguely. That said, you can really feel the quality of the construction, and to me, it is reminiscent of some kind of heirloom.

Despite that, I know the overall design will be divisive, something you either love or hate. I come down more on the love side, even though I usually prefer a more low-key “all-black” color scheme. The Peacock just has a rich look to it that works for me.

In the box, along with the headphones, you get a sumptuous real leather hard carrying case, a beautiful braided cable with a handsome wooden cable split, a 4 pin-XLR adapter, a 1/4” jack adapter, plus a canvas bag to hold the cable plus adapters.

The headphone cable is terminated on one end with a stunningly beautiful 4.4mm balanced connector, which has to be the most elaborate I’ve ever seen.

Just as elaborate are the matching adapters which allow you to connect to headphone amps with XLR balanced jacks or 1/4“ Single-Ended jacks. They pretty much have you covered for most desktop amp connections.

On the headphone side, the primary cable has mini-XLR (Hirose) connectors that lock in with a satisfying click. It’s a relatively thick cable, which is pretty flexible and tangle-resistant. I didn’t find myself constantly fighting with it, which is a good thing.

Once upon your head, you can definitely feel the Peacock’s considerable weight at over 20 grams. However, the plush leather suspension headband and earpads do an excellent job of spreading out the load, which makes these headphones extremely comfortable.

Inside of the cups is Sendy’s “Quad-Former” double magnet drive units, which have two coils on each side of the diaphragm for low distortion and realistic music reproduction.

Sound

For my listening tests, I plugged the Peacock into my $749 Fiio M11 Plus Limited digital audio player, which had no issue driving them out of the 4.4mm balanced jack with the high gain turned on. I was able to get them to a nice listening level at about a third of the volume, which I expected with a high rated sensitivity of 103db.

I played a variety of music from the Tidal app, and I noticed right away that the Peacock had a warmer, more laid-back sound than your typical high-end audiophile headphone.

Unlike most audiophile headphones which lift the upper mids to give you some openness and presence, the Peacock seems to tone down this area, which makes vocals and instruments sound a little flatter than you would expect from a headphone of this price.

On the other hand, there was some good upper treble detail that provided some air and ambiance to the presentation. Despite the apparent hole in the mids, the treble extension at the very top added some needed excitement without adding hardness.

Another thing I noticed was a slight lack of sub-bass extension which took away a little weight, but the midbass seemed to be intact, which provided some needed punch.

This is definitely an unorthodox approach, a decidedly marked departure from the Harman target, but it’s not altogether a bad one. This tuning does give the Peacock a pleasant smoothness that keeps them from being fatiguing.

That said, while I found the Peacock eminently pleasant to listen to, I found its resolving capabilities to be a little lacking for a $1500 headphone.

Listening to “Radio” from Emily King’s “Sides” album, I found the bass hits to be a little flat, and I was missing a bit of the low-level detail that lets you hear “into” the recording.

It seemed like I should be hearing more of the “room” at this price level. I also felt like I should be hearing more of the trailing tones of instruments in a headphone of this class. Instrument separation from my standpoint was also a little lacking for the price.

However, I did love how “organic” the vocals and instruments sounded, and I also liked the width of the soundstage. Imaging was also decent, but again I expected more focus at this price point.

Overall, I just expected more crispness from the Peacock, especially since it is a planar magnetic headphone. Its sound reminded me more of a cellulose dynamic driver than a planar driver, which is something a certain segment of listeners may like.

Actually, I can’t say I didn’t like the sound, I actually dug the wide soundstage, warmth, and naturalness. I also liked the smoothness of the presentation, which made it easy to listen to for long periods. But at the end of the day, I just felt the resolution/technical performance was more on the level of a $1000 headphone than a $1500 headphone.

The Wrap Up

Whether or not you love the ornate design of the Sendy Peacock, when it comes to materials and craftsmanship, I think this headphone is at the head of the class for its price point. To me, it’s downright luxurious. It also has state-of-the-art ergonomics and comfort.

However, when it comes to pure technical performance, meaning resolution, and overall tuning, it’s probably a step behind the competition from Hifiman and Audeze.

Despite that, it is a pleasant-sounding headphone that I really enjoyed listening to, and if you’re partial to a warmer, more organic sound rather than the usual incisive “planar sound”, you may want to give it a listen.

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