SIVGA Oriole Review: Sivga is known for making beautiful wood headphones (like the SV023 we just reviewed). The new Sivga Oriole Headphones ($199) I’m reviewing today have meticulously crafted earcups made from lacquered Rosewood. Those earcups enclose a 50mm dynamic driver, designed in-house, and a detachable cable that connects to your device via a 3.5mm jack.
On the audio front, SIVGA says the Oriole is tuned to provide a balanced, natural, and accurate sound with a wide sound stage and excellent separation. It also has large memory foam earpads and a padded headband for comfort during long listening sessions.
Once again, SIVGA promises a great sound and an elegant finish at a price that undercuts the competition. So is the Oriole worth your hard-earned cash? Read on, and I’ll let you know the scoop!
Features/Specs at a Glance:
- 50mm Dynamic Driver developed In-House
- Hand-finished Piano-Lacquered Rosewood Earcups
- Soft Memory Foam Earpads for Comfort
- Strong Metal Headband
- Fold-flat Construction
- Lightweight Design for Comfort
- Removable 3.5mm Cable for easy replacement
- Impedance: 32Ω
- Sensitivity: 108dB
SIVGA Oriole Review: Our Impressions
As I opened up the box for the SIVGA Oriole, I couldn’t help but think about the SIVGA Robin (also made of Rosewood), which looks a lot like the Oriole down to the color scheme. Like the Robin, the newest headphone with the bird namesake is a closed-back model with sumptuous lacquered wood earcups and plush protein leather earpads.
Unlike the Robin, the Oriole’s earcups have a more traditional shape, providing more room for your ears. I appreciated the added space because my ears didn’t feel like they were squeezed inside the pads. However, wearing comfort did take a slight hit compared to the Robin because the pads weren’t as plush.
That said, the Oriole was still relatively comfortable due to the light clamp and use of memory foam in the pads and headband. They could’ve provided a little more adjustment on the earcups for big head people like myself, but the earpads just reached fully around my ears, so I guess I can’t ask for more than that.
As I’ve come to expect from SIVGA headphones, the Oriole’s build quality is outstanding. First, they use quality materials like frosted metal for the headband, and quality wood for the earcup housings, then they top it off with a glossy piano lacquer finish that looks amazing. Additionally, the quality of the faux leather used on the headband and earcups is excellent, providing the look and feel of genuine leather.
The slider adjustments for the earcups are very smooth, and the swivel adjustments that allow the headphones to fold flat feel quite sturdy. You also get handy markings on the headphone sides to designate Left and Right. I have no complaints regarding how the Oriole is put together.
What’s In The Box
The Oriole comes with a 2-meter (a little over 6 feet) detachable cable that terminates into a single-ended 3.5mm connection. To me, it’s a little long, but it’s tangle-resistant, which keeps it out of the way while you’re using the headphones. It also makes storage easier.
Along with the cable, you get a hemp carrying bag and a 3.5mm to 1/4″ adapter. It’s not much of an accessory kit, but you get what you need. I would love to see a hard case as you get with some of the other SIVGA headphones, but I guess that would raise the price. Not only that, I suppose you could find a cheap case on Amazon if you needed one.
SIVGA Oriole Review: Listening
With a 32 Ohm impedance and 108dB sensitivity rating, the SIVGA Oriole isn’t hard to drive. For my listening tests, I primarily used the Fiio KA1 USB DAC/Amp (45mW), and it was more than up to the task, getting these headphones plenty loud at around half-volume on my iPhone.
The first listening note I would like to give regarding the Oriole is the strong noise isolation provided by these headphones. They do an excellent job of shutting out outside distractions, letting you concentrate on the music.
In their marketing materials, SIVGA promised the Oriole would have “a smooth, balanced, rich sound with a wide soundstage, good instrument separation, and high-resolution clarity.” After listening to these headphones for some time now, I think they made good on a lot of what they promised.
First, Oriole does provide an overall balanced sound with a slight emphasis in the upper mids. Like the SIVGA Robin I reviewed previously, the Oriole also has a remarkably wide soundstage for closed-back headphones, and the imaging is also quite focused.
I don’t know if I would categorize the Oriole’s sound as “rich” per se, but there is lots of depth to the low end, making them sound weighty when needed. There’s also lots of clarity, especially in the lower treble and upper mids, providing a lot of presence and spaciousness.
Along with that, there’s also a good amount of instrument separation. Listening to “Tears In Heaven” from Eric Clapton’s “Unplugged” album, I was in love with how the Oriole separated and layered the various parts of the Mix, including the guitars, background vocals, lead vocals, etc. They all seemed to have their own place on the stage from front to back, which is how they should be.
That said, while Oriole’s response is relatively smooth compared to other headphones at this price point, there are some slight peaks and dips in the response.
For example, the upper mids could become a little hard with specific sources, which could be a distraction if you’re sensitive to that kind of stuff. Additionally, there seemed to be a little dip in the lower mids which made the timbre of certain instruments sound unnatural at times.
Vs. SIVGA Robin
Compared to the aforementioned Robin, another closed-back headphone from SIVGA that sells for $50 less, you get more resolution and a better tonal balance, making them sound more refined overall. So if you liked that headphone, you’d probably love the Oriole.
Sivga Oriole Review: The Verdict
At the end of the day, Oriole’s balanced presentation, detail, soundstage, and revealing character gives you a lot to like for $199. It’s the type of headphones that brings out the low-level elements of a song that adds a touch of realism. However, I did hear just a touch of harshness in the upper mids with certain sources, so careful component matching is essential if you’re sensitive to that.
That said, the build quality is superb, the wood earcups are amazingly beautiful, and the fit is quite comfortable. It also improves upon the cheaper SIVGA Robin in the sound department with better balance, along with more detail and separation. As a result, the Oriole headphones are worth checking out if you’re looking for a capable (and attractive) closed-back option for around $200.
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I’m an audio writer who started as a young audio salesman/consumer electronics professional back in the late 90s. That’s where I discovered the magic of 2-Channel sound. My hunger for great sound has led me on a delightful music quest that continues today.