The Peacocks display their flashy feathers with pride, attempting to balance a comfortable design and sound.
The Sendy Audio Peacocks are their first go at no-compromise, open-back, flagship headphones. They blend premium wood and leather construction with a lightweight chassis. The 88mm planar magnetic drivers aim to bring that premium sound and feel to your ears.
- Driver Type: Planar Magnetic
- Driver Size: 88mm
- Impedance: 50 Ohm +/- 15%
- Sensitivity: 103dB +/- 3dB
- Weight: 578g
Packaging and Accessories
The Peacocks ship in a simple but durable box with the outline of the headphones and typical branding. The box is not flashy, but I welcome this choice. It is what’s on the inside that counts! Inside you are greeted by a rich, tanned leather hard case with brass accents.
Inside, a cable and adapters accompany the Peacocks. Not just any cable, but likely one of the best stock cables you will find. Say what you will about cables and their effect on audio quality, but the visual impact aligns well with the flagship placement. The adapters are engraved with a dragon scale pattern that truly makes them stand out.
In the box
- Sendy Audio Peacock
- Leather hard case
- 8-core 6N OCC braided 4.4mm balanced cable
- 6.35mm adapter
- XLR 4 pin adapters
The Sendy Audio Peacocks put on a show the moment you open their leather case. The CNC carved wooden cups have a beautiful matte finish engraved with “Designed by Sendy Audio” on the rim. Turning them to the side reveals the 24-karat gold plated grille with a peacock feather-like pattern that shimmers beautifully in the light. The headband is made of goat leather wrapped metal stitched with gold thread.
The Peacocks get full marks for comfort. As soon as I finished photographing them, they went right onto my head, and I listened to them for about four hours the first night. The clamp force is light but secure, and the memory foam of the pads distribute force well to make a great seal. The pads are spacious and although they are leather, they do not cause my ears to heat up over time.
Interior pad L & R markings are always appreciated. Articulation is available on both axis, so the Peacocks should not have trouble fitting heads of most shapes and sizes. Over the span of multiple hours, there was minimal hot spotting from the headband. This demonstrates good weight distribution and I was comfortable throughout my week of listening sessions for this review.
The Peacocks feature their Quad-Former technology which utilizes 4 coils (2 on each side of the diaphragm). Sendy claims these aid with minimizing distortion, and improving sound quality and their music reproduction capabilities. The distinctive, CNC machined hole patterns were designed to ensure uniform distribution of sound.
The Peacocks take a comfortable approach to sound. There is a deliberate relaxation to the treble with a focus on lower midrange. The sound stage leans more open than intimate. Dynamics are less than impressive, making it difficult to hear the softest parts of the track when the lower midrange boost comes into play.
Bass response is what I expect for planar headphones. With songs that are purely in the lower frequencies, like Crust by Flying Lotus, I found myself enjoying the Peacocks. The strings were somewhat one dimensional, but I did not feel like anything was in the way of my listening. The sub-bass roll-off is a bit early, but I always bump that up with EQ on planar magnetic headphones anyway.
The midrange is where I feel the Peacocks lose their grip. The upper midrange is recessed, while the lower midrange is boosted. This results in a muddy sounding presentation. In the song Them Changes by Thundercat, the intricate detail in his energetic bass strumming were lost to me.
Butterflies and Rainbows by Muse is another example where you can hear this issue. As the song crescendos around 1:15, you have lead male vocals, strings, synths, bass, and background vocals all at once. In balancing all of this, the background vocals are difficult to make out. They are admittedly soft, but this is not a problem with my comparison headphones, the HEDD Audio Heddphones (specific notes below).
The Peacocks take a laid-back approach to treble. This is a positive attribute for someone that is easily fatigued but likes long listening sessions. In overall tone, the treble was fine. Female vocals were well defined, though you may find yourself fighting to appreciate it over bass accompaniment. For analysis I used Yes I’m in Love by Bada. Her breathy vocals carry a lot of emotion which ends up having to compete with the bass line.
A bit more composure in the lower ranges would have helped here.
Hedd Audio Heddphone
These were chosen for comparison due to their proximity in price, flagship status, and focus on unique technology. The Heddphones use their Air Motion Transformer (AMT driver) technology, which creates a 4 times increase in air speed.
Going back to I’m in Love by Bada, treble and midrange is better presented on the Heddphones. It is not difficult to separate the softness of her voice from the instruments. There is a more present airiness to the treble while still managing to not be fatiguing. In terms of sub-bass, Heddphones are similar in quantity, but better presented overall.
The Peacocks win handily in terms of comfort. The Heddphones weigh a neck-stiffening 718g. They have little in the way of adjustments and are not comfortable for sessions longer than a couple of hours.
The overall nod goes to the Heddphones.
Hifiman’s Aryas are close competitors to the Peacocks in price, form factor, and driver technology. The approach in other areas is vastly different. The build of the Aryas is fairly basic, coming in lighter by sticking to simpler materials. The chassis is black metal with similar levels of adjustment to the Peacocks. Hifiman’s stock cable falls several classes short of the cable included with the Peacocks.
In terms of sound, the Aryas do not share the sub-bass roll-off that the Peacocks display. The midrange is not boosted in the lower regions and is consistent with the upper regions. The midrange composure and separation of the Aryas are my favorite elements of their sound signature. The Aryas have a treble range that I wish the Peacocks aimed for. They are not too bright but leave enough sparkle and energy to enjoy without being fatiguing.
The Audeze LCD-4 are on a distant planet in terms of price, but they do something worth mentioning. They are dark and comfortable sounding while out-resolving most other headphones in their class. Dynamics down to the softest detail are very well reproduced. However, they do have similar weight constraints as the Heddphones.
If the Peacocks could achieve LCD-4 levels of detail while reigning in the mids, they would be far improved.
Where to Buy
Sendy pulled out all the stops when it comes to presentation, accessories, looks, comfort, and price. The Peacocks fall short in some important areas sound-wise, which is disappointing since everything else aligns so well with what it means to be a flagship.
With some tweaks, the Peacocks could really fly on their own. I would like to see (and hear) a revision that truly captures what their version of comfortable listening should be.