🎉 Get your Audiophile T-shirts – Use “HPT10” for 10% discount 👀 Shop Now

Review: Sivga M200 – Midcentric Star

The M200 are recommended for mid-lovers.
The M200 are recommended for mid-lovers.

Vocal-addicts will have a field-day with the excellent timbre and lush midrange provided by the midcentric M200.

Thank you to Sivga for providing the M200 review unit.

Earbuds are extremely niche. They are viewed as an unwanted child compared to traditional IEMs and headphones. Admittedly, earbuds lack isolation (and hence sub-bass), but this double-edged sword gives earbuds a superior soundstage over IEMs.

Indeed, due to their expansive soundstage, earbuds are akin to mini open-backed headphones, but without the clamp-force or heating issues (especially in summer).
The M200 are recommended for mid-lovers.
Bottom Line

Comfort and fit are very good, timbre is astoundingly natural, and the bass is of high quality. Good technical performance and an expansive soundstage complete the icing on this cake. There are some areas for improvement, though, such as the non-detachable cable, sub-bass roll-off - this is not a pair for bassheads - and at louder volumes, the upper midrange can be somewhat spicy. The M200 are an excellent pair of earbuds for those wanting to sample a midcentric tuning; they especially shine at vocals and genres with acoustic instruments.

What We Like
  • Comfortable and ergonomic, can be worn cable-down or over-ears
  • Comes with a mic for calls/conferences
  • Organic timbre
  • Tight bass with good texturing
  • Excellent tonal balance
  • Lush midrange for vocal-lovers
  • Good technical performance
What We Don't Like
  • Lacking sub-bass extension, not for bass-heads
  • Can be slightly shouty at louder volumes (Fletcher Munson curve)
  • Non-detachable cable

Another additional benefit of earbuds is their generally inexpensive pricing; there are, in fact, earbuds going for as low as a dollar! Case in point, the Vido – which actually sound decent and provide an insane value proposition.

Amazingly, for around USD$100 – 200, one can get top-of-the-line sound in the earbud world, so they are relatively far cheaper than the other traditional transducers discussed above.

Today we will be reviewing the Sivga M200 earbuds. These are priced at around USD$50, and earbud enthusiasts will likely consider this to be at the upper limit for budget earbuds.

Company Overview

Sivga was formed in 2016 and is based in Dongguan, China. They are known for their headphones such as the P-Ⅱ, Robin, Phoenix, and SV007. Sivga also has some IEM releases, such as the SM001, SM002, and SW001R.

Sivga’s philosophy is to seek perfection in their products and focus very much on good implementation for their gear. Their core values incorporate the ‘3 Ps’ of passion, pride, and persistence.

Technical Specifications

  • Source Plug: 3.5 mm TRS, single-ended
  • Mic: Y

Packaging

Like most budget sets, the packaging is nothing to write home about. However, what's more important is the sound!
Like most budget sets, the packaging is nothing to write home about. However, what’s more important is the sound!

In the box

  • Sivga M200 earbuds
  • 2 pairs of donut foam covers
  • 1 shirt clip
  • 1 pair of ear hooks
  • Carrying case
The accessories are quite adequate for a budget pair of earbuds.
The accessories are quite adequate for a budget pair of earbuds.

The ear hooks may be added to allow the M200 to be used over-ear instead of the traditional cable down method, and the shirt clip can secure the cable during usage.

Cable

The M200’s cable is oxygen-free, silver-plated copper, well braided, and quite tangle-free. Microphonics are absent.

The cable is of high quality, considering this is a budget set, but unfortunately, is not detachable. Thus, those that want to use their own aftermarket cables, Bluetooth adapters, or even balanced sources, might find this a bugbear.

The M200 cable is supple and very nice haptically.
The M200 cable is supple and very nice haptically.

Thankfully, a spring mechanism protects the distal end of the cable from over-bending. This very nifty addition promises to reduce wear-and-tear, as the cable may be the first point of failure (especially in a non-detachable set).

The M200 come with a mic, so other than for music appreciation, they are a useful pair for calls or online conferences and meetings.
The M200 come with a mic, so other than for music appreciation, they are a useful pair for calls or online conferences and meetings.
The button functions. (From: www.aliexpress.com)
The button functions. (From: www.aliexpress.com)

While taking the M200 out for a spin for conference calls, the feedback provided was that my voice was a tinge muffled but nevertheless very intelligible. I went through meetings with the participants being able to understand my every word.

Case

The semi-rigid case promises to give robust protection for the M200!
The semi-rigid case promises to give robust protection for the M200!

Design

The housings are made from aviation aluminum alloy via precise machining. They are brushed to a matte finish and are champagne-hued. The front covers are fashioned from a stainless steel mesh.

Being earbuds, they are situated outside the ear canal, and hence isolation is zero, but on the flip side, they provide an expansive soundstage.

Comfort

The M200 are one of the more comfortable earbuds I’ve had the privilege to use. They are very light, ergonomic, and small in profile.

I’ve encountered some sets in my earbud journey that have flaws in the design and placement of center-of-gravity (due to the stem positioning, stem length, and housing weight), causing them to drop out of the ears and require frequent readjustment.

At the end of the day, even if an earbud sounds heavenly, if the fit and/or comfort is bad, one will not use them for prolonged periods of time.

I’m glad to report that the M200’s stems and housings are well designed. They fit nicely in the ear and do not shake even with robust head movements. In addition, the M200 can not only be worn cable-down (like traditional earbuds), but with the provided ear hooks, they can also be used over-ears.

Internals

The M200’s engine is driven by a 15.4 mm PET diaphragm dynamic driver. This utilizes a copper coil with a high-performance magnet. Sivga advertises that the internals synergize to provide natural vocals and an expansive soundstage.

Sivga M200 Sound

Tests were done with a Khadas Toneboard DAC -> Schiit Asgard 3 amp, E1DA 9038, Questyle M15, Colorfly CDA M1, Tempotec Sonata HD Pro (BHD firmware mod), smartphone, and Sony NW A-55 DAP (Walkman One mod) using FLAC and WAV files.
The M200 are relatively easy to drive, but they do scale with amplification - dynamics, bass tightness/texturing and soundstage improve when they are juiced well.
The M200 are relatively easy to drive, but they do scale with amplification – dynamics, bass tightness/texturing and soundstage improve when they are juiced well.

The M200 are midcentric in tuning, with some roll-off at either extremes.

For a budget pair of earbuds, the M200 provide a good mix of technicalities and musicality. The soundstage is expansive, with the width larger than depth or height. This assists in instrument separation, and the music never sounds congested. Imaging is very good, though micro-detailing could perhaps be improved.

Timbre is a true highlight on this set, acoustic instruments and vocals all sound very natural and organic. Jazz, vocal, and classical aficionados will very much appreciate the M200!

Note weight is close to perfection, and I really enjoy the timbral accuracy that the M200 can portray, especially when it comes to woodwind, brass, and stringed instruments.

Bass

Like most other earbud brethren, the M200 are mid-bass focused with anemic sub-bass. The mid-bass is neutral in quantity, with minimal sub-bass rumble and extension. Bass-heads will likely find the bass quantity wanting and should look elsewhere.

However, what the M200 cede in bass quantity, they ace in quality.

The bass is tight, with zero mid-bass bleed. Texturing is excellent, bass speed is moderately nimble, and they can cope with complex bass riffs.

Midrange

The midrange of the M200 is the star, with the midcentric tuning boosting this area over the bass and treble. Vocals are lush, and the soundscape is as though one is listening to a live singer in a bar.

The upper midrange can, on rare occasions, be shouty, especially at louder volumes (Fletcher munson curve), but by and large, at moderate volumes, the vocals are forward without being fatiguing.

The lack of a huge mid-bass encroachment also gives the midrange a lot of space, and there is great transparency not only for vocals but for instruments that live and breathe in this area, such as guitars.

Treble

The lower treble continues on from the boosted upper mids but tails off thereafter, and there is indeed not much sparkle or airiness in the tuning. Sibilance is absent, though one might find cymbals and high-hats lying in the background. Micro-details are suppressed a bit.

Treble-heads might want a bit more pizazz in the upper frequencies, but treble-sensitive folk will appreciate that the treble is smooth and not fatiguing.

Comparisons

Vs. NiceHCK EB2S

The NiceHCK EB2S are another midcentric pair of budget earbuds. The EB2S also sport a very natural timbre and tonality but are noticeably poorer in clarity, imaging, and instrument separation.

Like the M200, the EB2S likewise have a non-detachable cable, but the cable in the latter is thinner and not as well-braided as in the M200. Well, on the plus side for some, the EB2S come with a waifu anime packaging!

The M200 are a step ahead in technicalities but are slightly pricier.

Vs. HZSound Bell Rhyme

The Bell Rhyme are a U-shaped set and have poorer soundstage, imaging, and instrument separation than the M200. Timbre is also not as natural as on the M200.

The Bell Rhyme cable is very thin and not as well braided, but both sets are quite comfortable in terms of fit.

The Bell Rhyme are technically not as proficient as the M200 but are cheaper, priced around USD$30. If one can cough up the slightly more coin, the M200 are my recommendation.

Where to Buy

Conclusion

The M200 will suit most users well, other than bona-fide treble-heads and bass-heads.
The M200 will suit most users well, other than bona-fide treble-heads and bass-heads.

I really enjoy the M200. Comfort and fit are very good, timbre is astoundingly natural, and the bass is of high quality. Good technical performance and an expansive soundstage complete the icing on this cake.

There are some areas for improvement, though, such as the non-detachable cable, sub-bass roll-off – this is not a pair for bassheads – and at louder volumes, the upper midrange can be somewhat spicy.

Retailing at around USD$50, the M200 are an excellent pair of earbuds for those wanting to sample a midcentric tuning; they especially shine at vocals and genres with acoustic instruments. The M200 are a keeper for me!

Leave a Reply