Disclaimer: The SendyAudio Aiva despatched to us is a pattern in trade for our trustworthy opinion. We thank the workforce at Musicteck USA for giving us this opportunity.
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Priced at $599, the Aiva is aiming to get close to what I call a ‘sweet spot’ in current magnetic planar headphone pricing. A tier that’s at present occupied by the likes of the Hifiman Sundara, Verum Audio’s Verum 1 and the just lately reviewed Brainwavz Alara.
It is fascinating to see the welcome tumble of excellent planar headphone tech into obtainable pricing over the previous few years. Previously, only Hifiman actually went all out for this worth tier with the HE4/400i at round $500 or less.
There have been moves from other well-known brands however not fairly as close. The current LCD-2C from Audeze sits simply outdoors at $799.
Each of MrSpeaker’s wonderful AEON models are additionally just a bit beyond this benchmark worth point but nonetheless fairly obtainable compared to flagship pricing which may go as high as $6000 for TOTL variants.
So, whilst not the most cost effective mannequin on the block the Aiva does convey to the desk a premium wanting visual flair. It additionally delivers a singular sound that may give it a distinct and welcome attraction to these looking for a headphone that can deal with trendy beat-orientated pop with some gusto.
The Aiva is an open-back circumaural planar magnetic headphone. Inside it makes use of a 97 by 76mm planar driver with an asymmetrical double NdFeB magnet array. The Aiva driver can also be very thin certainly. It makes use of a TUYU ultra-nano composite diaphragm which is analogous in thickness to the options utilized by Hifiman.
This specific construct makes use of a zero.0005mm aluminum foil which is a commonly used hint coil material for most planars outdoors of the HE6’s highly resistive gold choice. Given the Aiva’s treble performance (see web page 2 for sound impressions) I might also recommend that the trace weight of aluminum used is sort of mild.
I see no knowledge to point if that measurement is the whole driver or the shifting part of the diaphragm which may typically be a confusing spec. Given its physical measurement, I might guess it’s the whole driver measurement. The a lot greater cups of the Verum 1, for example, have a listed 82mm shifting half and despite the elongation of the Aiva cup, I might guess it’s shifting half to be smaller than the Verum 1.
The design is gorgeous, in all probability one of the best at this worth point and no tout of place on a $1k plus headphone. There is a slight homage to the likes of the MrSpeakers AEON collection with that elongated cup design and strain headband strap and the choice of supplies and ending could be very refined to the attention.
The Aiva uses a chic mix of zebrawood robust grain natural wooden cups, a matte black finished gimbal, pivot block manufactured from aluminum and a equally finished spring steel headband. The wooden ending, particularly, seems to be very properly executed and positively a step up on some wooden veneer panel designs I’ve seen on flagship headphones. You’ll be able to inform the remedy degree of the wood materials has been intensive as a result of there’s nary a sharp edge in sight.
The entrance grills are comprised of the identical matte black lattice aluminum end with a perforated aluminum silver plate just in behind which I presume protects the drivers. You might argue that the Aiva might have a semi-closed nature to its efficiency provided that the aluminum sheet behind the front grill is sort of dense despite the perforations. Definitely, it isn’t as open because the grills of the Hifiman Sundara but slightly more uniform than the venting on the Alara.
The gimbal and headband barely offset the elongated cups so they’re extra ahead dealing with than straight down, very similar to the pure angle of your ears. There’s a diploma of lateral and vertical adjustment functionality with the Aiva cups and impressively not a creak or sound to be heard when shifting them about. This can be a strong design and wonderful materials, little question about that.
Cables & Connectors
To the underside of each zebrawood finished cup is the dual-entry 2.5mm dual-mono jack connector system which is fairly discreet and has a pressure-based locking system inside to keep them safe.
This isn’t a channel agnostic design, there are dedicated left and proper channels on the Aiva. The connectors are angled barely forward in keeping with the cups which does assist with instant familiarization on left/proper channels regardless that the labeling on the jacks of the cables are fairly seen.
This is an fascinating selection for me and one degree the provided inventory cable is superb, and on another degree, I’m not 100% it is the proper size and termination selection. I assume this can rely upon the way you select to use the Aiva.
This can be a 1.8m 6N OCC wire wrapped in a translucent PET jacket and terminated with a 4.4mm balanced jack. It isn’t that stiff of a build, stays fairly tangle free and is lifeless fairly for microphonics.
The Aiva can also be provided with a Four.4mm to 3.5mm pigtail converter of the same wire and finishing to let you plug into unbalanced jacks. All of those are slipped into a horny little material drawstring gentle pouch making it pretty straightforward to manage when on the go.
The chrome barrel and lattice grippy end on each the jack and a couple of.5mm dual-mono connectors are superbly designed and do match fairly nicely with the similar aesthetic of the cup grills. Strain aid is a springy metallic coil for the jacks on both the stock cable and pigtail connector with some discreet rubber on the dual-mono connector finish. Each the chin cinch and Y-splitter are crafted from matching zebrawood which nicely enhances the finishing of the Aiva cups.
The bit that stunned me was the shortage of quarter jack inclusion provided that for a lot of, the Aiva goes to end up as a desktop amp-based headphone. Sure, there are some good moveable DAPs out there with respectable energy, but this factor can scale with some nice amps so ideally, two cables of 1.2m and 3m would have been ultimate with a 4.4mm to 4-pin XLR pigtail as an choice.
I only have one dedicated 4.4mm amp, the Xi Audio Broadway that works for the Aiva’s balanced 4.4mm choice however lots that would use XLR. I do have plenty of quarter jack converters but the size of the inventory cable means I’m having to comfortable up fairly close to nearly all of the amps which isn’t ideally suited.
Consolation & Match
At 420g the Aiva is just not the lightest planar headphone on the earth but they do really feel very snug in your head for a couple of causes.
First, the cup shapes are longer than they are wider which is my most popular design. They permit the Aiva to remain comparatively compact regardless of being a full-sized planar headphone. It additionally means the Aiva cups comply with your natural ear shape and angle so despite the comparatively small pad openings they do a reasonably good job of staying away from undesirable strain on your ear.
The second is the strain balancing properties of the Aiva, aided by a superb strain strap and headband adjustment system. The strain strap is nothing new to the world of headphones however this one is nearly as good because the MrSpeakers version and very supple also.
I’m not 100% positive its real leather or protein leather however both means it’s gentle and straightforward on the top. Mix that with the power to widen or shorten the scarf itself and also you do get some wonderful dissipation on the highest of the top which is where I hate strain.
Clamping or lateral strain is spot on. You will not get any seal on the Aiva as its an open-back however the lateral strain is simply enough to provide it some welcome stability for the load. The extra consolation partially can also be because of the uncommon pads designs on the Aiva.
These are a hybrid of pleather and material with memory foam underneath. In a approach, they are a bit like Hifiman’s FocusPads however just barely smaller and never as extensive. Additionally they have a slight indentation at the prime which permits for a greater fit simply above the ear where your head form is further out than under the ear.
The one slight critique I have on the pads is the relatively shallow depth on the opening. Regardless of their wedge and indented external design being fairly snug on the surface, the shortage of depth could be uncomfortable for those with greater ears. I can foresee a couple of ears touching the driving force enclosure and for some, this may affect the staging functionality they hear out of the Aiva.
Equipment & Packaging
The Aiva comes with a reasonably respectable wanting mid-sized golden/mild tan retail field. The field splits in the middle to disclose a fairly simple format designed to carry the carry case and contained in the headphones and cable bag.
Taking a leaf out of MrSpeaker’s playbook the Aiva comes with a black transportable curved zippered carry case. The inadvertent “butt cheek’ design of the bottom of the case is a tad unlucky if barely giggle-worthy but otherwise, I quite like these instances. They do a terrific job of blocking out dust and supply sufficient safety for the headphones when on the go.
Inside there’s loads of room for the headphones and cables so its not going to be a problem packing this and taking it with you. On the surface, the zipper seems fairly durable so unlikely to each cut up and you do get not one, but two clasps, one on the zipper itself and a bigger one on the prime of the case. Each of which can will let you hook up with the edges of backpacks or no matter takes your fancy. There are additionally Four little bumps at the bottom to stack the case vertically without it falling over.
Click on Page 2 for Sound Impressions & Comparisons