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Sendy Audio Aiva

Sendy Audio Aiva

Planar Magnetic Price Crusher

They sound as impressive as they are expensive: planar magnetic headphones, the darlings of discerning headphone fans. But wait: the Sendy Audio Aiva is surprisingly affordable and should also impress with its sound quality.

Sendy Audio Aiva

Sendy Audio is a still very young sub-brand of the Chinese headphone manufacturer Dongguan Sivga Electronic Technology. Sendy Audio focuses entirely on the development and production of audiophile headphones that rely on the planar magnetic transducer principle. The portfolio includes the Aiya earphones and three luxury circumaural headphones with the sonorous names Apollo, Peacock and Aiva. In the meantime, audioNEXT from Essen has taken care of the planar magnetics from the Middle Kingdom, which prompts headphone-loving connoisseurs to be all ears. After all, audioNEXT also distributes the top-tier planar magnetics from Dan Clark and Rosson Audio Design, which are very popular with hi-fi enthusiasts and sound creators alike. Our first Sendy Audio real life review features the remarkably affordable Aiva at just under 660 euros. Incidentally, this is Sendy Audio’s first product and, as we will see shortly, boasts a number of unique characteristics.

Lightweight diaphragm in an exotic wood casing

Sendy Audio Aiva

At the heart of the Aiva’s 97 x 67 millimeter planar magnetic drivers are membranes made of a specially developed composite material that is ultra-thin and light as a feather at 3 micrometers, but at the same time exceptionally stable. This promises excellent impulse response, which we generally expect from headphones of this design principle. The ear cups are made of solid, finely grained zebrano wood, a tropical wood from West Africa. This very hard, large-pored and brittle wood is not exactly easy to work with, which makes the manufacturing quality of the Sendy Audio Aiva earcups all the more impressive, with their silky matt surface offering a special tactile feel in addition to their visual opulence. A perforated aluminum plate with a finely perforated plastic grille protects the drivers of the headphones. With the characteristic wave design of the grille, the manufacturer sets a further visual accent. The fact that Walter Moer’s “clapping waves” spontaneously come to mind is by no means meant to be derogatory. Rather, the look promises a polyglot listener in the musical sense who wants to be put on.

The ear pads made of soft velvet and imitation leather fit snugly to the head and the aluminum headband can be adjusted very quickly. Thanks to the suede headrest – vegans beware – the 420 gram headphones are very comfortable to wear. Thanks to the ergonomic shape of the ear cups, it sits securely and allows for long listening sessions without any problems.

Sendy Audio Aiva

To do this, the headphones must be connected to a headphone amplifier, for which the supplied balanced connection cable made of high-purity, oxygen-free copper is used. It is connected to the headphone drivers via two mini jack plugs, while a 4.4-millimeter Pentaconn plug provides the connection to the output device – and not too many headphone amplifiers have a suitable socket for this. However, a corresponding adapter to the 3.5 mm stereo jack is included. In addition – thanks to the German distributor audioNEXT/audioDOMAIN – a high-quality 4.4 mm to 6.3 mm adapter also is included so that the noble Chinese is quickly plugged into my reference HPAs from Violectric, V200 and V281. Their “pre-gain” circuit also proves to be immediately useful, as the Aiva is not a particularly loud headphone. Although the impedance is only 32 ohms, the characteristic sound pressure level is 96 decibels, meaning that the Aiva requires a little more amplifier power. On the weak headphone outputs of mobile devices or simple USB audio interfaces, it would sell itself short. However, the Aiva pairs excellently with the very good AudioQuest DragonFly Cobalt, and it also feels at home with my Pioneer XDP-300R. The Aiva is perfectly suitable for listening on the go – the similarly low-impedance AKG K702 Studio is significantly quieter – but the sound quality we expect can only be achieved when we pair the Sendy Audio Aiva with an amp that meets the headphone at ear’s height.

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Fine detail with a warm timbre

Which is why I won’t poison the Aiva with MP3 glutamate during the listening test, but feed it only the finest audio fare. For example, the 24-bit/88.2 kHz output of Spain Forever, a virtuosic and expressive stroke of genius by jazz pianist Michel Camillo and flamenco super guitarist Tomatito: the planar magnetic already shows its colors with the opening “Água E Vinho”. With the expected excellent impulse response – the headphone follows the transients right on the impulse, so to speak – it is tuned slightly warmer compared to neutral dynamicists like the Beyerdynamic T5 and AKG K702. This is why Camillo’s Yamaha grand piano and Tomatito’s Gitano guitar sound a little softer, but this is extremely pleasing to the ears. Since any time is right for some piano, Oscar Peterson is allowed to show off his genius on the Steinway with the brilliant album My Favorite Instrument from the “Exclusively For My Friends” series – and with that, the Aiva has got me. Because it sketches the music in the utmost attention to detail with remarkable, wide imaging, whose tendency towards warmth makes for a sense of well-being when enjoying music in the rainy gray November. Enjoyable listening, that’s what this amazingly affordable planar magnetic makes possible, and that’s what we audiophiles love.

Sendy Audio Aiva

Accompanying Equipment

USB interface and D/A converter: Mutec MC-3+USB, Mytek Digital Stereo192-DSD DAC, Violectric V800, AudioQuest DragonFly Cobalt | Computer: Apple MacBook Pro 16/Apple MacBook Pro M1 | Software player: Audirvana | HiRes player: Pioneer XDP-300R | Headphones: AKG K702 Studio, Beyerdynamic T5 | Headphone amplifier: Violectric HPA V200, Violectric HPA V280, AudioQuest DragonFly Cobalt | Cables: Vovox, AudioQuest, Klotz

Headphones Sendy Audio Aiva

Transducer principle: planar magnetic | Impedance: 32 Ω | Driver: 97 x 76 mm, 3 µm thin composite diaphragm | Frequency response: 20 Hz to 40 kHz | Special features: Ear cups made of solid Zebrano (Microberlinia) wood | Scope of delivery: ear and head pads made of artificial leather/suede, symmetrical 6N copper cable with 4.4 mm Pentaconn plug, pigtail adapter 4.4/3.5 mm stereo jack, 6.3 mm stereo jack to 4.4 mm (only for audioDOMAIN/audioNEXT), carrying case | Weight: 420 g | Warranty period: 2 years | Price: around € 660


Isenbergstraße 20
45130 Essen
Phone +49 201 5073950


The stated retail price of the reviewed device is valid as of the time of the review and is subject to change.