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Verdict

The Sivga SO2 like the SO1, offers sound that betters much pricier open-ear headphones. While it’s a shame it’s lost some nice design elements from the SO1, these still offer impressive sound for not a big chunk of your money.

Pros

  • Balanced and enjoyable open-ear sound
  • Comfortable ear hook design
  • Good connectivity across devices

Cons

  • Touch controls aren’t great
  • Loses battery status display from charging case
  • Rotating hook design is gone as well

Key Features

  • Water resistanceIPX5 rating against water and dust
  • Battery life10 hours per charge, 30 hours in total

Introduction

The Sivga SO2 is the update to one of the best sports headphones I tested in 2023 and was deservedly named Best Sports Headphone at the Trusted Reviews Awards.

The SO2 are still built for those that want a design that prioritises a secure fit for workouts and delivers sound in a way that doesn’t entirely block out the world around you.

It’s doing that once again with air conduction as opposed to bone conduction, while also making some adjustments to the overall design, which may or may not make them better suited to donning when it’s time to work out.

Availability

The Sigva SO2 are on sale now and are available mainly through Amazon for the same £69.90 / $69.90 as the SO1. That’s the same for both the black and white colour options. 

That means it remains a cheaper open-ear option to pick up than the Shokz OpenFit (£179 / $179.95), Cleer Audio Arc II Sport (£199 / $199) and is significantly cheaper than the Bose Ultra Open Earbuds (£299.95 / $299).

Design

  • Earhook design 
  • Same IPX5 rated design as SO1
  • Case loses display and wireless charging

While the Sivga SO1 weren’t the sleekest pair of open-ear earbuds, they did the important things right. They weren’t overly bulky to wear, the ear hooks kept them in place and they also packed in a solid set of physical controls.

So it’s a little surprising that while some of those design traits have remained, some have gone. They do feel a touch lighter, with each bud weighing in at 10g, and come in similar black and what I’d call an off-white shade. I had both colours to test and the lighter version definitely looks the nicer of the two.

They still use non-removable ear hooks that actually lose the rotating element that helped to make the fit more versatile. They fit fine on my ears and those hooks didn’t feel uncomfortable on any of the workouts I donned them for, but it’s interesting that feature got the hook.

Sivga SO2 worn by reviewer
Image Credit (Trusted Reviews)

You’re still getting IPX5 durability rating, which means they offer some resistance against sweat and water, though once again that doesn’t extend to the charging case, which again disappointingly loses the built-in battery status display included on the SO1’s case.

Another surprising move is to swap physical controls for touch ones, which offer similar functionality like being able to skip tracks, summon your phone’s smart assistant and adjust volume. While the decision has clearly helped to scale down the size of the buds, it does mean it loses a more effective control system, especially if you’re exercising at higher intensities. I found the touch controls pretty unresponsive a lot of the time and am unsure why the physical ones were ditched.

The charging case remains a sizable one with a USB-C port next to the pairing button at the back. Sivga has left out the wireless charging functionality it offered with the SO1, which is another shame.

Sivga SO2 charging case
Image Credit (Trusted Reviews)

Features

  • Less battery life than before
  • Strong connectivity

You get four microphones that use an ENC algorithm to focus in on voices during calls to boost call clarity, and the experience of taking calls feels similar to the SO1. They work best when you’re not battling a lot of noise in your environment, with good call clarity overall.

Connectivity has been strong too, having paired them to an iPhone, an Apple Watch, Garmin Forerunner 965 and a MacBook with zero issues. If you want multipoint sharing though, you’re sadly out of luck here once again.

Sivga SO2 on top of trainers
Image Credit (Trusted Reviews)

In terms of battery life, there’s 85mAh capacity battery in each earbud and they sit inside of a charging case with a 520mAh battery. So that’s a smaller battery than the SO1, and that does mean a drop in total battery life with the charge but a promise to boost numbers off a single charge. You should get up to 10 hours instead of 9 hours for a total of 30 hours instead of 46 hours. 

I found that the battery drop for an hour’s use at louder volumes was 10%, so it seems to hold up better on the battery front than its predecessor. There isn’t a fast charge feature to give you a quick top-up either and they will take well over an hour to get from 0-100%.

Sivga SO2 in reviewers hand
Image Credit (Trusted Reviews)

Sound Quality

  • Same great, balanced sound
  • Small boost in battery life
  • Good call clarity for the price

I was really surprised by how well the Sivga SO1 sounded. Especially when compared to more expensive open-ear wireless earbuds. So while some things may have been tinkered with on the design front, that sound quality thankfully remains as impressive.

There’s a change from the 16.2mm driver setup featured on the SO1, with a 14.2mm hi-fi driver and a PU+ titanium diaphragm that promises to deliver plenty of power, bass, and clarity too.

Like before, there’s no way to adjust the sound profile, so you’re stuck with what you’ve got and that is a really satisfyingly sounding pair of buds that retains its profile well even when there’s more noise invading that open-ear design. It’s tough going in blustery conditions, but outside of that, the SO2 sounds great.

Sivga SO2 in charging case
Image Credit (Trusted Reviews)

My go-to playlist to test the versatility of the SO2 is the Songs to Test Headphones With playlist on Spotify and what I can say is that these buds handled pretty much everything I threw at them. Kicking things off with Massive Attack’s Teardrop and they nicely reproduced the track’s underlying warmth with a pleasing thump of bass too, maybe more so than the SO1. There’s balance here as well, with vocals that aren’t overpowered and overall a very smooth and satisfying performance. 

On Fleetwood Mac’s Landslide there’s a really likeable grainy texture to the acoustic guitar sections and vocals have a real smoothness to them. If you’re sticking to podcasts and audiobooks the overall voice clarity is strong. Put aside the open-ear nature of the design and these earbuds just sound really good.

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Should you buy it?

You want cheap, really great sounding open-ear earbuds

The Sivga SO2 really delivers enjoyable sound and manages to maintain that good sound when you’re battling more outside noise.

You want the smallest open-ear earbuds with great controls

While the SO2 have dropped in size from the SO1, they’re still a bit bulkier than rival buds and have a control system that’s not ideal for all exercise scenarios.

Final Thoughts

The Sivga SO2 didn’t need to make wholesale changes from the SO1 because it got a lot of the key things right to make them ideal open-ear sports earbuds. While the move to make the SO2 smaller and less bulky is welcomed, the decision to lose the physical buttons and ditch the battery status display in the case is disappointing.

Crucially though, these really do punch above their price tag when it comes to sound. These are open-ear earbuds with really surprising sound quality that should make them a good fit for plenty.

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How we test

We test every set of headphones we review thoroughly over an extended period of time. We use industry standard tests to compare features properly. We’ll always tell you what we find. We never, ever, accept money to review a product.

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Tested with real world use

Tested for several days

FAQs

What IP rating do the Sivga SO2 support?

These headphones come with an IPX5 rating against sweat, water, and dust. The charging case doesn’t appear to have an IP rating.

Full specs

UK RRP
USA RRP
Manufacturer
IP rating
Battery Hours
Weight
ASIN
Release Date
Driver (s)
Colours
Frequency Range
Headphone Type
Sensitivity

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