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HiVi is a manufacturer of audiophile-grade speakers. Swans S3W is their simplest model, targeted to users that want a simple yet stylish stereo speaker set for their computers, iPods or portable CD players but at the same time want an above-the-average audio quality. Let’s see how this speaker set performs.
Swans S3W is a very simple stereo speaker set, as you can see in Figure 1. It comes with two speakers, an amplifier, a power supply, a pair of gloves and the product manual.
The speakers and the small amplifier have a stylish looks inspired by the 1960’s space era design: the speakers are rounded, as if they were props from 2001: A Space Odyssey, while the amplifier looks like Apollo XIII’s landing module.
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The installation is quite simple and doesn’t require any specific knowledge. Just connect the speakers to the amplifier, the amplifier to the “line out” output from your computer (or other device such as iPod or CD player) and the power supply to the AC outlet and its cable to the amplifier. As you can see in Figure 5, the amplifier has an additional input for connecting an MP3 player.
We found two problems here. The power supply that comes with S3W is the “bulky” type, which blocks other AC outlets you have around the outlet it is installed to. The second problem is that the mini-jack plug that is used to connect the amplifier to the PC is red, while all PCs use light green as the color to identify the front speakers output jack. In other words you won’t find a red jack behind your computer to match the plug’s color.
The two speakers and the amplifier have a rubber base that makes them to stand firmly on your desk.
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The design of Swans S3W’s amplifier is really cool: its top part is in fact a volume knob. It also turn the amplifier on or off by rotating it to the extreme left until you hear a click, just like old TV sets, for example.
The base of the amplifier glows blue when it is turned on, see Figure 8.
The sound quality of the speakers is really impressive however don’t expect a good low-frequency (i.e., bass) response. If you are a gamer that loves vibrating explosion sounds this speaker set isn’t for you. But if you are looking for a high-quality speaker set for playing music or voice (Skype, for example), this set can fulfill your needs.
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HiVi Swans S3W main specifications are:
- Stereo speaker system
- 3” full-range
- Maximum power: 15 W (measurement unit not specified)
- Frequency response: 65 Hz – 20 kHz
- Maximum power: 5 W (measurement unit not specified)
- Frequency response: 60 Hz – 20 kHz
- Signal-to-noise ratio: 80 dB
- More Information: https://www.swanspeaker.com
- Average price in the US*: USD 80.00
* Researched at The Audio Insider on the day we published this review.
- Excellent audio quality
- Stylish design
- Bad low-frequency (bass) reproduction
- Bulky transformer “kills” nearby AC outlets
- Hard-to-find (from the list of authorized dealers only one had this product to sell)
- Very expensive for a two-speaker system