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a small impression of the Swans M10

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
I got my Swans M10 finally, a 2.1 active computer speaker system. First, thanks to the guys who recommended them to me, and I promised I would do a small review. I've only heard it for a few hours, so they are still fresh and unburned. I am very impressed with these Swans.

Appearance: I thought they were big, but they are actaully quite small. Here are a 'very rough' estimate of the dimensions:
woofer: 10×10×7in
satellites: 4.25×4×7in

Connections: The satellite speakers each has soldered-on RCA cable that is 'about' 4ft long. The subwoofer back panel has one stereo RCA inputs and one stereo RCA outputs for the speakers (they could have made a surround system).

I recommend having the subwoofer on the desk, either laying horizontal or vertical, and in between the satellites. This is probably more ideal since the subwoofer isn't ground breaking in term of power and the midranges drivers on the satellites don't go that low.

Sound: EMU 1212M -> self made ~22awg solid spc -> Swans M10
I don't think my vertical positioning is perfect as of now, but the horizontal positioning creates a very balanced and intimate stereo sound while sitting at the desk.

Firstly, I was suprised by the soundstage, sounds bigger than they really are. The instrumental seperations are very good. I'd like to call the M10 a little 'work horses' because their small drivers size enable them to response quickly with the faster music. The tweeters sound very good and accurate, but I really enjoy the midrange most. It has a somewhat pleasent sweet sound, without being considered (for me) as colored. I would place the speakers response characteristic in the middle of 'neutral' and 'forward'. They are a small nudge from 'neutral' facing toward bright, but not bright at all (maybe the tweeters will smooth out after burn in). I think the neutral Emu 1212M and SPC cable may have help them stay that way also, which gives a pretty clean sound.

As for the lows, I think the main subwoofer is the only driver that really put out the bass. It does not go that low, maybe 60hz, and doesn't 'decay' as well as more expensive subwoofers. The lowest bass probably can't pack a big punch or rumble, and it can get flappy if you turn up the 'sub' control in the back, but I think the response for mid and upper bass is quick and punchy. But since they are placed on the desktop and I sits close to them I get enough bass without complains. With the bass knob on the subwoofer, I wouldn't worry too much about bass quantities for nearfield listening though.

Also since these are active the source will play a big role. It doesn't go very loud connected to an mp3 player, but can go very loud with my EMU 1212M. Also I experienced no hiss problems.

Unfortunately I haven't listen to other speakers at this low price range for a while, so I can't really compare them with anything else.

Drawbacks: The M10 sounds so good at this price that I can't think of many negative things to say. Although I prefer that the satellite wires are removable instead of soldered in, they are only 4ft long each. Someone would probably unscrew the drivers and solder in something better though, you can removable the white mask in front to do that. Secondly, since this is an active computer speakers aiming at the budget crowd, it would've been nice to have a headphone out.

Overall: I guess that some other 2.1 might deliver heavier bass, but these deliver a very clean sound. Even for music listening in general if you are on a budget, these will do a good job. They are forgiving speakers and works well with lossy encodings. Did I mention they looks very nice also.

post #2 of 10
Nice little write-up, terrymx. I agree with pretty much all of it, though I will say that the bass tightens up after some use. All in all I'm pretty amazed by how good they sound given the price. I never thought that, after being out for the day with my er6i's, I'd look forward to getting home and listening to computer speakers - but there it is.
post #3 of 10
Thanks for the setup pics. It gives ppl a chance to see their real world size. Appreciate the effort man.
post #4 of 10
They really look awesome! Damn....must resist.....have tooo many computer speakers.....
post #5 of 10
wires are only 4ft? damn..
post #6 of 10
How much do they cost again?
post #7 of 10
Thread Starter 
You can get them for $99.99 at newegg. For some reason their picture there looks a bit different from the official picture. It said "HiVi" instead of Swans.
post #8 of 10
So not gonna deliver the punch in Crysis/COD4 then, eh?
post #9 of 10
They have plenty of punch if you are at your desk. Just not if you are trying to shake the tiles off of the roof lol.
post #10 of 10
First time I've seen them set up. I have their big brother M200s which take up significantly more desk real estate. The only difference between Swans for your PC and bookshelf speakers is the size
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