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REVIEW: Swan T200B Desktop Monitors

post #1 of 74
Thread Starter 
SWAN T200B REVIEW

 

T200B.jpg

SPECS
 

 

Quote:
General Data
ModelHiVi T200B
System SeriesHi-End 2-channel hi-end multimedia speaker system
Acoustic System
System SeriesHiVi Professional monitoring speaker systerm
System TypeTwo-way 4th order vented active monitor multimedia
Drivers ConfigurationWoofer: 5"
Tweeter:28mm dome tweeter
Frequency Range55Hz-20kHz(-6dB)
Horizontal Dispersion±15deg < 250Hz-8000Hz < ±4dB
Harmonic Distortion80Hz-20kHz≤1%(2.83V/1m)
Vertical Dispersion±5deg < 250Hz-8000Hz <±4dB
Sensitivity83dB (2.83V/1m)
Nominal Impedance8Ω
Power Range10-60W
Amplifiers System
Rated Power40W
Frequency RangeRMS20Hz-20kHz
Signal-to-Noise>88dB
Harmonic DistortionTHD<0.05% ( 8Ω、1kHz 、40W )
Input sensitivity540mV Unbalanced; 500mV balanced
Input impedance47kΩ
Input Connectors1 × XLR Balanced Input Connector
1 × Unbalanced Input Connector
Other Parameter
FinishedBlack piano lacquer with silver aluminum panel
Dimension (W×H×D(mm))217×272×383
Net Weight8Kg

 



In The Box

- T200B Speakers R/L
- RCA Cable R/L
- Two Power Cords
- Gloves
- Bass Tuning Plugs

Build Quality/Design

Oh man...have you ever seen something as beautiful as these speakers? They have this inverted triangle design along with this odd 3d effect. They are extremely unique in this sense, I've also become a bit accustomed to having the tweeter below the midwoofer, the sound seems to come from one area as opposed to hearing the high's higher in the sound stage and the lows lower. Its a very nice blend. The piano lacquer looks amazing, its just a very modern look. The orange of the woofer tends to blend in very nicely. The quality of the finish, is astonishing. I find my self admiring these beauties when I'm listening to music...its distracting to say the least.

t200b_e_1.jpg

Audio

 

These are active monitors, which means that they are both self powered. These are also considered professional reference monitors, as in they are more leaned towards reproducing a flat original sound, as opposed to a more colorful sound. Some prefer the first or the latter, the choice is yours. Personally, I prefer flat to an extent that its not boring, definitely more flat then I would want colorful.

These speakers took about 60 days to burn in, yes its long.

Build Quality/Design: ★★★★★

 

SETUP

 

iMac -> Vox OSX Player -> Flac files -> Toslink -> RX-V667 -> T200B

 

Bass

The bass on these is AMAZING. It's not going to rock your house, its not going shake windows or break glass, but it is extremely accurate and tight. The bass is enough where you can feel it (more like an in your gut feeling), it is reproduced quite efficiently and is tuned quite flat with the rest of the frequencies as to not over power the mid range or trebble. Is it worth it for $700 speakers? Eh, it plays down to 55hz, but in all honesty its rolloff ±3db at around the 70hz range. This means for heavy heavy dubstep songs, you may get some muted sounds (shambala 2008 for example). Songs like I Can't Stop and such are fine, just anything that involves that wobble synth on 80hz or lower, is going to have some volume issues. HOWEVER, if you do not need bass to go immensely low, the bass that is supplied on these is sufficient enough.

TL;DR
- Bass is accurate and tight
- Bassheads beware, everyone else enjoy

(Being that heavy dubstep is hard to reproduce anyway, I will be rating it for the general public)

 

Bass: ★★★★★

 

Mid-Range

Very very very very very DETAILED. The mid range on this is very very nice. Vocal's are extremely clear, the sound of a cello is articulate and accurate, and on the low notes you can really feel it resonate. Guitar sounds astonishing, sinks in perfect. The clarity is great, I can hear things I never knew existed in my songs. I will say however, that at certain times the mid range tends to recess a bit when other instruments come in, not to bad, but enough to take notice.

 

Mid-Range: ★★★★½

 

Treble

I don't have to say much, this tweeter is BLISS for anything thrown at it. Cymbols, synth, female voices, you name it. Its clarity is amazing, solos from guitar sound perfect, vocal clarity is ASTRONOMICAL. I never found the treble lacking, or ever asking for better. It's perfect.

 

Treble: ★★★★★

 

Audio Quality: ★★★★★

 

Imaging/Soundstage

 

Sound stage is nice, nothing to be proud of compared to others in it range, but it is a near field monitor after all, it focuses on clarity and detail more then its competitors. You can easily differentiate between each instrument, each drum, and what not, however the soundstage could be a bit bigger.

Imaging: ★★★★

 

VALUE FOR MONEY

Hmm, debatable. If your going to buy a DAC and need speakers, then yes

 

Value: ★★★★★

 

If you have a receiver like I do, you might as well buy $500-$700 speakers and use the amplifier, you'll get a better bang for your buck, not sure by how much however. The quality of these components is very good, it is more worth it if your receiver has a bad amplifier (in comparison).

 

Value: ★★★★

 

Home theater use is limited as these work better as near field monitors. They sound great, even on games like call of duty, but to fill a room with sound, expect to lose some detail.

Value: ★★★½

 

Final Thoughts

These speakers never let me down. I highly recommend them to anyone that loves to listen to trance/techno (anything electronic). If you are strictly rock, you may get a better experience form the Swan M200MKIII, but I can not vouch for that. Personally I think the T200B's are great for anything.

 

Final Scores

Design ★★★★★
Audio Quality ★★★★★
Bass ★★★★★
Mids ★★★★½
Highs ★★★★★
Imaging ★★★★
Build Quality ★★★★★
Value For Money ★★★★★ (Non-amplifier)(Strictly music)

Cumulative Score

5starsifans.jpg

Purchase: http://lockwaresystems.com/swant200b-67.html


Origin Site: http://www.swanspeaker.com/products/products.aspx?cid=5&sid=0&pid=29

 

If anyone's curious, my current setup is my T200B Speakers and my Emotiva Utlra 12 sub crossed at 80hz. I couldn't be happier xD.

 

Current Setup (Not used during review, during review the speakers were spread out on stands across a different wall, due to limitations, it was only temporary, I will be moving back to that setup by the end of the summer.) (Receiver is under the glass desk (no point in a picture))

img1264fu.jpg
img1260r.jpg
img1262z.jpg
img1270c.jpg
img1266i.jpg
img1268as.jpg
screenshot20110711at245.png

 

 

*The spoiler is my old review, I kept it here as a reference; it is no longer accurate.

 

Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)

 

Hello! I purchased my T200B's about 3 weeks ago and I felt the need to write a good detailed review as its hard to find any at all on these speakers.

 

First off, I am a bit naive when it comes to writing a speaker review and when it comes to hardware, however I wouldn't consider myself a noobie. My ears have been trained very well and I've done my research.

 

Alright first off specs:

 

 

Quote:
General Data
Model HiVi T200B
System Series Hi-End 2-channel hi-end multimedia speaker system
Acoustic System
System Series HiVi Professional monitoring speaker systerm
System Type Two-way 4th order vented active monitor multimedia
Drivers Configuration Woofer: 5"
Tweeter:28mm dome tweeter
Frequency Range 55Hz-20kHz(-6dB)
Horizontal Dispersion ±15deg < 250Hz-8000Hz < ±4dB
Harmonic Distortion 80Hz-20kHz≤1%(2.83V/1m)
Vertical Dispersion ±5deg < 250Hz-8000Hz <±4dB
Sensitivity 83dB (2.83V/1m)
Nominal Impedance 8Ω
Power Range 10-60W
Amplifiers System
Rated Power 40W
Frequency Range RMS20Hz-20kHz
Signal-to-Noise >88dB
Harmonic Distortion THD<0.05% ( 8Ω、1kHz 、40W )
Input sensitivity 540mV Unbalanced; 500mV balanced
Input impedance 47kΩ
Input Connectors 1 × XLR Balanced Input Connector
1 × Unbalanced Input Connector
Other Parameter
Finished Black piano lacquer with silver aluminum panel
Dimension (W×H×D(mm)) 217×272×383
Net Weight 8Kg
Quote:
They are priced at about $700

 

Alright down to my review, again as I've stated, If I leave out any details anyone would like to know give me a heads up, or if they would like me to listen to a certain song I'm up for it.

 

I guess I will start this way, keep in mind that this review is as honest as can be.

 

My setup is Fidelia (All music is Flac)>iMac>Toslink>YamahaRX-V667(Pure Direct)>RCA>T200B's

 

General:

These speakers are well worth the price tag, they exceed well in all frequencies especially the treble. The MidWoofers have quite an excursion which is great. The Tweeters are just...WOW xD. Aesthetics wise, coolest looking speakers I've seen to date, the 3D effect is pretty cool, plus the odd design (woofers top, tweeters below) is odd but quite nice.

 

Bass:

 

The bass is quite accurate and has a really decent slam too it, and pretty tight. Depending on the type of music you may listen to, the bass may resonate a bit (mostly on metal) For bass tests I played these songs:

 

(These first couple of songs were just test songs, I barely listen to them other then to just test the low frequencies)

 

Like a G6

- Bass was accurate but was pretty strong, the slam was quite nice, however at certain times, the bass tended to get a little more quiet, in most cases is was clear and satisfying.

 

Hotel Room Service

- Bass during the chorus was perfect, tight, punchy very nice, during the verse's it tended to get a bit more quiet and wasn't as efficient. It was satisfying but lacking.

 

(Now for some real bass tests =D)

 

System Check - Shambala 2008

- Bass was extremely tight and nice, however during the dubstep synth parts, the frequency hit so low that at certain times the speakers were not able to play the sound, the synth wave sounded kinda like ---------------__-----__----------- underscores represent almost so low that the speakers muted it out.

 

Super scription of data

- Bass sounded very nice, stayed fluent throughout most of the song, very nice and exceeded quite well.

 

Reliance (Itou Kanako)

- This song has a really solid straight toned bass synth (not like dubstep) so I wanted to test it. WOW, it handled it amazingly, although these speakers may not be able to deliver a huge slam, when it comes to solid bass, they do it right and perfect.

 

L no Kabe

- WOW... extremely tight, man, that was awesome xD

 

Bass Overall:

 

5/5

 

Dubstep (If you listen to mostly dubstep) 4/5 (The drops are awesome, but these speakers mute some of the dub synths (Shambala wasn't my only song))

 

Mid-Range:

 

VII

- Cello was clear, and precise, when it got low, you can feel it resonate in your gut a bit =D. When it got into the more demanding part, it was still very easy to differentiate between each instrument.

 

Mechanic God Creation

- The guitar's were extremely clear, I found myself wanted to headbang (xD) but I kept my control xP. Vocals were very well, did not seem to blend in with the guitar at all (a common problem with post-hardcore, low growls, and bad audio equipment.)

 

Her Silent Language (Dark Tranquility)

- This is a very good vocal test, and man, these speakers handled it with no problems. His voice came in clear and natural, very beautiful. Then when it got into the grow parts, his voice was very clear and did not blend with the guitar. Guitar sounded very nice, you can hear every note clearly, no complaints.

 

Mid-Range

 

5/5

 

Treble:

 

WOW! The treble on this system is by far the most/best defined, clear, astounding, fun, WHATEVER experience I have ever had. These will exceed your expectations.

 

Reliance

- Had no problems with female vocals, most defined I have heard to date

 

L's Theme (Death note)

- Piano sounded clear, everything was just clear and perfect =D.

 

Too be honest at this point, there's no reason to further post my song experiences with the treble. It is amazing, it is defined in all genre's across the board, I promise they will exceed your expectations and WOW you.

 

Treble:

5/5 (Would rate 6 if I could xD)

 

Overall Listening Songs:

 

L No Kabe

- Everything was clear, the bass actually WOWed me in this song, mid-range was precise, and treble was perfect.

 

Hacking to the Gate

- Everything was BLISS, there's even this one part in the song about 23seconds in or so, with a high 8 bit frequency, omg, its just such an awesome thing to hear on these amazing tweeters my eyes were like 0.0 (and of course my ears perked up to xD.)

 

Katayoku no Tori

- Very nice, everything was precise, soundstage could be a bit bigger.

 

Halo OST

- They all sounded great, violins were clear, u can hear every single drum perfect, and sax on the reach songs was a nice listening experiences.

 

Sound Stage:

4/5 (They are near field monitors, don't expect them to have a huge soundstage)

 

Excursion:

5/5 (I tried Bass, I love you for some laughs, although I expected of course not to hear anything (these can't go below 55hz) they flexed pretty far, they have a really high range that I had no idea about, after that I noticed they flex for every song very well)

 

Overall Rating:

5/5

 

Worth the money?:

- YES, they are BLISS for EVERYTHING (with some exceptions xD *listed below*)

 

If you intend to be a strict metal head, I'd say opt for the M200MKIII or MKII's, those handle bass and low distortion better for these types of genres, however that may not apply with things other then metal/dubstep.

 

If you intend to be a strict Dubstep listener, although I would say a sub + dubstep = right, look at metal head for reasoning.

 

Also, they sound much better spread out, however, they are still near field monitors, even though they sound better spread out (tested it) they can not be pushed at louder volumes (fill room effect) without losing some detail.

 

I also tried them for gaming and they are great for gaming. Plus I watched a couple of episodes of the animation comedies, plus some anime, dialog sounds quite nice on these speakers. They will work for both shows/movies and games when it comes to just casually watching something.

 

If I left anything out or some people would like more info or really anything, just ask and I'll be willing to answer xP.

 

(P.S. These have a extremely long break in period (almost 60 days), they keep getting better, although my review kinda claims them as perfect xD, I will continue to update and change as these guys mature.)

 

If you are interested in purchasing these beauties, I purchased them here:

http://lockwaresystems.com/swant200b-67.html

 

Enjoy!

 

Pics:

 

T200B1

 

T200B2

Receiver

 

 

 


Edited by HxCKhaos - 7/12/11 at 9:59pm
post #2 of 74

Hey, thanks for the review. I was hoping someone would post an actual review of the swan speakers. I have a question though. Have you heard some tracks w/ cello parts in it? I'm considering buying the m200mkiii in summer, and that's already stretching the budget.  I'm hoping to get a feel of how it will do since it seems you've heard both(or you've heard the mkii?)?

post #3 of 74
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by juman231 View Post

Hey, thanks for the review. I was hoping someone would post an actual review of the swan speakers. I have a question though. Have you heard some tracks w/ cello parts in it? I'm considering buying the m200mkiii in summer, and that's already stretching the budget.  I'm hoping to get a feel of how it will do since it seems you've heard both(or you've heard the mkii?)?



Honestly speaking, I've only hear the MKII's however it was for about a week. The MKIII's from what I've heard have a bigger soundstage, and a more defined sound, but its more or less just a minor improvement of everything overall.

 

As for cello, I didn't necessarily listen to much on my MK's, however I am listening to this song: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=glIV7XWRM-w (Youtube = bad quality, i have a much better recording.)

 

On my T200B's they are very very detailed and clear (Towards the end of the song you can hear just the strings.) and I can only imagine similar performance from the MK's. In my experience the T200B's tend to sound more detailed, however the MK's have a bigger soundstage and their midrange was a bit louder. They also have different drivers so I can't be the most accurate judge. From the experience that I remember, you should be very satisfied with the MK's and they are a bit more colorful when it comes to the cellos, however if you want a more natural defined sound, the T200B's would also be great.

 

Any song in particular you want me to try?


Edited by HxCKhaos - 5/13/11 at 9:00pm
post #4 of 74

Oh I would be very grateful. The link to the track is http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IU0t50wjb6g 

 

I've checked your signature, but I don't know what headphones you have to better describe the sound I like by making references, but I think the sound I'm looking for speakers (with this particular track) would be the visceral, textured (it doesn't have to be boomy) bass that conveys the resonating cello body that I can feel, with enough mids that would not be covered up by the bass so I can hear what notes are being played... From your descriptions, I think I'd opt for the mkii's instead for the better mids. 

 

Aside from the slight overpowering of the bass, did you ever feel it could go lower?

 

post #5 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by juman231 View Post

Hey, thanks for the review. I was hoping someone would post an actual review of the swan speakers. I have a question though. Have you heard some tracks w/ cello parts in it? I'm considering buying the m200mkiii in summer, and that's already stretching the budget.  I'm hoping to get a feel of how it will do since it seems you've heard both(or you've heard the mkii?)?


They are pretty much the same size, but MKIII is a slightly heavier especially it's main speaker with larger amp + rear heatsink.

M200MKII has veneered side panels, MKIII has solid milled hardwood with radiused edge details and center striping between individual laminations.

MKII has 70W amp, MKIII almost doubles it with 120W amp.  More power!  MKIII also features solid hardwood.

MKIII has bi-amplification and also features active crossovers , which will prevent intermodulation distortion and overdriving because woofer and tweeters are amplified separately.  They also reduce power output requirement, and reduce dynamic changes in the electrical properties of drivers, which should improve transient response.

The woofer is different, and bass was retuned on the MKIII as it is the newer model.

That's it.  (That's alot!)

 

Paul

Lockware Systems

post #6 of 74

you seriously need a bigger desk

post #7 of 74
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by juman231 View Post

Oh I would be very grateful. The link to the track is http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IU0t50wjb6g

 

I've checked your signature, but I don't know what headphones you have to better describe the sound I like by making references, but I think the sound I'm looking for speakers (with this particular track) would be the visceral, textured (it doesn't have to be boomy) bass that conveys the resonating cello body that I can feel, with enough mids that would not be covered up by the bass so I can hear what notes are being played... From your descriptions, I think I'd opt for the mkii's instead for the better mids. 

 

Aside from the slight overpowering of the bass, did you ever feel it could go lower?

 


I listened to it, and btw, when I was talking about the MK I was comparing the MKIII to the T200B (although I owned the MKII). I want to make it clear that the MKIII is better then the MKII, when I said better mids, I was referring to the MK vs T200B. If you are going to get one of the MK's, and you can opt for the MKIII, trust me and do it. The MKIII will improve over everything I heard from the MKII's. Also, when I said the mid-range was better, I'd like to be a little more clear. The T200B's mid-range is much more designed, much more flat, and much more natural. The MKIII's is a bit more colorful as its mid-range tends to be a little louder and tends to handle the low-mid frequencies better. Again, I never owned the MKIII and the MKII is similar except less power and different tuning. If you can stretch it and get the MKIII's, from what I've heard from people that have tried both, the MKIII will be noticeably better if you were standing in front of both and attempting to compare. I also attempted to research the comparison between MKII and MKIII on chinese forums (Google translation) and most, if not all, agree that the MKIII destroys the MKII (LOL, that was word for word what one of the guys said xD).

 

As for what I heard with the T200B's and this song, you can definitely feel the cello resonating, and you can clearly hear the notes. The bass on this was not over-powering by any chance, it was pretty flat sounding, however if you like a lot of bass (not overpowering but just a bit stronger, and you do not want to EQ) the MKIII may produce a bit more bass by default. Keep in mind this is a youtube vid, I'm sure you have a much better sounding file.

 

Btw, from what I have heard, swan has seemed to be moving towards drivers that produce better low frequencies. That's why the new MK series tends to be better in that department then the T200B. From what it seems however, the Mid-range in the T200B is better, however, if you want to get the full extent of what it can do, adding a sub that will take over the lower frequencies, allow the T200B to really shine.

 

I'll be willing to help if you still have any questions.

 

EDIT: This pretty much sums it up (Google Translate):

Quote:
T200B is known as multi-media monitors, who are more suitable for listening to the sound of musical instruments, classical aspects of music;
M200MKIII is also a good speaker for listening to pop, rock side of music, for playing games, watching movies is a good choice.
How to choose these two speakers will look at individual needs, after all, the price difference between two speakers hundreds of blocks.

Source: http://translate.google.com/translate?hl=en&sl=zh-CN&u=http://blog.zol.com.cn/1652/article_1651655.html&ei=CrXOTZrvEaPr0gGv1tiODg&sa=X&oi=translate&ct=result&resnum=7&ved=0CGQQ7gEwBg&prev=/search%3Fq%3DMKIII%2Bvs%2BT200B%26hl%3Den%26safe%3Doff%26client%3Dfirefox-a%26hs%3Dd5I%26rls%3Dorg.mozilla:en-US:official%26prmd%3Divns

 

Its a bit interesting to read the whole thing too, he compares the T200B and MKIII pretty well.


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by mark2410 View Post

you seriously need a bigger desk

 

haha, I know, but I actually tried this really spread out, as in like fronts for my entire room, they sound similar except because they have to get louder they lose a bit of detail. Plus when you listen to them closely, they tend to make ambient sounds really noticeably.

 

In the summer I'm changing up my entire room, so until then xD
 

 


Edited by HxCKhaos - 5/14/11 at 10:18am
post #8 of 74

Man, those songs you chose are soft bass tests.

 

You need REAL man bass test music.

 

Google up "Ultimate subwoofer test".

 

I used to slam that everyday back in 2006. Hahaha. I love it.

 

There are so many different subwoofer songs/tests out there. 

Look around from them.

 

I had a BUNCH on an ext hdd, but it failed on me, and I lost 6 years of stuff on it.

post #9 of 74
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by sizzlincok View Post

Man, those songs you chose are soft bass tests.

 

You need REAL man bass test music.

 

Google up "Ultimate subwoofer test".

 

I used to slam that everyday back in 2006. Hahaha. I love it.

 

There are so many different subwoofer songs/tests out there. 

Look around from them.

 

I had a BUNCH on an ext hdd, but it failed on me, and I lost 6 years of stuff on it.

But these aren't subs xD. Shambala was a good test, surprisingly, when I played that song on my MK, it handled it quite well. On these, it muted 1/6.
 

 

post #10 of 74

I cannot say enough for Swan. I wish I could have gone with some of the higher end sets they sell, but unfortunately my budget only allowed for $500 for an entire setup of dac/amp, speakers, and headphones, so I went with the D1010. It worked out though, because they barely fit on my desk. I was originally going to try and up my budget to allow for the D1080's but I honestly think they would have been too loud for my space as the D1010's are far more power than I could ever use. I actually enjoy listening to these speakers more than my ATH M50's as they don't seem to have any weaknesses.

 

1.jpg

 

post #11 of 74

Interesting... How would you compare the sound of the M50 and d1010mkii 08? I realize it can be difficult to compare headphones to speakers, but I'm just curious how the the signature of M50 (in my opinion, a little overpowering bass with a bit recessed mids. The treble can get a bit sharp/metallic) compares to the speakers

post #12 of 74


The D1010MKII 08s are actually more enjoyable than the ATH M50s because "they don't seem to have any weaknesses".  biggrin.gif 

 

Nice!

post #13 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by HxCKhaos View Post

But these aren't subs xD. Shambala was a good test, surprisingly, when I played that song on my MK, it handled it quite well. On these, it muted 1/6.


Oh, I know haha. I'm just saying, you would be surprise on how much bass comes out from your speakers if you played the right song. :D

 

I played Sierra Leone by Mt Eden off my Sony Ericsson phone into my A5's, cranked the mega bass to max, and there's no distortion at all.

Then again, I modded the phone with better audio drivers. :P

 

Turning the volume up, I actually shake walls with only my A5's. ;)

 

Try it. Tell me how it goes, I'm interested to see how well your Swans. :D

 

 

post #14 of 74

This one's a great sub test:

 

As is this, those 10hz 'mines' have ruined many a speaker!

post #15 of 74

^ Haha, I've had all those in MP3 format. 

Look for them in Google, I'm sure you'll find them.

 

Bass I love you only shines on a subwoofer, and when you push it to it's max.

I used to make videos of my Z680 excursion.

 

I got almost 2" of excursion off my 8" sub. :D

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