New Head-Fier
The best dynamic driver earphones!
Pros: -sound quality
-build quality
Cons: -cable
- acceories





HIFIMAN is a company that hardly needs any introduction, they are one of the leading audio manufacturers on the market and constantly prove their position as a leader. They are constantly working to release better and better equipment and have a lot of their own technologies. Recently I had the pleasure of reviewing Svanar Vireless, the TWS from hell, which is a continuation of HIFIMAN’s vision in the field of uncompromising audio. The headphones costing USD 499 made a stunning impression on me, which you can read about in my separate review. However, let’s go back to SVANAR in the wired version. These are headphones priced at USD 1999, so they hit a very high target when it comes to in-ear headphones.


In fact, this will be the weakest part of the entire review, while the headphones themselves are made really well, made of a combination of aluminum and brass and gold-plated, unfortunately when it comes to accessories, they are average. The tips are just ok, but I recommend buying something from symbio, for example, the stock cable is acceptable, but the headphones benefit a lot with better cables. Here we are happy to have a 0.78 mm socket, but it has a deep implementation, so you need to have cables with a longer plug, and this does not guarantee that another cable will work properly. The headphones themselves come in a beautiful dust-covered suitcase, which is a very nice aspect, but I would like to slightly improve the accessories and metal case. At this price, every detail is important and if I am greeted by luxury, I expect it in every aspect. It’s nice that HIFIMAN included an extra pair of 0.78 plugs so we can make our own cable if we want. The comfort of the headphones themselves is really great, as is their build quality. I’m talking about the headphones themselves, not accessories.


The Svanars have a shape reminiscent of personalized headphones, but they fit perfectly in my ear, the comfort they provide is so comfortable that I completely forgot about them during long listening sessions. What is very important, the insulation is also at a very good level, well above average.

Test material:
During testing, I used high-quality hi-res files and TIDAL with my own playlist. Lots of jazz, pop and metal music.

Hifiman knows how to tune headphones and has shown it many times, and it is no different in the case of the flagship Svanar model based on a single dynamic range in topological technology.

Bass: First of all, what I noticed is the extraordinary lightness and agility of the bass, it is musical and very engaging, you can hear it clearly, but its texture is highly developed. I like its slightly warmed and engaging character. It has all the advantages of high-class dynamics, is natural and fits perfectly into the overall sound. Hifiman Svanar are headphones with a W-plane sound, so the bass does not detract from the quality of individual bands. The bass has the right speed, it’s not super fast, but it doesn’t linger in the background. Its warmth makes the sound of svanar very engaging. The delicate coloration of the mid-bass adds a sense of realism. The bass goes low, but the boost point is definitely in the midbass and this is the intended effect.

Midrange: The midtones are very resolved and each instrument is practically a separate musical zone, this is due to the very holographic stage. The depth and breadth of the musical presentation are similar to the impressions of a listening studio; it is not a presentation that forcibly stretches the stage, it is rather a sweet and addictive intimacy. We will especially appreciate it in jazz or pop. The vocals are very resolved, natural, as if they were sung live. It’s amazing how natural these headphones sound. They don’t try to bombard us with information, instead they show it as it is. The tonal balance is truly impressive and the midrange sound quality is probably the best I’ve ever heard in dynamic headphones.

Treble: The treble is resolving and completely natural, it is not plastic or cold, it is rather a sound consistent with nature and what I expect from headphones, each instrument sounds engaging and encourages further listening, and nothing is harsh or unpleasant. The high tones have good resolution and are really pleasant to listen to. The instruments are perfectly depicted and very resolved, of course the micro dynamics are not at the same level as in the case of multi-armature units, but the realism and timbre are at a much better level. The high tones are so natural and palpable that it is hard to resist the impression of experiencing live music. It is worth noting here that the Svanars showed their full potential only when connected to higher-class equipment, which in this case was the EF600 from Hifiman.




This is certainly the most frequently searched combination, because both headphones are so close and yet completely far from each other. The advantage of the wireless variant is the presence of R2R modules that drive them perfectly and make the Bluetooth svanars incredibly close to the wired ones. In some aspects they can even be considered better. However, the wired version of Svanar has the advantage that we can pair them with any device and, for example, with the EF600 they gain incredible potential and show a certain advantage. Which headphones we choose depends on whether we want the convenience of wireless ones by agreeing to a certain compromise, or whether we can afford a solid DAC and AMP to properly use the potential of wired Svanar headphones.

Hifiman svanar are headphones whose main disadvantages are based on the basic selection of accessories and not the headphones themselves. The sound we get for 2000USD is analog, dense, natural and literally absorbing. Their strengths are primarily imaging, scenic possibilities and beautiful tuning balancing between balance and the beauty they bring. If we like warm and engaging tunings full of information and details, these are undoubtedly one of the best dynamics on the market. 0.78 sockets require some synergy in the selection of cables, but those with larger plugs fit without any problems (I mean length). The sound stage is ellipsoidal, which means we can hear music practically everywhere. Svanars also like electricity and feel great with better devices. In this case, I used the EF600 from hifiman for testing and it actually allowed me to get much more out of the headphones. These are headphones that, of course, have their drawbacks, one of them is the stock cable, but overall, their sound and what they offer make up for these minor shortcomings by taking us into the world of music that is colored in such a way that we can literally get lost in it. Hifiman is a company that really knows how to tune equipment and has once again shown who rules the market. I hope that in the next version they will correct minor shortcomings with the equipment and we will have the undisputed king of mobility.
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100+ Head-Fier
Hifiman - SVANAR : Effortless Enjoyment Guaranteed!
Pros: + Superb Build
+ Very Comfortable
+ Superb staging
+ Superb Resolution & Separation
+ Great Bass
+ Good midrange
+ Great energetic treble
+ Pairs well with most dongles and portable players
+ Comes in a very nice box
Cons: - The cable is below par compared to others in the price range
- No balanced 4.4mm included
- Lack of good ear-tips
- The Joining of the upper part & lower part of the shell is not very smooth... this is more of a visual issue though... has no impact on performance
Hifiman - SVANAR : Effortless Enjoyment Guaranteed!



Launched in June'2023, Hifiman launched their newest flagship IEM with a new Single Dynamic Driver using their new Topology diaphragm architecture. The Svanar is a symbol of elegance and that is what we expect from it in terms of musical performance. Coming at a price range $1999, the SVANAR comes with Brass chamber with 24K Gold plating which according to Hifiman is important for better sound experience. The SVANAR is indeed an excellent performer, allowing users a effortless musical experience - just like the Swan swimming effortlessly in water.



Let's quickly dive into the details without making the introduction very lengthy. The SVANAR features 1 topology diaphragm based Dynamic driver and brass chamber with 24k gold plating. The cable that it comes with is pretty ordinary and quite below par with what is found from IEMs of similar price range.

The SVANAR is priced at $1999.


Design & Build:

The shells is very ergonomic and the rear-half of the shell is made of aluminum covering the brass front chamber with 24K gold plating. The shells are quite light-weight and very comfortable. I have found them very comfortable throughout long listening sessions.


It is described as the following on the website:






The SVANAR comes at $1999 price tag and the specifications are as below:



The Box & Accessories:

The following are found in the box:

  • Hard Carrying Case
  • 2 Pin 0.78mm to 3.5mm Cable with Silver-Coated Crystalline Copper Wire
  • 4 Pairs of Ear-tips (2 Double Flanged, 2 Triple Flanged)
  • Ear-hooks
  • Owner's guide & warranty card



The Cable:

SVANAR comes with a 2 Pin 0.78mm to 3.5mm Cable with Silver-Coated Crystalline Copper Wire. It's quite thin and not as soft and flexible as one would expect. Also, it doesn't come with a 4.4mm balanced connector out of the box.


Hence, I have tried to pair it with some of the 3rd party cables that I owned. I have tried pairing with quite a few cables and found the best pairings with @EffectAudio CODE-23 and Cadmus 8W, both of which came with 4.4mm balanced termination.

With Kinera x Effect Audio ORLOG:

With Effect Audio CADMUS 8W:

With Effect Audio CODE-23:

In my experience, I have found the best sonic performance when paired with the CODE-23 cable and that combination has remained my favorite till date. Though the cable might be a bit thick and not as flexible, the music performance that the pairing yields is simply awesome!



Items Used for this Review:

DAC/AMP & Dongles:
@Questyle M15 Dongle DAC/AMP, @Cayin RU7 Dongle & C9 Portable Amplifier
Portable Players / Sources : @Cayin N7, N8ii, @Questyle QP2R
Streaming Source: QOBUZ


Tracks Used:

The tracks I have used can be found from the below playlist that I have used and generally use for most reviews...


Pairing Performance with different sources:

Dongle DAC/AMPs:

SVANAR had the best pairing with @Questyle M15 & @Cayin RU7 dongles. But, I have found that it pairs well with other dongles like @MOONDROP DAWN PRO etc.


Portable Players:

Obviously the SVANAR had the best pairing with the @Questyle QP2R & specially Cayin N8ii since that comes with Class-A amplification and a new DAC which is super resolving and not to forget the Nutubes! The BEST pairing however came with Cayin C9 + N7 with Class-A amplification enabled. That just took the performance of the SVANAR to the next level.



Ear Tips:

I have tried many different ear-tips with the SVANAR, starting from Spinfit W1, CP500, CP100+, JVC Spiral Dots+, Final Audio Black & Transparent ones.
But the best fit and isolation for my ears had been AZLA SednaFit Short Transparent ones. I have hence used them for majority of the review.



SVANAR Sound Impressions in Short:


The bass performance of SVANAR is amazing. From the little nuances of the sub-bass to the rumble and slam of the mid-bass, everything seemed very balanced. The Bass experience came with enough muscle/body and power and the thump & slams were adequately felt. The attack & decay were both very enjoyable. Tracks like: "Hotel California (Live on MTV 1994) – Eagles" and "Fluid - Yosi Horikawa" are quite immersive.


The midrange of the SVANAR is quite open and clear with ample amount of texture and details. There's no bass bleed and the midrange is quite textured and full-bodied. Vocals are very immersive and both male and female vocals come with good texture and feel very real. Instruments felt very natural and real with high accuracy and the separation between them is also great. The transients were accurate & adequate and very very enjoyable. In tracks like: "Anchor - Trace Bundy", "A dog named Freedom – Kinky Friedman" and "Ruby Tuesday – Franco Battiato" it’s really easy to get lost into the music as it comes with ample detailed transients, texture, excellent vocals and details.


The Treble is quite energetic on the SVANAR though some may feel that it could be slightly more airy. It has the right amount of details and energy and is in no way harsh or peaky. Treble in tracks like: "Paradise Circus – Massive Attack", "Mambo for Roy – Roy Hargrove” and "Saints and Angels – Sharon Shannon" feel very immersive and enjoyable from the treble perspective.


The Staging capabilities of the SVANAR is superb and quite surprisingly great. In fact, it might be amongst the best in the price range. It comes with the right amount of width, height, depth and is well defined and just as much as the track requires. It just proves the point that Hifiman had made the right implementation here.
Tracks like: “The Secret Drawer – Bela Fleck and the Flecktones” or “She Don’t know – Melody Gardot” or “Bohemian Rhapsody (live aid) – Queen” sound amazing & enjoyable. This is amongst the strongest trait of this IEM.

Imaging & Timbre:

The Imaging & instrument separation performance on the SVANAR is stellar and sense of location is spot on with high accuracy. Tracks like: “Rotterdam (Or Anywhere) - The Beautiful South “or “Hello Again - Howard Carpendale & The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra” just shine through. The Timbrealso feels very natural.



Please note that I have to make comparisons from 2 different perspectives here. Firstly from a price perspective I have compared the SVANAR against the Audeze LCD-i4 priced at $2495 which is slightly above the SVANAR priced at $1999. Secondly, I have compared SVANAR against another Single DD IEM which is Softears Twilight which happened to be the best Single DD IEM in my possession before the SVANAR.



Though price ranges are similar, but the architecture of the IEMs are very different. While the Audeze LCD-i4 is a Planar Driver based IEM, the SVANAR is a Dynamic driver based IEM. Each architecture has it's strength & weaknesses, but here we will see what we get for the price paid.

Price: The SVANAR costs slightly lesser than the MCD-i4 and hence gets the edge here.

Build, Comfort & Features: Getting a good fit with the LCD-i4 is very difficult and it is not also very comfortable for longer sessions. The SVANAR on the other hand is very comfortable and it's easy to get a good fit with it.


Bass: Though the LCD-i4 has the best bass amongst any Planar IEM I have come across till date, it is not enough to beat the performance of the SVANAR. The Bass on the Svanar is much more refined.

Mids: Though the midrange on the SVANAR is great and there is really nothing to complain about, the midrange on the LCD-i4 is just on another level with better texture & muscle. Everything feels slightly fuller and more textured.

Treble: This is where the SVANAR really excels and the overall experience is very enjoyable. Note that the LCD-i4 is not lagging behind by a long way here. But the SVANAR is just more energetic.

Soundstage, Imaging and Separation: The staging on both SVANAR and LCD-i4 is equally amazing and class-leading. However, SVANAR has ever so slightly better separation.


HIFIMAN SVANAR vs Softears Twilight:

This is just the opposite case of the previous. Here both IEMs come with Single DD architecture but the prices are different. The Twilight comes at $930 while the SVANAR is priced at $1999 which is double the price of the Twilight.

Price: The Twilight and hence gets the edge here.

Build, Comfort & Features: Both IEMs are very lightweight and it is easy to get a good fit. both IEMs are very comfortable also. However, the SVANAR is slightly more ergonomic in terms of the curves in the shell. Also, the SVANAR comes with a bass chamber with 24K gold plating which is unique and the topology diaphragm is also unique to the SVANAR. The nozzle of the Twilight goes in deeper while the SVANAR nozzle is shallower.


Bass: Though both of these IEMs feature dynamic drivers, the bass experience on the SVANAR is more refined and detailed. The Twilight does great for its price though.

Mids: The midrange on both of these IEMs are just great, but the SVANAR provides a bit more refined experience with finer details and slight more texture and the transients feel better.

Treble: This is where I think both IEMs do well and there is nothing to complain.

Soundstage, Imaging and Separation: The staging on SVANAR is amazing and class-leading, while the Twilight staging is also great for it's price, the SVANAR just feels overall better.



The SVANAR experience is great and also feels effortless. the overall musical experience is very enjoyable and amazing and beautiful like the swan that it represents.
I would recommend it to people who can afford it at this price range.

How does it compare against the Final Audio A8000?


New Head-Fier
Comfortable, balanced, and fun... but light on tips
Pros: Outstanding packaging and presentation
Smooth, balanced sound signature with excellent, cohesive tone
Very wide, spacious sound signature — truly impressive for an IEM!
Exceptionally well-made and gorgeous
Very good imaging and positionality (head-stage and immersion)
Cons: Fairly sparse accessories
Cable is fine, but rather basic for this price
No balanced cable option
Hi Everyone! I'm the tech editor over at MMORPG.com, a gaming site that also covers technology. I am a music lover and big audio enthusiast, so make a point to cover lots of headphones and IEMs. I do a specific column for really premium gear called Golden Ears, which I covered the Svanar for. I have been lurking on Head-Fi for ages but figured I would share my thoughts here too since you're all into the hobby like I am already :)

Anyhow, enough about me. Onto Svanar!

Svanar Faceplates 5.jpg


  • Current Price: $1,999 (Audio46)
  • Frequency response: 5Hz-35kHz
  • Impedance: 60Ω
  • Sensitivity: 100dB
  • Weight: 13g (excluding cable)
  • Physical Attribute: Topology Diaphragm 9.2mm Dynamic Driver

HIFIMAN Svanar - What a First Impression…​

Svanar Box 1.jpg

Over the last ten years I’ve written for MMORPG and other tech publications, I’ve been lucky enough to try a lot of gear (I’m nearing 800 tech reviews just at MMO these days), and the HIFIMAN Svanar is easily one of the fanciest, best presented products I’ve ever touched. What first appears to be a normal, if a bit heavy, slip-cover box soon reveals itself to be a leather-bound wood, emblazoned with metal plaque on the top. It absolutely looks the part of a $2,000 pair of earbuds with this kind of packaging.

Svanar Box 2.jpg

Inside, you’re greeted with the earbuds and accessories, well laid out in pre-cut foam inserts. The buds are protected inside the case in their own foam layer, so there’s no risk of movement as they travel. To the right is a box with five pairs of silicone ear tips. To the left is the cable, as well as a pair of optional ear hooks and extenders for the 2-pin connection if you need a little more length to use them comfortably.

Svanar Owners Manual 2.jpg

Beneath all of this is the owners manual and warranty card. HIFIMAN ships its pricier products with these glossy manuals that can double as small coffee table books. It’s the kind of thing I would expect to find included with a luxury car and, again, is fitting for the price tier the Svanar is placed at. Let’s take a closer look at everything you’re getting.



The case is made of metal and has a soft foam layer on the bottom to keep things from getting scratched. It’s the same style of case Mangird and other brands have been using for some time and is decent enough, though not quite as nice as the zippered cases we’ve seen from Yanyin and others. The earbuds ship with the above foam insert included in the case, but they need to be removed if you want room for the cable too.


The tips are well presented but too sparse. HIFIMAN has leaned into two and three-flange design here with only a single pair of standard silicone ear tips. Those have a wider bore, which cuts down on bass, and are only in one size. I’ll talk about this more in the fit section, but I think the company took a leap here not including any standard tips. Perhaps the designers assumed anyone purchasing IEMs at this price would have their own? They would likely be right. But still, I would have liked to have seen quite a few more tip options, even if these do accomplish the goal of being comfortable and very well isolating.

Svanar Cable 1.jpg

The cable is good, but I could see enthusiasts wanting to upgrade this for something a bit fancier looking. HIFIMAN says they use only the “finest silver-coated crystalline copper wire” but hides that behind a standard black rubberized sleeve. It sounds great, for as much as a cable can impact sound quality, and is both soft and completely non-microphonic. Functionally, it’s very good.

Svanar Cable 2.jpg

HIFIMAN didn’t completely ignore aesthetics either. The Y-split and chin cinch are both mirrored metal, and the former is etched with the brand name. The 3.5mm termination is also quite heavy duty with a chonky L-shaped adapter. There’s no modularity or balanced alternate, though, which is surprising as these earphones definitely scale with more power, ala a balanced amplifier.


Here’s a look at everything together. The earhooks work well, I might add, though I didn’t really find them necessary. The earpieces are well designed and balanced to fit securely, and I could never see myself doing a workout with a $2,000 pair of earbuds in, getting covered in sweat. Nice addition if you have fit issues, though!



Moving onto the earpieces themselves, HIFIMAN took inspiration from the contours of a swan (which is actually what Svanar means in Swedish). It’s an elegant connection to make, though I wouldn’t have made it myself. The contouring isn’t that far off from other earphones that use a Universal IEM (UIEM) design, which is contoured based on collected data on the shape of the human ear. The application here is very comfortable, though, so the changes to the design they went with are very welcome. It is genuinely one of the most comfortable IEMs I’ve worn, which is especially noteworthy given their relatively heavy 13 gram weight.



The earpieces are broken into two halves on the exterior. The outer portion is milled aluminum with a matte finish to avoid fingerprints. The inner half is a copper zinc alloy coated in 24-carat gold. It’s a duality of minimalism and luxuriousness. They’re low key (and low profile) enough that if you do choose to wear them out of the house, they won’t attract attention, with an inner half that feels almost like the Svanar’s little secret.


The mix of materials and intricately designed contouring applies to the internal design of the Svanar too. The rear cavity uses an aluminum alloy while the opposite side (the interior of the copper/zinc alloy) uses brass. Mixed metals have a direct impact on sound resonance in acoustic engineering and HIFIMAN leverages that here to tune the sound of these earphones into one that’s balanced and resolving, yet smooth.


In its marketing materials, the company also states that it took inspiration from the arrangement of the Moscow State Theather with is recessed orchestra pit and diffusion ceiling. This, the company states, results in an extended soundstage. It’s marketing goes on to describe how they translated this into the Svanar: “optimized by a new algorithm, a phase-conducting structural design, and an earpiece that is supported by custom-developed materials,” its internal chamber aims to bring the same listening experience into your home.

And while, no, no in-ear monitor is going to sound like a world-class orchestra theater, it does deliver a great soundstage and imaging that’s genuinely impressive for an IEM. More on that in the listening section.

As you might have gathered from the image above, the Svanar uses a single dynamic driver. That flies in the face of the trend of other top-tier IEMs that seem set on packing as many drivers as possible into their shells. But, while it’s possible for multi-driver IEMs to sound exquisite, it’s not about the number or type of drivers, it’s about what the acoustic engineers do with them. Using only a single dynamic driver also means these IEMs can be smaller with an easier fit, something that’s not always the case with hybrid or tri-brid IEMs.


The earphones use HIFIMAN’s proprietary topology driver technology to tune the sound. You can read the company’s breakdown in the image above, but the short version is that each driver has been coated in nanoparticles with a specific pattern. The utility of driver coatings has long been established as a way to add rigidity and speed to dynamic drivers, but HIFIMAN takes it to another level, positing that different materials in different patterns has a unique effect. What those are for this particular model isn’t disclosed, likely a trade secret, but every time I’ve heard a HIFIMAN topology driver, I’ve found something to realy enjoy about it.

With that in mind, let’s take a closer look at fit and get into how they sound.

HIFIMAN Svanar - Fit and Comfort​

Comfort was at the forefront in the design of these IEMs, and their swan-inspired shape is indeed very comfortable. Over the month or so I’ve had them in for testing, I’ve spent many hours with them in my ears and they have never left me sore or fatigued. The contouring is quite well done and prevents hot-spots. HIFIMAN also did a very good job of balancing their weight and leveraging the outer ear for support. The nozzle fits comfortable and doesn’t press unduly on the ear canal, making these a very pleasant wear.


As always, be sure to take the time to find the proper ear tips, and that may not be possible with the included silicones. At this price, I think a much wider assortment of tips was called for, including foams, as the flanged tips that make up the bulk of what’s included aren’t comfortable for everyone. That said, I almost always have issues with this kind of tip and actively avoid them. The smallest double flange worked perfectly and didn’t both me at all, so it’s worth giving them a try because they might just surprise you.

HIFIMAN Svanar - Listening Impressions​

First things first, you should know that you’ll need a bit of power to drive these earphones to their fullest. Nothing crazy, but with 60 ohms of impedance and 100dB of sensitivity, they’re less sensitive than many competing IEMs on the market. For my testing, I used a mix of the Questyle M15 and the Fiio K9 Pro ESS.

Starting with a look at the graph (courtesy of Elise Audio), we can see a U-shaped tuning with good sub-bass extension and a bit of mid-bass emphasis before bottoming out at about 700Hz. The frequencies then rise in the upper-mids and have some peaks above 8K (which is where couplers become less reliable). This tuning points toward big-bodied low end but with a good amount of treble air, which could translate to perceived detail.

I listened to these earphones for weeks ahead of looking at a graph and can say that this is very close to what I have been hearing. The bass reaches low and is capable of good rumble and impact. The driver is speedy, so there’s plenty of texture to bass notes, which gives music a good sense of tactility. The low synths in Chillstep (like Inner Fire by BlauDisS) have a sub-woofer like quality to them, but it’s not overpowering. The driver is fast enough to handle the machine-gun double kicks of Bleeding Mascara by Atreyu. Though the production on that song is terrible, so the mid-bass sounds woofy — not the fault of the Svarar, however, as My Curse by Killswitch Engage sounds clean with all the pound and impact you could ask for.


The mids are very nice, though I think this is a set that really leans into instruments above all. Male vocals in particular take a slight step back behind guitars, strings, and drums. Female vocals, like Adele on Set Fire to the Rain, are more forward and sound particularly nice alongside instruments. Someone Like You is another particularly beautiful listen with its blend of vocals and piano. It’s not a vocals-first set, but this balance in the mids makes them sound particularly smooth without the sense that you’re losing detail in the process.

The treble is particularly well done, balancing detail, air, and sizzle with a roundness that keeps sibilance at bay. I didn’t find these fatiguing in the slightest, but HIFIMAN has tuned them to draw out cymbals even whe they’re in the background. Set Fire to the Rain is a great example of this, as the background splashes are drawn out and seem to slide in underneath the rest of the mix. The treble goes a long way to making these earphones sound as balanced as they do… they’re slightly warm, but also very clear and enjoyable.


The use of a single dynamic driver also makes listening sound particularly cohesive. It’s the kind of thing you’re only likely to notice if you’ve listened to a lot of different earphones that mix driver types. While I love hybrid and tribrid driver IEMs, the Svanar is a great example of why a single dynamic driver can be uniquely enjoyable. Even though multi-driver IEMs blend the frequencies together almost imperceptibly, the final result has a different timbre, a crispness or etchedness that comes from using balanced armatures and electrostats alongside a dynamic driver. They can all be good, but it’s a different flavor, and the Svanar presents its listening experiences with a unity that’s very nice.

But how about soundstage, after all that talk about being inspired by the Moscow State Theater? Whatever designs HIFIMAN has implemented here work very well. The soundstage is exceptionally spacious for an IEM. It’s always wide, but every now and again it surprised me with sounds that genuinely sounded outside of my listening spaces. Usually, instruments or audio cues in games that began suddenly or during particularly quiet moments. Even with these eye-openers excluded, the soundstage is wide but also tall. There’s a great sense of space with these.


That sense of space also applies to layering. Every layer has room to breathe, you can hear exactly how your songs and games come together and pick out all of macro and micro details. Details retrieval then, is quite good. I found these earphones to be quite resolving, but being detail-hounds isn’t what these earphones are all about (as we can tell from the warmer tuning). They’re not as detail-centric as the Thieaudio Monarch Mk II or Prestige in A/B listening sessions, but they are more full-bodied and smooth without the sense that you’re really missing out. Different flavors for different listeners.

And because we have to, how are they for gaming? Now, you’d never buy these just for gaming, but if you’re spending this much, I think it’s perfectly reasonable that you might want to use them for gaming too. On that front, I think they’re fantastic. Their spaciousness is perfect for both single-player games where immersion rules. For multiplayer, their imaging and excellent layering (clarity) are very good. The slightly recessed mids may dial back footsteps slightly but I still had no trouble hearing them.


Overall Impressions and Final Thoughts​

The HIFIMAN Svanar are exceptionally expensive but also exceptionally good. From their presentation and design to comfort and acoustics, I thoroughly enjoyed these earphones. HIFIMAN could stand to throw in a few more extras, but they manage to impress pretty much across the board. Their aim, a balanced sound that’s full-bodied but detail rich, is easy to listen to and enjoy across multiple genres and styles. Svanar was never for everybody, but if you can afford it, or even try them out at your local audio store, there’s a lot to love here and my appreciation only seems to grow over time.


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I realized after submitting that there is still a purchase link in there. It's not an affiliate link or anything. I'm not seeing any option to edit it now, but if it's not allowed and a mod can cut that out, I'd appreciate it.


Headphoneus Supremus
Engaging, natural and musical
Pros: -dynamic and balanced tonal balance
-warm lush and crisp enough W shape signature
-well define and rounded punchy mid bass
-well layered sub bass
-lush, full bodied and natural mid range
-very beautiful male and female vocal that embrace the listener
-great layering with decent imaging
-wide holographic soundstage
-you are part of the music, not distant from it
-dense natural timbre
-full tone of instrument with proper low harmonic and fundamental
-smooth, creamy yet snappy and energic treble
-more musical than going cold technical
-good note weight for piano and drum
-extremely versatile
-very comfortable design
-nice packaging
Cons: -not end game in term of technical performance
-not the cleanest macro resolution
-bass bleed for mid coloring might not be for everyone (i love it)
-not for treble heads or those seeking high amount of micro details
-not the most airy and sparkly treble
-sustain decay have hint of warmth
-the included cable is a bad joke
-lack of proper eartips
-2pin connector are too tight

SOUND BENEFIT: Medium sound benefit level (not end game technicalities, yet very high dynamic musicality)


Hifiman doesn't need lenghty introduction, since they are a very well know chinese audio company making DAP, DAC-AMP, IEM and what they are the most famous for: Planar headphones.
Yet, it make a long time they haven't release new earphones and this is why i'm very excited to review their latest flaghip IEM release: the Hifiman Svanar.
In all honnesty, until now the only earphones that truely charm my ears are the Hifiman RE2000 Gold, which I try for about a month, years ago, so the memories are fading away, but let say it wasn't plain bright and bass light like the more neutral RE400, RE600 and RE800 and I find the tonality both fun and musical as well as capable enough in technical performance, the female vocal were lush and energic and bass was well rounded and punchy, this is how I remember them.
And my wish when I receive the Svanar was them to be as good or even better than the RE2000.

Priced very same price as the RE2000 ,which is 2000$, the Svanar use as well as ''topology driver'' which can ''carve'' the diaphragm surface with precise nano coating that permit to achieve a customized control of it's transient response. You can try to imagin a plastic pellicule with different thickness on it's surface floating on water, the wave will not inflict on the pellicule the same way on thicker vs thinner part, this is how I imagine the DD diaphragm mecanical properties. But this isn't all, Dr Fang believe the chemical properties can inflict on sound rendering too, which will be more about timbre and definition edge rendering perhaps, since for example, titanium diaphragm really tend to deliver brighten more abrasive texture to timbre, so, chemical properties of carbon seem indeed limitless when we play with it's molecule.


Now, the big question as said is: is this the RE2000 upgrade we are waiting for? Let see in this very detailed review if it's the case!




Svanar mean ''swan'' in swedish, and it inspire the shell design of this IEM. The similarity is a bit abstract, but indeed when we put it upside down it does have a swan shape but just lack the head which is, well, your ear tips choice.
The construction is made of 2 part. Front cavity is made of a mix of zinc and brass which is gold plated. Brass is a material which is know to have high density and low resonance, but it's heavy too, so the fact it's in front part make the weight pushing into your ears instead of being prompt to fall easily.
Back plate is made of alluminum alloy with a mate brused grey finish, it doesn't look easy to scratch but I wouldn't say it's the most refined or beautiful material for an IEM of this price range.


It most be noted that my quality judgment become more severe when an IEM go above 1000$, so, this will explain what is about to come.

The 2 part of the housing aren't perfectly matched and craftmanship is average, we can even see some space and glue between the 2 part. Let say its not a perfectionist built. The gold plating, unlike alloy back plate, is very easy to scratch and will most likely become less elegant and impressive to look at when time pass.
The kind of mesh used is the kind that can collect moisture or ear was easily I feel, which will be more problematic in hot and humid place. A screwable nozzle filter would have been a better idea, like Unique Melody Mext have.
The 2pin connector is recessed and will not match all type of cable. While it's stated to be 0.78mm, i think it's perhaps 0.01mm wider which explain stock cable is super easy to connect but any other 0.78mm cable are super hard to connect, this make cable swapping very cumbersome and even prompt to break the pin inside or outside of the connector. I've take the risk to force it and now most of my cable match, but this isn't user friendly.


In term of comfort, the Svanar are excellent. The front shell share is organic and very smooth, it fit perfectly my inner ears and stay there securly due to gravity push of brass weight toward my ear canal. This is thinked to have a shallow fit since the nozzle is very short. I don't encounter any discomfort even after more than 3 hours of use. As well, isolation is above average but not the most intense. Noise leakage do occur and will be noticeable at high volume mostly.


And now, before going into packaging, it's time to talk about the included cable which is a real shame. Hifiman praise it as being ''finest silver coated crystalline copper wire'' cable which is their poetical way to say its a cheap silver plated cable with poor insulation, cheap rubber coating with loose wire in it and cheap plastic 2pin connector that can be repair if you want, with included extra plastic cover. Only decent part of the cable is a L shape plug made of metal, which cost about 1$ on Ali express.The cable holder is loose, the Y cable wires are very thin, they kept their bent easily, don't go around ear well, and i'm pretty certain the rubber will go dry and fragile after a year or so.
While the worst cable golden palm go to the Aroma Thunder, Svanar cable is closed second. I advice to get rid of this cable as fast as you can and use a good quality one, since the sound quality will improve too, having cleaner resolution, more open spatiality, and more vivid and balanced dynamic with less noise in texture.
The fact Svanar is 60ohm and 100db of sensitivity would have justify the inclusion of a balanced cable too.
I might seem overly grumpy here, but I put myself in the skin of somebody that do a serious investment in a kilobuck earphones, not of an ultra wealthy audio enthusiast that doesn't care about real money value.
Hifiman need to be more serious about the cable they include, which will be underline in my review of their Arya too, but to a less extend since it's less of an insult as stock Svanar cable.

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Now, let's talk about the fancy looking packaging!
It come in a big jewellery like box, which is very beautiful and can be used to store your prime earphones and cables. It's made of false leather and look great. This is pure luxury that feel very welcome as a consumer investing in flagship IEM. The golden plate with Svanar and Hifiman logo give it even more luxurious appeal. Yes, this unboxing experience feel special, and this is very nice.
Then inside this we have an average basic round protective case. It's very small, and will barely fit the Svanar with it's cable.
I already talk about the cable, so let's give a pass here.
Other accessories are rather basic, we have 5 pairs of silicone eartips, 2 triple flanged, 2 double flanged and 1 small wide bore. I don't even care to try them since Svanar have wide nozzle and triple flanged with small hole is strangest choice for these. Other ear tips are too small, so, this is a bit ridiculous choice for eartips and I can't understand the logic behind it if any.


Then we have a silicone ear hook, if you feel like using the stock cable.
We have a nice booklet with beautiful picture, as well as this extra 2pin connector for potential cable repair.
All in all, it's more of a superficial luxury experience than proper one, since accessories included are basic, their not enough ear tips models and size, the carrying case isn't impressive and the cable...i rant about it enough.



Just a little about me and why i find it very complicate to find IEM that have a versatile musicality to my ears. The fact is that my music library is very huge and very diversify in genre. I have for goal in life to be able to find band I love in Every music genre possible, yes, this is how much open minded yet ''fine bouche'' I am about music passion and curiosity. This is surely due to my main music genre I listen too which is Jazz, since Jazz can mix up any music style when it go into fusion or experimental road. But I listen to alot of classical and electronic too, as well as soul, R&B, rock, world music and even some metal, mostly progessive and instrumental. Its very rare that a single IEM can handle all music genre of planet earth and with time, I learn cold or analytical or Harman target don,t cut it for versatility, it's very easy to show presence of instrument, what is hard is to inject soul to them, which is hide within fundamental of each instrument so it can achieve this tactile and envelopping fullness of melodic harmony or fully restitute pitch range.
All this to say, my audiophile life is complicate and I tend to collect different sound flavor to be able to cover all this music genre.
One thing of main importance for me is this: bass need to be full, well define enough and have minimal to fun impact weight. Mids need to have body and enjoyable timbre. Treble need to be fast enough, detailed enough and open enough yet not too agressive or bright.
Piano is my benchmark instrument for mid range and I listen to alot of female singer. For bass, im capricious because i tend to need impact and extension so contrabass and cello (for jazz and classical) sound natural and well bodied, not just about presence since I hate that even more when it come to low pitch instrument.
Then, i wish all IEM offer sparkle and natural decay and extension up to 20khz, but thats a crazy utopia.


Well, let me tell you the Hifiman Svanar is one of those IEM that favor musical versatility before technical prowess or bright presence boost.

And this is good, since even if they are warm, it's not in a dark way, nor in a muddy or technically underwhelming way.

The Svanar nail piano and vocal tone, both being full, natural in tone, good in presence but not in a distant way. No, these aren't IEM that pull you far of the stage so you can have a clean macro vision, you are part of the band with planar, and lift by it's dynamism in a euphoric engaging way.

The Svanar are opposite of cold sounding, they aren't neutral but balanced, bassy, yet near mid centric too, they achieve this special sound presentation by letting the mid bass warmth embrace mid range in a magical way I will try to explain more in this review. I do think topological tech have something to do with this.

The tonality can be summarize as warm W shape with heavy punchy mid bass slam, lush and thick mid range and a crunchy sometime snappy but never overly offensive treble. As a whole it's thick and rich with sound layer info, and the dynamic is very hefty. Nothing sound thin or light with the Svanar.

The bass is far from shy with the Svanar, yet it's not an intense basshead IEM since it's too cohesive and organic in balance for that. While big and chunky in punch, it will not tend to stole the show of vocal or mid range instrument. The slam have good enough definition even if a hint warm, it's round in shape when it hit and the rumble will be impressively well layered too, but not the longest or deepest. Here, we have more mid bass than sub bass but not in a sharp way, their no sudden scoop to make the lower mid range super clean in presence, instead it will warm it a little and thicken it. I hesitate to consider this bass as guilty pleasure, but since it color a bit the mid range perhaps it is. Yet i can't say the contrabass is perfectly restitue with the Svanar, tone and timbre and even texture is right, it have the lead attack bite we need but then the extension down to 20hz will cut short a little, but this extension will be beautifull still, vibrant and rich in sound info, this explain why the Svanar are near Jazz master in fact. The cello will have similar presentation, unlike an harman tuned IEM like the budget Moondrop Aria, it will not sound like a violin, we have the grunt, we have the density of air, we have the natural tone and effortless presence and a wide presentation. Anja Lechner cellist in Ojos Negros album sound magnificent in fact, the amplitude diversity of her playing isn't compressed or damped, i feel very near her instrument and thethe Bandoneon of Dino Saluzzi sound marvellous too, full in body, tactile in texture and not overly pushed in presence. I'm hooked by lead attack of Lechner cello and how the 2 instrument have wide presence and perfect layering even if thick in timbre.
It's just one example of the bass versatility of the Svanar, since kick drum and punch lover are in for even more fun. I'm way too often underwhelmed by kick drum roundness which is lacking with lot of IEM, either because its swallow by sub bass, too warm in definition or too light in impact, here we have both definition and well felt punch, this punch is special and have a loud attack lead edge to it, this inflict on sens of speed and definition of impact in the spatiality and it boost macro dynamic too inducing intense headbang or dance move…
This is where I think the topological diaphragm inflict on transient response of the bass, and permit this special layering between bass line and kick as if their just a volontary mistep between both, my french brain isn't able to explain in english this acoustic phenomenon but let say it feel like have 2 dynamic driver covering the bass section, yes, it's that good. It's very evident with the album Not tight from Domi&JD Beck, the fast bass line are textured, fast in articulation yet the kick drum too have sharp definition, fast punch and can keep up with crazy speed of drum when asked for, I really urge you to listen to this album if you are a Svanar owner, it's just too intensely good.

Do you love jazz and mid range instruments? I love jazz and their multitude of instruments which include saxophone, contrabass, drum, piano, sometime violin like with klemzer jazz, trumpet i'm less of a fan but Miles Davis and Arve Henriksen contemplative playing can be nice, I listen to guitar trio too, Charlie Hunter for ex, which is blues influenced. I even listen to jazz with harp (Isabelle Olivier). And well, female jazz singer too, from Melody Gardot to Madeleine Peroux to Diana Krall to Billie Holiday to Ella Fitzgerald, which mean if an IEM excell in this wide genre it's because they offer a full sounding mid range with natural timbre.
And this is exactly what the Svanar offer, add great sens of dynamism and good note weight and your in for an audio experience boosted in musicality.
The mids are smooth without being dull, dark or lacking in bit or texture, all instrument are fully bodied and well layered, but not in a crisp or very transparent way, more in a holographic and euphonic way.
This is all about fullness of instrument or voice, tactile naturalness of timbre and a wide sens of warm presence that embrace and cuddle the listener.
With the Svanar, both male and female vocal are fowards and meaty, all instrument have their fundamental full cover to offer colorful tone with rich texture that is free of grain, noise artefact or texture spike. Mids are gently fowards, it's not agressive and shouty, nor overly boosted in upper mids, i would not say it's dark nor too warm, but velvety in definition and the amplitude diversity of instrument are well rendered in dynamic.
This is a thick and sirupy mid range too, you are put in the middle of instrument so you don't have same resolution cue than brighter tonality that will boost presence and offer more edgy definition with thinner timbre, no, here all instrument are grand in rendering, stretched in presence, the vocal aren't ultra centered and compressed at all.
So, if I can nit pick something, it would be a slight lack of transparency that will affect macro-resolution fidelity, this will happen when their alot of instrument in similar spectrum, but not to the point of going messy since the Svanar are technicaly competent when it come to fast layering, it's just not a cold or analytical mid range.
The piano dynamism is heavy, well felt, with vibrant sustain that is highly engaging but definition of note lack a bit of edge as well as long natural clean resonance. Violin are lush and tone prevail over texture yet attack lead is great, just not ultra abrasive but it's not liquid neither. Saxophone sound wide open, dense with air and very beautiful.
All in all, this is a luscious mid range that have no timbre or tone fault, but isn't ultra clean, transparent or boosted in details.

If I praise that much bass and mids, their should be a big trade off in treble response right? Be reassure it's not the case, but one this sure: i would not suggest the Svanar to treble head, nor for audiophile seeking end game details retreival or long airy sustain in sparkle-decay.
Since I describe the tonal balance as W shape, it mean their some treble energy, which belong mostly in lower and mid treble section to give more bite to instrument attack, more snap and energy to snare and just enough excitment and energy to percussion. This isn't a treble that will reveal you every single details of your music, nor one that add lot of air ,yet, again, it doesn't feel lacking since even acoustic guitar sound great with the Svanar, which really surprise me since they are full bodied yet have this attack snapp and enough brilliance and edge, just not a long and clean resonance.
This isn't thin sounding guitar, and you will get this dense low harmonic sustain when needed too, which magnify sens of naturalness, life-like way this time. The electric guitar have same treatment, it's full and distortion inherent to realism of it's rendering is full restitute without over emphasis it. Yes, this mean the Svanar are great for rock music and even metal. I hope you begin to understand why I rave about it's versatile musicality now.
Clavichord, while just slightly smoothed in edge and perhaps to damped in sparkle-decay, is very please because it doesn't sound distant or lifeless like lotta IEM that are either to thin or too warm, it's just not very sharp in note definition, which can make fast playing of Scarlatti composition lacking immediacy and perfect timing pace. Nonetheless, tone, timbre and dynamic of the clavichord is very enjoyable and non fatiguing.
The highs are simply well balanced, not lacking in energy, yet not being offensive. It's lukewarm highs that doesn't scream for attention, yet permit rich soundscape discovery if you dig in.
The fact all high pitch instrument sound right with the Svanar is a miracle in it's own right, but at this price I would have expect a bit more speed and control, I mean, end game level, which isn,t exactly what we get here since their hint of sustain warmth and scoop as well as a roll off around 12khz, which stole some extra airy openess that would be welcome too.

The Soundstage isn't exactly the main highlight of the Svanar, but if well amped it will open up greatly. It doesn't feel stock in your head, offer very good wideness and tallness, have an holographic feel to it but lack sens of deepness and clean air.

It's rare that imaging impress when the spatiality doesn't feel crisp, deep and open and this is the case here. I mean, if it was a 200$ IEM, i will rave about it's imaging, but it's 10x pricier, so I consider it average. The fact you are in middle of music make the competent layering less accurate in positioning, you are part of sound layers if we can say.

Side notes:

At rather high impedance of 60ohm and low sensitivity of 100ohm, the Svanar aren't what I would call easy to drive IEM. But it's not a Final E5000 either, so I would just suggest a minimum of 150mw@32ohm as main audio source. My favorite pairing with the Svanar is Moondrop Dawn 4.4, it have very high dynamic range, it's vivid and open sounding and tend to indeed improve soundstage. So, i do think crips or bright source with lively dynamic is good match for Svanar. Questyle M15 pair well too. Hiby RS6 not so much (low dynamic range and hint too smooth) and SMSL SU9+SH9 is too lean and tend to damp bass joy too much.
Ear tips will inflict on soundstage too, my choice is wide bore eartips like the KBear KB07.
As well, changing cable is a MUST. Stock one is bad in all way including current transmission, it tend to add noise to silence, make the mids a bit more recessed, bass more bright and boomy and treble less clean and snappy. I use Tri Grace S balanced mostly, but even a 40$ cable like the TACables Peony modular silver plated cable is a consequent upgrade.


VS FINAL AUDIO A8000 (1 pure beryllium diaphragm DD-2000$)

Those two are near polar opposite in term of tonality, the A8000 being more treble centric W shape, near analytical, yet, not lacking in bass but not as boosted and heavy in punch. What is evident at first listen is how faster is the attack speed of the A8000 and edgier it is in definition contour. So, resolution is notably more resolved, timbre is brighter and have more upper mids bite and texture have more details but less density and natural warmth.
In fact, A8000 have better bass performance and dig deeper, it's cleaner in definition, have less excited and thick mid bass punch but a more flexible transience that even offer more rumble, at least, we perceive the sub 40HZ frequencies physicality and air moving better, in a more stable way, so for contrabass it will extend more naturaly. Svanar have a warmer, chunkier and more heavy low end, near basshead we can say compared to A8000 more neutral with slight mid bass boost but fully extend sub bass, this mean that Svanar tend to warm lower mid range more, thickening it, but darkening it's fine details.
But the tone and timbre of Svanar mid range is more natural, less boosted in brightness, free of sibilance so both male and female vocal are fuller sounding and smoother. Female vocal can be near shouty with A8000, which isn't the case with Svanar lusher presentation. While mid range feel cleaner, more open and notably more resolved in presence with the A8000, the timbre is thinner, the note weight is less felt, and spatiality is less holographic in center stage so a bit more distant and lean. As well, the vocal of A8000 sound less wide, more compressed in density, less envelopping, euphonic and well, prompt to trigger emotional response.
Then the biggest persona difference is the treble, and this is where technical performance of the A8000 take a serious lead since highs doesn't struggle to keep their pace and definition in ultra fast and busy track like ''Skink'' from Elephant9, where the Svanar will go a bit muddy, blurry, overly thicken with sound layers that lack a bit of sharpening in definition edge, but still, the result is very musical and listenable, just a bit more warmed in macro resolution while percussion like cymbals can go a bit hot with the A8000, but not to the point of veiling anything, this complex track can't be dealt properly with any other single DD than A8000 in fact.
So the treble is more vivid, edgy, their plenty more micro details and sound info, the attack speed and control is superior, more snappy. The extension is farer too, we have more sparkle and cleaner sustain-decay, but it mean the Svanar is smoother, more buttery on top, less fatiguing too. Svanar doesn't try to impress us with details yet doesn't lack minimal bite needed for violin, electric guitar and snare, it's the percussions that will lack a bit of metallic brilliance and proper sens of air and crisp openess, at they end, we can say treble is more cohesive and balanced than A8000 since it's free of spike that can sometime bother or distract me with A8000.
Now, the soundstage surprise me with the Svanar (once well amped), since it's wider and taller than A8000, but notably less deep, especially when bass (warmth) occur. Center stage is more distant with A8000, and spatiality is airier.
Then, as expected with a more resolved IEM, the A8000 take the lead for precise imaging, the layering is more transparent and static instrument more accuracte is sharp positionning.

All in all, hum, I would say tonal balance of the Svanar is more even, natural and cohesive as well as less prompt to fatigue or treble distraction. The vocal are notably more enjoyable, timbre is thicker, bass is more fun. But their zero doubt technical performance of A8000 is superior in all department: resolution, imaging, attack speed-control and transparency.


The Fealty is brighter, crisper, more neutral and transparent sounding and notably more focus on treble. Biggest different apart polar opposite tonality is the soundstage, which is way bigger, deeper and airier with the Fealty. The bass is way less boosted with the Dita, its lighter in punch and more rolled off in sub bass, it feel more boosted in texture and definition but don't offer any sens of impact and feel very very thin compared to chunkier punchier Svanar, it's dry, anemic and very flat, don't expect fun with the Fealty nor proper amount of lower mids. So, the mids are brighter, thinner and dryer, it feel more open and recessed, piano lack note weight, female vocal are less smooth and prompt to harshness and sibilance, timbre is too brighten in presence and can have noise artefact like background track hiss that dominate this very presence too...no doubt the Svanar mids are fuller sounding, more natural in timbre and more intimate in presence. Then the treble is more energic, bright and boosted in fake resolution, it feel more metallic and lower treble can be fatiguing due to greater gain than softer Svanar, violin sound very thin and overly boosted in texture details compared to lusher better rounded violin of Svanar, which I greatly enjoy while I can't stand it with the Fealty. So, treble is notably more vivid, harsh and unbalanced with the Fealty, sens of air is boosted, we have a bit more sparkly and brilliance and overall resolution feel higher with the Fealty, but to the cost of sounding more noisy, fatiguing and artificial.
Soundstage is way more open, tall and deep with the Fealty, this is it's highlight and here the Svanar feel more intimate and lacking clean air as well as any sens of deepness. Imaging to is superior with the Fealty, it's more transparent in layering and instrument have wide spacing, a bit like Final A8000 but with less eviden bass instruement positioning.

All in all, i can't even conclude the Fealty is superior in technicalities even if resolution feel higher since attack control isn't as good, it's less snappy and more distorted and screamy in sustain. So, there zero doubt the Hifiman Svanar is superior in all department, including the most important which is: musicality and dynamism.


Ok, this might be 2 times cheaper IEM, but it's evident the Svanar can't compete technically against this tribrid power beast which offer crisper resolution, better imaging, cleaner cleaer mid range and more extended and snappy treble.
But technical performance isn,t what will dictate sens of musicality so let begin by saying the bass of Svanar is better in both quality and quantity, it's better rounded and define, less warmish in impact, less sub bass focus than the Mext, more weighty and fun in punch, where kick drum is amore about presence with UM its beefier in body and more define in dynamism with the Svanar, but it does warm the mids more too since UM have sticken mids presence uppon the bass resonance shelf.
This mean the mids are crisper but thinner, yes again, but not recessed, in fact even more fowards but in-your-head way with the UM, resolution and separation is from another league but timbre have a slight metallic sheen to it, so vocal are way more enjoyable with the Svanar even if we see less ''pixel'' of it. For busy track, Um will feel less muddy and thicken by warm sound layer, due to superior transparency. Note weight is notably lighter with Um too. Then, treble is sharper in edge, yet not harsh because of bone conduction magic, their alot more sound info and micro details, it feel more open and 3D than Svanar too, but lower treble will be thinner, so violin are less bodied and natural in timbre, yet more detailed in presence.
Soundstage is a hint wider and taller with the Svanar, while more in your head and deep with the UM.
Imaging is intensely superior with the UM, it's analytical positioning, crisp and accurate, it make the Svanar feel quite dark in positioning.

All in all, bass and mids are fuller, more upfront and dynamic and more enjoyable in term of musicality with the Svanar, but technical performance of a single DD can't compete with this exotic tribrid. Even the Final A8000 can't in fact...so it tell alot!



I think it's evident I have a big love affair going on with the Svanar, and it doesn't fade away even after more than 100H of intense listening.
The Svanar favor musicality over technicality, yet doesn't lack in attack speed, resolution, spatiality or details amount, it's just not the focus of the show here.
I think the goal of Dr Fang was to tune an IEM that will offer great versatility, exciting and engaging sens of dynamism, beautifully natural tone and timbre and an intimate and immersive spatiality.
If it was the goal, it certainly achieve it gloriously!
Fans of bass and vocal will be amaze by the Svanar, but those that are all about treble and instrument definition presence (and boost) will perhaps wish for a more technical IEM at this price range.
My main con about this IEM is the pathetic cable this is included, I find it unacceptable for a flagship IEM of this price and if I underline it that much, is to convince Hifiman to solve this cable issue that spoil lot of their products in high price range. I mean, my next review is for a 200$ IEM that include a prime modular cable from Hakugei, and guess what? I use this cable with the Svanar and it make it not only sound better, but look better too!

All in all, it's not a big deal breaker for me since I have 300 cables, but for those that don't have balanced or good single ended cable, this will be shocking. I know, because I already read complaint about this.

Nonetheless, if you are all about the sound and seek for a TOTL IEM offering lush and full bodied mid range and vocal, chunky thumpy bass with good layering and smooth but snappy enough treble, the Hifiman Svanar is highly recommended and most likely the best IEM Hifiman ever release.


PS: I want to thanks Hifiman for sending me this review sample after I manifest my curiosity about them. As always, i'm not officialy sponsored or affiliated to this audio company and after 7 years of reviewing, i'm not affect by generous IEM gift. Those are my 100% honest and unbiased subjectivist audio impressions.

You can order the Hifiman Svanar directly from their official website store here:https://store.hifiman.com/index.php/svanar.html

For more honest and diversify audio products review, you can give a look and subscribe to my audio blog here:https://nobordersaudiophile.wordpress.com


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@o0genesis0o its my style. and more an IEM is expensive, more their will be nitpicking ''but'' about sound subtilities....not sure about the ''however'' though....
If I hear it and it's good, maybe in a year when it costs $300. It is Hfm after all.
I just got the re2000 pro silver at the new and improved price of $350, and at that price it's hard to beat.
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When the price drops I am getting these, but the wireless version kicks butt for the price

Scuba Devils

Headphoneus Supremus
A 'One and Done' Top Tier Single Dynamic Driver
Pros: > Excellent balanced tuning from low, mid, to high with no offensive peaks
> A natural, somewhat neutral profile with wonderful clarity and detail retrieval
> Superb comfort - this must be as close to a custom as is possible... zero fatigue or discomfort with many hours listening
> Subjective, but by far the best all-rounder single DD I've heard: the potential to be a 'one and done' TOTL single DD
Cons: > Accessories not befitting the price tag or premium quality of the IEMs
> Poor quality stock cable, and no balanced cable included
Hifiman 'Svanar' Single Dynamic Driver - $1,999


Introductions and Caveats

Svanar popped up sort of out of nowhere, and immediately had my attention being a massive fan of the humble single dynamic driver, a configuration that I obsess over, and own/have owned quite a few. I'm always curious to hear the various tuning profiles from different brands and across the pricing spectrum - admittedly, the more expensive sets grab my attention even more - not because I want to spend more money, but the curiousity as to what can they actually do with just one driver to 'justify' the higher price tag, and indeed how they compare with others at the top.

I would like to thank Hifiman for sending me a unit to try out for this review. My thoughts, opinions, general ramblings are all my own, with no influence from Hifiman. Svanar are available from Hifiman directly HERE

  • 9.2mm Dynamic Driver
  • Impedance: 60Ω.
  • Frequency Response Range: 5Hz-35kHz.
  • Sensitivity: 100dB.
  • Weight: 13 grams (Excluding Cable).

Unboxing & Accessories

Svanar arrives in a rather large and heavy box, and the reason becomes clear upon opening the outer cardboard box -


Inside, you are greeted with a large wooden jewellery style box - it looks quite impressive, and feels premium.


Maybe I'm incredibly fussy, but I was a bit underwhelmed when I opened the lid - the contents just didn't scream $2K IEMs. The open box reveals a cardboard carton with tips, the IEM case, and another box with the cable.


First look at Svanar themselves, I can't say the appearance of the outer shell got me that excited... however I do prefer a plain aesthetic, these just looked a bit bland on first glance, and again not quite what I'd expect at this price point.


Contents laid bare: tips, 2-pin cable adaptors, ear hooks, case, cable, instruction manual.


Cable -

The cable isn't fantastic - it looks and feels a bit cheap and again not befitting of a $2K IEM. However, it is comfortable to wear and sits very well over my ears. I find it excellent out walking too, I can position it in such a way that it doesn't bother me or cause any microphonics. It has a soft sort of rubbery texture and doesn't like being wrapped up, having a tendency to bounce back out again.

The jack is a 3.5mm and has quite an industrial look to it and a bit of weight too. The 2-pin connectors are proprietary which came as a great surprise and disappointment - I attempted to hook up several of my 3rd party 2-pin plugs to no avail. I honestly can't get my head around why any brand would create this limitation.

Again, it's fine and does what it's supposed to do - and to be fair, it works in the overall theme of being a solid all-rounder - i.e. the cable must be one that can be used out and about, not the case if looking at a set such as the Turii Ti where the cable in my opinion is too thick and heavy for that use-case.


Tips -

The stock tips seem pretty basic - you get a large and medium triple-flange, and what look like another set of double-flange, plus one regular. Again, I would expect both more and better at this price point, but that said, most people seem to use their own preferred tips...

Case -

Having initially turned my nose up at the case on first sight, I've actually grown quite fond of it - it is very durable and a nice compact size, as such serves as a practical case to carry and protect the Svanar in your pocket, bag etc. A number of stock cases I find are too big to bring out and about, and are only useful for at home - not the case here, pardon the pun. If being critical, it doesn't look like a case one would expect with a premium product - but again with practicality in mind, it definitely ticks the right boxes.


Design and Fit

I've had a few rants at this stage, maybe I've quite high expectations from other recent + $1K sets such as the Xelento 2 or Turii Ti - both absolutely bar-raising in their own way when it comes to the cable and accessories. Enough of the negatives though, now is where the good stuff begins!

The shells are a fairly bland exterior (oops, negative again!) that certainly don't scream a $2K set - but let's actually call that a good thing, as these are an IEM that can and should go anywhere based on the comfort levels and tuning, which we'll get to shortly. The material appears to be very resistant to any scratches or marks - I've had these out and about a lot while getting to know them, and they look absolutely immactulate still.


Apparently years of research and development went into the creation of these shells, and I can well believe it. These are without question, the single most comfortable IEM I've ever had the pleasure of putting in my ears. They just fit perfectly, and must be relatively close to what a custom feels like - quite an achievement for a universal. Now of course I can't say this will be the case for everyone, but I do feel confident enough people will not have an issue with fit.

The inner side of the shells are coated in 24K gold plating over copper - this must play a part in the soft sensation of how they sit in the ears. As an aside, they are tricky to take a photo of, as they are highly reflective - if you look closely, you will see me, or at least my hands and phone - cheese :)


Isolation is excellent - I'm using Azla SednaEarfit Standard and get a fantastic seal, and have found only louder noises get through when I'm out walking for example. And again, the comfort really is at the highest level, I can wear these for hours with zero discomfort - that is of huge importance and offsets against some of my previously mentioned gripes.


Listening Impressions

I've listened to Svanar with numerous sources now, and very happy with performance in all cases. From a portable perspective, my Lotoo Paw 6000 has had a lot of use, and at home the iBasso DX320X steps in, mostly with amp11mk2. More recently, I've added the Shanling M6 Ultra to the collection and this is also excellent.


I've had an interesting journey with single dynamic drivers over the last couple of years - on a quest to find what I considered the very best. This journey has had many twists and turns, and I guess resulted at this point with a learning that is there really is no 'best' so to speak. The sets I've encountered are either specialists in my experience for specific genres, or more broady competent all-rounders - this latter scenario requires a few boxes to be checked off as follows:
  1. Can play absolutely any genre, and sound at least 'very good' and often excellent
  2. Comfortable to wear for extended durations
  3. Good isolation
  4. Not too fussy with sources
A specialist on the other-hand is a set that excels with specific genres, or maybe less practical to listen to in some environments - take Turii Ti for example where isolation is almost non-existent, and definitely not a set I would personally reach for if going walking.

Anyway, Svanar for me absolutely lands squarely in the all-rounder box - and the best I've heard in that regard. It strikes an excellent balance across the frequency range, providing a clear, organic tonality with very good detail retrieval that is more immersed in the music than pushed forward in a prominent technical way. I've tried everything from ambient to techno, rock to classical, and all in between, and I've yet to come away with a sense that I must avoid that genre next time - this is often the case for me with IEMs - they then become a specialist where I've determined they excel. Svanar manages to achieve a splendid balance in a sort of 'just right' way for frequency response, technical competency, and musicality.

My initial impressions were that it might be a bit lacking from a detail retrieval perspective, but with time I've noted it's more the details aren't pushed too forward, the signature in general leans towards more focus on enjoying the complete picture, rather than getting potentially distracted by shifting attention to the precise location of an instrument popping up in some random location on the stage - this does occur if you choose to focus your attention, but it doesn't try to take your attention. Overall, I would say the profile leans towards a somewhat reference tuning with a warm tint - this I feel provides that natural sound which is very easy to listen to and enjoy.


Bass -

While both mid and sub bass have excellent quantity and quality, I feel they again sit in that 'just right' zone, digging deep when called upon, and slamming hard as appropriate. There is a nice deep visceral rumble with sub extension. Lows in general feel quite central in the presentation, a location where I expect to hear them, and do not bleed into the mids. Absolutely not bass-head, but equally not bass-light.

Mids -

Clear, with plenty of space and offering excellent timbre/realism for both instruments and vocals. I've thoroughly enjoyed both male and female vocals, and instruments such as guitars, piano, sax etc. are all delivered with an authenticity and lots of space to shine individually. Shift to electronic music, and complex passages with several layers of synths are all easily handled and a joy to listen to. I haven't experienced any congestion, even with the most busy tracks, Svanar hasn't faltered.

Treble -

A bit repetitive of me now, but it is definitely the theme for Svanar where the uppers again fall into an amount that doesn't spike too high, nor drops too much below that sparkle sweet spot - yes there are sets that are more airy up top, and as such push details more forward and indeed become more competent for specific genres, but that in my experience comes with trade offs, where they can also become harsh for some genres.

Technical -

The stage is quite impressive and again as noted previously on detail retrieval, I initially felt Svanar might be a bit lacking - further and longer listening sessions again revealed how wrong I was. Svanar absolutely goes for that entire cohesive presentation - the focus being to enjoy your music, and pay less attention to these specifics - but yet performs incredibly well, you just need to shift attention from the 'music' to the specific attribute, and quickly discover that box is very much ticked. Likewise imaging and staging, all very well executed and fall into that natural and organic signature profile. The stage isn't quite holographic, nor does it extend out in every far flung direction, but it has good width and depth and to my mind, a very realistic presentation of music, especially with that all-rounder focus and one that reminds me more so of a competent 2-channel bookshelf speaker setup.

Test Tracks (I link to Bandcamp where possible, YouTube if the track is not on Bandcamp)

Bill Callahan - Javelin Unlanding (Male vocals, folk, indie)


Bill's voice sounds very authentic and true to my expectations of how I hear him over the years on various 2-channel systems. There is a nice depth and weight to his voice. Initial acoustic guitars sit slight back and central, Bill's voice a touch forward relatively speaking - perscussion is beautifully rendered spreading out to the left and right in a very pleasing stereo field. Electric guitars are sitting out to the right, and enter/exit in an incredibly captivating way. The wind instrument (no idea what it is!) is sat quite central, very complementary to Bill's vocals.

Deerhunter - Desire Lines (Male vocals, indie rock)

I chose this track as I was just chatting with my daughter about it earlier today, discussing our shared love for how it goes off on an instrumental journey, and how we could easily listen to it for twice it's run time! With that in mind, I was curious to test on Svanar. As per the previous track, vocals are again central and marginally forward I would say - you again have this wonderfully authentic delivery, with an incredibly addictive stereo field presentation. Percussion spreads out left and right, the bass guitar strums along in the middle, giving a nice does of rumble, while electric guitars sit mostly out to the right but span the stage occassionally. Tops marks, sounds wonderful and delighted to revisit after discussing with my daughter.

Jane Weaver - The Revolution of Super Visions (Female vocals, indie, psychadelic)

Jane's vocals are maybe a bit more in line with instruments, not that slight push forward I've experienced with male vocals. This for me is no bad thing, just an observation. There is yet again an excellent cohesive presentation, plenty of space for all instruments on stage, and zero congestion on busy passages - something that always fascinates me when only one driver on duty. As a faster paced track, with at times quite a few instruments in full flight, this DD really does yet again demonstrate why it should be considered a highly competent driver.

Teebee - Spaceage (D&B, electronica)

Drum & Bass is a genre I listen to quite a lot of, and an IEM can quite easily fail due to the often complex percussion and deep sub requirements. Svanar passes the test here with flying colours, well able to handle everything thrown at the drivers not only with great ease, but doing a fantastic job - the driver clearly has great pace, percussion sounds pristine and snappy, synths fire around the stage, and the sub rumbles along wonderfully underneath.

Comit - Shorelines

IDM is typically defined by complex/intricate drum programming, and numerous layers of synth melodies. There is often a lot going on, as is evident in this track if you choose to listen! A IEM suited to this genre needs to be able to handle the complexity, and present in a somewhat 'soothing' manner - not unlike how I described Svanar earlier in the review, whereby you hear the complete picture, but you can zoom in on so many intricate details. The low end is important for this genre too, as the mid bass kick needs good definition, and sub bass for both percussion and low synth registers / bass lines need to dig quite deep. Svanar is perfect here - absolutely 10/10 and a set I would now consider up there with the best I've heard in this regard. The whole track is presented flawlessly, with a vast stage allowing each component to shine.

Galya Bisengalieva - Aralkum (modern classical, electronica)

This is a wonderful experimental style of electronica blended with modern classical - an intriguing piece from a stunning album. Yet again, I cannot fault Svanar - a beautiful rendition, and not far off Turii Ti which is the set I usually reach for when listening to a genre like this. The mids are lush, engaging, and incredibly captivating, strings zoom in and out of the stage in a playful and almost haunting way, and when fully present, create quite a vast sensation in terms of stage size. A percussive element trundles along, with a slow meandering thud.


Sennheiser IE900

IE900 is a favourite of mine, and has been since I first got my hands on one in May 2020 - I would say it transformed my relationship at the time with IEMs, quickly pushing out the likes of MEST MKII. Compared to Svanar, it is much more of a V-shaped presentation, digging deeper with sub bass and reaching higher registers up top with that wonderfully crisp sparkle. For me, IE900 is much less of an all-rounder, and a set over time that has become more specifically for electronic music in my collection - far less inclined to choose for modern classical for example. While it's comfortable, I consider Svanar quite ahead in that regard.

Softears Turii Ti

Turii Ti was probably my greatest surprise of 2022, selling both Jewel and Traillii not long after it arrived, due to finding a preference for it with very similar shelves of my library. Turii Ti is more resolving, with a bigger stage and steps back versus Svanar from a lows perspective, but with more energy up top in upper mids and treble - this contributes largely towards the huge amount of detail retrieval. While Turii Ti is good with most of my library, I would mostly classify as a specialist as it is fantastic with specific segments of my library, definitely not as competent an all-rounder as Svanar.

Technics TZ700

The TZ700 is another DD I have huge appreciation for. It is somewhat more reference with a bass emphasis versus Svanar, and leans more in the technical than musical direction in comparison - I find with TZ700 that it's technical competence is much more up front, where Svanar instead dials the musicality forward in contrast. TZ700 digs deeper from a sub perspective, one of the most impressive I've heard, especially from a single DD.


The Hifiman Svanar is without doubt the best all-round performing single DD I've had the pleasure of hearing - there are definitely sets that do better in specific genres, the Turii Ti springs to mind, as does IE900 - but neither of those are as competent for playing basically any genre, and doing a bloody good job of it. It is the sort of set I can reach for no matter what sort of music I'm in the mood for, and love every minute - be that at home, out walking, or any mode of transport. I have noted my gripes in terms of the accessories, in particular the cable - however, the combination of sound quality and comfort really do for me make this a worthy top-tier single dynamic driver, and come with my highest recommendation.

Oh and it must be noted, the Shanling M6 Ultra along with Svanar make for a stunning portable solution - if I had to retire from the hobby with only one DAP and IEM, I would choose this combination.

May update: when taking Svanar out of my left ear, the shell popped open as per below image. I’ve reduced my rating as a result.



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@Scuba Devils How would you compare the Svanar to the JVC FW10000, specifically for classical/orchestral music? Would you still rate the JVC over them for this purpose? Thanks
Scuba Devils
Scuba Devils
@batracom - sorry I’m only seeing your question now. FW10000 is definitely a more specialist set in my opinion, and one I’d choose over Svanar for classical due to its highly resolving tuning with a lot of upper end focus. Svanar can comfortably play classical, but I think FW10000 is better suited.
Typical hfm, nail the Sq, half-ass the build quality.


Reviewer at Ear Fidelity
Hifiman Svanar
Pros: Good Build Quality
Great detail retrieval
Exceptional soundstage
Bass energy and kick
Superb tonality
Effortless, fast, and snappy
Good looking
Cons: Cable
The carrying Case should have been of better quality

Hifiman Svanar​

Hifiman Svanar is the new flagship IEM by Hifiman. It uses a single dynamic driver and it's a successor to their RE2000. The price is set at $1999.

Introduction to Hifiman Svanar review​

Hifiman is one of the most known headphone audio manufacturers in the world, so introducing the company isn’t really needed this time. However, while Hifiman specializes in full-sized headphones, they also have experience with IEMs. Their flagship RE2000 never gained as much attention as Hifiman would have liked though.
Now, they came up with the Hifiman Svanar, which this review is all about, a successor that is highly influenced by the RE2000. Is a 1DD IEM priced at around 2000 USD something that’s going to be a valuable choice in today’s market?
I said it many times, and I’m going to say it again – it’s not the number of drivers that matters. However, the asking price is quite steep, so you’re more than welcome to expect quite a lot from a product like this. Let’s dive right into it.



The Hifiman Svanar comes in an elegant box which is quite similar to what they’re offering with their high-end over-ear models. The box itself is wrapped in a graphic sleeve that looks pretty good. Underneath that sleeve is the box itself, wrapped in a leather-like material. This box looks great, definitely what you could expect from an IEM in this price range. Also, it could serve as a storage box for when you’re not using the reviewed Svanar. Very good job here Hifiman.

Inside the box is where things start to get worse. First of all, you’re getting a round carrying case, which feels like plastic (I don’t know if it IS actually plastic, but it definitely feels like one). The carrying case is actually pretty useful and protective, it doesn’t open on its own and it should offer a good level of protection for your shiny Hifiman Svanar. The only problem I have with it is that it feels rather cheap for a $2000 IEM. It’s not bad, but it should have been better.


Next up, probably the most controversial thing about this product – the cable. So, Hifiman went with a single, black, 3.5mm cable. I’m sorry, but this cable should have never been included with a $200 IEM, and the Hifiman Svanar is not 200 but 2000 USD. It feels cheap, it’s unbalanced. At least it’s comfortable.
And here comes the thing that I just cannot understand. Well, when reading about the cable you surely thought to yourself – hey, it’s 2-pin, I’m going to use a different cable and call it a day. Yeah, I had that idea as well….and none of my 10+ 2pin cables don’t work with the Svanar. By don’t work I mean that I cannot even plug the cable into the Svanar, as the IEM uses rather non-standard 2-pin connectors.

So, you’ve got 2 choices – to use the original cable included, or use the additional 2-pin connectors (which Hifiman luckily has included in the box) and custom order a new cable. Here’s the thing – If you have followed us for a while now, you know that I’m a huge Hifiman fan, as this is definitely my favorite manufacturer in the market. But I have to stay as objective as I can, and the route that Hifiman took this time is just incorrect by a huge margin.
We’re all used to Hifiman not giving us exceptional cables in the box, but at least they always used standard connectors for you to use your fancy aftermarket cable. Not this time big boy, unless you’ll order a new one that would go specifically with the Hifiman Svanar. I’m sorry Hifiman, I’m sorry Mr. Fang Bian, but I think you should make a new revision that’s going to have standard connectors ASAP. Especially since the Hifiman Svanar sounds absolutely fantastic…but we’ll get into it.

Design, Build and Comfort​


Okay, let’s turn our heads and get into more positive stuff. The actual design and build quality are both very good. The Hifiman Svanar looks clean and very attractive, and the golden inner part is just brilliant in real life. The shape is very ergonomic which leads to great ergonomics. I have absolutely no problems using the reviewed Hifiman Svanar for a couple of hours, so this is a huge pro in my book.

As for the build quality, I have no complaints. It’s definitely not as great as the stuff from Fir Audio, Dita, or Campfire Audio, but there’s also nothing bad about it. The fit and finish are both flawless, and my unit came with no imperfections whatsoever. The cable ruins the whole look, but hey, we’ve already covered it.
Overall, the Hifiman Svanar itself looks like a premium IEM. The competition is insanely tough nowadays and it’s definitely not the most luxurious-looking or feeling IEM on the market, but it’s definitely good enough. This isn’t really surprising, as Hifiman was never known for incredible craftsmanship or luxurious materials. The Svanar looks and feels like Hifiman – functional, premium enough, and should be pretty durable.



As far as tech goes, the first thing that draws attention is the acoustic aspect of the reviewed Hifiman Svanar. The shells are made of aluminum and brass, with both influencing the acoustic properties of the shells. The rear chamber is aluminum, while the front is made of brass. Because Hifiman focused a big portion of its marketing on that aspect, the driver inside is probably an open design, which means that there’s no sound-canal inside, to allow the driver to resonate into the shells. This should improve the soundstage capabilities of the Hifiman Svanar, and what you’ll read in a minute proves that it definitely works wonders.
The driver used is a single Dynamic Driver with Hifiman’s Topology Diaphragm. It refers to a diaphragm with a special nano particle coating applied to its surface.
“The distribution of the coating has distinct geometric patterns. By varying the surface pattern, a compound used, the thickness or geometric pattern should wave formation can be manipulated to achieve the desired audio effect and control”.

“The idea behind the new Topology Diaphragm was inspired by Dr. Fang Bian’s Ph.D. The thesis is that “different Nano materials have different structures and each of those materials has its own properties”. Therefore, by carefully controlling the diaphragm surface structure you can yield different results in acoustic performance to a degree previously unobtainable”.

This shows how complicated the technology behind the Svanar really is. Many people tend to see a single DD IEM and think that it’s just nothing special. But as I said, it’s not the number of drivers that matters, but the thought behind the whole project. All of this would have been for nothing if the Svanar wouldn’t offer a great sound, so let’s get right into it.

What does the Hifiman Svanar sound like?​


A lot can be said about HifiMan, but what no one can argue with is definitely their sound quality. Hifiman Svanar uses some very interesting technologies which promise an improved sound, and now it’s time to see if it all works.
So, long story short, the Hifiman Svanar sounds absolutely marvelous. It’s probably the best-sounding 1DD IEMI’ve heard, and it has some aspects that I personally value a lot in audio. We’ll go step by step.

Starting with the bass, this is a very impressive aspect of the Hifiman Svanar. The amount of rumble, the extension, and the texture are all fantastic. While many 1DD IEMs struggle with subbass extension, this is not a problem with the Hifiman Svanar. It offers a very natural bass reproduction with excellent technicalities and great fun delivery. The bass frequency is never overdone, nor it’s never lacking in weight and presence.
The Hifiman Svanar is by no means a bass-head IEM, but to say that it’s bass light would have been a major misunderstanding. The low frequencies have a great balance between hitting hard, reaching low and never getting to the front row. Having in mind the entire frequency response and the overall characteristics of the Svanar, providing that kind of bass response is an absolute blast. We’ve all seen all those balanced, neutral-tuned 1DD IEMs that lacked in energy, punch, and weight in the bass department, and the Svanar is definitely NOT one of these IEMs. This is what a balanced IEM should sound like.

The midrange is once again, very technically impressive. It has a lot of air to it, vocals are highly texturized and natural sounding, but they are definitely not overly thick sounding. The bass doesn’t bleed into the midrange, which allows this frequency range to sound very clean and snappy. Where the reviewed Hifiman Svanar shines the brightest is the female vocal range, as the Svanar offers charming, forward, and very melodic-sounding female vocals. Once again, the detail retrieval is fantastic and there’s a lot of texture to the sound. The acoustic chamber of the Svanar also gives that airy, spacious presentation that further improves the technical capabilities of the IEM itself.
While some may want a slightly thicker or warmer-sounding midrange, this is entirely subjective, as the Svanar does not lack in weight or warmth department. However, if you’ve tried Hifiman over-ear headphones, then you can get an idea of how the Svanar produces the midrange. It’s all about the natural, technical, and very insightful type of presentation that the company specializes in for many years now. I personally think that the Svanar is the IEM version of the HE1000se, and having in mind how great the latter is, this is nothing short of spectacular.


The treble is once again technically impressive and neutral sounding. The amount of air and detail retrieval are both improving the treble response to create a highly addictive and attractive type of sound delivery. Once again, the Svanar doesn’t really sound like a 1-driver IEM due to its fantastic extension in the upper frequency, being reminiscent more of a multi-driver IEM. However, this is still a Hifiman’s product, so don’t expect the Svanar to be dark or dull sounding, as this is clearly not the case with this IEM. The treble is exceptionally extended and highly detailed and it offers great shimmer that goes great with well-mastered music.
Nonetheless, the reviewed Hifiman Svanar also does fantastic with poorly recorded albums, as it doesn’t overpower any significant frequency, and given how insane the resolution of the sound is, it never gets sharp or unpleasant sounding. I’ve tested the Svanar with a wide variety of different music genres and different levels of mastering and the Hifiman Svanar does it all with exceptional confidence and a level of refinement.

The soundstage is where things are starting to get really, really serious. When I first read about the Svanar on Hifiman’s site, the whole Moscow State Theater story didn’t really convince me to be honest. I somewhat felt like it’s forced for story-telling and wouldn’t actually mean a thing. Oh, how wrong I was. The Svanar has the biggest soundstage that I’ve heard in IEMs to this day, and you know that I’ve heard a lot. The Svanar reproduces the sound so wide and deep that it actually sounds exactly like a pair of great over-ear, open-back planars, and I’m not exaggerating.
Even when my better half tried it for the first time, she immediately got excited by the staging capabilities. She said: Wow, the vocal on the left was soooo far away from me, that’s insane! The song she played is Lovely by Billie Eilish and Khalid, and if you’ve ever heard this song on a pair of great headphones then you know how spacious it can sound. I honestly feel no difference in the staging between the Svanar and the Susvara when it comes to this song, and to say that it’s actually incredible. Apart from the actual size of the soundstage, the imaging and separation are also both class-leading, offering an ultra-precise insight into the recording, even when listening to symphonic music.


Final A8000


This is probably the most important comparison that can be done in this review. The Final A8000 has been a statement when it comes to 1DD IEMs for years now, and it still has a lot of happy users today. We’ve reviewed the A8000 a while ago here.
However, as time passes by and new technologies emerge, the position as the leader of the market is never going to withstand forever. And now, as the Svanar comes at the same price as the A8000, I can say that the latter has been officially dethroned.

First of all, the Final A8000 is still better made and it looks better than the Svanar, there’s no doubt about it. Hifiman has never been known for its luxurious materials and incredible build quality, and it’s no different this time. The A8000 just looks like an absolute gem, and its craftsmanship is among the best in the world when it comes to IEMS. Also, the cable included with the A8000 is miles ahead of the one supplied with the Svanar, it’s not even a competition here.
However, everything changes when it comes to ergonomics, and most importantly, sound. First things first, the Svanar is (for me) way more comfortable, as it lacks the sharp edges that are present all over the A8000. I never found the Final flagship really comfortable for me, as it starts to give me some serious discomfort after about an hour into listening sessions, because of those sharp edges. The Svanar on the other hand has a very ergonomic shape that ensures all-day comfort, and after trying long listening sessions with the Svanar, I can definitely say that it is very comfortable.

Comfort is not everything though, and when it comes to the sound, the Svanar is victorious again. While the A8000 offers similar technical capabilities and that insane speed to the sound, it lacks in sub bass rumble and attack, as it was never known for its great bass response.

The Final A8000 won its status because of its highly detailed, fast, and snappy sound characteristics, which are all present in the Svanar as well, but together with the bass that is simply better in every aspect. On top of that, while I have nothing to complain about in terms of soundstaging capabilities of the A8000, the Svanar once again goes an extra step in this regard. It sounds wider, deeper, and even more accurate, resulting in a type of experience that is way closer to a pair of speakers or high-end open-back headphones.

The Final A8000 is still a great IEM even today, but the Svanar is just a refined version of it coming at the same price. While compromising on the build quality and accessories, it just offers a better sound paired with better ergonomics. This is quite simple for me personally.

Dita Perpetua


Another 1DD flagship IEM that I have here is the Dita Perpetua. First of all, the Perpetua is significantly more expensive coming at $2999, whereas the Svanar costs $1999. The Perpetua has been reviewed here.

And to defend the Perpetua, the unboxing experience, accessories, and overall presentation alone are way better than the Svanar. You’re getting two great cases (even though both are rather useless), a better cable, stickers, etc. Also, the box itself is just more reminiscent of fine jewelry than audio equipment.

However, no one buys IEMs for the box and accessories, and here comes the real deal. The Svanar is once again, more comfortable and better sounding than the Perpetua, but the story is slightly different here.

You see, the comparison between the Svanar and the A8000 was rather easy because both have a somewhat similar tonality, while the Perpetua is just completely different. Its biggest strength is its easy, smooth, and lush type of presentation, which does not focus on the technical capability, but rather creates a type of sound that is going to make you forget that you’re listening to a pair of IEMs, to begin with. It sounds romantic, very consistent, and “normal”, where nothing really stands out. Yes, there are people that really want this type of presentation.

However, the Svanar just offers a more technically impressive sound that is going to make you go “ooooh, that was nice”, instead of just listening to the music and not focusing on the sound too much. These are two very different approaches to recreating the sound, and I’m in no position to tell you which is “proper”. Nonetheless, if you want a High-End sense of dynamics, detail, resolution, and a Summit-Fi soundstage presentation, the Svanar should definitely be your choice here, and it’s not a close call.

Campfire Supermoon


Another single-driver IEM, but this time it’s planar-magnetic. The Campfire Supermoon is the first planar IEM by an American company and it took the market by storm in some areas.

The Supermoon is a custom IEM though, so I’m not going to compare the build quality and comfort of the two, as it would have been pretty pointless in this specific case.

What I can compare though is the sound, and these two have similar strengths, but there are also differences. Both the Supermoon and the Svanar have incredible technical capabilities with fantastic detail retrieval and resolution. Yes, they do it in a slightly different fashion as the Supermoon has a more textured presentation because of its planar-magnetic driver. The Svanar on the other hand hits harder and offers a more full-bodied sound.

Where they differ the most is the fact that the Supermoon gets pretty hot and I’m having problems with poorly mastered music with it. It simply gets too harsh and too forward sounding for me, but keep in mind that this is subjective. On the other hand, the Svanar is more natural and refined sounding, while offering a similar level of detail retrieval and resolution. If you’ve tried the Supermoon and found it a bit too much for you, the Svanar might be a great choice for you and it’s definitely worth auditioning.

Hifiman HE1000se


The last comparison might be the most surprising for you. As I said in the sound paragraph, I see the Svanar as an IEM version of the 1000se, as these two are really similar to me.

Both are great when it comes to the technical portion of the sound, with fantastic detail, resolution, and soundstage. Both the 1000se and Svanar offer great punch and overall brilliant bass response, while not being overpowered and too prominent. The soundstage size is quite similar, and it’s shocking considering that we’re comparing IEMs to open-back planars.

And here the choice between the two is as simple as it gets: If you’re looking for something for your desk scenario listening, the 1000se is your guy. However, if you want something portable that you can grab and listen to on the go, the Svanar is your portable 1000se, and it’s as close as it gets.

This comparison shows how confident Hifiman got with their house sound, as they are able to reproduce one of the best sounds they ever made into such a small product with no compromises. Now, I can’t wait for the IEM version of the Susvara, and if they actually end up releasing it, I’ll be incredibly excited.

Hifiman Svanar Review – Summary​


The Hifiman Svanar is a very pleasant surprise for me. Hifiman is my favorite audio company, but it’s because of their over-ear models. I’ve never seen their IEM department as anything too exciting, and the Svanar completely changed my mind about it.

While the overall presentation, and especially the cable isn’t anything special, the sound quality of the Svanar is just fantastic. It pairs a fantastic technical performance with a sophisticated tuning that does everything well, and the soundstage is just insane.


Big thanks to Hifiman for providing the Svanar for this review. I wasn’t paid or asked to say anything good or bad about this product, all of the above is just my personal, unbiased opinion.
Hifiman needs to think about naming their product. I kept reading this product name as Susvara. (Imagine an IEM that needs speaker amp to listen :dt880smile: ) Great review.
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You had me until the se comparison. I'm a much bigger fan of the V2.
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better than the Final A8000? interesting. but you can pick up a used set of those for about half the price. do hifiman's iem's have better build quality than their headphones?


100+ Head-Fier
It's been a while since I enjoyed an IEM this much!
Pros: Detail, soundstage, image placement, performance, build, aesthetics, presentation...
Cons: Better accessories expected at this price point (such as a balanced or modular cable, more ear tips, etc.)...

TLDR version on YouTube: TDLR - Hifiman Svanar

The Hifiman Svanar have been sent to me directly by Hifiman for me to try them out and share my opinions in this review. The only request was that I prioritize the review if possible. This is something that I am happy to do with anyone I collaborate with, as long as it doesn’t become a habit and this is certainly the first time that Hifiman have requested it. Other than that, they have made no other specific comments or requests.

The official page for the Svanar is here: https://store.hifiman.com/index.php/svanar.html

As always, this link is a non-affiliate link.



The Svanar are the new flagship IEMs from Hifiman, coming in at just under 2000€, making them quite an expensive set of IEMs. It is no secret that I am a big fan of Hifiman headphones but it has been a long time since I tried or reviewed any of their IEMs and those were much more on the more on the economical side of things in comparison. I am not sure if they are aimed to replace the RE2000 or an addition in the line but they are priced similarly and the web shows them as an improved version.

The Svanar use a single 9.2mm dynamic driver with what they call a Topology Diaphragm, which has a special nano particle coating on the surface. I’m afraid I am by no means versed enough to explain what that actually means so I will just stick to my usual way of describing my experience with the Svanar, in terms that I aim to be simple and easily understood 😊



A large cardboard sleeve with an image of the IEMs on the cover slides off to reveal a hard (immitation?) leather covered flip top box with a gold coloured plaque showing the make and model of the IEMs.

Opened by a clasp type lock, inside the (rather large) box we find a round and rigid storage/transport case located in the middle. Inside this case, the IEMs are sitting in cut outs of a foam disc. This is probably the most protected I have seen a set of IEMs in their packaging.

Also inside the box, to the left we get a small cardboard box that contains the cable along with an additional two pin socket (more on that in a moment) and another one to the right that contains the tips. As far as tips, Hifiman include 5 sets, 2 triple flange and 3 double flange. I do wish they had included a few more types of tips, as we will see throughout the review.

Underneath the top layer we get a couple of ear hooks along with the usual warranty paperwork and a nice owners guide book, similar to those received with a lot of the higher end Hifiman headphones.

Apart from tips, the other thing that I feel could have been included is a balanced cable, especially at this price point. I do understand that anyone who is investing this kind of money into a set of IEMs is most probably going to have their own preference as far as cables but I think that the option would have been nice.

The packaging is quite impressive and while everything we need would easily fit in the round storage case, the box and the general presentation does make us feel like we are unpacking something special.


Build and aesthetics…

The build of the Svanar is very unique. They have used a combination of aluminium, brass and a 24k gold plating to assist in the tuning and performance of the sound. Again, I cannot say how these materials react or the sound properties they produce, but I will say that it certainly makes for a unique looking set of IEMs.

The rear part of the IEMs (the part that faces outwards while wearing) is of an aluminium colour, while the internal part is brass. While the IEMs are sitting in the ear they look nice but don’t stand out as something special, in other words, they don’t scream “look I’m wearing expensive IEMs”, yet when they are removed, the colour combination certainly stands out.

The name “Svanar” is swan in Swedish and Hifiman point to the resemblance in the shape of the IEMs. I have to say that the shape of the IEMs is a little different most generic shapes it is still a shape that should fit well for most people. At least I have found them to be very comfortable (depending on the tips used, which I will mention in a moment) but as always each ear is its own world.

I can’t say that these are the most beautiful IEMs that I have ever seen but I do think they look special without being too “far out”, something that I like. They are simple but elegant. As always, in my opinion.

The included cable is not something I would regard as a high end cable. It is rather thin and has the habit of jumping off the top of my ears. This is easily fixed by using the included ear hooks or by tightening the chin slider, however, as I mentioned in presentation, I feel that another cable would have been nice. In fact, a nice modular cable (with interchangeable connectors) would have been perfect.



All tracks mentioned are clickable links that allow you to open the reference track in the streaming service of your choice (YouTube, Tidal, Spotify, etc.)

Before going in to depth on my opinions on sound, I have to say that these are some of the most tip dependent and source dependent IEMs that I have tried. A change in tips will always make a difference with IEMs but in the case of the Svanar, I found that they can be completely different IEMs depending on not only the tip type but also the size and how deep they sit in the ear. I have gone through many types of tips and all of them bring out different traits in the Svanar and not just in the bass quantity (which is usually the most noticeable with tip changes). I did find myself using the Azla Xelastec a lot with these IEMs. I usually avoid the Xelastec because they are a pain to look after, especially when having to remove and reinsert IEMs regularly, but in this case, each time I sat down to listen, it turned into a long listening session so they weren’t an issue. The following opinions are based on using the Xelastec tips for my detailed listening (which was quite a long session) but my impressions do differ when using other tips, finding that the difference between tips seems to work better for different genres and recordings, so keep that in mind.

Also, as I just said, they are very source dependent as well, seeming to really bring out the differences in sources. They are a set of 60 Ohm IEMs which is higher than most IEMs yet I don’t find that they need a large amount of power. In fact, I wasn’t running them at levels much higher than many other sets. What I did find is that they are very revealing as far as what is actually driving them.

I know that I haven’t performed blind tests (and have no intention of doing so) but I feel that, while they sound good from most sources I have tried, they are the IEMs that most show the differences between something like the iFi Gryphon, the M15 or and of my desktop amplifiers. In fact, while I understand that it is complete overkill, they sound glorious from the Feliks Audio Echo Mk2 and also from the EF400. Obviously I am not in the habit of dragging a desktop amp with me so my opinions are based, as usual, on using the Gryphon to run them. I have to say that I really like the pairing with the Gryphon and find that they respond to XBass and XSpace very well.

Ok, so with that out of the way, let’s get on with the review…

Here is the typical look at the graph in comparison to my personal reference target:


This is one of those cases where the graph goes out of the window as soon as I listen to the IEMs. Actually, I had been listening to the IEMs (and enjoying them) before I measured them and I repeated the measurements multiple times (more than the usual 5 measurements) to see if the FR was actually as it looks above.

I say this because looking at the graph, the Svanar have a tuning that I very rarely enjoy. In fact, some of the IEMs that I have liked the least have had similar tunings to the one shown above, causing me fatigue and even a headache due to the midbass. Yet, as I have also mentioned so many times in the past, when a set of IEMs has the detail and speed in the low end to keep the midbass clean and defined, I find that I can enjoy them, and that is certainly the case with the Svanar.

In the lowest of regions, using my usual subbass test of “Chameleon”, there is a nice amount of rumble in the subbass to provide the vibrations that the track needs and while it is followed by a very present midbass, I do not feel that the midbass overshadows the subbass, allowing me to appreciate those low notes.

Using “Royals” by Lorde as another test, again the subbass is present and the detail in the low notes shows that “dirt” in the low end that is present in the recordings subbass.

Moving into the midbass, here is where I most find that my ears don’t agree with the graph. Well, not so much that I disagree, I mean, the midbass is there as it shows on the graph, yet it is so clean and defined that I do not find it come across as overly boosted in these regions. As I have said in the past, I find that if the midbass is well defined, with no boominess, then I have no issues with the actual level being above what I would normally choose, and that is the case with the Svanar.

For example, I mention a lot about how the low end of the guitar in “Crazy” can become far too boomy and even nauseous when the midbass is too present and not well controlled. In this case, while there is plenty of that presence, it stays clean and very enjoyable, filling out the low end without it dominating.

Listening to something more electronically focused, such as “I Fink U Freeky”, then it may even come across as not bassy enough for many people. There is no focus on the low end, it is more of an even and balanced representation, they certainly don’t give a subwoofer impression to this kind of track. The same can be said for hip hop, for example “Still D.R.E”, where the graph would lead me to believe that it would be quite bassy, that is not what I hear. In fact, for those that like a huge bass rumble in their hip-hop, the Svanar aren’t going to provide that sensation.

Even “No Sanctuary Here”, the version with Marian Herzog and Chris Jones, comes across as quite polite in the low end. By this I don’t mean that it is lacking in bass, at least not for my tastes, but that the focus is more on a defined presentation than an elevated presentation, in other words more quality than quantity.

Moving into the mid range, I find that vocals are possibly the part that most reflect changes in tips. In general, I find that a lot of vocals are not quite in the spotlight as much as on other IEMs. There is still clarity and there is no issue with appreciating them, just that they seem to be more balanced with the surrounding instruments, not taking as much of a step forwards as in other cases. Yet, opting for different tips, I find that they can in fact take that extra little step forwards, taking more of center stage than with other tips. An example would be going from a smaller deeper sealing tip, where the vocals move slightly further forwards, to the Azla Crystals, where the vocals are further back, with the Xelatecs being a very nice balance between the two (in my opinion of course).

I listen to a lot of vocal centric music, simple songwriter (mainly female) where the accompanying instruments are mainly acoustic and while I did find that vocals were not quite as “intimate” as I usually prefer, I found that the balance with the guitar (for example) was a very pleasing experience, giving more the impression of listening to the music from a slightly larger distance than directly in front of the singer.

As an example, Zella Day in “Seven Nation Army” can go from being quite upfront (with deeper insertion) to being just slightly forwards with a focus to the left with Xelastec and being much more balanced with the guitar with the Crystals.

Moving into the higher regions, the Svanar give off a nice sensation of extension and air, staying very clear and detailed in these upper ranges. My usual sibilance test with Patricia Barber in “Code Cool” places her just slightly into that sibilance range, with just a hint of sibilance. I would say it is slightly more pronounced than I find it on things I consider my reference (speakers in the case) but it is not uncomfortable, at least with the Xelastec tips. I did find it could get a little hotter with other tips but with these, if I used my usual -12 to +12 scale (which is totally subjective and unscientific), I would place her somewhere around a +1 or +2.

Details, soundstage and image placement are things that I find go hand in hand with the Svanar, performing very well at all of them. I find layers to be extremely well separated and placed just where they are supposed to be. I always say that I find very few IEMs to give me a sensation of a nice open and wide soundstage and the Svanar are one of those few sets. There is a sensation of openness and spaciousness that make these a pleasure to listen to.

The intro to “Diamonds on the Soles of her Shoes” has the vocals of Ladysmith Black Mambazo which are placed excellently, allowing each voice and layer to be easily identified but without seeming like there is any kind of disconnect between on them (I have to say that the fretless bass in this track is also portrayed excellently on the Svanar).

While on the subject of performance and detail, I also found that the Svanar shows the focusing towards channels in a way that is quite surprising. By this, I mean that, for example, vocals may be mixed in a track with a slight pan to one channel, placing the vocals (or instruments) slightly off center and this is quite noticeable on the Svanar. In fact, I was listening to one jazz track (which I forget the name of) during my first session with them and I thought that maybe there was a channel imbalance as I hadn’t noticed the slight pan on the vocals of that track with IEMs before.



I have to say that it has been a long time since I have enjoyed testing a set of IEMs so much. I do admit to being a Hifiman fan, so although I always aim to be as unbiased as possible, it is always possible that my personal biases kick in, yet all I can do is speak about my experience with the Svanar and my experience has been great.

I have been most impressed by the detail and the spaciousness of these IEMs, the way they present the soundstage, with everything being easily appreciated but without trying to make itself the center of attention. For a set of single dynamic driver IEMs, I find this is even more impressive.

The fact that they are so tip (and source) dependent does mean that people will have to play around with them to find what works best for each individual case. It is not that they sound bad with any source or tips (within reason) but there is so much available when you get the right combination that they just suddenly click and make everything fall into place (or at least they do for me).

There is no denying that they are an expensive set of IEMs and there are a few things that I feel could have been done better (such as the cable or the tips etc.) but as far as sound and performance, they do it wonderfully.

If you get a chance to give them a try, I strongly suggest that you do so, but don’t hesitate to try some different tips (and sources) before coming to a conclusion.

As always, this review is also available in Spanish both on my blog (www.achoreviews.com) and on YouTube (www.youtube.com/achoreviews)

All FR measurements of IEMs can be viewed and compared on achoreviews.squig.link

All isolation measurements of IEMs can be found on