I just got my Swan MK200MKIIIs. The first thing that I noticed was that the box was extremely heavy! Both speakers are heavy, but the speaker with the amp is heavier than my Onkyo AV receiver. After opening the box, I found that both speakers were encased in cloth and plastic coverings, and white gloves were included in the package! Thus far**, I have not had a chance to plug them into my main transport/DAC setup. Instead I have only plugged them into the 1/8" plug on an HP Pavilion laptop with unknown DAC. **See update below, and later in thread. Initially, I forgot to set the bass and treble controls to their middle point (suggested setting). They were set to their lowest setting. At that setting, the music sounded good, but not really impressive. (Better than your average logitec speakers, certainly, but not amazing). It sounded a little "distant" and "weak." After a second with the manual, I figured out what I had done wrong and set the controls appropriately. Wow. Playing CDs via itunes via this unknown DAC, the Swans sounded as good as any speaker system I have ever heard. The tightness of the bass is perhaps the most remarkable aspect of these speakers. There is a "slam" associated with bass notes that I have rarely heard before. Overall, these speakers remind me VERY much of Sennheiser headphones. They are not bright. I would almost say that the treble is very slightly recessed. The level of detail, however, is excellent, and the speakers reproduced the male vocals of Frank Sinatra better than any speaker I have ever heard before. These speakers are also the most "directional" of any I have ever used. Within in their "cone" the sound is very different (louder, fuller) than outside of the sound cone. I use these at a computer, and its perfect. They would even be good for a private office. Not what I would pick to fill a room for a party, however. These speakers were not especially kind to MP3s. There was an immediate and almost upsetting difference between 128kbit mp3s and CDs. A 192kbit pandora.com stream fared better and was very enjoyable. As a final note about sound quality, I would not call these speakers extremely "loud". This could be a result of my source, but even close to max on the laptop, the 2'o'clock setting on the speaker was comfortable. These speakers are as good as any I have ever heard. Can't wait to pair them with a real source. Update: I still cannot connect these to my DAC because I am waiting for my SPDIF adaptor. I did get to plug them into my XONAR D2X sound card (PCM DACs). WOW. Even better! AMAZING. And LOUD. At 12'o'clock they are as loud as I would ever want, and my source volume is only at 60% as well. Out of my soundcard they were also kinder to MP3s than out of the laptop and iphone. I still prefered CDs, but the MP3s were not as different. These are the best speakers I have ever owned, without a doubt. In light of the above, it is hard for me to recommend them for an ipod or iphone, but they are amazing if given a proper source. Note also, these speakers seem fairly "directional" at least compared to my Polks. There is a noticeable difference in sound when you are only ~ 30 degrees off axis. UPDATED: 6moons audio review is VERY similar to my impressions: http://www.6moons.com/audioreviews/swans2/1.html " Regardless of virtue, no product will be all things to all men. While the speakers performed in exemplary fashion as computer monitors, they were more suited for musical satisfaction than gaming pyrotechnics. Acoustic music lovers will delight. Those demanding peak levels and gut-thumping bass should look elsewhere. These speakers are designed to stir the soul, not rattle the teeth. This is a musically satisfying design for the audiophile seeking a better lifestyle component. Shamelessly attractive and overbuilt given their modest price, it's an easy and enthusiastic recommendation. In America, the Swans M200 Mk III is sold direct through The Audio Insider." I agree. Personally, I love them.