HiVi-Swans’ active 2.0 products include the D series, M200/M300 series, T series, H series, X series, and the high-end M series (M1A, M2A, M3A, M5A). Excluding the more directional H series and X series and the high-end M series designed for audiophiles, the D series has always been HiVi-Swans’ entry-level market offering.
Firstly, let’s consider the driver configuration. The M200MKIII utilizes a 5-inch woofer, while the D1090 employs a 6.5-inch woofer. A similar pricing strategy can be observed with the M300, which uses a 6.5-inch driver, making it slightly more expensive than the T200 series, which features a 5-inch driver.
Larger drivers usually command higher prices within the same brand’s product line, as is a common rule in the speaker industry. However, the significant price difference between the D1090 and M200MKIII begs the question: Can the D1090 match the audio quality of the M200MKIII?
Of course, comparing a 6.5-inch woofer to a 5-inch one may not be entirely fair. Nonetheless, these two products are still comparable. The M200MKIII (including M200MKIII+) is the best-selling speaker in the domestic market, with high user recognition and commendable low-frequency performance.
The D1090, on the other hand, has already reached a price point of 1999 yuan with its 6.5-inch woofer. Thus, users with a budget of around 2000 yuan might hesitate between choosing the D1090 with a larger woofer or the better-reputed M200MKIII+.
Regarding appearance, the HiVi-Swans D1090 appears more youthful and dynamic compared to the M200 series. The cabinet design is slightly stout and features a combination of a 6.5-inch woofer and a 28mm “cat’s eye” dome tweeter. Notably, the tweeter utilizes a shallow horn design.
What are the advantages of a horn design? When talking about horn-loaded drivers, one cannot avoid mentioning the acoustic giant, JBL. I have a pair of JBL Nano K5 studio monitors, which also feature a shallow horn design, though different from that of the D1090.
The horn design can provide better efficiency and directivity, enhancing the depth and detail of the high frequencies. Furthermore, due to the shallow horn design, the acoustic center of the tweeter and woofer can be better aligned.
The D1090 incorporates a 28mm natural fiber dome tweeter, often called the “cat eye” tweeter, because it resembles a cat’s eye. Compared to ribbon tweeters that emphasize analytical capabilities, dome tweeters offer a warmer and more natural sound signature.
The HiVi-Swans D1090 adopts a 6.5-inch large excursion long-throw woofer with a high-strength Polypropylene composite diaphragm paired with fatigue-resistant natural rubber surround, providing high strength and high internal damping physical characteristics for quicker bass response.
The front panel and cabinet of the D1090 use different materials. The front panel employs a low-diffraction design, allowing sound to radiate more evenly outward, thus enhancing its directivity.
Though the D1090 may not appear large from the front, its cabinet depth is quite substantial when viewed from a different angle. The actual dimensions are 214mm295mm328mm, designed to optimize the performance of the 6.5-inch woofer.
Volume, treble, and bass adjustment knobs are located on the right side of the main speaker. The treble and bass knobs allow ±3dB adjustments, enabling users to customize their listening experience. Notably, since the D1090 supports multiple input options (two sets of analog/optical/coaxial inputs), the volume knob also serves as an input selector, allowing easy switching between different input sources.
Besides the two sets of RCA analog inputs, the D1090 is equipped with coaxial and optical inputs, featuring the TI-produced PCM9211 chip, which supports 24-bit/96kHz digital audio signal input for superior audio performance.
Furthermore, the D1090 comes with Bluetooth playback capability, utilizing the CSR64215 chip, and a Bluetooth V4.2 receiver system with a built-in APT-X decoder. This makes it convenient for users who prefer to use music apps like Netease Cloud Music on their smartphones while ensuring audio quality.
The speaker’s bass reflex port is located on the top, which imposes certain requirements on speaker placement. It is recommended to have a distance of at least half a meter from the wall.
The main and satellite speakers are connected using four-pin aviation cables. The cables and connectors have corresponding protrusions and grooves, making it easy to ensure correct connections. Aviation cables offer a more secure connection than traditional speaker cables due to their locking mechanism.
Upon opening the back, the MDF material with a thickness of approximately 13.41mm and the wood-grain veneer surface of the D1090 can be observed. This post is from HifiReport.com.
The remote control has a simple appearance, though it may lack a premium feel as it is made of plastic. It provides volume adjustment, source switching, mute, and standby functions.
As the D1090 boasts a total output power of 220W RMS for the stereo system, the power supply is appropriately substantial, featuring a large toroidal transformer with outputs of 33V/7.2A (brown-brown) and 15V/1.83A (blue-blue).
The PCM9211 chip, produced by Texas Instruments (TI), supports the input of 24-bit/96kHz digital audio signal. As we are now in the era of high-definition music, high-bitrate music significantly improves sound quality compared to traditional CD’s 16-bit/44.1kHz audio.
The D1090 utilizes the CSR64215 chip for its Bluetooth V4.2 receiver system, with built-in APT-X decoding capability.
Digital amplifiers have become a trend in the industry. Although some audiophiles remain skeptical, based on my personal usage experience, when properly paired and calibrated, digital amplifiers can perform equally well compared to traditional Class AB amplifiers. The D1090’s high-frequency driver uses TI’s TAS5754M chip, which allows for embedded Mini DSP electronic crossover.
For the mid and low frequencies, TI’s PCM5242 and TPA3255 chips are employed, with an output power of up to 220W, providing ample driving force for the 6.5-inch woofer.
While early Class D amplifiers were associated with a dry, sharp, and tight low-frequency response, which led to some negative perceptions among users, Class D amplification has made significant progress. Well-known industry modules like Hypex’s NC modules have been adopted by numerous high-end brands, including Jeff Roland, Marantz, and PMC, and have received consistent user praise.
This demonstrates that, with proper calibration, Class D amplifiers have great potential for delivering excellent performance.
In the sound quality evaluation, I want to compare the D1090 with the M200MKIII+.
Firstly, let’s talk about the sound characteristics of both speakers. The M200 series currently has four models. The first-generation M200 is known for its smooth and mid-centric sound. The M200MKII offers a more balanced overall performance, retaining the sweet midrange while significantly improving the highs and lows.
The M200MKIII, which I reviewed earlier, left a deep impression with its powerful bass response, and its overall sound signature leaned slightly towards a neutral and straightforward presentation. When I spoke with the former chief designer of HiVi-Swans last month, he mentioned that while designing the M200MKIII, they considered that many users would use it for home theater setups, and enhancing the low-frequency performance would provide a more immersive movie experience while still meeting musical needs.
As for the M200MKIII+, after listening to it, it had slightly toned down the bass compared to the third generation, but overall, it still maintained the M200 series’ characteristic smooth and gentle style. On the other hand, the D1090 sounds relatively straightforward and lighter, with its 6.5-inch woofer delivering a more impactful and powerful bass than the M200MKIII+.
In the comparison between the M200MKIII+ and D1090, although the M200MKIII+ delivers already impressive low frequencies for a 5-inch woofer, it still falls slightly behind the 6.5-inch woofer of the D1090. Consequently, the D1090 has an advantage in terms of bass performance, exhibiting a more robust, responsive, and deeper bass.
As for the mid-range, the M200MKIII+ continues the series’ consistent rich and gentle style, as the M200 series’ mid-range has received favorable reviews in its price range. The mid-range on the M200MKIII+ has good density and smoothness. On the other hand, the mid-range of the D1090 leans towards a more neutral and straightforward presentation. While it may not have the same immediate appeal as the M200MKIII+, it excels in overall versatility.
Overall, both the M200MKIII+ and D1090 have unique sound characteristics. The M200MKIII+ offers a smooth and gentle listening experience, with its mid-range being a highlight. On the other hand, the D1090 presents a more direct and impactful sound, with its 6.5-inch woofer delivering a satisfying low-frequency performance.
After comparative listening, the overall sound quality of the D1090 is on par with the M200MKIII+. However, there are distinct stylistic differences between the two. Additionally, the D1090 excels slightly in low-frequency performance and overall control, which justifies its slightly higher pricing than the M200MKIII+.
So, how should one choose between these two products? Setting aside appearance factors, if you prefer a sweet and gentle sound, especially in a listening environment with some limitations, then the M200MKIII+ would be more suitable for you. On the other hand, if you favor a monitoring-style sound with stronger control, more impactful low frequencies, and a balanced performance for both home theater and music listening, then the D1090 is the better choice.
HiVi-Swans D1090 Specifications
- Color: Red/black wood grain
- Model: Swan D1090
- Series: D1090 Series
- Type: DSP 2.0 Active Stereo Speaker System
- Speaker Unit:
- 6.5″ mid-low range driver
- 28mm soft dome tweeter
- Frequency: 38Hz-20kHz
- Distortion: 80Hz-20kHz ≤1% (85dB/1m)
- Audio Input: Line, Bluetooth, Optical, Coaxial
- Rated Power: 110W RMS per channel, 220W RMS dual channel
- DSP Crossover: 2.7kHz
- Bass Adjust: ±3dB
- Treble Adjust: ±3dB
- Separation: ≥72dB
- Signal-To-Noise Ratio: ≥107dB (unweighted)
- Input Sensitivity: 160mV
- Net Weight:
- Active Speaker: 10.2kg
- Passive Speaker: 7.2kg
- Total Weight: 17.4kg
- Size: 214x328x295mm (WxDxH)