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HIFIMAN Svanar IEMs – Fantastic Music Flagship

HIFIMAN Svanar IEMs – Fantastic Music Flagship

HIFIMAN Svanar is the $ 1999 USD flagship IEM or In-Ear Monitor designed by HIFIMAN, to dominate the earphone market with single dynamic driver designs, with the name being inspired by the Swedish word for Swan, beauty, elegance and grace. It will be compared to other flagships, including Unique Melody Maven PRO (1799 USD), Dita Audio Perpetua (2999 USD), FiR Audio NE4 Neon 4 (2299 USD), Ambient Acoustics MAD16 (2500 USD), HIFIMAN RE2000 (2000 USD), and Audeze Euclid (1300 USD). Svanar will also be paired with a few portable sources, including Astell&Kern Acro CA1000T (2299 USD), iBasso DX320 (1599 USD), and Lotoo PAW 6000 (1200 USD). 



HIFIMAN designed a new flagship single dynamic driver IEM, having the design following the super smooth shape of a Swan. The design part refers to the inner part of the IEM, and not the sonic signature. The best place to order HIFIMAN products is from official dealers, Amazon, and from the official HIFIMAN Store. They are usually available for audition in local audio shops, if you live near an official distributor, so if you’re considering purchasing one of their products, you should consider giving them a listen. Nowadays HIFIMAN has one of the best warranties and build qualities, so you don’t have to worry about purchasing their products, you will be promptly supported, as you should for a product with this price tag. 

It should be noted that I have absolutely no affiliation with HIFIMAN, I am not receiving any incentive for this review or to sweeten things out. I’d like to thank HIFIMAN for providing the sample for this review. Every opinion expressed is mine and I stand by it. The purpose of this review is to help those interested in HIFIMAN Svanar IEMs find their next music companion. 


Product Link

You can grab one from the Official HIFIMAN Store here: https://store.hifiman.com/index.php/svanar.html

You can grab one from www.amazon.com here: https://amzn.to/3MrI2EV

If you’re in the UK, you can grab one from www.amazon.co.uk here: https://amzn.to/3O9IAAE

And if you’re from Europe, you can grab one from www.amazon.de here: https://amzn.to/3nTUSCN


Build Quality/Aesthetics/Fit/Comfort

We start with a package that is large, and reminds me a lot of the original RE2000 IEMs that I reviewed years ago, and which was, if we follow my words from back then, a really premium experience. After years, I have to say that HIFIMAN refined their game, and the package of the Svanar looks cool, but they come with little accessories, including one cable that is 3.5mm Single Ended, 5 pairs of tips, adapters to replace the default cable, and a carrying case. The package isn’t the richest, but it has all the basics. 

The cable of the Svanar is super nice, but while the eartips can work nicely and you don’t need to upgrade them for comfort, I would look into Spinfit, Azla xElastec or other tips if you have experience with IEMs. Double Flanged to do work for me at all, and the default cable will also need replacing if you have a source that has a 4.4mm balanced output. I personally can enjoy the Svanar just fine out of a SE source, like Acro CA1000T which has a super good sounding 3.5mm headphone output, but most sources will sound better from the balanced output, so the default cable will eventually be replaced by most people. Speaking of the default cable, the sound of it is super good, and I wouldn’t replace it for sonics, but for improving the comfort, as it can be springy, especially below the Y Split. 

The IEM design is on another level entirely, and Svanar is indeed designed to be the most comfortable flagship you can have, it is super smooth, the inner part is rounded, and follows the anatomy of the ear super nicely, making this an IEM I can wear for hours in a row. The inner part is made of Brass coated with 24K Gold, while the outer part is made of Aluminum, the whole IEM being weighted to rest on the pinna, the outer part of the ear, rather than resting on the ear canal. I can confirm that this makes Svanar super comfortable, I love the fit and they really adjust nicely to my ears, and besides replacing the tips with ddHIFI ST35 which I found comfy and to work well with Svanar, I actually am using the default cable the most. 

There are adapters including for replacing the cable, to make sure all other cables will fit well. Most aftermarket cables that are in the 2-Pin 0.78mm format will not fit Svanar, but not because the cable pins don’t fit well, rather, the hole for the cable is too tight, and most cables just have a hard time entering it. At this point I have given up on trying to replace it and I’m mainly using the default cable to enjoy the Svanar. 

The IEMs are unique in many ways, and the Impedance is one of them, having 60 OHMs of impedance, so they not only have zero hissing with HIFIMAN’s own EF400, but actually Svanar has absolutely zero hiss with Hiby R6 and Astell&Kern ACRO CA1000T. The weight is 13 grams per each IEM shell, without the cable, which is super light and I can barely feel them in my ears. The sensitivity is 100dB, which is not low, but not the highest either, so a quality source is recommended for driving the Svanar, HIFIMAN R2R2000 being one of the best ones. The driver is a 9.2mm Topology Diaphragm driver, a special tech designed by HIFIMAN. They basically coat the driver membrane with a super fine nanoparticle coating, with different shapes and designs to best control the impulse response, and control of the driver itself. 

From the white paper of the Svanar, the inner chamber design seems to be inspired from the performance of the Swan Lake at the Moscow State Theater, where the sunken orchestra Area relative to the seating area resulted in an enhanced soundstage perception. The HIFIMAN design team was inspired to hear this, and got to work for years to bring a similar experience to music lovers, and so Svanar came to life. I personally consider the whole IEM to be super good in comfort, I love the fit of it, I find the looks super nice too, smooth and clean. I had no problems with Svanar, and since they don’t reveal hiss easily, I think it is one of the safest to purchase flagships right now. The construction quality is a solid 10/10, even relative to other flagships, in line with Dita Perpetua, but also in line with FiR Audio NE4

The passive noise isolation is ok, between 20 and 25 dB depending on the frequency, so lower than deep-fitting IEMs, as Svanar has a medium fit, and they leak a bit, so my girlfriend always knows if I’m listening to music while using the Svanar, but she doesn’t necessarily understand the music, nor does she find it annoying even if I’m blasting metal at 105-115dB in the Svanar. 


Sound Quality

The list of sources used to power the HIFIMAN Svanar includes Astell & Kern Acro CA1000T, HIFIMAN R2R2000, HIFIMAN EF400, Hiby R6 III, Shanling M1S, HIFI Walker H2 Touch, Shanling M3 Ultra, iBasso DX320, TempoTec V6, Lotoo PAW 6000, iBasso DX320MAX TI and Dethonray DTR1+. Generally speaking, Svanar is a super clean sounding IEM with a perfect tonality, very transparent presentation that is mostly neutral, so if you prefer a warmer sound, a warmer source is recommended, or even some EQ, since the distortion is extremely low and they can take a lot of EQ with zero issues. The sources that I liked the most with Svanar have been DX320, Dethonray DTR1+, and HIFIMAN EF400. While most IEMs have a specific volume they sound best at, Svanar sounds excellent at all volumes, super detailed, wide and dynamic at low volumes, clean, detailed and powerful at medium volumes, and super energetic, distortion-free and dynamic at high volumes, where it can bring to life large orchestras, as well as rock concerts, making Svanar an ideal flagship. 

Starting with the bass, Svanar has a super versatile bass, extremely powerful, but not lifted much above the neutral unless the song asks for it. You will get heavy impact, explosions and a frequency response that climbs down as low as 20 Hz, and can deliver a total blow down there, but only when it was part of the original song. This means that lighter songs will sound light, and heavier songs will sound heavy, chug and super satisfying. Svanar is one of the very few IEMs, regardless of the price point, that can make bass guitars sound like bass guitars, instead of blobs of low end substance. This is because the bass follows the texture presented in the original song faithfully, bass guitars are bass guitars, while bass of electronic songs is smooth and deep, clean. A good example of this effect are first, Reol – Sixth Sense, where the full bass notes are easily audible throughout the entire song rumbling the foreground, even though they do not interfere with Reol’s voice, or the other instruments, allowing the entire sound to sound wide, deep and have an expansive presentation. 

The midrange of the Svanar is clearly the best part of it, and I don’t just mean that they have an excellent bass, but they actually sound live and alive. I have an album, from Dethklok, Metalocalypse – The Doomstar Requiem, an album that combines voices, orchestra elements, multiple rock styles and Svanar is literally the first IEM that highlights many background voices, makes the voices actually understandable in many parts, having the transparency necessary to separate the voices from the orchestral elements in the background, and to still give life to all instruments, including violins, other strings, and guitars. The soundstage is incredibly wide, while the instrument separation is immaculate, everything about the midrange of Svanar makes you love them. While some IEMs, even some flagships, have certain dips and peaks in the midrange that take something away from a perfect tonality, but Svanar has absolutely none, you hear instruments as you’d hear them in a live orchestra. This is one of the best parts about Svanar, it renders both the instruments, but also minor echoes of it, reflexions, and in one word micro details, better than most IEMs out there. In fact, this is the only IEM I would say can straightforwardly beat CTM Clear tune Da Vinci X in resolution, without being cold in the tonality. 

We also have a super beautiful treble, with outstanding extension, clarity and a natural presentation that is never too harsh or sibilant, but if there’s any part of the Svanar sound that seems to be dependent on the source, that would be the treble. I was able to notice that the treble can sound much airier, with a more natural sparkle, depending on the source, and the source that presents the best treble for Svanar is quite shockingly Astell & Kern ACRO CA1000T, even iBasso DX320 seemingly cutting a bit out of the high-end air extension (this is not happening with most other IEMs). At any rate, the treble extension helps a lot with the overall clarity, impact and detail of Svanar, drums have a natural resonance, and violins, sopranos have an impactful and emotional presentation. If that feeling of feeling goosebumps on your skin sounds familiar, Svanar is one of the few IEMs that can easily cause it with basically any song that’s a bit more emotional, they have that kind of emphasis on female voices, pianos and violins that appeals to the emotional side of the listener, that makes you feel the song, not just hear it. One interesting thing is that if the song is recorded with a wide presentation, Svanar is one of the very few IEMs that makes it sound as if you’re not wearing IEMs, they really can present music in a wide, holographic scope, without sounding scattered. The instrument separation is always superb, and so is the overall definition, but the sound is never forced to be like this, Svanar does everything smoothly and without much effort. 



HIFIMAN Svanar Flagship IEMs vs Dita Audio Perpetua (1999 USD vs 2999 USD) – We start in big fashion, because both are super recent IEMs, and I like both quite a lot. This being said, they are super different, and starting with the package, Perpetua has a much richer package, with a much better default cable, which you are super unlikely to want to ever change. The comfort is very good on both, Perpetua has a springier cable which offers more support for it to rest around your ear, and the IEM shells are a bit lighter too, but both IEMs are rounded, have no sharp edges, and are super comfy for my ears. Both are easy to drive compared to headphones, but Svanar is a bit harder to drive than Dita Perpetua, yet Dita Perpetua is much more sensitive to hiss and background noise, making Svanar an easier IEM to choose from a source perspective. The sound is quite different, both have good detail, but Svanar has much more emphasis on this detail, it extracts micro details in the midrange and treble much better, Svanar has a better imaging and instrument separation, better overall clarity, and sounds more vivid, more punchy, more live. This being said, Svanar is much more neutral, it has lower amounts of bass, and higher amounts of treble, but has good mature refined textures that are never harsh or fatiguing. Dita Audio Perpetua is a perpetually enjoyable IEM, smooth, lean, heavy, thick, with a full body, and has a slower bass, slower midrange than Svanar, Perpetua is the dream of any basshead, or music lover who fancies vinyl, cassette and a fuller, warmer signature that is lush, while Svanar is much better for those who want a more transparent sound with better accuracy, which is more neutral and has a more revealing presentation. 

HIFIMAN Svanar Flagship IEMs vs Audeze Euclid (1999 USD vs 1300 USD) – Starting with the package, both come with a good package, but the cable of Euclid is a bit better than the cable of Svanar. The comfort of Svanar is much better, they are smaller, more rounded, and have a more ergonomic shape to their body, plus once you change the cable, they are some of the nicest IEMs out there, while Euclid has a bore that is large and can sometimes be a handful, also a shallower fit that can be lost if you sweat a bit. The overall drive factor is similar, both are ok with noisier sources, both need a decent source, but neither isn’t ridiculously hard to drive like Final Audio E5000. The sound is quite different, Euclid has a faster impulse response, it is thinner sounding, more dry, can show sibilance and harshness much easier, and I think it makes a much better mixing / mastering tool than Svanar, which is super vivid, live, and transparent, but is pleasing to the ear, never fatiguing, and has a better bass, fuller bass, and more substance in the sound. Both make great options, but for a comfier listen, and a more refined, mature and detailed sound, Svanar has better imaging, stereo separation, and a wider soundstage, with better depth too. You would have to put up with a cable upgrade if you don’t like the default one, or if you want a balanced cable, but Euclid also comes with a Single Ended cable from the factory. 

HIFIMAN Svanar Flagship IEMs vs FiR Audio NE4 (1999 USD vs 2299 USD) – Starting with the package, NE4 has a richer package, with more accessories, and a better default cable. The comfort is somewhat better on Svanar, which is more free from driver flex, which NE4 can sometimes present, also Svanar does not depend as much on a good fit as NE4. Both are easy to drive, but NE4 is much easier to drive, also much more sensitive to noise, hissing and source problems. The overall sound is actually somewhat similar, but NE4 has a higher amount of mid bass, and a bit more sub bass, it ends up sounding deeper, but also lacks the soundstage width and depth that Svanar has. Also, Svanar has more detail, is cleaner, more resolute even in the micro details, it is more dynamic, and handles extreme volumes, both low and high volumes with lower distortion and a better overall control. I would generally recommend Svanar more than Ne4 if you like an analytical, more detailed sound that is more neutral, if you can put up with the original cable of Svanar and are ok using it with single ended sources only, as the default cable is hard to replace, and NE4 is more recommended to those who want more mid bass, a warmer sound, at the cost of a bit of resolution lost.

HIFIMAN Svanar Flagship IEMs vs Ambient Acoustics MAD16 (1999 USD vs 2500 USD) – We have two good IEMs, and both come with a more primitive package, but the transport case of MAD16 is a bit better than that of the Svanar. The overall comfort of Svanar is better, they are smaller and fit my ears better, Svanar is also more ergonomic for me on the inner part, it rests better inside of my ears, providing better comfort for long hours of usage. The sound is similar, both have a more neutral approach without much coloration, both are very transparent, and both are super dynamic, but the dynamics of Svanar are better, especially as it is a single dynamic driver, while MAD16, even with 16 drivers playing for each ear, will sound a bit more compressed. The overall resolution is a bit better for Svanar, but MAD16 has a bit more thickness in the midrange and the bass. I generally grab Svanar more and can recommend it more if you can put up with the default cable and it being hard to find a replacement cable. 

HIFIMAN Svanar Flagship IEMs vs HIFIMAN RE2000 (1999 USD vs 2000 USD) – We have two HIFIMAN IEMs, and you’re most likely curious how HIFIMAN improved over the years, especially as RE2000 is a few years old now, and can be found for much cheaper than Svanar. Well, HIFIMAN surely shows that they are improving in everything, and Svanar is a full upgrade from RE2000, including in the comfort, overall design, but also in resolution, clarity, micro details and dynamics. The bass is fuller and deeper on the Svanar, the midrange is more vivid, more colorful, and the treble is more airy, all while without it becoming more harsh and sibilant. Everything that rE2000 had, Svanar has, but in better quality, better quantity, and better resolution, and it is a much needed upgrade for the Svanar to be competitive in today’s market. 

HIFIMAN Svanar Flagship IEMs vs Unique Melody Maven PRO (1999 USD vs 1799 USD) – We reach the final comparison, and most likely the hardest, because both IEMs are constantly on my desk, and I keep using both a lot. The package of Unique Melody is richer, they come with a better transport case from the factory, they have a better default cable that can be replaced easier. The comfort is similar, a bit better for Svanar which is smaller in size and lighter, and they have a thinner default cable that actually feels better around my ears. There’s no driver flex with either, but Svanar is not as sensitive to background noise and low quality sources, while Maven PRO needs a good source to sound good. Putting them side by side, Maven PRO has a bit more mid bass, and a slightly thicker sound, while Svanar has a bit more detail revealing ability, it is more technical, more dynamic, and more punchy but also thinner sounding, with a more aggressive treble that’s a bit more peaky, while Maven PRO has a smoother treble with a more musical overall presentation. The decision here is simple, Svanar is the more analytical, more dynamic IEM, while Maven PRO is a bit thicker, fuller, more lush and has a deeper sound with a smoother treble, but the difference between them is not large, it is more of a nuance difference. 



HIFIMAN Svanar + iBasso DX320 (1999 USD + 1599 USD) – If you want the ultimate dynamics, this is the source you should go with. DX320 is also a full-fledged DAP that has basically all of the functionality of a smartphone, but in a much better sounding device, still while keeping the streaming experience intact. DX320 has a sound that’s deep, quick, precise and extremely dynamic with Svanar, it takes them to a level you just aren’t expecting, it makes them super precise, analytical, clean and the midrange tonality is also spot-on. If I had to pick a portable DAP that is my favorite source for them, following my tastes, and which makes them sound the most “live”, then DX320 is it. Rock, Metal and EDM sounds the best with DX320, but it is not shabby for classical and acoustic music either. 

HIFIMAN Svanar + Lotoo PAW 6000 (1999 USD + 1200 USD) – So here we have the majestic combo that’s made for those who want a leaner, smoother, less punchy sound, and those who want a gentle, more neutral approach. While both the other sources are a bit warmer in nature, with a bit extra sub bass and mid bass, PAW 6000 sounds more crystalline, but also more gentle, it doesn’t have a sound as edgy as most sources, but it can convey musicality really well, without being too warm, thick, or having a colored signature. There’s no hissing with Svanar, and it can easily power it, but the beauty is in how detailed, yet natural the sound can be, especially with classical, jazz, and acoustic music, while electronic and metal can be a bit too relaxed and gentle. 

HIFIMAN Svanar + Astell&Kern ACRO CA1000T (1999 USD + 2299 USD) – This one pairing never fails to surprise me, and one of the biggest reasons is that Svanar is one of the few IEMs that show absolutely no hissing or background noise with CA1000T. The higher impedance of Svanar surely helps, and CA1000T gives it a super detailed, super dynamic sound, and having been one of the main sources for today’s review, I can safely say it has one of the best resolutions out there. Even if super tight resolution isn’t your thing, you can turn on the tube mode on CA1000T and it will sound warmer, smoother, and fuzzier, making Svanar a leaner, more organic performer, without listing its edge in any way. Astell & Kern CA1000T is a workhorse and every music style sounds superb with it driving the Svanar, you won’t have to change your music taste, this pairing will glow up all the songs you have in your library. 


Value and Conclusion

We have a price / performance ratio that’s super good, although you may need to factor in an upgrade cable if you want to use Svanar with a balanced source like most DAPs on the market at the moment. The overall technical performance, tonality and transparency, along with the impulse response of the Svanar makes it an excellent price performance ratio for a flagship though, you get everything in the IEMs, and no necessarily in the package, which is usually just extras you place on a shelf most of the time, while the IEMs stay with you, in your ears. 

Before the end of today’s review, HIFIMAN Svanar surely has a place in the Audiophile-Heaven Hall Of Fame, and I will add it there personally, as one of the best sounding IEMs in the entire world, I absolutely love its sound, and for a usable IEM has no glaring shortcomings, even the impedance being made higher than most of the competition so it won’t suffer from hissing, and the driver being technically capable to carry the price on its back alone. 

At the end of the day, if you’re looking for one of the most transparent sounding IEMs, with a huge soundstage, excellent instrument separation, and a sound that can bring to life any orchestra, and put you in the middle of any rock concert, an IEM that will make your whole music collection glow and come alive, Hifiman Svanar is one of the best there are, and a fully recommended IEM by Audiophile-Heaven, and a personal favorite of mine, Gheorghe Dobrescu.  


Product Link

You can grab one from the Official HIFIMAN Store here: https://store.hifiman.com/index.php/svanar.html

You can grab one from www.amazon.com here: https://amzn.to/3MrI2EV

If you’re in the UK, you can grab one from www.amazon.co.uk here: https://amzn.to/3O9IAAE

And if you’re from Europe, you can grab one from www.amazon.de here: https://amzn.to/3nTUSCN


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Full Playlist used for this review

We listened to more songs than those named in this playlist, but those are excellent for identifying a sonic signature.  I recommend trying most of the songs from this playlist, especially if you’re searching for new music! The playlists are different for Spotify, Tidal and Youtube, and based on the songs I enjoy and are available on each!




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  1. […] and put together. The 2-Pin variant should and will work with all the IEMs out there, except for HIFIMAN Svanar, which seems to have a housing that is a bit too tight for all aftermarket […]

  2. […] the Ie900 to other high-end IEMs and flagships, in a battle of the best, the list including HIFIMAN Svanar (1999 USD), Unique Melody Maven PRO (1799 USD), Dita Audio Perpetua (2999 USD), FiR Audio NE4 NEON […]

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