Toppings on my desk. Though slimmer to the rear for a fashionably tidy ass, I'd not anticipated how broad of shoulder Swöxx would present. For my desk this was nearly too hulking. As review impermanence, it'd do for proof of life before making tracks to elsewhere. To give these enormous eyes a little lift and stare straight at my ears, I used some spare footers to tilt up the cabs. With a 24/96 album cued up in J.River, I had a happy green LED on each speaker but no sound. To avoid nasty surprises, Sinan's default volume is digital zero. Hitting up the remote's '+' button thus needs many presses before one emerges above the ambient noise floor of ~30dB to hear anything. That's an unnecessary complication. Why not start at +30dB which in inner-city rooms will still equal 'mute' but now take just a few clicks before sound begins? Sinan thought it was a good idea. He can easily reset the default value in the configurator software. Simply don't misplace this remote. Without it, there's no way to control the volume or wake up Swöxx from auto mute after each power down. And unless you command an enormous executive desk, these won't fit. They're properly grown monitors for stands or lowboys. For some reason, the stock photos hadn't quite brought that message home. Very soon these would set up accordingly. First I'd replicate the nearfield perspective off the desk where it was less obtrusive.

I just rehit a weirdness I'd already met. As instructed, I powered up the slave first. This made its power light a solid red for sleep mode. The master in solid green for signal just wouldn't wake the mate. After futzing with different cables and power cycles, the desktop slave—a good job description for any publisher—had finally gone green. I just hadn't a clue why. Now the sleeper didn't hear the alarm again. I remembered that once the desktop sang, I'd entered the master AES/EBU but exited coax since no AES/EBU cable worked.

On the hutch I'd started with the opposite cable mix. Here the SD transport lacks AES/EBU. I generally prefer that for its more robust signal. So my cable between the speakers still was XLR. Yet when I replaced that with a Sommovigo Tombo Trøn coax, the left speaker went solid green. It also stayed mute. It took a few more power cycles before both speakers sync'd up and the master took control over the slave. Wrong trigger threshold voltage? At least I was back in biz. Now Sinan's answer arrived. "It should all work fine. I had no issues. You could access the amp via the PC and fix the slave's input source. That might solve it. Or start from scratch by recabling everything? It looks like Hypex are having bugs. They run a great support team. The preset trigger sensitivity could be the culprit. I'll find out. An end user shouldn't have to deal with bugs or wrong software settings." Quite.

From experiments with our Acelec Model One, I know these listening SPL to hover at ~35dB below source voltage. Cutting that digitally means six bits of data loss. Applied to 24-bit or 32-bit math, it still nets 16-bit Redbook data density; or so Sabre propaganda claims. Whether that's true or direct-drive benefits overshadowed any such resolution losses I couldn't say. My ears heard nothing thin, pale, distanced or in any obvious ways MP3'd. Au contraire. Swöxx sounded attractively colorful, tonally fulsome and on the soft laid-back not incisive forward side even in the modern profile. Laying on hands detected lively cabinetry already at such low volumes. Acelec's rubber-bonded aluminium-paneled boxes are clearly quieter. That unveils more low-level detail and transient exactitude. To some degree, Swöxx's gentler more forgiving behavior ties to box talk. Despite being active, this doesn't model the fresh forward attitude of the archetypal mastering monitor which prioritizes detail über alles. It rather sounds like a mature audiophile appropriated the active concept then voiced it to his taste. While I repeat myself saying that its size warrants use as serious in-room monitor, Swöxx works well at extreme proximity. There it's just overkill. Onward now to filling an entire space from a regular 3m distance whilst standing 1.5m clear of the front wall.