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Swan speakers have been around in the Indian market for quite a few years now and their product range has been very well received in the desktop speakers segment for their quality and price points. To further develop the market and make inroads into the home theatre(HT) segment, HiVi Inc. US, have appointed M/s. ProAudioHome as the new distributor for the Indian market. We received a 5.0 set of Jam & Lab6 speakers which we used for conducting reviews for stereo and HT purposes.

A little insight into HiVi:

HiVi is a leading manufacturer of quality audio systems. Employing some of the world's finest electro-acoustical technicians and craftsmen, the company established state-of-the art R+D facilities in Toronto, Canada in 1994 and was fueled by early successes with innovative driver designs. In 1997, HiVi merged with highly-regarded speaker manufacturer Swans Speaker Systems and opened corporate offices in Monterey Park, California. 

HiVi have a large product portfolio, which includes a sub brand of home theatre speakers under the name of Jam & Lab, which consist of 2 models, the 6 and 8. It is interesting to note that the center and surround speakers for both series are the same, with only the main speakers having different specifications.

Jam & Lab 6 Specifications:

HiVi Jam&Lab 6 Front Main Speaker 

System Type

3-way 4th-order Vented Box System

Drivers Configuration

Two 6.5" woofers

5" midrange driver

1" soft dome tweeter

Frequency Range

40Hz - 20kHz

Harmonic Distortion

70Hz - 20kHz ≤1%(2.83V/1m)

Sensitivity(2.83V/1m)

88dB

Nominal Impedance

6Ω   

Power Handling

10W - 160W

Dimension(W×D×H)

8.1" x 13.1" x 38.0"

Net Weight(each)

48.5lbs

 

HiVi Jam&Lab 6C Front Center Speaker 

System Type

2-way 2nd-order Sealed Box System

Drivers Configuration

Two 5" bass-midrange driver

1" soft dome tweeter

Frequency Range

66Hz - 20kHz

Harmonic Distortion

110Hz - 20kHz ≤1%(2.83V/1m)

Sensitivity(2.83V/1m)

88dB   

Nominal Impedance

6Ω 

Power Handling

10W - 120W  

Dimension (W×D×H)

15.7" x 7.2" x  6.8"

Net Weight(each)

13.2lbs

 

HiVi Jam&Lab 6R Surround Speaker

System Type

2-way 2nd-order Sealed Box System

Drivers Configuration

5" bass-midrange drivers

1" soft dome tweeter

Frequency Range

66Hz - 20kHz

Harmonic Distortion

110Hz - 20kHz ≤1%(2.83V/1m)

Sensitivity (2.83V/1m)

87dB 

Nominal Impedance

Power Handling

10W - 60W

Dimensions (W×D×H)

6.9" x 5.9" x  10.6"

Net Weight (each)

8.8lbs

 

 

HiVi Jam&Lab 8 Front Main Speaker 

System Type

3-way 4th-order Vented Box System

Drivers Configuration

Two 8" woofers

Two 5" midrange drivers

1" soft dome tweeter

Frequency Range

38Hz - 20kHz

Harmonic Distortion

60Hz - 20kHz ≤1%(2.83v/1m)

Sensitivity(2.83V/1m)

88dB   

Nominal Impedance

6Ω   

Power Handling

10W - 200W

Dimension (W×D×H)

9.4" x 14.1" x  42.5"

Net Weight(each)

63.9lbs

Associated Test Equipment:

Amps:

Cambridge Audio 840A

Cyrus 6vs2

Cary Audio Pre/Power

Onkyo CRN-765

Source:

2 Channel -

Marantz SA7003

Onkyo CRN-765

Asus Xonar U7 DAC

Cables:

Nordost White Lightning Speaker Cables

Nordost Blue Heaven IC’s

VDH The Name IC’s

Nordost Q-Base QB4 MkII

Nordost Red Dawn Power Cords

HT –

Pioneer BDP180

Pioneer VSX1131

Yamaha RXV581

Marantz SR5011

Unboxing:

The Jam & Lab 6 speakers come securely packed in good / thick quality card board boxes with adequate thermocol inserts, resulting in one receiving the contents in a damage free manner. The packing can be re-used easily for re-locations as well which is good news in these days of cutting costs/corners. A small zip lock pouch contains a small manual that comes with all the speakers. In the case of the 6R surrounds, two bracket plates along with the desired number of screws/grips are also provided along with the speakers.

Since the sets we received were brand new, we tried to break-in all the speakers as much as possible (30 hours) in order to get a better idea of how they will sound once they had appreciably opened up.

We started off with the Jam & Lab 6 Floor Standers which we hooked up in a stereo configuration and tried them out with various amps/sources as stated above.

Appearance:

The Jam & Lab Speakers come in black ash, with a very good level of fit and finish. The tower speakers are rear ported with the port at the lower end just above the speaker wire binding posts. The binding posts are gold plated and are of good quality. Four hard plastic footers are located at the bottom of the tower speakers only. The baffle of the entire 6 series is in matt black finish with dark silver grey surrounds onto which the drivers are mounted. Good quality speaker grilles with equally good mounting fasteners are mounted into the grill frame to ensure a proper and secure fit to the baffle of the speakers. The HiVi Swan logo is present on the bottom of the grille of the center and surround speakers, whilst it is located on the bottom end of the baffle of the towers. The 6R surround speakers have a 4 way mounting bracket attached to the rear of the speakers so that they can be mounted up/down or sideways as intended. Matching bracket plates with securing screws and grips come along with the 6R surround speakers. All in all the quality of the speakers appear to be good and ones that should last a while.

 

Performance:

Be in stereo or in HT, the Jam & Lab 6 speakers are very much worth their price points and do admirably well in going about the tasks given to them. Yes, they shine with quality associated equipment in the chain and really do so without any fuss. The 6 provide a good balance across the frequency range.

The Jam & Lab 6 fronts would ideally be suited for rooms around 250 to 300 sq ft. Placement is not very fussy but ideally being placed at a distance above 6 inches from the rear walls and at least 12 inches from the side walls will get the balance of the low frequencies optimized. A minimum distance between 4 feet and upto 8 feet between the 2 speakers also is advised from our experience of the Jam & Lab 6. The towers have a slight forward presentation but having said that, they can still be non fatiguing to listen to for appreciable period of time. The highs, mids and lows are pretty much in balance across the frequency spectrum and perform admirably well with all types of genres of music. We were certainly impressed by their performance especially at their price point.

The Jam & lab 6C center channel is quite powerful and adequate for center channel duties, though one might have to increase the gain levels of the center channel depending on the size of the room.

The Jam & Lab 6R surround speakers are equally good in the duties as surrounds, but can also double up as front channels in a smaller room be it for stereo or HT purposes. Yes, being sealed speakers they do not go very low with respect to low frequency response but when augmented with a sub woofer, especially the sub10, which is also a sealed box design, they work extremely well in tandem. The 6R’s in fact work extremely well when all they have to deliver is the mid range and high frequencies.

The sub10 sub woofer does a reasonably good job in adding body to the bass with the 6 towers, but needs to be positioned in the right area of the room to make it work at it's best. Fine tuning takes care of the desired bass response which when achieved blends in very well with the rest of the 6 package. Having said that, the sub 10 does have it's limitations in providing very deep bass, that some bass heads would desire, so one should keep in mind that the sub10 cannot achieve outright room shaking levels. We would advise a pair of the sub10's would be able to do a better job than what one would be able to do. For a room size of upto 275 sq ft, the sub 10 will be able to do a very good job indeed.

Verdict:

At an introductory price of Rs. 95,000/- the Jam & Lab 6 5.0 Set up with a Sub10 Sub Woofer is truly value for money and ideal for not only first time buyers but also ones that have started off and are well into their HT journey but are looking for an upgrade on a shoe string budget. At the price point they are offered at the moment, we feel they are truly worth every penny and will provide more than satisfactory performance for the end user. The Jam & Lab Series speakers are well put together, with a good level of fit and finish and have very appreciable levels of quality components put together.

Kudos to the distributor for selling the set at this price and passing on the full benefit to the end user.

We highly recommend this set and urge buyers to make most of this introductory price!

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