SVS 3000 Micro Subwoofer Review

Small Wonder

by Martin Dew
MSRP: £999.00
10
AVForumsSCORE
OUT OF
10

SVS 3000 Micro Subwoofer Review

Even with a post-covid price hike, the SVS 3000 Micro represents a powerhouse of value, performance and features, all from a miniscule enclosure. It won’t quite attain ribcage-rattling status, but if you need to convince your nearest and dearest that a truly deep bass subwoofer is an essential item for a small home during a cost-of-living crisis, then this really is a good place to start.

Pros

  • Full and weighted soundstage
  • Unapologetic and muscular
  • Surprisingly musical
  • Exquisite compact housing
  • Comprehensive features and app control
  • Excellent value

Cons

  • Tendency to lose control at high levels

Introduction: What is the SVS 3000 Micro?

The folks at SVS are quite simply marketing masters. The company’s extraordinary commitment to platform-agnostic, direct one-to-one communication with its customers, as well as endless promotions and events, is a lesson to any would-be Hi-Fi startup. Believing that an unsuspecting public was paying way over the odds for high-quality subwoofers, the founders started righting the world direct from an Ohio garage in 1998. As well as producing some of the most sought-after home cinema goodies of the past few years - including the barnstorming PB16-Ultra subwoofer with a claimed 5,000 watts of peak power – the company has gone from strength to strength with no sign of applying the brakes. And, just to be clear, if you don’t particularly take to SVS's brash advertising style or propensity for buy-one-get-one-free sales strategies, the company doesn’t care. It's one of the most successful audio brands in the world and it ain’t changing.

SVS 3000 Micro
SVS 3000 Micro subwoofer

Never a company to rest on its laurels, SVS entices its dealers with an unending slate of new product categories, lines and SKUs. It was a natural for them to start building home cinema loudspeakers and its Prime Series brand of towers and satellites garners almost as many accolades as the now-legendary subwoofers. But Chevy truck-size bass cabinets and full-range dark towers are not the company's only forte, as exemplified in last year’s 3000 Micro. This tiny subwoofer promises to be every bit as good as its elder siblings but plonks itself in the market squarely on the floor of an apartment living space or small gaming room. This is the subwoofer for people who do not want a subwoofer.

Design

The Micro lifts easily out of its container, which it should, because the device’s dimensions measure a modest 10.9 (H) x 11.7 (W) x 10.7 (D) inches. Although available in piano gloss white, it is the black piano gloss version which SVS has delivered to AVF, and the finish is stunning. The silky-smooth surface looks like it has received several lovingly applied layers of gloss and lacquer. Crafted, bevelled edges add to the subwoofer’s luxury countenance. Four sturdy rubber feet and a left and right facing driver arrangement with protruding steel grilles expand out from a perfect cuboid shape. Those same finely forged grilles are detailed with a geometrical indentation working its way into the centre of each circle, and an embossed logo plate sits at the base of a plain but sophisticated front fascia.

This is the subwoofer for people who do not want a subwoofer

The rear amplifier panel is finely formed in matte black metal with recessed hex key heads. Although there are manual controls neatly laid out on the rear panel, most owners will probably choose to use the handy and versatile SVS app (more on that later). The amp panel bends round at 90 degrees to form the bulk of the base of the unit, presumably acting as part ballast for the amplifier board and as main chassis support. The Micro is constructed from extra thick MDF side baffles and rigid internal bracings to support an active dual driver assembly.

Connections and Control

Manual controls on the amplifier plate comprise ‘up’ and ‘down’ (interchangeable functions), ‘auto on’, ‘low pass’, ‘volume’ and ‘phase’ selection buttons, and there is a horizontal string of backlit LED indicator lights to show low pass and phase gradations. Connections support line-level L & R In (including LFE) and L & R Out (for daisy chaining), but there is no XLR input. If you wish to add wireless connectivity, there is an adaptor (sold separately) which can plug into the USB input port on the rear plate.

SVS 3000 Micro
SVS 3000 Micro - rear panel

One of the great assets of this subwoofer is the comprehensive and feature-driven SVS smartphone app, designed for Apple, Android and Amazon devices. Communicating over Bluetooth, and after a straightforward tutorial, the app is the best way to control volume and access four presets which you can tune to optimise profiles for, say, music, movies and games. You can also manipulate crossover frequency, polarity, room gain and a three-band parametric EQ. An LFE selection for use with an AVR or preamplifier inside the app defaults everything to factory settings, including ‘0’ phase and positive polarity, although you can still adjust volume if you want to supercharge output over and above your receiver’s automated set-up results.

The SVS subwoofer app also allows the naming of subwoofers if you are using more than one. The onboard Bluetooth protocol enables full control even when the Micro is out of sight, and bi-directional feedback shows adjustments in real time on both the app and rear panel.

Features and Specifications

SVS goes to some length to point out that designing a micro-sized subwoofer involves serious engineering challenges, not the least of which is getting thermal and energy management in check. While lesser small-enclosure subs have historically had a predilection for “dancing across a room”, the 3000 Micro’s reinforced internals, combined with dual opposing 8-inch drivers which fire in opposite directions, but in unison, will put paid to that. The action itself promises to cancel out mechanical energy transferred to the cabinet. The dual drivers are connected in parallel to a single amplifier, so each receives the same amount of current resulting in distortion-free output. SVS says, moreover, that the internal design eliminates colouration and resonance from the cabinet even at the deepest frequencies played back at high volume. Engineers purportedly rejected an option to employ passive radiators in the sub due to their tendency to bloat response and reduce bass in micro-cabinets to a one-note monotony.

This is power, accuracy and control in equal measure

The embedded Class D Sledge STA-800D2 power amplifier with discrete MOSFET output achieves a claimed 800 watts RMS and 2,500 watts peak power. This is an extraordinary amount of grunt anchored to an enclosure of such a diminutive size. A 50 MHz Analog Devices Audio DSP with 56-bit processing, and which SVS claims is the most sophisticated engine of its type in a residential subwoofer, promises room-energising power. Frequency response measures 23Hz to 240Hz +/- 3 dB, and SVS says it has imported several technologies to the 3000 Micro from each of its award-winning subwoofer series.

SVS 3000 Micro
The SVS 3000 Micro's twin 8-inch drivers are arranged to eliminate energy being transferred into the cabinet.

Setup and Operation

Probably unfairly, I am throwing a tiny subwoofer to the wolves. The reference system within which the Micro will sit includes my trusty Lyngdorf MP-50 processor, Parasound amplifiers and M&K Sound speakers. For the purposes of this review only, the 3000 Micro is set to LFE default and therefore forms part of a multi-channel AV system, linked by interconnect. The sub will, however, stay put for a couple of weeks because it will be tethered to a pair of forthcoming active monitors, the details of which we cannot reveal just yet. So, other than the initial set up of the Micro (with its pleasant app navigation properties), and a full sound system calibration with bass management care of RoomPerfect, all other control functions were directed through the preamplifier. The sub placement is at the front right of the room and corner loaded.

Home AV Article

101

What is Lyngdorf RoomPerfect Room Correction?

What is Lyngdorf RoomPerfect Room Correction?

by Steve Withers ·
The biggest influence on sound quality is the room itself, and while you can physically mitigate the negative aspects with acoustic treatments, a software solution is easier. Lyngdorf's RoomPerfect room correction software claims to do exactly what it says on the tin.  

Performance

The opening bars of Pink Floyd’s Sorrow from ‘Pulse’ (2022, Blu-ray) wallows in David Gilmour’s extended guitar motif, which is underscored by sustained keyboard notes engulfing Earl’s Court. The Micro transports these amply into my demo room with fortitude and panache, and is rumbling along at all the right frequencies. This is power, accuracy and control in equal measure; exactly what I would hope to hear. But note, my torso is not quite shaking in sympathy to those notes as it no doubt would when faced with SVS’s own top-of-the-range SB16-Ultra. Neither would the company lay claim to be able to provide that kind of response from this class of subwoofer.

Home AV Review

50

SVS SB16-Ultra Subwoofer Review

SVS SB16-Ultra Subwoofer Review

by Steve Withers ·
SVS's new SB16-Ultra combines a 16-inch driver and sealed box design with three key innovations to deliver their best performing subwoofer to date.  
9
SVS 3000 Micro
The SVS 3000 Micro also comes in Piano Gloss White

But where I might only expect to hear movie style brute force from SVS, the Micro is lending music sources some surprising layers of intricacy. The magnificent The Little Things You Do Together from ‘Company’ Original Broadway Cast Recording (CD, Sony) reveals the fullness and confidence of the orchestra. The brass and woodwind are nicely weighted and rich in tone, revealing no gaps in the soundstage. The subwoofer offers a sense of realism and imposes no misplaced aggression or intrusiveness. Likewise, Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis by Ralph Vaughan Williams (Chandos, Bryden Thomson) simply lets the cellos sing stage left as they transition seamlessly into the subwoofer. There is a refreshing amount of musical authority from the entire complement of strings.

... there are always tradeoffs, and the Micro will not respond so well to a cranked-up volume

The 3000 Micro will extract even more gravitas and room-filling scale from the end credits of Hunter Killer (2018, 4K UHD) where a repetitive bass guitar figure grounds the orchestra and electronic horns flood the scene. Despite this, there are always tradeoffs, and the Micro will not respond so well to a cranked-up volume control in earlier chapters where explosions and marauding submarines compete for the limelight.

SVS 3000 Micro
The SVS smartphone app enables crossover frequencies, a three-band parametric EQ, polarity, room gain and more to be adjusted, all from your seat.

For more atmospheric cinematic fare, the subwoofer provides a lavish soundscape for the market scene, chapter 7, in Far From the Madding Crowd (2014, Blu-ray). With an abundance of horses trotting, carriage doors slamming and actors murmuring with a low-grade hum, all bolstered by the orchestral score, the SVS immerses us in a spectacle of credibility. There is nothing loose here and nothing hanging out of the sides, and the Micro makes no attempt to draw attention to its presence.

Conclusion

SVS 3000 Micro Subwoofer Review

Should I Buy One?

The short answer is ‘yes’. Of course, it depends if you are looking for a subwoofer at the time of reading. But seek out an SVS 3000 Micro and you will get a healthy dose of musical proficiency, articulation and muscle-bound movie acrobatics from a ridiculously small box. Plus, you can pretty much hide this gorgeous little thing anywhere in or around your AV stand and your guests will have no idea where all that bass is coming from. The SVS Bluetooth app is also a delight and offers serial tweakers a wealth of profiles and fine-tuning options, particularly if you are versed in REW’s measuring system to achieve response as close to perfection as possible.

There are some caveats. The Micro will not hold up well if you push it beyond its means. It is not designed for a reference home cinema space, but SVS clearly wants to give a taster of its muscle-car slam from further up the range to customers living in smaller apartments and two-up two-downs. Nor will buyers get those visceral in-body tremors that so define subwoofers of multiples of the price of the Micro.

... a healthy dose of musical proficiency, articulation and muscle-bound movie acrobatics from a ridiculously small box

But pair this little cube with your 5.1 HTIB speakers or bookshelf monitors and you will end up with about as much satisfying low-end thunder in your front room as is possible for under £1,500. Granted, the SVS 3000 Micro is not a cheap piece of kit at £1,000 and is made even less so by a post-covid hike of £100. As with all our reviews, the basic equation for consideration is ‘price divided by performance equals value’. If we apply that here, then this subwoofer has oodles of the latter. Consequently, the SVS 3000 Micro comes with our highest recommendation.

What are My Alternatives?

We reviewed the £2,250 KEF KF92 recently and its smaller and newer sibling, the KEF KC62, is an obvious competitor for the Micro. Although displaying a price tag of £1,699, it seems there are a few bargain opportunities online slashing that MSRP. Given the performance of the KF92, one can only assume that the KC62 is cast from the same mold. It includes KEF’s Uni-Core tech promising to unlock more output and depth from a smaller enclosure. It is also a fair bet that the KEF will promote more musicality and refinement than the SVS, but you will pay more for those luxuries. This stylish and rounded-edged “football-sized” companion (smaller than the Micro) features 2 x 6.5-inch force cancelling drivers powered by a claimed 1,000 watts RMS of Class D amplification.

Home AV News

63

KEF announces KC62 subwoofer with new Uni-Core technology

KEF announces KC62 subwoofer with new Uni-Core technology

by Andy Bassett ·
KEF’s newly announced KC62 Uni-Core Force Cancelling subwoofer brings together three innovative technologies to create a compact design demonstrating you don’t have to go big to go deep.  

The REL T/7x has seen a £100 price drop to £899 since launch. Carrying REL’s trademark bold yet stunning finish, the subwoofer deploys an 8-inch long throw active driver juxtaposed with a down-firing 10-inch passive woofer. REL says its 200-watt amplifier produces “high-quality power” and that buyers should beware of “numbers inflation” by competitors. Prospective buyers would do well to audition the REL, particularly if you plan to spend more time listening to music, rather than gaming or movie content. The T/7x is slightly larger than its competitors at 14 (W) x 12.6 (H) x 14.3 (D) inches and substantially heavier than the Micro’s 10.2 kg at 17.5 kg (38.5 lbs), so those figures should be considered if floor space or manoeuvrability are important factors.

Best In Class

Scores

Sound Quality

.
9

Build Quality

10

Value For Money

10

Verdict

10
10
AVForumsSCORE
OUT OF
10

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