SVS SB-1000 Pro Subwoofer Review

Affordable price and high-end features

by Steve Withers
Home AV Review

145

Best Buy
SVS SB-1000 Pro Subwoofer Review
MSRP: £549.00

What is the SVS SB-1000 Pro?

The SVS SB-1000 Pro is a sealed subwoofer with a 12-inch driver plus 325W of amplification, and forms part of the entry-level range within the manufacturer's line-up. SVS has already given the 'Pro' treatment to the mid-range 2000 series, and now it's the turn of the more affordable 1000 Series

This update means enhanced drivers, beefed-up amplification, and new features including the SVS Bluetooth remote app. As before, the range is composed of the sealed SB-1000 Pro and the ported PB-1000 Pro, with specs that are impressive given the price point at which these subs are aimed.

SVS SB-1000 Pro
SVS 1000 Pro Series

The SVS PB-1000 Pro is available in black ash (£639), while the SB-1000 Pro offers a choice of black ash (£549), gloss black (£639) or gloss white (£639). At these prices the 1000 Pro series offers excellent value and, if it's as good as the previous generation, could be a real bargain.

Design

The SVS SB-1000 Pro might be upgraded on the inside, but on the outside it's identical to the previous generation. The cabinet is a simple cube that's well-made, acoustically inert and compact. In fact, given the big 12-inch driver dominating the front baffle, it's amazing that it only measures 330 x 342 x 375mm and weighs 11.9kg.

SVS SB-1000 Pro
SVS SB-1000 Pro in black ash with grille

My back was certainly relieved to discover that the SB-1000 Pro is a sensible weight, making moving and positioning the subwoofer much easier. However, it still benefits from SVS’s usual excellent build quality, with a robust MDF construction, and iso-elastomer feet. It also uses a non-resonant extra-thick ABS fabric mesh grille, 

Connections and Control

The SVS SB-1000 Pro has the same selection of connections found on the previous generation, with a stereo/LFE phono input, stereo phono output, and speaker level inputs, along with a 12V trigger and a connection for SVS’s SoundPath adapter for wireless subwoofer placement. There’s also an auto/on feature that allows you to choose between the sub always being on or powering up when it receives a signal.

SVS SB-1000 Pro
SVS SB-1000 Pro Intelligent Control Interface

While the actual connections are unchanged, the big difference to the earlier version is the new Intelligent Control Interface (ICI), which has filtered down from higher up the range. This is essentially a multi-function control panel that replaces the usual knobs with a series of buttons, allowing you to adjust the volume, phase and low-pass filters, while the ICI delivers feedback using a series of multifunction LED lights.

SVS SB-1000 Pro
SVS SB-1000 Pro connections

The ICI looks cool from a design perspective, but isn’t the most intuitive interface. However, you'll never have to use the ICI because of of SVS’s Bluetooth remote app, which is freely available for iOS, Android and Amazon devices. With this app you can change the volume, choose preset sound modes, make crossover and polarity adjustments, select room gain compensation, and access the three-band parametric EQ.

 

The SB-1000 Pro features the SVS Bluetooth remote app, which is a major boost for a budget subwoofer

The beauty of the app is it allows you to set-up and control the SB-1000 Pro from the sweet spot, even when the sub is out of sight. It's hard to overstate how useful this is, unless you've never peered down the back of a sub while trying to set the level, phase or crossover. The app not only allows you to set all these (and more) from the comfort of your sofa, the bidirectional feedback shows these changes in real time.

Features and Specs

The SVS SB-1000 Pro includes a newly-designed 12-inch high-excursion driver. This uses a fibre composite cone with improved stiffness to mass ratio that's combined with a proprietary injection moulded extreme-excursion surround designed to ensure fast pistonic motion with better control and accuracy.

SVS SB-1000 Pro
SVS SB-1000 Pro exploded view

There’s a dual ferrite magnet motor assembly with an extended aluminium pole piece for increased driver excursion. There's a claimed frequency response of 20-270Hz (+/-3dB), although it will start to roll off higher up at around 25Hz. SVS also claims that in small to mid-size rooms you can expect a 2-3Hz boost.

SVS SB-1000 Pro
SVS Bluetooth remote app

All this is powered by a Sledge STA-325D Class D amplifier rated at 325W RMS, with peaks up to 820W. This can move large amounts of current thanks to fully discrete MOSFETs, for an improved performance at all drive levels. There’s also a 50MHz Analog Devices Audio DSP with in-room tuning, DSP controls, and custom presets.

Set up and Operation

The SVS SB-1000 Pro was placed at the front of my dedicated home cinema between the left and centre speakers, but the sealed cabinet and forward-firing driver make this subwoofer reasonably flexible when it comes to installation.

Since there's a full Bluetooth remote app, you don't need to bother with the Intelligent Control Interface (ICI). The app automatically connects with the sub, and all the adjustments and settings can be selected while sat at the sweet spot.

The app includes Low Pass Filter, Phase, Polarity, Parametric EQ, Room Gain Compensation, Presets and System Settings. For each of these options, there is an additional help page that explains what the feature does and how best to set it.

SVS SB-1000 Pro
SVS SB-1000 Pro in black ash without grille

You can set the sub to On (which is the default), Auto (which means it comes on when there's a signal) or use the control trigger. Turn the low pass filter on or off depending on whether or not you're using a Low Frequency Effect (LFE) channel.

There's a Phase control, allowing you to shift the timing of the subwoofer output to align with the main speakers or additional subwoofers, and a Polarity control for reversing the electrical polarity from positive (default) to negative, if necessary.

Room Gain Compensation adjusts for excessive sound wave density in smaller rooms, reducing bass at either -6 or -12 dB per octave below a frequency adjustable from 25 to 40 Hz by altering the high pass frequency and the adjustment slope.

 

This sub is flexible in terms of placement, and very easy to set up thanks to the remote app

There's also a Parametric EQ control with three EQ adjustments that you can use to create custom presets that compensate for peaks and dips in the acoustic signature of the room that couldn't be avoided during initial placement.

These three EQ adjustments can each be set for a frequency between 20 and 200 Hz in single Hz increments, for Boost in a range that goes from +6 to -12 dB, and for Q Factor (bandwidth), which goes from 0.2 to 10.

You can create presets, and choose between no preset, a Movie preset for film soundtracks (which introduces a mild bass boost), a Music preset for listening to two-channel music with a subwoofer (which is flat), or a Custom preset.

Performance

The SVS SB-1000 Pro is a great example of what can be achieved at the more affordable end of the subwoofer price range. The sub-£600 bracket is very competitive, but even compared to similarly-priced alternatives the SB1000 is cut above, and the inclusion of the Bluetooth remote app alone is worth the price of admission. Speaking as someone who used a PB-1000 for years, if I still owned one, the addition of remote control would certainly have me considering an upgrade.

However, the SB-1000 Pro isn't all fancy features, and SVS knows its onions when it comes to building a capable subwoofer. It's amazing the manufacturer has managed to fit a 12-inch driver, the ICI control panel, the connections and the amplification into such sightly compact and inert cabinet. The sealed nature of SB1000 Pro results in a tight, controlled and responsive performance, which doesn't come as a surprise, but what is surprising is the available power and depth.

SVS SB-1000 Pro
SVS SB-1000 Pro in gloss black without grille

The SB-1000 Pro might be small, but it's perfectly formed with a pleasing low-end punch that's sure to delight bass fans. My room is fairly large but, even so, the SVS did an excellent job of energising the lower frequencies and filling the space. I'd probably go for two if I was installing the SB1000 in my home cinema, but even one sub handles the volume well. I normally use a pair of MK Sound V12s, so the little SVS has a tough baseline to perform against.

It's therefore impressive that when watching classic bass moments like the start of Edge of Tomorrow, the 'cataclyst bomb' in Ready Player One, or the 'skadoosh' scene in Kung Fu Panda. All these sequences use very low frequencies as key narrative devices, and if a sub can't handle them the impact is somewhat lost. Thankfully, the SB-1000 Pro is up to the task, and delivers the infrasonic effects without distorting or becoming woolly and undefined.

 

The SB-1000 Pro delivers speed and control, but also a surprising amount of depth for such a diminutive sub

If you want a subwoofer that can dig a little deeper, then you might consider the ported PB-1000 Pro instead. As mentioned earlier in this section, I used to have a single PB-1000 in my home cinema, and it did a great job of handling LFE with depth and power. However, in doing so you might lose some of the speed and agility shown by the sealed SB-1000 Pro. The 'drum dance' in House of Flying Daggers is wonderfully tight and precise, revealing a fast sub with controlled transients.

The film Monster Hunter contains outrageous amounts of bass, and gives any sub a thorough work-out. The SB-1000 Pro handled all the big low-end moments with skill, from the opening scene where a ship sailing on a desert is attacked by a monster, to the climactic battle with a giant dragon. However, it also picks out the more subtle LFE moments, such as punches and kicks, or the percussive thump of a big 50 calibre machine gun.

Conclusion

Pros

  • Impressive bass performance
  • Tight and responsive
  • Flexible set up and control
  • Effective remote app
  • Good build quality
  • Tiny footprint
  • Great value

Cons

  • Not as deep as the ported model
  • Basic connections

SVS SB-1000 Pro Subwoofer Review

Should I buy one?

The SVS SB-1000 Pro is a cracking entry-level subwoofer that not only delivers an impressive performance, and affordable pricing, but also sports features usually only found on more expensive mid-range models. The sub itself is simply designed and solidly built, with a redesigned 12-inch driver and upgraded amplification. The result is a precise and controlled performance, combined with a surprising amount of depth considering its diminutive dimensions.

The SB-1000 Pro's smaller footprint makes it easier to install, and it's relatively flexible in terms of positioning. The big selling point is the inclusion of a Bluetooth remote app, which allows you to set up, adjust and optimise the sub without ever leaving the sofa. The size and cheaper black ash finish allows for discreet placement, but if you fancy a gloss finish there's a choice of black or white. Overall, the SB-1000 Pro offers great value and is a definite best buy.

If you fancy slightly more depth at the expense of a touch less tightness, then the SVS PB-1000 Pro is definitely worth considering. If you have a large room and need more power, the more expensive SB-2000 Pro is worth considering, although you could also consider buying two SB-1000 Pros instead. Ultimately whatever you decide to do, if you like SVS subs, the company has you covered.

What are my alternatives?

The obvious alternative is the Paradigm Defiance V12, which is not only a genuinely excellent and competitively priced 12-inch ported subwoofer, but also boasts a Bluetooth remote app. If that wasn't enough, Paradigm even includes support for ARC room correction, allowing for superior integration with your system and room. The V12 manages to retain the speed and control of a sealed unit, while benefiting from some surprisingly deep bass. The design is simple, the build quality is excellent and the overall package is impressive, making it a definite best buy.

For similar money you could consider the Fyne Audio F3-12, which offers a 12-inch driver with more power but slightly less depth. It's fairly basic and lacks a remote app or room correction, but it's a capable subwoofer. Alternatively, there's the REL HT/1205, which costs a bit more but delivers more power and plenty of depth. However, assuming you're not bothered about convenient features like the remote app, the BK P12-300SB-PR is the best buy king. For less money you get a simple but well-designed sub with 300W of amplification and the ability to go below 20Hz.

Scores

Sound Quality

.
9

Build Quality

.
.
8

Value For Money

10

Verdict

.
9
9
AVForumsSCORE
OUT OF
10

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