SVS 3000 Micro Subwoofer Review

Build Quality
PRICE $800

Highly compact form factor
Notable extension and output for size
Excellent control app
No auto-EQ/correction

The first micro model from sub specialist SVS features the company's well-regarded control app, and it delivers all the bass most people will need while not taking up much space.

Once upon a time, there were three bears, with three subwoofers. You probably can guess how this story ends.

Designing a subwoofer is simple: big box, big driver, powerful amplifier. You wind up with something the size of a small refrigerator, but it does the job. Designing a good miniature subwoofer is a bigger engineering challenge, but the recipe is also fairly well known: small box, very powerful amplifier, small drivers with lots and lots of excursion, or throw. This formula can yield surprising bass extension from something not much bigger than a 24-pack, with output that may qualify as plenty in small rooms and for moderate listening levels, or as not nearly enough in big rooms and for lifelike listening levels.

Finding that j-u-u-u-s-t right combination is what SVS appears to have aimed for with its new Micro 3000 sub, the first mini-woof to emerge from the American-heartland firm. SVS spun its first product two-plus decades ago—a gigantic, upright tubular sub reminiscent of an apartment-size water heater—into a respected full-range loudspeaker line bristling with technology and including tower, bookshelf, active wireless speakers, and more. But it's still best known for subwoofers.


The Micro 3000's two opposed, 8-inch drivers each boast an Xmax (effective maximum excursion) of nearly one inch— that's a lot. And they are matched with an 800-watt RMS amplifier for which the firm claims 2,500 watts peak output, to compensate for the huge loss in efficiency, in the physics sense, that a smaller driver gives up in comparison to a larger one. There's more tech on board, too: a proprietary surround designed to maximize linearity over full driver excursion; single-piece aluminum cones claimed to be light, stiff, and thermally conductive; a heavily engineered motor system with "overhung" layout, four-layer voice-coil, high-temp former, and aluminum shorting ring to minimize distortion at high levels; and 50MHz Analog Devices DSP processing to handle filtering, EQ, and dynamic management at full fidelity. The company's two-box SoundPath wireless connection kits are a $120-$200 optional accessory.


The 3000 Micro's input panel features only the basic controls, via pushbuttons, because its primary interface is meant to be the SVS iOS/Android Subwoofer app, which accesses all the usual setup adjustments and provides extensive EQ and tuning options. (Much more on this to follow.) Otherwise, the 3000 Micro, rounded up, is a single, solid cubic foot. Our sample was finished in a nicely executed gloss black lacquer (white is also an option), with sturdy round metal grilles on two opposing faces. The pushbutton control panel is nearly flush, widening placement options close to walls or furniture, while the bottom panel features removable cone-shaped rubber-coated feet. All in all, the little SVS is a complete and well-thought-out package, just about precisely the size of the aforementioned 24-pack.

I auditioned the SVS in my main system, supporting my long-term left/right pair of three-way active monitors. I simply connected the long RCA cable from my preamp/processor to the 3000 Micro's RCA LFE input, and plugged the sub into AC power using the provided removable cord.


Though we talk about subwoofers, the room is what we're really listening to in those bottom three octaves. Room dimensions, construction, surfaces, and furnishings profoundly affect the performance of any sound source below a couple of hundred Hertz. Consequently, evaluating subwoofers by ear indoors is a slippery slope. I do the best I can by placing the unit under test in my long-established subwoofer spot—the location that yields the smoothest, least-peaky (but still far from flat) excitation of room modes, deduced from decades of trial and error, and which is true regardless of the size or type of subwoofer that sits there. Full disclosure: To hear more clearly what a subwoofer itself is actually doing both below and above my room's worst mode, I engage a single narrow parametric equalization, implemented either in my A/V processor or in Roon music management software, to mitigate this most egregious of acoustical roadblocks. (This is about 80 percent of the magic that room-correction systems like Audyssey or Dirac achieve. Knock the energy at your room's primary mode down by 6 or 10dB, or whatever's necessary (this works best for a single listening position), and the sonic improvement over the full audio range—because bass resonances muddy up everything—will surprise you.

For a subwoofer, it's all about how low, how loud, how clean, and how smooth (or flat). The interaction of subwoofer response and room acoustics is what yields "fast" or "tuneful" bass, not woofer cones made from unobtanium.

So, how low did the SVS 3000 Micro go? Very. I played a parade of my favorite "bass cows," or tracks with strong content below 40Hz, and was not once disappointed. For instance, Bela Fleck's "Flight of the Cosmic Hippo," my current favorite subwoofer wet-read, has a series of strong, down-sliding electric-bass notes that cover the range from about 45 Hz down to 25 Hz, and these came across loud and clear. At a level I'd call "solidly loud demo" (roughly 83dB SPL average) the 3000 Micro matched my everyday subwoofer—one of those gigantic, upright, tubular jobs I mentioned above—perfectly. I also compared the SVS to the KEF KC62 micro-sub ($1,499) that so impressed me when I reviewed it in the June/July 2021 issue. Again, I heard nothing to distinguish the two. Within the constraints of my room/system/listening position, both sounded identical at this loud-but-not-too-loud level.

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David Vaughn's picture

Daniel, great job on the review. SVS has kept themselves out front with their new product offerings.

Jonasandezekiel's picture

Ok, so exactly HOW MUCH “notable extension”? No measurements??