SVS SB-2000 Pro Subwoofer Review


Performance
Features
Build Quality
Value
PRICE $899 (piano gloss black), $799 (black ash)

AT A GLANCE
Plus
Big bass punch from a small form factor
Excellent value
Versatile smartphone control app
Minus
No auto-calibration/room EQ feature

THE VERDICT
The new SB-2000 Pro delivers big punch for a reasonable price, with tremendous fine-tuning capability offered by its smartphone control app.

With 12 different subwoofers in its line, I'm pretty certain that SVS makes more models than any other subwoofer manufacturer. In providing so many options, not only does the company cover a wide range of price points, but they can also offer subwoofers matched to different use cases, from high-end audiophile setups to big, slamming home theater rigs.

The range is organized into five distinct price tiers. Within each tier there are two or three different models using either sealed, ported, or, in the case of the 2000 Pro and 4000 series, cylindrical enclosures. I decided to check out something from the new 2000 Pro Series, which sits one step up from the entry level 1000 series and covers the $800-950 price range. There are three 2000 Pro series subs: the ported PB-2000 Pro ($900), the cylindrical PC-2000 Pro ($950), and the sealed SB-2000 Pro ($800), which is the model I checked out.

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Sealed subwoofers are typically recommended when the preference is for bass quality over sheer bass quantity. While they may not match the pants leg-flapping thunder or efficiency of an equivalent ported sub, they compensate with tight, articulate bass that starts and stops on a dime, making it easier to blend the sub seamlessly with audiophile speakers for music listening. At around 2,100 cubic feet, my theater room isn't exactly huge, so the SB-2000 Pro's ultimate output limitations compared with a ported sub didn't strike me as an issue. But as a guy who values music at least as much as thunderous movie playback, the advantages a sealed box can provide are important to me.

The "Pro" in SB-2000 Pro isn't there just to make it sound cool. Advancements the new model brings over the older SB-2000 include both a more powerful 550-watt RMS (1,500 watt peak) class-D amplifier along with a new longer-excursion 12-inch driver. Most significant, the SB-2000 Pro uses a wireless control app that offers adjustments far beyond the typical volume, crossover, and phase controls.

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Subwoofers with built-in automated room correction that takes the guesswork out of setting the various adjustments have been gaining in popularity in recent years. While the SB-2000 Pro doesn't offer that, the SVS subwoofer app lets you tweak parameters far beyond the basic volume, crossover, and phase controls found on most subs. The only catch is that some prior sub setup experience can be really useful to make the most of these additional setup and tuning adjustments.

The SB-2000 Pro's back panel includes the basic controls needed for setup, but instead of using a rotary knob for each, you press dedicated buttons to select volume, phase, or low-pass, and then use +/- buttons to raise or lower the setting. A row of LEDs indicates the setting for each adjustment. Inputs and other connections are pretty basic, with just a stereo RCA input and output, plus a USB port to power the optional SVS SoundPath wireless adapter ($120). Power mode selections let you choose between leaving the SB-2000 Pro powered on, auto-switched on by a signal, or controlled by a trigger input.

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The SVS Subwoofer control app communicates with the subwoofer via Bluetooth and provides a wide array of tools to optimize its output for your system and room. Along with the basic functions I mentioned above, there is a parametric equalizer with volume, bandwidth (Q), and center frequency controls, as well as three EQ presets. Using these, you can program the system to deliver bone-vibrating LFE when watching an action movie, and then switch to tighter and more tuneful bass when playing your favorite jazz recordings. When selecting low-pass frequency, the low-pass filter slope can also be changed from 6 dB first-order all the way up to 24 dB fourth-order, and there's an infinitely adjustable phase control and a simple 180 degrees polarity switch to tune the sub's blend with your main speakers. Lastly, a room gain control with adjustable frequency and slope can be used to compensate for boundary placement in smaller rooms.

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While the app's built-in FAQ details some of the adjustments, the sheer number of available tweaks can be heady stuff for the average user. It's a bit like having a sports car where you can adjust the wheel alignment settings using the dashboard controls—great if you know what you're doing, but somewhat intimidating it you don't. You can certainly stick to the basics when setting up the SB-2000 Pro, but it's also nice to know that deeper fine-tuning is possible if you choose to dive in. For example, I was able to use the EQ settings to effectively tame a known 65-Hz peak in my room.

COMPANY INFO
SVS
(877) 626-5623
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COMMENTS
trynberg's picture

It's frustrating in 2020 to still read all of these outdated audiophile tropes about subwoofers. There is nothing inherently "faster" or more "musical" in a sealed design, as compared to a ported design. Especially when the sealed design relies on built-in EQ and limiting circuits (which add group delay) to achieve a reasonable response.

roccobruno518's picture

It would be really nice to see a review of the Rythmik Audio F12 Direct Servo subwoofer - Signature Edition.

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