SVS SB-1000 Pro Subwoofer Review

hccbestbuybadgev3How has SVS managed to get so much bass out of a sealed cabinet so compact and so affordable? Steve Withers falls in love with the SB-1000 Pro

Since 1999 American company SVS has built a formidable reputation by mainly focusing on one thing – manufacturing powerful home cinema subwoofers that don't cost the earth. It has some beefy models in its lineup, topping out at the 16-Ultra Series (ported and sealed models with 16in woofers), but the SB-1000 Pro is a timely reminder that amongst the pricier, bigger boom boxes, it can still knock up a compact sealed unit with a sub-£700 ticket. And why wouldn't it? Models like this sell like hot cakes.

Okay, it's not as seductively small as the dual-driver 3000 Micro reviewed in our last issue, but this sub still appears to be a spot of infrasonic magic, because somehow SVS has managed to cram a 12in driver into a cabinet measuring 13in wide. There's also real power behind that driver, producing a performance that belies the SB-1000 Pro's diminutive dimensions. Build quality seems spot on, too.

The 1000 Series is the final SVS lineup to get the 'Pro' treatment, which, over recent years, has seen the company filter down features from its high-end models to its mid-range and now entry-level subwoofers. This means the 1000 Pro Series not only benefits from a new driver, but also juiced-up amplification, and the now ubiquitous Bluetooth control app.

Pinch Even More Pennies
There are two options in the 1000 Pro Series – the ported PB-1000 Pro, and the sealed SB-1000 Pro reviewed here. The ported model only comes in a pedestrian black ash finish, but costs a very reasonable £640. The sealed unit offers a bit more choice in the looks department, with the same black ash (£549), but also piano gloss black (£639), and lacquered gloss white (£639), options. We usually recommended going for the saucier gloss variants, but as the finish upgrade amounts to around 15 per cent of the sub's price, maybe don't bother.

The two models use the same driver, amplification, and black fabric grille, and offer an identical set of features. So the only difference (aside from being ported) is that the PB-1000 Pro is bigger and claims a greater bass extension – 17Hz compared to the SB-1000's suggested 20Hz. However, at £549 the black ash SB-1000 Pro represents serious affordability when you consider all you get for your hard-earned readies.

The 12in driver features a fibre composite cone for improved stiffness, and a proprietary injection-moulded surround designed to deliver better control and accuracy. This is powered by a Sledge STA-325D Class D amplifier rated at 325W RMS, with peaks up to 820W. An Analog Devices DSP engine – 'the most advanced digital processor ever used in a subwoofer,' boasts SVS – then takes control of signal filtering and EQ.

At the rear is the now standard Intelligent Control Interface (ICI), which is a glorified name for a control panel composed of six buttons and some pretty lights. The reality is you'll never touch the ICI, because SVS's smartphone app provides full control without having to get off the sofa. Everything from setup and control to manual parametric EQ is at your fingertips.