Based in Youngstown, Ohio, SVS are an audio brand with a vision to build top quality speakers, subwoofers and audio accessories and bring back passion and expertise back into the world of audio. With the late trend for extortionate pricing, the firm promises to challenge over-priced products and deliver equipment on the top of their price-performance curves. In addition to this, their second-to-none customer support have propelled the brand into earning a plethora of awards and revere amongst audiophiles and enthusiasts alike. Their latest concoction – the SVS Prime Wireless speakers represent their first foray into the wireless evolution. The units are sold as a pair ($599) and come in either a white or black shiny piano gloss finish. This allows the speakers to rest stylishly in any setting owing to its sleek and minimalist profile.
SVS opted for a no-thrills no-nonsense packaging with their wireless speakers. The speakers arrive in a cardboard box complete with foam inserts for protection. As part of the accessories, there is a warranty card, user manual, set of cables and stick-on feet for the bottom of the speakers.
The Design & Build
The SVS Prime Wireless speakers come in a 10.24″ X 6.10″ X 7.21″ profile and weigh 9.55 lbs for the active speaker and 8.73 lbs for the passive. The piano gloss finish provides a nice and modern finish which looks nice in any home setting. However, they are fingerprint magnets and thus need to be cleaned often with a microfibre cloth if handled regularly. However, this should not be an issue if the speakers are a permanent fixture on top of a bookshelf or desk.
The round chamfered edges give the speakers a contemporary feel and fit in with the overall aesthetic. One thing that did not appeal to me was the speaker grills which do look slightly outdated amongst the otherwise nice design. The control panel of the SVS rests under the speaker grill of the main speaker with the source/preset knob location on the left and the volume & play/pause on the right. In between, is a neat LED display unit which reveals input selection.
The rear of the device boasts a wealth of input (optical, RCA, 3.5 mm aux inputs and Bluetooth w/ AptX) as well as output options located in the main speaker. Each of these are clearly labelled to avoid confusion. The convenient Play-Fi (which is a smartphone app) allows source-to device wireless streaming from supported services including Spotify, Deezer, Tidal, Qobuz, Pandora and a wealth of others. One thing to point out, however, is the app appears rather half-baked and could do with some updating to transform it into a more intuitive and fluid interface.
To set up the device, the speakers need to be connected to a power outlet and need to be connected together with a cable. This may be a drawback for those wishing for minimal wires for a cleaner set up and greater flexibility.
One cabinet houses four, 50-watt class D amplifiers which connects to the system’s pair of 1-inch aluminum domed tweeters and 4.5-inch polypropylene mid-bass drivers. Both speakers possess a rear bass port and the system implements a 192 kHz/24-bit DAC for faithful sound reproduction. The active digital crossover maximizes performance and allows the amplifier signals to be distributed to each specific driver.
The left dial in the main speaker setup allows users to set up six customised presets. These presets allow track-lists of song to be played from any streaming service of choice so that users can quickly play songs to suit the occasion. To glide between the different presets, the left knob has to be pushed. To configure presets, the same left knob has to pressed and held for a few seconds before the main LED display unit starts flashing. Once set up, this option allows easy and convenient selection of a particular set of songs without having to resort to your phone or tablet device.
The SVS prime wireless speakers command a neutral tonality with great levels of balance and clarity. The bookshelf speakers also project a sound with great expanse filling out the room with a clear-cut linear sound.
Starting from the low-end, there is good response with taut and punchy bass that extends low into sub-bass territories. The rear ports help project a visceral hum which is quite nice despite the smaller size of these speakers. Consumers can also connect the SVS SB1000 for an extra rich and authoritative bass. However, for what it is worth, this may be for those wishing for a more powerful low-end with ground-shaking capabilities. If, for example, users wish for moderate levels of bass then the SVS prime wireless speakers deliver with good levels of depth and drive.
Midrange naturally extends from the sound profile of the low-end, offering vocals which are rich and full of body. Compared to Ferguson Hill’s FH007 speakers, the SVS prime wireless has a more neutral character with little in the way of sound coloration that the former tends to project. For that reason, tracks sound very balanced with no emphasis in any particular part of the lower to upper midrange frequency range. Both micro- and macro-dynamic levels are fantastic with the speaker able to render tiny gradations in sound volumes. Details are also fantastic without necessarily making the speakers sound too clinical.
Treble has good extension and snares feel crisp with perfect levels of analytical detail and pacing. Perhaps the element of height could be improved but it is good for an already capable bookshelf speaker. Transients are well-defined and there are no harsh tones or stridencies.
The SVS delivers spades of air and separation filling the room with a sound that handles complex tracks and instrumentals with ease. Compared to the FH007, there was no positional sweet spot of sound but rather the field of sound was wide and enjoyable from a variety of angles. As mentioned, height has room for improvement but both width and depth projections are fantastic.
The $499 SB-1000 subwoofer is a nice addition to the Prime Wireless system for those wishing for a more visceral low-end experience. The subwoofer comes in a 13 inch cube profile and is finished in the same piano gloss finish as the Prime speakers.
Performance wise, it outputs great amounts of bass which is not only voluminous but also tight, accurate and clear. The sound is able to fill out a small to medium sized room and the SB-1000 make a fantastic addition to convert the Prime Wireless setup into an adept home theatre experience. With a wide frequency range (24 Hz to 260 Hz), the SVS SB-1000 covers more ground than similarly priced competitors such as the Ferguson Hill FH008 subwoofer. The design philosophy also lends itself to an intelligible and yet authoritative bass which stops on the dime. This allows the system to sound clear and non-boomy with bass that neither overpowers nor detracts from other parts of the frequency spectrum.
It is quite hard to find speakers which convey the same expanse, depth and macro-dynamic presence that the SVS Prime Wireless speakers possess at their price point. What is more is that the speakers do not impart any coloration to tracks but instead give an honest performance true to source. Coupled with the powerful SB-1000 subwoofer, the system turns into an amazing orchestra of sound with deep lows, beautifully wide and rich midrange and extensive treble. The Play-Fi does need some work but the convenience of an all-in-one interface to connect different systems along with the wireless element of the speakers does aid convenience. The speakers have a classically robust design and fit well into either traditional or modern landscapes. At a modest price of $599 for the speakers and $499 for the SB-1000 subwoofer, the 2.1 system offers hi-end sound in a more affordable package. For these reasons, this system is a worthy of at least an audition and certainly a recommended purchase…
SVS Wireless Prime Speakers