SVS PB-1000 ProReviewed at $599.00
Inputs and Features9.2/10
Price / Quality9.2/10
- Excellent build quality
- Powerful bass for its size
- SVS mobile app
- Affordable price
- Less ideal for certain music genres
- Still a pretty big sub
- Grille is not magnetic
- Only one color variation
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A few weeks ago we had the pleasure of reviewing the sealed version of the new 1000 Pro series of subwoofers that was recently released by SVS. So now it was time to check out and test its twin brother. In our SVS PB-1000 Pro review the ported version is here and we will see how different this one is compared to both the SB-1000 Pro and also its predecessor, the highly successful PB-1000. The 1000 series was always and still remain an amazing choice for those with small rooms and now SVS has upgraded the series and the new additions really put this compact lineup into the front seat of this category’s performance race.
The new 1000 pro series include as usual two models. The sealed SB-1000 Pro and the ported PB-1000 Pro with both of them having many similarities but also enough differences to aim for different setups. Sealed subwoofers are usually meant more for music playback without this meaning that they cannot do just fine with movies. It’s just that the ported versions usually can produce more deep bass because of their ported nature while the sealed designs have more tight control of the low end that can slightly benefit music. But this is a topic for another article so we will not go into more detail here.
As for the PB-1000 Pro specifically, SVS did some extensive changes to the design along with adding some interesting new features in order to bring it up to par with the rest of their releases. As such we get a new 12-inch long-throw driver placed in an internally re-designed cabinet and featuring a 325 watts RMS, 820+ watts peak power Sledge STA-325D amplifier the PB-1000 Pro may be the smallest ported sub by SVS but its performance aims for much higher. And with the new complete re-design SVS added their smartphone app control for good measure making everything easy to control and calibrate in the palm of your hand.
When we reviewed the SB-1000 Pro we were certainly impressed by how good and how punchy low end such a small subwoofer can produce so we were curious if its ported brother will give us more of the same qualities that SVS has got us used the last few years. Keep reading as we put it to the test.
Design, Inputs and Features
The PB-1000 Pro may have been re-designed both internally and on the outside but it seems that SVS was determined to keep the overall size exactly the same as before which is a small breakthrough to be honest. Measuring exactly the same at 15” x 18.9” x 20” (380 x 479 x 509 mm) with the grille attached the PB-1000 Pro is certainly bigger than its sealed brother but still retains a compact size for a ported sub which can help if you don’t have the most ample of space. Also it seems that it has lost some weight and now comes at 42.5 lbs. (19.3 kg) making it slightly easier to carry around.
As far as it’s looks the cabinet continues to have a very characteristic SVS design. Using a rigid and strong double-thick Medium Density Fibreboard (MDF) cabinet construction with curvy corners the PB-1000 Pro shares many similarities to its predecessor but we also get a few distinct differences like the new 12″ driver and the dual air ports compared to the single port design in the PB-1000.
As per usual the cabinet construction felt very sturdy while one thing we definitely liked is the fact that SVS decided to take out the front blue LED light that was very bothering in both the previous SB-1000 and PB-1000 and it added more to frustration than anything else. There were many complaints among users about how distracting this was and it seems that SVS listened.
The grille is another aspect of the subwoofer that has remained the same. A plastic molded cloth grille covers the entire front face using a pin/cup retention system to keep it steady when used and with only the SVS logo being visible at the lower center.
The back side of the sub is another area where we find extensive re-designs as SVS has incorporated their new Intelligent Control Interface (ICI) that we will talk about in the appropriate section below.
Unfortunately if there is one area where we are disappointed with the PB-1000 Pro is the fact that is being offered only in Black Ash veneer. You see, the SB-1000 Pro is being offered in gloss black and gloss white also but for some reason the ported version was never. You just have this one choice so you either take it or leave it.
As with the SB-1000 Pro before, the new PB-1000 Pro keeps everything that made its predecessor such a good small ported sub and with SVS focused re-designs we got a sub that is better in every meaningful way. It only remains to be seen how all this translate to the real world.
Both releases in the 1000 Pro series share many common internal parts but also have some distinct differences. First of all the PB-1000 Pro comes with a 12″ long-throw driver with a high-precision tuned overhung motor configuration. At first look this driver seems to be the same one used in the SB-1000 Pro but in reality they are different.
SVS has used a dual ferrite magnet motor assembly with long-throw parabolic surround for extreme excursion with room-pressurizing SPLs. A lightweight and rigid aluminum vented cone with composite fiber dustcap moves large amounts of air to create tactile sonic energy without losing control. We also find a 6” composite cotton-poly extreme excursion linear spider which connects a premium high-purity copper voice coil winding design and high temperature 3003-H18 aluminum former to the motor.
Both releases in the 1000 Pro series have seen improvements not only in the cabinet and driver but also in the amplifier being used. And the PB-1000 Pro comes with the same 1000 Pro Sledge STA-325D Amplifier we saw in the SB-1000 Pro that is rated at 325 watts RMS with 820+ watts of peak power and uses fully discrete MOSFET output necessary to provide the necessary current and tap on the potential of the high-excursion 12-inch driver. The high efficiency Class-D topology with 34 Amp 120 Volt MOSFET’s deliver effortless on-demand power while wielding pinpoint control.
In addition SVS has added what they claim to be the most advanced processor ever used in a consumer subwoofer, a 50 MHz High Resolution Analog Devices Audio DSP with precision 56-bit filtering, in order to allow the 1000 Pro Series to blend with any speakers and maintain pristine sound quality through advanced in-room tuning, optimized frequency response curves, powerful DSP controls and more.
All the above give the PB-1000 Pro a frequency response of 17 – 260 Hz (± 3 dB) which is amazing for a ported subwoofer of this size.
The back side of the 1000 Pro series has been completely re-designed and this means that the layout of the included connection ports has also changed even though the kind of connections we get are fairly the same. The PB-1000 Pro comes with the same back panel we saw in our SB-1000 Pro review so there is no real change here between the two.
All connections are placed on the left side of the Intelligent Control Interface (ICI) and what we get is the standard LFE coaxial port as well as a pair of line level input and a pair of outputs exactly above. Below these, there is a 3V-12V AC/DC trigger input which is not usual to get in a subwoofer but we see that SVS is using one in almost all their releases while exactly below that we get 2 pairs of 5 way high level speaker wire inputs.
The only change from the previous 1000 series is the addition of a USB port at the top that is used to power the SVS Soundpath Wireless Audio Adapter that we will talk about shortly.
Other than the new USB port there is no change in the number or type of connections here and to be honest what we get is more than enough for most kinds of setups.
Exactly to the right side of the connections we find what SVS calls the Intelligent Control Interface (ICI) which is the new control system for all functions of the subwoofer while also provides connection for the SVS Subwoofer Smartphone App. Basically we get four buttons that control the power on/auto on mode, the phase, the volume and the low pass filter along with a duo of buttons for increasing or decreasing the mentioned values. The LED bar lights between these buttons act as a visual indicator for the value you set for each function. And while the overall design of the ICI looks nice and more modern than what we usually see in subwoofers it basically has the same functionality as the rest.
Now one characteristic that sets the 1000 Pro series apart from most of the competition is the inclusion of a mobile app that you can use to set various parameters instead of having to use the rear panel ICI all the time. This can be very handy in case you want to place the subwoofer in a specific position where the rear panel is hard to reach. It’s like having the rear panel at the palm of your hand and more.
The app connects to the subwoofer through Bluetooth and when you access its main page you get a plethora of functions that you can play with including the volume, Parametric EQ, Presets, Low Pass Filter, Phase, Polarity and System Settings. For each of these settings there is a help page that analyzes how each one affects the performance of the sub but details are a bit on the light side and we would like to see more details being added to make it clear what each one does. There is even the ability to rename your subs in case you are using a dual sub setup in order to be able to distinguish them easier.
With the app you can save custom presets for one-touch tuning with optimized settings based on listening preferences for movies, music, and more. Variable port tuning modes with customized frequency response curves for “Standard” and “Sealed” allow tuning for maximum output or deep bass extension and transient speed. While a 3-band parametric EQ controller allows precise adjustments for boost or cut, Q-factor, and frequency down to the single Hz level so you can customize performance by eliminating peaks, nulls and other room issues.
The mobile app is an amazing feature and one we would like to see in more subwoofers. When SVS brought this system to its bigger units it felt like the small 1000 series was left unattended. But SVS had big plans and bringing this to its smaller category really sets new standards in this price range.
As with all SVS subwoofers the PB-1000 Pro has an auto function mode which can be activated by pressing the Auto/On button. The first time this button is pressed puts the subwoofer in continuous mode and the button will turn blue while a second push will activate the Auto function while the button will turn to Amber.
In case you are troubled by the wires you have to run through your house and you prefer a more wireless environment SVS has introduced the SoundPath Wireless Audio Adapter which can be connected to the PB-1000 Pro and powered by the included USB port. This is a new feature that SVS introduced in all their new releases and to be honest it’s an ingenious design as we have seen wireless speakers becoming a trend lately and it seems that SVS took notice and introduced this small adapter that can really do miracles without the need for wires.
If you are worried about any possible delay you shouldn’t really. Some third party solutions being sold out there have problems with noticeable audio delays but SVS solution felt rock solid when we had tried it and it was spot on with its accuracy and fast response. Yes it may be more expensive than other brands but honestly here applies the saying “you get what you pay for”.
Lastly for those angry neighbors SVS has introduced the SVS SoundPath Subwoofer Isolation System which is basically high grade rubber feet especially designed to decouple the subwoofer from the floor and make the energy transfer as weak as possible. These work very nicely with the PB-1000 Pro also so if you have noise problems or wooden floors we would strongly recommend to use these.
As a general rule of thumb sealed subwoofers do tend to fare better with music than with movies as their sealed design is capable of more accurate and tight control of bass which can be detrimental with bass intensive songs and rhythms. On the other hand a ported sub offers more deep and punchy bass which usually have an advantage in movies. But while this is an oversimplified fact it doesn’t mean that both designs cannot be used in both movies and music alike.
For this specific review we placed the unit in the front left corner and kept around two feet (60cm) around it in order to provide it with some breathing space. Keep in mind that the closer you place it to a wall the more impactful bass you will get but on the other hand it can sound a bit too boomy. There is no right or wrong placement and what matters the most is what sounds good to you. The subwoofer is really the only speaker in a home theater setup that can be placed in multiple positions and still sound good enough.
Each position has it’s advantages and disadvantages and while some will sound better than others you shouldn’t sweat over it too much especially if your room doesn’t allow for much flexibility. Now for our movie testing we used a standard 5.1.4 channels, Dolby Atmos setup with 4 height speakers and a single subwoofer layout. After calibrating the system to incorporate the new sub we were ready for our tests.
For our first test we decided to try no other than the 4K UHD version of Saving Private Ryan. There is no more visceral and more on screen realism that the opening scene with the Allied forces storming the Omaha beach. The scene remains a landmark in cinema history even a good 23 years after its theatrical release.
We would love to be able to have both the SB-1000 Pro and PB-1000 Pro side by side for comparison but this was not possible so we only had to rely on our memory from our recent review and our notes for comparison shake. From the get go the PB-1000 Pro showed us that this sub was meant for movies like this.
Even before all hell broke loose the sub gave a very raw and organic tone to the low end, laying the foundation for the rest of the audio spectacle. The marine engines growling as they pushed the metal boats towards the beach, the splashing of the waves and the distant thumping of the German artillery, everything was given the necessary weight and low end property they required to feel realistic.
When we reached the beach is when the PB-1000 Pro showed what makes it such a wonderful sub. Every artillery explosion would not only shake our test area but it pushed the air in the room slapping us in the face again and again. When the German machine guns were ripping through the first lines of Allied soldiers as they were trying to disembark we were greeted with a sonic attack on the low end that kept us on the edge of our seats.
Many may think that all that is needed is loud volume on the low end. But the PB-1000 Pro was much more than that. It was not only capable at producing much more thunderous bass than others of the same size but had the articulation, clarity and definition that others lack when trying to push themselves too hard to portray an epic scene as it is supposed to. Yes, the SB-1000 Pro was also good during heavy bass scenes but its ported brother took the performance one step further and as a result brought the gritty reality of war much closer to us.
If there is one movie that we certainly consider reference material as far as it’s sonic properties this is definitely Mad Max: Fury Road in 4K UHD which features a totally flooring Dolby Atmos mix. The PB-1000 Pro finds all the elements it needs here to shine as every scene was made in such a way in order to bring the menacing low end front and center.
For screaming engines, to cars exploding, metal parts flying all over the place the film has it all and the sub was like a kid in a playground. Always happy to play with what is at hand and never break a sweat or left for breath from the extremely demanding content. The sand storm scene in particular is a prime example on how the PB-1000 Pro shows its prowess and how its ported design help to bring the low end to its utmost limits. With every second of running time in that scene we were hit with such visceral power on the low end that left us catching our breath when finished.
The reality is that the differences between the SB-1000 Pro and PB-1000 Pro are not that huge. But they are enough to make a difference when a demanding scene asks for it. The PB-1000 Pro was meant for such type of material. If you are more into movies and you have the space to accommodate it the ported version is a no brainer really. It will impress you with its prowess, its power, its ability to render the low end as it should and keep asking for more without showing any sign of remorse.
Next comes our music testing and for this we switched to a 2.1 channels system with only the front channels and the PB-1000 Pro connected in our Marantz AV receiver. As we always do in our music tests we selected a few FLAC music files that we streamed through the USB port of the Marantz receiver for the best audio quality possible.
Although our main focus is certainly with movies we could not but be amazed how nice the PB-1000 Pro did with music also. As good as the SB-1000 Pro was in this session its ported brother managed to give the performance slightly more weight with deeper and more energetic lower frequencies. As we tried various songs we could say that this was not always the case and really depended on the type of song at hand. But the general consensus was that the PB-1000 Pro did dig deeper and it was like you could sense the extra step it could take into the depths compared to the limits the SB-1000 Pro would hit.
And while ported designs usually tend to loose a bit in accuracy in exchange for raw power and deeper bass we didn’t feel that this undermined the sub’s ability to not only shake our space but do it in a very exciting manner by providing the kind of quality in the lower registers that you don’t easily get from this size.
By trying different genres of music it was easily obvious where the strengths and weaknesses of the PB-1000 Pro lie. It has the power and prowess to push the lows in any given moment much more than its sealed brother can. But there were moments where some slight definition was lost. Most of the times it was not obvious and we are sure many will not even understand this, showing how great balancing SVS did between the two units, but you could sense the difference from time to time.
Also with some songs where the rhythm would become crazy hectic the ported nature of the sub would make it loose some of its accuracy. While the SB-1000 Pro had no problem to be dead accurate with the drum beats and deepest notes, the PB-1000 Pro felt like trying to catch up. Again the difference was extremely minimal and it was only on the most demanding songs when we barely noticed that so it’s not something that should bother you at all.
Overall we can say that we were more surprised at how good the PB-1000 Pro fared with music than we were from the SB-1000 Pro. And that because we more or less knew what to expect from the sealed version. But when he heard how minimal difference the two had while the PB-1000 Pro also had the advantage of going lower and with more punch we can say that if you have the space to accommodate the ported unit then definitely go for this one as what you gain is much more than what you actually loose making the PB-1000 Pro an amazing handler not only of movies but also for music.
SVS has done wonders with the new 1000 Pro series. Just when you thought that the most basic series in the SVS lineup cannot get any better they brought out the Pro version and demolished all competition in this price range. The PB-1000 Pro is not just a small ported subwoofer. Its extensive re-design has allowed it to close the gap between this and the next in line, the PB-2000 Pro. And if before their differences could make you choose easier between the two this is not the case anymore.
There are so many things to like in the new PB-1000 Pro. The cabinet has not changed very much in terms or design on the outside but the bigger front-facing driver and addition of a second air port at the front has certainly worked on its favor. The new 325 watts amplifier may not be so much more powerful than before but even these 25 watts help to bolster the sub’s performance when mostly needed. In terms of overall bass power and low end extension the sub fared slightly better than its predecessor and it is amazing how much low end prowess a $600 subwoofer can give you.
And the inclusion of the ICI system and mobile app support gives the Pro version something that was missing from the 1000 series and this is ease of use and making calibration not such a frustrating experience.
It’s really hard to find anything bad to say about this one. If the previous PB-1000 was an excellent subwoofer SVS managed to make the PB-1000 Pro an amazing one. And the pricing is really unbeatable among similar competing brands. But if we had to nitpick here the PB-1000 Pro looses slightly in accuracy and this stems mostly from its ported nature. And while with movies this is not apparent with high quality music you may be able to understand the difference between this one and the sealed SB-1000 Pro. But other than that our only gripe is that this one is offered only in Black Ash color, so you don’t have the option to choose as you have with its sealed brother.
We will end our review with a happy smile as the SVS PB-1000 Pro is everything we were hoping for and more. If you are mostly into movies, but also want your occasional music fix, the PB-1000 Pro is the obvious choice. SVS took what was good and made it better and in this size and this price this sub is the king. Highly recommended.