It’s full-featured and can play audio from the internet and your own devices via a variety of wired and wireless connections. This SVS Prime Wireless 2.1 Powered Speaker system is sure to please people wanting an audiophile solution for smaller rooms.
I spent a lot of time listening to this SVS Prime 2.1 system with a variety of program material from all genres of music. I also gave it a try as a speaker system for playing back movies, both from physical discs and streaming services like Netflix and Amazon Prime. While not inexpensive, at just over $1000, this offering from Ohio-based SVS is head and shoulders above most of the competing systems I’ve listened to, and they are a bargain at the price. They should also be considered as a better-sounding alternative to many of the soundbar systems offered for home theaters. These are not dinky little ‘sit on the sides of your computer’ speakers. They are high-quality transducers which should please discriminating listeners. They can work on a shelf, a hi-fi cabinet, or one could get stands for more placement freedom.
SVS Prime Wireless 2.1 Powered Speaker System
- The SVS Prime Wireless Speakers are very well constructed, solid speakers.
- The packing and instructions are first rate.
- The SVS Prime Wireless Speakers can work with many sources, including optical, analog, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth.
- The built-in amplifiers further simplify setup.
- Bass from the included SB-1000 subwoofer is tight and linear.
- 6 custom presets for instant access to your favorite playlists, Internet Radio stations, and streaming music services without needing a phone or tablet.
- Can be bought without a subwoofer but it’s not as compelling a system.
- Needs a remote control.
The SVS Prime Wireless 2.1 Speaker system comes from a company that has specialized in high-end subwoofers for audio and video systems. I’ve had a large SVS subwoofer in my home theater for many years. It’s been trouble-free and goes deep. It’s not surprising SVS ventured outside making only subwoofers, and after several listening sessions to this powered speaker system, it’s obvious SVS has the know-how to perform well outside their subwoofer specialty.
SVS still offers a variety of subwoofers, but also offers a wide variety of wired speaker systems that will fit nicely into a large home theater room or audiophile system with first-rate components and sources.
SVS Prime Wireless Speaker System
52Hz-25kHz (±3 dB)
200-watt (50 watt x 4) RMS Amplifier with optimized power to each driver
Active Speaker Cabinet Dimensions:
10.24″ (H) X 6.10″ (W) X 7.21″ (D)
Passive Speaker Cabinet Dimensions:
10.24″ (H) X 6.10″ (W) X 7″ (D)
1″ Aluminum Dome Tweeter:
Flush-mounted with FEA-optimized diffuser for airy and unveiled playback with broad sweet spot
4.5″ Midrange Driver:
Polypropylene cone for excellent stiffness/mass ratio and controlled pistonic behavior
2.36″ Wide-Flared Rear-Firing Port:
Renders deeper low frequency output
Piano Gloss Black and Piano Gloss White
Left/Right RCA Input Impedance:
3.5mm Aux Input Impedance:
S/PDIF receiver works at a wide range of sampling frequencies between 18 kHz and 96 kHz
2V Auto Detecting Low Pass Filter: An active Low Pass Filter at 80Hz is engaged when subwoofer detected
Standard Active-Passive Speaker Interconnect Cable:
3m / 10ft
24-260 Hz +/- 3 dB
Front-firing high-excursion 12″ driver delivers deep and effortless bass with precision FEA-optimized motor technology with lightweight fiber composite cone for enhanced sensitivity and transient response
Cloth grille with pin/cup retention system
13.5″ (H) x 13″ (W) x 14″(D) (without grille)
13.5″ (H) x 13″ (W) x 14.6″(D) (with grille)
Sledge STA-300D with 300+ watts RMS continuous power (720 watts peak dynamic power)
DSP control for accurate response and refined behavior under all operating conditions
Stereo line-level RCA Input & 80Hz High Pass Filtered Output connections
Stereo speaker level 5-way binding post input connections
Continuously variable low pass filter frequency with disable/LFE setting
Continuously variable volume and phase controls
SoundPath RCA Audio Interconnect Cable
(This cable carries the signal from the right speaker to the subwoofer.)
Cable Construction Specs:
Five-layer dielectric isolation system rejects electromagnetic (EM) and radio frequency (RF) interference.
Dual balanced conductors made from 14 strands of 99.99% OFC stranded copper conductors, and individually isolated in independent HDPE dielectric jackets – allow consistent signal flow, high signal purity, and minimize signal loss.
RCA Connector Materials:
Precision soldered with high-grade lead-free solder – Durable and consistent electrical contacts with consistent signal flow.
24K gold plated brass conductor pin – effective electrical contact and signal flow.
24K gold plated brass split grounding body – tight fit with consistent electrical contact for stable grounding.
Anodized aircraft-grade aluminum shell with white and red marking bands for easy Left and Right designation.
Center Pin and Outer Ring: Gold-plated brass for optimum signal quality and integrity.
The SB-1000 subwoofer is available in
Premium Black Ash, Piano Gloss Black, and Piano Gloss White.
The Prime Wireless System is available in
Piano Gloss Black and Piano Gloss White.
svs, wireless, prime, speakers, subwoofer, speaker system review 2020
This 3 piece system is designed to fit well into a smaller room, like a den, a bedroom or an office. The speakers are attractive but unobtrusive. The review samples were sent in Black Piano Gloss and look very rich, without calling attention to themselves.
The right channel speaker contains 4 amplifiers totaling 200 watts. The tweeters in each speaker are a 1” driver for high frequencies, and the midrange is a 4.5” speaker. Each speaker contains a rear port to help with the lower frequency portion of the middle frequencies. The right speaker contains a volume control, and an input switch to select between the analog RCA inputs, a stereo mini-plug, or the optical input. Connectors for these inputs are not included but are the responsibility of the buyer. The speakers have a rated response of 52Hz-25kHz (±3 dB).
The SVS Prime Wireless 2.1 System does include a proprietary connecting cable that goes between the two speakers, and a subwoofer cable to connect the subwoofer. The cables are thick and of high build quality. The included subwoofer, (also offered as a standalone sub that can be used for other speaker systems) has a frequency response of 24-260 Hz +/- 3 dB. The driver is a 12” long-excursion driver. The subwoofer has a substantial built quality and weighs in at 27 pounds.
The SVS Prime Wireless 2.1 speakers have many wireless options in addition to the wired options listed above. It supports the DTS Play-Fi app offering control from any smartphone, tablet, Amazon device or Windows PC and multi-room, multi-zone audio streaming over Wi-Fi. Also, the SVS Prime Wireless Bluetooth speakers offer aptX and AAC for high fidelity wireless Bluetooth streaming from iOS or Android smartphones or tablets.
The SVS Prime Wireless speakers also offer the ability to play high-resolution audio by enabling native rendering of files up to 24-bit/192kHz, with no down-sampling or network synchronization adjustment. This requires the use of the DTS Play-Fi app. This is a unique differentiator from most other wireless speaker systems.
The system lacks a remote, and while one can control volume from a wireless source component when connected to a wired playback device like a disc player or portable music player, the remote would have been a plus. You can control streaming services through the Play-Fi app, but the system really needs its own remote. That’s not true of many of the other services supported by the Play-Fi app, but I use Spotify.
Setting up the SVS Prime Wireless 2.1 System was a breeze. Plug in the main (right channel) speaker and attach the cable to the left channel speaker. Also attach the subwoofer cable, plug in the right channel speaker and the sub, and you are ready to proceed. The SVS system can be paired to any Bluetooth device, and it allows you to connect to your wireless network.
Just about any analog or digital source can be connected. The front panel source switch allows you to choose the source you are listening to. This is a good feature, but again, a remote would be handy for source switching. The source button doubles as a preset selector, once you have set up presets you want to have quickly available, like a playlist, or internet radio station or streaming service.
Users hooked on streaming will need to download the PlayFi app for Android or iOS. The app is the key to getting streaming services into the SVS Prime Wireless System, and it’s also needed for connecting your system to Wi-Fi.
I found that process a bit fiddly. Once the SVS Prime speakers were paired and then PlayFi was connected to my home network, there’s a lot of handoffs between apps and controls. You can start with the PlayFi app, which lets you control the volume of streaming sources. However, if I wanted to play Spotify, for example, that app had to launch. Most of the other streaming services were integrated into the Play-Fi app, but Spotify, which is the streaming app I use, was not. It’s all a bit convoluted, and it’s no fault of SVS. It’s the world we live in, where equipment has to play nice with a variety of streaming sources and network architectures.
Listening to these diminutive speakers was a joy. Music of all types was clear, highs were shimmering, lows (thanks to the excellent SVS subwoofer), had bass you could feel as well as hear. I was immediately struck by the width and depth of the stereo image in my room. The center fill was there, indicating good phase coherence, and the sound field extended beyond the left of the left channel, and further to the right of the right channel. Bass, as it should be, was not directional. It was there when the music required it. As I listened I was thinking that the SVS sub would be a welcome addition to any 2.0 system where the low end is an issue.
Here’s a sample of some of my listening choices:
The Classic Film Scores of Bernard Herrmann: This is a wonderful recording from the ’70s which has been remastered by Vocalion as an SACD. I listened to a stereo FLAC rip of the disc. One of my favorite test tracks is from the film White Witch Doctor, in particular, the track called ‘Talking Drums’.
A variety of percussion instruments are set up extreme left to right, with others in the center. It’s a pretty amazing listening experience on any good system, and the SVS Prime Wireless really delivered on this track. Everything was very 3D sounding, with a clear illusion of depth so that I could place the position of the drums, left to right and front to back.
American Mavericks: The San Francisco Symphony with very modern music, including a lot of percussion and organ. The SVS speakers sounded solid with another display of fine imaging.
Mike Oldfield- Crisis: Some 1983 music from Mike Oldfield, pop and rock music with female vocalists and electronic and acoustic instruments. I listed to a high-res remaster and the SVS Primes did fine with the high-resolution files played on a HiFiMan portable player plugged into the analog inputs of the speakers.
Interstellar Soundtrack: The opening track is a stunner. Natural outdoor sounds and then a low bass note that shows off the SVS subwoofer at its best. The bass never falters, and the underlying music keeps playing with no distortion.
Sona Libre -Cal Tjader: A 1963 jazz release held in high esteem by music lovers. Best thought of as West Coast Latin music, it’s a combination of acoustic and electronic music. The SVS Primes did well with this disc.
The Very Best of Simon and Garfunkel: A remaster in hi-res of their 1972 greatest hits album. There’s nothing like the human voice to really give a sense of how realistic a speaker can sound. The two voices became part of the room, each occupying their own space. A really good test of the SVS Prime 2.1 system, that left no doubt these are audiophile speakers.
First Man: I wanted to watch a movie and let the SVS Prime system render a 4K movie in just stereo with the sub. First Man has a terrific mix, and the Apollo 11 launch was thrilling.
There’s plenty of competition at this price point. SVS competes on build quality, excellent electronics, and finely tuned speakers with a very high-quality sub. In addition, this system can handle any kind of music source you have, from CD players, hi-res music players, streaming music from all the popular sources, with connections that embrace Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, optical, and analog. While the SVS PRIME SYSTEM is not cheap, it’s a bargain at the price.
- Sound is impeccable at this price. Sharp, precise audio imaging, with front to back depth.
- Superior to every AV soundbar I’ve heard at similar prices.
- Build quality is excellent and can fit into any room. 3 choices of finishes.
- Instructions are complete, illustrated and simple.
- The subwoofer is powerful and goes deep.
- Analog and digital inputs, plus all the popular streaming services. Bluetooth support for streaming from phone or tablet.
- A physical remote is really needed for analog inputs.
- Streaming setup is non-intuitive in places. Spotify was not well handled by the Play-Fi app, but other services had good integration. This isn’t an SVS fault; it’s just the way things are now, and every manufacturer is dealing with these issues.
At this price point, don’t expect the greatest esoteric speaker system ever made. I have a pair of KEF LS-50s I use in the same room, with a Klipsch subwoofer. That system slightly edges out the SVS Prime Wireless System for realism and punch, but it costs almost 30% more. The KEFs require an amplifier and a subwoofer, adding even more to the price. At the retail price, the SVS Prime 2.1 system is a real bargain. It’s not meant for a big room, nor is it designed for ear-splitting rock and roll, but it performs extremely well in a den or office or bedroom. The frequency response is wide and the imaging is stable. The dynamic range is excellent. I never heard the system strain even with some difficult material.
The world of audio is moving more and more toward streaming services, but most of my listening was to discs and playing digital files on a hi-res player. I didn’t want to listen to compression artifacts, and just wanted to hear these speakers at their best, but I know that most listeners will opt for the convenience of streaming. And the Prime Wireless speakers do support what SVS calls its Critical Listening Mode supporting audio streaming up to 24-bit/192kHz levels with streaming services that support higher quality. The streaming music I did listen to, made up mostly of music familiar to me, sounded really, really good, aided by the excellent DAC in the SVS electronics.
The SVS Prime Wireless 2.1 system has enough inputs to handle any kind of music. It’s ready to play out of the box. You won’t need a receiver and you won’t have to find a matching amplifier to get the best sound. SVS engineers have already matched the speakers to very high-quality amplifiers that are clean and free of distortion. Although I don’t have room for this system in my home, I’d have no hesitation at buying a pair.