The new 3000 Micro is the first dual-opposed sub from SVS, as well as the most compact subwoofer the company offers. But despite its small size — were talking about a 10.9” x 11.7” x 10.7” cube — this subwoofer is designed to offer seriously good bass. Indeed, with its built in DSP and support for the SVS app, the SVS 3000 Micro ($799) is designed for advanced integration, and is as suitable for 2.1 systems as it is for multichannel surround-sound.

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Features and Specifications

The most obvious feature here is the dual-opposing 8” drivers. The only way to make a really good, super compact subwoofer is to somehow accommodate drivers that can move a lot of air inside a small enclosure. Dual-opposed designs achieve this by splitting bass-making duties. But there’s more benefit to this approach than a reduced cone diameter, the dual-opposing alignments offers the benefit of force-cancelling, whereby the movement of one driver is the mirror of the other since they face opposite directions. As a result, you get a tiny sub that can play very loud without hopping around your floor, as some small subs are prone to do.

SVS specifies the response at 23 Hz to 240 Hz +/-3 dB and has the measurements to back it up. It’s always worth mentioning frequency response specifications are not tied to peak output specifications, but there remains a relationship. This is why you’ll see some other subs in this category claiming response with Hz in the teens. But bass that you can’t actually hear or feel is really nothing more than a visual effect of a woofer moving in and out slowly, so the SVS 23 Hz spec needs to be taken in that context.

As mentioned in the intro, this is a subwoofer with dimensions that easily fit within a cubic foot, with room to spare. We’re talking 10.9” high, 11.7” wide and 10.7” deep. The extra width found in the dimensions to accommodate a pair of metal grills that protect the drivers. The enclosure itself is built to be extra tough with extra thick MDF side baffles and internal bracing, so it can handle the pressure and pounding involved with this sort of design.

This sub connects via Bluetooth to the SVS App for access to the full range of adjustments, features and presets it offers. The app offers parametric EQ and room gain compensation for optimal blending of the sub with your speaker system. It even lets you create multiple configurations, available on demand, for different usage scenarios. You can program a “night mode” with a little less bass, or “home theater mode” that does all out. If you are 2-channel audio and your system does not have bass management, you can use the SVS App to make all the necessary adjustments for a smoothly integrated 2.1 (or 2.2) system.

A universal “feature” of any SVS sub is the company’s Customer Bill of Rights. The gets you first-class customer support with generous price matching and trade-up policies you won’t find at Best Buy or Amazon. Plus, you get an unconditional 5-year warranty on the product, so no need to spend on those extended warranties. The décor-friendly nature of the 3000 Micro is complemented by its availability in either Piano Gloss Black or Piano Gloss White finishes.

Hands-On

For this review, I thought I’d mix things up a bit, so I used two test systems, one AVR-based surround-sound rig (my “home system” as it were) and the other a compact 2.1 system chosen just for this reviews, stocked with all SVS components.

If you happen to be in a rush, I can save you some reading… here’s the crux: This subwoofer is a winner. It sounds like you’ve got this huge, high-end sub in your house, but in reality, it’s just this little cube doing all the work. There’s nothing missing, nothing out of place. The depth and clarity and lack of distortion combine for a sublime performance, with all the tightness and heft and micro-dynamics and speed that you’d associate with a high-performance sub. And it’ll “pressurize the room” as they say, which is another way of stating that you’ll definitely feel it, not just hear it.

SVS sent me a complete, compact system that shows what you do with a modest budget and a little creativity. I got the SVS Prime Wireless SoundBase, a pair of the Prime Elevation speakers, plus SVS SoundPath Ultra speaker cables and a SoundPath RCA interconnect (for the aesthetics and for satisfaction of if being a truly “all-SVS” system). I found two applications for this rig: It makes a profoundly good desktop 2.1 audio system, and with the speakers simply sitting on the IKEA credenza where I have my TV, this sweet 2.1 system is also a more than excellent alternative to soundbar, while doubling as a proper stereo system. Oh… and I got the sub and speakers in the Piano Gloss White, which looks snazzy.

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This ultra-compact system makes my iPad Pro (running the SVS App) and Sony remote look gigantic!

The SoundBase doesn’t have room correction, so I used a UMIK-1 measurement mic to ascertain how the room affected response in my listening area. I was then able to use the parametric EQ function of the SVS App to make adjustments for flatter response. I always recommend a measurement-based approach when its feasible, but you can also “tune to taste” with the volume and room gain controls. Anyhow, the result was a nice 2.1 system with truly full-range sound, but it definitely took different settings to optimize for desktop use, versus having the system set up in the living room.

The key thing is, with the SVS App, you have the tools needed to get better bass out of your system. And if you need help figuring out how, SVS is always glad to help its customers.

So, the biggest surprise of the review, aside from the sub itself being so awesome, is the flexibility of the Prime Elevation speakers. I mean, their name does not do them justice. They are so obviously optimal desktop speakers, and yet on the credenza, flanking the TV, and hooked up to the SoundBase with all its streaming abilities plus audio coming from the TV… well, the fact is you can’t buy a soundbar that ships with a sub this good, and the speakers are not jus better than those found of soundbars, they are better positioned. Of course, you can use this sub with larger speakers, but this rig manages to strike a terrific balance between price, size and performance. Of course, if you want a more capable surround-sound system, and perhaps add HDMI switching and room correction to the mix, you’ll want to use an AVR.

Oh, and for the 2.1 system with the TV, I had the sub located to the left of the IKEA credenza that held both the TV and the speakers. It's the most obvious spot for it, an arrangement that only requires a short subwoofer cable and keeps the whole system self contained to that part of the room—remember, the idea here is you can have that old-school badass stereo system sound, without having to put a pair of huge speakers out there, which will surely be vetoed. Instead of being vilified, if you propose and implement this system in a living room, other members of your family will commend you for your good taste, tech savvy and even your sense of what sounds nice.

I put the SVS 3000 Micro into my 5.1.2 AVR-based system, which is based around a Denon AVR-X8500H, swapping out my personal dual-opposed 12” sub in the process. The SVS is much more compact than my personal sub, and yet offers bass of similar fidelity, with the only notable difference being output at the very deepest tones, where it gets outmuscled by the dual 12s. But, to be frank, there’s very little content that needs output beyond the range the 3000 Micro covers. And, to my ears anyhow, the bass coming from this little SVS is incredibly tight, the sort that lets you hear precise articulation and gives a sense of fine texture to instruments.

Of course, a primary purpose of an Atmos surround-sound system is to make the most movies, shows and video games. This can be very demanding on a sub because when you start having explosions and orchestral scores, along with bass for the sake of drama, like the bass sweeps and drones and percussion used for effect in film, that can last for many minutes without respite. So, you need a system that won’t get winded, that can power through it all. And that’s the great compliment I have for the SVS 3000 Micro, its got all the power it needs to never give up, to take the hits and keep on rolling.

Now, to be clear, when I say this sub could be all you might ever need for bass, I’m NOT talking to the hardcore dedicated home theater crowd that needs reference-level bass down to 5 Hz or whatever and judge everything on a "dB per dollar" basis. For anyone fitting that description, there are many subs designed to suit your needs but all of them are larger than this. The rest of the world will find the output of this sub surprisingly satisfying, to say the least. In the context of a living room system, it really could be all you need. Or maybe you need two, or even four subs, distributed for smoother response from seat to seat…. Thanks to their small size, with the 3000 Micro, that’s easy to accommodate.

OK, ready for one more convention-breaker? You do not have to put this sub on the floor. If you have the space, you could even put it on your desktop. You can choose to put it on a credenza, or even a sturdy shelf. The force cancelling of the dual-opposing drivers will ensure it does not impart even the slightest rattle. Now, because of boundary reinforcement, you may wish to situate the sub where the wall meets the floor, but unlike larger subs, here you’ve at least got the option of putting it somewhere unconventional.

I’ve never found SVS specs to be anything but accurate, so I was not expecting anything different from the 3000 Micro. SVS says you get 23 Hz response out of it, and down that low, there’s usually a few dB of room gain at play, which can result in an in-room rating a few Hz lower. That’s certainly the case here, and in practive I found the 3000 Micro covers the “full range”of audible sound that’s commonly understood to encompass anything from 20 hz on up. And that’s not to say nothing is going on at 16 Hz, there is output. And it is clean. But because it’s infrasonic, only the microphone appreciates how the low distortion makes it so you basically hear “nothing” when you feed it a 16 Hz sine wave signal, which in this case indicates the sub is doing its job right.

I stuck a mic right next to one of the drivers for some close-mic measurements, which can offer some basic insights. First things first… the output of the sub, measured up close, is close to ruler-flat from 30 Hz up to somewhere around 200 Hz. This offers insight into the +/-3 dB spec of 23 Hz to 240 Hz, in that they are defined by the roll-off. But, down low… that roll off is not at all steep, and it is also incredibly linear, plotting a straight line with no odd bumps or anomalies right down to single-digit Hz. That ultra-deep infrasonic stuff, it’s unhearable… but 100% measurable, and it shows how this is an unbelievably well-behaved sub, precisely tuned to operate optimally up to its performance limits.

On the “big rig” the SVS 3000 Micro showed that it’s the secret weapon for when what you want is big subwoofer sound, without the big subwoofer. And I’d argue that music lovers should be looking at this sub as a first choice, because while it’s absolutely true that great subs come in all shapes and sizes, this thing is just plain “tight and solid” and covers just about anything you’ll find in a recording in the vast, vast, vast majority of music out there. Even music that relies heavily on plentiful deep bass gets 100% attention from this sub, no holding back. The real surprise here, is what a good performer this little sub is…. for its price! Yeah, that’s right, I think this sub’s value holds up, in terms of the audio fidelity you get for the price, even if you take the tiny size out of the equation. It just plain sounds good.

Conclusion

It is completely unnecessary to compromise on bass due to subwoofer size. Put great bass where you need because “there’s no room for a subwoofer” has met its match. The SVS 3000 Micro offers the quantity, quality and sheer depth of bass that have earned the company plaudits for its other subwoofer offerings, now packaged in a lifestyle-friendly format.

During my hands-on, both the AVR-based system and the all-SVS system benefitted from the fantastic quality of the 3000 Micro’s bass. The size is a revelation, in terms of how easy it is to handle and to find a place to put it. But the performance is the greater revelation, this is a true SVS subwoofer in form and function, and the fact it is so compact is essentially icing on the cake. SVS 3000 Micro is a Top Choice 2021, no question.