With a quality ported sub, you can add great bass to your stereo or surround-sound system and get that physical, visceral feeling that comes from subwoofers that possess both power and finesse. With its new PB-1000 Pro, SVS has incorporated huge upgrades as compared to its predecessor, the PB-1000.

With the PB-1000 Pro, SVS has increased the driver size from 10” to 12”, upped the amplification from 300 watts to 325 watts, switched to a dual-ported design, and added the SVS App for a huge boost in features and capability, allowing you to dial in bass with precision. While there is no “cheap” SVS sub, the PB-1000 Pro is clearly designed to offer a lot of bass for your money, while providing the tools to craft its response into the sound you seek.

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The PB-1000 Pro gets a 12" driver, seen here. Its predecessor the PB-1000 had a 10" driver.
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Features and Specifications

The most impressive feature/spec of the PB-1000 Pro is its frequency response of 17 Hz to 260 Hz ( +/-3 dB tolerance) in its standard mode, while also offering a sealed mode option with a 19 Hz to 260 Hz range. SVS posts response charts for its subwoofers consisting of 2-meter ground-plane measurements, this allows for frequency response comparisons between its various models. According to the PB-1000 Pro chart, the standard (ported) mode keeps the response essentially ruler-flat down to around 22 or 23 Hz, and from there it rolls off smoothly.

In the sealed mode, a very gentle roll off starts around 35 Hz, and is down by only 6 dB at 19 Hz. Below 19 Hz, the slope of the roll-off is practically identical between sealed and ported modes. Please note that the PB-1000 does not ship with the foam port plugs, you need to request them from SVS. Since the SB-1000 Pro exists, if you want a sealed sub, there’s no real reason to get the larger PB-1000 Pro and run it sealed. It’s designed as a ported sub, with legit output to 20 Hz and below, and that’s the context in which I reviewed it.

Speaking of ports, this subwoofer has dual front facing ports that sit just underneath the driver and has a refined but slightly industrial look to it. Fans of the exposed driver aesthetic will enjoy the look of this sub, and it has the benefit of being dark and non-reflective, so when used in a home theater it’ll disappear in the darkness.

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The twin forward-facing port of the PB-1000 Pro

Compared to its predecessor, the PB-1000, the new SVS PB-1000 Pro offers a significant performance upgrade. Yes, it plays deeper, but it also offers the SVS App that works with iOS, Android and Amazon devices. The App lets you customize and optimize your subwoofer(s). You can easily tweak and manage a multi-sub system with the app! Furthermore, SVS customer service will work hand-in-hand with owners to leverage the app and the DSP capabilities of the sub, in oder to maximize the performance.

The SVS App works using Bluetooth communication, no need to connect to Wi-Fi to set things up. And the PB-1000 Pro offers all the features found on current SVS models that support the app. With it, you can work with parametric EQ and room gain compensation to get the best blending of the sub with your speaker system. Moreover, you can create multiple configurations for different usage scenarios, be it a “night mode” with a little less bass, or “home theater mode” that digs as deep as it can, or “music” where you optimize the sub(s) to work with a pair of speakers for music in a 2.1 system.

Although not a feature in the traditional sense, one of the advantages of the PB-1000 Pro is that “it’s an SVS”. Which is to say, the purchase is covered by the company’s Customer Bill of Rights. Read what’s in it, I think you’ll find it stands out for its customer focused generosity. Included in it are generous price matching and trade-up policies. Furthermore, you get an unconditional 5-year warranty, which has its own value considering the cost of adding an extended service plan to a subwoofer from a brand like Klipsch or Polk.

There’s plenty more to read about the PB-1000 Pro’s features on the official SVSsound.com website.

Hands-On

The PB-1000 Pro is an interesting sub because its features and specs now encompass a range that puts it in elite company. It’s not exactly a small sub, and finding a home for it was legit a bit trickier than with the SB-1000 Pro that I reviewed here. But the point of the PB-1000 Pro is it gets you below 20 Hz for $599.99, and offers all the tools you need to integrate it with just about any sound system. This new model shrinks the gap between it and the next step up, the PB-2000 Pro, whereby now the main difference is one of peak ouput, more so than extension.

In years past I lived in a house and had a room dedicated to home theater, but now I live in a high-rise apartment and there are limits to how loud I can get, but no rules restrict me from listening to deep bass at modest output levels. The same issue with living arrangements prevents me from performing CEA-2010 measurements.

I bring this up because it is common practice to match up a subwoofer’s capability with the size room it’s going in. For dedicated home theater where the goal is “reference” level output, the challenge is significant and is governed by physics, the larger a space you want to fill with a certain SPL, the more output you need. And with subs, the output = displacement, or how much air you move. But, if you don’t need to chase reference level output, or are in a smaller space, then what you really need, more than raw output, is clean extension. And that’s where the PB-1000 Pro stomps all over many other subs in its price range. Those other subs simply do not dig as deep, their ports are tuned higher and the result is you don’t get true full-range sound (extension at least down to 20 Hz) like with this SVS.

As usual with SVS, the packaging for the sub is great, it protects the gear well and has instructions printed on the box so you’ll have an easy time with it. This sub came in the Premium Black Ash finish, which sells for $599.99 and is currently the only finish available for this model. There’s a grill if you want to use it, but this sub has a pretty face if you decide to go uncovered.

As with the SB-1000 Pro, one of the first things I did with the PB-1000 Pro is take some close mic measurements. The results jibe perfectly with SVS performance claims, with the port picking up the slack down deep. The tuning of this sub nice and deep, I could see the port reaches its peak output around 20 Hz. All signs point to this sub being capable of doing what SVS claims spec-wise, but it is worth noting that the measured close mic response was not as “clean” as with the sealed SB-1000, in the sense of being flat and linear. This is the tradeoff with the ported design, since the output of the driver and the port are inevitably going to interact. But, it’s a pretty favorable tradeoff for bass lovers, because what you get is a boost in the lowest audible frequencies, for output levels down deep (like at 20 Hz) that can’t be matched with one sealed SB-1000 Pro.

The output and depth of the PB-1000 Pro makes it a great choice at its price for use in AVR-based surround-sound systems. It’ll deftly handle those rumbles and sweeps and blasts that add a visceral reality to movies and video games, but its also worth noting that when a port is tuned this low, it’s not doing much (if anything) at higher frequencies, when most of the sound is coming from the driver itself, like it would with a sealed sub. So, when you listen to a bass line in a favorite song, you avoid any issues that could pop up in a ported sub with a higher tuning frequency (like chuffing, which is a distortion caused by turbulence in the vent). It’s my long-winded way of saying that even with music, this sub keeps the bass output nice and clean, as well as loud, albeit not as “perfect” as its sealed sibling.

The intrinsically “flat” response of the PB-1000 Pro extends so far that down low, near 20 Hz, in my listening space, the room gain causes a measurable rise in deep bass output (at my main listening position). This is absolutely great news! Why? Because it means there’s more than enough output to pressurize the room, even with the deepest tones.

As I do with any sub, I placed the PB-1000 against the right-hand wall, near the front of my living room. The system itself is a 4.1 rig running off a Denon AVR-X8500H, with a crossover set at 80 Hz. I took a series of measurements using REW sine wave sweeps, which showed that at 20 Hz, output was at least 10 dB higher than the stretch from 40 Hz to 100 Hz and up. By comparison, the SB-1000 Pro measured basically flat at 20 Hz, as compared to the higher frequencies. This is extremely non-trivial since it would take three SB-1000 Pros to roughly equal that output. It also means that unless you like your bass “hot” in a room like mine you can add some room gain compensation, which in turn eases the burden on the sub. This is specifically important because the peak output of a sub is at its lowest when the output is at its deepest, so if you can dial back output down deep to get a balanced sound, the sub will be able to play louder overall before it hits its limits. This is the price/performance benefit you get from going with a ported sub, but its only possible with ported subs tuned to play deep, like this SVS.

Although I’m not able to provide a proper measurement of this sub’s full capability, anecdotally it is clearly able to “shake things up” in a way that its predecessor could not, but also that you’d typically pay considerably more to obtain. Indeed, what I see and hear is a sub that can hang with the GoldenEar SuperSub XXL I used to use as my “daily driver”, but at less than 1/3 the price. You can get two PB-1000 Pro subs for $1200, while a single XXL runs $2200, and IMO there’s zero question that dual 1000-Pros are the better choice (contingent on finding room for dual subs) and that even a single 1000 Pro is remarkably similar in overall capability to the XXL, available in a package that’s close to the same size.

Of course, the PB-1000 Pro is still the entry point to the SVS lineup of ported subs, with each step above it offering more output, deeper extension. But the PB-2000 Pro costs $300 (50% more) per sub, with just barely more extension and a little bit more power for the 12” driver (so a bit more peak output). But here, the value proposition of the PB-1000 Pro reveals itself. For example, if you go dual, you’re not handicapping yourself with choosing PB-1000 Pros. And in my case, the output of one PB-1000 Pro is simply enough, at the listening levels I use, I’m simply not going to “max it out” and therefore have no need to spend more on added output. Meanwhile, the extension is enough to deliver that “big sub feeling”.

The measured response curve at my listening position had some ups and downs to it, but those were not extreme in nature and were easy enough to mitigate with either the 3-band parametric EQ of the SVS App, or by letting the Audyssey XT32 room correction in my Denon AVR-X8500H AVR take care of it. It’s also possible to use the SVS app and Audyssey together, so if you have a mic and know how to use REW. The trick is to reduce the amount of correction Audyssey applies by using the SVS App’s functions to reduce peaks in order to get a flatter response. This in turn reduces the amount of correction Audyssey (or other room correction) needs to use to get a smoother response. And for 2.1 stereo, where you don’t usually get the benefit of room correction, massaging the response with the SVS App offers a huge audible benefit over subwoofers that don’t offer the same ability to tune the output to the room and system—the integration sounds seamless, with neither too much nor too little bass.

In actual use, the PB-1000 pro easily delivered a quality of bass that resulted in rich, expansive sound. For movies, there’s enough output to add physicality to soundtracks, that sense that you can “feel” the texture of a crunch or blast. With music, you get “musicality” out of this sub, which is to say there’s no boominess, no coloration, no distracting distortion to mask the tonality and timbre of bass instruments (or synthesizer sounds). This is a sub that competently handles every track in my Tidal playlist “AVS Speaker Test Tracks” that includes my all-time most-used bass demo tune, “Disc Wars” from the Tron Legacy soundtrack (which happens to be by the recently disbanded Daft Punk, long live Daft Punk!!!). Any sub that can make its way through Disc Wars without choking on the constant deep bass onslaught is a sub I can be friends with, and the PB-1000 Pro easily passes the test.

Building Out a System

It's extraordinarily rare to find speakers that have the deep bass output and extension of the PB-1000 Pro, and those are typically huge, expensive, high-end speakers. With just about any speaker system you can think of, whether bookshelf or tower, stereo or surround, the PB-1000 Pro will add to the performance, add to the listening experience, by extending the system’s overall response to cover the full range of human hearing.

Within the SVS lineup, the PB-1000 Pro makes a good match for a pair of SVS Prime Bookshelf speakers, for a budget-friendly 2.1 system that’ll deliver a goose bump-inducing stereo soundfield along with that live music “feeling” you get when the air is energized. Add a Prime Center and a couple Prime Satellite speakers, plus two Prime Elevation, and you can take full advantage of highly affordable 5.1.2 AVRs that support Dolby Atmos and DTS:X.

While power output is limited on these inexpensive AVRs, letting the sub handle the bass makes that current available for the rest of the frequency range. And while more affordable AVRs tend to have more “basic” room correction than pricey flagship models, that’s the exact advantage proffered by the SVS App and the tools it offers. The strategy here is to get the sound you’d associate with dedicated home theaters in a system that you can afford, and that you can fit into a living room, with the only compromise being that you’re not going to achieve “reference” level output with such a system. But you’re also not sacrificing fidelity at the altar of lifestyle/convenience, like you would with an expensive soundbar system.

I can’t predict every usage scenario or budget justification, but I do know that the PB-1000 Pro has what it takes to be the “perfect fit” for someone seeking a “premium yet affordable” subwoofer from a company that’s going to treat them right, offers an upgrade path, and is there to help owners get the most out of their products.

Conclusion

The PB-1000 Pro is a great subwoofer. It is a worthy companion of the new SB-1000 Pro and a significant upgrade in capability over the PB-1000 it replaces. So much so, that deciding between the PB-1000 Pro and PB-2000 Pro could be difficult. While it represents the entry to the SVS ported sub lineup, it is no entry-level sub and offers a complete, satisfying listening experience when operating within its performance envelope.

With this new model, SVS raises the bar for what to expect in a $600 ported subwoofer. Is it the right sub for you? The only way to really find out is to give one a try, which you can do at home, for 45 days, with free shipping both ways. Just don’t be surprised when it exceeds your expectations, especially when it comes to deep bass but also in terms of how good it looks and easy it is to configure. In consideration of the value, capability, and flexibility the SVS PB-1000 pro brings to the table, it’s an easy AVS Forum Top Choice for 2021.