Wireless loudspeakers are the future of high-end audio and that makes a lot of audiophiles uncomfortable; we see it as a good thing because it is attracting a lot of mainstream attention and manufacturers are working very hard to offer compelling products at every possible price point.
The response to our “Editors’ Choice: Wireless Loudspeakers” list for 2022 confirms that a lot of you are paying close attention to this segment. When legacy brands such as KEF, Dynaudio, Sonus faber, PSB Speakers, Q Acoustics, Klipsch, and Triangle are investing a lot of money and time in new models — you know the category has a solid foundation.
SVS has proven to be an interesting success story in the subwoofer and home theater categories, but some of their best products are geared towards the two channel market and audiophiles looking for performance that will not empty their bank accounts. Products like the SVS Prime Wireless Pro Loudspeakers are designed for consumers who do not have a lot of space and want a compact wireless system that can be used for both music and movies.
Throw in the ability to add one of their award-winning subwoofers, and you have an affordable 2.1 system that is ideal for a lot of people.
The $899.99 USD sticker price will strike some as rather high for a pair of powered bookshelf or stand-mounted loudspeakers but when you look at everything that is integrated into the loudspeakers — the price of admission is not out of line.
Wireless connectivity, 2 analog inputs, 200 watts of class D amplification, HDMI support, a single optical digital input, mono subwoofer output, and compatibility with Apple AirPlay 2, Spotify Connect, and Chromecast. The internal 24-bit/192kHz DAC support hi-res playback.
SVS doesn’t skimp when it comes to accessories either; the package includes a 10 foot cable to connect the primary and passive loudspeakers, two interconnect cables (10′ and 20′), remote control, batteries, and the manual.
Whilst the finish options are limited to piano black or white, the overall level of finish is very high. The polished cabinets, however, show off fingerprints quite easily and you might want to use white gloves during installation.
The Prime Wireless Pro are the second generation of this product and SVS have replaced the original 4.5-inch midrange/woofer with a brand new 5.25-inch polypropylene midrange/woofer that offers deeper low end extension and improved dynamic range.
The 1-inch aluminum dome tweeter is carried over from the original Prime Wireless loudspeakers.
- Frequency Response: 42Hz – 25kHz (±3 dB)
- Active Loudspeaker: 11.61″ (H) x 7.09″ (W) x 8.96″ (D)
- Weight: 12.3 lbs (5.58kg)
- Passive Loudspeaker: 11.61″ (H) x 7.09″ (W) x 8.85″ (D)
- Weight: 11.68 lbs (5.3kg)
- Dual Class-D Power Amps for Discrete Driver Bi-amplification
- 200 watt (50 watt x 4) RMS Power
- Digital controlled tweeter-to-woofer crossover: 2kHz (12dB/octave slope)
Speaker Cabinet Specs:
- Finish Options: Piano Gloss Black and Piano Gloss White
- 2.36″ wide-flared rear-firing port
- Protective cloth grille with pin/cup retention system
- Elastomer stick-on bumper feet (adds 3mm to height)
- Acoustically transparent and FEA optimized grilles minimize diffraction
- FEA-optimized cabinet and bracing eliminates resonances
- Chamfered front baffle and flush-mounted drivers reduce edge diffraction and improved on-axis high frequency response
Wireless Streaming Options
- DTS Play-Fi – Lossless 192kHz/24-bit via Critical Listening Mode over WiFi
- Apple Airplay 2 for iPhone and iOS Devices, Chromecast for Android phones and Devices: CD Quality
- Bluetooth 5.0 with AAC and aptX
- Spotify Connect
- HDMI audio input: Supports ARC and eARC
- Left/Right RCA Input: Input Impedance: 20K
- 3.5mm Aux Input: Input Impedance: 20K
- Toslink Optical Input: S/PDIF receiver works at a wide range of sampling frequencies up to 96kHz
- Bluetooth 5.0 with AAC and aptX
- 6 front panel presets for one-touch access to music services and playlists
- USB service port also for powering wireless accessories
Prime Wireless Pro
The right speaker has the controls and display at bottom. The industrial design features a bevelled look that blends well with the supplied grille covers. Some may find the front panel on the primary loudspeaker somewhat busy but it does blend well in most room environments.
The loudspeakers are rear ported; the 2–inch ports are located on the upper right of the rear panels and are very effective. The vast majority of users will use the loudspeakers on a media unit or credenza and it would be our advice to play around with the distance from the wall behind the loudspeakers because their bass output is quite strong and being too close will result in a loss of definition and some smearing in the upper bass and lower midrange.
Amplification remains the same as the original model with four class D amplifiers powering each driver; the crossover is placed before the the amplifiers which SVS claims results in a lower noise floor and improved clarity.
This design is becoming increasingly common and an even more advanced example can be found in the ATC SCM40a Active Loudspeakers that I recently reviewed.
Digital signal processing is handled by a 24-bit/192kHz DAC which is fed by a sophisticated input section that handles the Bluetooth, Ethernet, Wi-Fi, and Optical inputs.
The analog inputs bypass the digital section and are fed directly to the crossover electronics and amplifiers to reduce signal path length.
Between the tweaks to the drivers, and placement and resizing of the ports, the Prime Wireless Pro are now specified to offer an additional 10Hz of low end extension.
The improvement in low end extension depends greatly on setup based on our testing.
The SVS Prime Wireless Pro appeal to different types of users so I made the decision to try every input and use both iOS and Android devices to test how well it handled DTS Play-Fi (Amazon Music HD and Apple Music), Spotify Connect, and various Bluetooth codecs when listening to TIDAL and Qobuz.
I also created a number of playlists to test the preset settings on the primary speakers.
The Prime Wireless Pro support AAC and Bluetooth aptX; Samsung and Apple smartphones worked seamlessly, but I did discover one operational quirk that needs to be addressed.
Depending on which streaming platform I was using, the display would often only show the first track I was playing when the connection was first established and didn’t change until I used a different platform.
The loudspeaker does not natively support Apple Music so you will need to use DTS Play-Fi on a PC or by using an iOS device. MQA is not supported natively.
Listening to the Prime Wireless Pro using all of the inputs and a myriad of digital sources was interesting because there was a consistency to the overall performance that we found somewhat surprising.
SVS has voiced the loudspeakers to sound extremely balanced with a slightly warm overall tonal presentation — but with very good detail retrieval and impressive dynamic range.
Bass notes are well extended and defined and they certainly have more energy the closer the loudspeaker is placed to the wall behind them. Placing too close to the wall might create the sensation of more bass, but there is a loss of detail and resolution in the upper bass and lower midrange that some might not like. There is a happy balance that will require some experimentation with distance.
The treble is well extended and detailed but not as smooth as some might prefer if they listen to a lot of classical pieces with string instruments. Using higher strings as a point of reference as it pertains to top end clarity and smoothness — there was some grain present on violin concertos; the Prime Wireless Pro are not the lone guilty offenders in this price category when it comes to that aspect of their tonal balance and presentation.
Dynamics are quite good with the ability to become nearly silent and thunderously loud when called upon with no loss of clarity at either end and likewise I didn’t find distortion becoming an issue as listening levels increased.
Overall, the SVS Prime Wireless Pro gave my Adam monitors and KEF loudspeakers a run for their money at a much lower price.
The presets work as advertised with the ability to set each to a different streaming service and playlist. They don’t have the ability to mix services within a single playlist or to shuffle randomly among the presets, though both of which would be great to see on the next generation of these loudspeakers.
Does it make sense to spend almost $900 on the SVS Prime Wireless Pro Loudspeakers?
SVS could have engineered these loudspeakers in a way that would make one want to add one of their subwoofers — but they went the opposite route and improved the bass performance over the previous generation and we’re not sure that you need one unless you’re thinking about watching movies as well and want to experience the low end impact that some soundtracks offer.
Input options and streaming support is excellent and these are not difficult loudspeakers to setup and use.
Wireless loudspeakers have improved enormously over the past 3 years and with the exception of an internal phono pre-amplifier, the SVS Prime Wireless Pro Loudspeakers include almost everything you would need to setup a 2.0 or 2.1 system for under $1,000 USD.
We’re still not sold 100% on DTS Play-Fi, but we had no issues with any of our sources and these were consistently good with all of the streaming platforms which is what consumers want.
SVS have created a very competitive product that offers strong performance, a wide range of connectivity options, and very good value for your money.
Where to buy: $899 at svsound.com | Amazon | Crutchfield
March 14, 2023 at 6:37 pm
I have owned these speakers + matching SB-1000 Pro 12″ sub for several months now, and as a first time SVS owner, they have not disappointed. They replaced a Sony soundbar/sub system that was disappointing, in comparison.
First thing to note is that you can dim the display or turn it off altogether if one finds it distracting.
I use it in a smaller, secondary TV room attached via HDMI + optical cables. There’s a slight delay in raising/lowering the volume when attached to the TV, but everything else work seamlessly and setup was easy. We had an issue where the soundbar, when attached via Dish/TV would lose the sound when FF/RR a show with more than one click (annoying), and this cured that issue as well. The better half is now happy!
We have our older Oppo BD player hooked up in that room and I put on “Certifiable” Blu-ray, by The Police, the other night and cranked it. The excellent detail + the sub’s added punch easily filled the room. It’s probably slightly overkill for the room size, but the overall clarity with lower level listening on a daily basis for casual viewing/listening works out well. I have an HT room downstairs for HT viewing/listening.
Finally, the great thing about this, which couldn’t be done on the sound bar due to its HDMI config, is turning off the audio and using a secondary audio source for audio via BT (local game announcer on a game). Once you sync the time difference, voila, annoying announcer gone (looking at you Bill Walton :)).
Thanks for the review, and for folks looking for a 2.0-2.1 solution, I’d highly recommend the SVS system.