SVS PB-2000 subwoofer review

This ported 12in sub may be big and brutal in appearance, but its performance is rather refined

As a company, SVS has taken the ‘no substitute for cubic capacity’ maxim and flogged it to death. Then flogged it a bit more. The PB-2000 subwoofer is at the affordable end of its portfolio but it is still a huge piece of kit. The PB classification denotes a ported model, so as well as a 12in forward-firing driver, there is a 4in port working on the same axis. Now, no 12in woofer is ever going to be tiny, but at 55cm deep and over 50cm high, the PB-2000 is a bit of a whopper.

Internally, the PB-2000 uses the latest Sledge amplifier from the company and develops a healthy 500W. It's been designed specifically to match the driver, aluminium long-throw unit shared with the sealed box SB-2000 version. When placed in this massive enclosure it gives a claimed low-end response of 17Hz at -3dB. For those of you not fussed by numbers, this translates to pretty damn low, and a couple of dB more subterranean than its sealed-box sibling.

After a trip to the gym...

As you might expect, installing such a thing is a full-body workout (although the packaging is well designed to aid extraction) but once in place, the PB-2000 responds entirely benignly to auto setup processes. And despite the presence of that chunky bass port, the SVS doesn’t seem flummoxed when placed in a confined location. This is possibly to its advantage, as the PB-2000 is well-built but far from pretty, and the less said about the removable huge steel grill, the better.

Given its size and menacing appearance – and SVS's bass know-how – you might expect the PB-2000 to be a bit of an unruly monster in use, but there is a little more to the performance than organ-rattling low-end. With the beach invasion in Edge of Tomorrow, the SVS has no trouble in converting explosions into visceral and impressively deep bass that can be felt as much as heard. There is no sign of overhang or cabinet noise, and subsequently no question that the PB-2000 is a fine foil for action films.

Where this £740 sub is more of a surprise is in terms of how impressively subtle and refined it can be when you need a more nuanced performance. With the 24-bit/96kHz LPCM audio track of Pink Floyd’s The Endless River (Blu-ray), the SVS is wonderfully smooth and manages to generate fulsome lower frequencies without ever becoming a distraction, able to integrate with pretty much any speaker with a sub-100Hz crossover in a way that is deliciously seamless. Bass is detailed, controlled and even at low listening levels has real impact to it.

This all-round ability makes the SVS something of a star. It can deliver the eyeball-crushing silliness of movie night without breaking sweat, while relishing the more laidback task of mid-week TV. If you have the space for it and you don’t mind the rather brutalist appearance, the PB-2000 is a seriously talented subwoofer.


SVS PB-2000
£740 Approx

Highs: Powerful sound; impressively refined; competitively priced; well built
Lows: Rather bulky; not very attractive; only available in black

Performance: 5/5
Design: 4/5
Features: 4/5
Overall: 4.5/5


Drive Units: 1 x 12in 'high-output' bass driver
Enclosure: Ported, front-firing
Frequency Response: 17Hz (-3dB)
On-Board Power: 500W Sledge DSP amplifier (1,100W peak)
Remote Control: No
Dimensions: 439(w) x 531(h) x 559(d)mm
Weight: 29.5kg 
Connections: LFE input; stereo line-level input; stereo line-level output