Constantly punching above its weight (and price point), SVS makes some of our favorite high-end speakers that offer audiophile performance without audiophile pricing. It only makes sense that SVS would bring its penchant for high performance and affordability to its new pair of powered, wireless bookshelf speakers, the SVS Prime Wireless.
After showing them off at CES 2018, the company finally made the Prime Wireless Speakers available for pre-order on Wednesday, October 3. SVS is also rolling out its new Prime Wireless Soundbase amplifier for a slick and simple way to add streaming power to a pair of traditional speakers.
Like the SVS Prime Series passive speakers, the powered Primes are lacquered in gorgeous piano gloss, while knobs on each end of the master speaker (the one with all the electronic guts) give it a retro feel, similar to an old-school radio deck. The knobs allow for volume control and six different presets for access to your streaming services without having to dig up your phone if it happens to be indisposed. The speakers also offer support for Alexa voice control.
SVS was sure to tell us these speakers were still being tooled in both design and sound performance, though our short audition told us there’s not much need for a ton of tuning when it comes to the sound.
The Prime Wireless Speakers offer clear, bright, and peppy sound, with plenty of bass for their teensy size. But if there’s not enough oomph for you, the speakers offer a subwoofer output — these are from SVS after all, the company born and bred on massively powerful subs like the SVS Ultra 16 (as in 16 inches of Thunderdome, rock-your-neighbor’s-house power).
Also packed into the master speaker are all the inputs you’re likely to need, including a digital optical port for your TV or CD player, analog RCA inputs, a USB audio input, and a proprietary port that connects the right-side master to its subordinate on the left in stereo. Wireless connection is handled via DTS Play-Fi technology for hi-res wireless streaming, and there’s also basic Bluetooth for ease of use, so anyone can instantly connect.
Inside each speaker are dual 50-watt amplifiers, one each for the woofer and tweeter, and of course, there’s a 24bit/192kHz digital-to-analog converter (DAC).
While we haven’t yet spent any time with the Prime Wireless Soundbase amp, it’s an interesting proposition for SVS, and could be a great solution for those looking for a minimalist way to add networking power to a traditional pair of speakers.
The Soundbase (not to be confused with the stand-alone alternative to soundbars of the same name) offers two channels packing 150 watts each and connects your stereo speakers via 5-way binding posts. A 24bit/192kHz DAC (Digital-to-Analog Converter) offers clean and clear audio transference, and high-resolution audio streaming via Wi-Fi is supported for multiple streaming services, including Spotify, Pandora, Tidal, and others. Bluetooth with aptX and AAC allows for multiple other ways to stream.
In addition to acting as a network amplifier, the Soundbase can also be used to augment existing A/V receivers or two-channel amplifiers, acting as a high-resolution streaming conduit via the same DTS Play-Fi protocol used by the Prime Wireless Speakers. This allows for multiroom audio streaming over any Play-Fi wireless speakers (up to 32) via dual-band Wi-Fi. SVS suggests you could also use the Soundbase as a second stereo zone alongside your current home theater setup.
The Soundbase can be controlled via a dedicated app, and like the Prime Wireless speakers, it also offers hands-free voice control with any dedicated Alexa device. Hardwired connection options include optical and line-level inputs to connect everything from TVs and computers to A/V receivers, and there’s a subwoofer output as well.
Perhaps the best news for both products is the price. The Prime Wireless Speakers are $600 a pair, and from what we’ve heard, that will be one more excellent, high-end audio bargain from the company. While more of a niche product, the Soundbase’s $500 price point could also make it a nice addition to your current setup, whether that be a pair of underutilized speakers or a limited home theater setup.
Originally expected to arrive sometime in the spring, the SVS Prime Wireless Speakers and Soundbase are finally ready for pre-order, with shipments slated to arrive on or around October 22.
Updated October 3, 2018: This post has been updated to include pre-order availability, pricing, and information about the Prime Wireless Soundbase.