In the past, subwoofers were broadly divided between those that made a lot of noise for cinema, and the more subtle, faster subs that added some gentle reinforcement to audio systems. And generally, the divide was significant, substantial and clearly audible. We’re not in the 1990s now, however, and the two are meeting in the middle; subs that are designed with audio in mind now produce deeper, meatier bass when called upon, while subwoofers primarily intended for more general use – like the SVS SB-2000 here – have more nuanced control and often faster bass performance. There is also a lot more technology on offer now.
The basics remain the same in subwoofing; this is a low, square (if rounded off) black cabinet sitting on iso-elastomer feet, containing a front-firing long-throw custom 12” bass driver with a vented aluminium cone coupled with a SVS Sledge-550W Class D amplifier. The rear panel bristles with controls and connections. And it’s here where we begin to see how subs are moving forward; the old bank of potentiometers and switches have been replaced by soft push-buttons and an array of LEDs. Better yet, you don’t even need to access those buttons as the functionality of the subwoofer controls (and more) are replicated on the iDevice or Android app. This is an extremely clever and intuitive option, and hands aspects like phase/polarity, room gain compensation and parametric EQ over to the app, with no way of adjusting these settings from the rear panel. The app also allows you to create three presets; this is a fine idea, and not just for video use, as it allows you to set a more powerful bass for some music (organ and dub fans take note), a more general reinforcement role for most works, and the ‘almost off, midband enhancement’ position for more filigree audiophile fluff. I went from ‘sceptic’ to ‘fanboi’ about the app in around two minutes.
This is an line-level subwoofer, meaning you do need to run it from a dedicated LFE output on an amplifier, from the left and right outputs from a spare set of preamp outputs, or the optional wireless adaptor. There is no provision for speaker-level subwoofery. I would hope that – just as the subwoofer world has come some way in making products cross the divide between audio and video – the absence of speaker-level input doesn’t make the audiophile community go all ‘pitchforks and burning torches’ angry mob on the SB-2000 Pro because it’s a bit of a goody in reality. It’s a relatively small sub, though, and is ideal for small to medium rooms, as it gives a bit of useful ‘room gain’ without ‘room boom’. Those wanting epic gut-pummelling bass might need to look further up the range, but those after industrial-level gut-pummelling bass in a small room are asking a lot.