Choosing the Best Subwoofer for your Home Theater

How to choose the best subwoofer for your theater

With such a wide range of subwoofer choices in the SVS line-up, choosing the best model for your system can be daunting. In this article, we take the guesswork out of the process to help you find the perfect match!

Discussed below are some variables which can influence the selection process, followed by some model recommendations for common audio & home theater system applications.

Décor and Room Integration

Successful room and décor integration is a high priority for many enthusiasts. Below are a few common issues to consider.

  • Overall Size/Footprint: A subwoofer needs to fit into the allocated location without protruding into the room or affecting normal traffic patterns. For planning purposes, use the ‘real world’ footprint of the subwoofer, which includes the grille and some extra space for the power cord and signal cable. In locations where floor space is tight, consider our sealed box and ported cylinder models.
  • Finish Options: SVS offers several finish options to complement your loudspeakers and other AV components. Piano gloss is gorgeous and perfect for upscale decors. Consider durable black ash/oak for high-traffic areas with kids and pets or to match a classic wood look. In dedicated home theaters where the lights are dimmed, lower reflectivity finishes will help minimize light glare.

Listening Room Size and Playback Level

Room size and layout has a major influence on subwoofer performance. Large rooms with open floor plans and vaulted ceilings will require a more powerful subwoofer in order to deliver excellent performance.

In addition to room size, the system playback level also has a significant influence. If you like to push the system to loud levels (like an IMAX theater) and want to ‘feel the bass’ on demanding action and sci-fi movies, consider our more powerful extreme performance models. Conversely, if you listen at more moderate levels, a less powerful model can deliver a no-compromise experience, and will also be easy to integrate in your room.

Recommended Models –
Common System Applications

Below are some subwoofer model recommendations for common system applications. While these recommendations are a good starting point, contact SVS Customer Service for an expert consultation and comprehensive system evaluation to make sure you are choosing the best model.

  • PC-Based Audio System: Usually situated in an office or den, the diminutive SB-1000 is a natural choice for a PC-based audio system, and can fit almost anywhere in the room, even behind the PC monitor or under a work desk.
  • Secondary Media System - Bedroom: This increasingly common application typically involves a wall-mounted HDTV, some type of media streaming device, and a sound bar or small satellite speakers. Consider the SB-1000 or SB-2000 for a great combination of sound quality, performance and compact size.
  • Primary Media System – Living/Family Room: This popular application lends itself to the widest possible range of subwoofer models, depending on the room size, playback level and décor integration. The SB-2000, SB13-Ultra, PC-2000 and PB-2000 are all excellent choices in this category. 
  • Dedicated Home Theater System: In this application, demanding action and sci-fi movies are typically played at IMAX theater levels. Maximum performance and high output (particularly at the deepest frequencies) is a top priority.

    This is where the SVS big guns come into their own, delivering an exciting and immersive experience on movie night. Depending on the room size, the following models are all excellent choices: PC-2000 or PB-2000, PC12-Plus or PB12-Plus, SB13-Ultra, PC13-Ultra or PB13-Ultra. The ported cylinder models offer essentially the same performance as their ported box counterparts, but with a smaller footprint, and are a great choice where floor space is tight.
  • 2-Channel Music System: Our sealed box subwoofers are a natural choice for critical music applications, and will deliver that tight, fast, detailed and articulate bass which music lovers crave.

    Depending on the room size and playback level, the SB-1000, SB-2000 and SB13-Ultra will all deliver a fantastic music experience. For the ultimate in 2-channel bass, consider dual subs for true stereo bass and a more balanced soundstage.

Need more information?

To find the subwoofer that goes with your existing speakers, we developed the Merlin matching engine. With over speaker 4,000 models across every brand on the market and all hand reviewed by our experts, Merlin will guide you to the perfect fit. For even more precision, our customer service team can review your exact requirements and develop a total system recommendation: call (1.877.626.5623), email or chat live with us.

Looking for system optimization tips? Check out these additional articles from SVS.

Introduction to Dolby Atmos | Why go Dual? | The Art of Speaker Placement | Digital Bass Management

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