SVS Prime and Ultra Series Speakers:
Which are right for me?
Our SVS Sound Experts are frequently asked about the differences between the Prime and Ultra Series speakers. We created this page to help you compare the two speaker lines so you can make the best decision possible when building your home theater or audio system.
Whether you choose SVS Prime, Ultra or a combination of both speaker lines, you’ll know you’re getting pinpoint accuracy, powerful dynamics, stirring clarity and all the thrills of a world class immersive audio experience, for an unmatched price.
A few things to know about all SVS speakers:
Mixing and Matching SVS Speakers
All SVS Prime Series speakers are timbre-matched to all Ultra Series speakers. This means you can seamlessly mix any speakers between the two lines, with any SVS subwoofers to create your ideal 5.1, 7.2, 11.2.4 or any other home theater surround sound system.
Design and Engineering
Regardless of price or form factor, all SVS speakers are crafted in the same painstaking manner. The approach brings together exacting science with a passionate expression of acoustic philosophy, and the love of pure, dynamically charged sound.
Before a model is ever built, drivers and cabinets are modeled using the most sophisticated computer-aided design (CAD) and Finite Element Analysis (FEA) tools and processes available. Prototypes are constructed and rigorously measured and optimized in an anechoic chamber, free of reverberations, with various acoustic test and measurement systems to achieve pitch-perfect frequency response.
After the ideal theoretical frequency response is achieved, SVS goes through an exhaustive listening and measurement process in calibrated listening rooms designed to resemble typical home environments. Our engineers also bring every SVS prototype home and listen in their own personal systems and elsewhere. The goal is to hear the speakers in as many environments as possible with as much content as possible so they can be optimally tuned for the real world. Action movies, female vocalists, EDM music, rock concert Blu-rays, streaming radio, gaming consoles, we tune for everything in rooms of all shapes and sizes.
The result, loudspeakers that measure with near-perfect real-world frequency response, but that are also optimized to sound crisp, clear and bold with music and cinematic content, in a real world listening environment like your home.
Every speaker in the SVS Prime and Ultra Series lines deliver a truly high-end audio experience with all the dynamic impact, accuracy, clarity, imaging and transparency of much more expensive speakers. SVS speakers represent the pinnacle of high performance audio value.
Prime vs. Ultra Series Speakers: What are the key differences?
Are the Ultra Series Speakers twice as good as the Prime since they cost twice as much?
An easy way to think about performance for the price is the Prime Series gets you the lion’s share of the Ultra Series performance, but costs half as much. In fact, many of the Prime Series’ features, like the front baffle chamfers, aluminum dome tweeter and SoundMatch crossover, come directly from the Ultra speakers. We infused as much of the Ultra Series into the Prime as possible to create speakers with unmatched sound quality and dynamics for the price.
For many, the extra performance from the Ultra Series can be game-changing, especially if you have a larger room or do serious critical listening. Ultra speakers are capable of greater dynamic impact and deeper low frequency extension. They also feature different cone materials, machined trim rings, larger cabinets with heavier bracing and two sets of binding posts, which allows for bi-amping if you want to power the tweeter and woofer separately. If these are priorities, Ultra speakers are more than worth the upgrade.
All SVS speakers outperform much more expensive tower, bookshelf, surround and Atmos speakers from other brands so it really comes down to your listening preferences, room, budget and other lifestyle factors when choosing the speakers that are best for you.
What is the best SVS tower speaker for me: Prime Tower, Prime Pinnacle or Ultra Tower?
Prime Tower speaker is considered among the top loudspeakers under $1,000 with all the qualities of a high-end reference floorstanding speaker, but at a much more inclusive price. Excellent clarity and imaging, exciting dynamics, punchy and detailed bass, all from a compact and elegant cabinet. It does everything well and can easily be integrated into nearly any room.
Prime Pinnacle speaker is in the same family as Prime Tower but it features a more advanced internal design with a larger cabinet with more drivers. These enhancements allow it to create a more refined and accurate soundstage with extreme linearity and effortless low frequency response. The added drivers and cabinet volume are a better fit if you have a very large room and/or really like to crank it when listening. It plays louder and lower than its brethren and really brings music and movies to life with a combination of audiophile refinement and breathtaking home theater dynamics.
Ultra Tower speaker is the reference flagship loudspeaker in the SVS line-up. It’s throws a massive and precise soundstage with crisp dynamics and commands a room with bass you can feel, while remaining accurate in frequency response. Because of the dual-opposing 8-inch woofers and the sweeping cabinet profile, the Ultra Tower speaker sounds best when it has some space around it. This means it’s not as forgiving in terms of room placement as the Prime Tower and Pinnacle speakers, but it outperforms the other models in every measurable category.
What are the differences in cabinet design?
The Ultra Series features dual binding posts, versus the full range single binding posts on the Prime Series. Slight variations to the driver bezel also give the Ultra Series a more luxurious look. Both SVS Prime and Ultra lines blend seamlessly together visually with a high end industrial design.
What are the differences in dimensions?
Ultra Bookshelf, Tower, and Center speaker cabinets are all slightly larger than the Prime versions, which results in slightly better dynamic output for the Ultra speakers.
What are the key differences between the Prime and Ultra Tower Speakers?
The biggest difference is the Ultra Tower speaker’s dual-opposing eight-inch woofers housed in a sealed sub-enclosure at the base of the speaker. The sweeping side panels of the Ultra Tower are also non-parallel so each of the 8-inch woofers fire in different directions to fill a room with deep, effortless and accurate bass. The Prime Tower has a sleeker cabinet design with dual, front-firing 6.5-inch woofers on the front baffle for deep and powerful low frequency playback. The Ultra Tower also has an additional mid-range driver.
What are the speaker finish options?
All Ultra Series speakers are available in two finishes with no price difference, a stunning Piano Gloss Black finish and a handsome real wood Black Oak Veneer. The Ultra Bookshelf is also available in a stylish Piano White Gloss finish.
All Prime Series speakers are available in a premium Black Ash vinyl finish with a painted front baffle. As an upgrade, all Prime Speakers are available in a Piano Gloss Black finish. The Prime Satellite and Elevation are also available with a Piano Gloss White upgrade.
Speaker Video Resources
SVS System Builder Tool
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Prime Series Speakers
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Smooth, crisp and refined sound without sacrificing effortless bass and jaw-dropping impact. Prime Pinnacle speakers render the finest musical details with breathtaking clarity and deliver massive cinematic dynamics to bring thrilling and immersive sound within everyone’s reach.
Exceptional clarity, flawless tonal balance and room-energizing bass response, the Prime Tower speakers set the benchmark as best floorstanding speakers under $1,000 with stunning performances in a two-channel audiophile or surround sound home theater systems.
Class-defining full range bookshelf speaker delivers amazing sound quality and stunning dynamics normally reserved for speakers costing much more. Perfect as mains, surrounds or other speakers in a two-channel audiophile or home theater surround sound system.
An uncompromised, high fidelity height channel speaker for Dolby Atmos, DTS:X or Auro-3D, its incredible versatility and easy installation on walls or ceilings also lets it serve as a multi-purpose home theater speaker to solve virtually any room placement issue.
Amazingly big sound from the most compact speaker in the SVS line. The Prime Satellite defies expectations with powerful dynamism and pinpoint accuracy as a front, surround, center or height channel speaker.
True 3-way center channel speaker, the Prime Center delivers crystal clear and natural sounding dialogue and vocals with an expansive soundstage and excellent dispersion for a convincing surround sound home theater experience.
Prime Wireless Speaker
The SVS Prime Wireless Speaker combines immersive, reference quality sound with smart speaker control and future facing connectivity. Equipped with both WiFi and Bluetooth connectivity and the ability to control from your smartphone or any mobile device, it offers true stereo separation, a massively powerful internal amplifier, a high-resolution 192KHz/24-bit DAC and a precisely tuned digital crossover for sound quality that’s miles ahead of any other smart wireless speaker available.
Ultra Series Speakers
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Standing toe-to-toe with the finest speakers in the world, the flagship SVS Ultra Tower speaker’s innovative driver design and cabinet geometry convey incredible resolution, absolute transparency, commanding bass and crisp, powerful dynamics.
Reference bookshelf speakers with jaw-dropping dynamics and imaging, unveiled highs and deep low frequency extension. The Ultra Bookshelf unreservedly stakes a claim as the best bookshelf speakers under $1,000.
Reference three-way Ultra Center speaker delivers airy, unveiled highs with pristine clarity for unerring realism and dialogue intelligibility. Its specially designed for outstanding dispersion characteristics and accurate frequency response throughout a room.
Black Oak will resume shipping June 15th.