Sun. Feb 24th, 2019

SVS Prime Wi-fi audio system evaluation

Let’s get this out of the best way upfront: SVS’ slick new pair of wi-fi audio system, the Prime Wi-fi, don’t include a bodily distant, and it’s form of bizarre.

That’s very true given the fashionable state of audio system. Audiophile setups meant for leather-chair listening periods with tumbler in hand are more and more making approach for soundbars and audio system that work together with your TV distant or, on the different finish of issues, monolithic, multiroom good audio system. However then, SVS has all the time been extra occupied with crafting top-tier sound at mid-tier costs (and making actually epic subwoofers) than maintaining with developments.

Name the Prime Wi-fi a concession of types, however on SVS’ personal phrases. With a number of inputs, onboard bodily controls, and Play-Fi’s app-based streaming and management system, these shiny black bins can accommodate TV sound, and even be part of a multiroom audio setup. However before everything, they’re designed for old style musical bliss — and in that position they excel.

Riley Younger/Digital Tendencies

Out of the field

Pulling the Prime Wi-fi from their foam-packed bins is strikingly acquainted for anybody acquainted with the standard Prime Audio system, which is amongst our favourite speaker methods ever created in terms of sheer efficiency to your dollars. The Prime Wi-fi don’t break any molds right here — they’re basically simply the Prime satellite tv for pc audio system, elevated from the bottom to make room for digital guts and onboard amplification.

The piano-gloss cupboards are even sexier and extra luxurious in individual.

If you happen to’ve by no means seen the Prime within the flesh, nevertheless, listed below are two issues to know: First, the Prime household’s front-tapered cupboards supply simply sufficient aptitude to face other than the mob of faceless black bins, and second, the thick lacquer of the piano-gloss cupboards is even sexier and extra luxurious in individual. The audio system are elevated on the base, presumably for his or her amplification and circuitry, whereas the proper speaker boasts a show panel and twin management knobs.

The material grills arrive connected and that’s most likely for the perfect — trying below the hood reveals extra science than artwork, which can also be why we don’t thoughts that the grills connect with pegs fairly than magnets. Included within the minimalist, remote-less package deal are simply two cables (one for energy and one to attach the audio system in stereo), sticky pads, and instruction supplies.


As talked about, there’s just one energy cable right here, because the Prime Wi-fi make the most of a single connection cable to ship audio and energy the left speaker. After plugging within the right-side grasp and connecting mentioned cable, the audio system ought to be able to pair mechanically.

These acquainted with Play-Fi — and the numerous pitfalls of its early days — would possibly worry pairing is a chore, however the Prime Wi-fi are surprisingly intuitive there. Merely obtain the Play-Fi app and comply with the directions to hook up with your Wi-Fi community. Android customers want solely enter their Wi-Fi password, although iOS customers might want to full a few further steps. We related to the audio system twice, together with to our notoriously precarious workplace Wi-Fi, encountering zero points. Thanks, Play-Fi first adopters.

The audio system go into Bluetooth pairing mechanically, requiring solely that you simply flip the left management knob to the Bluetooth enter, however Wi-Fi is by far the popular streaming methodology for high quality.

Options and design

As talked about, the Prime Wi-fi are merely lovely of their shiny black simplicity. As an adaptation of Prime’s satellite tv for pc audio system, they’re smaller than one would possibly assume primarily based on their footage at simply 10-inches tall, 6-inches large, and 7-inches deep. Every speaker weighs slightly below 9 kilos. We’re barely disappointment that, not like the passive satellites, the Prime Wi-fi don’t come within the Lennon-white lacquer (trace, trace).

Below every grill rests the Prime collection’ pretty 1-inch aluminum dome tweeter, matched by a polypropylene four.5-inch woofer with an aluminum shorting ring designed to create much less distortion and improve increased frequencies. Every driver receives a claimed 50 watts for a complete of 200 watts of Class D amplification. Simply as importantly, the crossover between tweeter and driver is digitally managed to align the frequencies for supreme readability and accuracy.

In the back of the proper speaker are inputs aplenty, together with analog ports in each three.5mm and RCA, a digital Optical enter, Ethernet out and in connection (Wi-Fi labored wonderful for us), and an output for including a subwoofer, which is effectively value consideration for hip-hop followers. The audio system supply a claimed frequency response of 52Hz-22kHz, however as one would possibly count on, they don’t precisely excel at delivering low bass.

As talked about, a pair of digital knobs on the proper speaker’s entrance face function onboard controls; The proper knob controls quantity and play/pause with a spin or press respectively, whereas the left knob scrolls via the inputs, in addition to permitting for the creation of six presets to program your favourite streaming service, web radio station, and even playlists via the Play-Fi app. We’ve by no means had a lot use for such presets, however hey, they’re there if you happen to do.

Curiously, there’s no energy button wherever on board. An SVS rep instructed us that is by design, so the audio system are all the time able to stream, and certainly, it’s very fast and straightforward to go from silence to streaming. We’re additionally instructed the audio system adjust to “all low energy Power Star necessities for merchandise of their sort,” although it does really feel a little bit odd to not flip them off.

Not your father’s Play-Fi

As referenced, Play-Fi has clearly improved fairly a bit since we final bought hands-on with it. The fantastic thing about Play-Fi has all the time been its open-source nature, which permits multiroom streaming between audio system of all shapes, sizes, and types from Pioneer to MacIntosh (and every little thing in between). After utilizing the app for per week or so, the system proved easy and secure, with only a little bit of a studying curve to get issues going.

The Play-Fi streaming system proved easy and secure.

After setup, the Prime Wi-fi reliably confirmed up each within the Play-Fi app and in our Spotify app, making streaming easy and straightforward. Outdoors of linking to a number of audio system, in addition to some fundamental Amazon Alexa management, there aren’t a ton of choices to play with right here, although Play-Fi does enable a DLNA-supported NAS drive in your community to stream high-resolution tracks. There are additionally a number of supported streaming companies, together with Spotify, Pandora, Tidal, and plenty of others, however no Apple Music — if that’s your jam, you’ll must stream by way of Bluetooth.

Together with streaming quantity and grouping to different audio system, Play-Fi additionally permits for quantity management of wired inputs like your TV or turntable, although you’ll have to hunt out the function within the extras by way of the higher proper “+” signal. Sadly, there’s no approach to change inputs remotely, although we had been in a position to change from the Optical enter to Wi-Fi streaming by merely choosing the audio system in Spotify.


What can we are saying concerning the Prime Wi-fi sound besides that it’s spectacular? We fell in love with the unique Prime collection from day one, so it’s no shock that souping up a pair from the household with customized tuned amplification and digital crossovers would jibe good with our ears.

Clear, easy, and articulate sound springs forth from the audio system proper from the beginning, providing a premium listening expertise at a comparatively reasonably priced worth. The stereo picture is tight but expansive, providing depth and dimension on each the horizontal and vertical axes, and there’s loads of dynamic expression when streaming high-quality tracks as effectively.

Riley Younger/Digital Tendencies

The Prime Wi-fi completely sing within the higher midrange and treble, providing immaculate readability and element, whereas the steadiness between registers makes for easy transitioning. Every brassy guitar pluck, crunchy synth arpeggio, or papery textured snare brush is delivered to the forefront with grace and definition, making for a stunning hear throughout genres.

We even let the Prime Wi-fi moonlight as our TV audio resolution, they usually did a wonderful job with each dialogue and results. Whereas we often discovered it a chore to defer to a cellular machine to regulate quantity, it by no means turned an all-out annoyance, and Play-Fi defaults to your telephone’s bodily buttons whereas it’s working within the background to make issues simpler.

Clear, easy, articulate, sound.

As satellite tv for pc audio system by commerce, we weren’t stunned that the Prime Wi-fi are inclined to lean on the brilliant facet of the sound signature, and after we cued up bass-heavy tracks like The Weeknd’s Starboy, we had been left a little bit flat, wishing for that heat decrease punch to the groove that by no means fairly arrived. That’s in distinction to bigger powered bookshelf pairs, like KEF’s unbelievable LS50 Wi-fi, which actually enhance with a subwoofer, however carry even bass-laden tracks on their very own.

If you end up looking for out the sub and decrease bass-heavy tracks extra usually than articulate acoustic tracks or basic rock, you’ll positively wish to add a subwoofer into the equation. Fortunately, SVS has loads of choices there that won’t solely match your audio system’ bodily aesthetic, however they’ll even be prone to match sonically for a still-affordable 2.1 system with out the necessity for separate amplification.

Guarantee info

SVS stands behind its merchandise firmly, providing each a 45-day risk-free trial and a two-year guarantee.

Our Take

Whereas SVS’ Prime Wi-fi might not be the perfect setup for TV or element audio, in each different approach they meet or exceed expectations, providing clear, detailed, and dynamic sound alongside dependable streaming from all kinds of choices.

Is there a greater different?

You’ll have to maneuver up in worth a good bit to outdo the Prime Wi-fi in terms of efficiency. The aforementioned LS50 Wi-fi handily outdo them in terms of instrumental texture, definition, and dynamic expression within the finer moments, they usually additionally supply significantly better bass response. They’re additionally almost 4 instances the fee. We’ll have an interest to see the place KEF’s LSX wi-fi slot in (evaluation coming quickly) — they nonetheless run almost double the Prime Wi-fi at $1,100.

SVS Prime Wi-fi audio system In contrast To

These seeking to save a couple of dollars might have a look at Aperion’s getting older however glorious Allaire Bluetooth audio system, which provide extra bass however fewer choices and fewer readability and element. Whereas there are many spectacular passive audio system across the $500 vary, reminiscent of ELAC’s Uni-Fi UB5 and KEF’s Q150, there simply aren’t many choices within the $600 worth vary that may give you this sort of efficiency in an all-in-one package deal.

How lengthy will it final?

The Prime Wi-fi have extraordinarily stable construct high quality from a sterling title within the enterprise. With Play-Fi, the audio system ought to develop in time with new app updates and added options, so we count on them to final a protracted whereas.

Must you purchase it?

If you happen to’re in search of a pair of wi-fi audio system with a small profile, beautiful design, and music-first perspective, don’t even hesitate.

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