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SVS SB16-Ultra

Powered subwoofer with app control (Black Oak)

13 Reviews | 1 question - 1 answer

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Item # 946SB16BO

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Our take on the SVS SB16-Ultra

The SB16-Ultra is SVS's flagship sealed-box subwoofer. Whether your entertainment tastes run to Hollywood mayhem or traditional jazz, this sub's way with low frequencies combines audiophile-pleasing accuracy and musicality with mind-boggling power.

SVS SB16-Ultra driver

The SB16-Ultra's massive 16" woofer weighs 56 lbs!

Potent, precise bass to thrill music and movie lovers

The SB16-Ultra is SVS's flagship sealed-box subwoofer. Whether your entertainment tastes run to Hollywood mayhem or traditional jazz, this sub's way with low frequencies combines audiophile-pleasing accuracy and musicality with mind-boggling power.

This heroic design uses a high-output 16" driver and a smart 1500-watt amplifier, for effortless handling of even the most demanding bass passages in your favorite music and movies.

Three major innovations

The SB16-Ultra features the biggest driver ever used in an SVS subwoofer. This lightweight yet rigid 16" cone is connected to an 8" edge-wound voice coil — the largest we've ever heard of in a consumer subwoofer. Large cones are by nature difficult to control, but that oversized voice coil ensures accurate frequency response and quick transients, for bass that never sounds "slow" or boomy.

It takes serious electronic muscle to power and control such a massive woofer cone, and the built-in Sledge STA-1500D amplifier is more than up to the task. Unlike many Class D amps, this one's discrete MOSFET outputs can deliver incredible amounts of current, helping it push that 16" woofer to extreme levels of performance. Keeping all this power under control is an advanced Analog Devices digital signal processor.

The third big innovation puts precise control over the SB16-Ultra at your fingertips. SVS's smartphone app gives you total control from your Apple® or Android® device. It handles all DSP functions and conveniently stores custom presets. For added convenience, 2-way feedback shows updates in real time on both the app and subwoofer display, and built-in Bluetooth® allows adjustments to be made even when the subwoofer is not in sight. You can also control the sub via the intuitive front-panel display, or with the supplied remote.

Brains to match all that brawn

The SB16-Ultra's on-board tools for fine-tuning the sound include three digital parametric EQs with adjustable frequency, cut/boost, and Q values. Room Gain Compensation control gives you a way to help tame pesky room response issues, like the tendency of bass to become overpowering in smaller rooms. And of course you get fully adjustable phase compensation and digital crossover controls.

To make adjustments easier, SVS moved the LED display to the sub's front panel. And they also included stereo line-level RCA plus balanced XLR inputs and outputs for flexible connectivity with a wide range of audio gear, including high-end stereo preamps and A/V preamp/processors.

Product Highlights:

  • frequency response: 16-460 Hz (±3 dB)
  • built-in Class D amplifier delivers 1500 watts RMS of continuous power (5000 watts peak dynamic power)
  • Active PFC (Power Factor Correction) ensures the cleanest 1500W output regardless of your home mains supply
  • 16" fiberglass resin composite cone with cast aluminum basket for extreme performance and reliability
  • 8" diameter, high-power edge-wound voice coil
  • robust MDF cabinet construction with double-thickness front baffle and reinforced bracing to support the massive drive unit and ensure an acoustically inert environment
  • acoustic suspension (sealed) cabinet design
  • high-resolution 50MHz Analog Devices Audio DSP with 56-bit filtering for ultra-precise audio reproduction
  • continuously variable low-pass crossover (30-200 Hz, with selectable 6dB, 12dB, 18dB, or 24dB/octave filter settings, and a disable/LFE setting)
  • 3 digital parametric EQ filters with adjustable frequency, cut/boost, and Q values
  • Room Gain Compensation lets you compensate for the increase in low frequency sound as room size decreases
  • variable phase control (0-180°)
  • 3 bass response presets (Movie, Music, Custom)
  • convenient front-mounted display with subwoofer controls and 8-digit LED display
  • remote control
  • subwoofer control and bass management smartphone app for Apple® and Android® devices
  • unbalanced RCA and balanced XLR line-level/LFE inputs
  • unbalanced RCA and balanced XLR line outputs
  • 3V-12V trigger input for turning the subwoofer on/off from another component, like an A/V receiver or pre-pro
  • main power on/off switch
  • detachable power cord
  • protective non-resonant steel mesh grille
  • black oak wood veneer finish
  • 19-1/2"W x 20"H x 20-1/8"D
  • weight: 122 lbs.
  • warranty: 5 years
  • Our 60-day money-back guarantee

What's in the Box:

  • Powered subwoofer
  • Grille
  • 8' AC power cord
  • Owner's Manual

One of the best subs around. Comparable and better than some of the top high end brands.

Todd, Center Valley, PA


SVS SB16-Ultra Reviews

Average Customer Review(s):

(13 Reviews)

Strong and tight bass

Todd from Center Valley, PA on 8/22/2018

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

One of the best subs around. Comparable and better than some of the top high end brands.



SVS SB16-Ultra

Jeff from Richland, WA on 8/19/2018

I have two SB16 Ultras in my theater room, along with a full compliment of SVS Ultra and Prime series speakers to make up a 7.2.2 system. The SB16 Ultra subs are nothing short of spectacular in how powerful, accurate, deep, and fast they are! They are awesome for big movie impact, but really shine in their musicality and ability to disappear into the other speakers! Couldn't be happier with these subs, and SVS customer service is just awesome! I ought my SVS equipment directly from SVS, but only because Crutchfield wasn't carrying SVS equipmentvat the time. I'd have happily purchased through Crutchfield had that been an option at the time. Both Crutchfield and SVS customer service is top notch!



SVS SB16-Ultra

Charles from Union City, TN on 7/30/2018

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Super heavy, but once you get it placed it delivers a great sound. After a week, we're glad we bought it. Room is 23x23 with 16 foot ceiling's.



SVS SB16 Ultra

David from Bark River, Mi. on 3/15/2018

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

When you buy something like this it's gotta be good...right? Well it is but it wasn't. Long story short. Got it. Hooked it up. Ran the Audyssey and was introduced to bloated mid bass like I've never heard. Time to google and learn the intricacies of subwoofer setup. Didn't realize how geeky audiophiles get involved with bass reproduction. Now that I've got it somewhat dialed in after educating myself I must say it's quite nice. Watched Blade Runner 2049 and a bowl came out of my cupboard shattering on the floor. I couldn't be happier.

Pros: Deep accurate bass reproduction. Doesn't distort. Crank it up.

Cons: None

SVS SB16-Ultra

Kevin from Garland, TX on 12/10/2017

The SB16 Ultra is hands down the best subwoofer I've ever owned. I've owned a lot of very nice subs over the past twenty years, and never have I experienced this much power and low frequency extension (especially from a sealed box sub) with such accuracy and precision as the SB16 ULTRA delivers! In fact at this price range I bought two! An absolute beast of a sub for both music and home theater.

Pros: Very powerful amp with tons of power in reserve, beautiful piano gloss finish. iPhone app to control the volume and all the DSP features.

Cons: None

Far and away better then 12" front firing!

Adam from MA on 12/3/2017

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

After countless 10" and 12" front and down firing Klipsch, Yamaha and Poke subwoofers this SVS is far and away better then them all. First off I've got a junk pile of broken beyond warranty subs and the SVS has a 5 year warranty. Second the sound quality is everything that the reviews say. The difference is truly amazing moving from a 12" front firing Klipch R-112SW in particular. The SVS SB16-Ultra truly fills our 13' x 17' Media Center. One of the biggest downfalls of the 12" subs is the loss off sound moving 6' off center. The SVS SB16 has the ability to fill the room. Sound quality is rich, full, deep and all that I can ask for listening to Classic Hard Rock, Reggie to Indie. The phone app is flawless and a pleasure to utilize. These guys no how to build them and have allot of faith in the durability given the 5 year Warranty. Buy one if your even considering it, it's worth every hard earned dollar.

Pros: Top quality construction, appearance and excellent sound. Phone app is a handy flawless feature. 5 year warranty.

Cons: Heavy in a good way, but be sure to have friend around when it arrives.

SVS SB16-Ultra

Crutchfield customer from Laguna Beach, CA on 11/17/2017

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Bass sounds unreal!!! Deep & Rich .. Crystal clear & still booms!!! Easy set up.. Factory preset @ -10 D is actually the perfect level & sound. Looks unreal with piano black finish & metal grill. Sounds way better than the Velodyne subwoofer it replaced.



Incredible sub and worth every penny

Mark from Spring, TX on 11/13/2017

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Believe all the reviews out there, this sub is phenomenal. Incredible bass output without being "boomy", the bass is tight, hits HARD and sounds amazing. With movies the sound is just unreal, the bass literally puts you directly in the action yet with music it has "finesse" and doesn't overwhelm. The app and controls are excellent as well, very intuitive to use and convenient. No more reaching behind the sub to make adjustments, you can control everything right from your seat. The In addition to the performance, the piano black finish is gorgeous and overall the design is superb. I've had some nice home theater equipment over the years and this sub is one of the finest pieces of gear I've ever purchased. The only problem is that it's so good I'm going to have to get a second one! Highly recommended, you will not be disappointed.



So Ridiculously Beautiful

Raymond from Fresno, CA on 10/14/2017

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Stunning design and the most beautiful sound I ever heard. I cannot comprehend how people could have the nerve to say it's expensive. For what you are getting, its worth AT LEAST double the price. I simply can't get my eyes off of them (ya, I have 2 SVS SB16 Ultra Subwoofers) because of its gorgeous glossy finish and beautiful design with its massive 16" driver. These subwoofers sound so incredible that you have to hear to believe. Well, you still might not believe even after hearing them lol. SVS is SERIOUS about true sound. The phone app is a brilliant idea and extremely useful. I ONLY recommend these subwoofers to true audiophiles because we are the only ones who appreciate true audio.

Pros: Performance, Price, looks, color, finish, weight and quality

Cons: What a dumb question when it comes to these subwoofers. Of course nothing!!! :)

SVS SB16-Ultra

Crutchfield customer from Jacksonville, FL on 7/18/2017

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Great sub! may have to get another one. Endless bass volume



SVS SB16 Ultra Piano Gloss

Matthew from Ringwood, NJ on 5/14/2017

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

This sub is fantastic, reaches really low, cleanly and accurately without boominess or overhang. Will hang with any type of music with ease. Can truly pressurize a large room. Tons of adjustability if needed, easily blends with my Revel Performa3 F208's. Will be looking to add a second one soon. Seriously sounds better than more expensive units I've auditioned locally. Great sub.

Pros: Digs deep with quickness and authority Musical Adjustability and system integration Good value vs the competition


A Beast Of A Subwoofer - And Well Worth The Price

Charles from NY on 2/8/2017

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

I have a relatively high-end Home Theater which has included an SVS SB13-Ultra Subwoofer for several years. While I loved this sub, I saw that SVS recently released their new SVS SB16-Ultra Subwoofer and wanted to know if this larger unit would make a significant difference in my system's overall sound. Having now had the SB16 for a week, the answer is a very clear "yes". Now to be fair to what is truly an excellent product in the SB13, both models are very fast and clear even in the lowest portions of the sound register. The SB16 separated itself, however, in several regards. First off, for relatively simple recordings of rock, jazz, and pop the SB16 was a bit more accurate so that you heard a "cleaner" version of what the musicians had recorded. For more complex music such as heavily instrumented rock, tracks with a heavy drum/bass line, or a full orchestras (either with music discs or within the score of a movie), the SB16 made an even greater difference in that the overall sound of my system became significantly fuller and more "immersive". That was huge! Finally, for various "effects" that take place in movies (e.g., stuff blowing up, helicopters moving overhead) their was no question that the SB16 provided a fuller sense of in-your-face action - a critical aspect of achieving an excellent home theater experience. Overall, SVS offers a great line of subwoofers and the SB16 now stands out as the "beast of the bunch". Very highly recommended and a "must hear"!

Pros: Clarity, depth, and sheer ability to fill a room with accurate bass/low-end sound.

Cons: None

Best sub hands down!

Chuck from Burnsville, MN on 1/29/2017

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Once I was able to move this to my Home Theater system and connect it, I was able to do the setup, which was very easy with my Denon AVR 7200-WX processor. Once balanced with my DEF Tech 8000 Cube, the low end was astonishing and crisp. With both music and video, the bass response was pure, deep and lingered like the live version with a bass feel in your bones.. This thing is built like a rock! I am so pleased with the performance, I will double up with a second SVS SB16-Ultra soon. Worth every penny. The APP is so cool and has so many options to customize and save. Great technology and 'thinking outside the box'.

Pros: Performance and sound.

Cons: Need 2 to 3 people to position it.


Hands-on research

Features and Specs

Enclosure Acoustic Suspension
Video Shielded No
Woofer Size (inches) 16
Woofer Composition Composite fiberglass/resin
Firing Direction Front
Wireless No
Preamp-Level Inputs Yes
Speaker-Level Inputs No
Speaker-Level Outputs No
Low-Pass Crossover Freq 50-160 Hz
High-Pass Crossover Freq None
Phase Switch Yes
Amplifier Output (watts) 1500
Frequency Response 16-460 Hz
Height (inches) 20
Width (inches) 19-1/2
Depth (inches) 20-1/8
Weight 122 lbs
Speaker Parts Warranty 5 Years
Speaker Labor Warranty 5 Years
Amplifier Parts Warranty 5 Years
Amplifier Labor Warranty 5 Years

Product Research


16" High Output Woofer: The SVS PB16-Ultra power subwoofer employs a light and rigid 16" Ultra driver cone which consists of a premium fiberglass resin composite with optimal stiffness to mass ratio to maximize movement of air and sonic energy without ever distorting or losing control. Pushing the driver are four massive, dedicated toroidal ferrite magnets that unleash a staggering 95mm peak to peak Xmech excursion (82mm Xmax) and the highest levels of motor force and palpable SPLs. An 8" edge wound voice coil ensures ultra-low distortion and pinpoint control at the highest drive levels resulting in incredible output and low frequency extension. By nature, larger drivers are more difficult to control, but the unprecedented voice coil design ensures accuracy in frequency response and speed in transients without ever sounding boomy.

STA-1500D Sledge Amplifier: A conservatively rated 1,500 watts continuous / 5,000 watts peak power Sledge STA-1500D amplifier pushes the 16" driver to extreme levels of performance. This discrete MOSFET amplifier delivers astonishing levels of effortless, distortion-free power. This enormous amount of power is harnessed and controlled by an advanced 50MHz Analog Devices Audio DSP with 56-bit filtering to handle the nearly limitless power, only unleashing the perfect amount of low frequency energy at just the right time.

Acoustically Inert MDF Enclosure: The SVS PB16-Ultra powered subwoofer features a rigid MDF (Medium Density Fiberboard) cabinet with a double thick MDF front baffle and rigid internal bracing to support the massive drive unit and to ensure an acoustically inert environment. The highly reinforced internal design eliminates any chance of coloration or resonance from the cabinet, even when the deepest low frequencies are played at reference sound pressure levels. Screw-in rubber feet and a non-resonant steel mesh grille further resist unwanted distortion or coloration caused by vibration.

Control Types: The SVS PB16-Ultra Subwoofer can be controlled from the new SVS Mobile App, an included IR Remote Control, or via the front-panel for unprecedented flexibility when optimizing performance for room layout, speakers, system set-up and more.

  • Subwoofer App Control: The SVS subwoofer app for Apple iOS 8.0+ & Android OS 4.3+ controls all DSP functions and conveniently stores custom presets. The app lets you fine tune the powered subwoofer from your smartphone or tablet via a wireless Bluetooth connection. With a few simple adjustments, you can eliminate boomy spots, set crossover frequencies and make other adjustments to get the deepest, tightest, most accurate and room-energizing bass experience possible from The SVS PB16-Ultra powered subwoofer.  For added convenience, two-way feedback shows updates in real-time on both the app and subwoofer interface. The SVS subwoofer app is the only way to access all of the advanced control features available on the PB16-Ultra and it is the most convenient option for controlling every feature.
  • IR Remote: The included IR remote can be used to adjust nearly every one of the advanced subwoofer control settings with two-way feedback on the front panel display.
  • Front-Panel: The front panel features an intuitive user interface with simplified controls that can be used to adjust the majority of the advanced subwoofer control settings.

Control Functions: The following control functions are available.

  • Volume: The Volume Control (-60 to 0dB in 1dB/step) affects how loud the powered subwoofer plays. It should be adjusted to match the output level of your loudspeakers.
  • Low Pass Filter: The Low Pass Filter sets the frequency and slope for the low frequencies that will be played by the powered subwoofer. Frequency choices include 30-200Hz in 1kHz increments Four Slope choices are available; 6 dB, 12 dB, 18 dB, and 24 dB per octave. You can disable the Low Pass Filter, if your AV receiver features an LFE output and built-in bass management for the subwoofer.
  • Phase Adjustment: Solves sound wave cancellation issues at specific frequencies and perfectly aligns the arrival of output from speakers and subwoofers to your listening position. Normally set to 0° if the subwoofer is near the main speakers. Adjusting Phase (0°-180° in 1 degree steps) shifts timing of the subwoofer output to align with the main speakers or additional subwoofers.
  • Polarity: In some cases, reversing polarity solves dips or humps at the crossover frequency between a subwoofer and speaker and can be used to fix bass nulls or overly boomy spots in the listening area. Reversing the electrical polarity of the subwoofer amplifier makes it so the woofer moves in when speaker drivers move out and is normally set to positive.
  • Parametric EQ: Powerful tool for removing peaks and dips in your listening area, and for creating custom subwoofer output based on personal listening preferences. Allows you to set the desired center frequency (20, 22, 25, 28, 30-200Hz in 1Hz steps) of the filter, increase or decrease the SPL dB (-12 to +6dB in 1dB steps) of the filter, or adjust the bandwidth (0.2-10.0 in 0.1 steps) of the filter.
  • Room Gain Compensation: The Room Gain Compensation function allows the subwoofer to be set to compensate for the increase in low frequency sound based upon the size of the room, if it is felt there is too much bass. Small rooms will have a greater increase in low frequency sound than larger rooms. There is no need to use this control unless it is felt there is too much low frequency energy being generated in the listening environment. The  RGC Frequency can be set to 25, 31, or 40Hz. The RGC Slope can be set to  6dB or 12dB.
  • Custom Presets: Allows up to three pre-saved settings for movie, music and custom. This enables easy switching to optimize your PB16-Ultras output and settings based on your specific listening preferences with different kinds of content.

Balanced & Unbalanced Connectivity: There are two types of input & output connectors on the PB16-Ultra powered sub; Balanced XLR and unbalanced RCA. There are Left/Right input and output channels for both types of connectors.

  • Inputs: For a single mono input connection to a home theater receiver with an LFE output, use the powered sub's right input. For stereo receivers without an LFE input, use both the L/R inputs.
  • Outputs: The output connectors are typically used to either daisy-chain additional subwoofers with single or dual unfiltered outputs, or as the input to a power amplifier for the Left and Right main channels after using the High Pass Filter and Delay functions with two channel analog preamps.

Auto/Standby & On Switch: If this switch is set to "Auto/Standby", it will automatically turn-on the powered subwoofer in the presence of an audio signal. If no signal is present for a period of several minutes, the powered subwoofer will enter "Standby" mode, where power consumption will be less than 0.5 watts. If this switch is set to "On", the amplifier will remain on continuously and will not enter "Standby" mode.

Trigger Input: The powered sub's 3.5mm Trigger Input (3V-12V) will automatically turn the subwoofer on/off when a signal is sent to it from another component in the system (typically the pre/pro or AV receiver). The other component in the system must be equipped with a trigger output feature and requires a TS 1/8" mono-minijack cable (sold separately)

Placement Options: If possible, place the subwoofer near the front stage, for best blending with the front and center loudspeaker channels.

  • Corner Placement: Corner placement will accommodate most rooms and will reduce the chances for encountering a null (an acoustic cancellation in the bass response) at the listening position. If your AV receiver equalizes the subwoofer channel during auto-set-up, corner placement will often provide the best overall performance.
  • Other Placement Options: If corner placement sound excessively boomy, then try moving the subwoofer to other available locations along the front stage, listening for the best balance of output and a smooth accurate response. Always redo the auto-set-up of your AV receiver after moving the subwoofer to a different location to ensure the acoustic distance and calibration level are set correctly.
  • Dual Subs: To maximize the bass output and impact of your home theater, two PB16-Ultra(s) can be paired; one on either side of your room.

Our Product Research Team

At Crutchfield, you'll get detailed, accurate information that's hard to find elsewhere. That's because we have our own in-house Product Research team. They verify what’s in the box, check the owner's manual, and record dimensions, features and specs. We stay on top of new products and technologies to help people make informed choices.

Q & A

Customer Q&A

Crutchfield asked  
Why did you buy this?

Great reviews around the internet. [ Anthony  Nov 28, 2018 ]
TRYING IT OUT [ CHARLES  Jul 03, 2017 ]
Great ratings for a subwoofer [ TODD  Aug 08, 2018 ]
Because they are amazing for the price. I have owned several SVS products over the years. their 16 Ultra series is the best yet. I own a pair of PB16's and they're incredible. I would order another pair of them but I need a smaller footprint for the area these are going in. I cant wait for them to arrive. [ Brian  Apr 05, 2018 ]
SVS subwoofers have world class build and sound quality. They compete with subwoofers costing thousands more. [ FREDDIE  Dec 30, 2017 ]
I sampled this subwoofer at the Magnolia center of my local Best Buy. I have never heard such an amazingly deep and rich base from any other previously sampled subwoofer. I literally could not believe my ears!! Based on that experience I just had to get it. [ RODOLFO E  Sep 21, 2017 ]
great reviews at a good price. [ Tim  Jan 16, 2017 ]
Reviews and input from crutchfield advisor [ Chuck  Jan 15, 2017 ]

1 question already asked

Thanks for your question. Any special offers would be listed on the main product page. If you would like to discuss further you can contact an Advisor directly by phone (1-800-324-9695) or online chat. [ Kenny  Feb 08, 2017 ]  Staff