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How to Test Amplifier Output with Multimeter

How to Test Amplifier Output with Multimeter

While working on your electrical project, you might come across an amplifier. An amplifier is an electrical device used to enhance any electrical signal, for those who don’t know. For instance, if you are a lover of loud and chest-thumping music, you will need an amplifier to increase the sound and quality of your speakers.

How to Test Amplifier Output with Multimeter
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That said, you don’t want to overpower your speakers as there is a decent chance that they might get damaged permanently. In order to avoid such inconvenience, first, you need to know how to test amplifier output with a multimeter.

Given the simplicity of an amplifier, you might be wondering why you would need to know how to use it? It is because there is more to amplifiers than meets the eye. For starters, you cannot use all amplifiers on all types of speakers. Not knowing how to use your amplifier, you might connect an incompatible amplifier to your speaker and end up blowing it.

How Does an Amplifier Work?

How Does an Amplifier Work?
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To get a better understanding of an amplifier, you need to know how it works. So before we share the steps to test an amplifier, we would like to share how an amplifier works. An amplifier has three main components that you need to know about.

Amplifier Power:

When you look at the amplifier, you will see a 12-volt power wire connected to the battery. You will also see a ground wire; this wire should be connected to the chassis ground, and the other wire is to turn on and off the amplifier.

Amplifier Input:

The RCA wire is where the input signal comes in. The RCA has three or more color-coded plugs extended to three color-coded jacks.

Amplifier Output:

The output wire is used to give you the amplified signal. This wire is also an RCA cable since RCA cables are best for carrying input and output signals for an amplifier.

Amplifier Type

Amplifier Type
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First off, you need to know what kind of amplifier you need and which you will be operating. From a basic amplifier such as a sandbox, simple speaker, or other sound sources to complicated amplifiers found in cars and other vehicles, they all have the same functionality but different looks. All of these amplifiers enhance the sound quality, but their working and power specifications are different.

If you are working on a car amplifier, you need to know everything about it. Most probably, you will find all the necessary information you need on your vehicle’s manual. Once you have an amplifier in front of you, you need to determine which wire is used for testing. Finding the testing wire is a bit tricky. At first, you might get confused between multiple cables.

Try to locate the main plug among those multiple wires. Doing so will make your search easier. Usually, the central pin with a 12-V mark or the close mark indicates the testing wire. If you can’t find the testing wire, you can refer to the manual or google the amp model to check its specifications and wiring.

How to Test Amplifier Output With a Multimeter

How to Test Amplifier Output With a Multimeter
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Those were some basics of an amplifier, so let’s proceed to the testing process.

Step 1: Prepare the Multimeter

When testing your amplifier with a multimeter, the first thing you should do is to get the multimeter ready for the testing process. The configuring process of a multimeter is easy and quick. In order to start the configuration process, you need to find the correct wires and sockets.

Start by connecting the black probe and a common socket, and the socket is most likely labeled as COM. After that, connect the red wire to the socket with a label A on it. If you are unsure which socket to connect the red wire to, pick the one with the highest amperage. In most cases, it’s the socket with the highest amperage to which you connect the red wire. That said, we would also recommend you confirm that by referring to the user manual of the amplifier.

After connecting the wires to their corresponding sockets, you need to turn the multimeter’s dial to the required settings. Different devices may have different settings, and therefore keep in mind that the wires will always connect to their corresponding sockets.

Step 2: Test your Amplifier

Basic or external amplifiers are easy to locate and operate. On the other hand, internal amplifiers such as those in your car need a bit of searching. That said, amplifiers in older vehicles are more accessible to locate than those in newer models. The latest vehicle models come with hidden amplifier settings. The best way to deal with them is to read the user manual to get an insight into what you are working with.

After locating the amplifier, you need to locate and check out its wires. As we mentioned earlier, the amplifier you are using might not have the same setting. That is where you refer to the provided manual and look for wires that can be tested, and those must be left out. After finding the correct wire, turn it on. You would see and could tell by the meter of the multimeter that your amplifier is working or not. In case your amplifier doesn’t work, you can repair or replace it as you see fit.

You may or may not understand the problem. Below are a few tips to understand the problem with the amplifier. You can use these tips to detect the fault and try to solve it, if possible.

  • If your amplifier does not start, the battery is likely either fused or not working on both sides. If that is the case, you will need to change the fuse.
  • Sometimes the protected mode is enabled. In such cases, you need to disconnect everything and assemble everything from the beginning. If the amplifier still isn’t running, that means there is nothing wrong with your amplifier. Your speaker or device might be damaged.
  • In case there is a problem with the output of your amplifier, you will have to check all the settings and the output source as well.
  • Commonly the output of your amplifier is either low or distorted. For instance, even on the highest volume, the output sound is low. It may be hearing some kind of noise in the background. In that case, you need to clear all the variables and reset all the settings. You can also try turning up and down the volume to see if that impacts the output and accordingly change settings. If the problem still goes on, that means that there is something wrong with your speakers.
  • Sometimes your amplifiers will turn on and off, so you will need to restart the whole system. You can also try to solve the problem by double-checking all the settings and the wiring. But if the latter doesn’t work, you will have to go to your last option, which is to restart it.

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Conclusion

A faulty amplifier could damage your speaker and devices. That’s why you need to ensure that your amplifier is functioning correctly. To ensure that your amplifier is working correctly, you need to test your amplifier and detect the fault. The best way to test your amplifier is to test it with a multimeter. We have shared the procedure you can follow to test your amplifier. You can use this procedure to detect the fault and try to solve the problem if possible. Just make sure to carefully follow the steps because there is a risk of messing things up. This testing process is simple, straightforward, and affordable as well.

Best Soundbar Without Subwoofer in 2022 – Reviews & Buyers Guide

One of the Best Soundbar Without Subwoofer in a white background

If you want to upgrade your TV-watching experience, it might be time to invest in a soundbar. Soundbars are not only affordable speakers, but they are so easy to set up and offer improved sound quality over your built-in TV speaker. That’s why soundbars are more popular than home theater speakers, AV (audiovisual) receivers, and subwoofers.

There are many soundbars in the market right now, and they are bound to offer better audio quality than your current built-in speakers. That’s because they offer clear sound, more than one sound mode, and can even work with your existing smart speakers. So, yes, you can talk to your soundbars through Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant.

With many soundbars to choose from, finding the best one that suits your home can be challenging. But this guide will surely help you narrow it down to the perfect soundbar for your living room or even your home theater system.

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Choosing the Best Soundbar

Center speaker close-up

To test the quality of the best potential soundbars in 2022, we compared them against similarly priced models with a combination of movies and music.

Product specs were also considered, as well as account features like multiroom capabilities, the number of HDMI ports, high-resolution audio, Bluetooth connectivity, surround sound, or Dolby Atmos.

We considered the following factors in terms of choosing the best soundbars:

  • Sound Performance
  • Design
  • Connectivity
  • Device Controls

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Here Are Our Picks for the Best Soundbars of 2022:

Listed below is our shortlist for the best soundbar without a wireless subwoofer.

1. Sony HT-S100F

Sony HT-S100F

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The Sony HT-S100F is a prime choice for those working on a budget. Sony HT-S100F is a good soundbar with a 2.0 setup that has a very clear and accurate reproduction of voices. I was impressed at the maximum volume because this soundbar can get pretty loud while still performing well.

But it did struggle to produce some low bass frequencies. It has trouble reproducing the deep rumble and punch of bass which affects its performance with the bass-heavy music and movies. While it offers always-on surround sound, it will not give you the most immersive experience.

It lacks support for DTS and does not have any HDMI In inputs which can be frustrating for some users. Also, the HT-S100F is battery operated. The box comes with two AA batteries.

Overall Rating: 6/10

  • Sound Performance: 8/10
  • Design: 8/10
  • Connectivity: 5/10
  • Device Controls: 5/10

Pros

  • Great for dialogue content
  • Performs well at maximum volume
  • Very affordable

Cons

  • Lacks bass
  • No wireless connectivity
  • Runs on AA batteries

Sony HT-S100F Specs

Dimension:37.8″ x 14.7″ x 9.2″ (W x H x D)
Weight:6 lbs
Warranty:1 year
Wireless Connectivity:No
Dolby Atmos:No
DTS X:No
DTS Virtual X:No

2. Sonos Arc Wireless Sound Bar

Sonos Arc Wireless Sound Bar

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The Sonos Arc soundbar packs an immersive Dolby Atmos experience into a slim package. You will surely be impressed with the performance as it has 11 built-in speakers that envelop you in the sound, thanks to the positioning of the top and side speakers. The bass response is tight and deep because of the dual bass drivers within the Arc’s design. Everything is easily controlled with the Sonos S2 app from your mobile device.

Reviews are pretty good for the Sonos Arc, and you will understand why. Sonos Arc Wireless Sound Bar is the perfect smart soundbar that has all-in-one features. Customers also commended the easy setup: plug it into the wall with the supplied power cable and into the TV with the supplied HDMI cable and you’re all set. So if you really want to upgrade your sound quality at home, this is a great choice worth every dollar.

Overall Rating: 9/10

  • Sound Performance: 10/10
  • Design: 10/10
  • Connectivity: 10/10
  • Device Controls: 9/10

Pros:

  • Built-in Google Assistance, Alexa, Apple AirPlay 2
  • Easily connected
  • Sonos is designed for music systems

Cons:

  • Higher price point
  • Relatively heavier and larger, not ideal for wall mount brackets

Sonos Arc Wireless Sound Bar specs

Dimensions: 3.4″ x 45″ x 4.5″ (W x H x D)
Weight:24.6 lbs
Wireless Connectivity:Wi-Fi, Bluetooth
Dolby Atmos:No
DTS X:No
DTS Virtual X:No

3. Bose Soundbar 700

Bose Soundbar 700

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The Soundbar 700 contains four mid-range drivers, as well as a single-center channel driver. It is custom designed using Bose’s proprietary engineering, so the low-profile transducers provide exceptional clarity without requiring a bulky outer shell. Bose Soundbar 700 weighs 10.5 pounds, so it can sit on your entertainment center or TV stand or be mounted on the wall. Measurements are at 4.25 x 38.5 x 2.25 inches.

Distortion is virtually eliminated because of their “QuietPort Technology,” and their “PhaseGuide” allows for accurate sound directions. When tested, it gave us the full range of tones and sounds. It offers a wide array of input ports and connectivity alongside Bluetooth technology and Wi-Fi features. Lastly, it has built-in voice controls through Alexa and Google Assistant and additional remote control.

Most buyers give this Soundbar 700 a full five out of five stars. We really loved the customizable settings on the Bose app, so you can adjust it to sound like a full-on movie theater, even if you are just in your living room.

However, some customers found it tricky to set up. Reviews included comments like this was not a simple plug-in set up because you do need the app on a smartphone or tablet or voice control through a smart speaker. In addition, some experienced crashes and bugs on the app while starting.

The Soundbar 700 is a great high-end product for people looking to boost their home theater audio for an affordable price without purchasing a full surround sound system.

Overall Rating: 9/10

  • Sound Performance: 9/10
  • Design: 9/10
  • Connectivity: 8/10
  • Device Controls: 8/10

Pros:

  • Easily integrates with other Bose products, taking this from a 2.0 soundbar to full 5.1
  • Well-built to ensure durability over time
  • Supports Dolby and DTS series inputs, among others
  • Easy to set up

Cons:

  • Does not include full HDMI ports
  • The sound may become slightly distorted in larger spaces
  • Only upgrades through compatible Bose products

Sound Bar 700 Specs

Dimensions:31.5” x 1.75” x 4” (W x H x D)
Weight:7 lbs
Warranty:1 year
Watts:600
Wireless Connectivity:Wi-Fi, Bluetooth
Dolby Atmos:No
DTS X:No
DTS Virtual X:No

4. Sonos Beam

Sonos Beam

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The Sonos Beam is the smart, compact soundbar perfect for a rich, detailed sound that will fill your room – all for an affordable price. Sonos Beam offers easy control through a remote, your voice, or the Sonos app.

Sonos Beam is a light product at 6.2 pounds and 25.6 x 2.7 x 3.9 inches. What makes this unique is its part of a buildable surround sound system. You can add more Sonos products for a fantastic sound system – like Sonos One SLs for a surround sound system or Sonos Sub for added bass.

Customer reviews average 4.6 out of five stars, and with good reason. It already comes with an HDMI cable and has complete HDMI inputs, so you can use this to connect converters or analog audio for a better listening experience. The app even allows for settings such as “Ambient” surround setting or adjusting in between music and TV use.

The Sonos Beam offers a wealth of convenient features and produces exceptional sound for smaller rooms. Despite being a compact soundbar, you don’t have to worry about compromising audio quality or lacking Alexa voice control.

Overall Rating: 8/10

  • Sound Performance: 8/10
  • Design: 9/10
  • Connectivity: 7/10
  • Device Controls: 9/10

Pros:

  • Includes HMI ARC, Ethernet, Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth connectivity
  • Exceptional sound in a compact, sleek design
  • Vocal Enhancement mode helps to optimize dialogue outputs
  • Great technology for smaller spaces

Cons:

  • Does not support Dolby Atmos
  • Complicated set up without HDMI ARC

Sonos Beam Compact Smart Sound Bar with Voice Control Specs

Dimensions:25.625” x 2.7” x 3.94”(W x H x D)
Weight:6.2 lbs
Warranty:1 year
Wireless Connectivity:Wi-Fi
Dolby Atmos:No
DTS X:No
DTS Virtual X:No

The best overall product is the Sonos Arc – it is the smartest all-in-one soundbar for surround sound right in your home without breaking your bank account. Next to the Sonos Arc, I can definitely recommend the Bose Soundbar 700 for surround sound speakers right at home.

Meanwhile, the Sony HT-ST5000 is the best choice for a premium soundbar. That is, of course, if your budget and space permit. Otherwise, you would already be satisfied with the budget-friendly Sonos Beam.


Buyers’ Guide

Finding the perfect smart soundbar for your sound system at home depends a lot on your personal preferences. This includes the physical space you are working with, your budget, and your objectives with the speaker use.

Finding a smart soundbar with exceptional sound quality but no external subwoofer can be tricky, but hopefully, this buyer’s guide will be a big help. We tested out the most popular speakers in the market to come up with this short guide.

Before purchasing, here are some things you should know.

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Choose a soundbar with 3 or more channels.

With 3 or more channels, you can simulate surround sound for a more immersive experience without breaking your bank account. There are still 2-channel soundbars out there, but at this point, they are no more than glorified mini-stereos. So instead, opt for the soundbar with 3 or 5 channels and get as close as possible to a surround sound environment right in your home.

Consider where you want to place your soundbar.

Placement is essential because this will dictate the appropriate soundbar for you. For example, is it light enough to be wall-mounted or placed on the TV stand? Will it block the signal between your TV and remote?

In terms of aesthetics, your new soundbar shouldn’t be wider than your TV. We have tried and tested, and the perfect spot for the soundbar is centered beneath or above your TV!

Go with an active soundbar over the passive one.

Active soundbars come with built-in amplifiers, so it is definitely worth it as you’ll be saving space and not worrying about the power sources.

Passive soundbars do not have a built-in power amp, so you need an external receive or amplifier to work. However, they have better speakers, resulting in a great sound. However, these are more expensive, and you will have to connect more components, such as a traditional sub, if you want extra bass.

Getting an active soundbar will be sufficient to upgrade your audio at home. Passive soundbars are better suited for custom installations, like a full-blown Dolby Atmos system.

Pay attention to connectivity.

Most soundbars today come with Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity, allowing you to easily stream music, shows, or podcast from any gadget. Your soundbar is now a stereo, too.

Always check for HDMI switching so you can switch sources without re-routing your HDMI cables.

In the past few years, soundbars are now equipped with voice controls. As a result, you can use Alexa or Google Assistant to control your listening experience, which is an absolute convenience.

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Buy from an authorized dealer.

The soundbars we have recommended all come from reputable brands that are leading in the field of consumer electronics. Buying from an authorized dealer is the right move because you will get the manufacturer’s warranty, service, and support.

Don’t glaze over this because purchasing gadgets can get tricky, and you’ll want security if there is a problem in your unit.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Here are customers’ most common questions, answered all in one place.

Can you add a subwoofer to a soundbar?

Many wireless soundbars ship with a wireless sub. The ones that don’t usually incorporate a woofer port allow you to add your own. However, if you want an even more immersive experience, you shouldn’t skip this!

What are Dolby Atmos soundbars?

Some newer soundbars in the market come with Dolby Atmos technology, which bounces the audio off ceilings to simulate a surround sound effect. It’s pretty good because it mimics the theater right in your house, but of course, it is not the real thing.

What is “Cinema Sound”?

Most soundbars have the “cinema sound,” “movieplex sound,” or “virtual surround sound” feature – which manufacturers claim will mimic actual home theater sound. In reality, this cinema sound adds a digital delay like reverb or echo. It is not the authentic home theater clear audio, but you feel that you are in a bigger room. Some soundbars perfected this, but it comes with a cost.

Can a soundbar be used as a center speaker?

Yes and no – some can, and some can’t. For example, a passive soundbar could potentially be used as a center channel speaker, but we don’t recommend this. Passive soundbars are not designed for this purpose, so they won’t shine if you force them to function as a center speaker in your home theater.

Conclusion

Thanks to the impressive technology for sound quality, you will find many soundbars and subs in the market. Take it from us that you don’t have to spend thousands of dollars for excellent sound quality in your home theater system.

Soundbars have built-in features that you will surely enjoy and easily customize through the remote control, voice controls, and mobile app. You don’t have to spend hours adjusting the wires or standing up and down from the couch to fix the connections.

Most importantly, you can certainly achieve a fantastic sound experience without a subwoofer. Choose the best soundbar that suits your needs and calibrate it so you can make the most out of your purchase.

Don’t Miss Out!

We can share an expert tip to do a full assessment of your needs and the room you are working with before making a purchase. These factors basically dictate the soundbar that you should get and how you can use it. So please don’t make the mistake of buying the soundbar you like and discovering later that it does not fit your home theatre.

Another thing to remember is to leave room for scaling up! For example, you can easily add an external or wireless subwoofer to build your speaker system for a full-blown entertainment center at home.

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SVS SB 2000 Reviews (2022)

SVS SB-2000 Reviews

If you have been searching far and wide for the perfect sub, you have probably encountered the world-renowned company SVS.

SVS is pretty much the crowd favorite among audio and home theater publications. They have earned it because of their high-performance subs and speakers at reasonable prices.

Their subwoofer lineup is impressive, and they move from the top of the line going down. They scale back on the advanced features and aesthetics without comprising performance.

With that, their entry-level subs are at par (or even better) than most of their competition’s mid-level to premium offerings in the market.

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SVS SB-2000 500 Watt DSP Controlled 12" Compact Sealed Subwoofer (Premium Black Ash)
  • The SVS SB-2000 Subwoofer combines power, quickness, intelligent...
  • Dimension: 14.6-Inch H x 14.2-Inch W x 15.4-Inch D

What Makes the SVS Subwoofer Line Stand Out?

Well, SVS made a name for itself through its Prime and Ultra speakers, audio products, and accessories that the previous generation surely loved.

These products can disappear, and the brand’s reputation would not suffer because of their world-class subwoofers. Their subwoofer lines currently include 1000, 2000, new 3000, 4000, and 16-Ultra Series. As you climb the ladder, of course, there are added features, more low-frequency depth, and the ability to pressure larger spaces with more bass energy.

SVS advocates for getting multiple subs, too. The listening room in your home will benefit from two smaller subwoofers vs. one large sub. Each sub will have different peaks and dips caused by the geometry of the room and its placement therein. Installing multiple subs gives you more bass coverage over a larger number of variable seating positions, thereby increasing everyone’s music listening experience.

This article will discuss their SB 2000 and compile a handful of relevant customer reviews from various websites like Amazon.

SVS released 2000-series, made up of the PB-2000 ($799) and SB-2000 ($699). These two products are the prime example of SVS’s mastery of the art of thoughtful sound engineering and design.

SVS PB 2000

SVS PB 2000

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The SVS PB-2000 is a large, ported sub capable of delivering loud and deep bass in large rooms, while the SB-2000 is sealed and much more compact and perfect for home theaters. The ported PB-2000, available in black ash, has a 12-inch front-firing driver but in a ported enclosure that reaches deeper down to 17 Hz, versus 19 Hz in the sealed version, and extends to 250 Hz versus 220 Hz of the SB 2000. In addition, the four-inch front port takes up more space, making the enclosure larger at 20.9 x 17.3 x 23.3 inches and weighing at 66 lbs. It’s almost double in the SB 2000 due to the size difference and increased internal bracing.

SVS SB 2000

SVS SB 2000

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Meanwhile, the SVS SB-2000 has a 12-inch front-firing woofer with a 500 watt RMS amplifier in a sealed 14.6 x 14.2 x 15.4-inch enclosure. It is made available in premium black ash ($699) or piano gloss black ($799) at about 45 lbs. Its powder modes include Auto On via a toggle switch and a 3-12V trigger (3.5mm TRS mini-jack) input to link with other equipment. Audio connections are stereo line-level RCA left and right/LFE inputs, along with left and right RCA outputs.

You will find that SVS offers the optional SouthPath Wireless Audio Adapter for $119.99. On the back, you will find continuously variable gain control, continuously variable phase control between 0 to 180 degrees, and a continuously variable 50 to 160 Hz 12 dB/octave low pass filter with disable/LFE setting. Note that the filters will be set via those controls if you are using the LFE output from your surround sound processor. Lastly, a fixed 80 Hz 12 dB/octave high pass filter on the line-level outputs.

SVS makes both sealed and ported versions of their subs. It’s definitely up to you to choose the version that best suits your needs and space. For example, if you create a surround sound system for mostly gaming, movies, and watching TV, you may prefer a ported enclosure as it offers more punch and thump. But if you prioritize music over explosions and bullets and similar sound effects, you might be better off with the tighter sound of the sealed sub. These are the main sonic differences between the two versions. In the case of the PB 2000 and SB 2000, note the size and weight differences, too.

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SVS SB 2000 Summary

Pros

Pros
  • Protective non-resonant steel mesh grille
  • Rivals much more expensive subwoofers
  • Even and smooth from top to bottom
  • Tight, highly-articulated bass

Cons

Cons
  • Grill is large, adds to footprint
  • Vinyl veneer is unremarkable
  • No brass spikes/footers included

SVS SB 2000 Specifications

Watts RMS500 Watts
Speaker MaterialSubwoofer
Subwoofer Size12″
Frequency Response19-220Hz
Crossover Frequency1800 Hz
Speaker typeBox
ColorBlack Ash, Piano Black Gloss
Mounting TypeFloor Standing
ConnectionsWired, audio line-in, audio line-out, trigger
Power500 W room energizing power
Enclosure500 watt RMS amplifier in a sealed 14.6 by 14.2 by 15.4-inch
Inputs3.5mm TRS mini-jack
Dimensions15.4 x 14.2 x 14.6 inches
Weight35 lbs (16 kg)

What are the Different SVS SB 2000 Specs?

Hookup

SB 2000’s packaging is pretty much in line with what you’d expect from SVS. It is nothing too fancy but also secure and straightforward.

Unboxing the 40 lb sub is manageable. In terms of connections, you can run a couple of SVS Soundpath interconnects to the LFE (low-frequency effect) input on each sub from the LFE outputs of another receiver. If you find yourself lacking dual sub connections on your receiver, you can either use a Y-splitter or connect one cable between your receiver and one of the subs and daisy chain the output of that sub to the input of the other. If this sounds confusing, you can refer to the SVS manual, as they have outlined this process in great detail. Otherwise, you will find plenty of tutorials online for reference.

Technical Features and Design

The SB-2000 relies on a custom-made 12-inch driver that SVS designed specifically for their 2000 series. Technical details behind the driver are endless, but it is basically a driver that can stand up to the power delivered by the sub’s lifeblood, which is a 500-watt RMS, 1100-watt peak Sledge STA-500D DSP amplifier.

Most people also loved that SVS designed the amplifier to have a carefully integrated DSP control. This not only changes the sub’s output but protects it from going overboard and becoming damaged. With this, you can use the sub as much as you want with your loudest movies or music and it will push certainly deliver. Also, thanks to the DSP control, you won’t have to worry about it overheating or anything blowing up in your living room, bedroom, or home theater.

The SB-2000 does not have any speaker-level inputs on its amplifier, so you won’t be able to use it with older receivers that lack a subwoofer output. However, it has stereo line-level outputs to go with its stereo line-level input. This means you can use it with pre-amp or amp combos and integrated amps outfitted with pre-amp outputs and amplifier inputs. SVS designed this product with a lot of room for personal tweaking, so your options are not limited.

As for the controls, there are three high-quality metal knows for volume, phase, and low pass filter. The low pass filter frequency range is a whopping 50-160 Hertz (Hz). They also included an LFE or low-frequency effects setting, which bypasses the low pass filter entirely. This function of the LFE leaves the receiver or an integrated amp’s bass management settings to do the heavy lifting.

Setup and Test Conditions

Since subwoofers do not have a port, the SB-2000 allows for more flexibility in its placement options. For those with a smaller space to work with, you can easily tuck the SB 2000 in a corner without worrying about port noise. The best place for this subwoofer depends on the size and shape of the intended room to place it in and considering your listening position. Given the manageable weight of the SB 2000, it’s pretty easy to move it around the space and test it around for sound quality.

If you have other loudspeakers or subs in the room, it is now time to manually calibrate everything to build quality to achieve the sound experience you like.

SVS SB-2000 500 Watt DSP Controlled 12" Compact Sealed Subwoofer (Premium Black Ash)
  • The SVS SB-2000 Subwoofer combines power, quickness, intelligent...
  • Dimension: 14.6-Inch H x 14.2-Inch W x 15.4-Inch D

Performance

One user tried it out by playing frequency sweeps to determine if there are peaks or valleys in the sub’s performance (without considering the room resonance). According to them, there were no anomalies, and the even and consistent performance of the SB 2000 was impressive – from 150 Hz down to 25 Hz, with a slight drop off at 20 Hz and beyond, which is perfectly understandable.

This review from Amazon claims that the SB 2000 is the best subwoofer they have ever heard in person, paired with HTD Level 3 bookshelves. If the frequency is too low to play (which is far lower than anything you’ll normally encounter in music, games, and movies), the sub goes silent. There is no distortion, and it reproduces everything clearly until the driver is physically incapable of reproducing the sound.

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Music

To test out sound quality with music, selections such as Paramore’s “Ain’t it Fun,” Johnny Lang’s “Bump in the Road,” and Russell Gunn’s “Eighty-One” were played and tested.

As for “Bump in the Road,” it isn’t loaded with deep bass, but there is a bass guitar that moves all over its available range, with a constant level of punch and quick musicality. Playing on the SB-2000, the sub proved it could start and stop perfectly, but it had no problem singing beautifully in its upper-frequency range while delivering perfect precision. Overall the performance was reminiscent of the SVS SB-13 Ultra – which is expensive by at least $1,000 more.

The SVS SB 2000 was also tested against LL Cool J’s “Going Back to Cali” as it gets deep at the 45-second mark. Impressively enough, the SB 2000 didn’t break a sweat. The sub played louder and much deeper than their size and specs would indicate. It only wavered by losing accuracy and getting a bit boomy at maximum (borderline dangerous) volume output levels, which you won’t be utilizing most of the time anyway!

Based on its performance for music sound quality, the SB 2000 presents a pretty good deal and exceeds expectations for its price point.

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Movie Sound Quality

Since subs are perfect for home theatre setups, an SB 2000 review would not be complete without analyzing its performance on movie soundtracks.

While playing the Life of Pi, the SB 2000 nailed every single pulse during the Tiger’s guttural roar. This added a level of realism to the sound experience that listeners might have never experienced before.

Another review looked at the movie Skyfall – and the sub did not disappoint. It was only a little short of the SB-13 Ultra. There was plenty of ultra-low frequency production, shaking up the seats a little bit.

However, it was missing the mush and mud from the rest of the sound spectrum – something you would expect from the highest-performance ported subs. For larger rooms, you can expect some of the visceral experience to be lost. (But this is what the larger PB-2000 sub is for.)

What About the SB 2000 Cons?

Every gadget has its downside. But looking at customer review notes for SB 2000, there are only a handful of negative comments especially given the price point.

Some users mentioned wanting a more premium finish and the ability to create and tweak custom EQ settings. Others may prefer brass spikes or footers for an added level of acoustic control, but these can always be bought separately and added on as desired.

They did nitpick the connection flexibility because the SB 2000 Pros lack XLR inputs. But this is rare given its price point, and the performance of the sub already raises expectations.

In terms of the control app, it was greatly convenient not to get behind the subs to make adjustments. But it might be improved if you can set the app to control both subs at once. As far as we can tell, there is currently no option to adjust both subs concurrently. Instead, users have to manually adjust one sub then switch over to the other sub to control it. While this sounds like a minor step, it can leave you double-checking the volume level on each sub, which can be distracting during critical listening hours. People are hoping these can be rectified and updated on the app in a few years.

This customer review outlines the cons: unremarkable vinyl veneer, no brass spikes or footers included, and the large grill, which adds to the footprint.

Given all the pros and cons, you might be wondering how the SVS SB 2000 fares compared to other subs in the market.

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How Does the SB 2000 Compare with Other Speakers?

Given the $699 price point, if you are not convinced that dual subs are the right choice for you and your home, you can look at other brands.

Not all subs are created equally, so here are some alternatives to consider.

1. JL Audio E-Sub

JL Audio E-Sub

Check Latest Price

You can spend roughly the same amount of money and buy the JL Audio E-Sub e110 for $1,850. However, you will lose a bit in driver size because the JL’s has a 10-inch driver vs. the 12-inch driver of the SVS. JL does make up for it with the raw power, as you’ll go from 500 watts up to 1,200 watts. JL Audio is well-known for its car audio lineup, but its home theatre products are also worth your buck.


2. Definitive Technology SuperCube 6000

Polk Audio T15 100

Check Latest Price

If you are truly interested in a dual subsystem but are working with limited space, try the Definitive Technology SuperCube 6000 for $999/each. It is way more compact than the SB 2000, with a 9-inch front-firing driver, flanked by dual 10-inch passive radiators, and powered by a bigger 750-watt amplifier. Technology subs are definitely impressive in performance despite the small enclosures as their engineers have mastered the compact sound technologies.


3. Polk Audio DSW Pro 660

Retailing for $649 each, Polk Audio promises to deliver a deep bass impact with a classic box style. This is their most powerful sub to date, with a 400-watt digital amp to move the 12-inch dynamic balance driver. Average reviews are 4.7 stars for this product, and people seem to love its deep bass notes and durability for up to five years. This is a great option if you are working with a smaller budget.

Conclusion

Given all of these pros and cons, if the SVS SB-2000 fits your budget, look no further. It is the best offering in its price range, and SVS has made the SB 2000 a class of its own as far as sealed subwoofers go.

The sub offers a deadly combination of potent bass bower, tight articulation, deep extension, and room-rumbling fun. For a high-end bass set up under $1,500, perhaps the only thing better than owning an SVS SB 2000 is to own two of them.

SVS SB-2000 500 Watt DSP Controlled 12" Compact Sealed Subwoofer (Premium Black Ash)
  • The SVS SB-2000 Subwoofer combines power, quickness, intelligent...
  • Dimension: 14.6-Inch H x 14.2-Inch W x 15.4-Inch D

Polk Audio Signature Series Speakers Polk S35 Review

Polk Audio Signature Series Speakers Polk S35 Review

The S35 channel speaker of the Polk’s Signature line brings home a vast stereo sound theater. Furthermore, the Polk Audio Signature Series S35 speaker is a member of Polk Audio’s latest release. Thus, it aims to continue the Polk tradition of American Hifi.

Polk Audio Signature Series Speakers Polk S35 Review
Image by Mizter_X94 on Pixabay

This speaker aims to provide a big surround sound theater experience in your home. It features improved audio extension, high-resolution terylene tweeter to perfectly reproduce all sounds. Moreover, the slim center speaker results in high-resolution audio files with clear bass and improved vocals. With better linearity and full-range sound, it creates a home theater.

Without further ado, let’s dive into the details of this magnificent speaker.

All You Need to Know About the Polk Audio Signature Masterpiece S35

Polk Audio Signature Series Speakers Polk S35 Review
Image by gr8effect on Pixabay

First Look and a Hands-on Experience of the Speaker

The new Polk Signature speaker ensures crisp and deep listening frequency. Plus, it improves uniformity and provides a more active mid-range. The speaker’s optimum sound clarity is one of the features that make it so popular. So, be ready for a real-life movie theatre or a concert hall experience with the Polk Audio Signature S35 speaker.

Polk Audio Signature S35 — Physical Dimensions

Dimensionally, Polk signature speakers are 4-inches tall, over 24-inches wide, and 6-inches deep. They have a slim profile, making them some of the most compact devices on the market. Moreover, they weigh 14 pounds. However, though the S35 is low-profile, it’s not a small speaker, unlike other center channels.

These are the selling point of any big surround sound theater, but Polk audio center channel speaker holds them exceptionally well. Additionally, the totally re-imagined design, precision crossovers, and anti diffraction grille align with the Polk tradition of American Hi-Fi. Moreover, it has both horizontal as well as vertical placement options for a concert hall.

High-Resolution Terylene Tweeter and Drivers

The one-inch high-resolution terylene tweeter looks amazing in the center. Its 3-inch dynamically balanced drivers are far better than other center channels. Moreover, they can easily fit in with modern cabinet styling. The black gloss finish makes it look premium without being heavy on your pocket.

Driver’s Grill

Polk Audio speaker comes with a grill cover that connects magnetically. As a result, it protects the internal parts and other center channels from dust and tiny bugs. As the cover is magnetically attached, taking it off is pretty easy.

Polk Audio S35 Back Area

Polk Signature S35 has a binding post on the back along with all the other ports. It also has plastic grills on the rear left and keyholes on the right. So, you can mount it on the wall for multiple purposes or enjoy the vertical placement options.

Top Area of the S35 Center Channel Speaker

The top area has an aesthetic wood finish. The speaker has a dark appearance that is pretty elegant. The edges of the signature S35 are rounded like some other center channel speakers. Plus, the top area has a slim profile and looks compact.

Bass

Signature S35 sounds aggressive, thick, and strong. You might feel a forceful punch in your ear every time you turn it on. With such robust audio, turbulence and flutter are significantly reduced. Hence, you can enjoy all the music without any contortion.

Famous Polk Power Port Bass Enhancing Technology

The Polk Audio Signature S35 produces deep sound with little interference. The movement of air in this speaker is so perfect that it boosts the listening frequency. Additionally, this power port technology enhances connectivity. As a result, it provides a completely re-imagined design.

Polk Audio Signature Series S35 — Sound Quality

The frequency of the Polk audio signature series S35 speaker has a significant impact on the audio quality. Without a doubt, A superb frequency response can exceptionally enhance the output. For that, you require a reasonable frequency rate that provides improved audio quality. The more realistic the audio becomes, the higher the overall experience grows.

The premium resonation and American Hifi of the Polk audio signature S35 will give you a fantastic home theater music experience with 100% surround sound feels. With the high-resolution audio files, every dialog comes out crisp and clear. Surely, the elevated sound is a testament to the Polk tradition of American Hifi.

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Frequency Response of Slim Center Speaker

The frequency band influences some characteristics of the device. This includes the sensitivity ratio of the center channel speaker. The S35 has a frequency response of 53-40k Hz, which is quite low. Despite that, this center channel speaker perfectly reproduces high-resolution audio files with improved audio extension. This, in return, ensures a fantastic experience.

Comparison with Other Center Channel Speakers

Comparison with Other Center Channel Speakers
Photo by Loewe Technology on Unsplash

In terms of other characteristics, the  S35 is likely to outperform its predecessor, the S30, and other speakers. The frequency response of S30 is 42 Hz – 20 kHz. In comparison, it produces better linearity, improved vocals, and high-resolution audio files.

For distinctive output, these low distortion audio devices will give fine-tuned, noteworthy frequencies. All these features make this center channel speaker stand out among other speakers. At the same time, the center speaker Polk boasts a respectable frequency rate.

Sensitivity

The sensitivity rate is also a significant part. It lets the speaker make every phrase seem lifelike. The decibel level of the Polk audio signature S35 center speaker is 88 dB. With such sensitivity, it can crush any other speaker under its feet. Hence, this speaker certainly has the best sensitivity rate in this price range.

Pros and Cons of the Polk Audio Signature S35

Pros

  • Compact in size
  • Lightweight
  • Anti-diffraction grille
  • Featuring Hi-Res certification
  • Mobile
  • Great sound quality
  • High-resolution audio performance
  • Crisp and clear TV dialog

Cons

  • Some parts made of plastic
  • Acoustic instruments can sound artificial at times

Best Alternatives to the Polk Audio Signature Series Speakers Polk S35

If unable to get your hands on the Polk Audio Signature S35, there are good alternatives available on the market. For example, the Klipsch R-52C center channel speaker offers similar aesthetics and performance.

Also, there’s Sony’s SSCS8 2-Way 3-Driver center channel speaker, which will easily complement your home theater. Next, consider JBL Studio’s 520 CBK 2-Way Dual 4-Inch center channel speaker with its slick design and dual PolyPlas cones. All these options are in the same price range as the Polk S35.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

1.   Is the Polk Audio signature series speakers S35 worth buying?

Considering the Polk features you get in this price range, this center channel speaker is a must-try. With its clear bass and port bass enhancing technology,  it can outperform any other competitor. Plus, with the mica reinforced polypropylene cones and detailed high-end response, the S35 could not get any better.

2.   Which is the best among various Polk audio signature S35 speakers?

In our opinion, the signature S35 is the best option you can buy from the signature lineup of Polk audio. This slim center speaker stands out because of the clear bass, precision crossovers, power port bass enhancing property, and better linearity.

3.   Is it possible to use two center speakers?

While two of them can be used, this is not always desirable. Moreover, they may not be capable of providing a higher-quality music experience. In fact, using them might cause audio damage due to delayed sequencing of the identical audio data. Hence, it is preferable to use only one for a detailed high-end response.

Conclusion

To enjoy the big surround sound theater experience with full-range sound at home, Polk audio signature S35 can be the best bet. Indeed, plenty of factors set the Polk Audio Signature Series S35 apart from its rivals in sound quality and other features. You are going to love the signature S35’s robust technology and strong drivers.

Three Mica-reinforced polypropylene cones produce a vast, dazzling sound for the center channel speaker to release. In short, this speaker rounds out the home theater setup with perfectly elevated sound. Plus, the black walnut color of this slim center speaker goes well with modern cabinet styling.

How to Power a Passive Subwoofer

How to Power a Passive Subwoofer

Passive subwoofers require an external power source and there are many ways to get them running. For one, you can choose to connect a passive subwoofer to a receiver. This article will tell you how to connect a passive subwoofer to a receiver through the use of speaker wire connectors and an external amplifier.

How to Power a Passive Subwoofer

Passive Subwoofers

Passive subs are built without their own built-in amplifiers, so they function much like old loudspeaker units. If you have a passive subwoofer, you need to connect it to an external amplifier to power it.

On the other hand, active or powered subwoofers are self-contained. It features a speaker or amplifier configuration in which the characteristics of the amp and subwoofer speaker are optimally matched and encased in the same enclosure. For this type of sub, you do not need an external amp.

Passive Subwoofers

Are Passive Subwoofers Better Than Powered Subwoofers?

There are pros and cons to each type of sub, and it really depends on many factors, such as your budget, the sound quality you are looking for, and the space you have.

Passive subwoofers are more lightweight since they have fewer components. They are also easier to maintain. But the truth is that a subwoofer’s performance is not determined by whether it is powered or passive.

Some users may argue that powered subs are better because their built-in amplifiers allow you a worry-free experience. However, active subwoofers are more popular because they produce a deeper, more impactful sound without requiring extra components.

Meanwhile, the passive subwoofer is generally a better choice if you will place it in a small room with limited space, and you won’t be needing the powerful sound. It is easier to transport and move around since it’s smaller and less bulky. Even if you plug the passive subwoofer into an external amplifier, you can still reposition the amp in the future to improve the sound quality.

Is it Dangerous to Connect a Passive Subwoofer to a Receiver?

It can get dangerous because passive subwoofers require a lot of power to reproduce the bass. As a result, there is a possibility that your receiver may not deliver the required power for your subwoofer to function optimally. Keep in mind that you might even blow the receiver if you are not careful with your sub! The chances of this happening are definitely higher for older and lower quality gadgets, though.

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Connecting Wired Subwoofer to Soundbar

Where to Connect the Subwoofer to the Receiver

Receivers are made with many switches, ports, and toggles. Wiring is definitely required to complete the connection between a subwoofer and a receiver.

First, check the back of your receiver and look for the setting for either “Yes” or “No,” which is linked directly to your passive subwoofer. This is referring to whether or not you have an active or a passive sub. Since you have the passive sub, be sure that the setting is on “Yes.” By doing so, you are telling your receiver to send all of the bass information through the sub-out connection on the back. All of this information is then transferred down into your passive sub.

Speaker Connector

You will need to have your passive subwoofer wired to one of the speaker connectors. Then you can connect the speaker wire to the speaker line of the subwoofer. There will be ‘Speaker In’ ports on your passive sub.

Be very careful that your sub is not pulling too much power beyond what the receiver can supply. This can result in overheating and become flammable.

Zone 2 Connectors

Another quick and easy way to connect passive subs to your AV or audiovisual receiver is the use the Zone 2 ports on the receiver.

The typical setup goes like this:

#1. Loopback the sub’s pre-out to phono (analog line) in.
#2. Activate the Zone 2 port.
#3. Enter the AVR’s setting and configure the receiver to play the phono input. This will now become the sub via your Zone 2 connection.
#4. Set the Zone 2 midrange (and up) frequency attenuated down. This allows you to use the AVR itself as a crossover.

However, some of the Zone 2 receivers do not have a crossover. Instead, it supplies a full-range signal. If this is the case for you, then use the power in Zone 1 for your sub.

Receiver Sub out

The sub-out port is popular on most older receivers. This port can power your passive subwoofer, and it is usually located on the bottom half. You can then use the receiver’s cutoff to control the audio frequencies sent to your passive subwoofer.

Subwoofer Wireless Connections

Recent subwoofers in the market now allow for wireless connections. There are two major types:

  • Wireless subwoofers with built-in wireless receivers. These receivers connect seamlessly to the subwoofer line output of your home theater receiver. So if you happen to have this sub, all you need to do is connect the receivers to the line output. No need for extra tools, connectors, and equipment!
  • The second method is a wireless transmitter that connects to any home theater receiver and a powered subwoofer with a line output. You should opt for this if your subwoofer does not have a built-in wireless receiver.

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How to Connect a Passive Subwoofer to a Receiver

Step #1: Check the Subwoofer

Before attempting any wired connections, inspect the kind of passive subwoofer you’ve got. Next, check whether it has a dual or single voice call woofer system. Double voice call woofers have multiple wiring options compared to single voice call ones.

Depending on what you’ve got, read the manufacturer’s manual and recommendations before moving forward. The last thing you want is to break your sub or your receiver.

Step #2: Double Check That You Have the Right RCA Cables

The most commonly used connectivity cables between subwoofers and receivers are RCA. But this connection depends on the type of subwoofer available, either a mono or stereo transmitter.

If your subwoofer is a monotype, you only need one RCA cable between our passive subwoofer and receiver. But if you are using a stereo subwoofer, you will need two RCA cables in your setup.

In this step, you will need to confirm that the color of the cables matches the ports on your subwoofer where the connection should be made.

Step #3: Connect The External Amplifier

Since passive subwoofers allow you to work with any amplifier, you are free to experiment with any external amp. But be careful before attempting to connect it to the amplifier.

Start by ensuring that your passive subwoofer is switched off. Then wire the RCA cables to the sub and ten to the external amplifier. The jack on the amp where your RCA cables are connected should be labeled subwoofer output or LFE (low-frequency effects).

The same goes if you are connecting more than one subwoofer.

Step #4: Connect The Amplifier To The Speakers

Once the external amplifier is wired to the subwoofer, it is finally time to connect the speakers!

Check the rear side of the amp for output jacks labeled ‘Front’ or ‘Main,’ then use the outputs to connect the speakers to the amp. Ensure that the right and left speakers are connected appropriately during this wiring step.

If your speakers are not labeled left or right, check for the polarities label instead. The negative terminal of the speaker should be connected to the negative terminal of the amplifier, and the same goes for the positive terminal.

Step #5: Switch On The Sound System And Fine Tune The Sound To Your Liking

Once you have connected everything and the subwoofer and speakers are properly wired to the receiver, switch on the main power supply and receive. As you test this out, make sure that the volume is not too high. Then use the bass management on the receiver to control the sound performance. This is the perfect time to customize your home theater and listen for any distortions or errors in the sound quality so you can adjust accordingly.

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How to Connect a Passive Subwoofer to a Receiver

The Bottom Line

If you are an audiophile or movie enthusiast, you surely will not regret investing in a subwoofer over traditional speakers. Unfortunately, the typical loudspeakers you get in a home theater system cannot reproduce all the sound frequencies they receive. So, essentially, you miss out on a better sound experience whenever you watch movies or TV at your home.

Listening to music alone is already an improved experience with subwoofers. The extra bass, instrumentals, underlying vocals will shine through thanks to the LFE or low-frequency effects that are pretty much the specialty of subwoofers.

Lastly, if you enjoy gamers or watching sports, the subwoofer will improve the audio experience. You will be even more immersed in the game or match because of the sound effects that your speaker system will reproduce.

Make sure that you purchase a passive subwoofer or powered subwoofer that fits all of your needs. Be sure to check all the wires and ports too. These should be in good condition to ensure proper connections to an external amplifier or AV receiver if needed. Not to mention, the size and structure of your home theater are important in determining if a front-firing or down-firing sub is best for you. Finally, the surrounding sound and low-frequency range will be worth the price and setup. Once you tick all of these boxes, get ready to enjoy the high-quality sound in your home theater.

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