The Pioneer SP-SB03 Speaker Base TV Audio System Profiled

Pioneer SP-SB03 Speaker Base TV Audio System
Pioneer SP-SB03 Speaker Base TV Audio System. Image provided by Pioneer Electronics, USA

Although sound bars are now the dominant alternative to home theater audio systems that use separate speakers, another option is also gaining a lot of popularity, the under-TV single-cabinet audio system.

These systems go by various names depending on the manufacturer (Sound Base, Z-Base, Sound Platform, Sound Stand, and I have even heard the term Sound Slab used), but they have one thing in common, instead of a sound bar that is placed or mounted above or below the TV (sometimes also including a subwoofer that is placed on the floor), the under-TV audio system is incorporated within a single cabinet that serves both as an all-in-one audio system, and platform that you can set your TV on top of. This is not only a space saver but reduces the visual clutter of having a separate sound bar and/or subwoofer.

Pioneer, currently does offer a very sound bar option (read my review of the Pioneer SP-SB23W Speaker Bar System), has decided to introduce an under-TV audio system option as well, which it refers to as the SP-SB03 Speaker Base TV Audio System. Just as with the SP-SB23W Speaker Bar system, the SP-SB03 Speaker Base is designed by Andrew Jones.

The features of the SP-SBO3 include:

Cabinet Construction

The SP-SBO3 utilizes composite wood construction. This provides a solid cabinet that not only provides the needed support to set a TV on top - but provides the needed control over unwanted speaker/cabinet vibration. Most TVs with screen sizes 55-inches or smaller can placed on top of the cabinet.

Another way you can use the SP-SBO3 is a basic sound system for a video projector - Just place the video projector on of it and make some minor connection adjustments. For specific details, read my report How To Use A Video Projector with an Under-TV Audio System

The cabinet dimensions of the SP-SB03 (WHD) are 28 x 4 3/4 x 16-inches. So keep that in mind when trying to match your TV's own stand or video projector's footprint.

Speaker Complement

Within a single cabinet, the SP-SBO3 incorporates six speaker drivers (2 4-inch woofers, 2 3-inch midrange, 2 1-inch soft dome tweeters). The woofers are positioned so that they fire downward for more effective low-frequency response and are further supported by two rear-mounted ports ( bass reflex design), while the midrange and tweeters fire forward towards the listening position.​

Amplifier Characteristics

To more effectively power the system, each speaker driver is assigned its own amplifier (28 watts-per-driver measured with a 1kHz test tone, 1% THD, at 4 ohms).

Audio Decoding and Processing:

The SP-SB03 incorporates Dolby Digital audio decoding, supported by 3 additional sound modes (movies, music, and dialog). Also, and additional 3D Audio Expansion mode is provided for a better listening experience when watching movies.

Connections

The SP-B03 provides set of Analog Stereo and Digital Optical audio input connections.

On the other hand, the SP-BO3 does not provide HDMI input/outputs - which means that features such as Audio Return Channel or video pass-through are not available. If you are using a DVD or Blu-ray Disc player with your TV and SP-B03, you must make separate video and audio connections to the TV and Speaker Base.

Bluetooth

In addition to physical connectivity, the SP-SB03 also incorporates wireless Bluetooth, which allows direct streaming from compatible portable devices, such as smartphones and tablets.

Control Options

For control convenience, the speaker base can be controlled via front-panel controls, or via a provided credit card-sized remote. The remote control provides separate volume control for the main speakers and down firing woofers.

More Info

For related product suggestions, also check out my current listing of Sound Bars, Digital Sound Projectors, and Under TV Audio Systems, which is updated on a periodic basis.