The SVS Prime Elevation Speaker Provides Installation Versatility

SVS Prime Elevation Loudspeaker
SVS Prime Elevation Loudspeaker. Image provided by SVS
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SVS is well-known for their innovative speaker and subwoofer products but is now also branching out into the cable and accessories product category. However, what interests me is their innovative Prime Elevation speaker.

Prime Elevation Speaker Features

Employing a trapezoidal cabinet design (see photo attached to this article), SVS claims that the Elevation speaker can fill several roles:

  • Down-firing height channel speaker mounted high on a side wall.
  • As left, right, and/or center channel speakers which a slight upward firing angle is beneficial.
  • As a vertically-firing or down-firing front or center channel speaker for use with video projection screens.
  • As a side or rear surround speaker.
  • Using pairs of Prime Elevation speakers together to create a Bipole or Dipole surround speaker assembly.
  • Vertically firing height channel speaker.

With that type of versatility, other than a subwoofer, all you need is five, seven, or nine Elevation speakers and just place them where you need them. Used as up-firing or down-firing speakers, they may be just the ticket for a practical/cost-effective Dolby Atmos setup.

In fact, if you already have a traditional 5.1 or 7.1 speaker layout, and what to upgrade to Dolby Atmos, just add two or four Elevation speakers and either place them on top of your current front or surround speakers and have them fire up, or mount them on the wall to fire down - You can create your own 5.1.2, 5.1.4, 7.1.2, or 7.1.4 Dolby Atmos speaker layout.

In fact, a wall mount is included with each speaker.

The Prime Elevation speaker features the same construction materials as the rest of SVS's Prime Speaker line. The drivers include a 1-inch Aluminum Dome Tweeter and 4 1/2-inch Polypropylene cone woofer.

Frequency response for the speakers is stated as 69 Hz to 25 kHz (+ or - 3db).

Using Anthem Room Correction Software, I was able to determine that the real world frequency response adheres to SVS's stated specs very close - actually registering a usable audible output between 55-65Hz.

Performance

I had a chance to hear a demonstration of the Prime Elevation speakers in its role as a Dolby Atmos height speaker at the 2016 CES, but as a follow-up, SVS sent me a pair to use with my own home theater setup.

This gave me the opportunity to use them as front left/right, center, and surround speakers as well as Dolby Atmos height speakers. In fact, they also make great speakers for a simple 2.1 channel setup in combination with a stereo receiver that has a subwoofer output.

In all cases, I found the speakers performed well in a variety of roles. As front and center channel speakers, their front angled design actually worked really well they directed sound in just a slightly upward fashion to really creates a broad and slightly elevated front soundstage.

Shifting gears, I used the Prime Elevation speakers in a surround left/surround right configuration in towards the rear corners of the room with them leaning on their side with angled front point towards the listening position.

The result was definitely effective. Often times, surround information can be diffuse, it is there, but you can't always pinpoint the exact location of the sound objects. However, placing the Prime Elevation speakers on their sides with the speakers pointing towards the listening position, the sounds were less diffuse, making for a more effective surround sound listening experience.

On the other hand, since I was only sent one pair Prime Elevation speakers, I was not able set them up as Bipole/Di-Pole surround pairs as that requires the use of four speakers on their sides, back-to-back (two for each surround channel).

Also, although already having heard the Prime Elevation speakers in their role as wall mounted Dolby Atmos height speakers at CES, I also tried to use them as vertically firing Dolby Speakers at home. The result was definitely not as direct, having to bounce sound off the ceiling, only giving a partial sense of elevated, but not overhead sound. SVS does not recommend this setup option, as many would be disappointed in the result - especially in comparison to the wall mounted height option where the speakers fire downward directly into the listening area.

Final Take

SVS has definitely come up with a speaker design that, although inspired by the need for a speaker that can improve the Dolby Atmos experience that typical vertically firing speakers can provide, is also practical for use as front, center, and surround speakers as well.

For wall mounting, all the need hardware, along with a paper template that assists in marking your desired mounting position - of course, although the brackets and screws are provided, you do have to provide your own tools.

The Prime Elevation Speakers provide a great option for those that want a good Dolby Atmos listening experience, without the hassle of cutting into the ceiling and routing the wire through the walls and ceiling.

Although they are designed to complement the rest of the speakers in SVS's Prime speakers line, they can also make great additions to most existing speaker systems.

Also, if you are looking for a complete surround sound speaker setup - another option is to buy a 7 or 9 of these speakers and a good subwoofer and use any of the speakers for any of the channels.

The Prime Elevation speaker is offered the following finishes: Gloss Black, Gloss White, and Black Ash (with a hand-painted satin baffle­).

Additional Components Used In The Review Portion Of This Article

Loudspeakers: 4 Klipsch B-3 bookshelf speakers, A Klipsch C-2 center channel, and Klipsch Synergy Sub10 subwoofer.

Home Theater Receiver: Anthem MRX 720 (5.1 Dolby/DTS and 5.1.2 channel Dolby Atmos operating modes).

Blu-ray Disc Player: OPPO BDP-103 - Used for Blu-ray, DVD, and CD disc playback.

Ultra HD Blu-ray Disc Player: Samsung UBD-K8500