The SVS SBS-01 Bookshelf Loudspeakers Reviewed

SVS SBS-01 Bookshelf Speaker
SVS SBS-01 Bookshelf Speaker. Photo © Robert Silva - Licensed to

Introduction to the SVS SBS-01 Bookshelf Speaker

SVS SBS-01 bookshelf speaker is an interesting mix positives and negatives, but is a good performer. When used in a two-channel system with music listening emphasis, this compact speaker produces good, overall, sound quality.

However, the SBS-01 was more restrained in the mid-range and high frequencies than two of the comparison speakers used.

On the other hand, despite their small size, the SBS-01's produced tight, non-muddled upper bass response.

In addition, when used as part of the surround sound home theater speaker system, including a subwoofer, these speakers do very well with movie soundtrack material.

Features and Specifications

  • Acoustic suspension (sealed enclosure) bookshelf loudspeaker with 5.25-inch subwoofer and 1-inch tweeter. Impedance: 8 ohms.
  • 1-inch ClearSilkT diaphragm tweeter with frequency response up to 20kHz (+/- db).
  • High frequency crossover at 1.2kHz.
  • 5.25 inch polypropylene cone woofer, delivers bass response down to 68HZ (+/-3db).
  • Sensitivity rating of 85 db.
  • Power handling is rated at 20 to 120 Watts.
  • Magnetically shielded for home theater use.
  • Speaker Dimensions: 12-inches H x 7-inches W x 9.5 Deep
  • Speaker Weight: 11 pounds.
  • Speakers can be wall-mounted, if desired.

    For a closer, physical look, at the SVS SBS-01, check out my Supplementary Photo Gallery

Audio Performance

The SVS SBS-01 speakers produced good sound quality in a two-channel setup, but were more restrained in the upper mid-range and high frequencies than the two comparison speakers used for this review (Klipsch B3 and Optimus Pro LX5-II with Lineaum Tweeter ).

This was evident on several recordings, such as Norah Jones on I Don't Know Why and Loreena McKennit's An Ancient Muse CD. However, despite their small size, the SBS-01's produced tight, non-muddled upper bass response.

In a home theater setup, the SBS-01 worked well as a main, center, or surround speaker, when compared to one of my standard surround setups.

Although these speakers were somewhat restrained in the previous two-channel tests, I found that they did provide a balanced and good, directional, sound image in a multi-channel setup, especially with the addition of a subwoofer. Having only two SBS-01s to use for this review, I tested them in the roles of Center, Main, and Surround channels by switching them out with the other comparison speakers used earlier.

The SBS-01s were adequate to the task of providing good audio from several DVD, Blu-ray, and HD-DVD clips I used, including: DVD - House of the Flying Daggers, Master and Commander, U571, Blu-ray - Spiderman 3, Fantastic 4 - Rise of the Silver Surfer, Pirates of the Caribbean 1 and 2, and HD-DVD - Transformers, 300, Hot Fuzz, Batman Begins, and Top Gun.

The SBS-01 can handle high volume, while maintaining good clarity. However, this speaker seems more at home as part of a home theater system, with the addition of a subwoofer, than as a standalone speaker in a two-channel system.


  • Good overall sound quality
  • Tight upper bass response
  • Easy to Place on table, stand, or on wall
  • Solid construction


  • Somewhat restrained sound in upper frequencies.
  • Midrange needs more presence.
  • Good price point.

    Final Take

    Although there were differences in the liveliness between the SBS-01s and the comparison speakers, I still consider these speakers a good value, especially for the price. I give the SVS SBS-01 loudspeaker a rating of 4 out of 5 Stars.

    NOTE: SVS has discontinued production of the SBS-01 bookshelf loudspeakers, but they may still be available used via third parties. For a look at SVS's current bookshelf loudspeaker offerings, check out their Official Loudspeakers Page.

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