SVS SB-4000 vs. SB16-Ultra – Which Is Better? (2022)


A home audio system can never be totally called a “system” when there is no existing subwoofer in the setup. That is how vital the subwoofer is to any home audio system. The subwoofer is the only speaker designed in the system to produce the low notes, including those that human ears cannot hear, and without this, your audio would sound incomplete.

One of the top companies for home audio systems, SVS offers its two active subwoofers, SB-4000 & SB16-Ultra, which are both powerful and produce excellent low notes.

We will find out if there are really differences between the second-tier subwoofer SB-4000 & the flagship subwoofer SB16-Ultra.

Sound Quality

SVS SB4000

SVS SB-4000 13.5' 1200W Sealed Box Subwoofer (Piano Gloss Black)

The SVS SB-4000 is one of the powered subwoofers under SVS’ second-tier subwoofer series, the SVS 4000 series. It is equipped with the SB-4000 Sledge STA-1200D amplifier uses an efficient Class D design combined with fully discrete MOSFET output and a sophisticated Analog Devices DSP engine and has a rated power of 1,200 Watts RMS pure bass.

Audio specification of the SVS SB-4000:

SVS SB-4000 Specifications
Type Active
Driver 13.5” / 34.3 cm (Front-Firing)
Voice Coil 3” / 7.62 cm
Frequency Response (±3dB) 19 Hz – 310 Hz
Amplifier Class Class-D
Amplifier Power Rating 1200 Watts RMS4200 Watts Peak
Maximum SPL 126.8 dB
Input Impedance 22 Kilohms

The SVS SB-4000 produces a very clear, strong, accurate, and detailed sound, and it is able to transmit distortion-free, very intense, percussive depths, and the dynamics are so ideal. The subwoofer does not distort even sound even at high volume.

The bass notes produced by the SVS SB-4000 are not just loud but also extremely precise. It is equally adept with music as it is with car crashes and rocket blasts. The SVS SB-4000 can also produce deep cello notes with crisp clarity just as well as it can deliver an earth-shaking explosion.

Amazon gave an average score of 4.6 stars out of 5 stars for its totality as a subwoofer. The same reviewers gave an average score of 4.8 stars out of 5 stars for its sound quality.

Based on its audio specifications, it can deliver a power of 4000 Watts peak. It means that it can produce a clear sound for a floor area of more than 2,000 square feet with an estimated 250 to 350 people. It is an impressive subwoofer for its 13.5″ driver size.

The SVS SB-4000 is a highly recommended active subwoofer for audiophiles looking for high-end subwoofers, as it is a versatile subwoofer that performs exceptionally when used for music or movies.

SVS SB16-Ultra

SVS SB16-Ultra 1500 Watt DSP Controlled 16' Subwoofer (Piano Gloss Black)

The SVS SB16-Ultra is one of the powered subwoofers under SVS’ flagship subwoofer series, the SVS 16-Ultra series.

The SVS SB16-Ultra is equipped with the SB16-Ultra Sledge STA-1500D amplifier that uses an efficient Class D design combined with 64 Amp 200-Volt MOSFET output and a top of the class Analog Devices DSP engine and has a rated power of 1,500 Watts RMS of pure bass.

Audio specification of the SVS SB16-Ultra:

SVS SB16-Ultra Specifications
Type Active
Driver 1 x 16” / 40.6 cm (Front-Firing)
Voice Coil 8” / 20.3 cm
Frequency Response (±3dB) 16 Hz – 460 Hz
Amplifier Class Class-D
Amplifier Power Rating 1500 Watts RMS5000 Watts Peak
Input Impedance 22 Kilohms

The SVS SB16-Ultra produces tremendous bass, and the clarity and transparency of the highs are excellent. By watching movies, it creates a very natural, transparent sound. It has a beautiful and balanced sound and ideal bass that will give you an accurate, dynamic, and detailed experience.

The SVS SB16-Ultra blends really when listening to music, resulting in fantastic lower bass and drum response. Overall, it is able to give a jaw-dropping bass performance for music and movies.

Amazon gave an average score of 4.5 stars out of 5 stars for its totality as a subwoofer, and the same reviewers gave an average score of 4.4 stars out of 5 stars for its sound quality.

Looking at its audio specifications, saying that it can deliver a power of 5000 Watts peak. This only means that it can produce a clear sound for a floor area of more than 2,000 square feet with an estimated 250 to 350 people. For a flagship subwoofer, the power rating is really impressive.

The SVS SB16-Ultra is one of the SVS’ flagship subwoofers, and its sound quality is a testament to its greatness. It would be considered an excellent investment for the price you are paying for its sound quality.

Build quality

SVS SB-4000

If you are looking for an active subwoofer that has a high-quality build and can take a beating for a very long time, the SVS SB-4000 is an excellent option for you.

This subwoofer is sturdy and durable and can stand the test of time, although this is really heavy.

Dimensions of the SVS SB-4000:

SVS SB-4000 Specifications
Design Bass Reflex
Cabinet Material Medium Density Fiberboard
Grille Steel Mesh
Dimension (H x W x D) 17.8” x 18.3” x 20.9”45.3 x 46.5 x 53 cm (with Grille)
Weight 102.3 lb / 46.4 kg

The SVS SB-4000’s cabinet material is medium density fiber (MDF) wood and is wrapped with a black piano finish. The medium density fiberboard is an industry-standard for speaker cabinets; that is why this subwoofer’s cabinet is expected to last for a very long time.

The SVS SB-4000’s inlaid front panel display, rounded edges, and curved metal grille give it a refined yet commanding look that blends visually with home theaters and high-end audio systems. The subwoofer’s sealed cabinet design results in tighter and more bass and makes it significantly more compact than ported box subwoofers with similar specifications.

The SVS SB-4000’s double-thick 2-inch MDF front baffle and rigid internal bracing are intended to support the massive driver and to ensure an acoustically inert environment. The subwoofer’s highly reinforced design and acoustic insulation results in eliminating all coloration or resonance from the cabinet, even when the deepest low frequencies are played at reference volume.

The subwoofer also comes with a protective, non-resonant steel mesh grille and custom elastomer feet for reducing noise artifacts within a room.

The SVS SB-4000 is also equipped with a highly sophisticated digital signal processor that maintains pinpoint accuracy and pristine sound quality through advanced in-room tuning, optimized frequency response curves, powerful DSP controls, and more.

The SVS SB-4000’s external and internal components are really top-notch and is expected of what a reference subwoofer really is. The build quality is impressive. Even with its hefty price, the subwoofer’s build quality alone is already worth the value.

SVS SB16-Ultra

The SVS SB16-Ultra is one of the flagship subwoofers of the SVS, and its build quality has lived up to its reputation.

The subwoofer is sturdy and durable, and you can rely upon that you will be able to use it for a very long time.

Dimensions of the SVS SB16-Ultra:

SVS SB16-Ultra Specifications
Design Bass Reflex
Cabinet Material Medium Density Fiberboard
Grille Steel Mesh
Dimension (H x W x D) 19.5” x 20” x 20.1” / 49.5 x 50.8 x 51.1 cm (without Grille)19.5” x 20” x 22.9” / 49.5 x 50.8 x 58.2 cm (with Grille)
Weight 122.0 lb / 55.3 kg

The SVS SB16-Ultra cabinet is made from medium density fiberboard, an industry-standard material for making speaker cabinets. The subwoofer is stable and does not easily move from its vibrations.

The SVS SB16-Ultra has a double thick medium density fiberboard and reinforced internal bracing that supports its massive drive unit and ensures an acoustically inert environment.

The SVS SB16-Ultra is equipped with a premium fiberglass resin composite 16″ ultra cone that moves massive amounts of sonic energy without ever flexing or losing control. It also comes with a high-density FEA-optimized cast aluminum basket that provides unequaled levels of rigidity, tensile strength, and energy transference.

The 8-inch Edge Wound Voice Coil found at the SVS SB16-Ultra is the largest ever deployed for unprecedented driver control and ultra-low distortion at all levels. Its massive precision-machined driver motor elements are able to produce astounding levels of low-frequency output, remaining tight and fast even at reference volume.

Just like the SVS SB-4000, the SB16-Ultra is also equipped with a high-resolution 50Mhz Analog Devices Audio DSP with double precision 56bit filtering, which is the most advanced subwoofer processor available for perfect audio reproduction.

The SVS SB16-Ultra is available in black oak and piano gloss black finishes. It also comes with a protective non-resonant steel mesh grille and screw-in rubber feet for the subwoofer’s exterior protection and stabilization.

The SVS SB16-Ultra build quality is worthy of being named the SVS’ flagship subwoofer. Although it may be expensive, it is a bang for a buck for all the materials used to build this beast and would be an excellent move if you would be purchasing this subwoofer.

Controls

SVS SB-4000

The SVS SB-4000 is equipped with Bluetooth connectivity to control the sophisticated digital signal processor inside the subwoofer. It allows you to control the crossover frequencies, parametric EQ, polarity, and other bass management functions. You can also control the selectable room gain compensation control with adjustable frequency and slope to better match bass to room size.

Using the SVS Bluetooth App, the 3-band parametric EQ controller allows you to have precise adjustments for frequency slope and to be able to adjust the Q factor down to the single Hz level with four different slopes, so you can improve performance by eliminating peaks nulls and other room issues.

SVS SB-4000 13.5' 1200W Sealed Box Subwoofer (Piano Gloss Black)

You can also tweak the volume, low-pass filter, phase adjustment, and polarity in the SVS Bluetooth Application.

The SVS SB-4000 is also equipped with a front-mounted Intelligent Feature Control (IFC) panel with a blue dimmable 8-digit LED display that can be used to control the majority of the advanced subwoofer control settings.

It also has an IR Remote Control that can be used to adjust to nearly every one of the advanced subwoofer control settings with two-way feedback on the front panel display.

The SVS SB-4000 allows you to pre-save three settings for music, movie, and custom, which you can easily switch to optimize the subwoofer’s output setting based on specific listening preferences with different kinds of content.

Exterior Connectivity Options of the SVS SB-4000:

  • 2 x XLR Input
  • 1 x Stereo RCA Input
  • 1 x 1/8” / 3.5 mm Input (12V Trigger)
  • 2 x XLR Output
  • 1 x Stereo RCA Output

You can connect the SVS SB-4000 to any AV Receiver using the XLR inputs, and you can also daisy-chain it another subwoofer.

For all the control and connectivity options available in the SVS SB-4000, it is really worth your money.

SVS SB16-Ultra

The SVS SB16-Ultra and SB-4000 do not really differ in control and connectivity options. The SVS SB16-Ultra can also access the SVS smartphone app that allows you to control all DSP functions and conveniently store custom presets.

The application also allows you to tweak the volume, low pass filter, phase adjustment, polarity, parametric EQ, and room gain compensation. The application is compatible with all Apple and Android platforms.

It also has 2-way feedback that shows updates in real-time on both the app and subwoofer interface and Bluetooth connectivity allows adjustments to be made even when the subwoofer is not in sight.

Just like the SVS SB-4000, the SB16-Ultra also has an 8-digit LED interface for convenient bass management and an IR Remote Control as another convenient way to adjust your subwoofer’s advanced control settings.

The SVS SB16-Ultra also has identical exterior connectivity options with the SVS SB-4000.

The only drawback for the SVS SB16-Ultra’s control and connectivity options is that it does not have a Wi-Fi connectivity. 

All in all, I’m still impressed with the SVS SB16-Ultra’s available controls, even with its hefty price.

Price

SVS SB-4000

The SVS SB-4000 is one of the best active subwoofers available in the market, and for its sound, build and control quality, although it is a little a bit on the expensive side, its worth is more than its value. It would be a great investment for an audio system setup.

check-price-button-edited-1-500x82.png

SVS SB16-Ultra

Although the SVS SB16-Ultra is a bit expensive, it is understandable because of its flagship name. The total quality of SB16-Ultra for its price is phenomenal. You’ll never regret buying this product.

check-price-button-edited-1-500x82.png

If you’re on a bit more of a budget, I recommend you check out my SVS SB1000 vs SVS PB1000 comparison.

Pros and Cons:

SVS SB-4000

Pros:

  • Tight and controlled bass for every type of content
  • Flexible setup with the remote and application
  • Parametric EQ control
  • Build Quality
  • Aesthetic Design

Cons

  • Heavy
  • No automated EQ setup
  • No wifi-connectivity

SVS SB16-Ultra

Pros

  • Excellent deed bass performance
  • Can be easily controlled using the application
  • Highly adjustable frequency response
  • Build quality
  • Beautiful aesthetics
  • Heavy protection against overdriving

Cons

  • Heavyweight
  • Integrated EQ should be automatic
  • Still no wifi-connectivity even if it is a flagship subwoofer

Which Is Better?

The SVS SB-4000 and SVS SB16-Ultra are both excellent subwoofers for their value. But If I need to choose which of the two subwoofers is better, I’ll choose the SVS SB16-Ultra. 

The SVS SB16-Ultra is more powerful and has a larger driver than the SB-4000. Lastly, the SVS SB16-Ultra would not be named the SVS’ flagship subwoofer for no reason.

Not interested in either of these? Check out my own list of the best SVS subwoofers!

Shawn Shepherd

Hi, I'm the owner of the Hifi Guide and have been an audio lover enthusiast for over 16 years. I have a Bachelor's degree in Sound Engineering and I work on producing content for the Hifi Guide in my spare time. My love for audio stemmed from my Dad who was an audio technician, and now I share my knowledge here on this website!

Recent Posts

Want a chance to enter our monthly giveaway?Sign up below!

Win anything from speakers, headphones and soundbars, no catch!