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SVS Prime Elevation speaker review: An incredibly versatile audio solution for the home theater

Theo Nicolakis | Dec. 13, 2016
These smartly designed speakers are particularly great as the height channels in a Dolby Atmos, DTS:X, or Auro-3D configuration.

The Prime Elevation’s premium piano black gloss finish is gorgeous and mirror-like. 
The Prime Elevation’s premium piano-black gloss finish is gorgeous and mirror like.

My review pair came in the more-expensive piano-black gloss finish. It’s the same finish that graces the company’s top of the line speakers and subs. The mirror-like finish makes the speakers look far more expensive than $500 per pair, but you can buy them with a matte finish and shave $50 off the price of each speaker and get the same incredible sound.

A small speaker with big sound

I incorporated the Prime Elevation speakers into my 7.4.4 Dolby Atmos home theater. My setup currently consists of SVS’ Ultra series speakers at floor level and Beale Street Audio’s in-ceiling speakers for the height channels. A high-end Anthem AVM 60 preamplifier-processor (in for review), Emotiva XPA-1L 250 watt monoblock amplifiers, and Monoprice Monolith 7-channel multichannel amplifier (also in for review) served as the heart of the evaluation system.

The Prime Elevation were primarily designed as height channel speakers for immersive audio but can w 
The Prime Elevation were primarily designed as height channel speakers for immersive audio but they'll work in any of a number of configurations.

I tested the Prime Elevation in three different scenarios: a two-channel stereo configuration, as side surround speakers, and as front height channels. For stereo listening, I placed the Prime Elevation on 33-inch speaker stands, which put the speakers at about my ear height when I was seated. I positioned the speakers with the same location and toe-in angle that I normally put their siblings, the SVS Ultra towers. I conducted the majority of my tests in two-channel mode to really get a feel for the speakers’ sound and performance.

These are stunning speakers. They have pin-point imaging, throw a ridiculously large and wide sound stage, and have a very good timbral balance that fits well with the rest of the SVS lineup. The top end is sharp and crisp and the speakers have relatively good dynamics. While they aren’t direct competition to SVS’ bookshelf speakers, if you have space or budget constraints, you should give these a serious listen.

You can use the Prime Elevation to solve a number of installation challenges and use them for any ch 
You can use the Prime Elevation to solve a number of installation challenges and use them for any channel.

Shifting them to Dolby Atmos height or surround duties didn’t phase the Prime Elevation one bit. Firing up the remastered Fifth Element Blu-ray with its new Dolby Atmos track showed how the Prime Elevation could make my room acoustically disappear.  Whether it was the vastness of space in the opening scene, the cab-ride chase scene with Bruce Willis, or the climactic opera, the Dolby Atmos presentation was superb on all counts.  The Prime Elevation never called attention to themselves, never came across as a weak link, and played their part time after time.

 

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