Underwater sensors that detect the distance and direction of acoustic sources are critical for surveillance monitoring and target detection in the water. Here, we propose an axial vector sensor that utilizes a small (~1 cm3) compressive-type piezoelectric accelerometer using piezoelectric single crystals. Initially, finite element analysis (FEA) was used to optimize the structure that comprised piezoelectric Pb(Mb1/3Nb2/3)O3-28%PbTiO3 single crystals on a tungsten seismic mass. The receiving voltage sensitivity (RVS) was enhanced through geometric optimization of the thickness and sensing area of the piezoelectric material and the seismic mass. The estimated maximum RVS of the optimized vector sensor was −212 dB. FEA simulations and practical measurements were used to verify the directivity of the vector sensor design, which exhibited a dipole pattern. The dipole beam pattern was used to obtain cardioid patterns using the simulated and measured results for comparison. The results clearly showed the feasibility of using the proposed piezoelectric single-crystal accelerometer for a compressive-type vector sensor.