Atlantic Technology Gatecrasher3 PowerBar Released
Atlantic Technology has released their new Gatecrasher3 PowerBar for home theater. This 3.0 soundbar makes extensive use of the SKAA wireless streaming technology to give users the ultimate flexibility in setup and configuration. At $799, the Atlantic Technology Gatecrasher3 isn’t the least expensive soundbar out there, but it might be one of the most flexible.
Out of the box, the Gatecrasher3 is a 3.0 soundbar. With a single ARC-enabled HDMI input, the Gatecrasher3 can basically act as both a soundbar and receiver. Sporting coaxial, optical, and standard RCA inputs, it can connect to your legacy display or devices as well. The clear use here is with a smart TV. Using ARC, the audio from the TV can be sent down to the bar from your apps. The optical or coaxial input can be used for a cable box or other sources. The soundbar does all the work as it can then send audio to other compatible devices and speakers.
If you want to stick with Atlantic Technology speaker offerings, you have the FS series to choose from. The FS-S65 subwoofer sports a 6.5-inch driver and a $439 price tag while the FS-S8 has an 8-inch driver and costs $599 (link to both). The FS-252 wireless speakers run $819 a pair and can be added as surrounds. For a little less ($699) you could use the FS-WSLR1 speakers as surrounds.
Alternatively, you can buy standalone SKAA receivers and pair them to the Gatecrasher3. They start at around $80 a pop and you’ll need powered speakers (subwoofers are always powered so that isn’t an issue). You could probably save money with the surrounds and get a much better subwoofer for the bass this way.
The claim-to-fame of the Gatecrasher3 is its connectivity. While it doesn’t have many physical connections, it pretty much has all the wireless ones. It can utilize SKAA wireless (mostly for the additional speakers), Bluetooth, and Wi-Fi. The Atlantic Technology Gatecrasher3 sports six built-in Wi-Fi streaming sources including Spotify, Tidal, Deezer, Qobuz, airable free internet radio, and DLNA. In addition, there are advanced digital wireless sources including the aforementioned SKAA, Dual-Band Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth with aptX and AAC.
As SKAA can be connected to up to four different receivers, the Gatecrasher3 can be used in a multiroom setup. While you’ll hear the same source in all the rooms, SKAAs claimed 150-foot range will allow you to pair it with receivers all over your house. You’ll either need compatible speakers or receivers mated with powered speakers, but it can be done. Atlantic Technology now has 13 different products in their lineup that are SKAA compatible including indoor and outdoor speakers.
While we won’t know how the Gatecrasher3 sound until we get a chance to review one, it does sport a pretty nice array of drivers. Atlantic Technology has shoved six 2.5-inch composite polypropylene woofers and three 3/4-inch aluminum-dome tweeters into a 50.5” W x 4.4” H x 3” D cabinet. The soundbar can process most Dolby signals (not Atmos or TrueHD) but there is no mention of DTS. It has wall mounting brackets included. The claimed frequency response of the speaker is 80Hz at -2dB but the SKAA signal that is sent out is full range. No word if adding a subwoofer will engage any internal crossover (we doubt it).
The real benefit we see of the Atlantic Technology Gatecrasher3 is not what you’d think. Yes, we like that you can add more speakers and use them in a multiroom setup or as surrounds. Yes, we like that you can pair it with an aftermarket receiver and use a real subwoofer. But what really excites us is that the SKAA connection can be used with headphones. That may sound crazy but hear us out. The fact is, we’ve dealt with a number of households with people with different levels of hearing. One person can’t hear as well and constantly turns the TV up. The other is getting a headache so they turn the TV down. The SKAA connection is so fast that latency shouldn’t be an issue. One person could use the speaker while the other person uses a SKAA compatible headphone. SKAA sells one for under $190 and Atlantic Technology has a pair (the FS-BTWS582 wireless headphones) in the pipeline that will be released soon. This is a solution that literally doesn’t exist elsewhere and could be a real boon for those that need it.
It’s strange to say that the thing we are most excited about with the Atlantic Technology Gatecrasher3 soundbar is that it can be used with wireless headphones. But it is true. The SKAA connection means that multiple people can enjoy this sound, either through the Gatecrasher3 or through wireless headphones, with no lip sync issues. That’s huge. The fact that you can wirelessly connect a sub or a pair of surrounds to the soundbar is just a bonus.
For more information, visit AtlanticTechnology.com