Atlantic Technology Crashes Multi-Room Party With Its Gatecrasher 1 Smart Speaker
- Product Name: Gatecrasher 1
- Manufacturer: Atlantic Technology
- Review Date: January 07, 2019 23:00
- MSRP: $499
- First Impression: Gotta Have It!
- Driver configuration: two 2.5” woofers, two .75” dome tweeters, one 4” subwoofer, one 5” passive radiator
- Power output: 65 watts total RMS system power, Class D
- Frequency Response: 45 Hz - 20 kHz
- Dimensions (W x D x H): 12.4” x 6.5” x 5.7”
- Weight: 12.4 lbs
Atlantic Technology has announced its first smart speaker, the $499 Gatecrasher 1. The Massachusetts-based loudspeaker manufacturer says that the Gatecrasher 1 is the first in what will be a series of smart multi-room wireless speakers from the company. The Gatecrasher and its stablemates will play music via both Wi-Fi and bluetooth connections, and is compatible with Alexa voice control via an automatic firmware update which is now available.
The Gatecrasher 1 is a self-contained 2.1-channel system, featuring a separate 2-inch woofer and 3/4-inch dome tweeter for the left and right channels. A single 4-inch subwoofer provides the low bass, augmented by a down-firing 5-inch “auxiliary bass radiator.” Power is provided by a hefty 65-watt Class D amplifier and this speaker is rated to fill your room with sound up to 2,500 ft^3 in dimensional volume. Atlantic Technology is known for producing speakers with unusually deep and powerful bass performance for their size, so don’t be surprised if the Gatecrasher 1 sounds bigger than it looks. Speaking of appearances, the Gatecrasher’s glossy, high-density MDF cabinet certainly looks more premium than the mostly plastic-clad competition, and the wrap-around metal grille suggests durability. According to Atlantic Technology, the cabinet has been specially designed to reduce internal standing waves, and rests on chunky, vibration-absorbing isolation feet measuring 2 inches in diameter.
The Gatecrasher 1 has an optional “Wide” sound mode, which “increases apparent spatial stereo separation” using custom digital signal processing. If you prefer real-deal stereo, two Gatecrasher 1 speakers can be configured as a stereo pair using the free Atlantic Technology Gatecrasher apps for iOS and Android. The Gatecrasher also can be controlled via a color-coded and backlit top-panel control pad. Spotify users will be able to control a Gatecrasher via Spotify Connect, and native music streaming via Tidal, Deezer, and Qobuz are built in as well. Internet radio is served up via vTuner. The Gatecrasher 1 earns its “smart speaker” designation from Alexa integration, but it’s not a standalone smart device like one of Amazon’s Echo products. Instead, the Gatecrasher can be controlled via a direct Wi-Fi connection to a separate Alexa device on the network, which the user will need to provide. Once networked, the Gatecrasher 1 can stream music via Wi-Fi from any PC, Mac, or NAS drive, thanks to the speaker’s DLNA certification. The Microsoft Xbox One and Sony Playstation 4 game consoles can also be used as audio sources. Atlantic Technology has not indicated whether high-resolution files will be supported, but standard resolution MP3, WAV, WMA, AAC, AAC+, and FLAC files are all covered. The speaker’s multi-room functionality relies on advanced DLNA audio sync technologies. The user can play synchronized audio to all speakers, or group certain speakers into zones. Even the Gatecrasher’s 3.5mm analog auxiliary jack and aptX bluetooth inputs can be streamed to multiple Gatecrashers on the network.
Ready for the Future?
Atlantic Technology says that the Gatecrasher 1 will continue to receive new capabilities via automatic firmware updates. It is available in two high-gloss finishes: piano black lacquer, and Makassar ebony real-wood veneer. Will the Gatecrasher 1 deliver enough to lure mainstream buyers away from the Sonos Play:5? And how will it distinguish itself from other audiophile designs, such as the ELAC Discovery Z3 and the Peachtree Audio DeepBlueSKY?
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