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Atlantic Technology SB8 Subwoofer Preview



  • Product Name: SB8 High-Performance Compact Powered Subwoofer
  • Manufacturer: Atlantic Technology
  • Review Date: February 14, 2017 11:00
  • MSRP: $499
  • First Impression: Pretty Cool
  • Design: Bass-Reflex Subwoofer with Down-Firing Woofer and Port
  • Driver: 8” Long-throw Driver
  • Amplifier: 125W RMS
  • Low-Pass Crossover: 40Hz – 220Hz
  • Frequency Response: 32Hz – 200Hz (+/- 3dB)
  • Inputs: Line-Level Input / Speaker Level Tension Connectors
  • Output: Speaker Level Tension Connectors
  • Weight: 28 lbs.
  • Power Requirements: 110-120 / 220-240V, 50/60 Hz, 250W Max
  • Dimensions (DxWxH): 10 ⅞” x 13 ⅛” 13 1/16”

It’s not easy to get big sound out of a little package. That’s not to say it’s impossible, however it is an area that loudspeaker engineers have long butted heads with the laws of physics, sometimes with fruitful results and sometimes without any success. Atlantic Technology has recently released their effort at this difficult task with the SB8, a diminutive subwoofer that is essentially a 13” cube. The SB8 tries to clear the hurdle of getting big low-frequency output from a small container by using a long-throw 8” woofer in conjunction with a healthy-sized port. This is a slightly different approach in ‘mini-subwoofers’ where passive radiators are more often used to keep the size down, although those subs tend to cost more than the MSRP of the SB8. With a +/- 3dB window down to 32 Hz, the SB8 reassuringly does not try to attempt an inadvisable extension with its modest size, but instead plays to the strengths of what is possible for its dimensions. While it may be possible to extend the response for a deeper tuning point, it would likely do so at the expense of capability in the 30 Hz to 50 Hz region, which is not a worthwhile trade-off for a subwoofer with its specifications. This is just as well, since most bass in music and movie content lay above 30 Hz.

SB8 back    SB8 wofer

Nice Fit & Finish for High WAF

One of the chief selling points of the SB8 is the high-quality gloss black finish. With its small size and attractive finish, this is a subwoofer that ranks very high in “spouse approval factor”. A multiple subwoofer system might even be possible in aesthetically demanding situations due to the SB8’s petite size and elegant appearance. Its small footprint also makes it ideal for situations where floor space is at a premium like smaller apartments.
One feature onboard the SB8 that is becoming less commonplace on subwoofers is the inclusion of speaker-level inputs and outputs. This makes it a good choice to integrate into older systems or simpler systems that do not have bass management or pre-outs for subwoofers. One interesting feature mentioned in the Atlantic Technology’s literature for the SB8 is the use of “proprietary distortion-detection circuitry” which supposedly prevents the SB8 from emitting distorted sound even when it’s pushed hard. Typically these sort of systems need some kind of sensor on the cone or former that compares its motion to the input signal, but Atlantic Technology has not confirmed that to be the mechanism (although they have not denied it either). In any case, we at Audioholics are curious about the technology used to detect distortion.  The Atlantic Technology SB8 is currently shipping and with a price point of $500 it puts it competitively priced with similar end subs of this caliber and size.


Unless otherwise indicated, this is a preview article for the featured product. A formal review may or may not follow in the future.

About the author:
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James Larson is Audioholics' primary loudspeaker and subwoofer reviewer on account of his deep knowledge of loudspeaker functioning and performance and also his overall enthusiasm toward moving the state of audio science forward.

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