Atlantic Tech Soundbar goes Deep sans Sub
Atlantic Technology says the PowerBar 235 carries an MSRP of $899, and if need be it’s low-frequency performance can be augmented with a subwoofer.
According to the Massachusetts-based manufacturer Atlantic Technology the one major problem with these new soundbar products is that they need the support of a companion subwoofer to truly sound good. With sales of these products up nearly 50 percent over the previous year electronics professionals now have the opportunity to choose from a growing array of products but Atlantic Technology president and CEO Peter Tribeman points out that it’s important for these products to integrate into a home space without taking up too much room.
“Subwoofers are the subject of martial debate. Husbands and wives both want state-of-the-art, but she wants the sub in another state,” he jokes. “With a few minor exceptions the typical frequency response of a soundbar starts to roll off around 150Hz … they can’t reproduce bass.”
Tribeman’s solution is to employ a technology he first introduced to market a few years called H-PAS (Hybrid Pressure Acceleration System) in the company’s AT-1 compact floorstanding speaker. The newly launched H-PAS PowerBar 235 is an all-in-one multichannel speaker system that incorporates two ¾-inch tweeters, two 4-inch woofers and the H-PAS technology. Atlantic Tech says the speaker system offers users a frequency response of 47Hz to 20kHz and it includes processing options for Dolby Digital, DTS and other proprietary technologies such as a dialog enhancement mode.
The $899 soundbar also includes a choice of inputs, including two Toslink, one digital coax, one set of analog RCA connectors, and a 3.5mm input for smart phones, tablets or portable music players to allow installers to set it up with set-top boxes, Blu-ray disc players, Apple TVs and smart phone docks simultaneously.
Listening to a few music demos, as well as a home theater demo with a scene from “Battleship” it was apparent the PowerBar 235 didn’t need the help of a subwoofer to produce a fun user experience. During the movie scene my iPhone SPL meter app registered readings as high as 97dB and Tribeman noted the PowerBar still had more headroom to offer. He adds that installers can feature this soundbar as an upgrade that doesn’t need a subwoofer to augment its bottom end, and he says that if its low-end extension isn’t enough installers can always add a subwoofer to the system to reach the same levels as a traditional home theater.
“When the TV is off people can use the soundbar as a sound system. Installers can use this as part of their step-up [sales] philosophy,” explains Tribeman. “Those other systems require a subwoofer, this one doesn’t, but you can use a sub and play down into the 20s [20Hz range], and for installers this becomes important because they can sell a better experience.”