If you've been thinking about buying a wireless speaker here recently, you might want to hold off for another few weeks. Atlantic Technology has announced that its new entry into the category, dubbed Gatecrasher 1, will be dropping in mid-July for $499.
Granted, that sounds like a hefty sum for a wireless speaker, but Gatecrasher 1 sets itself apart by being one of a handful at this size to offer stereo performance by away of two three-quarter-inch tweeters, two midrange drivers, and a four-inch bass driver paired with a five-inch down-firing passive radiator. It also includes a wide mode DSP setting to enhance channel separation, and some really cool presets that sound as if they'll make operation a little simpler than many offerings in this space.
Read the press release below for full details:
Atlantic Technology is announcing Gatecrasher 1, the first in a series of smart multi-room wireless speakers with streaming services and internet radio. This new product puts Atlantic Technology and its customers into the most important and fastest growing new audio category to emerge since the Smart Phone, Smart Speakers.
Atlantic Technology is applying its legacy of award-winning sound to a premium 2.1 stereo table-top system that's packed with an array of high-performance drivers including a stereo pair of ¾ inch aluminum dome tweeters mated with 2-inch cone bass-mid speakers. The internal subwoofer system is composed of a 4-inch bass driver coupled to a down-firing 5-inch passive radiator. With 60 watts of class D power, this gives the system a wide frequency range with bass depth, punch and clarity Atlantic is known for.
Gatecrasher 1's design, materials and construction is also a step-up over typical mainstream offerings. The wood cabinet is constructed of high-density MDF shaped to reduce internal standing waves and available in real-wood veneer gloss Makassar ebony as well as piano-black lacquer. The wrap-around metal speaker grille is acoustically transparent and the system sits solidly on four, 2-inch diameter isolation feet.
Unlike many mono tabletop wireless systems sold, Gatecrasher is a compact 2.1 stereo system that produces excellent stereo in most rooms. For use in a larger room or with a TV, a "Wide" mode is available from the control panel to engage a sophisticated DSP that simulates the spatial imaging of wider-placed separate stereo speakers.
Gatecrasher1 lets owners wirelessly play music using Wi-Fi™ and Bluetooth®. Wi-Fi capability includes dual-band 802.11ac with Wi-Fi Alliance and DLNA® certification, seamlessly interoperating with the world's largest base of connected home Wi-Fi devices. Bluetooth 4.0 with Qualcomm® AptX™ technology gives Gatecrasher compatibility with high-res audio codec's and it can stream from a Bluetooth connected device to multiple Gatecrashers throughout the home. Gatecrasher 1 works with a wide array of audio sources and operating systems including Windows PC and Mac computers, Android™ and iOS tablets and smart phones, plus popular game consoles such as Xbox One and PS4.
Analog audio sources such as a TV, media player, legacy audio gear or hands-free voice controlled systems such as Alexa Enabled Devices or Google Home Devices can be connected directly to Gatecrasher via its auxiliary 3.5mm stereo mini jack. Priority Auto-Sensing™ source switching makes this simple and convenient to use. Turn the connected device on and Gatecrasher automatically wakes up and switches to play audio from the Aux input. As a bonus, these sources can also be streamed to multiple Gatecrashers in the home. Power is supplied to a rear input through an auto-sensing external power supply making the system compatible with 110 or 240v and 50/60 Hz systems.
Also on the rear is a configuration switch to operate Gatecrasher as a single compact stereo system for smaller rooms, or to add a second unit and operate two units as a powerful stereo pair, creating an elegant substitute for complex, bulky, wired legacy audio systems in larger rooms.
System control and set-up is extremely simple through the Atlantic Technology Gatecrasher app available as a free download for Android devices from the Google Play Store or on iOS devices from the Apple App Store. The app quickly and securely connects Gatecrasher to your home Wi-Fi network so you can start enjoying your favorite music or podcast. Once connected the app lets you easily choose from a wide range of sources...
Streaming Services: Spotify Connect / Tidal / Deezer / Qobuz / vTuner Internet Radio.
Supported File Formats: AAC, AAC+, MP3, WAV, WMA and FLAC.
Advanced DLNA audio sync technologies give Gatecrasher 1 the ability to set up multiple Gatecrasher units for whole house audio or to configure Gatecrashers in groups to stream synchronized audio to selected zones in the home.
Besides multi-room Wi-Fi streaming, Gatecrasher1 can stream from a Bluetooth or Aux-In source to any other Gatecrasher in the home or to multiple Gatecrashers, so a visiting friend can share new music with the whole house at a party. All of this is controlled through the Atlantic Technology Gatecrasher App so the app owner keeps control of the play.
Gatecrasher goes beyond the usual wireless speaker control functions with its top-mounted color-coded, back-lit control pad featuring sealed silicon membrane buttons. Besides volume up/down and forward/back/pause of track selection, the panel also features a Bluetooth button plus three programmable preset audio buttons. The presets let you instantly access your three favorite audio sources whether a streaming service or favorite internet radio station to give you one-touch entertainment. For instance, you can set button "1" to Spotify and touching the button when the unit is off, starts playing Spotify from where you left off without needing your find your smart phone, turn it on and select your app.
The color coded backlit control pad makes it simple to see what source is playing as it changes for each source; Dark Blue for Bluetooth, Light Blue for internet radio or local radio sources, Green for Spotify and other streaming services, Light Green for Aux input and Red for standby. The backlight goes to one-half brightness if the unit is paused or muted.
Automatic Future Upgradeability
When app or firmware upgrades or updates are available, the system automatically updates via the internet, so the user doesn't have to lift a finger. Atlantic Technology co-developed the Gatecrasher platform with industry leading partners Frontier Silicon and Andover Audio, specialists in advanced smart audio technologies.
"Atlantic Technology is adding some exciting Smart Speaker capabilities to this powerful platform that they'll announce in the near future, to greatly extend Gatecrasher abilities and integration into the Smart Home", says Andover Audio's Director of Engineering Bob Hazelwood, whose company worked in conjunction with Atlantic Technology to design the product. "Luxury consumers want all their audio throughout the home with the convenience of streaming services and wireless connectivity. Now, we've created a premium "Smart Speaker" with the high-performance sound and features our customers expect", adds Atlantic Technology National Sales Manager Mike Miller.
Gatecrasher 1 will have an MSRP of $499 USD and shipping will begin mid-July in the US.
• Visit the Atlantic Technology website for more product information.
• Visit our Wireless Speaker Reviews page for our thoughts on similar products
• Atlantic Technology LCR3 Bookshelf Speaker Reviewed at HomeTheaterReview.com.