Atlantic Technology PB-235 Powered Soundbar


Design and Setup of the Atlantic Technology PB-235 Powered Soundbar

The PB-235 arrived at my home, and the first thing I noticed is that it was extremely well packed. Multiple squares of foam complimented the end pieces to ensure safe delivery to my home. The power adapter and cable was in a separate cardboard box, which was taped to the side of the main box - ensuring that it would not move in transit. Finally, the sound bar itself was clothed in a cloth sleeve, adding another layer of protection - as well as a nice touch.

The unit is about 43" long, almost matching the width of my 55" plasma HDTV, 5.5" high, and 6.5" deep. The top and bottom are finished with a black semi-glossy finish, while the back and sides are matte. The grille cloth is attached to a wood frame that has plenty of supports throughout - making it feel very solid and unlikely to break when trying to remove it. It sets into the sound bar with pegs that are long enough to again give the feel that it won't budge once attached properly. The control and input sections occupy the front and back, respectively, of a raised arch section centered on the top (or bottom if mounted upside down) of the unit. All-around good construction.

There are several options when it comes to positioning the Power Bar. It has the necessary keyhole brackets in the back of the unit to allow for direct wall mounting, and includes a nice large template to ensure proper placement of the wall screws (not included). In this configuration, Atlantic Technology recommends that you mount the bar upside down. They include a separate control panel label for this purpose, and the speaker grille can also be flipped so everything looks proper. The HDTV in my living room is mounted in the center of a large built-in shelving unit; so in my case, I placed the PB-235 on the shelf underneath it, control side up. For reference sake, the room is roughly 15' long, 17' wide, and has 9' ceilings. I attached the small rubber footpads near the corners of the base of the unit to provide stability and to keep it from fully resting on the wood shelf.

The PB-235, like many sound bars, replaces any need for a separate A/V receiver, though all video switching would be done with the display device since it doesn't have any video capabilities. In fact, this is exactly what I did – connected my sources' audio outputs to the sound bar and video outputs directly to my HDTV. I attached my old Toshiba HD-A2 HD-DVD player to one of the optical digital inputs, my CD source to the other, plugged in the power, and was ready to start breaking it in. The unit also has a mini-jack input (which can be used to connect an iPod or Android phone, for example), a digital coaxial input, and an analog stereo input. Additionally, though the PB-235 is marketed as the first sound bar that is "subwoofer optional", it still has a line out for a dedicated subwoofer. In my testing, I did not attach a subwoofer so as to test the aforementioned claim.

In fact, the noted feature of this sound bar is its ability to reproduce very deep, engaging bass (rated down to 47kHz) using AT's H-PAS technology. H-PAS is short for "Hybrid Pressure Acceleration System" which, according to the company, combines "acoustic suspension, inverse horn, bass reflex, and transmission line" technologies in a proprietary algorithm to create extremely satisfying, deep bass without the need for that subwoofer.

The remote control included with the unit is a small, flat device that has all the controls you need. Since the unit is IR controlled, I checked to see if there was already support for my Harmony 900 remote, which unsurprisingly, there was. I programmed the device in, and added it to my activities, which was quick and easy. In fact, one benefit I noted from doing this was that instead of having to cycle through the inputs to change them as you do with the included remote, the Harmony could directly select the proper input based on the activity I ran.