NAMM 2023: The Atlas i8 is Antelope Audio's first studio monitor, designed by the company from the ground up. And it seems to be packed full of as many innovative features as the company's well-regarded audio interfaces…
Antelope Audio's Zen, Atlas and Orion interfaces are well known for their cutting-edge designs and high sound quality, thanks largely down to their clocking and conversion rates. Some of that tech has found its way into the Atlas i8s, which are digital speakers with a number of other clever ideas.
The i8 is a relatively compact studio monitor but boasts a wide frequency range of 35Hz to 20kHz thanks to its 'isobaric' design. While not a totally new idea in speaker circles, it's a rarely used approach where two sets of low frequency drivers are placed in parallel to give the speaker an extended low end, and all from a smaller enclosure than you might expect.
The Atlas i8 also boasts its own Antelope-designed class D amp that delivers 200W to the woofers and another 100W to the mid and high-end drivers, plus a not inconsiderable SPL of 117dB. The latter two drivers are of a dual concentric design, so appear almost as one on the unit (where it's actually the tweeter built into the mid driver).
Because it is digital, the Atlas i8 has USB connectivity so can take a digital signal direct from your computer or analogue analogue inputs with conversion of up to 192kHz. Other digital advantages mean you can control imaging, EQ and more directly via software.
The isobaric design makes these heavy speakers (around 24kg), so you're not going to want to shift them once placed, but fortunately you can use them either vertically or horizontally. Having an extra parallel bass driver will inevitably add to the cost; the Atlas i8s should be available in Q2 this year for around $2500 each.