Outdoor Speakers

Discussion in 'Speakers' started by Darrin_R, Apr 8, 2003.

  1. Darrin_R

    Darrin_R Stunt Coordinator

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    I am looking for some outdoor speaker recommendations. I would like to keep the cost under $300. Are there brands that have better bass response within my budget? The speakers will be placed around a pool and fully exposed to the climate.

    I have also read where people have used low voltage landscape lighting wire rather than jacketed direct burial wire. Any opinions?? The landscape wire is much cheaper.

    Thanks
     
  2. Tom Tubbiola

    Tom Tubbiola Stunt Coordinator

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    ***Disclaimer***
    I have not heard any of these speakers. I just did a bit of research and here's what I found.

    Klipsch

    Polk Audio

    Maybe someone else can give us a review?
     
  3. Robb Roy

    Robb Roy Supporting Actor

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    Obviously I haven't heard every outdoor speaker there is, but I've been through a few. Your best bet is to buy cheap speakers and install them outdoors until you can't stand them any more. Then buy a replacement set of cheap speakers.

    I'm in pretty harsh elements (Phoenix, AZ) and while outdoor speakers may last longer, they all pretty much sound terrible out of the chute. At the same time, if you're outside, it's not like you are doing critical listening...
     
  4. Chris Tsutsui

    Chris Tsutsui Screenwriter

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    For Good decent 55hz bass extension go with JBL N26AW. One drawback could be their rather bulky size though and a slight mid bass hump in the design although they were plenty articulate for outdoors and had good far field response.

    They MSRP for $300 and can be found at places like Best buy. I did some A/V contracting for a house in Palos Verdes and had them powered with an old low power technics receiver for radio and they could really crank out some decent mid bass. The backyard is 100'x64'.
     
  5. Jeff Bamberger

    Jeff Bamberger Second Unit

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    http://www.stereostoneinc.com

    I have heard some of these and they rock! (No pun intended).

    Anyways, they are priced higher, but you could get a pair of the smaller ones for about $300 or so.

    If you spend a lot of time outdoors, then something of this quality is worth it.
     
  6. Mark Hedges

    Mark Hedges Second Unit

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    JBL also has the S36II AW - an outdoor version of the S36. I have the S36 and like them. You can get them for about $250 or so from the deep discounting retailers. They are not going to give you really heavy bass but I don't think any outdoor speaker does that well with bass, expecially for under $300.

    Mark
     
  7. Darrin_R

    Darrin_R Stunt Coordinator

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    Thanks everyone for your response. I am going to listen to a few this weekend.
     
  8. glenn.arsenault

    glenn.arsenault Stunt Coordinator

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    I have had outdoor speakers for a few years. I looked around a lot and finally bought a pair of Parasounds on a close-out sale. It is really not worthwhile to critically listen to speakers for outdoors - you will never use them for critical listening anyways and there is no way to control or affect the environment in which they are located. Just buy something that fits the budget from a reliable manufacturer.
     
  9. James Gallup

    James Gallup Agent

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    go with what Rob Roy said. Listen to a few in the store and find something that sounds decent to you. Pay a couple of hundred bucks and buy new ones 2 or 3 years later. I had boston acoustics before and they lasted "4" years before they crapped out. I currently have 1 year old sonance and they sound fine without any "VISUAL" problems so far. Just do what Rob Roy said and plan on replacing them in 2 to 3 years.
     
  10. Tekara

    Tekara Supporting Actor

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    I tend to agree with Rob Roy and James. since speakers don't operate at excessive voltages there is little chance of them shorting out in the rain as long as they don't ever become submerged. Considering that typical rain is fairly pure water . the only preperations I would reccomend is drilling a small drain hole in the bottom of the speaker and applying some coating to it. That will make them just about as hearty as any outdoor speaker.

    through I really do dig the rock speakers suggested. I would go with something like that if I wanted ambient sound without the awefull apearence of wooden boxes in a garden.
     
  11. Chris Tsutsui

    Chris Tsutsui Screenwriter

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    Hehe, but drilling a small hole will be like adding a port and there could be a "chuffing" noise at a certain frequency. Anyways most outdoor speakers have plastic housings and are compatable with wall mount brackets. You won't need burial wire if you mount the speakers on the house.

    I actually think low voltage burial wire would work ok instead of direct burial speaker wire. If it's up to 200 ft I found that 14 gauge works great. Since it's only low volt wire, I'd bury it about 8-12" as opposed to the required 24" for higher voltage.

    It's going to be hard to audition outdoor speakers because they will likely be heard indoors. What I'd do is buy a pair (with 30 day money back) and just hook them up outside and crank the volume. Pay attention to bass, vocals, and highs. Then walk around the speakers in different locations of the backyard and see if the dispersion of sound is uniform.
     
  12. Bill Lucas

    Bill Lucas Supporting Actor

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    Never buy indoor speakers for outdoor use. That's simply bad advice.

    In your price range I'd look at the Niles OS6. It lists for $300 a pair and is a marine grade speaker. I've seen 5 year old speakers that look nearly brand new. Clean them a couple of times a year and enjoy them. If you can up your budget you can get the Niles OS10 ($399) or the KEF CI500AW ($500). The KEFs have a nice, smooth sound and put out a fair amount of bass. An installation hint...do NOT install your speakers on the house pointing out. If you do this you are trying to fill an infinite void with sound. Instaed, install them on deck railing pointing towards the house (or in your landscaping pointing back at the listening area). The house will act as reinforcement, you will get more bass (and volume) and you'll find that the speakers, if placed correctly, will even image. Regards.
     
  13. Darrin_R

    Darrin_R Stunt Coordinator

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    Bill that sounds like great advice. However Im afraid for my application that it might have somewhat of an echo. I am putting one pair on the deck and another pair near the pool patio. I didnt make that clear in my original post.

    I guess I will just play with the placement until I get decent results. This project is just for fun, not critical listening.
     
  14. Bill Lucas

    Bill Lucas Supporting Actor

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    Darrin,

    That's fine. I'd run a volume control for each pair. Then you'll have some flexibility in use. Good luck.
     
  15. Juan M

    Juan M Stunt Coordinator

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    I just thought I would throw out some more suggestions. I haven't heard either of these.
    Home Theater Direct has some really inexpensive outdoor speakers. Level 2 are $59/pair, Level 1 $39/pair. Also my local Target was carrying some outdoor speakers by HiFi Works. They are a division of Sonance. They were about $99/pair.
     
  16. Kevin Cagle

    Kevin Cagle Agent

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    I know most people thought this thread was dead and gone but Best buy is clearing out their JBL N26AW's for $99 !!!

    Get em while you still can.
     
  17. Robert Fellows

    Robert Fellows Stunt Coordinator

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  18. Cam S

    Cam S Screenwriter

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    I would highly recommend any of the Klipsch Synergy outdoor speakers. Good price, nice look, paintable enclosure, and high sensitivity, which means more volume in the backyard!
     
  19. Chris Tsutsui

    Chris Tsutsui Screenwriter

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