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Outdoor Speakers - any clear winner Polk vs. Boston vs. Atlantic

post #1 of 53
Thread Starter 

So I have about $300 to spend on a pair of outdoor waterproof speakers.

 

I've tried doing a bunch of research and I think I've narrowed it down to these three.

 

Polk Atrium 6

 

Boston Acoustics Voyager 5

 

If I save a bit more I can upgrade to

 

Atlantic Technology AW-424-P

 

Is there any other options around $300 I should consider or should I save up for the Atlantic's

 

Thanks gang!

post #2 of 53
Did you consider Emotiva's UOM-6.2? They are awesome for the price. I switched From Polk Atrium 6 to these. And they not only sound much better, but were half the price! To me, FULLER decribes the sound from the Emos. The mid bass and vocals are fantastic! I'm running them from an Onkyo 818's zone 2 and they have more than enough power going to them. They also have a 30 trial period. Take a look at their site and see if the Emo's fit your needs.
post #3 of 53
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by joeyvaz View Post

Did you consider Emotiva's UOM-6.2? They are awesome for the price. I switched From Polk Atrium 6 to these. And they not only sound much better, but were half the price! To me, FULLER decribes the sound from the Emos. The mid bass and vocals are fantastic! I'm running them from an Onkyo 818's zone 2 and they have more than enough power going to them. They also have a 30 trial period. Take a look at their site and see if the Emo's fit your needs.

 

Cool, I will check them out...thanks for the input.

 

Does anyone else agree or think there are better options...no offense to anyone, just trying to get some additional feedback.

 

So I checked them up (thus the edit) look awesome....however I am a bit worried about the durabilty.  Seems they are only water "resistant" where the Polks seem to be a bit more extreme ?  Is that just marketing by Polk or are they a bit more resistant ?


Edited by toofast68 - 8/24/12 at 8:32am
post #4 of 53
Thread Starter 

Bump  - just looking for a bit more experience or insight ?

post #5 of 53
Emotiva, far and away.
post #6 of 53
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by flyng_fool View Post

Emotiva, far and away.

 

Ok I hear you...but I am concerned about the lack of "weather" resistance in the Emotiva's.  Or does POLK just do a better job marketing and in all reality both will have similar weather proof properties ?

post #7 of 53
In reality there is no "weather-proof" just weather resistant. Sooner or later they will all fail. As long as you have them under the eaves they should last a good long time. Out in the open I would expect a shorter duration time. You could look at it this way, if the EMO's last more than half as long as the Polks, at half the price, you've made your money and then some. If they last as long, then you're up $. Plus, they are just for background music. Unless you plan on regularly cranking them, I doubt you'll notice any difference in sound. If you do plan on cranking them, then go have a listen and compare. In OH you're weather is relatively mild compared to us here in TX. I would think they should last a good long time no matter what you get.
post #8 of 53
Thread Starter 

Thanks again gang...so please don't take this the wrong way...but I am just trying to make sure I've researched to the best of my ability my options.

 

What about these ?

 

Definitive Technology AW 6500 Outdoor Speakers

 

Seems to pehaps give me the missing bass some of the others might have ?

post #9 of 53
I have heard the Def Tech's (not sure which of the two models I heard) and those are outstanding! Yes, a lot of bass.....
post #10 of 53
Unless you can move lots of air bass gets pretty lost outdoors. Those little speakers aren't going to do a whole lot.
post #11 of 53
I had the Def Techs and hated them. To me they lacked a lot of clarity but my use case was for a 5.1 surround setup for my outdoor theater. I upgraded to the Klipsch AW-650 and highly recommend them. You can easily find them for less then $400 for the pair if you are willing to save a little more. The model below the 650's may also suit your needs. Give the Klipsch a shot and see how they compare to what you already are looking at.
post #12 of 53
i've had the voyagers now for about ten years and they still work.I'm here in sunny south florida and they withstand everything.
post #13 of 53
I recently purchased the NHT O2, but can't give a review as they're still in the box. Home Theater gave them good reviews though - said the bass was plentiful.
post #14 of 53
I'm joining in... I'm on the same boat, looking for outdoor speakers for a patio. I was looking into the same models, but leaning toward the def techs... I'm curious to hear opinions...

The klipschs were on my list too, but the frequency response and low power handling seemed odd for the money.

The Yamaha Aw-390 speakers have great reviews for the price... Any thoughts on them?
post #15 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by gizzygone View Post

The Yamaha Aw-390 speakers have great reviews for the price... Any thoughts on them?

When I was putting together my outdoor speaker system, I auditioned the Yamaha NS-AW390s. – Compared to the other, more expensive, speakers that I auditioned (Polk Atrium 60, Polk Atrium 65sdi and Klipsch AW-650) I thought the Yamahas sounded thin and cheap(er). Not even in the same league as the Polks and Klipsch.

Fwiw, I ended up buying the Polk Atrium 60s and they sound really, really good. Later, I added a pair of Polk Atrium 65sdi and I like them much, much better. (Both of the Polks that I have were recently replaced by Polk’s new 2012 line of outdoor speakers and I haven’t heard the newer models.)
post #16 of 53
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by gizzygone View Post

I'm joining in... I'm on the same boat, looking for outdoor speakers for a patio. I was looking into the same models, but leaning toward the def techs... I'm curious to hear opinions...
The klipschs were on my list too, but the frequency response and low power handling seemed odd for the money.
The Yamaha Aw-390 speakers have great reviews for the price... Any thoughts on them?

 

Sure welcome to the thread...not sure why I am struggling so much.  I thought I really wanted the Polks, but then the EMO's popped in, now the Def Techs are taking the lead.  Man so confusing...guess all three are going to be really decent.

post #17 of 53
post #18 of 53
Thread Starter 

 

Wow, $550 - kind of more than I wanted to spend.  But I will dig into these...thanks for the heads up.

post #19 of 53
I listened to few outdoor speakers and went with the Boston Acoustics Voyager6 (3 pairs) for the outdoors. I've had them for 1 full season and they still sound a look great (even with a house sparrow nest on top of one). Apparently they like music too. I ended up choosing the BA due to a great closeout deal I found on the web. I can tell you the voice is very clear and their is decent bass since I placed them all under eaves. Here are a couple photos to help demonstrate placement. FYI - I have Atlantic Technology speakers in my HT environment and love them, but I could not see spending the extra $ on outdoor speakers given the quantity I needed.

garagespeakers.jpg

Deckspeakers.jpg
post #20 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by toofast68 View Post

So I have about $300 to spend on a pair of outdoor waterproof speakers.

 

I've tried doing a bunch of research and I think I've narrowed it down to these three.

 

Polk Atrium 6

 

Boston Acoustics Voyager 5

 

If I save a bit more I can upgrade to

 

Atlantic Technology AW-424-P

 

Is there any other options around $300 I should consider or should I save up for the Atlantic's

 

Thanks gang!


I have the Polk Atrium sat30s and Sub10. They wire up as 2ch and sound fantastic. The mids and highs are clean and clear and the bass is awesome. If you need bass outside, using a sub is the best way to go. This also helps keep the other speakers smaller and not having to have a monster speaker on the side of the house is a big plus. Looks and sounds great. I was able to find the whole set for $400.b824340e-7ec1-1c21.jpgb824340e-7ed5-fea8.jpg
post #21 of 53
I just noticed the Polk atrium 7's were on sale in some places for the same price as the definitive speakers mentioned above (assuming you're getting a pair...).

I'm divided between the two right now. They both have good specs and relatively good reviews...

Ohhhh what to do... What to do.


Any Progress with you, Toofast?
post #22 of 53
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by gizzygone View Post

I just noticed the Polk atrium 7's were on sale in some places for the same price as the definitive speakers mentioned above (assuming you're getting a pair...).
I'm divided between the two right now. They both have good specs and relatively good reviews...
Ohhhh what to do... What to do.
Any Progress with you, Toofast?

 

I am stuck...trying my best to compare specs, warranty, etc.  For some reason that I can not explain, I keep learning toward the Polks.  Where did you see the 7's on sale ? (Guess you can PM me that one)

post #23 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by toofast68 View Post

I am stuck...trying my best to compare specs, warranty, etc.  For some reason that I can not explain, I keep learning toward the Polks.  Where did you see the 7's on sale ? (Guess you can PM me that one)

Go with James loudspeaker they make a great outdoor system.

I have them inside but my next purchase will be the outdoor replacing my Russound and Boston Acoustics.
post #24 of 53
It depends on the area you are using these but in general I wouldn't use anything less than 6.5" woofers if you want decent bass. You don't get the room gain you do inside. Now if you are sitting very close to your speakers this might not be an issue but if you are trying to listen in the backyard it will lose its punch quick. You really can't go by specs because companies are often not consistent in how they measure them. I'm assuming you are not planning on a sub. Also, I know most people don't want pounding bass for outside but having a speaker that goes a little lower will have a fuller sound. There are many good brands for what you are looking but no matter which you choose I'd step up to one with larger woofers at least a 6" and narrow your choices from there.

Another thing to consider is placement. Most of the ones you are looking at will work better if placed vertically and angled downward towards the listening area, like if placed under an eave. The Emotivas have great horizontal dispersion but lousy vertical dispersion because of the waveguide they use, definitely not recommended to be placed horizontally unless you don't need wide coverage and are just using on a small deck or something. A good choice for broad dispersion is something like the Tannoy DVS 6/8, the coaxial driver has good dispersion no matter or how it is mounted.
post #25 of 53
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by BobL View Post

It depends on the area you are using these but in general I wouldn't use anything less than 6.5" woofers if you want decent bass. You don't get the room gain you do inside. Now if you are sitting very close to your speakers this might not be an issue but if you are trying to listen in the backyard it will lose its punch quick. You really can't go by specs because companies are often not consistent in how they measure them. I'm assuming you are not planning on a sub. Also, I know most people don't want pounding bass for outside but having a speaker that goes a little lower will have a fuller sound. There are many good brands for what you are looking but no matter which you choose I'd step up to one with larger woofers at least a 6" and narrow your choices from there.
Another thing to consider is placement. Most of the ones you are looking at will work better if placed vertically and angled downward towards the listening area, like if placed under an eave. The Emotivas have great horizontal dispersion but lousy vertical dispersion because of the waveguide they use, definitely not recommended to be placed horizontally unless you don't need wide coverage and are just using on a small deck or something. A good choice for broad dispersion is something like the Tannoy DVS 6/8, the coaxial driver has good dispersion no matter or how it is mounted.

 

Hearing this from such an experience guy makes me lean more toward the Definitive Technology AW 6500 now....Bob, would those be a feasable option ?  The placement would be under the eave...

post #26 of 53
I was able to audition the Voyagers, Def Tech, and the Polks. The Def Techs had a much fuller sound and they can put out some bass because of the radiator ( if you can point it to a wall.) I cannot comment on the others. I went with the Def Techs. I am very happy with my purchase. I'm running them with an Adcom amp.
Edited by michaelscott73 - 8/31/12 at 6:03am
post #27 of 53
Whenever you place a speaker on its side you will get an off axis midrange dip, that's the reason I recommend vertical placement when possible unless using coax driver like mentioned. I do understand aesthetics plays a concern and vertical mounting is not always acceptable. I'm a little more particular with this for center speakers which are often a compromise in this regard. However for outside purposes I'd trade a little fidelity for some more bass. They are probably a good choice for more bass if placed under an eave by looking at the design. I haven't used them personally though, so I can't comment on the speakers themselves.
post #28 of 53
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by michaelscott73 View Post

I was able to audition the Voyagers, Def Tech, and the Polks. The Def Techs had a much fuller sound and they can put out some bass because of the radiator ( if you can point it to a wall.) I cannot comment on the others. I went with the Def Techs. I am very happy with my purchase. I'm running them with an Adcom amp.

 

This review made me pull the trigger on the Def Tech's - stay tuned and thank to all for your help!

post #29 of 53
Hmmm. Let me know how you make out... I was leaning toward the 5500 def techs, only because they're pretty large as it is... And because I only have 90 watts to power them.

I keep getting tempted to go cheaper too... I'm not sure what volume I plan on listening to the music at, since my deck isn't too far from the neighbor's yard/house.
post #30 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by gizzygone View Post

Hmmm. Let me know how you make out... I was leaning toward the 5500 def techs, only because they're pretty large as it is... And because I only have 90 watts to power them.
I keep getting tempted to go cheaper too... I'm not sure what volume I plan on listening to the music at, since my deck isn't too far from the neighbor's yard/house.
I was able to A/B the 5500 and 6500. The sound is much fuller with the 6500. Electronics Expo was using a cheaper Onk receiver that couldn't have been more than 65 watts so I wouldn't worry about that.
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