Originally Posted by cpotter638
We have outdoor speakers at our covered patio and pool deck. These include:
- 2 Sonance Mariner 62's on covered patio
- 4 Speakercraft OG's in landscaping bed. These are "staked" and thus easily mounted in mulch.
I'm happy with the Sonance speakers. The Spearcraft speakers are crap (at least at high volumes). Want to replace the Speakercraft speakers with something that provides better audio (especially at high volumes).
Any suggestions? The best I can come up with currently:
Polk Atrium (4, 5, or 6). I think these are better placed in a covered / partially covered location; however, they supposedly can be placed directly in the elements. I would uninstall and take indoors in the winter.
Anyone have experience with placing the Polk Atriums directly in rain / elements? Any other better suggestions? "Rock type" speakers would be another option, but from what I've read, most are crap.
Thanks in advance for the help.
LOTS OF INFO BELOW....
I do a ton of landscape sound systems every year. It's one of my favorite project types to design and install for my clients. When done right, the results are amazing and one of the finest audio experiences one can have. On a lot of these systems I work hand in hand with engineers from some spectacular manufacturers: James Loudspeaker, Revel, JBL Control, Crown, NEAR, etc etc. I've done everything from basic stuff mounted under the eave of a house to giant, $50,000 systems lining the edge of a cliff in Ibiza, Spain circling the perimeter of a party villa.
^ I am putting the above out there because I think that when weighing advice it's important to weigh one's level of experience in actually working with the subject at hand. MULCH DOES NOT MATTER WHATSOEVER. Distance does, YES, but dirt, grass, mulch, a ficus, etc etc.... no. If anything, the softer material helps with that early reflection point where the harsh properties of brick, siding (especially flimsy or loose), etc can be brutal to high frequencies.
I can make a basic recommendation for you. This is essentially going blind without specific dimensions or a drawing or anything to go off of....
- You absolutely CAN put speakers in your mulch and plant life around your property without issue.
- In my experience, I think Revel or NEAR (more expensive) make the best surface mount outdoor speakers. Personally, I like the Revel (I use these in my own home), but if you have to put these things far way from you, when powered properly, the NEAR surface mount stuff can melt your face off from 100 yards+ WITH some bass without breaking a sweat. I have a client on a golf course who demanded loud and ultra high quality from surface mount speakers on his $2,000,000 garage.... the NEAR LB8T (T is for 70volt - no T is 8ohm. I used these with a Crown CDI amp so I used the T model, but sound quality is the same) did it..... all the way across the fairway.
REVEL (M55XC or M80XC) https://www.revelspeakers.com/produc...treme-climate/
, I think the Revel sounds better for what I would call "normal" distances and for far less money. Revel has 2 sizes, the 8" obviously has better bass, but the 5 1/4" may be fine depending on... again, this is outside... distance and volume level. These are spectacular sounding. And, YES, I am familiar with the Sonance outdoor lines and have used them all from the basic stuff to a $12,000 sub sat system with 12 sats & 2 12" direct burial subs. I have used Sonance plenty. The Revel product is in a different league of quality completely, but priced similarly. I agree with you that Polk Atrum is junk. Buy Dayton Audio from Parts Express if you are on a lower budget. Those are nicer than the Polks for sure.
^ If setting into mulch and completely exposed, the Revel uses the same enclosure and mounting system from JBL's "Control" outdoor commercial speaker line that's used in amusement parks, etc. It has screw down terminations and a boot/plate cover to keep things dry. I've had these in many types of environments in mulch, rock, around lakes, creeks, etc and never a service call. NEAR, owned by Bogen, also has this commercial style connectors.
^ Plus, Revel usually has specials on outdoor sound this time of year, so a dealer should be able to help you on the money side of it. MSRP on the M80XC is $900/pair & the M5XC5 $600/pair, so less than that should be easy.
- You CAN use rock speakers (Klipsch actually makes an amazing rock speaker product that I would consider high value for the cost). Rockoustics will cost a premium, but is also a fabulous speaker and probably the best "rock" out there. Personally, I've always thought rock speakers look a little off, unless the rocks around them are chosen correctly to blend it in.
- These are also interesting if putting a further distance away, but you would have to add subs for bass reinforcement - no question https://mseaudio.com/xt-spyke-pm-bk.html
- If you're placing these speakers far far away and need to launch sound over 30, 40, 50, 100 yards, etc. there are a bunch of other options for that, but you're getting into some big money stuff there and would be better off providing a drawing.
- Something to consider if you have a bit of a larger budget, but DON'T want to go into the mid 5 figures and up with a James Loudspeaker or the bigger (more expensive) Revel Sub/Sat systems...
Klipsch has some really sharp landscape stuff and also runs deals for dealers this time of year. You could do 2 or 4 of the Pro650 and the Pro10SW sub and have a really really killer little rig out there. https://www.klipsch.com/custom-insta...door/landscape
Two other options and a different types of speakers...
- Cherry Bomb from Rockcoustics(doesn't look like a rock). It's a 3-way speaker with a 5" woofer buried down into the ground acompanied to a 4" mid and 3/4" tweeter. https://rockustics.mseaudio.com/prod...-speakers.html
- again, though, you're getting into pricier solutions that are outstanding, but on the mid to upper end of things. I would take a pair of the M80XC at $900 or less over a pair of these at $1,300/pair (or less). Why you would use something like this is if you needed speakers all over a space and didn't want the black boxes sitting out nor the expense of multiple subs. This kind of splits the middle between the concepts while keeping an aesthetic.
- These work well from sound tube and sound very good https://soundtube.mseaudio.com/xt850-gn.html
again, though, you're looking at a pricier option than the Revels. It all depends on application.
^ Hope some of that helps! I have extensive experience with the above as well as a ton of other outdoor pieces. Those are my favorites, but other viable options exist alll over the price spectrum.