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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm currently in the process of setting up an outdoor projector on my rooftop deck. Visually everything is working well, but the sound still has some issues...

I have two outdoor speakers right now that are run to a Sonos connect amp. My main video driver is a Fire TV, although I've also tried using a Wii U and had the same problem...

Voices and talking are extremely low volume on movies(It requires volume at max just to barely hear). Explosions and action are extremely high volume(About 40% volume is the right spot).

Watching a TV show seems like it was probably mixed for 2 channel audio and sounds fine. I'm just not sure where to go from here or how to fix it. Suggestions appreciated.
 

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It sound like you're missing the center channel (where most of the voices come from in movie sound tracks). How are you getting signal to the Sonus? I believe you output is set to 5.1 or 3.1 channel somewhere and needs to be set to stereo.
 

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That was my thought too. Since it was closing out on the return period, I returned all of the sonos stuff and decided to get a receiver and direct wire the speakers. It's a bit more of a pain in the ass to wire them, but I seem to have a lot more control over the sound itself, which is really nice.

Thanks
 

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NEAR makes outdoor speakers that sound really good and that are impervious to year-round weather conditions. I recently heard their LB8 and was blown away. It's bigger than most outdoor bracket-type speakers, but that's probably why they are full-range.
 

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NEAR makes outdoor speakers that sound really good and that are impervious to year-round weather conditions. I recently heard their LB8 and was blown away. It's bigger than most outdoor bracket-type speakers, but that's probably why they are full-range.
Last year I had a client in Beverly Hills that wanted the best outdoor sound for his extensive back yard. After selecting electronics (see below) we had about 150 Watts @ 8 ohms per channel to work with. He let me order a pair of whatever speakers I thought should be considered with the intent to audition all of them and return the ones he didn't want. Over three months, we ordered a couple at time starting at the lowest price range, kept the best for comparison and shipped the others back for a refund. Below is what we listened to in order of price range:

$200 - JBL Control One
$230 - Peavy Impulse 6
$250 - Canton ProX
$250 - OSD AP850

$350 - Russound 5B65
$350 - Sonance Mariner
$375 - Polk Atrium 8

$400 - Bose SoundTouch 251
$400 - Definitive Technology AW650
$400 - Klipsch AW650
$400 - Proficient Audio AW830
$440 - KEF Ventura 6

$500 - Yamaha NS-AW992
$530 - Bogen NEAR A12
$530 - Speaker Craft OE8
$550 - PSB CS1000

$600 - Boston Acoustics Voyager 70
$670 - Niles OS 7.5

$700 - NEAR LB8
$750 - Jamo 8A2
$750 - Martin Logan 75AW

$950 - Focal OD706

At $375-$400, we found the Polk Atrium 8's and the Definitive Technology AW 650's to be the best sound for the value. The Atrium 8's had a cleaner top end while the AW650's had more bass. Above $700 the NEAR LB8's sounded better or comparable to the other more expensive options and clearly appeared to be the best built. However they were not necessarily worth almost double the cost of the AW650's. The Focal OD706 were slightly more natural sounding and musical than the LB8's but not worth $250 more unless you were a serious audiophile using them in a more sound friendly partially enclosed outdoor space. We were so impressed in the Atrium 8's that we ordered pairs of Atrium 5's for each of the 3 outdoor TV's. They are an outstanding value for only $79 on line. Several of the better known speakers distorted when turned up really loud and we blew a couple tweeters and fried a crossover.

I agree that NEAR has been making great sounding and well built outdoor speakers since 1988 but their residential line very expensive and is mostly sold through custom integrators (Even online distributors sell the LB8 for $680 each). However, NEAR was bought by Bogen Communications in 1997 and then Bogen came out with NEAR speakers for commercial applications that are much more reasonably priced . You can find their A8 for $158.44/each and the A12 for $262.54/each. Personally, I'd still take the Def Tec AW 650 over either of them.

NEAR LB8

http://www.nearspeakers.com/lb-8.html

http://www.soundadvice.com/Near-LB-...ly-Weatherproof-Design-Priced-Each-P6807.aspx

BOGEN NEAR A8

http://www.camelectronics.com/boa8aalo.html

BOGEN NEAR A12

http://www.camelectronics.com/a12.html


DEFINITIVE TECHNOLOGY AW650

These are currently on Amazon for $179. They're half the cost of many of the NEAR residential speakers and will have more bass than the NEAR commercial speakers because of the large passive radiator. I've mounted them for several clients on their house's eves with the passive radiator bouncing off the side of the house for more bass reinforcement.

http://www.definitivetech.com/products/aw6500

https://www.definitivetech.com/downloads/AW5500_6500_Manual_13009_read.pdf

http://www.amazon.com/Definitive-Technology-Outdoor-Speaker-Single/dp/B00170O1HK


POLK ATRIUM 4-8

If you can't swing $250 a speaker, I've found the Polk Atrium speakers to sound the best. They start at $79/pr for the Atrium 4 at Frys.com (which is a real steal) up to to the Atrium 8 for $187/ea at Chruchfield.com. Pick whichever fits your budget and you can't go wrong.

http://www.polkaudio.com/atrium8-sdi/d/1028

http://www.frys.com/product/6205370?source=google

http://www.crutchfield.com/p_107ATR...96425&awat=pla&awnw=g&awcr=47661779065&awdv=c


AMPLIFIER

Your Sonos amp only puts out 50 class D watts. I have found it adequate to augment an outdoor TV with the Atrium 5's but useless for outdoor theater. On a tighter budget, try using a dual source / signal sensing zone amplifier. Two good examples that can be had relatively cheep are the Audio Source AMP 310 or OSD AMP-300. It's the same basic amplifier OEM'ed through two different companies with different cosmetics). I've installed both, but the OSD version looks nicer and has power meters.

The AMP-300 is 2 x 150 watts @ 8 ohm, 2 x 235w @ 4 ohm and 1 x 470w bridged so it had a lot more power than the Sonos. Most important, It has a stereo input #1 and stereo input #2 . The amp will automatically default to input #1 unless it senses a signal on input #2 , then it will prioritize input #2 and switch sources. If there is no source on either input, it turns itself off and powers down on standby. Get a Sonos connect (no amp) and put it on input #1 . Take the right/left channels from your TV and put them on input #2 . When you turn on the outdoor zone on your Sonos app, the amplifier plays Sonos music. When you turn on the outdoor TV, the amplifier switches from Sonos to the TV audio.

The AMP-300 also has outputs for both #1 and #2 so you can daisy chain as many amps as you need for an installation. For my Beverly Hills client we stacked seven of them together with 14 outside speakers. The Sonos was connected on input #1 to each amplifier and we had each adjacent pair of speakers play in stereo for that particular area. We also attached an Oppo BD83 BluRay player on input #2 of each of the amps using two speakers for each channel in surround sound. For video, I ran a HDMI Balun from the BluRay player to a waterproof box on one side of the pool with a covered 110v outlet.

If he activated Sonos, the entire back yard was filled with stereo sound. When he wanted to set up a movie night pool-plex party for the kids and their friends, all he had to do was inflate a portable screen on one side of the pool, hook up a projector on a folding table on the other side of the pool by the HDMI hookup, and fire up the BluRay player. The speakers now became a 7 channel surround sound system!


AUDIOSOURCE AMP 310 - $444.24 Amazon

http://www.amazon.com/AudioSource-1...6?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1431373790&sr=1-6

OSD AMP300 - $424.95 OSD

http://lib.store.yahoo.net/lib/yhst-5323690727015/AMP300-Cutsheet.pdf

http://www.outdoorspeakerdepot.com/stereo-amplifer.html
 

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I appreciated the comparative breakdown of similar outdoor lines. Terra Speakers, which is based in Maine and still manufactures their products in the United States and offers a lifetime guarantee on all of their all weather products, offers comparative lines outdoor products.

Full Disclosure: They are friends and clients, but certainly worth investigation. They are installed both at my home and in my office.
 

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Has anyone use the Sonarray by Sonance? Its 8 satellite speakers with inline sub. Its just L and R and Sub essentially.

Im considering these when I redo my backyard, and want to get things sorted out before construction begins.

Thanks!
 

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Has anyone use the Sonarray by Sonance? Its 8 satellite speakers with inline sub. Its just L and R and Sub essentially.

Im considering these when I redo my backyard, and want to get things sorted out before construction begins.

Thanks!
I also would be interested in hearing any actual user reports of the Sonarray -- it sounded pretty good in a showroom but they were mounted on the ceiling and the room was an enclosed listening room so not a really fair comparison to outside use when they are staked in the ground.
 
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