Outdoor Speaker System

goody222

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Feb 6, 2018
176
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Hayward Aqua Rite (T-15)
Nothing beats Sonos for ease of use and multi room capability, including TV sound bars, and battery powered portable speakers. They also incorporate all the streaming services really well. Their UI for the app is the best. Alexa integration is really good. For my take if you dont mind spending the money, I dont think you can do better.

A cheap version of that would be to use the Echo (Alexa) ecosystem. Offers almost the same functionality for about half the price. However, not as clean. It just feels like second place. The extra one step is annoying. But it is much cheaper and they release a bunch of new models every year.

Then there are plenty of great options where you cobble together amps with chrome devices or other streaming brokers, or even amps that have some wifi built in. For what a lot of people want to do, thats enough. For others you can get more granular with this option and more customized such as very powerful amps.

Of course there are the traditional multi room system providers. I dont know much about them, and have not really kept up with them since I looked about 10 years ago and chose Sonos instead.
Preach! Also, do you have the Sonos One? (the Sonos version of the Echo) MUCH fuller sound and acts as Alexa for most things. Also, I like these power systems other people recommend, but I (like most people) have neighbors nearby and don't want to annoy the heck out of them. Two Play 1's are plenty for my deck roof.
 

Bam Bam

Gold Supporter
Sep 14, 2019
81
Columbia, SC
Former owners drilled through exterior wall for outdoor speakers connected to stereo system in the sunroom. Got 15 years out of the Bose outdoor speakers. Last month installed another pair of outdoor speakers that I had sitting around the house. Unfortunately the Bose bracket, the wall and the speakers didn’t align properly so I double sided taped the speaker to the bracket and wrapped it with a tie wrap - my go to solution for almost everything!!

I have a 6 CD player for hours of music and also just purchased this doodad that connects ipad/iphone to stereo system or other wired device so I can listen to on-line sources of music. I haven’t used it yet with the outside set up because I haven’t figured out how to deal with wifi interruptions from ISP.
 

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Orion7319

Well-known member
Jul 1, 2020
553
Rock Hill, South Carolina
Pool Size
19775
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Vinyl
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Hayward Aqua Rite (T-15)
I never heard of that brand but they look like a cheap chinese knockoff of the JBL EONs. I also suspect that "1300 watts" is peak power. Who knows maybe they are good!
They are Mackies. Mackie is a professional audio company best known for their audio boards, trust me they aren’t cheap knockoffs. They are my favorite mixer to use as you can drive a car over them and they still would work fine. Yes that could be peak power with those particular speakers, but I’m not seeing the ohms listed. If they are 8 ohms then yes that’s peak. I would suspect they are 4 ohms in all likelihood, but they could be as low as 2. JBL EONS are really great as well. I have used both and they are comparable. I’m not being dismissive of your JBLs at all, I’m just pointing out that you really are in a completely different league with those then your typical home audio system. IMOP, yours is the best setup posted here yet. I know they sound better then anything your going to find marketed for home use.



 
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PoolGate

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Jun 7, 2017
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Jandy Aquapure 1400
They are Mackies. Mackie is a professional audio company best known for their audio boards, trust me they aren’t cheap knockoffs. They are my favorite mixer to use as you can drive a car over them and they still would work fine. Yes that is probably peak power with those particular speakers, but I’m not seeing the ohms listed. If they are 8 ohms then yes that’s peak. I would suspect they are 4 ohms in all likelihood, but they could be as low as 2. JBL EONS are really great as well. I have used both and they are comparable. I’m not being dismissive of your JBLs at all, I’m just pointing out that you really are in a completely different league with those then your typical home audio system. IMOP, yours is the best setup posted here yet. I know they sound better then anything your going to find marketed for home use.




I've been out of the hifi market for quite some time. I was doing some research on the Mackie stuff after your post and yeah looks like it is high end stuff. Speakers are similar enough that one of them probably stole from the other! I got the EONs because I was just so tired of not finding any system at all anywhere capable of decent sound. I wasted almost $1000 on a Marantz receiver. Then found out Harmon Kardon no longer makes anything. Sony ES is good, but still lacks volume. So I started looking into professional quality stuff and a friend of mine mentioned the EONs. I wasn't interested in powered speakers but I got 1, just to check it out and was so thoroughly impressed that I got the 2nd. I haven't looked back since. I'll never go to a separate amp again I am sold on powered speakers. And I was so disappointed in the lack of volume with ANY current pedestrian offering that I was actually considering McIntosh and Sugden! EON for the win!
 
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Orion7319

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Jul 1, 2020
553
Rock Hill, South Carolina
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19775
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Vinyl
Chlorine
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Hayward Aqua Rite (T-15)
I've been out of the hifi market for quite some time. I was doing some research on the Mackie stuff after your post and yeah looks like it is high end stuff. Speakers are similar enough that one of them probably stole from the other! I got the EONs because I was just so tired of not finding any system at all anywhere capable of decent sound. I wasted almost $1000 on a Marantz receiver. Then found out Harmon Kardon no longer makes anything. Sony ES is good, but still lacks volume. So I started looking into professional quality stuff and a friend of mine mentioned the EONs. I wasn't interested in powered speakers but I got 1, just to check it out and was so thoroughly impressed that I got the 2nd. I haven't looked back since. I'll never go to a separate amp again I am sold on powered speakers. And I was so disappointed in the lack of volume with ANY current pedestrian offering that I was actually considering McIntosh and Sugden! EON for the win!
I won’t go too much into my background, but I have been at this and doing it for a living for a very long time now, and I can say that your in a completely different wheel house with the EONs all together. Your in the club/ DJ/ AV realm with the Eons and completely out of the “high fi” realm. The professional gear is always going to sound better then the “high end, hi-fi” stuff because it has to be better by the very nature of what it has to be designed to do. IMOP, the “high end high fi” home stuff is usually almost always going to be an over priced rip off. (Remember a certain cable manufacturer and their outlandish physics defining claims and insane pricing?) You are just as likely to find an old pair of budget KLH speakers that sound just as good if not better then anything else you could possibly find in the home audio market. Like anything, it’s all just knowing the basic physics of how things work really.

EDIT: Also there are lots of passive speakers and amp combos that sound great together, I just think of the powered speakers as being a bit more convenient to set up. If I was looking for something relatively inexpensive and wanted decent musical sound quality out of a PA setup, I would want to try these speakers with a crown XLI series amp or the cheaper XTI one.

 
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VinceL

LifeTime Supporter
Apr 28, 2012
273
Newton, NC
All the high end pro stuff you guys are talking about doesn't seem practical for people who just want some music in their pool area. While that stuff would sound great, it has to be brought outside and connected. And, after listening you have to disconnect and bring back inside.

I've played in bands since I was 15. I have a home music studio with professional power amps, speakers, and mixers. I would never think to bring that gear outside by the pool. Too heavy, and as one of my bands was told at a gig..."sounds great, but way too loud." That was right after we played Hot Tuna's "Hit Single #1.":party:

I chose the Atrium 8's because they sound good and can be left outside all summer. They get rained on and keep on playing. This is the 4th year I have had them. To listen to music, I just open the receiver cabinet doors and turn on the receiver. Once it connects to the WiFi, I can listen to streaming radio or music playlists/albums/songs from a home server.
 

Orion7319

Well-known member
Jul 1, 2020
553
Rock Hill, South Carolina
Pool Size
19775
Surface
Vinyl
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Hayward Aqua Rite (T-15)
All the high end pro stuff you guys are talking about doesn't seem practical for people who just want some music in their pool area. While that stuff would sound great, it has to be brought outside and connected. And, after listening you have to disconnect and bring back inside.

I've played in bands since I was 15. I have a home music studio with professional power amps, speakers, and mixers. I would never think to bring that gear outside by the pool. Too heavy, and as one of my bands was told at a gig..."sounds great, but way too loud." That was right after we played Hot Tuna's "Hit Single #1.":party:

I chose the Atrium 8's because they sound good and can be left outside all summer. They get rained on and keep on playing. This is the 4th year I have had them. To listen to music, I just open the receiver cabinet doors and turn on the receiver. Once it connects to the WiFi, I can listen to streaming radio or music playlists/albums/songs from a home server.
You are absolutely correct the stuff I’m talking about isn’t really practical for this use at all. It just sounds way better then most of the “high fidelity/high end “ consumer stuff and it can be had for a lot less money. I’m not knocking high end audio systems either as I deal with some very high tech and high end stuff as part of my job, including DSP’s that I had to get certified to be able to install and program. I’m not a big fan of some of the more expensive audio gear marketed for home use though, because I just don’t think that most of it is much better then some of the cheaper stuff that’s marketed for home use. As such for my outdoor pool space I just have a cheap Pyle amp with some seriously cheap dual speakers. It sounds OK for background music, but it’s not so great for the activity of actively listening to and enjoying music. You need decent volume for that and I don’t want to irritate my neighbors. Because of that, when I want to enjoy listening to music by the pool, I just reach for one of my favorite pairs of headphones.
 
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ckh1980

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Oct 14, 2016
52
Virginia Beach
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Lonnybass

Silver Supporter
Jun 26, 2018
86
San Diego
I have a Sherwood Dual Zone receiver that is located hidden away in the corner kitchen cabinet, way in the bottom and at the back.

This receiver is hard-wired through the side of the house to eight speakers placed around my patio and pool area, arranged in a L-R-L-R configuration for natural stereo effect. With so many speakers, I am able to cover the entire back of my house with a wash of even, leveled-out sound everywhere...no volume blasting.

On the input side, I connected it to an ultra-long range bluetooth transceiver to connect up a phone for streaming Itunes, Apple music, Spotify playlists, whatever. I also have a projection screen we use for movies, in which case I sync it up to a laptop for audio while the projector gets an HDMI for video.

Let me know if pics would be helpful.
 

JayRi

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May 13, 2020
89
Tampa, FL (Specifically Apollo Beach)
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Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
I have a Sonos Amp in the house. Then I ran speaker cables to 4 rock speakers around the pool. I thought about Bluetooth speakers but didn't like the idea of running 120 volt plugs around the pool. Plus It would have to be buried in pipe. Running speaker cable was a lot easier as it can be buried in the grass without pipe. When the weather cools down I will replace 2 rock speakers with a pair of wall mounted speakers up high. The more speakers you have the lower you can play your music and everyone is able to hear it and have conversations without music blasting from one end.
 
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Orion7319

Well-known member
Jul 1, 2020
553
Rock Hill, South Carolina
Pool Size
19775
Surface
Vinyl
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
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Hayward Aqua Rite (T-15)
I have a Sonos Amp in the house. Then I ran speaker cables to 4 rock speakers around the pool. I thought about Bluetooth speakers but didn't like the idea of running 120 volt plugs around the pool. Plus It would have to be buried in pipe. Running speaker cable was a lot easier as it can be buried in the grass without pipe. When the weather cools down I will replace 2 rock speakers with a pair of wall mounted speakers up high. The more speakers you have the lower you can play your music and everyone is able to hear it and have conversations without music blasting from one end.
That’s true the more speakers you have the lower you can have the volume and still hear the music. Just pay attention to the speakers ohms so you don’t burn out your amps.
 

williamhiatt

Gold Supporter
Jul 20, 2019
10
Ladera Ranch, CA
To start it it really depends on your budget, goals (fidelity, bass thumping, just background music, etc.), then will depend on the size of your space.

I am a big fan of Sonance SLS. I have an SLS system in my yard with three subs, 10 satellite speakers, and two amps. It is for sure overkill but is completely bullet proof and suits my needs very well.

The legacy SR1 system is very nice as well (now the SGS) - I have an SR1 I installed at my parents house and it is perfect for them.

Also for outdoor, I am a big fan of 70V taps - it makes your wiring very simple and easy to cable, do not have to worry about ohms/mixing series and parallel. The 70V systems of today are not what they once used to be.
 

Orion7319

Well-known member
Jul 1, 2020
553
Rock Hill, South Carolina
Pool Size
19775
Surface
Vinyl
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
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Hayward Aqua Rite (T-15)
Also for outdoor, I am a big fan of 70V taps - it makes your wiring very simple and easy to cable, do not have to worry about ohms/mixing series and parallel. The 70V systems of today are not what they once used to be.
70v systems are usually Mono. Outdoors you should probably run cable though conduit. Code in some locations to use conduit as some places consider them to be high voltage (only have voltage with audio signal being sent). Some people say that the fact they use transformers degrades the sound quality, but I can’t tell a huge difference. To me they sound OK. All speakers have single volume control. Great for background music. Personally I would opt for a multi channel amp setup over 70v outdoors, but like you said it depends on what your going for and there are pros and cons to each type of system. Might be a good idea to simply list the different types of systems along with their pros and cons along with reviews and opinions of each type. That way people at least have an idea of what might work best for what they want out of a system.
 

williamhiatt

Gold Supporter
Jul 20, 2019
10
Ladera Ranch, CA
70v systems are usually Mono. Outdoors you should probably run cable though conduit. Code in some locations to use conduit as some places consider them to be high voltage (only have voltage with audio signal being sent). Some people say that the fact they use transformers degrades the sound quality, but I can’t tell a huge difference. To me they sound OK. All speakers have single volume control. Great for background music. Personally I would opt for a multi channel amp setup over 70v outdoors, but like you said it depends on what your going for and there are pros and cons to each type of system. Might be a good idea to simply list the different types of systems along with their pros and cons along with reviews and opinions of each type. That way people at least have an idea of what might work best for what they want out of a system.
Yes, depends on jurisdiction as you outlines so great advice. As for the multichannel, SLS is actually stereo at 70V, not your traditional 70V systems like were use for in building paging or background. Most high(er) end speakers today are actually 70V/100V and 8ohm selectable, giving flexibility. I simply prefer 70V for distribution for cabling simplicity.
 
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derekm

Well-known member
Aug 17, 2007
136
Eastern Canada
My "decent sound on a budget" system consists of two wired Polk Audio Atrium 4 speaker pairs (one set upstairs on "dining deck", one downstairs directed at the pool), which I picked up for CAD$99 a pair at BestBuy, both connected to one CAD$35 Lepy LP2020A amp from Amazon, and a $35 Google Chromecast Audio "puck" (now discontinued) unit plugged into the amp. Apparently, the newer regular Google Chromecast systems also work for audio-only, or you can substitute the "AudioCast" product, which is a clone of the Chromecast.

I have no experience with them, but can also now get wifi amps that will do the same thing as the Chrome Audio and the Lepy Amp, but in one unit, like this one: Wireless WiFi Audio Receiver - August WR320 - Multiroom Adaptor for Speaker Systems: Amazon.ca: Electronics

Operation:
We turn on the Lepy amp before we go outside (could be in a small weatherproof cabinet outdoors, but it was just as easy for us to run the speaker wires into the house, so we don't have to remove it in winter or worry about theft), and control the music from our smartphones (and even from my waterproof Apple Watch IN the pool!), streaming Spotify, SiriusXM, or whatever streaming music service we want. As it uses wifi, the range is much greater than Bluetooth. I also wired in a stereo volume control I happened to have to the upstairs speakers, so we can keep the music louder at poolside than at dining level.
 
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cowboycasey

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Jul 3, 2013
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This thread has perfect timing.. I also do not do anything normal.. The DJ equipment is SO much better than anything home rated... You can hear music clearly at 150 feet and can get very loud... You do not need this size amp but I had it laying around and used it.. You can see I have it turned down at 45% volume.. The Volume is controlled with Bluetooth on the phone and multiple phones can be connected..

Anyone can do this and keep the speakers outdoors forever.. Here is everything I bought..

Bluetooth receiver with QUALCOMM aptX HD and Built-in ESS SABRE DAC = Great sound and I stayed connected over Bluetooth at 150 feet away

Crown XLI 1500 Amp
This one would also work great

Polk Atrium 6

Rack for mounting

Z wave for remote turn on, this can also be Alexa or Google remote power plug

Speaker wire outdoor rated, I ran this about 25 feet from the garage amp location



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Orion7319

Well-known member
Jul 1, 2020
553
Rock Hill, South Carolina
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19775
Surface
Vinyl
Chlorine
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Hayward Aqua Rite (T-15)
Crown XLI 1500 Amp
You can’t go wrong with a crown amp.

This Saturday my wife decided she wanted an outdoor TV by the pool for under our gazebo, so I ran up to Best Buy and picked up a decent but not very expensive smart Samsung 40 inch. Since I had to route extension cords though the gazebo anyway I decided to move my outdoor speakers and amp into the gazebo. Since the TV has an Apple Music app and we subscribe to that I decided to just use the TV for music instead of the Apple TV I was using(Or just use our phones).The TV doesn’t have Bluetooth so I just bought a cheap transmitter that will plug into the optical jack on the TV for my Bluetooth receiver from Amazon. I use a smart outdoor outlet that works with Alexa to turn everything on. I am waiting for the tv stand and the TV cover to ship. All of this is budget stuff and everything in total cost less then $500 including the TV. It sounds decent for what I paid for it and is very easy to setup and use. I should have everything in and the whole thing setup and competed by next weekend.

TV
TV stand
TV cover
Bluetooth transmitter
Amp
Speakers
Outdoor smart plug

Editing post to review the stand and tv cover. I wasn’t expecting them to be as nice as they are for as cheap as they are. The cover seals the tv up entirely as it has Velcro on the bottom . Already had a large storm come though and the TV is dry.
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Katodude

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Aug 22, 2017
1,718
West Palm Beach/Florida
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15000
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Hayward Aqua Rite (T-15)
Ok, looks like I might need to get me some Polk Atriums. The old outdoor Yamaha speakers I have are still working, but why not.

Also @Orion7319 how do you like that Bluetooth transmitter. It seems like exactly what I need to listen to the TV when I am in the hot tub. Bring my bluetooth speaker out with my and then I dont need to blast the whole yard when I am watching TV from there.
 

IronMan13

Active member
Oct 2, 2020
33
Iowa
I'll add my 2 cents on the Polk atriums! I got a pair of the Atrium 6 and they are insanely loud and crystal clear. Had patriotic music pumping through them last night while the neighborhood set off their fireworks and pretty sure everyone could hear them with the fireworks 😁 got a 100x2 watt amp and a Polk audio dts play-fi receiver to go with the rest of my house system. Was between the polls and the klipsh ones that are comparable and ended up with Polk's and am super happy. They are huge though, was not expecting them to be that big.

Mounted on the end of our pavilion under the overhang a bit pointed towards the pool.
 

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