May 24, 2012 3:48 PM, By Bennett Liles
The great outdoors is no barrier to great sound, especially with the newer models of outdoor speakers now available. Weather-resistant enclosures and component coating have introduced a new toughness and durability previously unreachable, and all of this has come without sacrificing frequency response and sensitivity. The products in our survey are typical of the modern features and new adaptability of all weather and indoor/outdoor speakers.
The SM42T-B from Atlas Sound is a two-way 4in. weather-resistant, surface-mount speaker that is ideal for use in both 70.7V/100V and 8Ω installations. The SM42T-B has a built in 70V/100V line matching transformer that features adjustable power taps ranging from 2W to 16W as well as an 8Ω bypass. The SM42T-B's small footprint and exceptional high-frequency reproduction makes it ideal for indoor/outdoor installations, foreground or background music systems, and for use in retail/restaurant, corporate AV, or worship applications.
Designed by Bose for coherent zone arrays in medium to large permanent installations, the LT 4402 WR is a mid/high loudspeaker that includes a 3in. diaphragm compression driver and V2 midrange manifold, summing two 4.5in cone drivers in a heat-sink/acoustic summation assembly. The unit is capable of either passive or bi-amp operation with a frequency response from 180Hz to 16kHz ±3dB and a peak output of 135dB SPL on axis at 1 meter. The enclosure is made of void-free exterior-grade Baltic birch plywood with extensive internal bracing, and it has a 16-gauge perforated stainless steel grille with powder-coated finish and backed with an open-cell foam. In bi-amp mode, the mid-frequency section handles 140W, while the high frequency section handles 75W.
At the top of the Voyager line from Boston Acoustics, the Voyager 70 has a 7in. copolymer graphite injected cone with a butyl rubber surround and a 1in. Kortec soft-dome tweeter that together produce a frequency response of 57Hz to 20kHz ±3dB in open air environments. Along with the other products in the Voyager line, the Voyager 70 has rustproof hardware and connectors, a powder-coated aluminum grille, and a UV-resistant polypropylene cabinet. The 8Ω unit can be run from amplifiers with power outputs from 10W to 175W, and it is anchored in place with a heavy-duty aluminum C-bracket. The enclosure is available in either black or white finish.
The R6-51 three-way horn loaded triaxial loudspeaker from Community Professional is designed for long-throw applications that are typically encountered in outdoor environments where it uses a high-power passive mid-high crossover. The LF component can handle 1200W continuous power while the MF/HF section delivers 450W continuous power. The unit provides up to 145dB peak SPL in an integral double-wall weather-sealed gray fiberglass enclosure. The assembly uses grade 304, stainless-steel hardware for durability and features a 16-gauge perforated steel grille backed by open-cell foam and a 100x100-wire square-inch stainless-steel mesh.
The QX series loudspeakers from EAW are intended for power and precise directivity in a minimal form factor; the passive QX models are wired for biamplification and are contained in dual trapezoid enclosures. Each one contains a center-mounted co-axial MF/HF horn and two pairs (four) of phase-aligned neodymium 12in. low-frequency transducers. The QX596-WP is the largest member of the family and is designed for houses of worship, arenas, outdoor stadiums, theaters, and clubs. It provides a dispersion pattern of 90 degrees by 60 degrees; it weighs 130lbs. and fits with a variety of installation accessories for flexible installation.
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