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Technology Showcase: Outdoor Loudspeakers

Mar 1, 2009 12:00 PM, By Kent Morris

Weather-resistant and weatherproof options to withstand the elements.

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Speco Technologies SP-RK65CB/T

Speco Technologies SP-RK65CB/T

By treating both the internal and external aspects of its weatherized enclosures, Martin Audio goes the extra step to ensure its AM10 loudspeaker survives any outdoor environment. Designed as a primary sound reinforcement for stadiums and arenas, the textured high-density polyurethane-coated AM10 employs a reflex-loaded 10in. woofer with a waterproof cone mated to a 1in. compression driver mounted on a 90-degree-by-50-degree CD horn. The galvanized steel grille is backed up by a water barrier, and the cabinet is oriented horizontally to prevent sightline obstructions.

With a decade's worth of experience selling the industry-standard OS10 line of indoor/outdoor loudspeakers, Niles Audio is certainly at home in the weatherized loudspeaker category. Now, with the introduction of the PS6Si stereo-input outdoor loudspeaker disguised as a terracotta planter, the company's reach extends to the garden. The PS6Si can accommodate a live plant while still providing dual-channel output through a 6.5in. dual voice-coil polypropylene woofer with a butyl rubber surround along with a pair of 1in. fluid-cooled tweeters tied to a waterproof input panel and burial-rated connection cables.

Though OAP does not stand for Outdoor Audio Products (it actually stands for O'Rouke Audio Products), it could since the plucky manufacturer offers almost all of its product lines in a weatherized version. With stainless-steel hardware, a waterproof mesh under the grille, and the company's proprietary roadcoat epoxy finish on exposed wood surfaces — plus clear Lexan over the input plate — OAP oudspeakers are sturdy enough to last for years in theme parks and sports venues. The company's premium PX-1060 coax design is capable of long-throw performance and is suited for use in stadiums and concert sheds. The weather-resistant option makes a solid choice when clarity and longevity are essential to success.

Tannoy Di5a

Tannoy Di5a

Direct-weather loudspeakers are a breed apart from weather-resistant designs thanks to a ground-up approach to environmental concerns. One Systems is a pioneer in the direct-weather field as witnessed by its 208CIM compact vertical array loudspeaker. With a focus on articulate delivery of the vocal range, the 208CIM is composed of two 8in. woofers with the top driver also incorporating a coaxially mounted large-format compression driver. In spite of its compact 19in. height, the 208CIM is capable of extended-duty high output in play-by-play announcement applications. With a copolymer-based enclosure, stainless-steel-and-aluminum hardware, a three-layer direct rain-shield grille, and weatherproof gland nut, the loudspeaker meets the stringent requirements of Mil-Spec 810 for moisture and sun survivability.

If the job calls for an outdoor loudspeaker inside a waterfall, OWI can meet the spec with its CW703 three-way 70V model. Sporting a glass-fiber-reinforced concrete enclosure, the CW703 grants hotel lobbies, restaurant waiting spaces, and outdoor shopping-mall common areas a refreshing combination of cascading water and full-range background music. With four taps up to 15W, the CW703, part of the firm's L.A. Rocker series, is scalable to the environment. Its hefty 200lb. weight ensures the waterfall stays in place regardless of the prevailing winds.

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