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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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The Sound Advance FastMount series focuses, as its name implies, on ease of installation. The bracket simply snaps and locks into place, and removal is via a hidden release tab. The FMS line consists of three models with either a 5.25in., 6.50in., or 8in. polypropylene woofer mated to a 1in. polyurethane dome tweeter.

A mushroom-shaped loudspeaker with a 360-degree dispersion cone mounted in a ground-based housing is synonymous with the Soundtube name. The company's XT550 can be found in hundreds of theme parks, resort facilities, and hotels. The company's XT sequel, the XT850, is proving to be as good as the original. Soundtube's new surface-mount model, the SM500i, scores high marks for its patented BroadBeam dispersion technology, SpeedLever captured-ball mounting system, and speed-tap power-setting design. Robust construction is secured through the use of a powder-coated grille and a terminal weather boot.

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Rock loudspeakers often mount the transformer in a recessed area, forcing the installer into a contorted state to adjust the tap level. The Speco Technologies SP-RK65CB/T features an easily accessed transformer wattage dial and 70V/25V selector switch to aid installation time. Add in simple ground-securing loops and excellent weatherproofing techniques, and the SP-RK65CB/T shows itself worthy of consideration on any outdoor job.

The Tannoy Di Series takes advantage of the company's point-source ICT drive unit to eliminate the crossover and improve clarity. A mineral-loaded polypropylene cone with nitrile rubber surround is built to withstand harsh environs while the 90-degree conical dispersion pattern makes any orientation possible.

The military depends on Technomad loudspeakers, so their Mil-Spec rating is a given. The MP series feature one-piece color-through, self-draining molded cabinets, robust ceramic tweeters, and multiple threaded inserts for installation at any required angle. For direct-weather sites, the IP56-rated MP loudspeakers are a safe bet for long-term survivability.

For a modern approach to weatherproof commercial loudspeaker design, TOA Electronics offers the H-2WP. In place of a standard cube, the H-2WP delivers a stylish form with the added benefit of reduced soundwave reflections. The H-2WP mounts to a standard electrical box, and it can be rotated and aimed without altering the enclosure's external appearance. For convenience, the loudspeaker also mates to TOA's 900 series mixer/amplifiers.

Yorkville's C120 represents the weather-resistant part of the Canadian manufacturer's Coliseum Mini series. With specially treated drivers housed in a molded ABS plastic cabinet, the C120 delivers versatility in a rugged package. The tweeter can be swiveled, and a U-bracket is included for mounting ease. A three-tap 70V version, the C120/70, is also available.

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