Outdoor SpeakersAs the tastes of sound system operators and clients have become more critical and demanding, the products that release the program material into the acoustic space have become more sophisticated in t 6/16/2014 11:51 AM Eastern
Jun 16, 2014 3:51 PM, By Bennett Liles
As the tastes of sound system operators and clients have become more critical and demanding, the products that release the program material into the acoustic space have become more sophisticated in their capabilities. This evolution in speaker design has naturally found a huge application base in the most challenging realm—the great outdoors. Listeners will no longer compromise on weather-exposed sound systems or cut any slack in their demand for quality sound in light of the all-weather toughness this environment requires. The models here lead the way in this trend.
The AH99-12ST two-way 12in. stadium horn system from Atlas Sound handles 200W to punch through high background noise environments at long range. Designed for sports stadiums, convention centers and auditoriums, the weather-resistant system has a perforated aluminum screen over the horn mouth and other screens to protect the woofer and HF driver. These components provide a 90˚x90˚ coverage angle with a frequency response of 80Hz to 15kHz ±5dB. It can be operated at 8Ω or through transformer taps at 7.5W, 15W, 30W, and 60W.
For applications requiring wide horizontal coverage with tight vertical dispersion, the Bose Panaray MA12EX full-range modular line array provides such a pattern. Equipped with 12 2.25in. drivers, each module provides 160˚x20˚ coverage and can be stacked with others to widen the vertical throw when needed using optional stacking brackets. The powder-coated enclosure has extruded aluminum sidewalls with zinc-plated steel top and bottom end caps, and its IEC 529 IPX5 rating allows both indoor and outdoor installation. For multiple unit setups, each one has parallel-wired Neutrik NL4 Speakon connectors along with two two-conductor barrier strips.
The new WET X Series series of outdoor speaker enclosures from Community Professional brings 13 new models with 12in. and 15in. drivers in addition to the 18in. WX-218SDF down-firing subwoofer. Each of the full-range models features a 1.4in. exit high-frequency compression driver and six rotatable horn pattern choices. The enclosures have an all-weather, multi-layer glass composite shell over an 18mm, seven-layer, marine-grade plywood interior, and the standard operating mode is passive. They are also available with optional built-in 400W transformer for 70V/100V applications.
The mounting options for Crestron’s AIR_LS6T 6.5in. landscape speakers include any flat surface or ground location with stake mounting anywhere they’re needed, and they can be tilted up and down for best output directivity. Capable of operating in either 8Ω mode or with the built-in 70V/100V transformer, the bronze-textured housing contains a two-way system with 6.5in. coaxial drivers and the units are sold in pairs.
Available from D.A.S. Audio with two different exposure ratings to suit the specific job, the WR-8826 has twin 6in. woofers and a 1in. annular diaphragm compression driver in a birch plywood cabinet. The unit handles 200W RMS power and has threaded fixing points for wall mounts. The “CX” variant is for covered exposure installation while the “DX” type uses a fiberglass exterior and a gel-coat sealed interior for direct exposure to the weather. Both exhibit an 80˚x80˚ dispersion pattern. Where more power is needed, there is also the WR6415 and WR6412 each handling 400W RMS.
Jun 16, 2014 3:51 PM, By Bennett Liles
The QX596i from EAW has proven itself in sports facilities, theme parks, and commercial facilities with three-way performance from four 12in. LF transducers, a mid/high compression driver with a 90°x60° constant directivity horn, and a 1.75in. HF compression driver. These provide high power output to cut through background noise typically encountered outdoors. With EAW’s WP option, speaker enclosures are built into a fiberglass shell with input cover plates, sealed access hatches, and drivers/transducers designed specifically for outdoor applications. Together in the QX596i, they provide a frequency operating range of 55Hz to 20kHz. The “WP” or weather-protected finish is available as an option for many models, including the QX series, MK series, and others.
Electro-Voice configured the 8in. two-way ZX1i for indoor/outdoor installations with its EV8L 8in. weatherized cone high-output LF transducer and DH2005 1in. exit compression driver. Available in two coverage patterns, 90˚x50˚ for clustering and 100˚x100˚, the unit has a rotatable horn to suit horizontal or vertical mounting. The included QuickSAM mounting system features a bracket onto which the speaker is snapped and then tightened to the desired position. The molded polymer enclosure can be fitted with a multilayer grille of hydrophobic cloth and weatherized components that enable it to perform in a variety of environmental conditions.
A member of the versatile AE series from JBL, the bracket-mounted, two-way AW-595 combines a 2265H-1 15in. LF driver with a 2432H HF 3in. voice-coil compression driver. The rotatable Progressive Transition waveguide is designed to allow the unit to be horizontally or vertically oriented. Constructed of multilayer glass composite and heavily braced for best low-frequency performance, the enclosure is fitted with a 400W, 70V/100V transformer. The internal components are protected by a 14-gauge stainless steel grille, backed with open-cell foam and stainless steel mesh. The enclosures are available in gray and black finish.
One of the more innovative and unusual speaker arrays to make the news is the flexible K-array Anakonda KAN200. Each one is 6.6ft. long and houses eight 1in. Neodymium cone drivers with a combined program power handling capacity of 150W. Each unit is equipped with an NL4 connector at each end so they can be daisy-chained to cover a wide area. The KAN200 comes with two covering socks, one white and one black, to blend in with its environment. The IP55-rated array can be wrapped around objects or placed along an edge where it appears almost like a trim piece.
The OS-50 from Lowell Manufacturing is a very small, bracket-mounted, full-range speaker system with an aluminum bracket and grille. The indoor/outdoor enclosure contains a 5.25in. polypropylene-coated woofer with a rubber surround and a 1/2in. PEI driver for mid/high response. These produce a frequency response of 104Hz to 17.3kHz, and the unit can handle 50W power. On the back is a removable four-conductor Phoenix connector protected by a weather-resistant terminal cover and rubber grommet. Next to this is a power tap selector switch for 8Ω, 70V, 50V, or 100V distributed installations.
The Martin Audio AM12 two-way, full-range weatherized enclosure is made to operate in big outdoor venues where long distance and rough weather conditions present a challenge. The passive system incorporates a 300W 12in. direct-radiating reflex-loaded low-frequency transducer with a waterproof cone coupled with a 1in. exit HF compression driver mounted on a rotatable 80°x50° constant directivity horn. The cabinet’s components are protected by a high-density polyurethane coating and the grille includes a water barrier. The AM12 delivers a frequency response of 65Hz to 18kHz±3dB.
Jun 16, 2014 3:51 PM, By Bennett Liles
Designed by Niles Audio with a 7in. interlaced carbon-fiber dome woofer and a 1in. tri-laminate Teteron dome tweeter, the OS7.5 indoor/outdoor loudspeaker can work with amplifiers from 5W to 150W while providing a frequency response from 60Hz to 23kHz ±3dB. The Butyl rubber cone surround helps reject weather deterioration, and the integrated mounting bracket simplifies installation. The unit’s gold-plated, inverted five-way binding posts assure the 8Ω connection resists corrosion, and the tapered shape of the cabinet allows mounting in corners and tight spots. The OS7.5 is available in a black or white exterior finish.
The 312CIM three-element, 12in. shaded array loudspeaker system is housed in a copolymer optimized for high UV exposure and harsh weather. One Systems fits it out with a coaxially mounted high-frequency horn and large-format compression driver in the top 12in. element for clear vocals at long range. For full bandwidth frequency response, it may be used with the 118Sub-W or 218 Sub-W. The three-layer grille minimizes rain contact with internal components and the stainless steel four-position barrier strip input connection has a weather cover. The enclosure is equipped with multiple M10 flying points and array brackets are available.
New from QSC in the AcousticDesign surface mount speaker line with both 8Ω and 70/100V operation is the S8T. Equipped with a powder-coated aluminum grille and a sealed input cover, the ABS enclosure meets IEC60529 IP-54 for dust and splash resistance. This model features a 55Hz-20kHz response, 200W power handling with 113dB maximum continuous SPL, and a 105° coverage angle. The 8in. weather-resistant paper-cone woofer is paired with a 1in. exit, 1.4in. voice-coil compression driver for the highs. Installation options are expanded with the yoke mount and M10 Kit-C eyebolt options while the X-Mount allows the enclosure to be installed in a variety of angles without slipping.
RCF USA designed its wide-dispersion P series with IP55-rated cabinets consisting of medium-density polyethylene, and they are fully UV protected. The custom-perforated aluminum grilles include open-cell fibers and water-repellent woven fabric backing to protect internal components from the elements. Watertight multipole wiring terminals make weatherproof connections. The series starts out with the P1108T, which is an 8in. two-way 100W (16Ω or 70V) enclosure. We then step up to the P3108, which is 8in. two-way 300W; P5228, which is a dual 8in. two-way at 500W; and then a 10in. coax at 200W and 15in. coax models at 300 and 500W. And finally, there is the P8015S 800W subwoofer. They can be used in standalone mounting or arranged in clusters of up to four cabinets for higher SPL, longer throw applications.
To blend, almost invisibly, into a range of outdoor environments, the Episode Landscape Series Satellite Speakers from SnapAV have a 1/2in. NPS threaded post that can be used for mounting on the ground, trees, or any flat surface. Using a 6in. polypropylene woofer with Nomex spider and a 3/4in. aluminum dome tweeter to provide 105Hz-19kHz response, the ES-LS-SAT-6-BRN has a four-position rotary tap for use in 70V mode, and it exhibits a dispersion angle of 110 degrees. This model is also available as part of a kit, the KIT-ES-LS-SAT-4, in a group of four paired with a Crown 2-channel amplifier that features customizable DSP settings. The 6in. version is also available in the 1000W Crown amp kit as the KIT-ES-LS-SAT-6-BRN.
The compact, weatherproof Q-6 loudspeaker from Soundsphere is fitted with a structural foam polystyrene housing, which allows the unit to provide a hemispherical coverage pattern. The Q-6 can be ceiling mounted using either the available ceiling bracket or the hanging kit, and it handles 30W RMS power at 4Ω. The system’s frequency response is 70Hz to 17kHz ±6dB. The Q-6 Power2 is a self-powered version with the amplifier mounted in the rear surface of the reflector, and it features an individual level control for each input along with a master level control.
Jun 16, 2014 3:51 PM, By Bennett Liles
In more interesting environments, a rock speaker can be the perfect component for sound. Speco Technologies offers the weather-resistant SPRK65CGT. A polymer-constructed rock speaker in gray finish, this model features a 6.5in. polypropylene-cone woofer with rubber surround coupled with a 1/2in. Mylar-dome tweeter that together produce 70Hz to 20kHz response with 30W RMS power. The 70V/25V transformer has four power settings, and the unit can be operated in 8Ω mode. The fine mesh integrated grille blends with the surrounding structure and helps keep out weather. The SPRK65CBT is the brown version, and each has security loops included.
For surface-mount applications in weather-exposed areas, Tannoy enclosed the IP64-rated DVS 6 in an UV/weather-resistant ABS casing to protect its 6in. mid-bass driver and coaxially mounted 0.75in. high-frequency section. With a 90° dispersion angle, the DVS 6 can handle a program power level of 120W at a nominal impedance of 6Ω. This model fits between Tannoy’s DVS 4/4T and DVS 8/8T in woofer size and power handling capacity. The T-version of each includes a low insertion loss transformer for use in distributed audio installations. All are available in black or white and come equipped with a corrosion-resistant aluminum grille.
The Berlin loudspeaker from Technomad is intended for weatherproof-wide coverage applications ranging from sports facilities to public space PA systems, and its relatively small size belies its punch. Barely 33in. high, the Berlin handles 500W continuous power and spreads its output over a 120° coverage area. The unit connects on two Speakon terminals, operates at 8Ω, and includes a 15in. cone woofer and a 2in. horn-loaded compression driver. Each enclosure weighs 90lbs. and while black is standard, they are available in 14 colors.
TOA offers a solution for indoor/outdoor bracket-mount speaker applications with the BS-1030 two-way bass reflex music and paging speaker. Sealed into an ABS resin enclosure with a steel mesh grille, the system includes a 7.2in. cone woofer and a 1in. dome tweeter to produce 80HZ to 20kHz at 90W continuous program power. It can be operated in 8Ω mode or run through an adjustable power tap with five level settings. The unit carries an IEC IP-X4 rating, and it is available in black or white with matching grille.
The small size and curved design of the Yamaha NS-AW392 all-weather speakers and their supplied mounting brackets make them perfect for corners and other tight spaces exposed to the elements. Connection is simple with the weather-resistant, five-way binding post speaker terminals. The grille is constructed of powder-coated aluminum and the rubber feet allow for no-slip bookshelf and desktop placement with minimum vibration transfer. The two-way acoustic suspension unit has a 5 1/4in. waterproof cone woofer paired with a 3/4in. fluid-cooled, coated soft-dome tweeter to produce 60Hz to 25kHz frequency response. Each unit can handle a maximum 120W at 6Ω and weighs 4lbs.