Outdoor Sound Systems
This guide will help you to prepare for the challenges that come with an outdoor sound system. We are here to help you decide what kind of system you need, how big, and what type of speakers you might want to choose for your system. Before we decide which outdoor system is right for you there are a few questions you’ll probably want to ask yourself. At Perfect Angle, we are here to help you make that difficult decision.
About Outdoor Sound Systems
How Close Are Your Neighbors?
A lot of people tend to forget about the neighbors when making this decision, and there are a lot of factors when choosing outdoor music that most people don’t consider. When people think of sound they usually think of stereo, but there is another option that you should consider if you have a large area to cover with neighbors close by. It might be tempting to go out and purchase a nice loud sound system, but that’s not always the best option for some people.
What is a 70v system?70v system is different than a stereo system in that it creates a wider range of coverage in the area it is installed. Normally, we use a stereo system with some rock speakers or wall speakers to pump music in different zones. A 70v system uses mono speakers (stereo in one speaker rather than two) conveniently placed around the yard and can be controlled individually through a small adjustment knob. For instance, if you want the pool speakers to be louder than a seating area where people are talking this can easily be done by adjusting the sound on the individual speaker rather than turning the volume down on that entire zone. So the music can be nice and loud in a larger area while keeping the audio to nice background music in areas where people might be having more conversation. A 70v system gives the feeling of a louder sound without bothering the neighbors.
Stereo or 70-volt??
Both stereo and 70v systems have their advantages and disadvantages, but both can be paired with massive subwoofers that can be buried underground for a rich and deep immersive experience. If the neighbors aren’t an issue then you might be able to save yourself a few dollars on an external sub and go with some decent-sized rock speakers. These speakers are designed to look like rocks and camouflage into their surroundings. Rock speakers however only come in stereo, and although stereo speakers are a bit cheaper they do come with a nice quality and bass upgrade. Whereas a 70v system will almost always have to be paired with an external subwoofer to get a rich bass performance, a decent set of stereo rock or stereo wall speakers can really amplify your experience without the need for an external subwoofer.
Preparing for the installation
When preparing to do a backyard system we have to take a look at where the amplifiers will be housed, as they need to be in a well-ventilated area. If the customer wants a 70v system we recommend placing the unit inside a rack specially designed to hold amplifiers. If the customer is choosing to go with a set of Sonos stereo amplifiers then it is okay to place these on the wall in the basement, making stereo the way to go in terms of price. Although 70v systems are superior to stereo in many areas they come with a rather large price tag. Another benefit of 70v is that the same amplifier powering your 70v speakers can often be used to power the subwoofer as well, we call this a two-channel amp where one channel goes to the subwoofer, and the other goes to the speakers. The benefit of stereo in this category is we can put in a great system with less equipment, and less preparation and a Sonos amp can basically be installed anywhere there is wifi and power.
Wiring and Speaker placement
Another crucial step in the preparation phase is where we will be installing the speakers in your yard as there are almost always some opticals to overcome such as patios, pools, and vegetation. Obstacles usually increase the length of the wire needed to be run, while vegetation is a great way to get wires ran quickly and efficiently offering less area that needs to be trenched. A good line of trees or bushes is great for running wires to an area that will also allow the wire to stay above ground and away from the harsh conditions of the ground. Once we have determined the length and path the wires will take we can then start mapping out the locations we will be placing the speakers. We want stereo speakers to be at the edges of the property to increase the audio coverage, adding multiple zones to immerse the area in music. With a 70v system, we are placing speakers as close to the action as possible, and this will allow the speakers to be adjusted later. 70v speakers will be placed around the perimeter of the home and close to the seating areas and places where people will be hanging out the most. Another great benefit of a 70v speaker system is that they only require one wire for several speakers, as long as the wattage of each speaker doesn’t exceed the draw from the amplifier several speakers can be “daisy chained” to the next one in line. This is great because it allows customers to add speakers at any time by simply connecting to the next speaker in line. While a stereo speaker set will have to have one line run to each speaker and we have to consider ohms law when hooking up more than two speakers to a stereo amplifier 70v shines in the category of multiple speakers.
No matter what type of system you choose or how many speakers you need we can guarantee we will be there for you to make the hard decisions with your outdoor system. Now that you are more prepared we hope that you’ll be able to take on this project with an open mind. It is important that we give our customers sound advice and products that will last for years to come. Give us a call and we will do our best to help guide you in the right direction when it comes to outdoor landscape systems.
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