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Common Challenges While Setting Up Loudspeakers Outdoors

February 27, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 143

Finding the perfect pair of speakers for outdoor use can be tricky. Outdoor applications present some challenges for loudspeakers. I will offer some guidance in selecting the right speaker model.

When using speakers outdoors, you'll need to make sure the speakers you pick can deal with a number of challenges that present themselves during outdoor use.

It is important to pick a speaker that has a water resistant enclosure such as ABS or some other plastic material. If you plan on placing the speaker where it faces direct sunlight then you may want to pick a model which has a UV resistive coating to prevent discoloration over time. Aside from the speaker sound quality you also want to look at other important parameters. One of these is speaker output power.

The sound behavior of outdoor speakers differs from the behavior of indoor speakers in that the sound is no longer contained in a room. As a result the sound will travel freely in all directions and not be contained inside a room. Therefore, outdoor speakers require higher wattage in order to achieve the same loudness as indoor speakers. In addition, there is substantial background noise in outdoor environments. You may have car traffic nearby or wind may be a contributing factor. Thus higher speaker wattage is required to overcome this problem.

When you set up speakers outdoors, you'll need to run speaker wire to all of your speakers. This may involve digging trenches and drilling holes into your walls. From a time and cost perspective, wireless outdoor speakers may be an alternative worth investigating. Wireless speakers are convenient as they do away with long speaker cable runs. The sound travels from a transmitter which connects to your source to the speakers by air. The signal can travel through walls and other obstacles. When you set up speakers outdoors, your speakers may be quite far away from your transmitter. The wireless signal has to be able to travel far enough to reach your speakers. Therefore you will need to pick a model where the transmitter range is large enough for your application. Most wireless speaker manufacturers will show the operating range of the transmitter. You often will find a maximum operating range. This range is the highest possible range for an ideal case, i.e. there are no obstacles between the transmitter and your speakers. In your application the operating range will usually be less than the maximum range. To better figure out the operating range, some vendors also list a range under typical circumstances. You can use that range as a guideline but the actual range will most likely vary. The more walls you have between the transmitter and speakers the less your operating range. Also, the type of building material will affect the range since wooden walls do not weaken the wireless signal much while reinforced concrete walls are a real challenge.

Chances are there are other wireless gadgets in the vicinity. These may affect the transmission of your wireless signal. Therefore you will need to ensure that your speakers are robust against radio interference. Adaptive frequency hopping is one method to deal with interference. Another popular mechanism is called error correction. Different kinds of audio devices have different types of connectors. Connecting the transmitter may be a challenge unless you have a transmitter that offers a sufficient number of audio inputs to easily interface with your home audio system. Some models will in addition to connectors for line-level and speaker-level audio also have an iPod cradle to easily stream music from your iPod or iPhone.

You can find further details about wireless speaker system products as well as amplifier models at Amphony's web page.

Source: EzineArticles
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