by Leon Shaw

Summertime in the Carolinas means outdoor gatherings with friends and family. Sitting around reminiscing with music from the past or listening to music by the new band you’ve discovered adds a ton of fun to your get together.

Sharing your music in the great outdoors is a bit more challenging than in your living room. Let’s look at the acoustics to understand why. Typically, when you’re inside you have walls and ceilings to contain sound. Outdoors it’s, well, the great outdoors. As you move further away from a speaker the sound greatly diminishes in volume, especially the middle and higher frequencies. Conversely, as you get closer sound gets a lot louder.

If you have a large outdoor entertaining area, this is where there’s a challenge. With only a pair or two of speakers, you need to blast sound out over one area to get good coverage everywhere.

Obviously, the best solution is a lot of speakers spread all around your entertaining area. However, while we all want great sound, we may not want our outdoor environment to look like a speaker store!  Every challenge always represents an opportunity, and Sonance has risen to the challenge with several great outdoor landscape speaker systems. Their idea is to distribute a number of their small speakers (shown in picture below) that look just like landscape lights. You can bury the speakers in your plantings, conceal them in your mulched areas, or even hang them in trees: they blend right in! (See picture above for example of a patio system.) When you spread these small speakers over your landscape, they provide uniform sound. With Sonance systems you don’t have one area blasting the eardrums while in another area the lyrics are too faint to understand.

Sonance Landscape speaker concealed among blooms.

Sonance Landscape speaker concealed among blooms.

To provide deep bass, there’s a big weatherproof subwoofer box to bury in the ground.  All you will see is a small pipe protruding to send out the bass sound. (Shown below: it’s got a little roof over it and looks like it should be in a landscape.)

Sonance Landscape subwoofer concealed by garden growth.

Sonance Landscape subwoofer concealed by garden growth.

Sonance Landscape Systems start at $2500 for the Sonarray SR1 System (8 speakers and a subwoofer) and go up from there. They offer packages for those who only want background music up to levels approaching concert volume outside.

We’ll present demos of these Sonance systems during our Digital Living events in Raleigh on July 23rd and Charlotte on July 24th (6 to 9 each evening). We also have permanent demos set up outside at each store.