Summer is a time when my family, like many others, spends a lot of time outdoors. During the day we spend many hours outside playing, reading and relaxing, and most evenings we cook dinner over the grill and eat out on the patio. One thing that makes our outdoor activities even more fun is music, so I was very pleased to be offered the opportunity to review the AW5500 Outdoor Speakers by Definitive Technology.
Definitive Technology have won many awards and are the best-selling brand of audiophile grade loudspeakers in the USA, known both for their sound quality and for their stylish good looks. We recently reviewed their Sound Cylinder Portable Bluetooth Speaker. Definitive Technology have two outdoor speaker options: the AW5500 which I am reviewing today, and the slightly larger AW6600, both of which feature the same high quality components as their indoor speaker range.
The AW5500 speakers feature a 5 1/4″ active driver which is pressure coupled to a 5 x 8 inch racetrack-shaped Planar Low Bass Radiator. The speakers are shaped like a triangle but with curved faces, the speaker wire connectors are on the back, the Low Bass Radiator is on one face and the mid/bass Driver and Tweeter are on the other face. When mounting the speakers you place the Tweeter and Driver towards the listening area, and the Low Bass Radiator towards a wall or ground- you can vary how Bass-heavy the sound is depending on how close you place it to the wall or ground you are reflecting off.
When the speakers arrived I gave the job of installing them to my husband, however he kept putting it off, saying he didn’t have time. Impatient to begin listening to music outside, I thought “how hard can it be?” and decided to install them myself. Well I’m happy to report they are really quick and easy to install, it took me all of about 10 minutes and most of that was spent going up and down ladders!
The speaker bracket attaches to the wall with 2 screws – just mark the spot, drill, screw in the screws and slide the bracket over the screw -heads.
Attaching the bracket to the speaker is very simple too – it just screws into place by turning a large locking knob.
Once the speaker is in place attach the wires – the connectors work with RCA connectors or regular speaker wires.
Adjusting the speaker angle is very simple – just loosen the knob slightly, turn the speaker to the desired angle and hand tighten. I love how easy to adjust this is, you can rotate them through a full 360 degrees (as long as your wire is long enough!), I have adjusted them many times and it only takes a few seconds to do.
Since I have installed the speakers I have used them with two different music systems, and they have sounded great with both of them. I must admit to having a preference for Irish music, so they has been throughly tested with the likes of U2, Enya and The Waterboys; we have also listened to many other artists and genres including Reggae, Folk, Rock, Traditional Irish, Traditional African, Acapella, New Wave and Classical. The sound quality has been amazing with everything I’ve listened to – clear, crisp full sound both at low and high volumes, it is a very well-balanced rich sound with plenty of bass. I’ve turned also the sound level up high enough for a party without hearing any distortion.
The speakers come in a choice of black or white finish, the white can be painted to match your house if you really want them to blend in. The speakers look like they will withstand the weather well and are fully sealed. They are also so easy to install and uninstall that you could take them down and use them inside during the winter months very easily too. They also come with a great warranty – 5 years on the Drivers and Cabinets and 3 years on the Electronic Components. They have a MSRP of $199.50 each and are available from Authorized Dealers.
If you are looking for a great pair of outdoor speakers then look no further – the AW5500’s are just what you are looking for! These really are great speakers- really well designed – not only do they deliver amazing sound quality, but they are also very easy to install, incredibly quick and easy to adjust the speaker angle and are well built to withstand the elements. Highly recommended !
Height: 7 3/4″ (19.68cm)
Width:1 2 11/16″ (32.23cm)
Depth: 8 1/8″ (20.64cm)
Speaker Enclosure: Mineral Injected 3 Sided Polymer with Aluminum Grille.
Tweeter: Diameter 1″ (2.54cm), Pure Aluminum Dome
Mid / Woofer: Diameter 5 1/4″ (13.34cm), BDSS Midrange Driver
Direct Radiating Bass Radiator : Oval Height5″ (12.70cm) x Width8″ (20.32cm) Racetrack Planar Bass Radiator
Maximum Sensitivity 1 watt @ 1 Meter 91 dB
Total Frequency Response: 45 Hz – 30 kHz
Nominal Impedance: 4 – 8 ohm
Power Handling 10-175 watts per channel
NOTE: A product was supplied by the company for review purposes, no other form of compensation was received, all opinions stated in the review are those of the author and have been offered honestly.