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Polk Atrium 4 Review (Outdoor Speaker)

Helicopter

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Thanks for the review. I wouldn’t buy these myself but I do have outdoor speakers (PSB CS1000) on my deck and at my cottage.
I know 10X as much about speakers as I did when I ordered these. I figured lots of people probably order them and an ASR review would be valuable to others. Of course I was also curious how they perform objectively since I am running one pair, and have another pair that I had originally intended to install. Now I know the speakers are a big part of what I am hearing, versus the outdoor space, and that different speakers would sound better in the same space.

On third thought, what I might do is install these since I have the wires run already, the amplification in place, etc., and then get party speakers for more serious events, like pool parties. They are fine for a little low-volume Rippingtons or other background music. They don't really cut it for a listening session or a party though.
 

SKBubba

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Thanks for the review. I wouldn’t buy these myself but I do have outdoor speakers (PSB CS1000) on my deck and at my cottage.

How do you like those?

Been thinking about replacing some 15 yr old patio speakers. Was considering Polk based on "reviews" (v. measurements - always look at the measurements!) but the specs on the PSB CS1000 look pretty good.

Are the ports a problem with insects or nesting birds? I see they have plugs, but at the expense of some bass.

Never mind about the ports. I see they come with grills. Duh.

So anyway, how do you like them?
 
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Rottmannash

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Who is using such speakers? I would never buy this system, maybe, when I don’t like my neighbor I would give him this gear
Many people on their decks, near their pools, on their porch, etc. I have a pair of good sounding Klipsch's on my side porch and they can get quite loud. I can hear them in the street about 80 ft away. Pretty good bass and the horn doesn't hurt outdoors.
 

Helicopter

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Can we really apply a Harman house curve to an outdoor application?

You want a speaker which, against an outdoor wall 5 or 6 feet above ground onto an open space, sounds like the Harman curve says a good speaker should sound in a normal room. That will not match a speaker that the harman research suggests will sound good in normal room.

I guess you might want a bright speaker too if you want the sound to get absorbed before it goes through the outside of the neighbor's house. On my double lot, I don't really have to worry about the neighbors.
 

RobL

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How do you like those?

Been thinking about replacing some 15 yr old patio speakers. Was considering Polk based on "reviews" (v. measurements - always look at the measurements!) but the specs on the PSB CS1000 look pretty good.

Are the ports a problem with insects or nesting birds? I see they have plugs, but at the expense of some bass.

Never mind about the ports. I see they come with grills. Duh.

So anyway, how do you like them?

I like them a lot. There is a review with measurements at
https://www.soundstagexperience.com...enu/222-psb-cs1000-outdoorindoor-loudspeakers.

I think they sound as good most bookshelf speakers I’ve listened too. I have some Def Tech AW6500’s as well which sound almost as good but I prefer the PSB’s. Better mount and a little more balanced sound I think. They come with port plugs if you want to use them depending on your mounting location. I have them under the eaves and leave the plugs out. They will play pretty loudly without straining if you want them too. They werea little cheaper when I got them, I think I paid about CAN$550/pair. A good buy if you can find them at that price.
 
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RobL

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Also I’ll add that I have a couple of JBL control 30’s in my shop, and while they will play much louder, I prefer the sound of the PSB’s.
 

SKBubba

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I like them a lot. There is a review with measurements at
https://www.soundstagexperience.com...enu/222-psb-cs1000-outdoorindoor-loudspeakers.

I think they sound as good most bookshelf speakers I’ve listened too. I have some Def Tech AW6500’s as well which sound almost as good but I prefer the PSB’s. Better mount and a little more balanced sound I think. They come with port plugs if you want to use them depending on your mounting location. I have them under the eaves and leave the plugs out. They will play pretty loudly without straining if you want them too. They werea little cheaper when I got them, I think I paid about CAN$550/pair. A good buy if you can find them at that price.

Thanks! Was also looking at the Def Techs. Sounds like the PSBs might edge them out and they are about US $600/pr which seems competitive for the performance in this price range. Thanks again.
 

MediumRare

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You want a speaker which, against an outdoor wall 5 or 6 feet above ground onto an open space, sounds like the Harman curve says a good speaker should sound in a normal room. That will not match a speaker that the harman research suggests will sound good in normal room.

I guess you might want a bright speaker too if you want the sound to get absorbed before it goes through the outside of the neighbor's house. On my double lot, I don't really have to worry about the neighbors.
Agreed, so the question is really if the Klippel algorithms for PIR are relevant for outdoors, against a wall but no ceiling or sidewall reflections at least.

I have heard that treble is more reduced by distance but not sure that really applies in a typical patio/deck application. I'm thinking of what to use for a garage-top deck, 20' x 20', so front wall and floor reflections might be strong, but that's it - plus they'll be considerably below ear-level. Of course must have very wide directivity for a group situation.
 

Prana Ferox

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Considering how niche and fashion-oriented this market is, I suspect if you really cared about sound you'd be better off with PA speakers.
 

Helicopter

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Agreed, so the question is really if the Klippel algorithms for PIR are relevant for outdoors, against a wall but no ceiling or sidewall reflections at least.

I have heard that treble is more reduced by distance but not sure that really applies in a typical patio/deck application. I'm thinking of what to use for a garage-top deck, 20' x 20', so front wall and floor reflections might be strong, but that's it - plus they'll be considerably below ear-level. Of course must have very wide directivity for a group situation.
No, I agree the in room response curve algorithm is not optimal for an outdoor speaker. It does seem to describe the sound of this speaker acceptably on my deck though.

I wouldn't recommend these speakers. The pair on my deck are acceptable for background music, but don't sound impressive or refined. They are good enough not to replace, but not good enough to buy.
 
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infinitesymphony

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Okay, now do outdoor subs. This one's ready for jungle ops:

x065VYSUB12-f.jpeg

h700SB12SA1-o_outdoor.jpeg
 

Hawko

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How do you like those?

Been thinking about replacing some 15 yr old patio speakers. Was considering Polk based on "reviews" (v. measurements - always look at the measurements!) but the specs on the PSB CS1000 look pretty good.

Are the ports a problem with insects or nesting birds? I see they have plugs, but at the expense of some bass.

Never mind about the ports. I see they come with grills. Duh.

So anyway, how do you like them?

If you’re looking for some really good outdoor speakers then you should check out Amir’s review of the Revel M55XC. When I finally get round to installing some outdoor speakers I’ll be giving these some serious consideration.
 

enricoclaudio

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While not great sounding speakers, I think they put out good sound for the money. I used to have a pair outside in my pool and they did a good job. For outdoors, they are just OK. I wouldn't use these indoors for sure.
 

Scrappy

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“All tweeter” makes some sense for a speaker meant to mount under an eave with “2” boundaries, listened to at a distance. I’ve been lookin at these for a bit, always held Polk in decent regard. However, I’m lookin for outdoor near fields essentially. Have a Dayton 8” + 1” + huge passive radiator for lowend, so I’m not worried about low extension. Gonna buy a Dayton dsp amp board to drive anyhow, so I can kill em dead with dsp. Sounds like that Al tweeter is not gonna be good for nearfield (~5’) so back to searching..
 
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