After Britain enjoyed a gloriously warm summer, with BBQ’s, alfresco dining and summer parties the order of the day, it seems like the obvious time for integrators to turn attention to the outdoors. Matt Kamp, Sr. Director of Product Management for Audio at Snap One, is here to explain why the opportunity for outdoor audio goes way beyond the summer months…
The business of outdoor audio
It’s official, entertaining in the garden is no longer a summertime luxury. Integrated technology is transforming patios into outdoor cinemas, gazebos into game areas, poolside into a year-round party hub and flower gardens into immersive encounters with music and mood lighting – without impacting the scenery or design.
The ‘smart garden’ is here, and it’s a huge opportunity for integrators. According to the recent Integrated Home Market Analysis 2021 report by CEDIA, over two-thirds of integrators participating in the study said they now install outdoor entertainment.
By keeping the outdoors top-of-mind, integrators can enjoy an increase in both revenue and projects, and build deeper, stronger relationships with their clients. There is great potential for incremental sales by adding outdoor services to an existing project or incentivising larger purchases across more categories. In fact, next to kitchen and bathroom renovations, outdoor improvements have the greatest return on investment for homeowners looking to increase the value of their property – so it’s a win-win all round.
Getting it right
At Snap One in EMEA, we offer a comprehensive selection of outdoor audio products across two speaker brands – Episode and Triad – with everything you need for a high-performance installation.
An established brand in the US, Episode was introduced to the UK market last year. Constructed with all-weather components, Episode outdoor speakers deliver remarkable sound in every climate from minus 7 to 85 degrees Celsius. With a broad selection of landscape, mounted and rock speakers, all-weather soundbars and burial or hardscape subwoofers, the Episode range meets the needs of a variety of projects while providing great performance and great value.
Size is often the biggest challenge on an outdoor audio project, especially for integrators who prefer to work with 8Ohm systems. Providing audio coverage with an 8Ohm two channel system in a large garden can become expensive and makes finding the ideal positioning for stereo tricky. The answer can be a 70V system, which takes the left and right channel and mixes them into one. This also allows you to daisy chain the wiring over large areas, making installation quicker and easier than with an 8Ohm system.
There may be a small reduction in audio quality with a 70V system, but you can add up to three subs for a rich bass sound with a 70V Episode Garden Landscape system. Episode also offers the option of 8Ohm, 70V, or a hybrid combination of both, which gives great flexibility on loudspeaker layout, audio performance and wiring.
One of the most enduring products in the Episode outdoor range is a 360˚ Omni-Directional Speaker. The careful design of this loudspeaker allows you to set up any audio configuration imaginable and the 360 degrees of coverage delivers perfect performance without hot spots.
Meanwhile, Triad, our premium audio brand, is a market-leading name for audio in the residential integration industry and was recently recognised as category leader for the ‘most specified and installed brand for speakers’ in CEDIA’s Integrated Home Market Analysis 2021.
For outdoor projects, the Triad Garden Array is a family of premium, all-weather landscape speakers that are the perfect combination of elegance, sound, and durability. This family includes the unique GA4 Satellite and powerful GA10 Subwoofer speakers, designed to be placed throughout flowerbeds or around the garden blanketing outdoor spaces with rich, beautiful audio. What’s more, Triad Garden Array speakers are completely scalable, making the range suitable for residential courtyards and patios to large-scale commercial applications.
The Triad GA4 Satellite speaker is built around a unique, Ultra-Broad Dispersion (UBD) driver that provides superior sound coverage using fewer speakers. GA4 Satellites deliver a 150-degree listening area that is over 50% wider than traditional landscape speakers, allowing for broader speaker placement without compromising sound quality.
Everyone gets consistent volume levels and tonal balance for filling outdoor areas without the beaming or hot spotting of conventional designs. The GA10 Subwoofer is designed for both above and below-ground installations so the bass can be located exactly where you want it — on the patio or deck, or buried near a pool, gazebo, or pergola. We also offer Surface Mount Speakers as part of the range, which provide greater flexibility of install where structures exist on the property.
Integrators can enhance the experience further with voice control, scheduled automation, trigger-based illumination, tuneable coloured LED bulbs and fixtures, and direct integration with security systems as part of their clients’ Control4 systems.
Episode and Triad outdoor ranges are also available as all-in-one kits for different types of integration, with everything you need in one box, and additional useful equipment is there in the Snap One range to make installation even easier, such as burial cable from Wirepath and networking solutions from Araknis.
The possibilities are endless
Outdoor integration provides a wealth of possibilities, not least because for the most part these customers are likely to have some element of existing home integration. Depending on the size of the garden, you can introduce the concept of audio zones, providing the opportunity to expand the installation in the future.
While home equity is high and home renovations are on the rise, now is the perfect time to grow your outdoor business. Not to mention the World Cup coming up this autumn, which is likely to drive further demand for outdoor entertainment options.
At Snap One, we offer everything under the sun for making a customer’s outdoor space an entertainment oasis. And thanks to our Partner Rewards program, there’s never been a better time to grow your business with Snap One.