Planning For Outdoor Surround Sound
Perhaps you’re augmenting your audio system in San Francisco to prep for a massive July 4th shindig for your new start up. Or maybe you’re exploring home theater repair options because your teenagers got a little wild with their graduation day festivities. In either case, you crave ground rules. Whether you’re repairing or putting in a new audio system, ponder these three questions:
1. What’s the budget for the project?
If you have thousands to invest, you can obviously engineer an ornate set up. If you’re operating “lean,” you need to be more selective about your equipment and more resourceful about how to achieve an acceptable quality and scope of sound.
2. Are you constrained by your neighbors and any local ordinances?
Everyone loves a barbecue, but not everyone loves listening to someone else’s barbecue. Are your neighbors noise-sensitive? Are there any local ordinances that might restrict or limit your ability to blast tunes? Know these before you shop! For instance, there might be a neighborhood curfew, after which time you shouldn’t play loud music.
3. Does your patio protect against the elements?
Do you have a screened-in porch? Is your outdoor dining/sitting area exposed to the elements? The answers to these questions will determine the degree of “waterproofness” you will need from your audio system and help you make decisions about speakers and set up strategy.
4. What types of events will you hold outside?
Are you planning to host a World Cup watch party? Do you and your friends simply want to listen to music while sipping on sangria on the deck? Know the primary purpose for your speaker system, and you will automatically contain your budget and the project’s scope.
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