Invite some friends over for an outdoor gathering, tap some buttons on your phone, and smile as your guests look around and exclaim, “Ooh, where’s that sound coming from?” It’s coming from an outdoor audio system that brings another layer of enjoyment to your outdoor retreat.
“Outdoor audio is one of the newest offerings,” says Tim Nebel, Gardens of Babylon’s operations manager for irrigation, lighting and audio. “And we are really excited about it. You absolutely have to hear it in person to get a feel for the quality, and you can! Book a free demo through our website and we will bring a system to your home, set it up in 10 minutes, and show you how to use it in 2 minutes. We can even leave it with you over the weekend to play with!
Gardens of Babylon is a certified dealer of Coastal Source, a landscape audio systems company based in Moorestown, NJ. “We tested a few different systems, and Coastal Source speakers are far and away better than anything else we heard.” The quality is key, Nebel says. “It’s built to withstand the outdoors for a long time. But the sound quality is what stood out. There’s nothing that compares.”
Nebel explains: Coastal source systems allow connectivity through Bluetooth, with limited range, or with Sonos, which can be integrated into an existing home audio system. “Coastal Source systems’ speakers have a tweeter that catches the high notes, a subtweeter that catches the middle, and the subwoofer catches the lows,” he says. “They offer a variety of options for different budgets. But even at the most basic, the sound quality blows any portable Bluetooth speaker out of the water.”
You hear the sound, but you may not see where it’s coming from; the most visible components of the system are designed to blend in with the landscape.
“The speakers are typically buried in the landscape so that just the head of the speaker is showing,” Nebel explains. “They look very sharp, and blend in nicely.” And they are built to live outside year round, made from the same material that is used to make Yeti coolers, he says.
There are three package levels of the company’s products. The entry-level package provides two 8-inch mini-bollard speakers; a slightly larger 10.0 2-way bollard provides more robust sound, and the 10.0 three-way ellipsis bollards – Coastal Source’s flagship package – “has the most robust sound of anything they offer,” Nebel says. Any of them can be retrofitted into a landscape design or set on hardscaping to be able to move them around.
Other components of the system include an amplifier and power supply unit in a weatherproof box that is typically mounted on the home or other structure with a power outlet. The system’s wiring is encased in another coated cable that is more difficult to break than typical spliced connections, and features the company’s “plug and play” waterproof connections that lock into place.
“With the cabling leading from the amp to the ground in conduit, from there all you see is the ellipsis of the speakers in the landscape,” Nebel says. “They are designed to look natural in any landscape.”
When it’s time to que up the music, tap onto your phone or tablet and you have all your music sources – Apple Music, Pandora, Spotify, your own music library with digital mp3s – at your fingertips.
Interested in including audio in your backyard retreat? Schedule a free phone consultation through the Irrigation, Lighting & Audio portal on the Gardens of Babylon website or book a free demo to hear the system in your yard Outdoor Audio Demo. “We are offering free on-site demonstrations to anyone who wants to hear it,” Tim Nebel says. Schedule an in-person audio demonstration to hear how outdoor audio can transform your outdoor living areas.