When did outdoor entertaining and al fresco dining become so sophisticated? Once, most people would be happy with a humble barbecue – now homeowners are adding gazebos and patios, landscaping their gardens, building grills or outdoor kitchens and installing outdoor sound systems. In response to this urge to create attractive outdoor living areas, manufacturers have produced some clever outdoor speaker options – from Rockustics, to Niles Camouflage speakers, to the Sonance rock speaker. The latest audio offering comes from Audiovox - a new range of wireless speakers and wall lanterns that are designed to not only look good and sound great but light up your outdoor living area as well.

Audiovox announced the four new wireless speakers and wall lanterns at CES 2010. The models in the Acoustic Research Outdoor Living collection add to the company’s existing units - the Mission-style outdoor wall lantern with wireless speaker and the portable outdoor speaker. The aim was to produce speakers that were multifunctional and pleasing to the eye and ear.

David Benedetti, manager of industrial design, Audiovox Accessories Corporation, said, “Most outdoor speakers on the market today are either alternative versions of indoor speaker designs or they take the form of natural objects such as rocks. We decided to take a different approach to outdoor speakers by looking at common design styles and materials used for outdoor products such as lighting, planters, and furniture. And we saw a great opportunity to add some style, sound and vision to the backyard in one easy to use product.”

The outdoor range can be used with any audio device with a stereo output, including MP3 players, computers or home theaters. They contain a compact 900MHz transmitter which when connected to the audio device transfers music to the wireless speaker which can be placed either indoors or outdoors.

The Main Street series features three models that are designed to blend in with the existing outdoor décor and environment. The outdoor wireless speaker and outdoor lamp/wireless speaker are weather-proof they can be used throughout the year.

An alternative to the lantern speakers is the Rock-Pot – a clever planter and speaker in one. Designed to be used indoors or out, the planter can be removed from the speaker if required.

The Acoustic Research range of outdoor wireless speakers will be available in the spring of 2010 and is expected to retail from USD100 to USD130. See Audiovox for more details.

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