Sound Appeal is a newer, lesser known audio company founded in 1996 (apparently owned by parent company AV Express), which has distinguished itself in producing a select few active wireless outdoor speakers.
Almost all outdoor speakers on the market are passive, meaning they need to receive power from a separate amplifier. This generally means you’ll need to run speaker wire from the receiver/amp inside to the speakers outdoors, which almost always means needing to (properly!) run the wire through a wall.
Most people are not audiophiles, and an understandable point of hesitation in buying outdoor speakers is knowing you’ll have to wire them. Additionally, buying a compatible receiver to power them is yet another additional expense. Sound Appeal’s BT Blast product line circumvents both of these problems:
- They are active speakers with built in amplifiers – you simply need to plug them into a standard 120V outlet with the provided AC adapter cable.
- They are Bluetooth – you can pair them to your phone/laptop/whatever and stream music to the speakers directly without the need of a receiver.
This is a majorly attractive leg-up in convenience and savings for an average consumer.
Pictured above in their black/white variants, you can get either the smaller 5.25 inch cone version, or the slightly more powerful and expensive 6.5 inch cone version. Other than that, both of these speaker sets are the same size and have the same design.
|Type||wired*, active, wall-mount||(<--same)|
|Nominal Power Handling||30 watts||40 watts|
|Peak Power Handling||not specified by manufacturer||(<--same)|
|Frequency Response Range||45 - 20,000 Hz||(<--same)|
|Sensitivity||not specified by manufacturer||89 dB/W/m|
(depth x width x height)
|7.5 x 8.5 x 11 inches||(<--same)|
|Product Manual||click here||(<--same)|
* We still classify this as a wired speaker since it needs to be hooked up to a wall-socket.
** Does apply to purchase from Amazon.com.
Review and Discussion
The major advantage that either of these products has over similar competitors is that they don’t need to be wired to a receiver – you can just plug them right into the wall, pair them with your Bluetooth device, and they’re ready to go (do note though that the “secondary” speaker needs to be connected to the “primary” speaker, which then plugs into an outlet).
If you’re intimidated by the idea of wiring traditional passive speakers, or you don’t have an AV receiver and would rather not have to pay for one, then either of these speakers are quite understandably an appealing alternative – the obvious question though is do they sound good enough?
30-40W of continuous power handling with an ~89dB sensitivity rating is *generally* loud enough to fill a small to medium sized enclosure. The frequency response range is quite good, and a 45Hz floor will ensure a solid reproduction of bass, which is particularly important with outdoor speakers.
They look decent enough, and both come in either black or white – pretty standard for traditional wall-mount outdoor speakers. The speaker is a sealed design, with an ABS cabinet and polypropylene woofer/tweeter – again, pretty boilerplate for residential grade outdoor speakers. They can either go onto stands or be wall mounted, and come included with standard swiveling c brackets. Size and weight wise they run about average. All in all the set up shouldn’t be too difficult, but ideally you have an outdoor outlet. A 2 year warranty is pretty average for this price tier.
These speakers are pretty powerful, and enough so for many consumers, but, the price of each is not all that great for the specs – you can get significantly more power/loudness from similarly priced competitors.
However, these are among the exceedingly few active outdoor speakers we’ve seen, and we can’t deny the practical advantage of not having to run wire through a wall and to a receiver, not to mention you won’t have to pay for either in the first place. When you consider this the price tag of both the BLAST5 and 6 becomes quite decent.
The Bluetooth wireless is a nice feature too – but we will say that most modern receivers also have wireless features, so you could remotely control traditional passive speakers all the same. You don’t necessarily need Bluetooth compatible speakers to enjoy wireless sound.
If you’d rather avoid the hassle of wiring and you don’t need major power/loudness, either of these speakers is definitely a solid choice. However, if you’re otherwise willing to invest more long term and run wire to a receiver – which is honestly not all that hard to do – then you can probably get significantly more powerful and higher quality speakers for the same price.
Get the BT-BLAST speakers on Amazon
See our current picks for the overall best budget bookshelf speakers