Yamaha’s NS-AW150-350 2 product “mini” series is their oldest, least expensive line of outdoor/all-weather speakers. Despite being nearly 15 years old, the now quite cheap 150s are still one the best selling, most positively reviewed outdoor speakers on Amazon. The 350s are the slightly larger, more powerful, and more expensive older brother of the 150s, but other than that they have the same design, thus we’ve decided to review them both together here.
|Type||passive, wired, wall-mount||(<-- same)|
|Nominal Power Handling||35W||40W|
|Peak Power Handling||120W||130W|
|Frequency Response Range||55 Hz - 40 kHz||55 Hz - 40 kHz|
|Sensitivity||85 dB/W/m||87 dB/W/m|
|Impedance||8 Ohms||6 Ohms|
(depth x width x height)
|6.0 x 5.2 x 10 inches||8.2 x 7.15 x 13.5 inches|
|Warranty *||2 years||(<-- same)|
|Product Manual||click here||not available online*|
* It’s probably safe to consider the set-up instructions from the 150s manual to be the same for the 350s
Review and Discussion
With a 35 and 40 watt power handing respectively, both these speaker sets will be loud enough to fill most outdoor enclosures that aren’t exceedingly large. The peak power is quite high both of these as well. Worth distinct mention is also that the frequency response range is quite good. We like to see a floor lower than 60Hz, and both of these speakers go below that. One thing that often lacks in budget-tier outdoor speakers is bass, which is particularly important when outdoors since bass doesn’t carry as well in the open air. Other alternatives might require a subwoofer to sound complete, but, at that point why not just spend the money on better speakers? Not to mention you’ll be out of the budget tier.
Well admit that the design on these speakers is pretty dated and mediocre. The bezel is quite thick and the overall look is kind of bulky. If you care, there are slicker-looking outdoor speakers with comparable specs, but from what we’ve seen they’re going to be more expensive. If all you care about is pure value and you don’t care how the speakers look then disregard this paragraph – the 150s in particular are practically a steal at this point, and they look decent enough. Both the 150s and 350s come in black/white variants, which is pretty par for the course for traditional box wall/mount outdoor speakers.
The 150s are quite small and light, comparatively speaking, while the 350s are significantly larger, more on par with what we say is an average size for speakers with comparable specs. Both come with standard swiveling c brackets for mounting. Contrary to most other competitors, this series (as well as the bigger 190-390 series) have brackets that go across the shorter width rather than the height. It shouldn’t make a difference whether you mount them “sideways” or not, but generally it’s better for outdoor speakers to pivot laterally so that you can aim them towards the ideal center of the listening area.
All Yamaha outdoor speakers come with a 2 year warranty, which is about average for what you can expect at the lower price tier. The outdoor-grade design is fairly standard: sealed, polypropylene woofers. Users have complained that the grill is prone to rust, but, this is actually a fairly common complaint we see amongst lower-tier outdoor speakers. You might opt for the black version if you care about unaesthetic rust stains.
Our Overall Take, As Compared to the Competition
The NS-AW150’s are still one of our favorite outdoor speakers because they’re such a good value for the specs you get. Moreover, they actually come with the required speaker wire included, which almost always has to be purchased separately. If you’re looking to get inexpensive “all inclusive” speakers that sound decent enough, then the 150s are likely going to be your best choice.
For some reason the 350s don’t come with included speaker wire – we’re not sure why – but they are similarly a good value and we see that they’ve become significantly discounted as time has gone on. You really can’t go wrong with either in our opinion.