Product Review (January 2006) - Phoenix Gold
ATo5 Indoor / Outdoor Speakers

Outdoor speakers are commonplace here in California, where year around great weather allows many of us to spend a lot of time on our patios. Finding a suitable speaker that performs well outdoors can be a challenge especially for those on a budget. Phoenix Gold offers an affordable set of speakers designed for both indoor and outdoor applications called the ATo5. The ATo5 is a ported two-way speaker design that is capable of producing reasonably good bass from a small enclosure. These speakers are available for well under $100 a pair (street price) and offer consumers the ability to play their music in places where other speakers may suffer from exposure to the elements. The lightweight cabinet makes installation easy when mounting them in difficult to reach areas. We connected the review speakers to a Sonos Digital Music system which allowed us to control our audio content using the Sonos wireless CR100 remote controller.

Installation
The ATo5 speakers include a set of plastic mounting brackets that allow them to be attached to virtually any flat surface. Once mounted, the speakers could swivel on the bracket to direct the sound towards the listener. We placed the speakers under the eaves, which also protected them from the rain. The ATo5 speakers come with gold-plated binding posts for attaching the speaker wires. We used 14-gauge Tributaries wire for our installation and found it easiest to use the bare wire with the spring loaded terminals. As an option, banana jacks can also be used to connect to the speaker terminals. Each speaker terminal is labeled with its polarity and color coded to help insure a proper connection.

Frequency Response
The frequency response of the ATo5 was reasonably good. The low frequency response rolled off near 50 Hz and the high frequency response began to drop off just above 16 kHz. The bass level increase in the frequency response chart near 100Hz is common for many smaller speakers. This will help enhance the perceived bass capability of the speaker. The plastic cabinet enclosure had its own sonic character that added some coloration to the sound.

Impedance
The impedance of the ATo5 speakers varied considerably as a function of frequency. We measured a low of 3.9 ohms at 315 Hertz and a maximum of 8.3 ohms at 50 hertz. Average impedance was around 5.2 ohms over the entire frequency range, so it might have been more appropriate for the company to have rated the speakers at 6 ohms rather than 8 ohms. Amplifiers that have difficulty driving low impedances could have difficulty driving the ATo5 speakers.

Conclusion
The ATo5 speakers provided good sound from an inexpensive outdoor speaker system. They are certainly not high-performance and do not claim to be. The frequency response and ease of installation make them a prime candidate for any outdoor patio. We would have liked to have seen an 8" version of the speaker as well. If you are on a budget and need to get your sound outdoors, the ATo5 are certainly worth looking into. If accurate sound is your main priority, then you may find a better solution, but with a significant hit to your pocket book.

- Kevin Nakano





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Review at a Glance

Phoenix Gold - ATo5
Indoor / Outdoor Speaker

Features:

  • 5.0" Two Way Speaker System
  • Packaged pairs - White
  • Includes Mounting Brackets and Hardware
  • Weather Resistant

    Specifications:

  • 5.0" reinforced polypropylene woofer
  • 0.75" polycarbonate tweeter
  • Power Handling: 125W
  • Frequency Response: 60Hz - 20kHz
  • Sensitivity: 89dB
  • Dimensions: 6.675in D x 7.0in W x 9.5in H


    Company Information
    Phoenix Gold
    9300 North Decatur Street
    Portland, OR 97203
    Phone: 503-286-9300
    Toll Free: 800-950-1449
    Website: www.phoenixgold.com

    Source: Manufacture Supplied
    MSRP: $139.95

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