Brian Kahn is the longest tenured writer on staff at HomeTheaterReview.com. His specialties include everything from speakers to whole-home audio systems to high-end audiophile and home theater gear, as well as room acoustics. By day, Brian is a partner at a West Los Angeles law firm.
Our house, like many others, has a patio cover under which a pair of speakers are mounted. The speakers installed by the prior owners of the house were in poor shape. I selected a pair of Voyager 7's, which are the largest in Boston Acoustics' Voyager line, as the patio area was on the large side and I wanted more bass extension. At $660 a pair they were reasonably priced, though smaller models in the Voyager lineup start at $250 a pair.
The Voyager 7 is a two-way design with a seven inch copolymer cone and one inch Kortec soft dome tweeter. The polypropylene enclosures can be had in black or white and come with a metal grill painted to match. The enclosures are 14 and a half inches high by 10 inches wide and eight and three quarter inches deep. They taper towards the back of the enclosure presenting a triangle-like profile when viewed from above. This profile allows the speakers to be pivoted to obtain the best coverage.
Positioning was easy with the "C" shaped powder coated aluminum brackets that come with the speakers, attaching at the top and bottom. The speakers given frequency response is 59 Hz to 20 kHz and are rated at eight Ohms and 90 dB sensitivity which means they should be easy for most amplifiers to drive to reasonable levels. Outdoor stereo listening will typically require more volume and power than indoor due to lack of noise isolation and containment, larger spaces and higher ambient noise so an efficient and easy to drive speaker is a big plus.
Installing the speakers was simple and can easily be done by one person. The sound quality was much improved over the prior speakers. Bass extension was good but fans of bass heavy tunes may also want to check out the subwoofer in the Voyager line.
• The speakers were easy to install and were visually unobtrusive despite their not so petite size.
• The Voyager 7's seven inch woofer provided enough bass extension to add some weight that is lacking from smaller satellite speakers.
• The speakers had a wide, even dispersion pattern providing a large "sweet spot" appropriate for outdoor use.
• The enclosure vibrates at higher listening levels, muddying up the low end. Thankfully most of this energy is much lower in volume and directed away from the listening area due to the triangular shape of the enclosure.
• This speaker is not available in a version that plays stereo sound from a single enclosure.
Competition and Comparisons
Virtually every loudspeaker manufacturer offers an outdoor loudspeaker solution. Based on the Voyager 7's construction and price point, obvious competitors have to be Aperion Audio's Intimus Ourdoor Speaker, Definitive Technology's AW6500 all weather speaker and Paradigm Stylus series.
Read about other outdoor loudspeakers in Home Theater Review's Bookshelf Speaker page.
Boston Acoustics' Voyager 7 has provided my family and guests with many hours of enjoyable music listening over the past month or so. Only time will tell how well the speakers will hold up in the elements, but I have climbed up a ladder and taken a close look at the mounting hardware and connections and do not see any signs of wear. If your listening area is on the larger side you may want to consider multiple pairs of speakers or several of the stereo in one enclosure version (Boston has some in their Voyager line) to get full coverage of your listening area without having to resort to volumes that will get you in trouble with your neighbors.