Polk is a well-known and respected name in home audio, so I always sit up and take notice when they release something new. This time they are offering the Polk Audio Atrium 8 SDI outdoor speaker, which is the flagship of this particular line. Obviously this means that it is the biggest and the most expensive one in the range, but it definitely made a good impression on me.
The SDI in the name of the speaker refers to the single/dual input switch, which basically means that this speaker can be used on its own as a high-performance stereo speaker. However, with the flip of a switch two of these speakers can be paired together to function as separate left and right speakers. In truth, unless you have a very large area that you want to cover, one of these speakers offers enough volume and quality to get the job done.
This speaker features enough mid and low range even without a subwoofer that music doesn’t end up sounding hollow like on some of the cheaper outdoor speakers. You can connect it to an outdoor subwoofer if you really want to, but it is definitely not required. It features two 1-inch tweeters and a 6 1/2-inch driver that is capable of crisp sound quality without distortion at high volume levels. Anyone that appreciates good audio will love the fact that the Atrium 8 sounds like a proper speaker and a less outdoor version of one.
While the Atrium 8 is relatively compact for what you get, it is still a large speaker. The cabinet features a durable, mineral-filled polypropylene design and the bracing is molded-in. I also appreciate the fact that the speaker is designed for easy installation thanks to its speed-lock mounting system. Once installed the speaker is also very solid since its baffle design is more steeply-angled it is able to maximize frequency dispersion over a larger area.
While this speaker is not really recommended for small spaces as it is quite powerful, its ability to run both channels makes it a good choice if you want stereo sound, but not two separate speakers.
When it comes to durability Polk Audio definitely went above and beyond what is required from an outdoor speaker. This speaker not only meets the baseline industrial and military specifications for environmental endurance, but actually exceeds them, so no matter what the weather you don’t have to worry. Rust is not a concern and extreme temperature or even heavy rain doesn’t pose any issues for this speaker. The bottom line is that this speaker can be mounted virtually anywhere without its performance being impeded by the elements.
Tucked away in this speaker you’ll find patented technologies for both dynamic balance and Klippel optimization to ensure you get a more realistic sound.
Pros and Cons
As you can see the Atrium 8 definitely has more pros than cons and I had to look really hard to find anything to fault it with.
Polk Audio Atrium 8 Speaker Pros
- Anodized Aluminum Tweeter Domes
- Easy installation thanks to the speed-lock mounting system
- Very good bass and midrange
- Functions alone as a single stereo speaker or can be combined with another for a stereo pair
- Rugged, weatherproof design makes this speaker extremely durable
Polk Audio Atrium 8 Speaker Cons
- The speaker is quite large
If you have a large outdoor space or don’t want to compromise on sound quality then this is the speaker to get. Anyone looking for a quality speaker that offers good value for money, plenty of features as well as a recognizable brand can’t go wrong with the Polk Audio Atrium 8. The only problem is that this speaker performs so well you will probably be tempted to buy another one or two.