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Spotlight: Outdoor AV
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Q&A: Simon Wehr, Director of Marketing, Dana Innovations

Wehr explains why dealers have a number of opportunities to grow their revenues through the sales of outdoor A/V systems.


Simon Wehr, director of marketing for Dana Innovations, parent company of Sonance, iPort and TruFig, says the best way to showcase the capabilities of an outdoor A/V system is to demonstrate it to homeowners.

With temperatures warming, homeowners are starting to think about home renovations and ways to enhance their daily activities.

One option electronics professionals can present to clients is outdoor A/V systems.

Simon Wehr, director of marketing for Dana Innovations, the parent company of Sonance, iPort and TruFig, says outdoor systems provide dealers an excellent opportunity to grow their businesses, while satisfying their clients’ wishes for fun home entertainment.

As we head into the summer of 2013, Wehr estimates dealers selling outdoor A/V solutions could be in for a prosperous season.

How would you assess the state of the outdoor audio/video market?

Despite the slower start to spring in some regions, the outdoor audio market is already shifting into top gear and doing extremely well for us. We’re seeing excellent sales and hearing of plenty of success stories from across the country and the globe.

What areas of the outdoor A/V market present opportunity for installers looking to augment system sales?

The launch of our SLS High Output products and SONARRAY SR1 system at the beginning of the year has set our dealers up perfectly to expand their outdoor audio sales at either end of the spectrum. 

How does Sonance fit into this market and given the competitive landscape of the residential audio market? What in your opinion makes Sonance unique within the market?

Sonance now offers a satellite and subwoofer solution for nearly every outdoor segment - from entry level residential through to luxury estates - and everything in between. In addition, the flexibility of the 70-volt design of our SLS system, combined with its incredible sonic performance and robust construction makes this the perfect solution for commercial applications.

Then we have the maximum SPL of 117dB of the SLS High Output system, delivering the sonic performance of a hifi system combined with the volume of a PA system. This product is in the form factor that can be hidden out of sight.  This makes it a unique and attractive solution for many luxury home custom installers and commercial integrators alike.  We feel we have all of the bases covered for our dealer to expand their outdoor audio sales in every market.

What is the best way to present outdoor audio solutions to homeowners? Can an outdoor A/V system demo be conducted like a traditional home theater or audio system?

Yes, first set up a demo system in their backyard. Next, get some high-resolution content (24-bit/96kHz digital audio files) on a good media player and run the content though a good DAC (digital-to-analog converter). From there stand the clients in front of it and let them hear it.  After the demo follow up with them by asking when would they like it installed.  When you have a system that sounds so much better than their wildest expectations, it really is that easy. You just can’t beat a good demonstration.

How much better would you estimate that outdoor audio products are better today than they were from a couple of years ago?

They are immeasurable better … and the reason is that manufacturers understand the opportunity and are taking the segment seriously by creating products with the same level of investment, focus and resources as they have done on the indoor segment for years.

The result is a range of purpose-built technologies that are designed specifically to tackle the unique challenges of operating in outdoor environments. This is a far cry from the days of sticking a weatherproof driver into a fake-looking rock or mushroom, or a regular LCD or plasma panel into a weatherproof enclosure and calling it an outdoor speaker or TV. 

Spotlight: Outdoor AV
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Article Topics

News · Video · Digital Media · Audio · Distributed Audio · Speakers · Outdoor Av · Sonance · Trufig · Iport · Dana Innovations · All topics

About the Author

Robert Archer, Senior Editor, CE Pro
Bob is an audio enthusiast who has written about consumer electronics for various publications within Massachusetts before joining the staff of CE Pro in 2000. Bob is THX Level I certified, and he's also taken classes from the Imaging Science Foundation (ISF) and Home Acoustics Alliance (HAA). In addition, he's studied guitar and music theory at Sarrin Music Studios in Wakefield, Mass.


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