If an integrator has a client who doesn’t entertain a lot in his or her backyard and is just looking for an audio system to provide a little bit of background music, Wet Sounds’ president Tim White admits, “We may not be the right product.”
Indeed, Houston-based Wet Sounds is aimed at customers who entertain a lot and want big, booming sound in their yards that will be overcome the noise emanating from the firepit, waterfall, wind, Jacuzzi jets, and swimming pool splashing.
“When we launched Wet Sounds, we were the first company to bring a horn-loaded compression driver (HLCD) technology to the marine market,” says White. “We developed a driver we call proxial. It’s a horn-loaded compression coaxial and we’ve expanded that product over the years and made many revisions. When you think a normal horn-loaded driver, it’s usually paired with a big 12-, 15- or 18-inch PA-style mid bass. We’ve blended it with a smaller format driver.”
That blending means the same powerful compression driver fits in both the 8-inch and the smaller 6.5-inch speakers from Wet Sounds. Specifically, the company’s Venue Series product line includes the VS-8 Pro and smaller VS-6 Pro speakers, VS-12 subwoofer, and the Venue Series amplifier.
“What we’ve done over the years is really fine tune the sound to where you don’t have that typical harsh aggressive sound. Where you have a speaker that can play very loud but also sound very clean,” notes White.
He says Wet Sounds’ goal is always both “loud and clear.”
“Loud is easy to do,” he comments, “but usually it means sacrificing clarity.”
That clarity is achieved using what the company calls “reaction technology” in the housings. The Venue Series-8, for example, has aluminum passive radiator panels built into the housing. That allows the housing to “breathe” or flex do the speaker has dual passive radiators. The smaller speakers have a single passive radiator panel so when they are mounted in a landscape environment, it products a down-firing passive radio with more mid/bass response and a fuller sound, according to White.
Because the speakers have pro-style drivers, they need more power. That’s where the company’s amplifier comes in. In addition to the compression driver, the amp is another part of the secret sauce behind the power of the system. It comes in a NEMA-approved weatherproof enclosure box that houses a high-output amplifier and any type of media streamer, like a Sonos. It is powered by a standard 110V plug without the need for any type of inverters or separate boxes. The four-channel VS amp has enough power to drive multiple subwoofers and speakers.
White says that attention shows how much Wet Sounds is focused on just on the sound quality, but also making the product easy for the integrator.