When it comes to wired outdoor speakers for your porch or deck, the Polk Atrium 4 is the ideal combination of sound and size. A set of these headphones costs less than $200 and produces a wide, full sound. While they lack bass, they create more low-end than other outdoor speakers of comparable size. The modest size of the speakers allows you to place them wherever you like and ensures that they do not obstruct your view. When you add it all up, Atrium 4 is difficult to beat.
Polk Atrium 4 review: Price and Availability
According to their Amazon description, the Polk Atrium 4 speakers have been available since 2005. The list price is $199, but they are presently available for $169 on Amazon.
Polk also produces the Atrium 5, which is somewhat larger and costs $249 per pair on Amazon, as well as the Atrium 6, which is even larger and costs $349 per pair.
Polk Atrium 4 review: Design
The Atrium 4 has a more rounded form than typical bookshelf-style speakers, which likely contributes to their wide sound. The 8.6 x 6.7 x 5.7-inch speakers are also smaller than many outdoor wired speakers. The speakers contain a 4.5-inch driver and a 0.75-inch tweeter on the inside. The sturdy plastic housing, which comes in black or white, includes a perforated grill to allow sound to escape and appears to be durable.
The speakers include a swivel mount for hanging and can be rotated 180 degrees. If you want to place them on a table or stand, you can remove the mount.
Polk Atrium 4 review: Performance
The Atrium 4s produce a broad, well-balanced sound that should please most people in an outdoor setting. The vocals are clear, and the instrumentation seems warm and natural. The bass won’t shake the walls, but you’ll still be able to locate the rhythm.
Even above the grandiose guitars and synths on “Happier Than Ever,” Billie Eilish’s singing was rich and easy to hear. From his voice to the instrumentation, The Weeknd’s “Blinding Lights” sounded huge and full — albeit the thumping percussion lacked power. On Fleetwood Mac’s “Never Going Back Again,” the acoustic guitars were crisp and warm.
The Atrium 4 may get rather noisy. The sound was a little harsh but not distorted at 95 dB. Under 90 dB, they sounded more balanced.
Polk Atrium 4 review: Ruggedness
Polk claims that the Atrium 4 is “all-weather outside certified.” For ruggedness, most speakers employ IP ratings, while Polk lists three separate certifications: ASTM D5894-UV Salt Fog, Mil Standard 810 Immersion, and Mil Standard 883 for salt and corrosion. All of this implies that these speakers should be able to handle the elements well. Polk did indicate that if you place them where they would be less exposed to the outdoors, they will stay longer.
Polk Atrium 4 review: Setup
Because the Atrium 4 isn’t powered, you’ll need a receiver or amp to drive the sound, which will be wired to the speakers. A separate zone on a home theatre receiver is a common approach to power outside speakers.
Terminals for speaker wires are easily accessible on the back. However, banana plugs are not supported by the Atrium 4.
The Atrium 4 can be installed vertically or horizontally. Screw the bracket to a wall before attaching the speaker by screwing the bracket knobs to both ends of the speaker. The speaker wire is threaded through a hole in the bracket. You may then change the speaker’s angle to get the greatest sound in your room.
- Large, crisp soundstage
- Relatively small size
- So-so bass
Polk Atrium 4 review: Conclusion
The Polk Atrium 4 wired speakers are a fantastic alternative for bringing audio to your outdoor environment. They create a really good sound for a small speaker, and their modest size allows you to install them in a variety of locations. They are designed to last and to withstand the elements.
If you don’t want to spend $169 on a pair of outdoor speakers, the Yamaha NS-AW150W is a nice alternative that costs around $100. They are, however, slightly larger. If price and size aren’t a problem, the Klipsch AW-650 will create more bass. However, at the price, the Atrium 4 is unbeatable.