The O2-ARC is a unique, high-performance outdoor loudspeaker like no other. Sold as singles, the O2-ARC is not only weather (UV) and moisture resistant, it is specifically tuned to sound just right out there, in nature where there are no walls except the one the speaker is nailed to. The new O2-ARC includes a mounting bracket that is strong enough to hold a small car horizontal, vertical or somewhere in-between. Over the years we have heard that our Outdoor speakers have earned a reputation in bars, and health clubs too. Fortunately it’s a sound one because O2-ARC’s can not only look, they can crank out the tunes and survive to crank again tomorrow, and the next day, and so on...
The O2-ARC outdoor actual speakers in the speaker include a time tested 1” treated silk dome, fluid cooled tweeter - UV treated that is working together with a robust 6.5” midrange-woofer mounted in the traditional NHT sealed box system speaker nerds call “acoustic suspension”. The O2-ARC box however, is a big deal and features our newest materials technology - Anti-Resonant Casting or ARC. The ARC enclosure provides unprecedented strength and several lifetimes of durability while it acoustically kills the vibrations of the box itself to inaudible levels. The O2-ARC is also serviceable and features a sexy new flush grill that sticks flush to the front of the speaker by a whole family of magnets that thumb their nose at the elements. Even though the O2-ARC comes standard with 25 years of acoustic know-how, they don’t come at a cost that makes steaks a guilty pleasure. The O2-ARC is available in matte white or black finish and includes the mounting bracket as well.
Put up the O2's outdoors today, in the neighbors back yard. Her daughter is having their engagement party tomorrow and they wanted sound outside without having to resort to a boom box. The speakers are mounted horizontally on the fence, on the top rail, about 5' off the ground, 15' apart, behind an open leaved fig and several other bushes. Its all tied together with a small (Parasound) ZAmp, Airport Express and my home network. IT'S FLAWLESS and SOUNDS BEAUTIFUL... Sound everywhere, great clarity, surprising bass, no distortion (considering the ambient noise level) and everyone's iPhone will be accessing it tomorrow.
A jack of all trades...
From my experience with "outdoor" speakers, I wasn't expecting anything that would resemble "great" sound reproduction, rather a compromise between weather resistance and general sound delivery. With this in mind, I had already the bias that the O2s would be good, but nothing near the sound quality of the SuperZeros which I highly regard.
Upon initial inspection, the O2 certainly look great. The construction is minimialistic, yet elegant. The front grill lacks any NHT badging which I was kind of bummed about honestly. But I can see how this would be preferrable for custom or discreet installs. Perhaps future grills could incorporate some quick-release logo.
The speaker mount that is integrated to each O2 is very nice. With actual indentations, it makes exact speaker positioning easy. Slippage is a non-issue, unlike the OmniMounts which sometimes slip over time with the SuperZeros.
The weight of the O2s "seems" a little lighter than the SuperZeros, perhaps due to the material.
With this in mind, I suspected the sound quality of the O2 would be different than what i was used to from the traditional NHT gloss-black enclosures.
But literally, from the start, the O2s sounded AMAZING. All my doubts and preconceived ideas of how a weather resistent speaker should sound were completely shattered.
The first thing that really starled me was the bass response. I did not expect the bass to be so defined from these enclosures. Simply amazing!
Then the overall balance of sound reproduction is simply first class. Truth be told, I suspect you'd find it hard to tell these are speakers designed for outdoor applications. They certainly sound fantastic as regular bookshelf speakers, at least to my ears. So much so, I am actually using them indoors as they are so good. Fortunately the speaker mounts are easy to remove.
Upon close inspection, the drivers look a little different than the NHT speakers I currently have. I am not sure if the tweeter and woofer material is of a special type for weather resistance, but no matter, as it seems there is no degredation in their sound reproduction.
Speaker posts are of high-quality and accept banana plug or traditional spade connectors.
For the price, I do not think you can do any better in the outdoor speaker category. And because they sound equally great no matter where they are placed, I wonder if these are perhaps the best all-around bookshelf speakers money can buy. This is why I consider them a jack of all trades...it seems they can do well no matter where! I can find no fault in these speakers.
Christian del Rosario
San Jose, CA
Model - O2-ARC Outdoor Speaker Black UPC - 0898349001167