My wife and I have spent the better part of 2 years converting our patio from a pool area to a screened-in porch. During the process I began thinking of adding a good sound system and maybe a TV. We love watching football together on Sundays and what better way to enjoy it than to be on the patio.
Once the patio was complete I began my search for the things we would need. I’m picky when it comes to how music sounds (some might call me an audiophile or even a sound snob) but I didn’t want to spend a fortune on good outdoor speakers. I must have spent a month or two reading every review I could find on outdoor speakers, and I even went to a couple local ‘box stores’ in hopes of hearing a few different models myself because after all, I’m only trying to please my ears as well as my wife’s (she’s not as picky). Unfortunately, the ‘box stores’ had nothing to listen to as they have basically become a front for their online stores. But, after weeks of searching I decided to get Klipsch KIO-650 outdoor speakers. I have Klipsch R-51M and R-41M bookshelf speakers in my home office that I love which convinced me that the KIO-650 would be the way to go.
Now that I had selected speakers, the next decision to make was on a receiver. My initial plan was to get a standard 5.1 surround receiver and mount it next to the TV, but the size was a concern and aesthetically it wouldn’t have looked good at all! I asked a good friend what he was using on his patio and what he suggested when he told me about Fosi Audio. Fosi Audio makes small, affordable, high quality audio amplifiers. I had never heard of them before (they are relatively new having been founded in 2017) so I was unsure of their products. I started researching their products on Amazon and was impressed with the reviews and the price! I wanted something powerful to provide the cleanest sound possible while having Bluetooth capability, optical audio input for a TV in the future, and a remote control would be a great bonus. Fortunately, I found the Fosi Audio DA-2120C which checked all the boxes! 120 watts @ 4ohms x2-channel, Bluetooth 5.0, and a remote control! I ordered it and waited!
When it arrived I immediately hooked it up and started testing. It sounded amazing, and drove the Klipsch KIO-650 speakers (which are 8ohm) with ease! However, one of the speaker terminals (banana plug jacks) had a loose connection inside and the right speaker only worked occasionally. Amazon to the rescue!! They replaced the amplifier and the replacement has been working flawlessly!
Now came time to mount the speakers in the patio. I mounted them up high, about 8′, and put one in each corner of the patio which placed them 24′ apart. I used 14-gauge in-wall speaker wire and hid it as best as I could. I didn’t want the speakers to fire the music over our heads so I angled them down just slightly when I mounted the c-brackets. I hooked up the amp and connected my phone to it via Bluetooth and was blown away at how good it sounded outside!
I’ve never been one to believe that speakers need “broken in” but I have to say that after a week of using these at least 3 hours a day at a decent volume level they were sounding better than when I first installed them! They have have a fantastic clear sound, and I’m noticing details in music that I’ve never heard before on songs that I’ve listened to for 20+ years! My wife, who doesn’t usually notice details in sound, commented on how clear they are! As for bass, they produce the perfect amount of bottom end to round out the sound and bring attention to the instruments, especially the bass guitar. Something I noticed is that if I sit directly in front of them in the “stereo sweet spot” the bass almost disappears, but if I move anywhere else, the bottom end is more than sufficient!
A few weeks passed and my wife and I began discussing installing the TV. She let me decide on what model to get and where to install it. I decided on the Samsung 65″ TU700D because the price couldn’t be beat and, well, it’s a Samsung 4k TV! They do make the best TVs in my opinion! But how would I mount it? I knew where we wanted to place it, but it would be way too high up to watch comfortably. After searching Amazon (seriously, if you can’t find something on Amazon it doesn’t exist!) for TV mounts, I found a motorized fireplace TV wall mount! How cool would that be?! Turns out, it would be really cool! We wanted our new porch to have the ‘really cool’ touch, but a motorized TV mount took the ‘wow factor’ to the next level!
Once I figured out where to place the TV (dead center of the porch against the house) I mounted a 7/16″ piece of OSB to the wall using 6ea. 5/16″ x 2 1/2″ lag bolts through the Hardie siding and another sheet of OSB behind it. I got extremely lucky where I placed the bolts as I was somehow able to screw them in to the studs! I then painted the OSB white to match the Hardie siding.
Next, I ran a power cord (hidden behind the light blue vinyl siding, which will be replaced soon) and mounted a small surge protector next to it. Then, using 8ea. 1/4″ x 2 1/2″ lag bolts, I mounted the TV mount to the OSB. Wanting to test the strength of my installation, as well as the mount itself, I extended it out, grabbed ahold of it with both hands, and then took my feet off the ladder. No sounds, no pops, no cracking, nothing!! If this can hold my 185lb body, it will have no problems with a 44lb TV!
Hanging the TV was a little bit of a challenge, but my son-in-law helped. I ran an optical audio cable from the TV, behind the vinyl siding, down the pilar, and connected it to the Fosi Audio amplifier. The screen is spectacular, and because I have enough wireless signal throughout the house, using the smart TV is fantastic! We love the simplicity of both the remote and the display of Amazon Firestick, so I installed one and configured it. Samsung’s offering is a bit too cluttered on the screen, and seriously, the remote has more buttons than a keyboard!
The next day was a Sunday so my wife and I were able to really give it a good test while watching football! We loved the position of the screen and the sound quality of the game coming through the speakers. But my wife commented “we almost need a set of speakers in the back to surround us in sound.” Ooooohhhhh reeeeaaaalllly???? I can make that happen!
I ordered another set of the Klipsch KIO-650 outdoor speakers, ran the wire, mounted them to the back of the porch, and then hooked them up. I was not prepared for the end results!! The sound is even better with 4 of those speakers!! Everywhere on the porch is now blanketed in sound, and it’s not overly loud (although that Fosi amp will crank when needed!) and the stereo separation is unreal!
Now that my wife and I have a kick-ass porch, we rarely go in to the house! We spend as much time as possible out here and we have even discussed plans for the backyard as well as replacing the vinyl siding with Hardie siding real soon. We can’t wait for that! And we also can’t wait to be on the porch together every day listening to music, having drinks, and enjoying time with each other!!