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Niles GeoRealistic Pro Series Rock and Planter Speakers Preview

Niles Audio 8-inch RS8SiPro Rock Speaker

Niles Audio 8-inch RS8SiPro Rock Speaker


  • Product Name: GeoRealistic Pro Series Rock and Planter Speakers
  • Manufacturer: Niles
  • Review Date: May 28, 2012 04:25
  • MSRP: $TBA
  • First Impression: Mildly Interesting

Rock speakers

  • 5" RS5Pro
  • 6" RS6Pro
  • 6" RS6SiPro (Dual tweeters)
  • 8" RS8SiPro (Dual tweeters)
  • Available in granite, speckled granite, sandstone, coral, and shale brown finishes

Planter Speakers

  • PB6SiPro (Rectangular box)
  • PS6SiPro (Circular planter)
  • Available in terracotta or weathered concrete finishes

niles_planter_speakerIf you are a true audioholic, bad audio, regardless of the setting, can be an annoyance on par with people talking during a movie or a child crying in a restaurant. Sure, you can suffer through it for a time, but, eventually, you're going to have to do something about it. When summer rolls around, people love to spend time outside (unless you live in the South in which case you hide inside next to the AC and far away from the mosquitoes large enough to carry off small children). But for the rest of us, what's better than bringing your tunes with you?

Well, sharing it with the whole neighborhood, of course!

Outdoor speakers have increased in popularity as people look to maximize their entertaining space by sprucing up their backyards (thanks, HDTV, for all the extra items on the "Honey Do" list). There are lots of options out there but, if you want something less intrusive, you are probably thinking of something that is disguised. The two most popular solutions are speakers shaped like rocks and speakers that can function as planters.

Niles Audio has released both with their GeoRealistic Pro Series of outdoor speakers.

These are updates of their current outdoor line but there have been some improvements. Designed with the audiophile in mind, the GeoRealistic Series is designed to "stand up to anything Mother Nature can deliver." Constructed out of long lasting materials and quality audio components, the GeoRealistic Series promises high quality audio fidelity while standing up to the elements.

There are two different lines. The Rock speakers are modeled from actual rocks and the planters come in a rectangular and round versions. They all have "ConeForward" design, putting the woofers as close as possible to the outer edge of the speaker to reduce interactions with the cabinet.

There are four models of rock speakers, featuring 5-, 6-, and 8-inch woofers. The two models with "Si" in the model number indicates that they have dual tweeters. If the model numbers are consistent, the planters both have 6" woofers and dual tweeters. No word on size/composition of drivers or any sort of frequency response.

For outdoor use, you are worried most about the elements.The GeoRealistic Pro Series features a new NoFade Protective Finish and four-layer fiberglass weave. This gives them 5x's the durability and life of the current line of Niles outdoor speakers. "Conformal coatings" on the crossover boards protect the speakers against moisture, dust, and chemicals. In addition, the speakers are able to withstand temperatures from 50 to 185 degrees Fahrenheit (or -45 to 85 degrees Celsius).

Yes, that is not a typo.

Well, it is, but not ours. We think that the "50" should be "-50" which makes a lot more sense (and lines up with the -45C). If not, you'd have to pull the speakers inside during the winter.

What we don't know about these speaker is considerable. While we know they look like rocks or planters, and we know they come in granite, speckled granite, sandstone, coral, and shale brown finishes (rock) or terracotta or weathered concrete finishes (planters), we don't know their frequency response, impedance, driver composition, or, really, anything about them that might tell us how they'd actually perform. There is no information on their shape, size, or even how weatherproof they actually are (can they put up with torrential rain or only light drizzles for instance. The Niles GeoRealistic Pro Series speakers are shipping now so, perhaps, your custom installer can tell you more.


Audio companies love to throw around the word "audiophile" like it is a statement of quality and performance. But we have a hard time believing any speaker shaped like a rock or a planter is really designed to satisfy discerning audiophiles. Instead, they are designed to sound as good as possible considering their shape, size, location, and weatherproofing requirements. Niles has been a big name in custom installation for a long time so perhaps they don't feel the need to tell us much about their new GeoRealistic Pro Series Rock and Planter Speakers other than that they exist and their shape and finishes. But for us to get truly excited about them, we need to know a little more. Like the size of the tweeters, the composition of the drivers, the frequency response, the impedance, the shape and weight, the power handling, the price, and much more. See your customer installer for these details as they can't be found anywhere on the Niles website (yet), even though the speakers are already shipping.

For more information, please visit www.nilesaudio.com.

Unless otherwise indicated, this is a preview article for the featured product. A formal review may or may not follow in the future.

About the author:
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As Associate Editor at Audioholics, Tom promises to the best of his ability to give each review the same amount of attention, consideration, and thoughtfulness as possible and keep his writings free from undue bias and preconceptions. Any indication, either internally or from another, that bias has entered into his review will be immediately investigated. Substantiation of mistakes or bias will be immediately corrected regardless of personal stake, feelings, or ego.

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