How One Man Hid Top of the Line Speakers to Enhance the Outdoor Living Space

PlanterSpeakers Add Value to Your Backyard Without the Clunky Look

Art Powers Jr. was on a custom audio video job in Cortlandt Manor, New York, working on an estate built at the turn of the century overlooking the Hudson in 1999. The customer requested really great sound for outside. When Powers looked around the stone house, he immediately noticed that there was no place to hang any speakers at all. He looked over and saw a planter box, and he thought that he could put a big speaker in that box, and it will be a custom job. His team had always done custom work, so they were constantly coming up with solutions for problems, in the A/V business.

That was 17 years ago.

Since then, he’s made transitions and upgrades over the years. Originally, they were fiberglass, and now the product is made from a mold that they have made for them in Ohio. They have plastic ones called Flagstone, made from a low-density polyethnic that is super durable and has a 10-year UVB protection. Powers noticed that fiberglass gets brittle and falls apart after a while, so he switched his product lines over to low density polyethnic.

“We put better speakers in, and we kept finding better and better ones,” said Powers, Owner and Designer of PlanterSpeakers. “We created different options that homeowners would want in their backyards and started coming out with some new designs.”

The latest is the Piermont. Similar to Powers’ earlier creations, the design originated per the request of a client. These teak slides are organized in a way that hides the speaker in a beautiful slotted design that mimics fine carpentry. Ironically enough, Powers designed that version for a couple that lived on banks of the other side of the Hudson River.

“For this year, I came out with a modern cube called the Metropolitan,” said Powers “It is a paintable cube that you can match to any color of the house, whether it’s white, gray, black, or even Ferrari red. All these planters have the highest level, quality speakers built into them, so they really sound good.”

Another premium option Powers makes are the AZEK® outdoor speakers.

“I wanted to build something with a white lattice and I wanted it to be impervious to the weather,” he said. “AZEK is a high end, performance material that is resistant to moisture and won’t rot. People use it for lattice work and trim board on homes, so I used that as inspiration and designed the speaker like it was a house. I put this trim board on it so it wouldn’t rot and then used the same speaker that is in the Flagstone to put inside the AZEK planter.”

He comments that the team is about to build a large quantity of the newer AZEK speakers because they’ve gotten a lot of interest in them, so they want to get a head start to have them in stock and ready to go.

Powers positions himself as a high end builder, offering different levels of quality for the PlanterSpeakers. And customers couldn’t be happier with the end result.

“They love them! They absolutely love them; they really do,” said Powers. “I have clients who call me and say my outside space sounds better than inside the house, ‘How did you do that?’”

And the hybrid product is second to none because homeowners like being able to actually plant in them. The planter can sit by the pool or on the patio, and the speaker is “invincible,” but the planter is “very visible.” As outside décor, Powers says that people really want them, which is why he has created a plethora of different design options from modern to classic.

The basic idea from the beginning was to make a product that would sound and look great, and even though the lines have evolved, Powers is choosing all of the different materials with purpose. Everything is made in America. The factory is in Bridgeport, Conn., and they pride themselves in quality craftsmanship by bringing a product to market that Americans can feel good about.

Photo courtesy of PlanterSpeakers.