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How do I add audio to outdoor spaces without power?

So you want to add audio to an outdoor space, but you don’t really know where to begin. How will it be powered? Will the solution need constant maintenance? Well this post aims to answer all these questions for you (Spoilers, you have nothing to worry about!)

Aug 31, 2021 | Interpretive Insights

Power is key!
The obvious barrier to sharing audio with visitors outdoors is power, where does it come from and how do you get it to your device? Running power to enable outdoor interpretation isn’t always the easiest or even best solution but what’s the alternative? Battery powered units?

If you perhaps have a heritage trail you’d like to share audio interpretation along, or a lovely Country Park, running power or using battery units that need to be recharged constantly just isn’t a feasible solution.

The good news is we have exactly the answers you need, and the best part? They’re all incredibly eco-friendly!

We have a range of solutions that are either completely wind-up or solar powered, allowing you to take your interpretation outdoors in the simplest way possible. Discover more below…

Curraghs Wildlife Park

AudioSign Turn with custom design

Seaton Wetlands

Engraved Solar Audio Post

National Library of Wales

Traditional Audio Bench made from Iroko Hardwood

1. U-Turn Round

The U-Turn Round is easily one of our most popular outdoor solutions.

It’s able to withstand the harshest weather conditions and is about as vandal resistant as anything can be thanks to its marine grade stainless steel casing. It’s easily programmable via a supplied USB dongle which allows you to upload your own content whenever you want. As for how its powered? Visitors only need to wind the handle to playback up to 8 different audio clips.

The U-Turn Round also comes in two different model, this is the standard model which can be wall or pole mounted, while an oversized model can be used to fit this amazing little wind-up powered outdoor audio device through panels (such as signage). More on that below though.

 

U-Turn Round Head Front Angle
The U-Turn can be customised with two faceplates (fittingly nicknamed ‘batwings’ due to their appearance) for content listing or branding.

If you need a hardy solution that allows visitors to access a up to 8 different tracks of audio, the U-Turn is probably it!

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2. Solar Audio Post

The Solar Audio Post is the next option that uses a different type of renewable energy to share audio outdoors, It’s entirely solar powered (which you probably guessed given the name!) and is available in metal or oak finishes (as pictured), both of which are designed to withstand even the nastiest of elements and look great doing it!

The Solar Audio Post can be programmed by the same USB dongle as the U-Turn, making it just as easy to update.

With 2 buttons that can play a single track on each, or up to 3 tracks sequentially on each, there’s plenty of space to share audio with visitors.

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New Solar Audio Posts
The button plate can be engraved to share logos / tracklists and instructions, with the option for an additional engraved plate secured to the top of the post.

You can find Solar Posts across the globe. From as close to us as Neath Abbey Heritage Site (merely a few minutes’ drive!) to as far as the Sapphire Gemfields Interpretive Trial which is all the way in Queensland, Australia (which utilised just the electronics built into a bespoke post).

3. AudioSign Turn

As mentioned previously the U-Turn Round has an Oversized option designed to be built through-panels. This is something you can do yourself or we can do for you, providing all elements including the signage and graphic design.

We call this the AudioSign Turn, which merges traditional signage with a touch of interactivity, supplementing displayed information with audio content.

AudioSign Turn Edit - Iver Enviroment Centre
The AudioSign Turn can be provided in various sizes (A0, A1 etc.) and built into a stand of your choice.

If you want to truly engage visitors at your heritage site the inclusion of interactive audio within what is usually a very prosaic solution (signage) is a great option.

4. Audio Bench

The last (but certainly not least) option is the Audio Bench, perhaps you’d like to share audio outdoors whilst also offering a place for visitors to just sit and take in the scenery?

Fit with similar electronics as our Solar Audio Post (it would probably be awkward to wind up a bench whilst sat down, let’s be honest), our audio benches offer all of the same functionality, just in bench form!

There are two models; Traditional style or a more modern Heavy-Duty Oak Bench (pictured) each with the option for surface or in-ground fixings.

 

Heavy Duty Audio Bench - Side
Both options are 6ft long, commercially rated and ready for public use with customisable engraved front plates allowing the inclusion of instructions and logos.

Some of our most recent Audio Bench installations can be found situated in Salford City, Aberavon Seafront and outside the National Library of Wales.

Simple yet effective!
You can see the above solutions used to great effect in outdoor locations throughout the UK and beyond. Check out some in this slideshow or view our portfolio to see these and other great examples of our work.

Cami Del Vi, Wine Walk

Oversized U-Turn Round, installed by GeoSilva Projects

Salford City

Solar Audio Bench – Heavy Duty, in loving memory of Chaim Ferster

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Thank you for reading! We hope you found this post enlightening.

If you have any further questions about Audio, Outdoor setups, Eco-friendly tech and more, please get in touch using the form below.

Or leave a comment at the bottom of the page…