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Definitive Technology AW5500 Outdoor speaker (Black)

Item # 735AW5500B

Rock your next pool party with outdoor speakers from Definitive Technology.

Rock your next pool party with outdoor speakers from Definitive Technology.

10 questions - 23 answers

Item # 735AW5500B

In stock
$249.00 each

Other options

About the Definitive Technology AW5500

Tara W.

High-performance sound for wide-open spaces

Rock your next pool party with outdoor speakers from Definitive Technology. The AW5500 features the same high-quality speaker components as their indoor models, but it's ready to stand up to the hardships of outdoor living. Buy a pair to place near the pool or on your deck — their non-resonant PolyStone enclosures are fully sealed and built for direct exposure to the elements. And the included bracket lets you rotate the speaker up to 360° for maximum flexibility.
Definitive Technology AW5500 outdoor speakers

Definitive Technology's AW5500 speakers will liven up your next outdoor party.

High-performance sound for wide-open spaces

Rock your next pool party with outdoor speakers from Definitive Technology. The AW5500 features the same high-quality speaker components as their indoor models, but it's ready to stand up to the hardships of outdoor living. Buy a pair to place near the pool or on your deck — their non-resonant PolyStone enclosures are fully sealed and built for direct exposure to the elements. And the included bracket lets you rotate the speaker up to 360° for maximum flexibility.

Crystal-clear highs, distinct mids, and solid bass

The AW5500 combines a 1" pure aluminum dome tweeter with a 5-1/2" woofer for clear, accurate reproduction of voices and instruments. The woofer uses Definitive's BDSS (Balanced Double Surround System) design for accurate response across a wide frequency range. A pressure-coupled racetrack-shaped radiator reinforces the output of the woofer, for overall bass that's equivalent to that of an 8" woofer. (Pretty cool for a compact outdoor speaker that's sized to fit under a roof eave.) Some outdoor speakers are anemic at the low end — not this one.

Got wire?

Most speakers don't include any. Learn more about in-wall wiring at the Crutchfield Learning Center.
Shop our selection of in-wall speaker wire.

Did you know?

Your new speakers will probably sound better after several weeks of use than they do right out of the box. That's because the material surrounding the woofers will loosen up, allowing the drivers to move more fully. Definitive Technology estimates a break-in period of 24 to 48 hours of playback before the speakers will deliver optimum sound quality. For more information and helpful tips, check out this article from Definitive's website about conditioning your speakers.


Product highlights:

  • 1" pure aluminum dome tweeter
  • 5-1/2" BDSS mid/bass woofer
  • 5" x 8" racetrack-shaped pressure-coupled radiator (produces bass equivalent to that of an 8" woofer)
  • frequency response 45-30,000 Hz
  • sensitivity 91 dB
  • handles up to 175 watts
  • 5-way binding posts
  • rugged, fully sealed PolyStone enclosure
  • aluminum speaker grilles
  • includes galvanized steel mounting bracket that allows 360° rotation for maximum placement flexibility
  • 7-13/16"W x 12-5/8"H x 8-1/16"D
  • weight: 8.33 lbs.
  • warranty: 5 years
  • MFR # NEAA

What's in the box:

  • Black all-weather outdoor loudspeaker
  • Mounting bracket (installed)
  • Owner's Manual
  • Online Product Registration card

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5.0 out of 5 stars
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More details on the Definitive Technology AW5500

Stacey B.

Features & specs

Type Surface Mount
Bluetooth No
Enclosure Passive Radiator
Tweeter Type Hard-Dome
Tweeter Size (inches) 1
Midrange Size (inches) N/A
Woofer Size (inches) 5.5
Woofer Composition Polymer
Woofer Surround Rubber
Power Range (watts) 10-175
Sensitivity 91 dB
Impedance (ohms) 8
Frequency Response 45-30k Hz
Connector Type 5-Way post
Height (inches) 12-5/8
Width (inches) 7-13/16
Depth (inches) 8-1/16
Weight (pounds) 8.33
Wall-mountable Yes
Bracket Included Adjustable bracket
Parts Warranty 5 Years
Labor Warranty 5 Years

Product Research


Pressure Coupled Radiator Design: The Definitive Technology AW5500 features a 5-1/2" BDSS driver coupled to a 5" x 8" (racetrack) pressure-driven low-bass radiator, and a 1" pure aluminum dome tweeter. The AW series outdoor speaker provides clear, high-definition sound by pressure-coupling a BDSS technology driver to a racetrack-shaped mid/bass radiator cleverly placed on the opposite side of the enclosure. This technique offers a total bass radiating area greater than an 8" woofer to belt out powerful bass that fills outdoor areas.

BDSS Technology: Definitive Technology's Balanced Double Surround System (BDSS) driver offers a wide-bandwidth accurate frequency response, broad dispersion, low distortion, and detail retrieval; so you hear more the music with greater accuracy and enjoyment. BDSS drivers incorporate the following design features.

  • Balanced Double Surrounds: The speaker's balanced double surrounds support the cone at two points to provide better mechanical stability for longer, more linear excursion, and improved damping to suppress parasitic cone resonance.
  • Mineral-Filled Polymer Cone: The speaker features a deeply drawn mineral-filled polymer cone engineered using sophisticated 3D modeling techniques for wide range performance.
  • Waveguide: The cone's integrated waveguide smoothes off-axis response for broad, even dispersion and better imaging.
  • High Temperature Voice Coil: The driver's high temperature, oversized, lightweight vented voice coil offers improved power handling and quick transient response. The voice coil is also lengthened to increase linearity and lower distortion.
  • Magnet Structure: The driver's magnetic system is optimized by finite element analysis to maximize magnetic flux in the gap for high efficiency and linear excursion.
  • Die-Cast Alloy Basket: The die-cast alloy basket minimizes ringing and vibration while the open area minimizes back wave reflection.

Polystone Non-Resonant All-Weather Enclosure: The Definitive Technology AW5500 features a fully sealed (air and water tight) design, aluminum grilles, and rugged PolyStone enclosure, which allow it to be fully exposed to the elements and still reliably deliver their indoor speaker sound quality for years of outdoor listening enjoyment. The Definitive Technology AW5500 comes in either a Black or White (paintable) finish.

Note: The AW series speakers utilize special components and material for outdoor use. However, you will achieve the longest life of the speaker by positioning it to minimize direct exposure to the elements as much as possible.

Binding Posts: The AW5500 is equipped with a pair of gold-plated, 5-way binding posts to attach your receiver's speaker wire.

Mounting Bracket: The AW5500 outdoor speaker features an integrated galvanized steel mounting bracket and unique enclosure shape which allow a full 360-degrees of rotation for maximum placement flexibility. The AW outdoor speaker, using the integrated mounting bracket, can be oriented horizontally or vertically. The mounting bracket allows you to mount the speaker to an outdoor wall or under the eve of your home. The integrated mounting bracket can also be used as horizontal stand, if you want to simply place the speaker on a table or shelf. The mounting bracket is also removable, if you want to place the outdoor speaker in a vertical position on a shelf or table.

Note: The AW speaker can be mounted vertically or horizontally, but remember to always point the speaker in such a way as to allow water to roll off the driver cone and/or low bass radiator.

Placement: Position the AW series loudspeaker as close as possible to the area where you will be listening to it. Pointing the active driver baffle towards the listener while the low-bass radiator side faces the wall or ground gives you the ideal balance of clear mids, extended highs, and low-end bass even in the tough acoustic conditions of the outdoors. The AW speaker has a very wide dispersion pattern; however, if you are trying to cover a very large area, you will be better off using multiple pairs of AW speakers in order to achieve an even distribution of sound. With multiple pairs you will avoid having areas where the sound is tool loud and others where the sound is not loud enough. One pair of AW series loudspeakers will cover approximately 200-400 square feet of listening area at moderately loud levels. Try to point the speaker directly at the listening area.

Break-In Period: The AW series outdoor loudspeakers will sound good right out of the box; however, an extended break-in period of 20-40 hours or more of playing is required to reach full performance capability. The break-in period allows the suspensions to work in and results in full bass, a more open midrange, and smoother high frequency reproduction.

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Customer Q&A

10 questions already asked

Mounting: Vertically does the sound Base go one side and the other side Highs go the oposite direction? Meaning you are NOT hearing both the Highs & Lows as you would on normal Tower like speakers. Mount them ONLY verticaly not Horizonal? Confussed
dean b  May 06, 2020
1 answer
No. The speaker has three sides. The main side has a traditional tweeter and a woofer. It does all of the "active" work. The 2nd side has a passive bass reflector, which to me is like a fancy bass-port that is on the back (or front) of many speakers. I've had two sets in two houses. In house 1, one of the speakers was vertical and the other horizontal, based on how I wanted to twist them on their axis/mount to point to the main sitting area. In house 2, I now have them both mounted upright, like a tower, but I had to "flip" one so that the tweeter was at the bottom and the passive bass port was still pointing inward toward my deck rather than losing sound to the street. I
adam  May 06, 2020
Are these speakers Bluetooth?
todd  Apr 02, 2017
3 answers
No. Only input is speaker wire
shane  Apr 04, 2017
No But they are great speakers
david  Apr 04, 2017
No, these are wired speakers only.
james  Apr 04, 2017
How does the AW5500 sound in an indoor installation as left and right rear surround speakers?
tong  Mar 25, 2015
2 answers
I purchased these speakers and connected up inside to see what they sounded like and man was I surprised.Buy em , you won't regret it. They also have a 5 year warranty. How can you go wrong. I use these at my outdoor wedding venue and they never let me down ! Mike A
michael l  Aug 11, 2015
I'm not sure how they would be when used it that format;I use mine on a sun porch and they sound great. I'm a big fan of def tech speakers. You may be better off with a dedicated surround speaker from def tech.
philip c. c  Mar 26, 2015
What temperature range are these speakers rated for?
rob  Apr 07, 2023
1 answer
Greetings Rob, and thank you for your question. There is no operating temperature listed. I contacted Definitive Technology for the best answer, and the representative said they can work in any extreme temperatures. Also if they failed under warranty, they would take care of any needed repair.
hogan  Apr 07, 2023 (Staff)
Can a Sonos Amp (newest one) manage 4 AW5500? Or would I need an additional Sonos Amp?
diegom  Aug 12, 2020
2 answers
Yes, I believe that Amp will be able to mange all 4 of those speakers with no problem at all. I love my speakers and you will too.
jay  Aug 16, 2020
I have 4 AW5500 with one Sonos amp, its great, no complaints, but want to add an outdoor sub.
jesse  Aug 13, 2020
can i hook the speakers directly to a tv? do i need a amplifer?
frank e  Apr 28, 2020
2 answers
You will need an amplifier.
ryan  May 20, 2020
I have mine hooked to my amp
john  May 19, 2020
What is the actual rms(continuous) of these speakers? It says range is 10-175.
fred  Mar 02, 2020
3 answers
I really don't know. I play my music loud on it and watch sports with them. I have no problems with them at all. I'm going to buy 2 more very soon.
jay  Mar 03, 2020
I'm sorry Fred but I can't answer your question, but I can tell you they sound great when driven by my Cambridge 851A.
robert  Mar 02, 2020
That I do not know....but I can say that the speakers re very good.....clear sound, excellent coverage of my large patio area.
robert f  Mar 02, 2020
I bought these speakers for around the pool/backyard what type of receiver/amp/tuner should I get?
john  Apr 23, 2019
4 answers
We use a Yamaha R-N500 for our pool/backyard. It's an excellent set-up, sounds great and has plenty of output.
william  May 07, 2019
I hooked mine up to a Technics receiver I had around for 15 years. I don't think you need anything too special to make them sound great.
kevin  May 06, 2019
I love the speakers and they sound awesome . I play the speakers through the Sonos amp. Highly recommend you use Sonos for the speakers. It will change your listening world as you know it!!
howard  May 06, 2019
I have had great success with Onkyo receivers. Mine is 5 years old so not sure what current models are. I also got an 8 zone speaker control as I have whole house audio
andrew  May 06, 2019
I am trying to put together an audio system for a houseboat that will be run off of a 12v battery bank. I need a set of speakers for the (covered) deck, but there is no simple means of installing marine grade speaker cones due to mounting options. Can I use a car stereo receiver and amplifier to power these Definitive Tech AW5500 speakers??
christopher  Apr 14, 2015
4 answers
That arrangement should be fine as long as the amp has options for wiring 8ohm speakers. Most car systems are 4ohm however some give 4 or 8 ohm capability.
jack  Apr 15, 2015
Should work fine i would guess, i think my receiver only sends 90 watts to each speaker and they crank if you want them to. Not sure how your battery charging system works but draining the batteries might be a concern.
joseph  Apr 15, 2015
Never tried that... However if the amp has enough power, I do not see why not. To be sure, though, you should check with the tech. guys at Crutchfield ... Why I can tell you is that I am very happy with these speakers in my terrace. They are very clear and have great weight and low bass for their size ... Jose
jose m  Apr 14, 2015
Can you, yes...will it sound the best, not without a little planning. House current is 120V, car is 12V but both get translated into a powered signal to feed the speakers, the concern is the resistance. These are 8 ohm, and most car speakers are 4 ohm or so, some are 2 ohm. Be careful of what your power ratings are, as this will need more wattage at 8 ohms than a set of speakers at 4 ohms to get the same volume. You might want to look at the 6500's for a little more low end and projection on the boat. I got the 5500's because they fit perfectly between a door frame and a window frame...the 6500's were about an inch too wide. Make sure there is a roof over the speakers as it amplifies the low end with the passive radiator. Hope that helps.
t wesley  Apr 14, 2015
I have 16 ga wire ran for my outdoor speakers. For this size of wire would it be better to get the smaller model? How much if a limiting factor is this? I have two seperate zones, One area has an overhang, another does not.
tor702  Mar 28, 2014
1 answer
I forwarded your question to an Advisor and they responded with the following: The 16 gauge wire works great with the AW5500's. It will even work well with the AW6500 if you want to go to the larger driver. If you would like to discuss further you can contact an Advisor directly by phone (1-800-324-9695) or online chat.
kristina  Mar 31, 2014 (Staff)

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Definitive Technology AW6500

Definitive Technology AW6500

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Get fuller sound with deeper bass

The Definitive Technology AW6500 offers these features:
  • a 6-1/2" driver
  • a 5-1/2" x 10" low-bass radiator for bass down to 40 Hz
  • 92 dB sensitivity
  • up to 200 watts power handling
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