Product review: Cambridge Audio ES20 outdoors speakers

The summer is here (or if you’re reading this in a few months time… the summer’s on its way!)

Gone are the days where all you had was a pair of speakers hooked up to an separate amplifier. Now you can place speakers in the ceiling, in the walls and outside. Outside?? That’s right. The outdoors option is becoming a more and more sought after speaker and there is a big market for it. Here is why Cambridge is back with the ES20.

Expand your musical horizons, with the all-climate Cambridge Audio ES20 speakers.

Those with a good memory will know these were first released back in 2008, and did really well for Cambridge. Back then there wasn’t a huge market for the outdoor speaker. By now with the market growing bigger by the day, we now have the ES20 back in (at a lower price I might add) so let’s see if they sound as good as I remember.

First thing I notice is they have had a bit of a makeover. There’s still that robust exterior, which is needed to withstand the weather….especially if you live in the U.K. White is still the colour of choice but they definitely look more modern and streamlined around the edges. The grille has changed and gives the ES20 a cleaner and more aesthetically pleasing look. Included in the box are the wall bracket which clamps the speakers nicely and isn’t too noticeable when attached.

Looking good is one thing but sounding good is another.

I hook the ES20 up to a Sonos ZP120 (aka the CONNECT:AMP), as we use a lot of these amps in store for custom install. Instantly you can tell the speakers pack a real punch. There’s enough volume there to fill a large outdoor space without any harshness or distortion you can sometimes get. Playing a bit of Calvin Harris and you really get the sense that these were meant for the summer. They could do with a little more refinement when playing something acoustic or a little more laid back, but I suspect you’d have to add a zero to the price tag to get any noticeable improvement. These would fit nicely into any outdoor space providing the volume and quality needed from a quiet family barbecue to an outdoor party under a gazebo.

A good idea from Cambridge to re-release the ES20 – and if you want to check them out for yourself, simply pop down to your Richer Sounds for a demo.

Click to find out more about the Cambridge Audio ES20.

Author: Bradley, Plymouth store