Best Buy Blog

Magnat Symbol X 160 and X 130 speakers review

Magnat Symbol X 160 and 130 - side 1

Setting up your own home audio and theatre setup at home is a fun and exciting project. Using a collection of wall and ceiling speakers, you can play music everywhere. To take it to the next level, install permanent outdoor speakers to keep the party going all night.

I’m reviewing the Magnat Symbol X 160 and Magnat Symbol X 130 outdoor speakers. These speakers are high-performance, multi-functional speakers for both indoor and outdoor use. With a durable build, IPX5 water resistance rating, and wall mounting design, do these speakers sound good enough for a permanent outdoor installation? Let’s find out. 

Specs: Magnat Symbol X 160 and X 130 outdoor speakers 

Design of the Magnat Symbol X speakers

The Magnat Symbol X 130 and 160 are very similar but differ in size and weight. The Symbol X 130 measures approximately 6” x 10” x 8” (WHD) and weighs approximately 5 lbs. The Symbol X 160 is larger, measuring approximately 7” x 12” x 9.5” (WHD) and weighing approximately 7 lbs. The recommended power output for the X 130 is 200 watts and for the X 160 is 220 watts. 

The Symbol X speaker cabinet is constructed with a plastic housing with a corrosion-resistant front grille. It has an IPX 5 water resistance rating. It can withstand sun exposure, rain, wind, and snow. On the bottom front is a Magnat logo. The logo is a magnet itself but secured to the front grille. It can be turned in place so you can feel the power of the magnet. This was an unexpected design feature. 

On the back is the connection terminal where the speaker wire connects to the speaker. The screw connectors are gold-plated with red and black designation. Under the connection terminal is a slot for the housing bracket. 

Mounting the Magnat Symbol X 160 and X 130

The integrated wall bracket allows for a secure, permanent installation. This makes it easy to install on walls, columns, or pillars. The speaker can be aligned horizontally or vertically to the designed position. As these are wired speakers, the placement of the speakers depends on the route of the wire from the speaker to the amplifier. Ideally, you want to run the wire along the ceiling so it is out of sight.  

Using the Magnat Symbol X speakers

It’s been a long time since I used wired speakers. Luckily I still have an old amplifier available for this review. Outside on my back deck, I connected a pair of Magnat Symbol X 160 and the X 130 to my amplifier. As this wasn’t a permanent installation, getting everything set up was a breeze once I found some speaker wire. Once the speakers were connected, I then connected my tablet to the amplifier so I could play music. 

While these are considered outdoor speakers, I could easily use these speakers indoors. They would make great bookshelf speakers or even monitor speakers in my home studio. As long as you have an amp, you could use them anywhere. 

Sound quality 

The first thing I check for in speaker reviews is distortion levels at max volume. I played some original music that I made myself at full volume. The plastic housing did a great job providing a low-resonance. There was little to no distortion and the speakers got very loud. 

There is a good separation of the lows, mids, and highs. Missing was that low-end bass that you get from a dedicated subwoofer. However, the midrange low end was sufficient. I could hear the thump of the kick drum and snare. The highs were very bright. This should come as no surprise as the frequency response is between 34Hz – 36.500Hz. 

Sonically, the Magnat Symbol X speakers remind me of studio monitor speakers. My music sounded just like it did when I was mixing it in the studio. My ears tend to prefer this neutral frequency response as opposed to bass-centric portable Bluetooth speakers. The music sounds clear, punchy, and bright. 

Who are the Magnat Symbol X speakers for?

There was a time when all we had were wired speakers. Today, the market is flooded with portable wireless speakers.  In fact, we even have dedicated party speakers and wireless multi-room audio. So the question is, who would benefit from wired speakers like the Magnat Symbol X 160 and X 130?

First, this is suitable for anyone building a new home. It’s a good idea to plan ahead where you want to mount speakers indoors and outdoors. That way, the speaker wire can be hidden in the walls and run to a central location for the amplifier. By putting in some thought beforehand, you can create a professional setup without exposed wires. 

Second, it’s for anyone who wants to install speakers outdoors. As these have an IPX5 rating, they can be exposed to natural elements like sun, rain, wind, and snow. If you do need these for outdoor use, I recommend getting it in black. I have a white speaker currently installed outdoors. Over time, you will see dirt and dust accumulate so that’s why I suggest black speakers for outdoor use. 

Final thoughts

Even though we are moving to wireless speakers, there will always be a place for wired speakers. What I like about the Magnat Symbol X is its versatility for any home theatre setup. It can work just as well indoors as it would outdoors. For example, these are the kind of speakers you would see on an outdoor restaurant patio. Install them once and you got a reliable pair of speakers all year round. By the same token, they would work great as bookshelf speakers in the home. The commonality is that you need an amplifier. 

If you do choose wired speakers, it’s very important to consider your speaker wire run. The hardest part of the installation is running the speaker wire. My advice is to use those little cord clips for a professional-looking speaker wire install. Run it on the corner of the ceiling and walls so the wire is out of sight.

If you’re in the market for a pair of outdoor speakers, I highly recommend you check out the Magnat Symbol X 160 and Magnat Symbol X 130 on bestbuy.ca. 

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