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A Guide to Choosing Outdoor Speakers

by Michael Webster

Outdoor speakers add the perfect flair of entertainment to any home, and allow you to listen to your favorite music while enjoying some fresh air. They are typically designed to resemble traditional indoor speakers, but they usually have a weatherproof plastic base and rounded edges to allow water to run off.

Whether you're looking to add some excitement while gardening or mowing the lawn, or you want to curate the perfect outdoor space for social gatherings, there are a couple different routes you can take when choosing an outdoor speaker system 

Permanent installations 

If you enjoy spending time outside and find yourself entertaining guests often, a permanent speaker installation may be the best fit for you. 

In a covered or screened-in porch setting, built-in ceiling speakers provide the most seamless and convenient option for outdoor speakers. Another option is to have speakers mounted to the floor or wall. While this option may not be as aesthetically pleasing, it all comes down to personal preference. Most mounted outdoor speakers have paintable surfaces, allowing you to match them to your home.  

You can also add mounted speakers to an uncovered patio or deck areausually on an adjacent wall or a deck surface. Since there are no enclosing walls or ceilings to hold the sound in these settings, you may need more speakers for adequate sound coverage. 

When considering permanent outdoor speakers in a larger outdoor area, such as a backyard, you could choose to install speakers that are disguised as rocks or planters. Ideally, you should try to even the level of sound across your outdoor space instead of getting a couple of really loud speakers and concentrating them in one area.

One solution to this is to install speakers that resemble landscape lighting — which have great treble and midrange levels — then pair them with a larger subwoofer placed under the ground to provide the bass sound. With the lights spread evenly around the perimeter of your space, this scenario creates an oasis of sound that is not too overbearing in any one area. 

Portable speakers 

Portable outdoor speakers are easily transferred to any location, both indoor and outdoor. These are usually weather resistant, rather than weatherproof, and need to be shielded from heavy rain or snow. They are often Bluetooth-enabled and easy to use. They are also generally smaller, meaning they emit less sound.

Depending on the level of sound you need and the area you are using them in, portable speakers may or may not be a viable option. In a smaller, enclosed setting such as a porch, a couple portable speakers would provide enough sound to fill the room, but in a large backyard, they likely would not.  

Outdoor speakers have to compete with background noise such as traffic, pets and children, so they need to be fully weather resistant if they are permanently installed in an exposed area. It’s important to deliberate on your specific environment, wants and needs when choosing a speaker setup, and [NAME] is here to helpContact [NAME] to learn more about our products and services.