Whether you're gardening, reading by the pool or in a hammock, or having a BBQ party with friends, listening to great tunes makes every moment better. But sometimes, a small Bluetooth speaker isn't enough to provide the background music you crave — you need outdoor speakers instead!
Outdoor speakers are weather-resistant and designed to deal with noises you can't control, like traffic, lawnmowers, barking dogs, crickets, or cicadas. And when you have a complete outdoor sound system, you're prepared for any event well in advance! But what speakers do you need? We'll tell you how to plan your outdoor sound setup and which speakers are best!
The first step is to plan ahead — don't rush out to buy the first speakers you see! You need to determine where you want to listen to your music, like closer to the grill for BBQs, by the pool for swimming, or throughout the garden for gardening. You'll also need to consider the coverage — the more speakers you place in the areas you enjoy your music, the less you'll have to pump up the volume and annoy the neighbors!
Don't forget to set a decent budget; while you don't want to go overboard, a good sound system will be worth investing in — it'll last you for years!
Traditional Outdoor Speakers
One of the speaker types to consider for your backyard are traditional outdoor speakers. These conventional "box" speakers are entirely enclosed in a weather-proof casing and feature a rust-proof grill and bracket. These speakers are similar to indoor bookshelf speakers and can deliver the same sound output due to the 3-inch to 8-inch midrange drivers and tweeters (it provides a whole range of frequencies!).
With these conventional speakers, you can mount them under the eaves of the roof, deck posts, etc.— the installation process is pretty simple!
Other types of outdoor speakers include in-wall and in-ceiling speakers. These built-in models go into walls, ceilings, eaves, sides of the house, or other architectural features, which means they're practically invisible! Only the grills of the speaker will show, which you can also paint to disguise them even more.
In-wall and in-ceiling speakers are similar to traditional box speakers when it comes to design and durability. And you can place them practically anywhere.
Custom Architectural Speakers
Like in-wall and in-ceiling speakers, architectural speakers hide in plain sight! These custom speakers typically feature a more visually appealing design, like weathered sculpture, so that you can add artistic elements to your landscape. And since they're custom, you can get high-quality sound from high-performance parts!
Did you know that some outdoor speakers look like rocks? Literally! These speakers are identical to conventional box speakers, except these are on the ground level and are completely disguised in your landscape. So, you can place them anywhere throughout your garden — they'll blend right in!
And since the size of the cabinet is larger, they hold larger drivers, which means they offer a wide range of frequencies. When you set them up, remember to tilt the speakers slightly up if they're closer to the listening area. But if they're farther out, you'll need to aim them straight out to perform better.
Pro Tip: Some rock speakers will require buried wire connections, so keep that in mind as you plan your system.
Satellite Landscape Speakers
Satellite landscape speakers are also known as stake-mount speakers, which means they're speakers with stakes attached, so you can "plant" them into the ground! This design lets them disappear into the landscape while providing a uniform sound field!
Make sure you place them strategically so they're not in the way of future lawn maintenance (oh, the weed-whacker stories we could tell you…).
Pro Tip: Usually, landscape speakers require a buried subwoofer to complete the soundscape (is it music without that deep bass?).
Another neat outdoor speaker type is bollards, which you can disguise into your landscape. These usually feature a conical design with a mushroom cap, but others feature a much-sleeker design! And the best thing is this type of speaker has the best sound since they sit higher off the ground and house larger drivers.
Some speakers even come with a 360-degree sound field, making it easier to place! Other freestanding models let you put them on the deck near the pool or are partially buried like your subwoofer!
Bench & Planter Speakers
Have you ever eaten in an outdoor restaurant and noticed the sound coming from the plants? They were most likely using planter speakers! These models also hide in plain sight, but they can be placed directly inside the listening area, making them easier to listen to! And depending on the size of the drivers, the sound quality can get pretty impressive too!
Bench speakers offer similar benefits to planter speakers but tend to lose sound quality if used as a practical bench. But if they're custom mode, you can request to aim the speakers toward the back or the side, which depends on where you plan to place the bench!
Pro Tip: Both speakers can be designed with a built-in subwoofer positioned at the bottom for ground-shaking bass!
So, what are outdoor subwoofers? They work just like regular subwoofers and provide lower frequencies from the bottom end of the scale. The only difference is that most outdoor subwoofers are partially buried — you'll only see a partial mushroom cap cover!
And since the lower frequencies are non-directional, you don't have to aim them or place them strategically for optimum performance — phew!
Wireless Outdoor Speakers
The last type of outdoor speaker is wireless, either Wi-Fi-enabled or Bluetooth. Some wireless outdoor speakers can use the same eco-system as your indoor whole-home wireless system, so you only have to add another "zone" to your existing network. And some models come with built-in amplification!
So, if you mostly stream music from a phone or tablet, these wireless speakers are ideal!
The right outdoor speakers are vital, but don't forget about the amplifiers! All these speaker types (except for a few wireless ones) depend on amplification to provide power to the speaker via channels, just like indoor amps! And since you need to fill more "space" for outdoor audio, you need more raw power to get to certain volume levels without distorting the sound.
So, the higher the amperage or current the amplifier has, the better! Lower power amps will sound weak and thin while also causing distortion. With more power, you can keep the sound in your yard, not your neighbor's!
Pro Tip: You can also get Bluetooth amplifiers to pair your phone or tablet easier or get Wi-Fi amplifiers to stream music from the amp itself with fewer range issues!
Crank Up the Music!
Listening to music can enhance any activity and help create new memories, so why wouldn't you bring your favorite beats outside? Exactly! So, if you're considering starting an outdoor speaker system, check out our speaker selection at Toton’s TV!
And if you have any questions, call our team or stop by!