Outdoor speaker technology has come a long way since the days when your best option was hauling a boombox and long extension cord out to your deck or patio. Many outdoor speakers today provide as acoustically true-to-life sound as your prized entertainment room speakers, thanks to design features that enhance the audio in more wide-open environments. Additionally, the best outdoor speakers will withstand the effects of water, dust, bugs, and extreme weather conditions.
You can hardwire your outdoor speakers, and permanently mount them under eaves, on the deck or around the pool, running speaker cables and wire between each speaker and the CD player or other music/content source. Or, you can stream music to outdoor Bluetooth wireless speakers from your smartphone, tablet or any receiver that has Bluetooth built in. Keep in mind that even the best outdoor Bluetooth speakers usually have a transmission range of around 33 feet. Another alternative, if you're looking for increased range, is to go with wireless outdoor speakers that utilize your home's Wi-Fi network. Most Wi-Fi outdoor speakers run on AC power and will require an outlet. You can also get outdoor Bluetooth speakers that have Wi-Fi technology capability to give you the flexibility to play media through your home network, or from a local device. In addition, portable waterproof speakers are great for a day at the beach or for hanging out by the pool.
Some outdoor speakers are designed to blend in with your surroundings. You can select outdoor rock speakers that seamlessly merge into the environment. These speakers are disguised as rocks that are virtually indistinguishable from other types of landscaping rocks. Or, you can choose an outdoor speaker design that fits unobtrusively into the landscaping of the area, sitting on the ground or atop ground stakes.
The Best Outdoor Speaker Setup
Your outdoor entertainment area probably falls into one of three types: a covered or screened-in porch, an open area on a patio or deck, or a large open area such as a pool. Each type offers different challenges relating to the position of your outdoor speakers for optimal acoustics, along with configuring other components like the location of the grill or smoker, and how to place the outdoor lights so the fun can keep going after dark. The covered space offers you the most placement flexibility along with the option of using wireless outdoor speakers or wired speakers. An open patio or deck might require two or more pairs of speakers for optimal audio since there are no walls or ceiling to contain the sound. For a large open space, you can go with a couple of bigger outdoor speakers, similar in concept to what you experience at an outdoor concert, though that could make conversation difficult closer to the speakers. Or you can select a speaker system that includes multiple satellite speakers and an in-ground subwoofer to provide consistent sound over a large area.
Along with music and a grill, you may want your open-air entertainment area to include an option for watching the big game, the latest Netflix blockbuster, or something from your DVD collection. If this appeals to you, check out an outdoor TV. Or maybe you'll want to host neighborhood movie night with your outdoor projection screen. Either way, you'll get the best results if you've chosen the right wireless outdoor speakers, and placed them in the right configuration, to provide outdoor sound that's loud enough and clear enough for your needs.