Building an Outdoor Audio System: Speaker Essentials
A Guide to Types of Outdoor Speakers
Spring is here and it’s time to get out and enjoy the fresh, Morris County air. It’s the perfect time of year for barbecues and family get-togethers in your backyard, deck and pool areas.
But one inescapable fact remains: A party isn’t any fun without the right music. That means it’s time to invest in an outdoor audio system.
And some of the most important, visible and necessary parts of your audio system are the speakers.
If you don’t know anything about outdoor speakers, how they can affect your listening experience or even what to look for when building a system of your own, you’ve come to the right place.
Here, you’ll find a simple guide to the types of speakers you can enjoy in your backyard. We’ve even highlighted a few of our favorite brands, but there are plenty of options available.
If you don’t see your favorite manufacturer on the list, you can let us know by clicking the button at the bottom of your screen and chatting with a live representative right now.
Outdoor Speakers: The Basics
Before we get into the specific types of speakers, here’s what you should look for in any device you want to put in your backyard. Remember, indoor speakers can do things that outdoor speakers can’t, like feature wooden cabinets, or use the natural reflections of the space to create fuller sound. Below, you’ll find some of the basic features every outdoor speaker should offer:
- Water- and Climate-proof
- Durable cabinet, generally of rust-proof metal
- Water drainage
- Minimal audio distortion
Now that you know what to look for generally, here are a few smart options for your outdoor spaces.
Garden speakers are among the most common types of components you’ll see in outdoor residential systems.
Typically, garden speakers are individually small but are part of a larger network of directional speakers. Often, garden speakers will come in sets of six or more, for fuller coverage.
They’re designed to blend in with their surroundings, within foliage and around the yard, so you don’t have to see them to enjoy them. They can come in the form of a “satellite” or even hidden within the appearance of a large rock.
Origin Acoustics’ Acoustic Landscape Collection offers durable, four-inch speakers with rust-proof casings and plant-able stakes. The system also features an eight-inch underground subwoofer for more robust bass notes.
Strategically placed throughout your yard, the Landscape Collection presents up to 2,500 square feet of full-fidelity coverage with options to scale up when necessary.
Generally a great option for achieving resonant audio on your deck or porch, wall-mounted speakers are usually bigger and more visible than their semi-buried, garden counterparts.
They’re frequently molded to fit around corners and at angles, so they can be expertly mounted and hardwired directly to your in-house system.
Terra, a prominent brand in outdoor audio, was recently acquired by Leon, one of the top brands in indoor sound systems. Together, they’ve produced the AC Five Outdoor series.
The cabinets are designed with durable polypropylene, which won’t freeze or rust. It also helps reduce audio distortion. This is an especially important factor in a well-functioning sound system.
While most speakers (both indoor and outdoor) operate by firing in a single direction, you can also enjoy omnidirectional speakers in your outdoor spaces. Often, omnidirectional speakers are placed in a central location and are designed to offer complete coverage with minimal components.
Generally speaking, omnidirectional speakers are more visible than garden speakers. That means they have to blend with your landscape in more creative ways.
The Sphere 360 from Architettura Sonora is a perfect example of a speaker that hides in plain sight. It’s designed to look like an global art fixture rather than a boxy speaker.
And just about everything about it is customizable, from the material to the finishes. You can even opt to use it as a full-range speaker or as a subwoofer.
Haven’t found what you’re looking for? We can help! Just click here to learn more about the speakers available for your outdoor audio system.
And to learn more about achieving the best outdoor sound quality in your own backyard, be sure to visit our knowledge center pieces on the topic.