Nothing beats the thrill of listening to your favourite music tracks in your outdoor garden with your friends or family guests. There are a great variety of outdoor speakers that you can use which produce decent quality sound; but there are few outdoor speakers that produce both good quality sound and blend well into the surroundings so that your guests won’t notice where the sound is coming from. Here are some of the best outdoor speakers/outdoor subwoofers that blend readily into the surroundings which will enhance the look of your garden and energise the overall atmosphere of your home.
Outdoor Sound Systems
#1 Niles GS4 Discreet Garden Speakers
The Niles GS4 Discreet Garden Speakers are really solid outdoor weatherproof speakers that deliver superb sound quality, and are more suited for the ‘stand-alone’ type stereo speaker rather than being combined with a subwoofer. The incredible thing about the Niles GS4 is that they produce incredible sound for their relatively small size at 9 X 5.5 X 10.8 inches and weighing 4 pounds. These hidden outdoor speakers blend really well into surrounding environments because of its custom designed colour. The bass response from this outdoor speaker is very good as well: it features 4-inch mineral-filled polyproplylene woofer that has a deep, rich bass response when positioned near a corner. It also comes with a 1-inch Teteron Tweeter with ultra-wide dispersion to maximise the sound quality in an outdoor environment. In terms of mounting, the package comes with dual mounting options – you can either stake mount for in-ground use, or use a wall-mount bracket (included) to attach against any flat surface. The weatherproof design and UV resistant acoustic enclosure is definitely an added plus. This is really a top-shelf product. Niles certainly retains its reputation as a great manufacturer of outdoor speakers with the Niles GS4.
#2 Bose Free Space 51 Outdoor In-Ground Speakers
The Bose Free Space 51 Outdoor in-ground speakers are an all-purpose omni-directional outdoor sound system that camouflages very well into outdoor spaces. The great thing about these hidden outdoor speakers is that the surface coloration is designed to blend with the vegetation. They provide excellent sound quality, and provides (surprisingly) good stereo imaging that rivals that of premium indoor speakers. These outdoor speakers feature a downward firing 4-1/4 full range driver which disperses sound across its radial design in a 360 degree pattern. This means that unlike most outdoor speakers, you don’t have to be in a specific location to hear good quality sound. Their weather tolerance is top-notch: it’s rugged design can withstand temperatures from -40 to +150 degrees Fahrenheit, and passed the rigorous salt fog test 66% longer than required by the Marine Industry Standard. They come with base flange with mounting holes for installation. If you’re looking for an all-in-one speaker without the need to have additional subwoofers or satellite speakers, the Bose Free Space 51 performs its job very well and blends smoothly into natural garden vegetation.
#3 Polk Audio AM3385-A Atrium Sat30 Outdoor Speaker
The Polk Audio Atrium Sat 30 outdoor speakers are (each) waterproof satellite speakers that are acoustically matched to the other Atrium series speakers, but their sound great as stereo garden speakers even if you do intend to combine them with an outdoor subwoofer. These are high quality speakers that play at loud volumes with minimal distortion: they come with 3-1/2 inch long throw midrange driver and a ¾-inch dome tweeter that achieves this purpose well. They are also designed to blend into your landscape and be exposed to the outdoor elements all year around without affecting sonic performance. The outdoor speaker is also protected by a stainless steel grille, which is a nice added touch. Overall, Polk did a good job in designing the Sat 30 to blend into outdoors and its versatility allows it to be mounted on a deck or wall, or dropped from a ceiling if you prefer.
Stand-alone speakers designed like pots and tables
#1 ION Planter Speaker Wireless Outdoor Speaker
The Planter Speaker is a flowerpot music system that contains two speakers and a Bluetooth receiver, allowing you to enjoy your music outdoors by streaming it directly from any Bluetooth device. It is a well-designed outdoor speaker that blends perfectly into your garden décor discreetly. You can even choose the type of plant to use with these speakers: they are compatible with any medium-sized plant including bromeliads, ornamental grasses, lilies and hydrangeas. It even includes drainage, which is crucial to curbing water retention issues on rainy days. Its built-in speaker is housed in the base of the pot, ready to fill any outdoor area with music. The sound from these plant outdoor speakers is very good. We were pleasantly surprised at how well it reproduced notes at high volumes without distortion, with relatively good emphasis on the highs and mids. Do note that the audio quality changes depending on what’s inside the pot. An empty pot will give you a deep, echoing bass which actually sounds quite nice in an enclosed room. Fill the pot with damp soil (and a plant) and suddenly more midtones and treble than there was before. Overall, the ION planter is a very well designed hidden outdoor speaker that’s value for money at its price range.
#2 Niles PS6SI PRO Weathered Concrete 6-inch 2 way High Performance Planter Loudspeaker
The Niles PS6SI PRO Planter is an artistically crafted flower pot with MicroPerf Aluminum Grills which gives it a natural and realistic look. It is a truly remarkable hidden outdoor speaker designed to accommodate live plants. For an item that blends so well into a patio or garden area, we were impressed by its audio performance. Do note that across a large outdoor space, you’re not likely to use a speaker like this to create a concert stereo soundstage. Rather, the goal is to ensure that all listening positions will be able to hear both left and right speaker output. With multiple planer speakers, they can be configured such that some areas might have you hearing the left output from one speaker and the right from another. If you want to configure a planter to be just a single channel, that can be done, but this is not an ideal configuration for outdoor use.
The Niles PS6SI Planter sounds excellent. A six inch down-firing woofer creates solid, tight- but obviously not seismic- bass. Testing one of these indoors, we were really impressed with the sound quality which was really amazing for something disguised as a pot. The Niles Planter is highly compatible with the Niles GSS10 subterranean subwoofers (see below). The setup works perfectly. The four planter speakers provide rich, immersive sound that blankets the entire outdoor entertainment space with amazing bass all the way down to 25 Hz.
#3 Niles PB6SI PRO Terracotta
The cousin of the Niles PS6SI Planter, the Terracotta Planter Box is a hidden outdoor speaker is designed to blend invisibly into the outdoors and accommodate live plants. It features dual 1” fluid-cooled teteron tweeters and 6.5” dual voice coil injunction-molded polypropylene woofers that give a decent bass response in the outdoors. It also comes with one-speaker stereo-input or two-speaker stereo mode, which means that you can position multiple Terracottas anywhere you to create a sound stage in your home outdoor environment. Like the Niles PS6SI planter, the sound quality is excellent, although bass response might suffer outdoors. Tested indoors, the Terracotta performed delightfully with minimal distortion at high volumes.
#1 Niles GSS10 Speaker Underground Subwoofer
The Niles GSS10 underground subwoofer speakers function perfectly for their intended purpose: they offer clean, tight, low frequency sound that seems to come out of nowhere. They pair really well with the Niles Planter Speakers, delivering a sound field that covers the entire outdoor space, such that background music is evenly distributed and the bass is excellent. The unique thing about this subwoofer unit is that it is intended to be buried in the ground, leaving only its fully paintable port tube. In outdoor spaces, especially anything larger than a small porch, high end speakers simply don’t move enough air to provide really full sound with deep bass that sounds goods over a large area. These subs seem to achieve that purpose with relative ease –playing electric and rock soundtracks we could hear the drums which sounded incredible and deep. The material construction of the Niles GSS10 is built like a tank – it is made from the same industrial strength PVC, the same type of material used in modern underground plumbing and irrigation systems. When properly installed, this hidden outdoor subwoofer unit will last for many years to come and provide a great audio experience in your outdoor garden.
#2 Polk Audio AM3386-A Atrium Sub10 Speaker
Weighing at 16 pounds, the Polk Audio Atrium Sub10 speaker pairs very well with the Polk Atrium Sat 30 outdoor speakers – the natural roll off the subwoofer and the satellites blend perfectly. Although this subwoofer might be on the slightly pricey side, it works great and really improves the sound of the outdoor environment which it’s placed in. The Atrium Sub10 speaker is beautifully designed to resemble that of a plant stand or pedestal table; you can place a garden pot on top of this hidden outdoor speaker with no problems at all due to its robust construction. The enclosure’s color is embedded into the material, yet it can be painted to match your landscape design. It’s epoxy seal enclosure will stand up to every season for many years to come. Furthermore, it’s 10-inch long-throw dual voice coil driver produces good bass at background listening levels – it is essentially a weatherproof down-firing subwoofer that performs well. However, since the driver is only 10”, you might want to consider the Niles GSS10 instead for larger outdoor spaces. As with all outdoor subwoofers, this one in particular needs to be hooked to a dedicated amplifier for better sound performance.