7 Things you Must Know to Choose the Best Outdoor Speakers
There are essentially 7 things you must know when choosing the best outdoor speakers that is most suitable for you. This not rocket science, and understanding the process of choosing the right speaker will greatly reduce time and costs for you. We have also featured some of the best outdoor speakers in our top reviews, such as the top weatherproof speakers, patio speakers, rock speakers, outdoor ceiling speakers and rugged portable speakers, so be sure to check them out!
#1: Check the Speakers’ Material Construction (then check it again!)
As with all outdoor speakers, it’s crucial to check that they have “bullet-proof” construction. Then double check them again before you buy. This is because outdoor speakers are subject to all kinds of environmental conditions, such as wind, rain, dust, heat, frost and erosion. If you’re getting speakers to put in your outdoor gardens, be sure to get all-weather resistant outdoor speakers which are designed to withstand the outdoor climate. Even if you do purchase all-weather speakers, we recommend placing them under sheltered areas such as under the patio to ensure that these speakers last longer. This is because accumulated moist that seeps into the speakers can damage audio drivers, causing deterioration in sound quality. It’s also important to check that the speakers are rust free. Buying outdoor speakers can be a hefty investment, so you’d want to get the best outdoor speakers which will last you many years to come without changing the wiring or amplification systems. Getting the best outdoor speakers will ultimately lead to an immensely pleasurable outdoor audio experience.
#2: Understand the Sound Environment and Space
The second important step when choosing outdoor speakers is to understand the environment that they would be placed in. If you’re placing speakers in a huge outdoor environment, then you may wish to consider buying single-point outdoor speakers for a more versatile sound placement and audio experience, as opposed to patio/eaves-only speakers. The advantage with single-point speakers is that they have both left and right inputs, and play omni-directional sound in a given area. Placing single-point speakers in different “zones” of your garden will help achieve even distribution of sound. You can even get outdoor speakers specifically designed like rocks or tree shrubs that blends into your garden. If you’re looking for outdoor speakers to place in a small open space, then you might want to consider ceiling speakers or floor standing speakers that you can place under the patio instead. The advantage of this is that you can avoid running wires through your outdoor backyard, which can cause quite a hassle. Depending on the size of your backyard, we recommend either purchasing outdoor garden speakers or patio/under-the-eaves type of speakers.
#3: Find a Great Spot for Audio Placement
Finding a great spot for audio placement is perhaps the most tricky part about outdoor audio. Some vital questions come into play here. Is your outdoor environment big enough for the placement of several outdoor speakers linked together? Is your garden or outdoor space too cluttered for the placement of a new set of speakers? Can the design of your backyard accommodate wiring underneath the garden or poolside? Is fixing speakers to your patio good enough? Crucially, there’s an issue with linking multiple speakers to a single amplifier, and the inclusion of a dedicated subwoofer may require additional amplifiers. One useful tip to finding a great spot for audio placement is to draw a map of your backyard and determine where you want your sound to come from to ensure even distribution of sound. Another important thing is to measure the distance of required wiring and determine the type of wiring to use (see #5 on wiring). The manufacturer of these speakers will almost always publish the specifications of their outdoor speakers, such as audio frequency, volume and power input so you want to be pretty familiar with these details when it comes to audio placement.
#4: Wiring of Outdoor Speakers
Perhaps the most practical question when choosing outdoor speakers is the wiring. Wiring affects the aesthetics of your backyard/patio so before you even get outdoor speakers it’s important to think about how you want to wire them. There are many kinds of wiring that you can use but the main types are copper, oxygen-free copper, silver, stranded, flat and burial wire types. The copper wire is favoured among manufacturers because it allows for transfer of sound signal with the least amount of interference. Copper is also cheaper than most other wiring materials so you can expect to buy them for less cost. The oxygen-free copper wire offers a lower electrical resistance than standard copper wires because removing oxygen from the copper helps to prevent dilapidation of the material. This protects the long-term sound quality of outdoor speakers. Silver on the other hand is generally used for expensive outdoor speakers and is a very good conductor – with a lower electrical resistance than coppper. Flat speaker wiring is cost efficient and is perfect for placing around doorframes and against garden walls which allows it to blend better with outdoor surroundings or wall colours. Finally, burial wiring (or underground wire) is enclosed in a thicker coating and is better insulated than other types of wires, which prevents damage from environmental elements such as rain, snow and flooding.
#5: Choose a Brand and Set a Budget
You’d be surprised at how much difference a brand makes to the sound output. Certain brands of speakers create sounds distinct to their brands – for instance, Bose outdoor speakers are known for delivering high-quality punchy sound that’s distinct only to Bose. Klipsch speakers also sound different when placed in similar environments. The key to deciding which brand to use is really to test out the brand for yourself by heading down to the local sound equipment store, or by reading our product reviews on the best outdoor speakers. As a general rule, unfamiliar brands usually cost cheaper than traditional “dominating brands” but that doesn’t mean that they sound better. It all boils down to personal preference and choice. While more expensive speakers generally sound better, there are speakers which are simply value of money at their price range for the quality of sound they deliver. We’ve recommended speakers that don’t cost much but deliver exceptional performance. Again, knowing your budget price is key to choosing the right speaker that can deliver the best sound at that price range.
#6: Get a Design that You’ll Love
Outdoor speakers invariably form a part of your home, so it’s crucial to get the best outdoor speakers that look great. In fact, such is the importance of aesthetic impression that getting speakers which actually looks good with your outdoor environment tends to make it sounds better. There are many types of outdoor speakers that are designed to blend into your outdoor space, such as rock speakers, speakers that are designed to look like tree stumps or even speakers that you can literally “plant” into the soil. Not only will this add to the overall look of your home, the design of the speaker is an added plus to your garden or patio décor. So remember to choose a speaker that you’d love to see outdoors and which compliments the overall look of your home.
#7 : Understand the kind of music you listen to
Finally, an important thing to consider when choosing the best outdoor speakers is to understand the kind of music do you listen to. Is the music that you listen to more concentrated on the bass effects (i.e. rock, R&B, EDM) or more analytical in nature (i.e. instrumental, vocal)? Depending on the type of music you listen to the type of speakers that you want to buy will vary. For example, if you are a person who likes instrumental music, then it’s not really necessary to get an added subwoofer into your garden because instrumental music rarely hits the low frequencies. If you prefer bass-heavy music such as rock or heavy metal, then getting outdoor speakers with lower frequency outputs will definitely help, or an additional subwoofer with dedicated amplifier to push it is key. If you’re the bass head looking for bassy outdoor speakers, be sure to purchase low-frequency output speakers preferably with in-built subs and position them around the corners to amplify bass response.