The Best 4 Outdoor Speakers in 2020
High quality outdoor speakers are a must for those music lovers who like to listen to their favorite sounds outside, whether they are relaxing in private, or hosting a social gathering in the yard, around the pool, or on the patio.
Speaker designers are faced with more challenges when designing an outdoor speaker, compared to an indoor type, however. Mainly because they are expected to deliver the equivalent sound quality, while at the same time making the speakers resistant to all that Mother Nature can throw at them.
The mounting and placement of the speakers can also be crucial. You should experiment with the locations and angles in order to get the fullest and clearest sound quality. They should be mounted on a surface that is able to take their weight, which doesn't have underneath dangers, such as electrical wires, or plumbing.
Most speakers are available in black, or white colors. Some (usually the more expensive) are sold singly, while others (usually the more affordable) are sold in pairs.
The Top 4 Outdoor Speakers
- Definitive Technology AW6500: Excellent Fidelity
- Dual Electronics LU43PW: Affordable and Versatile
- Polk Audio Atrium 4: Powerful and Smooth
- Waterproof Granite Rock Patio Speakers: Waterproof and Rugged
I explain my choices in detail below.
Best High Fidelity Outdoor Speakers: Definitive Technology AW6500 All-Weather!
For those seeking high fidelity audio anywhere around their home, Definitive Technology are a reliable choice.
Projecting the sound, and especially the bass, can be a real problem outdoors, but these speakers use high excursion active drivers pressure-coupled to racetrack-shaped Low-Bass Radiators to deliver maximum depth.
A water-tight seal gives you peace of mind when considering where to place your speakers, as they are effective in fending off all the elements, while still delivering superior sound quality.
Integrated galvanized steel brackets and special design allow the speakers to be rotated a full 360 degrees.
The Definitive Technology AW6500 outdoor speakers are available in black or white colors, and are typically priced/bought singly.
Summary of Specifications
• One 6.5-inch BDSS cast basket bass/mid driver
• One 5.5x10-inch pressure-driven low-bass radiator
• One 1-inch pure aluminum dome tweeter
• Frequency response: 40 Hz - 30 kHz
• Wired connectivity
• 200 watts output
• 8 ohm impedance
• Dimensions: 9.25 inches x 14.44 inches x 8.88 inches
Music should come crashing out of your speakers and grab you, and the lyrics should challenge whatever preconceived notions that listener has.— Lou Reed
#1 Best Affordable Speakers: Dual Electronics LU43PW
With a weather-resistant design, these 3-way speakers are small in size but capable of delivering a big sound whether the setting is indoors, or out in the back yard, on the patio, or by the pool.
The great advantage of these speakers, apart from the low price, is their versatility, they are designed to be easily mounted virtually anywhere that is strong and sturdy enough to hold their weight, and doesn't have hazards concealed underneath, things like electrical wires and plumbing.
LU43PWs are available in black, or white colors, and are usually sold in pairs.
Summary of Specifications
• Woofer 4" (100mm) Polyelite PVA Surround
• Midrange 40mm polypropylene
• Tweeter 20mm Piezo Dome
• Frequency Response 100 Hz-20kHz
• Power: 50 watts RMS - 100 watts (IPP)
• Dimensions: 8.25 inches x 5.25 inches x 5.25 inches
Music as background to me becomes like a mosquito, an insect. In the studio we have big speakers, and to me that's the way music should be listened to. When I listen to music, I want to just listen to music.— David Lynch
Top 5 Tips For Outdoor Speaker Placement
- Put the speakers at eye level or slightly above so that the sound travels further. The output is less likely to be blocked by yard furniture, fences etc. Avoid going higher than ten feet, however, as the audio may become tinny and weak.
- Depending on the robustness of your speakers, you should consider their level of exposure to the elements. Some speakers are completely watertight, but less protected speakers should be placed under eaves, or overhanging roofs.
- Remember to consider stereo effects when positioning speakers and assigning channels. Left and right channels should be at separate sides for a full, stereo sound.
- Speakers should generally be positioned about ten feet apart and about ten feet away from the listening area.
- If your listening area has any weak spots, consider filling them by buying more speakers, rather than trying to overcome the problem by turning up the volume. It's the best way to create even, high quality audio coverage. (It is more difficult outside in an open space, indoor speakers have the walls to reverberate against and contain the sound).
More Top Rated Outdoor Speakers
Below are a couple more suggestions for exceptional products, including an exciting mid price range pair from Polk, that provides an excellent value for money and a cool balance between audio quality and cost.
Also a fun foursome speaker set that rocks in more ways than one! They will provide the sounds for any yard, patio, and pool party, but blend into the background when not in use.
Full Sound with Environmental Endurance: Polk Audio Atrium 4
The Polk Audio Atrium 4 range offers excellent value for money for those seeking a high quality sound output in the mid price scale.
As well as offering superior power handling and a smooth response, the anodized aluminum tweeter domes with rubber surrounds are completely immune to the elements.
These Polks are designed to fill an open outdoor area with a large and full sound. The steeply-angled baffle increases the dispersion of important mid- and high-frequency over a large area, without losing any detail or accuracy.
The speakers use Polk's Speed-Lock mounting system, an easy, quick, and safe way to mount.
The Polks are available in black, and white colors, and are usually sold in pairs.
Summary of Specifications
• 1 - 4-1/2" Diameter (11.43cm) Mid/woofer, Dynamic Balance® Mineral Filled Polymer Cone with rubber surround
• 1 - 3/4" Diameter (1.91cm)
Dynamic Balance® Anodized Aluminum Dome Tweeter with Neodymium motor structure
• Frequency response: 75Hz-25kHz
• 8 ohms impedance
• Recommended amp power: 10-80 w per channel
• Dimensions: 8-5/8" H x 5-11/16" W x 6-11/16" D
(21.91cm H x 14.45cm W x 16.99cm D)
I got a man cave. I play my music loud. I bought big speakers because I need to hear music loud.— Marlon Wayans
Waterproof Granite Rock Patio Speakers: Waterproof and Rugged
With cabinet bodies constructed from silicone, they provide a loud and clear sound, as well as an impressive talking point for social occasions.
Waterproof and rugged, including rust resistant steel grills, the 4R4G can handle pretty much anything that Mother Nature puts their way, rain, wind, or shine.
They are ideal for those who like to do their partying outdoors, whether it is in the yard, on the patio, around a bonfire, or beside the pool.
Summary of Specifications
• Ferro Fluid Cooled Soft Dome Tweeters
• Woofers: 4.5" Poly Mica 8ohm Drivers with Sealed Voice Coils and Butyl Rubber Surrounds
• Peak Power Handling: 125 watts
• Height 8" x Width 7.5" x Depth 6.75" per Speaker
• Frequency response: 94dB with 80-20,000 Hz
This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.
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© 2015 Paul Goodman