Best Outdoor Speakers
Do you really want to impress your party guests this summer? Cooking up some amazing burgers and hot dogs is an excellent start, but a great way to really make your party top notch is to create a great atmosphere. If you do happen to play music at your cookouts, you are probably using that old boombox from the 1990’s that only gets one weird radio station. If you are a little bit more modern, you might have even invested in a Bluetooth speaker that syncs with your phone.
Those ideas are good in a pinch, but the installation of outdoor speakers can turn a nice party into an amazing party. Plus, they can be used for more things than just music. If you wanted to create an outdoor movie night right in your own backyard, your outdoor speaker could be plugged into a projector that plays movies either on a screen or on a white bed sheet hanging from a wire.
- POLK AUDIO ATRIUM 4
- Military-grade environmental endurance
- BOSE 151 SE
- Sleek design
- YAMAHA NS-AW350W
- Available in bundles of 2, 4, or 6
There are limitless possibilities of what you can do with a great sound system right in your backyard. We have done out research to find some of the best models out there on the market. Keep in mind, however, that you will need more than just the speakers. The products found on this list are designed to be plugged into a receiver that you will have to buy separately. There are some models out there that come with a receiver, but often they are lower in quality and might not last you a full season.
10 Best Outdoor Speakers
Polk Audio Atrium 4
These look just like the normal models that you have plugged into your television surround sound at home. They are available in two colors: white and black- to match your outdoor space perfectly. They have ample places to mount them so that you will be able to put them in just the right place without fiddling with them too much.
Polk believes that you shouldn’t have to sacrifice sounds just because you are outside. With these models, you can craft the same soundscape that you would in you were inside. You can turn the sound and frequency up from 12KHz up to an impressive 20kHz. To put this in a frame of reference, 20kHz is the last octave that humans are capable of hearing. So, anything about that it sort useless. This ensures that you are getting the best sound out there.
Unlike units that are mounted inside- these have to be made to be a little bit more durable and resilient to the elements. They are made with an anodized aluminum tweeter domes, and they also have rubber surrounds to wick away water and keep coldness from damaging the interior components.
Sound can get expensive, and anyone that has ever purchased a Polk product has come to this realization. These two units are a little be more expensive than some of the other models out there, but they come with the guarantee that comes with Polk Audio, along with a 5 year warranty on parts.
If you are really looking to impress your guests this summer, creating a relaxing soundscape with these high quality products is sure to do the trick. They might cost you a little bit more initially- but they will be well worth it in the long run.
- Brand recognition
- Superior sound
- Military grade environmental endurance
Bose 151 SE
The design of these are a little bit different than your standard models that you will found out there. Instead of being squat and boxy, these have a sleek curvature to the frame that, when mounted above a window- look like they are simply an added accent to the window frame. A purchase of this product comes with two separate units, and they are available in black and white.
You can expect only the best when it comes to Bose, and that is no exception when it comes to their products designed to be left outside in the elements. Each unit has an impressive three 2.5 inch environmental drivers with a full range that can offer you a sound that is so loud and so clear that your neighbors might just call the cops on you. However, if you invite your neighbors to the party you can avoid this unpleasantness)
These units have been tried and tested to withstand whatever the seasons throw at it. They do not need to be brought inside during the months that are rich in ice, snow, salt, and temperatures that can reach below -40 degrees. On the flip side- they can withstand heat up to 158 degrees.
You might want to sit down for this one. The price of this set of two far exceeds what many of the other brands- including Polk Audio- even come close to. However, if you have the space money and have used a Bose product before and loved the quality of the sound, these will be well working the padded price tag.
If you are in the market to really craft an excellent soundscape for your next outdoor picnic or late summer BBQ, your quest will no doubt be impressed by the quality of sound these that little devices can emit.
- Brand recognition
- Sleek design
- Very durable- doesn’t have to be brought inside during the winter
- Does not come with the proper wires
The design of this model looks just like what you would have on the inside of your home for the surround sound that is hooked up to you television. The purchase of this product comes with a set of two, and they are only available in white. The backs of them make them easy to mount wherever you plan on putting them.
If it doesn’t have a clear sound, then it is probably not something that will work very well for an outdoor space. This model has a maximum sound capacity of 130 watts, and it has an acoustic suspension to create a smoother sound that doesn’t get bogged down with bass notes or treble sounds that are tinny and broken.
These are really made to withstand some pretty terrible weather conditions without taking any damage. The frame of these units are designed to be magnetically shielded and water resistant so you can leave them outside during a spontaneous summer rainstorm, or even leave them outside during the harsh winter months.
Generally speaking- these run about in the middle of the road in terms of price. If you are looking to buy a good quality pair of these, and you want them to last more than a single summer- it is worth the price tag. While it is going to set you back a little bit of money- especially since you will also need to buy a receiver- it will be worth it in the long run.
For those that are serious about how their music comes across- even when outside- Yamaha is sure to impress with over 100 years of experience making quality products that produce top-notch sounds.
- Brand recognition
- Available in bundles of 2, 4, or 6 (at an additional cost)
- Some users discovered after 4 years of use the sound isn’t as good
Dual Electronics LU43PB
The design of these look just like the models that are used for your inside surround sound for your television set. They are squat and boxy, and are available in both black and white to match the design of your patio space perfectly. Each unit measures to be 8.25 inches long, and 5.25 inches wide. The back of them allow them to be mounted in a myriad of ways so you can put them in just the right spots.
When it comes to these types of products, the superior sound is always the number one goal. They have 100 watts of peak power- which is just a little bit less than the other models that grace the top of this list. That simply means that the max volume is going to be just a little bit less- but if you have fussy neighbors that might actually be a good thing. The frequency range is between 100Hz-20kHz. As we learned with the Polk Audio model, 20hHz is the highest octave that humans are capable of hearing, so this set keeps up right along the top tier models.
No one wants to have to worry about the state of their outdoor electronics when the rains start to pour, or the temperatures begin to plunge- and you won’t have to worry when it comes to these models. They have a weather resistant coating that is perfect for rainy climates, and they are also coated with a UV resistant resin that allows them to be subjected to direct sunlight with running the risk of damaging the interior components.
The price tag on these might just be the best thing about them. Setting up outdoor sound can become expensive when you have to make sure that you buy a receiver and the appropriate wires that will reach the length of your patio. Luckily, these are offered at such a low price that all of the audio equipment will sting just a little bit less and will allow you to spend money on party foods and outdoor seating for all of your summer parties.
If you want to add a little bit of sound to your patio, but are reluctant to spend the money that often comes with some of the more known name brands, this is an excellent set you get you started without completely emptying your wallet.
- Swivel mounting
- Water and UV resistant coating
- Some have found that they begin to rust after 3 years outside
- Prolonged exposure to elements reduces sound quality
Bluetooth 5.25 Indoor/Outdoor
These look just like any other set that you would hook up to your indoor surround sound. They are only available in black and come in a set of two. Each squat and boxy design is 8 ⅞ inches long and 5.25 inches wide- which is pretty standard compared to the other units out there on the market. It sports a post-lock design that is easy to mount and is able to be swiveled to adjust the angle of the sound.
This model sports a Class D 30-watt high-efficiency amplifier. While Class D isn’t the best in terms of sound out there, it is pretty impressive for a wireless unit that doesn’t need the addition of a receiver.
While these advertised that they can be used indoors, they will also work perfectly on your patio outside because they are encased in a weatherproofed black cabinet. That means that when the weather starts to get back, you don't need to uninstall these and bring them in for the winter months. On that first warm day of spring, simply grab a glass of tea, sync your phone to them, and start relaxing while listening to your favorite music.
The price tag might be a little bit shocking to you at first, but when you think about it- it might be even less expensive than some of the other more affordable options out there on the market. What makes these different is that you won’t need to buy a receiver in order to get these to work- and receivers can really rack up quite the hefty price tag. With that in mind, the price of these is quite reasonable.
If you are in the market for something that will mean that you don’t have to mess with any complicated wires, invest in additional hardware such as receivers, and is really simple to use- these will be an excellent addition to your next patio party this summer.
- Brand recognition
- No need for a receiver
- Sound is less powerful than the wired models
- Previous phone user has to remember to unpair for new users to sync their phone
Theater Solutions Rock Speakers
The design of these is the selling point. They are made to look like a rock so that you can place them on your patio in the landscaping and confuse all of your guests as to where the sound is coming from. They measure to be 8 inches high 7.5 inches long and 6.75 wide.
Sure, they look neat- but how do they sound? They are wired to a receiver, so you can rest assured the sound will be powerful. The frequency response is between 80Hz to 20 kHz- which, as we learned earlier, is the highest octave that humans are capable of hearing. It is also capable of reaching approximately 94 decibels which is about as loud as a jazz concert or a power mower- which is pretty impressive considering how small and compact they are.
Due to the fact that these are designed to be used outside- they would look quite silly used indoors- you can rest assured that they will hold up to whatever the weather in your backyard can throw at them. They have rust resistant grills (which is a common problem with these products), and a cabinet that is reinforced with multiple layers of silicone to keep the rain and the cold from damaging the interior components.
Considering that you get 4 units with one purchase, they are quite affordable. The price of these 4 will run you about the same price that you would spend on the Polk Audio set of two. If you have the money to spend- these will be well worth the price tag.
If you don’t want your natural backyard to look like your living room, these rocks will allow you to have all of the sound to play your favorite music without disrupting the natural look of your patio.
- Shaped like a rock
- Weather resistant
- Some find the speakers are too small
Innovative Technology Bluetooth Rock Speakers
The rock design of these are a little bit more textured the some of the other kinds like it out there on the market, and one is designed to be bigger than the other one. The larger one measures in at 12 inches high, 8 inches long, and 9 inches high. This makes it a little bit bigger than a lot of the other models out there on the market.
What good are rocks if they can produce an excellent sound? Due to the fact that these are wireless and are connected to your phone via Bluetooth, the sound just won’t be as powerful as the models that are wired and connect to a receiver. With that in mind, they are available in a 5-watt model, and a 10 watt model at an additional cost. They work from a 33-foot radius from the source of your phone, and one battery charge will last about 10 hours on a full charge.
The exterior is made of waterproof materials, so they are perfect keep near the pool or on the patio, and will be able to withstand summer rains and cooler nights. Due to the fact that it runs off of a battery, it may be in your best interest to take them inside when the snow starts to fly to product the life cycles of these rocks.
As with anything Bluetooth, they are a little bit more expensive than their wired counterparts. The cost of these is a little bit less than the other rocks on this list, but the downside is that it only comes in a pack of 2 instead of 4. However, if you really don’t want to wrestle with wires and the added cost of a receiver- these are well worth the price.
If you are in the market for a pair of musical rocks to really bring your patio or poolside to life, these are a great investment, especially if you are not one that is very tech savvy and confused about hooking up and organizing wires. Simply charge, sync, and start dancing.
- No need for a receiver
- Looks like a rock
- Not very powerful
- Needs to be recharged
- Should be brought inside for the winter
This model comes in a pack of 2 and is offered in both black and white colors. The back has a bracketing system that makes it simple to affix just about anywhere and swivels to adjust the location of the sound to accommodate your patio. It has the traditional squat and boxy shape that looks just like something that you would equip to your home stereo system in your inside home theater.
The sound is the name of the game when it comes to this set. It sports a ‘90 degree by 90-degree Tractrix® Horn’ system to ensure that when the volume goes up, the crystal clear sound doesn’t go right out the proverbial window. It is capable of reaching sounds up to 95 decibels- which is about the same as a live jazz concert or a nightclub. When the sun goes down, you will really be able to transform your patio into something exciting with this set.
With a set this powerful, it would be a real shame if the weather affected all of the interior components. That’s why it comes with a rust-proof aluminum grill (which can be a real problem with products like this), and a cabinet made from UV resistant ABS. It also should be noted that the cabinet is able to be painted to match your color theme to your house a patio and it will not affect the weather resistance.
You might want to be sitting down for this. A set of two will cost you almost triple of what some of the other higher end options sell for- such as Polk Audio and Yamaha. If you are a serious audiophile that must have the best sound whether you are indoors or outdoors- this unit will be well worth the extremely padded price tag that even costs more than Bose.
If you are in the market for something that will make your patio rival what most consumers have set up on the inside of their houses in their home theaters- this is an excellent option if you are willing to dish out the painful amount of money it takes to bring these home.
- Highest quality sound
- Easy to mount
- Swivels when mounted
- Extremely expensive
- Some find the bass is too boomy
PYLE PLMR24 200W
This unit comes with 4 speakers that only come in white, and sport that classic short and boxy design that looks like what you might have in your home theater inside. They are a snap to mount and are able to be swiveled to point them in the direction of your patio for a fuller and rich sound.
What makes this unit unique is that not only does it come with speakers, but it also comes with the necessary wires and receiver that you will need to get everything up and running in one go. The receiver even comes with a remote so that you can adjust the sound with just the touch of a button in the middle of the party. It also has a radio built right into the receiver so you don’t have to fiddle with any external devices to listen to your favorite music.
These are made from a heavy duty ASB cabinets that are resilient to many weather conditions so you don’t have to worry about the status of your components when it gets rainy, or when the hot summer sun really beats down on it. The grills are also made from a rustproof aluminum so you don’t have to worry about rust affecting the quality of sound.
While it is a little bit more expensive than the Polk Audio gear- you have to keep in mind of what all you are getting. This unit not only comes with 4 units instead of 2, and it also comes with the receiver and all of the mounting tools and wires that you will need to get set up right out of the box. If you are new to this and do not even know where to start- this box will get you set up quickly and easily without needing to take extra trips to the store.
If you are in the market for something that is easy to set up and gives you all of the things that you will need to craft a great soundscape at your next summer party- you will not be disappointed with this model.
- Comes with a receiver
- Weather resistant
- Radio has bad reception
- There is no power button on the remote
Kicker 11 KB6000W
The design of these is the typical boxy and squat shape that you would probably find on your indoor theater. They are really easy to mount, and once mounted they are able to swivel to point to where you want the sound to go. They come in a pack of 2 and are only available in a muted white.
These are 2-way and have a maximum output of 150 watts with an RMS power of 75 watts. Some past users have found that the output was a little muted, so they felt the need to add a subwoofer to maximize sound output and balance.
Design to be used on boats- these can really take quite a beating in rough and rainy weather condition. The grills are made aluminum and although Kicker makes no claims that they are rust proof, many users that had had them for multiple seasons have found no signs of any rust.
The cost of these runs par for the course. They will likely set you back about the same amount of many of the others out there. If you want to get a good quality pair that has great output and will last you multiple seasons- it is well worth the slightly higher price tag.
If you are in the market for something that is easy to install, is durable, and has an excellent output- these are well worth the money.
- Good output
- Easy to install
- Some users find that they stopped working only after one season
The Criteria We Looked At
The goal when selecting units that are used outside is that they are durable enough to last more than one season- because all of this equipment can become really expensive. The last thing that you want to have to do it to replace your unit after every rough winter. We liked to select models that had rust proof grills that were able to be subjected to direct rain. A lot of times, when the grills begin to rust they not only look bad, but the rust can also affect the quality of sound that is produced- and that’s just no good. Products that also used cabinets that are coated in UV resin is great if they are subject to direct sunlight because not everyone has a nice covered patio area, or they like to mount them around their pools. Cabinets that have silicone on the inside are also great because silicon is great at wicking away moisture and retaining heat, or keeping it cool in the summer.
Prices can go from zero to broke in a matter of minutes when dealing with audio equipment. While we wanted to make sure that we found the best quality units out there that would last you many years, we also wanted to ensure that you still had enough money for hot dogs this summer. Our top pick wasn’t the most expensive, but it was still offered by a trusted company that has a long line of satisfied customers behind their products. Companies like Bose use similar components, but their designs are a little bit sleeker and modern and therefore come at a higher price point. We don’t know how deep down the rabbit hole you are at investing money into audio equipment, so we made sure to select products for the newbies as well as the seasoned audiophiles.
You have no doubt put a lot of time, money, and energy sculpting your backyard to be a place that you can go to relax and unwind after a long day at work, or to be a place you can gather up all of your favorite people and eat burgers on hot summer nights. We wanted to make sure that we selected models that looked sharp and sleek and would blend right in with the look that you are going for. We loved the models that were shaped like rocks because they give you the sound that you want without the look of audio equipment in your lovely and natural backyard. The only downside about the models that are shaped like rocks is they often don’t have the same sound quality as some of the others. Take into consideration what is more important to you before taking the plunge.
This is a given: we had to select models that had a really good sound. Wattage and decibel levels were something that we kept an eye on. If it didn’t have a high enough wattage, but a high decibel level, we knew that the sound coming from it wouldn’t be very clear. You want to have a model that can really rock, but that didn’t crack and pop as the volume increases. Popping audio is a quick way to send all of your party guests home. We also wanted to make sure that is had enough kilohertz. Anything under 20 would be considered insufficient, and anything over 20 is overkill and not necessary. When searching for the perfect units, keep an eye on the magic number of 20.
No one likes and long an arduous installation project. The goal of your backyard is to make you feel relaxed and comfortable- you don’t want to be tangled in wires in your happy place, and we kept that in mind. We loved units that came with their own cables because that means one less purchase that you will have to make. We also made sure to add Bluetooth options for those that simply do not want to wrestle with wires and receivers, and can be synced right to their smartphones.
Other Things to Consider
Take into consideration your limitations. People spend years and years researching what components and angles produce the best sounds. If you are just starting out, take it slow and do your research. It’s easy to get bogged down in the weeds of watts and kilohertz and decibels to the point you no longer know where up is. If you really feel like organizing wires and subwoofers and receivers is completely out of your depth- or you simply just don’t want to take the time to set it up- there is always the option to take the Bluetooth and wireless path. Keep in mind, however, that the sound quality might be as powerful as some of the wired options, and you will have to deal with charging batteries, or batteries dying in the middle of a summer party.
One of the most important pieces of advice that we can give to you involves your neighbors. If you want to really rock out on a Saturday night with some great tunes and grill up some hot dogs, a good way to keep on friendly and happy terms with your lovely neighbors is to be sure to invite them over to keep things on the up and up!
Q: Can I leave them out in the rain?
Most units out there on the market are designed to be able to be exposed to the rain without affecting the sound quality or the life of the unit. With that being said, a lot of users tend to take a few extra steps to ensure that they last as long as possible because a lot of them do not run cheap. A good way to prolong the life of your setup is to place little covers over each unit to protect them from the rain. While it isn’t necessary, and many companies claim this step isn’t necessary- you would be hard pressed to
Q: We have really harsh winters where I am from. Can I leave them outside all winter?
The Bose model goes so far as to say their models can withstand temperatures as low as -40 degrees and as high as 158 degrees, and many others follow suit in such claims. Past users of these products have left them outside all winter and had no problem firing them up the following spring. However, we always like to err on the side of caution. While some users like to leave them out all winter- if you have any hesitation about the climate where you live, it’s better safe than sorry.
Q: Do I need to buy a receiver?
If you plan on buying a set that has wires then yes- you will need to buy an additional receiver. A receiver acts as the main base that all of the other units plug into, and it is where you can control the volume as well as the balance of treble and bass. A receiver is also where you would plug in a subwoofer if you decided to pick one of those up as well. However, if you plan on getting wireless models, there will be no need to pick up an extra receiver because your smartphone will act as the receiver. This way of functioning has its limitations, of course, but it is far easier to manage and you will not have to spend time placing and organizing wires.
Q: Should I buy a subwoofer?
That depends- how crazy do you plan on getting this summer? If your intentions are to play a little Neil Diamond as background music while spending a nice evening in with your family, the addition of a subwoofer is probably not needed. However, if you plan on playing any music that eats of a lot of basses, the addition of a subwoofer will make the sound richer and you won’t run the risk of the sound becoming too tinny.
If you plan on using them to play movies in your backyard, you also might find the need to invest in a subwoofer. However, you can get a pretty good sound without the need of one, so the addition of one is only if you are really starting to get serious about your outdoor sound.
Q: Can I hook them up to a projector?
Absolutely! One of the best ways to use these is to gather up all of your friends and family on a weekend for a movie night once the sun goes down. The way you can make this happen is you will need to buy a projector that the movie will play from. There will be a plug at the back of the projector that will hook up to your receiver, and you can play the audio from the project through your patio audio set up.
If you are using wireless models, it’s important that you select a projector that also has a wireless setup and can connect to your audio setup through Bluetooth. Once you have the projector set up to the audio equipment, simply hang a white bed sheet against your house and let the movie begin. If you want to get super fancy, you could even buy a special screen that is designed especially for playing movies outside, and they typically won’t set you back that much money. With a good sound system in your backyard, the possibilities are seemingly endless on ways to have fun this summer.