Many people have elaborate home theater systems or stereo systems in their homes, but they have to use an old, portable stereo with an extension cord in order to get any music outside their homes. An outdoor speaker system can give you the type of sound quality you want at your pool party or backyard barbecue. These outdoor audio fixtures are specially designed to be resistant to water, heat and the other elements of nature. They come in all shapes and sizes. Some can be permanently fixed to a space, while others are small enough to take around, yet powerful enough to deliver quality sound.
When we assembled our list of 10 outdoor speaker providers, we look for brands that offer versatility. In our lineup, there is something for everyone -- so you can see, at a glance, which outdoor speaker system be fits your needs. You will see our standouts for high-end, all-weather and aesthetically appealing speakers in this article. For more, read the individual product write-ups in this buying guide, or read our electronics articles here.
Best High-End Speakers
Bose has made a name for itself as the go-to luxury-speaker company. This company offers outdoor speakers at a range of prices, with costs starting in the low hundreds and reaching thousands of dollars. The company employs engineers who constantly work to deliver the best sound quality through premium devices.
Bose views sound as an investment and encourages you to do the same. Though its prices might seem daunting, if you spend a lot of time outside and value the best sound, then Bose is a good choice for you. If a complete Bose sound system is not an option for you, then Bose offers other outdoor solutions. Its wireless outdoor speakers are small and portable, yet they can transmit audio over a substantial area. Furthermore, these small speakers can play for up to eight hours on one charge, so you do not have to worry about the party being cut short when the speakers die.
Bose offers the best line of outdoor speakers with unmatched sound and quality devices. Any outdoor device from this brand is the best choice if you want a luxury brand for your outdoor sound system.
Best All-Weather Speakers
Yamaha, a popular name in electronics, offers a range of all-weather outdoor speakers. The speakers in this outdoor line are built to last in tough conditions and so are not very stylish. Most are black or white and rectangular. The speakers come in a range of sizes, so you can choose the best fit for your space. What this company’s speakers lack in design and aesthetic, they make up for in durability and quality. Yamaha speakers are affordable and offer good sound quality.
Many of Yamaha’s outdoor speakers have waterproof terminals, so any rain, snow or other inclement weather will not damage them. The majority of its outdoor speakers also come with wall mounts, so you can permanently install your speakers on your outdoor patio without worrying about them coming loose. If your patio is exposed to the elements, Yamaha is a good choice.
Yamaha offers wall-mountable outdoor speakers for your backyard or patio. You won't have to crack open your window, carry speakers from place to place, or crank up your surround sound system to get quality sound outside. These outdoor speakers can produce audio that spreads across your yard instead of getting lost in the open air. In addition, the all-weather design of the speakers means that they can endure the elements.
Most Stylish Speakers
If the look of your speakers is important to you, you won’t want to install a boxy outdoor sound system. TIC offers a line of outdoor speakers in all shapes and sizes. These speakers include ones with the look of stainless steel, as well as covers resembling terracotta pots and even rocks.
This company has all-weather outdoor loudspeakers that you can install on your patio and mount on your wall. It also offers smaller speakers that you can take anywhere. Even though TIC outdoor speakers have a sleek look, they are still built to withstand some water damage. The rock speakers are waterproof and designed to blend into any space. You can place them throughout your garden to deliver quality sound without interrupting the look and feel of a natural environment.
With a variety of looks and covers that are designed to blend into your outdoor spaces, TIC is a good choice for a sound system that fits with the design of your patio or garden
TIC may not be a household name, but it has been making outdoor audio products since the 1970s. While many companies offer both indoor and outdoor speakers, TIC only offers outdoor speakers. This means it focuses its whole business on delivering the best outdoor sound for many different kinds of spaces. TIC speakers are popular in restaurants, theme parks and other outdoor spaces. The company also offers a line of speakers for the home, so you can create a sound system in your garden or patio.
Picking Outdoor Speakers
Purchasing any audio equipment can be a daunting task. With outdoor speakers, you want to make sure the unit is durable but also able to produce good sound in an outdoor setting. After all, playing audio in the open air is much different from playing it in an insulated room with four walls.
The physical construction of the outdoor speaker unit has a direct effect on how much sound it can produce. However, a small speaker should still create a big sound. A well-designed speaker will keep your sound from dissipating into the air around you.
You should also consider the speaker's size and the area it is rated for. Some speakers are designed to cast sound over a large area, while others are made to concentrate sound. Make sure you know the size of your yard or outdoor space before you buy any speakers. The layout of your space will also play a role in how many speakers you need and how you should set them up throughout your yard or patio.
The speakers for your outdoor space can make or break your barbecue or backyard party. Use this buying guide to get an overview of what each brand offers in outdoor speakers to find the best fit for you.