Our Favorite Outdoor Speakers: Ryan's Picks

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So you have killer audio/video gear inside your house… but what happens when you bring the party outside? Or it’s a beautiful summer night, but the only music you have comes from the tiny speakers from your smartphone? No, that won’t do. As one of World Wide Stereo’s Sales & System Designers, one of my favorite projects to work on with clients is their outdoor entertainment setups. There's nothing like hanging outside with family and friends, and I love getting to build that "backyard oasis" for clients.

But just like with any good audio system, it all comes down to the speakers you choose. While speaking with an expert (*ahem* like myself) is the best way to figure out what works best for you and your space, here are some of my favorite weatherproof speakers to help guide you during the process.

Includes: (8) 3.5-inch speakers, (2) 8-inch in-ground subwoofers, (1) amplifier
Type: Landscape system
Best for: Small to medium-sized areas

Why I love it:

Filling a big backyard with music? This is my go-to system. (True story: Everyone in my family chipped in to get this for my dad for Father's Day!) The Sonarray SR1 landscape system comes with 1 amplifier, 8 satellite speakers, and 2 subwoofers (which are buried underground), and is designed to look like outside landscape lighting. As a result, it blends in beautifully with your backyard and/or hidden behind plants and shrubs. With plenty of speakers, you won't have to worry about loud music disturbing the neighbors — simply face the speakers towards your home to target the sound to one area.

The system will need to be hardwired to an amplifier placed inside the home. If you want to play music wirelessly from your patio or pool area, I recommend adding a music streaming player such as a Sonos Connect or Bluesound Node 2.

Shop the Sonarray SR1 Landscape System

Includes: (4) 4.5-inch speakers, (1) 8-inch in-ground subwoofer
Type: Landscape system
Best for: Small to medium-sized areas

Why I love it:

This Origin Acoustics Landscape system is smaller than the Sonarray above (4 satellite speakers and a smaller sub that is buried below ground), making it ideal if you have a smaller backyard or spend the majority of your time in one area, like the patio. Like all of the systems on this list, you'll need to connect to an amplifier — I recommend AudioControl's Rialto 600 2.1 channel amp. Even if you already have an amp to power your indoor audio system, I always recommend getting a separate device for your outdoor entertainment. (To sync everything together, a Sonos Connect does the trick!)

If you do decide to start with a small area, you can always add two additional speakers and an extra subwoofer to build off of this system.

Shop the Origin Acoustic AS 4.1 Outdoor Audio System

Features: 6.5 Inch Woofer and Horn Tweeter
Type: Architectural outdoor speaker
Best for: Medium to large-sized areas

Why I love it:

The Klipsch AW-650 reference outdoor loudspeakers are about the size of bookshelf speakers, and attach to either the outside of your home or deck. With a large tweeter and woofer behind the grill, you'll get plenty of audio coverage in medium-sized entertainment areas. If you want to bring music to an even larger area, add on a landscape audio system like the Sonarray mentioned earlier to ensure there aren't any dead zones.

A best-selling outdoor speaker, the pair comes with mounting brackets to make setup a breeze, and is available in black and white. Since the speakers don't come with an amplifier, you'll want to hardwire them to a separate amp indoors (like the Rialto 600 I mentioned earlier).

Shop Klipsch AW-650 Reference Series Outdoor Speakers

Features: 2.5 Inch Tweeter, 5.25 Inch Woofer
Type: Architectural outdoor speaker
Best for: Small to medium-sized areas

Why I love it:

If you have a smaller entertainment area that doesn't require as much audio coverage (or if you're working with a slightly tighter budget), the Bose 251 Outdoor speakers are a great alternate to the Klipsch pair above. With a smaller tweeter and woofer, you'll still get that stellar Bose sound when relaxing outside or entertaining guests. Featuring an "Articulated Array" design, these speakers are built to give you a wide sound stage that can be heard across any small area.

The Bose 251 Environmental speakers come with mounting brackets and require a dedicated amplifier.

Features: 3-inch Horn Tweeter, 6-inch woofer
Type: Rock speaker
Best for: Small to medium-sized areas

Why I love it:

Our best-selling outdoor speakers, rock speakers are great for anyone who wants to bring the music outside, but in a way that blends more naturally into the backyard. Just as the name implies, they're designed to look like rocks (available in granite and sandstone), yet still deliver that legendary Klipsch sound. Each Klipsch AWR-650-SM speaker is a two-way speaker system, with one 6-inch mid-ranger and horn tweeter. Simply place the speakers above ground and hardwire into an amplifier or receiver in your home. Add a music streaming player to the setup, and you can play music from your smartphone wherever you are.

Shop Klipsch rock speakers

In the PA / NJ / DE area? Let's talk about what we can do in your own backyard oasis. Email me today to discover the possibilities!

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