The Best Outdoor Speakers 2021
Last updated on September 13, 2021
From porch to patio to pool: today’s newest outdoor gear is flat-out awesome.
Whether a gorgeous 4K TV by the pool, beautiful music everywhere, or Wi-Fi in every corner of the yard, outdoor entertainment has come of age.
The industry’s biggest players are now duking it out, and the latest outdoor gear beats anything we had in our stores even just 5 years ago. Translated: this is a big win-win for music-lovers.
Below, World Wide Stereo technicians note the best of the best outdoor speakers by category. Each World Wide Stereo contributor not only comes to the party with serious audio credentials, but some are also serious backyard barbecuers and block partiers as well (and one has been our company badminton champ for 3 years running).
Bottom line: you wait all year for summer, so don’t blow it. Add a little sizzle to your summertime fun with the best outdoor gear for the money - engineered and tested to withstand snow, rain, salt, and temperature extremes, while not disturbing the aesthetics of your outdoor environment.
Here are our picks for the 2021 best outdoor speakers and subwoofers:
The Best Outdoor Sound System:
Sonance Garden Series Landscape Speaker System
The Best Outdoor Speakers For Patios:
Sonanace Patio Series Outdoor 4.1 Channel Audio System
The Best Portable Outdoor Speaker:
Sonos Move Smart Speaker
The Best Outdoor Speaker Under $400:
Bose Portable Home Speaker
The Best Outdoor All-Weather Speakers:
Bowers & Wilkins AM-1 2-Way Weatherproof Outdoor Speaker
We’ve made it easy to find the best deals on outdoor speakers. Our deals update daily so you don’t miss a beat, and we’ve got your back through with our price match guarantee, 60-day returns, easy financing, and free shipping. Don’t see what you want on sale? Give us at 1.866.961.7781 or chat with an expert.
Shop This Guide
1. The Best Outdoor Sound System:
The Sonance Garden Series didn’t win “best outdoor system” by a little bit, it won by miles – for lots of reasons. Landscape speaker systems provide jaw-dropping audio performance from small satellite speakers that look like premium low voltage light fixtures and below-ground subwoofers that are hidden out of sight amongst your foliage. Speakers can be directed inwards towards the property so that your music won’t bother your neighbors. But make no mistake, they rock! Completely weatherproof, no rust, no drilling into the side of your house, no ladders, and no complaints from the neighbors! Plus, armored direct-burial speaker cable keeps the speaker wire out of sight and protects it from garden tools.
The Landscape Garden System is made for outdoor areas up to 3,500 square feet and is the perfect balance of performance and simplicity in an outdoor audio system. Included: 8 satellite speakers (each disguised as a landscape light), 1 in-ground subwoofer, and the Sonance SR 2-125 amplifier – a 125-watt stereo amplifier made specifically for this setup. Step-by-step installation instructions are very easy to understand (the hardest part: digging the hole for subwoofer.) Everything daisy-chains together, and by alternating left and right channels, the system maintains excellent 2-channel stereo sound throughout its footprint. The sub can be placed (buried) anywhere along the line for best effect. Easily expand your system by adding another pack of four satellites and an additional sub.
As for the sound quality?
World Wide Stereo has been all about high-end audio since 1979, and we’ve seen and heard pretty much everything in our 40 years. As you would expect, we’re not so easily impressed at this point, save for rare exceptions – and this is definitely one of them. A long way of saying: the Sonance Garden outdoor system not only blew us away, but it’s also on par with many of today’s indoor stereos. Hats off to Sonance – this one’s out of the park, no pun intended.
- Comes With: Eight (8) satellite speakers with ground stakes, one (1) subwoofer, and SR 2-125 Amplifier (1)
- Drivers: Satellite speakers: 3 1/2" anodized aluminum cone and santoprene surround; Subwoofers: 10" dual voice coil
- Impedance: Satellite Speakers: 30 ohms nominal; Subwoofer: 8 ohms nominal per voice coil
- Sensitivity: 87dB and 90dB SPL, satellite and subwoofer respectively, 2.83V/1 meter
- Power Handling: 50W minimum / 200W system. Sub: 200W
2. The Best Outdoor Speakers For Patios:
The Sonance Patio Series Landscape Speaker System is the younger brother to their Garden Series (mentioned above). Designed for outdoor areas up to 1,000 square feet (depending on property layout), this landscape audio system is made for smaller backyards (and/or patios - hence the name). Like the Garden series, this system is compatible with Sonance's 19" stake, tree mount and surface mount accessories and is also expandable. Add another pack of four satellite speakers and an extra sub for an impressive 8.2 configuration.
- Drivers: 3.5” (98mm) Anodized aluminum cone & Santoprene™ surround
- Impedance: 8 ohms nominal
- Sensitivity: 85dB @ 2.83V / 1m
- Power Handling: 50W minimum / 150W maximum
3. The Best Portable Outdoor Speaker:
Finally: there’s a Sonos portable Bluetooth speaker on the market, the Sonos Move – and it’s everything you’d expect from the world’s #1 wireless audio company according to CEPro magazine. With both Wi-Fi and Bluetooth onboard, the Sonos Move is extremely versatile and can be used as a stand-alone speaker you can take anywhere, inside or out, or add it to an existing networked speaker system. Either way, the Move gets it right.
Like everything Sonos, the Move is “Apple-esque.” It’s attractive, solid (even heavy for its size), smart, and intuitive. The Move sits neatly in its charging base or can be charged via USB. Music lovers will love that you can create true stereo with a pair of Moves and/or add the Move to your existing Sonos network. With AirPlay, you can stream pretty much everything, whether via Youtube, Netflix, HBO GO, or any playlist from any smartphone or tablet. What’s more, the Move is bi-lingual, so simple voice commands get everything done with Amazon’s Alexa.
Who knows why it took Sonos so long to enter the Bluetooth speaker market, but the Move’s sound quality is pure Sonos – rich, vibrant, remarkable clarity – and sure to be yet another Sonos best-seller in spite of its higher price tag.
What else? Check out our video review of the Sonos Move, right here.
4. The Best Outdoor Speaker Under $400:
One sure way to separate the men from the boys when it comes to portable wireless speakers: Cue up the A Capella bass harmony at the beginning of Bruno Mars “Uptown Funk” and turn it up – WAY up. We did just that with the Bose Portable Home speaker, a smart speaker Bose claims is “best at bass,” and yeah – we’re believers. At this price point, Bose crushes the competition when it comes to powerful bass in a portable package.
The Bose Portable Home speaker is an Amazon Alexa / Googe Assistant smart speaker from a company that continues to out-innovate everyone save for maybe Sonos. (Depends on who you ask.) It streams whatever you like via at-home Wi-Fi or when you leave home, it acts like any other portable Bluetooth speaker controlled via your phone or tablet. It proved excellent at hearing and executing voice commands, too – though voice commands only work when connected by Wi-Fi, not Bluetooth. As for sound quality, it’s exactly what we’ve come to expect from Bose: powerful, and remarkably crisp and clear.
With the nifty little handle on top, the Bose Portable doesn’t exactly hide its rugged portable-ness. All the controls are on top, and it comes with a USB-C cord for charging the battery, though Bose also offers a charging cradle in the $30 range. Add the cradle, and the Bose Portable begins to approach the Sonos Move with respect to price. Tough choice, for sure.
5. The Best Outdoor All-Weather Speakers:
Bowers & Wilkins of Worthing, South England – trusted and embraced by legendary studios like Abbey Road and considered by many the world’s finest loudspeaker maker for over 50 years, is our unanimous choice for “best all-weather outdoor speaker.” The press calls Bowers & Wilkins' AM-1 “the most durable loudspeaker B&W has ever made, achieved without compromising power or sound quality the way so many lessor outdoor speakers do.”
Inside the AM-1: a 2-way design with an inverted drive unit and a 25 mm aluminum-dome tweeter mounted below (rather than above) its 5-inch glass-fiber bass/midrange driver. This configuration ensures the AM-1 provides optimal dispersion of sound when mounted high on a wall or ceiling, where best-case scenario, it belongs. On the rear of the AM-1, an auxiliary bass radiator (ABR) adds exceptional bass for a speaker this size. The combination – B&W’s unique architecture and high-end drive units add up to seriously great sound, particularly when it comes to more intricate or nuanced music. (Mozart. The Roots. Beck. Miles. Etc.)
The AM-1’s weatherproof housing is sealed from the elements, mounting is easy, and recommended amplifier power = 20 W to 100 W into 8 ohms. Our opinion: Bowers & Wilkins' AM-1’s also qualify as awesome indoor speakers too, whether for stereo or home theater.
- Colors: Available in black or white
- Drivers: One (1) 1” aluminum dome high-frequency and One (1) 5” glassfibre cone bass/midrange
- Impedance: 8 ohms
- Sensitivity: 86 dB (2.83v/1m)
- Power Handling: Recommended amplifier power: 20W - 100W int 8ohms on unclipped program power
Still not sure? We got this.
If you're still not sure which outdoor speaker or system is the best for you, give us a call or send us an email. Tell us about your ideal outdoor system, and we’d be more than happy to help you pick the ideal outdoor gear for you.
One more thing:
Once you pick out your outdoor speakers and/or sound system, a last word of advice: buy it from a trusted dealer, and the more experience / the longer the track record, the better. A good dealer will take care of you in the event anything happens. Until then, check out our recent “Take It Outside Event” recap at our “Fun Reads” blog, and discover how easy (and affordable) it can be to bring your movies, music, and Wi-Fi outside this summer.
Speaking of trusted dealers...
World Wide Stereo is home to some 90+ industry-leading audio/video professionals who love what they do, and talking about it, too. We opened our doors in 1979, gained a small yet diehard following, won a slew of national awards for everything from killer car audio installations to customer service, grew the business online… and today we enjoy a faithful following of like-minded TV-watching, music-listening, gear-loving defenders of fun for the whole family. Our only rule: no one leaves unhappy. We’re brutally honest when it come to this stuff. Want to know if something is as good as advertised? Even if you're shopping somewhere else? Call us or stop by one of our showrooms — we’ll give it to you straight. We love what we do, and we love sharing that love.
With us, you get our guarantee, which includes perks like free shipping, 60-day returns, and support even years after the sale — always. Hence our rule: "no one leaves unhappy." Ever.