Getting the party started with Outdoor Speakers

Getting the party started with Outdoor Speakers.
Perfect with summer right around the corner.

 A warm summer breeze rustles through the trees while you kick back on the patio, sipping an ice-cold beer, putting some burgers on the grill, and watching the little ones run around the yard. The only thing missing is your favorite songs playing outside. Sure, you could crank up the kitchen stereo, but it won’t play very loud and will sound terrible outside.  Outdoor speakers would be perfect for this and any occasion you’re outside.

Our love of the great outdoors has been duly noted by audio companies, which today offer a variety of speakers created for use outside. Some are “weather-resistant,” meaning they’re best suited for installation in protected areas, while others are built to withstand harsh weather and extreme temperatures.  Let’s take a look at some options.

Good Old Fashioned Outdoor Speakers

The typical outdoor speaker resembles a bookshelf speaker and comprises a polypropylene woofer and tweeter mounted in a white molded-plastic enclosure with a plastic grille and stainless steel mounting brackets and hardware.

Speaker companies like Klipsch, Bose, and Polk sell outdoor models that fit into one or both of the categories mentioned above, so be sure to choose speakers that are appropriate for the location you have in mind. You can probably get away with less rugged speakers if you plan to mount them under the leaves or in a screened-in porch where they’ll be sheltered from direct exposure to the elements.

Power requirements and sound quality vary widely, so think about how you plan to use the speakers before making a selection. If you’re a party animal, you might consider models with horn-loaded drivers, which tend to play louder for a given power input than conventional designs. If background music is what you have in mind, then volume and sound quality won’t matter as much.

Rock ‘n Roll

Of all the outdoor speaker possibilities, the faux rock is one of the most enticing options. Many companies sell speakers that masquerade as rocks, but not all are capable of playing loud and clear – which is what you want from a speaker sitting on the ground in a landscaped area – so choose wisely.

Rock speakers are available in a wide variety of sizes and finishes, ranging from shale and sandstone to coral and granite, and some models look more convincing than others. Unless you’re handy, installing landscape speakers is a job best left to the pros, as it involves running power cables underground to an indoor amplifier.

If you’re a rock ‘n’ roller, another option to consider is the in-ground subwoofer. When the sub is installed, you’ll feel and hear the bass, but the only thing you’ll see is a periscope-like pipe that protrudes from the ground.

Regardless of the type of speaker you’re looking for, here’s one final bit of advice: Check the warranty. The length of coverage and restrictions in the fine print can be revealing.  If you have any more questions on outdoor speakers and would like a free consultation, be sure to contact the A/V pro’s at Convergence Technologies for more information on everything from speakers, security, home integration, multi-room a/v, home theaters, and more!


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