- Outdoor speakers are designed to withstand exposure to the elements, such as harsh sunlight, water, and high temperatures.
- Outdoor speakers can present dangers such as trip hazards from wires.
- Outdoor speakers may not produce as much bass as indoor systems due to their compact designs.
- Alternatives to outdoor speakers include Bluetooth speakers, headphones or earbuds, soundbars, and protective speaker cases.
- Despite the potential drawbacks, outdoor speakers can still be a great choice for their aesthetic appeal and party vibe.
As summer hits its peak and the weather becomes positively scorching, many of us are opting to kick back by the pool with our friends and family, rather than roasting in the movie room. Although you might have a killer indoor sound system setup, this won’t help much if you’re relaxing in the backyard. Everyone has a different way to relax, but sitting in silence in the garden isn’t a very popular one. Naturally, you may consider a set of new outdoor speakers as the solution to your problems. But setting up the perfect outdoor sound system is by no means an easy feat. There are a lot of things to think about before adding some outdoor speakers to your basket. Before we get into the reasons to avoid buying new outdoor speakers, let’s go over what makes them different from typical speakers.
Background Info on Outdoor Speakers
As you can probably guess from the name, outdoor speakers are designed specifically to be used in outdoor spaces as opposed to indoors. To this end, they tend to be more robust than typical speakers and are intended to withstand exposure to the elements, i.e., harsh sunlight, water, and high temperatures. There are many kinds of outdoor speakers, from those that resemble natural rocks or light fixtures to wall-mounted or wireless speakers. Outdoor speakers are designed to cover larger spaces than indoor systems, and can’t be faulted for their durability.
5 Reasons to Avoid New Outdoor Speakers
Despite their unique benefits, outdoor speakers aren’t a magic bullet or a no-brainer purchase. Next, we’ll get into the reasons why you might want to avoid clicking the buy button just yet.
May Get Damaged
Although outdoor speakers are much more sturdy than indoor speakers (which you should never use in place of outdoor speakers), damage can still happen. This is especially true if you’re using a relatively cheap set of speakers that are not from a reputable brand. Fortunately, there’s a lot you can do to protect your speakers from the elements. You can wall-mount them with an overhang for protection, and cover them when not in use. However, most speakers can still incur damage, particularly in extreme weather. And, as always, a careless adult, or basically any child, could accidentally bump into them or knock them over. It’s sensible to check the brand’s reputation and warranty, as well as think realistically about local weather conditions, before purchasing.
Can Be Dangerous
Even if your outdoor speakers sound great and are well-protected, they can still present dangers that you may not have thought of. If you haven’t opted for a wireless system, you’ll likely have a bunch of wires to contend with. And if you don’t bury these effectively, they can be a significant trip hazard. This is especially true for any young kids frolicking in the backyard (or an adult who’s had a few drinks). There’s no quicker way to ruin a summer party than having to dial for an ambulance.
The great thing about a thumping set of indoor speakers is that they essentially drown out the entire world around them. You probably won’t even hear your neighbor banging on the wall, asking you to turn the volume down. The situation’s a little different with outdoor speakers, however. You’ve got to deal with a lot of ambient noise outside. From noisy street traffic, dogs, and birds, to your neighbor’s own raucous party or incessant lawn mowing, there are a lot of ways that the outdoors can disrupt your peace. Even without these, you may live in an area where there are noise curfews outside of certain hours. Therefore, this is definitely something to keep in mind. In addition, if you don’t use the correct wire gauge, you may experience static. And this is not something you want during your summer hangout.
Expensive and Complicated Setup
It’s safe to say that no top-of-the-range speaker system is too cheap. But outdoor speakers can give small fortunes a whole new meaning. The speakers themselves tend to be more costly than their indoor alternatives, especially if you want a high-end speaker that will withstand the elements for a long time. The price goes up even more, however, when you consider the additional components required. You’ll likely want to include a subwoofer as standard. However, you may also need an A/V receiver if you’re going for a passive setup. What’s more, if you want to mount your speakers and not have to run inside every time you want to change a track, good-quality brackets and a weatherproof control unit are must-haves.
Unsurprisingly, setting all of this up can be quite the headache, especially for someone who isn’t tech-savvy. Therefore, you could easily add in the cost of hiring a professional to install all of this for you if you want to make sure your system is safe, secure, and performing as well as it can. It’s a good idea to consider how often you’re really going to use your outdoor speakers. This will determine whether the substantial investment is worth it.
Bass Can Be Underwhelming
The ugly truth about outdoor speakers is that they just won’t ever produce as much chest-thumping bass as a high-end indoor system, including subwoofers. Even if you do add a subwoofer to your outdoor system, it won’t perform at the same level. This is partly because there aren’t as many walls for the bass to bounce off of. But it’s also due to the nature of outdoor speakers themselves. Since they’re designed to work in much larger spaces, they tend to have more compact designs. This reduces the amount of bass produced. They often prioritize durability over performance as well, which leads to less hard-hitting bass. Even if you could manage to pump out the bass, you still have your neighbors and pedestrians to consider, who probably won’t look too kindly at their house or the pavement shaking.
Alternatives to Outdoor Speakers
If you’re unsure whether outdoor speakers are a good choice for you, there are some alternatives to think about. Let’s explore these next.
Although you won’t get the same powerful performance from a Bluetooth speaker, this is a great choice, especially if the weather isn’t particularly harsh or wet. Most Bluetooth speakers are wireless and lightweight, with rechargeable batteries, meaning you can maneuver them around your space with ease, taking the party with you. Setup couldn’t be simpler and is usually a case of going into the Bluetooth settings on your computer or smartphone and hitting the pair button.
We love the Pulse range from JBL for its crisp sound, deep bass, and long-lasting battery life. But this speaker truly shines when it comes to having a get-together. The Pulse has an amazing 360-degree light feature that can be customized to your liking via the JBL Connect app. And you can even pair up to a hundred JBL speakers together to create your very own portable sound system. It’s fantastic that these speakers are dust and water-resistant too, so there’s no need to rush inside once a rain cloud passes over the backyard.
Headphones or Earbuds
This option isn’t as exciting or party-prepared as the alternatives, but it’s more than appropriate for a private chill-out. Most modern earbuds are both wireless and water-resistant, so you can kick back and recharge, without literally having to recharge. Noise-canceling technology is also a common feature of headphones and earbuds these days, so you can relax in peace without someone bothering you. While the sound isn’t going to dominate the space, a well-fitting pair of good-quality earbuds will win over a poorly setup outdoor speaker any day of the week.
There are a variety of earbuds out there to suit all budgets, but a trusty set of Galaxy Pro 2s from Samsung will never steer you wrong. Just be sure to use the correct earbud tip size for your ear in order to ensure the most optimal listening experience.
- Active noise cancellation (ANC)
- Water-resistant up to 3 feet
- Easily makes voice calls with adaptive technology
- Around 8 hours of battery life with ANC on
A wireless soundbar is a great option if you already have an outdoor TV setup. You won’t get the volume or bass you would with a dedicated system, but this is an easy and cost-effective fix if you just want to provide a little extra oomph on your outdoor movie nights. Soundbars don’t have to cost the earth, but be sure to go for one that’s wireless, has Bluetooth compatibility, and has adjustable bass.
This budget-friendly option from BESTISAN is simple to set up and will make sure you and your friends aren’t scratching your heads trying to understand what the actors are talking about.
Protective Speaker Cases
This isn’t the sexiest option but can do very well in a pinch, especially if you have a high-end indoor speaker that you love dearly. Simply pop your speaker in a waterproof case and rest easy, knowing that a spontaneous drizzle won’t destroy your favorite gadget. Of course, it’d be ideal to buy a case specifically designed for your brand of speaker. But if you’re just using it for an outdoor get-together, this isn’t as crucial. As long as your speaker fits inside the case, it will be protected from the elements.
- Size: 13.6*7.9*8.9 inches (H*W*D)
- Provides protection from water, sand, and sun
- Features double stitching for extra durability
- Includes a storage bag for your speaker cover
Reasons You May Still Want to Purchase an Outdoor Speaker
Even though we’ve covered the potential fallbacks of buying a new outdoor speaker, their aesthetic appeal and party vibe can’t be denied. If you’re savvy enough to set your speakers up or can afford to pay someone else to do it, there’s a lot to love about outdoor speakers. And as long as you are meticulous about buying from a trusted brand, the risk of damage should be minimal. Take care of your speakers, and they’ll take care of your next party.
- Two way speaker design
- UV resistant
- Choose either a stone or granite finish
- Weighs 13lb
|Reasons to Avoid New Outdoor Speakers||Explanation|
|May be damaged||Outdoor speakers, especially cheaper ones, can still be damaged by extreme weather or accidents. It’s important to consider the brand’s reputation and warranty, as well as local weather conditions, before purchasing.|
|Can be dangerous||If not set up properly, outdoor speakers can present trip hazards due to wires. This is especially true if there are children or adults who may not be paying attention to where they’re walking.|
|Potential interference||Outdoor speakers have to compete with a lot of ambient noise, from traffic to neighbors. There may also be noise curfews to consider. Additionally, incorrect wire gauge can lead to static.|
|Expensive and complicated setup||Outdoor speakers can be more costly than indoor ones, especially when considering additional components like subwoofers and A/V receivers. The setup can also be complicated, potentially requiring professional installation.|
|Bass can be underwhelming||Outdoor speakers often can’t produce as much bass as indoor systems due to their compact designs and the lack of walls for the bass to bounce off of. They also have to consider noise levels for neighbors and pedestrians.|
The image featured at the top of this post is ©BobrinSKY/Shutterstock.com.