Whether you own a business and need to make announcements or you just want to update your outdoor entertainment, finding the best speakers for you can be simple if you know what you need.
To help you out, here is an easy buying guide that you can follow to help you decide on the best outdoor speaker for you as well as 7 of the best ones that you can get today.
How to choose the best speakers for outdoor use.
If you did not know, the volume of any kind of speaker is measured in decibels (dB), and most are usually anywhere from 80 to 120, which is louder than a car horn.
Of course, some speakers do not say their exact decibel range, but they almost always have their wattage written in the product description or on the box. For older, wired models, the higher the wattage, the louder they are, usually.
Wired speakers are meant to be installed permanently or semi-permanently, and they are usually installed against a wall or beam. Some require they be installed at a specific angle or against a certain material (like wood or metal).
If you are planning on getting a wired speaker or speaker set, make sure you check the product description or reviews to see if it can be installed where you want it.
Number of speakers
This can vary depending on the type of speaker (wired vs. wireless), but wired speakers usually come in packs while wireless speakers are usually sold individually.
Most wired speaker sets come in either 2, 3, 4, and/or 6 packs, and they are rarely sold individually. Although, many wired speakers usually only come in one of these sizes, and it is usually a 2-pack.
Waterproof vs Weatherproof
Since you are planning on using these outdoors, you will probably want to get a weatherproof speaker rather than a waterproof one. They are much more resilient than waterproof speakers because they are able to withstand extreme winds and temperatures that are just as harmful to the speakers.
Many of the wired speakers are weatherproof, but only a handful of the wireless ones are. However, there are many waterproof wireless speakers, but you will probably have to take them inside if it is too hot, windy, or cold in order to avoid damaging them.
As the name suggests, wired speakers are connected to whatever device you are using directly through a wire while a wireless speaker is not connected through a wire.
Wireless speakers can connect to whatever device you are using, usually a phone or a computer, through either Bluetooth or wifi; in order to connect some computers to a wireless Bluetooth speaker, you may need a special dongle that usually does not come with the speaker.
What are the advantages of an outdoor speaker?
These speakers are designed to be more durable to withstand nearly all-year-round weather conditions and be loud enough to be heard within most property lines, whether they are professional or private.
Things to look for that differentiate them.
Other than the above, speakers can come in a variety of shapes, usually big cubes or oval-shaped, and sizes, usually a few inches by a few inches. Although, there are some that are designed to be 'stealthy'; they are designed to look like common outdoor decorations like lanterns, rocks, and more.
They can also come in a variety of colors, but the older or wired models are usually only found in white, black, and other shades in between.
What is the best way to use them?
When you are placing or installing them, make sure their front is facing where you would like the sound to be the clearest; most of the older speakers' sound is very directional.
If you are mounting them for permanent or semi-permanent use, try to arrange them where they will be protected from a majority of the sunlight and possible rain/snow. Places like under an awning or overhang are the best for this kind of coverage and protection.
New models vs older models
Some people think that older speakers are much more durable than some of the newer ones, and they are probably right considering they tend to last much longer than the newer models.
However, another popular opinion is that the newer models have a much higher sound quality, and this is a fair point since many of the newer speakers can handle and support the bass' sound at high volumes.
Precautions for using them.
If you are handling any power cords or wires when you are installing the speakers, make sure that they are being plugged in and/or installed in an area where the wires or cords will not get wet since this is a safety hazard.
You should also have someone help you install any speakers that are high up to avoid dropping the speakers or falling off of the ladder/step stool that you will need to install them.
Best Outdoor Speakers
This is one of the newer models, and it is one of the most popular wireless models, too. It has a similar size and shape as a flask and comes in soft black, polar white, yellow citrus, and aquatic blue.
The battery can last for up to 8 hours on a single charge, and it is also waterproof. The biggest downside is that they are really likely to be faulty either fresh out of the box or after a few weeks, but it can be pretty easy to get them replaced.
The specs also have a thing or two since it has the common 45mm studio driver, has up to 38 OHMs, and can produce 98 dB, which is almost as loud as a vacuum cleaner and/or lawn mower. The earpads and inner headband are lightly padded and covered with a leather-like material that is a little on the cheaper side but can be comfortable.
Overall, these headphones can maintain a good sound quality for several years, but the earpads will most likely have to be replaced. Luckily, replacement pads are easy to find and can be very affordable, but actually replacing them might be the tricky part. If you have never done it before, you may want to take them to an electronics store or music shop and ask them to.
This model is one of the few stealth ones on this list; the speakers are shaped like lanterns with handles and working LED lights. This is also one of the few Bluetooth speakers that come in a 2-pack, and it is one of the newest models on this list.
Like most wireless speakers, they are waterproof, not weatherproof, but they are also dustproof, which makes them ideal for storage. They do have trouble with maintaining a connection, and they are not the longest-lasting, either.
The first older model no this list, these speakers can come in white or black and are one of the best when it comes to bass quality and clarity. Of course, being an older model, they are wired and are weatherproof.
Despite being heavier than the previous speakers, this can be pretty easy to install because of the anti-slip material. These are possibly one of the best when it comes to long-term use, too, and that is because of its quality materials that can last for up to 10 years or more if they are kept undercover from most rain, snow, and more.
This model is another older one, and like the last model, is available in white or black. This is also one of the few models that comes in 2, 4, or 6-pack bundles.
When it comes to its performance, it is one of the loudest and most powerful, but the bass is possibly the lowest-quality when it is compared to the other models on this list. Still, installing it can only take a few minutes, and it is pretty energy efficient for being an older model.
Another wired speaker, you might prefer this model if you value sound quality over volume. It comes in a 2-pack and is available in black, white, and a newer edition that comes in either grey or black.
Unfortunately, the back part of the speaker, where the mounting is, is not waterproof; meaning you will need to have it installed in a completely covered area. The upside is that if it is kept in a completely dry place and is for a smaller outdoor area, it can work well for many years.
This speaker has one of the more unique appearances due to its shape; it is rounded and square at the same time and has curves instead of edges. Unlike the last model, this speaker has more volume and decent sound quality. It only comes in a 2-pack, but it is available in white, black, and refurbished white.
One of the only downsides to this set, besides the price, is the fact that the wires plugs have a frame that takes up most of the room the wires need. If the wires that you have are a little big or bulky, you may need to work them around a little to get them to stay plugged in.
This, like the other Yamaha speaker set, can come in packs of 2, 4, or 6, but it can also come with 100 feet of speaker wire with a 2-pack if you would like. It is also available in black, but only in a 6-pack that comes with a 50-foot spool of speaker wire.
This is one of the more affordable choices, and it does have one of the best sound qualities, but it needs to be kept in a completely covered area since it seems to be the least durable than the other models on this list.
When it comes to volume, sound quality, ease of installation, choices of packs, and reliability with a connection, the last product, the Yamaha NS-AW150WH, is the one that wins. It has one of the clearest sounds, is easy to install, is one of the loudest models, and comes in multiple packs. Although, it is one of the least durable speakers.
If you are more concerned with having a speaker that is more durability than sound quality, then the Yamaha NS-AW350W is probably the better choice for you. It is just as easy to install, seems to be louder than nearly all of these speakers, and is one of the most durable and weather-resistant ones on this list, but there is very little bass for this speaker, making it not the best for entertainment.