Bringing your music outdoors
Enjoy your music everywhere
You may not have thought about placing speakers outdoors, or maybe you have and been worried about annoying the neighbours or mixing electrical items with mother nature. These are of course valid concerns, but they shouldn’t stop you from enjoying your music outside. As we’ll see, there are plenty of ways you can enjoy your music outside as well as in.
Why have speakers outdoors?
There are some pretty good reasons for enjoying your music outside just as much as you do inside.
Make the most of your outdoor area: Outdoor speakers allow you to enjoy music, movies, and other forms of entertainment outside, making your backyard or patio a more enjoyable place to relax and entertain guests.
Increased property value: Outdoor speakers can enhance the overall look and feel of your outdoor space, which can increase the value of your property.
Flexible installation: There are a few different options available to you if you’d like to bring your music outdoors. You have choices over what sort of speakers to use and where to place them, how you’ll mount them and whether you want them do be visible or hidden.
But what sort of speakers?
It is of course possible to just move your existing speakers outside, and while this might sort of work in the short term, it’s definitely not the best solution. Indoor speakers are often heavy and difficult to move, inviting damage or injury. Also, your speaker cables will probably be too short to reach as far as you need. Most importantly, none of your indoor gear will not have any sort of weatherproofing built in.
There are other reasons why you’d look at specialist outdoor speakers beside convenience, one of the biggest being sound quality. Outdoor speakers are designed to work best in the outdoor environment and are more directional than indoor speakers. This is important because it allows you to have control over where the sound is directed. The goal is to provide music to the occupants of your outdoor area and not to your neighbours. The directional nature of outdoor speakers gives you control over where the sound does and doesn’t go.
The other obvious difference is weatherproofing. Outdoor speakers are built to withstand the elements and resist exposure to moisture and UV. Corrosion resistant materials are used for more vulnerable parts like brackets and grills so you can be confident that your speakers will enjoy a long life.
Outdoor speakers will bring versatility and offer more options with regards to installation. Mounting options are provided that would never be available for their indoor cousins, making it easy to mount speakers on walls, fences, posts and almost anywhere else. These weatherproofing and placement benefits mean that you can place speakers almost anywhere in your outdoor area, and if it’s big enough you can even split it into different zones much like you would with rooms in your home.
So what are the options if you’re enjoying an afternoon in the garden and would like to add some music?
The easiest and cheapest option is going to be a portable speaker that you can take anywhere with you. This will most likely be battery powered and connect to your phone via Bluetooth or maybe directly to a streaming service like Spotify Connect. If you’re connecting with Bluetooth then as soon as you move out of range the music stops, and if you connect directly to a streaming service then you’re relying on stable wifi coverage beyond your indoor area to keep the tunes flowing. These speakers are also going to be smaller in size and will start to struggle if you need to cover more than a small area.
There are lots of smaller speakers that fall into this category and despite the shortcomings mentioned above, can still produce reasonable sound across a smaller area.
If you prefer a more subtle approach, there are speakers that are designed to be placed at ground level and disappear into your garden. These usually follow the ‘satellite model’ with multiple smaller speakers being used instead of two larger ones like you’d typically find in an indoor system.
You can start small with this type of system using just a couple of speakers and then add more as required, restricted only by space and the amount of power your amplifier can provide. These speakers do a great job of disappearing into your garden and can leave guests wondering just where the music is coming from. Quality remains high also, with dedicated subwoofers ensuring the sound remains full and natural.
These speakers are also highly directional, meaning that you can accurately control the direction of the sound and restrict it to the boundaries of your own property. This can be a great way to ensure that your music doesn’t disturb the peace of your neighbours, allowing you to enjoy your music without worry. Furthermore, these speakers are designed to project sound in a way that maximises the audio quality, allowing you to experience the music at its fullest.
Some outdoor areas may not suit ground mounted speakers and may be better suited to higher. placement. Many outdoor speakers have mounting brackets available that make it easy to fix speakers to buildings, pergolas or other structures. This brings a lot of flexibility in placement and angles, allowing you great control of the final sound quality and dispersion.
If you have walls nearby, you have the option of adding in-wall or in-ceiling speakers or to supply your music. There are some great products in this category that are fully weather sealed and sound just as good as their indoor counterparts. Many of these are suited to areas experiencing extreme conditions including UV and salt spray with modern materials and manufacturing technology allowing for some highly durable speakers.
If you need even more options then the sky really is the limit. Speakers are available that can be hung as pendants, disguised as plant pots and integrated into your outdoor area in ways you can only imagine. It's safe to say that there's almost nowhere you can't put a speaker. Talk to us about your area and we can suggest some options that will sound great and be as hidden or exposed as you want. You should also seek some advice on the amplification requirements of an outdoor system. There could be some special requirements based on the speakers you choose and a standard Hi-Fi amp is unlikely to be the best choice
Bringing music to your outdoor space is a great way of enhancing your lifestyle. Enjoy soft background music or feel free to turn it up a notch if you’re having friends around. It’s best to talk with the experts before making a decision on a system and the Soundline team are more than happy to provide advice.