- Best Outdoor Garden Speakers Reviews
- BUYER’S GUIDE
- FINAL VERDICT
Almost everyone on the planet loves to listen to music, and with the advances in technology over the past 30 years or so, that can be done just about anywhere.
With all kinds of devices now able to play music, anywhere includes when you are out and about, even if it means you have only gone as far your back yard or garden.
While listening privately via headphones is all good and well, you can take your enjoyment up a level, and allow visitors and guests to listen too by playing your music via outdoor speakers.
In this article, we are going to assess five of the best outdoor garden speakers currently available plus we’ve included a buyer’s guide and answered the top FAQ to make the task of choosing even easier for you.
Best Outdoor Garden Speakers Reviews
Polk Audio Atrium 4 Outdoor Speakers with Powerful Bass (Pair, Black), All-Weather Durability, Broad Sound Coverage, Speed-Lock Mounting System
Polk Audio Atrium 4 All-Weather Outdoor Speaker
If you are looking for outdoor speakers for your garden that have been designed and manufactured by a US company with almost 50 years’ experience of producing such products, then you will definitely be interested in these speakers from Polk.
Polk has an exceptional reputation for creating outstanding audio speakers so let’s see if that reputation is well-founded by taking a detailed look at their Atrium 4 outdoor speakers.
Playing music is an activity that you would normally associate with summer weather, but it is not beyond reason that you might want to sit in your garden under a canopy or gazebo and listen to music too. This where having outdoor speakers that are designed for all-weather use can come into their own, such as the Atrium 4 speaker from Polk.
The great benefit of them being all-weather is that they can be installed permanently rather than being taken down every time the weather turns foul. Incidentally, it is not just poor weather that they can withstand, as they can also be left in place during very hot spells too, and thus be ready to produce excellent sounds all year round.
To install the Atrium 4 speakers is very easy thanks to their mounting bracket, which has a one-click lock to ensure they are held securely in place. The bracket allows you to install them vertically or horizontally. This can help if where you are installing them, and they can only be positioned one way round and not the other.
In terms of audio output, you have 10 to 80 watts per channel which should be sufficient for even the busiest of gatherings in your garden. This sound output comes from the 4 1/2 inch polypropylene main cone, and a 3/4 inch tweeter cone, which has a neodymium magnet and rubber surround to enhance and smooth the sounds it produces.
It’s not just the sound that is impressive, but also the styling of the Atrium 4, which is extremely pleasing on the eye. Often outdoor speakers come in a very uninspiring box shape, but these speakers have a style including curves on the front and back that wouldn’t look out of place in quality speakers designed for an indoor lounge.
The options you have in respect of the Atrium 4 is to have the speakers colored black or white, and you can also purchase them with speaker wire included for a small additional cost
What’s to like about the Polk Audio Atrium 4 All-Weather Outdoor Speaker
While sound output is the thing most people think about when considering speakers, it is the design of the Atrium 4 that we absolutely love. No boring right angles, or boxlike shape here, but instead stylish curves on the front and back to give these a look that will grace any area of your garden.
What’s not to like about the Polk Audio Atrium 4 All-Weather Outdoor Speaker
The sound quality is excellent but where it is somewhat lacking is with respect to bass levels. They are fine up to a point but when it comes to high bass levels you can detect a small amount of distortion sometimes.
- High-grade weatherproofing
- Easy to install
- Very stylish design
- Color options
- Great value for money
- Bass is lacking
Bose 251 Wall Mounted Outdoor Speakers
When it comes to products designed for listening to music and other audio, there are few names that carry as high a reputation as Bose. They are synonymous with manufacturing sound equipment of the highest quality, so in looking at outdoor speakers it seemed only right that we review one of their products, namely the ‘Bose 251 Outdoor Speaker.’
While the title might suggest that these outdoor speakers from Bose can only be used if they are fixed to a wall or fence, they are in fact portable. This means that while you might want to bolt them to an outside wall, you also have the option to simply sit them where you want, and then move them, should you decide to sit in another part of your garden, for example. This will definitely suit those who like to follow the sun through the day and adjust where they sit to catch its rays.
In terms of where they can be used, the simple fact is that in and around the home, just about anything goes. That means they can just as easily be used as indoor speakers as they can outdoor speakers. When used outdoors they can be positioned anywhere, be that next to your pool, fixed to a wall or fence, placed on a patio table, or even on your lawn should you wish.
With regards to the size of the speakers, their dimensions are 15.8 inches by 12 inches by 16.9 inches so they are a reasonable size but that doesn’t make them any less portable. Whether mounted or simply placed where you can listen to them, they look very impressive with a very modern appearance thanks to their curved design.
It should be noted that you can opt for black colored speakers instead of white, and other options include purchasing an amp to boost their output, and speaker wire if needed.
Thanks to a multi-chambered design, the bass output from the Bose 251 speakers is particularly impressive. Add to that, the fact that the sound output is a whopping 100 watts, which is not only very impressive for this size of speaker, it also produces excellent sound quality and clarity, even at higher volumes.
As the BOSE 251 is constructed from a water-resistant composite, it also means that they can withstand extremely cold weather, every bit as much as they can sweltering heat.
Given their portable design it is also reassuring to know that the casing is also very durable and thus they should be able to handle any accidental knocks or bumps. To add to their suitability for outdoor use, the brackets which are used to mount the speakers have a weather-resistant coating.
What’s to like about the Bose 251 Wall Mounted Outdoor Speakers
You may often find smaller speakers, with similar dimensions to this one struggle to produce bass at higher levels without distortion. That is certainly not the case with the Bose 251 whose bass output is a match for speakers twice its size. This will be loved by those who love to have their music booming, or when indoors if the speakers are used as part of the sound output while watching movies.
What’s not to like about the Bose 251 Wall Mounted Outdoor Speakers
While the brackets are weather-resistant and extremely secure, it feels as though Bose has missed a trick by not making them swivel horizontally. This means that when you fix these speakers to a wall using the bracket you can adjust their angle up or down in terms of the direction of sound output. Unfortunately, you cannot do the same with regard to moving the speaker left or right.
- Excellent bass sound
- 100 watt sound output
- Can be fixed or portable
- Water-resistant exterior
- Color/amp/speaker wire options
- No horizontal adjustment of bracket
Klipsch AWR-650-SM All Weather 2-way Rock Speakers
We are sure it is a pretty safe bet that these rock speakers from Klipsch are going to be the most distinctive we look at in this article. The simple reason for that is given away in their name with the fact that they are designed to look like rocks. However, speakers need to perform as well as look great so let’s see if they do.
Before we discuss the unique design of the Klipsch AWR-650-SM speakers let’s turn to something which should be even more important to those who purchase them, and that is their ability to produce sound.
These speakers go a step further than many outdoor speakers in that, instead of having just one tweeter, they have two. Each of them is 3/4 inch in diameter and basically means it can output a stereo or mono sound signal with equal clarity.
In addition to the two tweeters, this Klipsch speaker also has a dual-voice coil polymer woofer which is 6 1/2 inches in diameter. The combination of this woofer and twin tweeters means this speaker is truly two-way and means that whether you are listening to mono or stereo sounds, and regardless of the type of sounds, the output you hear will be excellent for both high and low-frequency sounds.
As for the output level, each speaker is rated 50 watts which coupled with the increased sensitivity rating which is a well-known aspect of Klipsch speakers, this could mean a doubling of the volume compared with speakers with standard sensitivity.
Now we look at their design and the fact that Klipsch has created these speakers to look like stones. Now it is true that this will not be liked by everyone and the traditionalists who want a speaker to look ‘normal.’ Nevertheless, for those who don’t mind it, the rock shape means that you can place these speakers in your garden or yard so that they blend in perfectly.
Even if you use them indoors, in most instances their rock shape will not look out of place and may even be a talking point when you have guests over. As well as the granite color, which is shown, you can also order them in sandstone which will be a better match for those gardens that have that type of colored ornaments and paving, for example.
When using them outdoors, the material they are made from will help ensure that they are protected from the elements.
First, when the weather is hot and sunny, they’re UV-resistant which is important for many reasons, not least with regards to discoloration. Obviously, this will also protect the components inside too. While they are not classed as waterproof the material is weather resistant so it does offer a level of protection should the weather turn foul.
Other important aspects of these Kirsch outdoor speakers which we must mention is there size and weight. They are 17 inches x 15 inches x 11 inches so not tiny, but still small enough not to dominate your garden. More impressive is the weight which is only 13 lbs. and given that you wish to move them between outdoor and indoor use, means, thankfully, that they can be carried easily.
What’s to like about the Klipsch AWR-650-SM All Weather 2-way Rock Speakers
It surely has to be rock design and more specifically that the speakers are made to look as realistic as possible. Too often we see speakers supposedly made to look like rocks which are obviously fake and a blight on your garden quite frankly. That is not the case with the Klipsch AWR-650-SM which looks as authentic as it’s possible to be.
What’s not to like about the Klipsch AWR-650-SM All Weather 2-way Rock Speakers
While there is a lot to commend these speakers with respect to their sound output, if we had any criticism at all it would be that occasionally the treble sounds can be a little bit off. By that, we mean it can sound slightly harsh, which your ear will soon hear when it happens.
- Excellent mono or stereo output
- Two 3/4 inch tweeters
- Enhanced sensitivity
- Realistic rock-like design
- Outdoor or indoor use
- Sharp treble occasionally
Yamaha NS-AW150BL 2-Way Indoor/Outdoor Speakers
It is the case that some of the outdoor speakers we are reviewing come with a price tag that some of you reading this might have second thoughts about, so if that is the case then you will definitely be interested in these outdoor speakers. Their price is very low, which is all the more impressive given they are produced by Yamaha, one of the world’s most revered music and audio equipment manufacturers.
One of the first things that impressed us is the amount of ‘kit’ that Yamaha sends you when you order their NS-AW150BL speakers. It’s often the case that you find no more than a couple of mounting screws in the box, but Yamaha goes all out. As well as the speakers you also receive two brackets, two table-top stands, two L-brackets, two safety chains, two inserts, and the relevant screws.
You might be asking ‘so what?’ but the point is by supplying you with all that, Yamaha is giving you multiple options with regards to where and how you position your speakers. So, whether you simply want to set them up on a shelf indoors or want to mount them outdoors on a fence post, for example, using the supplied brackets, you have the option to do so, including setting them vertically or horizontally.
We mention using them outdoors which is obviously what we are focusing on, so let’s see how they measure up to being used in gardens. The fact is that they are suitable for outdoor use and they are classed as all-weather but that does not mean they are 100% water-resistant. In effect, it means if you want them to be mounted somewhere outdoors it is safer to do so where there is some protection from the elements such as a covered patio or gazebo.
If you plan to move these speakers back and further between indoors and outdoors you will like the fact that they each weigh only 3.7 lbs. each. Also, with dimensions of 5 3/6 inches x 10 inches x 6 inches they are also small enough to be placed or mounted just about anywhere you wish, and not look out of place, as can often happen with large and bulky speakers.
Obviously, the sound quality is paramount when considering speakers, and with the Yamaha NS-AW150BL speakers that sound comes from a 5-inch woofer and a 1/2 inch dome tweeter. Their frequency range is a respectable 55 Hz to 40kHz, their sensitivity has a maximum of 85dB, and they can handle up to 120 watts of sound output. All this means that your listening pleasure should be satisfied assuming you’re not expecting club level sound quality.
What’s to like about the ProductName
Always keen to look for the best products we can at reasonable prices, it is hard to argue that the Yamaha NS-AW150BL speakers offer anything less than fantastic value for money. They may not be top of the range in terms of their specifications, but if you are looking for low-cost speakers for use outdoors, then they fit that description perfectly.
What’s not to like about the ProductName
While they may be weather resistant, it is disappointing that these speakers are not designated as fully waterproof. While this may be one of the reasons for the excellent price, it also has a downside in that it limits the number of options for where they can be installed outdoors. They need to be protected from rain and other precipitation, so this means a covered area is the only option.
- Indoor or outdoor use
- Very lightweight
- Multiple fixing options supplied
- Excellent value for money
- Two-year warranty
- Front grill prone to coming loose
JBL Control 29AV-1 Premium Indoor/Outdoor Monitor Speaker
Our final review looks at a speaker that is produced by JBL and that brand has a long and illustrious history of manufacturing high-quality speakers and other audio equipment such as headphones and soundbars.
Unlike the others we have reviewed, this is a single speaker, which for many who are looking for outdoor speakers may be preferable if the space available is limited.
As mentioned in the introduction this product is a single speaker rather than twin speakers which our other four reviews have looked at. Now you might at first think that would make the price of this lower than the other, but it does not for good reason. JBL speakers have some of the highest specification speaker equipment available and that obviously applies to the components used to manufacture them.
What that means is many of the individual components of this speaker have characteristics that greatly exceed what you might find in most speakers. The point is, therefore, if the quality of the speakers is foremost in your consideration, then there is plenty within this speaker that you will like.
One of those components is the enclosure which is made from high-impact polystyrene which provides enhanced protection for the speaker should it be bumped or worse, dropped. It also helps to shield the speakers from interference from magnetic fields from the likes of TV screens and monitors.
The grille on the front is made from a composite material so even if used outside it should be safe from corrosion. This grille also incorporates foam to enhance the speaker’s water resistance when it is used outdoors. As further protection during outdoor use, the terminals are nickel/zinc which helps reduce the risk of them being corroded.
In terms of mounting the speaker, it comes with an ‘InvisiBall mounting system which not only makes the speaker much easier to mount, but it is extremely secure with the further benefit that this reduces the risk of the speaker being the target of thieves.
If we move inside the speaker there is an 8-inch woofer cone made from Kevlar which is known to have excellent acoustic properties, especially when it comes to reproducing bass sounds. Additionally, there is a compression driver which has 1-inch titanium diaphragm which is designed to produce optimum acoustic sounds.
Additional features that many other speakers are unlikely to offer include, and which the JBL Control 29AV-1 does, include an enhanced distribution transformer which allows for the speaker to be used with 70v/100v voltage systems and thus limits low insertion loss.
Another is the SonicGuard overload protection which ensures that the speaker’s more delicate components are protected, plus there is an internal fuse should the overload be excessive.
What’s to like about the JBL Control 29AV-1 Premium Indoor/Outdoor Monitor Speaker
It has to be said the exterior of this speaker makes it ideal for outdoor use with a number of enhancements. The main body being from polystyrene guards greatly against water ingress which is also the case with the foam which forms part of the front grille.
What’s not to like about the JBL Control 29AV-1 Premium Indoor/Outdoor Monitor Speaker
For all the enhanced components and materials that have been used to produce this speaker, it is somewhat disappointing that no thought seems to have been given to making it look an extraordinary speaker. In fact, its rectangular box shape makes it look very ordinary which does it a great disservice.
- Polystyrene enclosure
- Kevlar woofer cone
- ‘SonicGuard’ protection
- ‘InvisiBall mounting system
- Rust-resistant terminals
- Not that visually appealing
When looking to buy outdoor speakers there are some key features that you must consider and compare so that the choice you make is the right one. For that reason, we have included this short buyer’s guide which outlines and explains the main ones you should be aware of.
Audio Power and Range
Audio power and range are specifications of a speaker which relates to how much power is required to increase the sound level. You will often see this written something like this: 80dB / 1 Watt / 1 meter. What this information means is the speaker’s sound output will be 80 dB at a distance of 1 meter, when it is given 1 watt of power.
Doubling the power will produce an increase of 3dB in volume therefore the higher the specification in terms of power output the greater the maximum volume a speaker will have.
Weather Resistance and Durability
As we are looking at outdoor speakers one of the main considerations will be their ability to resist weather especially rain, hail, and snow. Some are better equipped to do so than others, and it is important that you understand the difference between waterproof and weather resistant.
If it is waterproof then the chances of any precipitation getting inside is very low, however, if a speaker is weather-resistant, it can withstand some weather, be it sunshine, or rain. But it will not be able to hold against extremes and thus will need to be protected under a cover or canopy of some kind.
If you look at the specification of each speaker, we have reviewed you will see there is a large disparity in terms of how much each speaker weighs. Obviously, the less they weigh the easier they will be to move.
Another consideration is how they are installed or mounted. Those which are freestanding can be moved whenever, however, those which require to be mounted will need to have their mounting screws or bolts undone each time.
It is the case that many outdoor speakers come with a basic mounting bolt and nothing else. However, if you would like more options then look for those that include multiple options including special mounting bars or the option to mount it both vertically and horizontally, for example.
All of the speakers we have reviewed require to be wired to their music source. In most cases, you can order them with the appropriate speaker wire for a small cost.
Where you might find differences is in the quality and type of connection that each speaker may have. You will have some speakers that have connections that screw tight and hold the speaker wire in place. Others might have simple spring-loaded terminal.
The most advanced or those that are made from materials, such as titanium which ensures it will not be subject to corrosion if the speaker is being used outdoors.
Why Use an Outdoor Speaker System?
While it is possible to take your normal indoor speakers and use them outdoors, the risks are they get damaged, or worse, completely ruined by the weather.
Proper outdoor speakers are more robust, can resist weather, and most importantly provide you the means to entertain your guests outdoors during BBQs and parties. They also give you a chance to listen to your favorite music while relaxing in the garden.
Can You Put an Indoor Speaker Outside?
It can be done but with extreme caution due to the risk of rainwater ingress at one end of the weather scale or damage from extreme heat and sunshine at the other. It might be okay for a one-off occasion to use indoor speakers, but if you wish to have the means to regularly play music outdoors in your garden, it is always advisable to use speakers that are designated for outdoor use.
What’s a Good Wattage for Outdoor Speakers?
Depending on your budget you could buy outdoor speakers rated at anything between 60 and 300 watts, although we advise that rather than your budget determining this, you go by what your actual needs are. This will be a mix of the area that you wish to cover in terms of the size of your garden, and the reasons for playing music.
In a small garden where you wish to quietly relax and listen to music, speakers of between 60 watts and 100 watts might suffice. However, for larger gardens, and where you regularly have guests for BBQs and parties, you might wish to look at speakers of at least 100 watts and upwards of 200 watts.
How Many Outdoor Speakers Do I Need?
In most scenarios, you will want to use just one or two outdoor speakers. The exception might be if you have a very large garden and wish to ensure that all parts of it can hear the music properly. In this case, three or four speakers may be needed assuming your audio source has the appropriate output connections.
How to Install Outdoor Speakers
Each speaker will come with its own mounting accessories and instructions so use and follow these, making sure than once mounted, the speaker is totally secure.
Regardless of where and how the speakers are mounted, you must ensure that the speaker wire that is run to the speaker from your audio source is secured. You can do so using wire clips or cable management wrap. Most importantly make sure the wire does not create a trip hazard anywhere.
We hope our reviews of outdoor garden speakers has helped you to get closer to making your final choice, and that our buyer’s guide and FAQs may have filled in some of the gaps in your understanding of them.
As we always do, we like to choose our top choice and this time it is the Bose 251 Wall Mounted Outdoor Speakers. They have excellent sound output, especially with regards to the bass. Their construction offers excellent weather resistance for use in your garden and also provides a level of durability that should see them producing those excellent sounds for a considerable time to come.