How Do Outdoor Wireless Speakers Work?

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With the advances in technology that have occurred over the past 20 or so years, some of the things we take for granted these days would have seemed like science fiction only a couple of decades ago. One area where it has certainly had a huge impact is with regards to music and the many ways we can now listen to and enjoy it.

Specifically, the advances in wireless technology mean that, while cables and wires still have their uses, they are no longer necessary, which is great news if you wish to listen to music while outdoors in your garden or yard. You certainly could listen via your mobile device but better still is the ability to set up wireless speakers so that you, and any guests you may have, can listen to whatever music you desire.

Outdoor wireless speakers are likely to be based on one of two technologies, and they are Bluetooth and Wi-Fi. Each of them has its advantages and disadvantages, so we’ll examine those first so that you might understand them better, plus be more able to decide which of the two you would prefer.

Bluetooth has been around for many years, and it is a technology that is constantly being updated and improved. You may recall the earliest days of Bluetooth where you would see individuals walking around with what looked like a dinosaur claw in their ear. Those earpieces have got smaller, but  Bluetooth is still the means by which they operate wirelessly.

However, it is not just earpieces which use Bluetooth, and the fact is that the vast majority of wireless speakers, and indeed other wirelessly connected devices depend on it. This means that when you are looking for wireless speakers for use outdoors, most of them are going to be Bluetooth.

This brings us to its first advantage and the fact that Bluetooth outdoor wireless speakers can be used with a huge range of different devices with regards to the source from which you are going to play your music. This could be your PC, laptop, tablet, or cellphone or it could be a music player that you can connect a Bluetooth transmitter to, via a USB connection, for example.

Another advantage that Bluetooth speakers have over Wi-Fi ones is that because there is such a large number of manufacturers making them, you will find that the price you have to pay is likely to be lower.

Connecting your music source to your Bluetooth speakers is very simple, and it can be done in less than a minute. With the Bluetooth function of both devices active, they should find each other’s signals, and then you simply confirm the connection or ‘pairing’ as it is called. For security, you can set up a unique four-digit number so that no one else can connect to your devices.

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One disadvantage of Bluetooth which needs to be mentioned, especially if you plan to use it for playing music outdoors, is that it normally has range of no more than 30 feet. This might limit where you can position your wireless speaker as it needs to be within that distance in order to connect to your music device.

Wi-Fi is a technology that you will be aware of with regards to connecting devices wirelessly in order to access the internet, whether at home, or when in public areas, such as restaurants, for example. However, it can also be used for wireless speakers, and that includes those suitable for outdoor use.

As with Bluetooth, Wi-Fi speakers have their pros and cons, and if you are working to a limited budget the first con to alert to is that Wi-Fi speakers tend to be pricier than Bluetooth ones.

Another possible issue is that you are limited by the bandwidth of your Wi-Fi system, and if others are using it to access the internet or download at the same time as you are playing music, it can diminish the quality of the audio.

There are advantages though, with the biggest one for many being you can use Wi-Fi to play music through multiple speakers at once, whereas with Bluetooth you can only connect one speaker at a time. This will be crucial if you wish to set up two or more speakers to play music in a larger outdoor area.

The outdoor area brings us to another advantage of Wi-Fi, and that is that it has a greater range than Bluetooth, which will be important if you are setting up your speakers in a large garden. With Wi-Fi speakers the range can be anything between 100 and 150 feet, which compared to Bluetooth’s 30 feet, is a huge difference.

To set up outdoor wireless speakers it will normally involve downloading the appropriate app and then setting that up so that the device playing the music can connect to the speakers. As with most Wi-Fi setups, this will require a network ID and a password, so it is slightly more complicated than Bluetooth, but not so much that it can’t be connected within a minute or two.

Whether you choose Bluetooth or Wi-Fi wireless speakers, there are some factors that apply to both, with the first being that you need to consider very carefully where you are going to position them.

Even though most outdoor speakers are likely to be waterproof, if you plan to keep them permanently outdoors, rather than take them indoors each time, you should still ensure they are well protected from the elements. You also want them positioned so that they are not likely to become a trip hazard if you have them on the ground.


Finally, the advances in technology mentioned earlier now mean that voice recognition is something that is becoming more widespread, and this includes being able to select tracks, or increase and decrease volume by simply telling your device to do so, assuming it is close by. 

Voice recognition is not dependent on the types of wireless speakers you have but rather will be related to the device playing the music so it should not limit your choice of outdoor wireless speaker.

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