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How to Select, Install and Connect Outdoor Speakers

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As winter gives way to the warmer days of spring and summer, it's time to think about spending more time outdoors. Whether you're working in the garden, reading on the patio or just relaxing in the shade of your favorite tree, outdoor speakers can make your time spent in the open air even more enjoyable.

This guide will help you select and install outdoor speakers in various outdoor locations. You'll find instructions about how to connect multiple speakers to a receiver, how to run wires underground outdoors and some tips to make the project easier.

Selecting Outdoor Speakers

Outdoor speakers come in a variety of sizes, shapes, types, colors and prices and all can bring your favorite music, talk radio or sports program to your outdoor oasis. Outdoor speakers can be installed under the eaves in plain sight, concealed among the flowers and shrubs in your garden or disguised to look like a tree stump, a large rock, a fountain or a garden bench. Depending on where you want to put outdoor speakers and how many, they're easy to install.

Speakers for Under the Eaves or on the Patio

Installing outdoor speakers under the eaves or a covered patio is probably the easiest method. Speaker wires can be run through an attic and the speakers are more protected and less exposed to rain and other outdoor elements. Here are step-by-step instructions about running wires to another room and how to install speakers under the eaves.

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Under $100 per pair

  • KLH 970A Outdoor speaker - BlackCompare Prices
  • Yamaha NS-AWS150 All Weather Speaker - WhiteCompare Prices
  • Pyle PDWR30B 3.5" Waterproof Speakers- BlackCompare Prices
  • Phoenix Audio LS-545 5.25" Speakers - WhiteCompare Prices
  • Dual LU53PB 3-way, 5.25" Speakers - BlackCompare Prices

$100-$200 per pair

  • Polk Audio Atrium 45 Black/WhiteCompare Prices
  • Yamaha NS-AW570 All Weather Speaker - WhiteCompare Prices
  • Infinity Outrigger 2-way Outdoor speakers - WhiteCompare Prices
  • Bose 151 Outdoor Speakers, Black/WhiteCompare Prices
  • Definitive Technology AW5500 Outdoor Speaker - Black/WhiteCompare Prices

$200-$300 per pair

  • Polk Audio Atrium 65SDI - BlackCompare Prices
  • Niles Audio OS5.3si 5" Speaker - Black/WhiteCompare Prices
  • KEF CI500AW 2-way All Weather - WhiteCompare Prices
  • Boston Acoustics Voyager 5 Speakers - BlackCompare Prices
  • Bose 151 SE Speakers - WhiteCompare Prices

$300-$500 per pair

  • Klipsch AW650 Speakers - Black/whiteCompare Prices
  • Polk Audio Atrium 60 Speakers - Black/WhiteCompare Prices
  • Axiom Audio - Multiple colorsCompare Prices
  • Pyle Pro 6.5" Fountain SpeakerCompare Prices

Outdoor Speakers for in the Garden

If you have a decorative garden you may want to consider installing speakers for listening to music while tending to your plants. Many outdoor speakers are made to look like rocks, tree stumps, even garden benches and blend in with the surroundings. You'll never know there's a speaker in the garden until you hear it play music.

Installing speakers in the garden is a little trickier than under the eaves. Some digging will be required to bury the speaker wires and it may be necessary to route wire around or beneath obstacles, such as concrete walkways or raised garden beds. Here is a step-by-step guide to installing speakers in the garden

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Outdoor Speakers In-Ground

Another way to enjoy music in a garden is by installing in-ground speakers. The advantages of this type of speaker are that they are large enough to produce good sound but are buried in the soil so only the top of the speaker can be seen. Here is a step-by-step guide to installing speakers in-ground

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Outdoor Subwoofers

Serious music lovers install an outdoor subwoofer for a rich, full sound quality. Just like a subwoofer for indoors, an outdoor sub adds deep bass that is usually lacking in small outdoor speakers. An outdoor subwoofer can also be concealed so it’s hardly noticeable in the garden.

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Tips for Installing Outdoor Speakers

How to Connect Outdoor Speakers to a Receiver or Amplifier

After installing outdoor speakers and running wires from the receiver or amp, you need to connect the wires to the Speaker B terminal of the receiver or to a speaker switcher. A speaker switcher with impedance matching is required if you are installing more than two speakers to the Speaker B output on the receiver in order to maintain the correct impedance. Additional speakers without a switcher will reduce the impedance and could damage the receiver. Purchase a switcher with independent volume controls if you want to control the volume of the outdoor speakers separately from the rest of the system.

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