Choosing the best outdoor speakers can be a tough task. A few years back, the consumer didn’t have too many options in choosing a quality set of outdoor speakers. But of late, this market has exploded and a number of companies have started offering a variety of models. For a consumer, it has become quite difficult choosing the right outdoor speaker system model; this short guide will perhaps help you make a better decision. loa toa 50w
First Step: Figuring Out Your Own Requirements
The first step to buying the best outdoor speakers is to figure out what you exactly need (not want; your needs and wants will most likely be mutually exclusive categories). After all, in a small house, it would make no sense to invest in an outdoor speaker system with a signal range of 400 feet. Neither would it be prudent for an occasional user to invest in a $1000 system meant for the true audiophiles.
First, take a closer look at the area within which you will be using the speakers. Larger areas will require greater power (wattage) and a longer signal transmission range. Smaller areas will do well with a smaller set of speakers.
Also determine where will the speakers be placed exactly – completely outdoors, completely indoors, or right on the porch, straddling the space between the indoors and outdoors. This will help you decide on the kind of material used in the speaker construction; a system kept completely outdoors will need to be made of stronger, more durable material.
Outdoor speakers are seldom light. Moving them from one place to another can be quite difficult. Besides, portability goes against the very idea of a set of outdoor speakers, which are meant to be kept in one place. So determining the space within which the speakers will be kept is a very important first step to buying the best outdoor speakers.
Second Step: Appearance, Construction and Technical Specifications
One important consideration when buying outdoor speakers is the amount of ‘power’ they have to offer. Since these speakers have to function in a wide open space, you need a lot of wattage. Investing in a system, installing it in your backyard only to hear a puny little sound that can barely cross half the yard can be a major disappointment.
When it comes to wattage, a general rule of the thumb is to go with as much wattage as you can afford. However, wattage can also be a misleading figure. Rather than obsessing over the absolute number of watts, ask for a demo. This will give you a much better idea of the speaker system’s ‘punch’.
Another important factor is bass. Most low quality speakers tend to do a bad job of rendering low frequencies (i.e. the bass). Your outdoor speaker system should have plenty of power in the lower frequencies; poor bass can easily ruin the listening experience. Again, I would recommend that you ask for a demo and play a bass heavy track. If the voice breaks or echoes, you know you should stay away from that model.
Appearance: Not many people care about the looks or style of the speakers. Nevertheless, try getting a set of speakers that correspond well with your backyard’s decor. Nowadays, you can get speakers in a variety of shapes and sizes. Some might be shaped like lanterns, others might be bare, while a few might be ornate. If it fits your yard (and by proxy, you and your personality!), and offers a solid performance, there is no reason to not pick it up.
Input: Perhaps most importantly, your outdoor speakers must plug in easily into your primary music system – whether it is an iPod, a laptop, or a DVD player. iPods and computers use a single pin connector, while in most cases, DVD/Blue Ray players use dual-pin/multi-pin connectors for different channels. If you plan to use different music systems, you may have to invest in a single to dual pin (or dual to single pin) converter.
Signal Transmission Range: If you are going to buy wireless outdoor speakers, the wireless signal transmission range is an important consideration. It decides how further away from the music source you can place the speakers. Don’t buy anything that has a range of less than 100 feet. Higher range allows you greater flexibility in placing the speakers, especially if you have a large yard.
Construction Material: Durability is an important consideration when picking the best outdoor speakers. Your system will have to brave harsh weather, from rain and heat to cold and snow. Choose a system that uses tough, durable materials for construction.
Third Step: Price and Accessories
Price is an obvious consideration. But don’t fall into the trap of believing that the more expensive a set of outdoor speakers, the better the performance. Many times, cheaper outdoor speaker systems outperform their more expensive counterparts. As with everything else, I would recommend that you ask for a demo. Use a track that has plenty of variations in the music – plenty of high frequencies (i.e. high treble) and plenty of bass. This will give you a fair ideal of the real world performance of the system and help you pick the best outdoor speakers.
Depending on your yard and where you want to place your system, you might need to buy additional accessories such as stands, converters, etc… Stands are recommended because outdoor speakers tend to deliver the best performance when kept at a height of 5-6 feet above the ground (so that they are at the ear level). Stands also allow you to direct and move the speakers with less effort.
I also recommend that you buy a set of outdoor speaker covers. These would protect your speakers from the elements and prolong their life.
Picking the best outdoor speakers is quite easy once you’ve studied the market and know your own requirements well. Take your time to check out different models – high end as well as cheaper models – before making a buying decision.