The Best (Waterproof) Outdoor Speakers for Gardens, Patios & Decks
If you like to listen to music in your garden, on your patio or deck, or by the pool, then you should consider installing waterproof outdoor speakers instead of lugging your audio gear back and forth.
What you'll find in this article...
- The Best (Waterproof) Outdoor Speakers for Gardens, Patios & Decks
- Different types of outdoor speakers
- Permanent waterproof outdoor speakers by Bose
- Polk Audio Hi-Fi waterproof outdoor speaker kit
- Polk Audio Outdoor Subwoofer
- Atrium 4 Weatherproof Satellite Speakers
All-weather speakers generally have seals that protect the speaker element, electronics and wiring from humidity and salt/dirt.
Since the speaker element is weather sealed one could assume that the audio quality would be poorer than a home stereo system.
This is not true because 1) the speakers are frequency tailored to compensate for the casing, and 2) even if the frequency range may not be as wide as your hi-fidelity home stereo, your brain will compensate your experience of the the outdoor speaker sound since it will be mixed in with environmental sounds.
The best outdoor speakers are specially tailored to provide good sound in a open environment without reflective walls.
If you use your standard home speakers outside, they will not sound as good.
There are weatherproof outdoor speakers that are specially made to blend with the larger, open environment.
Another type is the encased 2- or 3-way speaker that is waterproof and just as good in your boat as on your patio.
And then there is the middle ground – weatherproof speakers that are designed to be placed out in the garden but still provide great sound quality.
The beauty of many outdoor speaker systems is that they provide entertainment without being obstructive and many are camouflaged to blend in with patio and garden details.
Just sync up your outdoor speaker system and it’s like a drive in movie theater without the cars.
There’s nothing like enjoying your evening watching a HUGE screen movie while outside. It really is a special time that my family always appreciates.
Different types of outdoor speakers
There are mainly three types of waterproof outdoor speakers:
- those that look like normal speakers with waterproof seals which can be hifi speakers or simpler models
- the camouflage type that blends in with the environment. These are very discrete and can be designed to look like rocks, tree stubs, lights (such as the Polk Audio shown here ) and garden animals.
- speakers that are designed to be buried and use the solidity of ground to provide sound
Garden and patio landscaping with sound. There are so many varieties of outdoor speakers that adding a sound experience to your garden landscaping plan should be an idea to consider, specially if you have large gardens.
Permanent waterproof outdoor speakers by Bose
These permanent Bose Free Space 51 Speakers are designed to be buried, either in your garden or in pots for the smaller models.
The sound from these Bose units is solid, warm, rich and loud but they come at a price.
You can install any type of mediaplayer in a weatherproof area, such as the pool bar, and use wired or wireless speakers.
Since you probably want the speakers to be near your lounge area, and you want to make sure they are waterproof and suitable for permanent outdoors use.
The Bose Free Space 51 speakers are extremely durable and are operational in extreme weather between -40° to 150°F, are salt and water resistant, yet offer a audio mapping that is the quality sound you expect to hear from every Bose product.
There are several simpler models that cost less if you are on a budget but if you are looking for the best outdoor speaker that delivers sound over large areas and are discrete (can be buried), then you should give these garden speakers a look.
Polk Audio Hi-Fi waterproof outdoor speaker kit
Polk makes some of the best outdoor speakers on the market!
As described earlier, a good ambient sound is most easily achieved by using small satellite speakers and a powerful subwoofer.
The Polk Audio Atrium 30 Satellite Speaker ranks among the best of Polk’s satellites and can be positioned in almost any way.
These are quality 2-way speakers with a long-throw 3-1/2-inch midrange 3/4-inch tweeter.
You can hook up all sorts of audio to these as well. Just grab a portable record player and start the party like an old time DJ.
Polk Audio Outdoor Subwoofer
This is a long-throw inverted 10 inch subwoofer speaker which is waterproof and with a color that closely matches terracotta and clay flower pots. It looks great and has the power to reach over big gardens.
Even though this waterproof outdoor subwoofer delivers powerful vibrations at high volume it is also designed to offer a rich sound at low listening levels – something that is especially valuable in a suburban garden.
Atrium 4 Weatherproof Satellite Speakers
A very popular set of outdoor speakers from Polk with over one hundred reviews. One reason they are popular is that they deliver terrific sound quality even on low volume
You can combine different types of satellite speakers with the sub-woofer to get a more localized sound experience in specific areas such as the pool bar or patio.
The Atrium line of outdoor speakers from Polk Audio for example are good companions to the Sat30 satellites above and are excellent patio speakers.
Camouflage and decorative garden speakers
While I haven’t seen any garden gnome speakers yet there are several types of waterproof camouflage speakers to choose from that will blend into most environments.
How about a couple of all-weather frog speakers to keep near your garden pond?
The 100-Watt Outdoor Garden Frog Speaker Pair are green, with bronze patina with 100 watt effect through a 2-way element, and wireless.
Probably not hi-fi quality like a JBL on stage speaker system, but perfect for ambient background music.
Outdoor garden rock speakers
And then of course, there is the traditional waterproof rock speaker. There are many models to choose from, both in size, shape and power output. Rock speakers are available as stand-alone, satellites and subwoofers and you can configure your own setup to cover very large gardens.
Sound quality is often very good since the speaker is mounted in its own encasing, similar to how your home speakers are designed, but with added sound mapping to suit open spaces.
The speaker in the image is a 250 watt outdoor rock speaker with 8″ element sold in pairs.
Solar Powered Outdoor Wireless Speaker
This weatherproof speaker gets my star because it combines the convenience being of solar powered (and ac) and having a functional docking station for mp3 players and iPhones.
This wireless outdoor speaker runs for about 8 hours on a charge and contains a two element speaker system.
Although it lacks the power of a party sound system or studio monitor, this is a perfect setup as a garden outdoor speaker where you want a ambient soundscape, or webradio streaming which is not overpowering. The solar charging pumps the price up a bit but overall I like this wireless outdoor speaker for the set and forget convenience it offers.
Waterproof Pool Speakers with Light
If you have a pool you need more pool toys! These wireless floating speakers are awesome and even have built-in lights. They come in sets of three with a wireless transmitter and are compatible with iPod, iPhone and any other media-player or stereo that has a 3.5 mm jack.
These floating pool speakers are IPX-7 rated (which means they are submersible). 3 watts of output does not mean Hi-Fi quality but they look great, have adequate sound, built-in lights and are cheap. Delivered in sets of 3.
Another option if you are looking for pool speaker with light is the Swimline Floating Wireless Speaker which comes with a separate wireless transmitter to which you connect your iPod or mediaplayer.
Complete with antenna, this speaker kit transmits wireless up to 100 feet. Why not use it also as a beach toy?