Best Outdoor Bluetooth Speakers 2021

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We tested two new models from OSD Audio and Dual Electronics and added the Dual LU53PW as an available choice.

Best Outdoor Bluetooth Speakers 2021

Best Outdoor Bluetooth Speakers 2021

We love the convenience of portable Bluetooth speakers. But for those who want a more permanent and better quality outdoor sound solution for the garden or patio, we recommend a good pair of weatherproof outdoor speakers. The OSD Audio AP650 speakers are your best choice because they sound great, are easy to assemble, and are built to withstand harsh weather and keep out insects and dust.

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The AP650 speakers have a clear, full sound that pairs well with any type of music. And they have no ports to let water or bugs in.

The OSD Audio AP650 speakers are the best pair we’ve found for outdoor use. Their clarity surpasses anything we’ve heard from other models under $200 a pair. And they have full, powerful sound that can easily fill outdoor spaces up to 1,500 square feet. The AP650 speakers have enough bass for R&B, hip-hop and rock music. And they don’t need a lot of power to deliver big sound, so you can pair them with a small amp. Since they have a completely sealed design, you don’t have to worry about water, dust or insects getting inside. This pair also has a better build than most street speakers in the $200 range, with a thicker body and a sturdy powder-coated mounting bracket.

The NS-AW294 speakers provide full sound, but aren’t the best choice for locations with bad weather.

If you’re willing to spend a little less to get decent outdoor sound, the Yamaha NS-AW294 speakers are a good choice unless you live in a place that experiences regular rain, as their ported design can let water through. get inside, which can cause damage. The NS-AW294’s speakers don’t sound as bright as our top picks, but they have solid bass and can play pretty loud.

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The Dayton Audio IO8XTB speaker is about twice the price and size of our OSD and Yamaha models, but we can confidently say that this speaker offers at least twice the performance. Not only does it deliver a lot more bass, but its sound is cleaner and smoother in the mids and highs. Whether you listen to hip-hop, rock, folk or classical, you’ll appreciate this improvement.

The LU53PW is a compact, affordable option that is fully sealed, but this pair doesn’t have as much bass and doesn’t sound as good at very high volumes.

The Dual Electronics LU53PW speakers will appeal to those who just want to listen to light music in the backyard and keep their investment to a minimum. Although they don’t have a lot of bass and can get quite shrill if turned up, they sound good for background music, podcasts and internet radio. They’re also more compact than other non-powered models we recommend and are fully sealed to prevent water ingress.

Best Outdoor Bluetooth Speakers 2021

The BTP525 speakers have built-in Bluetooth and a stereo amplifier, which makes installation much easier. They sound good, but don’t take up as much space as our other selections.

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The OSD Audio BTP525 speakers are a good choice for those who only need sound for, say, a small patio, and for those who want speakers that are very easy to install. All of our other outdoor speakers are conventional, unamplified – they can fill your yard with full, robust sound, but require complex installation and wiring. The BTP525 has built-in amplifiers and a waterproof power supply. So just install the speakers, run the cable between them and connect the power source to the speakers and an external AC outlet. A built-in Bluetooth receiver lets you stream audio wirelessly from smartphones and tablets, and the sound quality is similar, if not quite as loud or full, to the OSD Audio AP650 pair.

I can safely say that I’ve reviewed more passive (that is, unamplified and non-Bluetooth) outdoor speakers than all the other audio journalists in the world combined—a fact that says a lot less about me than the almost total lack of attention these speakers receive from audio publications . My outdoor speaker testing experience includes numerous product reviews and seven product shootouts: one for Home Theater Magazine, one for Home Entertainment Magazine, one for Sound & Vision, and four for Wirecutter. I purposely created an audio switcher for stealth brand testing. And perhaps most importantly, I have a backyard—and I’m not afraid to use it.

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In addition to conducting my own branded listening tests, I’ve had help from several other listeners over the years as I developed this article. They include Lauren Dragan, author and headphone expert at Wirecutter (who also writes audio reviews for Sound & Vision magazine and holds a BA in Music and Audio Production from Ithaca College), and author Danielle Varghese.

These speakers are designed for people who are lucky enough to have an outdoor space to call their own—a small patio or a full backyard—and who enjoy listening to music or podcasts. The speakers are weatherproof, so in most cases you can leave them installed outside for years without worrying about them failing due to water damage. (They may not withstand severe weather conditions such as hurricanes, and some models leak water under certain conditions.) These speakers have metal grills and fairly sturdy plastic covers. That way, they’ll tend to take any hit from errant volleyballs and make it difficult or impossible for bugs to nest in them. And most of them are powered by a separate amp, so they don’t need to be plugged in or charged, but you’ll need to use a speaker cable.

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Outdoor speakers rarely sound as good as a decent set of bookshelf speakers for indoor use. The plastic housings of external speakers tend to vibrate and create a rattling sound, and the perforated metal grilles tend to block or reflect some of the sound waves coming from the speakers. I also suspect that because manufacturers know their outdoor speakers are unlikely to stand up to the rigors of testing, they don’t put as much effort into these designs as they do their indoor models.

Because you need to run a speaker cable from the amplifier to the speaker, setting up a traditional pair of passive (non-amplified) outdoor speakers requires more skill and effort than simply placing a portable Bluetooth speaker on a patio table. If you have a few unused amplifier channels, you can turn off the speakers of your existing home theater receiver. Most stereo receivers have a “speaker A/B” button that allows you to send the sound to a second set of speakers, or you can use an inexpensive speaker switch. You can also use a cheap stereo mini amp from brands like Fosi Audio or Loxjie. Add a Bluetooth adapter (or buy an amplifier with built-in Bluetooth) and you can easily receive digital music files, online audio streaming services and podcasts from a Bluetooth-enabled smartphone, tablet or computer (as long as you keep the Bluetooth adapter close to , where you sit outside (usually 15 to 30 feet maximum).

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You will need to keep the amplifier indoors and run the cables through the walls or attic outside the house. Obviously, this operation requires certain skills and experience. Most places allow low-voltage cables (including audio, video and network cables) to be run through walls without a permit, but you should check local building codes. Make sure you use CL2 or CL3 rated cables which are fire rated for safety.

Best Outdoor Bluetooth Speakers 2021

An alternative to all this complexity would be to purchase a set of external speakers with amplifiers and built-in Bluetooth. With this option, the only wires you’ll need are the cable between the two speakers and the power connection. You’ll need an external outlet nearby, and you’ll probably prefer to unplug the power supply when the speakers aren’t in use.

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Another alternative is to have a waterproof portable Bluetooth speaker big enough to fill your yard (or at least your patio) with sound. Find them in our guide to the best portable Bluetooth speakers.

The outdoor speaker industry evolves much more slowly than most of the audio industry – usually a model stays on sale for years. In fact, many of the speakers we tested years ago for this guide are still available. However, the rise of highly competitive vendors such as Dayton Audio, OSD and Monoprice has greatly expanded the number of models.

I started the testing process by playing music at a moderately high volume for 10 hours in each speaker. Then I listened to them all in my backyard for days. If a speaker showed serious abnormalities, such as deep low-end distortion or sharp treble that made the voice sound hoarse, I removed it because I knew it had no chance of being the best.

Then we spent

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