Best Outdoor Wired Bluetooth Speakers

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We tested two new models from OSD Audio and Dual Electronics, and added the Dual LU53PW as a budget option.

Best Outdoor Wired Bluetooth Speakers

Best Outdoor Wired Bluetooth Speakers

We love the convenience of portable Bluetooth speakers. But for those who want a permanent – and high quality – outdoor audio solution for the backyard or patio, we recommend a good pair of weather outdoor speakers. The OSD Audio AP650 speakers are your best choice because they sound great, mount easily, and are built to withstand harsh weather and repel insect and dust attacks.

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The AP650 speakers have a clear, full sound that works well for any type of music. And they don’t have ports that let in water or bugs.

The OSD Audio AP650 speakers are the best value we’ve found for an outdoor pair. Their clarity beats anything we’ve heard from other models that cost less than $200 a pair. And they have full, powerful sound that can easily fill an outdoor space, up to 1,500 feet. The AP650 speakers have enough bass for R&B, hip-hop and rock music. And they don’t need much power to deliver high volumes, so you can connect them with a small amplifier. Because they have a completely sealed design, there are no worries about water, dust or bugs getting in. This pair is better made than most $200 outdoor speakers, with a thicker enclosure and a powder-coated bracket.

The NS-AW294 speakers deliver full sound, but aren’t the best choice for locations that experience harsh weather.

If you want to spend a little money to get decent outdoor sound, the Yamaha NS-AW294 speakers are a good choice – if you don’t live in an area where floods are common, as their waterproofing makes it possible. entering, may cause damage. The NS-AW294’s speakers don’t sound as clear as our top pick, but they have solid bass and are very playable.

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The Dayton Audio IO8XTB speaker is about twice the price and size of our OSD and Yamaha selection, but we can safely say that this speaker offers twice the performance. Not only does it deliver more bass, but the sound is clearer and smoother in the midrange and treble. Whether you listen to hip-hop, rock, folk or classical, you’ll appreciate the upgrade.

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

Those who just want to listen to light music in the backyard, and want to keep their investment small, will love the Dual Electronics LU53PW speakers. Although they don’t have a lot of bass and can get a bit loud when turned up high, they sound decent 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 from getting inside.

Best Outdoor Wired Bluetooth Speakers

The BTP525 speakers have Bluetooth and a built-in stereo amp, making installation very easy. They sound good, but they won’t fill as much space as our picks.

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The OSD Audio BTP525 speakers are a good choice for someone who only needs sound for, say, a small patio, and someone who wants speakers that are very easy to install. All of our other outdoor speakers are standard, unmounted – they can fill a garden with full, powerful sound, but require heavy installation and wiring. With the BTP525, the amplifiers are built in, and the power is waterproof. So you just need to mount the speakers, run a wire between them, and connect the power supply to the speakers and an external AC outlet. A built-in Bluetooth receiver allows you to wirelessly stream audio to smartphones and tablets, and the sound quality is the same – although not as loud or full as that of the OSD Audio AP650 pair.

I can say with confidence that I have tested passive (ie not mounted and non-Bluetooth) external speakers more than all other audio reporters in the world combined – a fact that says a lot less about me than it does about the complete lack. attention these speakers receive in recorded publications. My outdoor speaker testing experience includes several reviews for one product and seven multi-product shoots: one for Home Magazine, one for Home Entertainment magazine, one for Sound & Vision, and four for Wirecutter. I made an audio switcher specifically for hidden 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 hidden listening tests, I received help from many other listeners during the development of this article. They include Lauren Dragan, Wirecutter senior staff writer and headphone expert (who has written audio reviews for Sound & Vision magazine and has a bachelor’s degree in music performance and audio production from Ithaca College), and author Daniel Varghese .

These speakers are for people who are lucky enough to have an outdoor space to call their own – whether it’s a small patio or an entire backyard – and who like to listen to music or podcasts. The speakers are weatherproof, so in most cases you can leave them hanging outside for years without worrying about them becoming inoperable due to water damage. (They may not survive severe weather such as hurricanes, and a few models will accept water under certain conditions.) These speakers have metal casings and hard plastics. So they will survive any impact from errant volleyballs, and bugs will find it difficult or impossible to live on them. And most of them are powered from a separate amplifier, so it doesn’t need to be plugged in or charged – but you do need to run speaker wire.

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Outdoor speakers rarely sound as good as a good set of bookshelf speakers designed for indoor use. The plastic enclosures of outdoor speakers tend to vibrate and produce a boomy sound, and the perforated metal grille tends to block or reflect other sound waves from the speaker drivers. I also suspect that because the manufacturers know that their outdoor speakers are rarely looked at as much, they don’t put as much work into this design as they do their indoor models.

Because you have to run a speaker cable from the amplifier to the speaker, setting up a traditional pair of passive (unamplified) outdoor speakers requires more skill and effort than simply placing a portable Bluetooth speaker on your patio table. You can turn off the speakers of your existing home theater receiver if you have a few unused amplifier channels. Most stereo receivers have a “speakers A/B” button that lets you route the sound to a second set of speakers, or you can use an inexpensive speaker switch. You can use a small, inexpensive stereo speaker from a brand like Fosi Audio or Loxjie. Add a Bluetooth adapter (or buy an amplifier with built-in Bluetooth), and you can easily download digital music files, streaming audio services, and podcasts from a smartphone, tablet, or Bluetooth-enabled computer (as long as you keep a Bluetooth. adapter nearby. You live outside – usually 15 to 30 feet max).

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You should keep the amplifier inside and run the wires through your walls or attic outside the house. Of course, this job requires a certain amount of skill and experience. Most places allow low-voltage cables (ie, audio, video and network) to run through walls without a permit, but you should check local building codes to make sure. Make sure you use CL2 or CL3 rated cables, which are rated for fire protection.

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

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Another option is to have a waterproof Bluetooth speaker big enough to fill your living room (or at least your patio) with sound. You can find these in our portable Bluetooth guide.

The outdoor speaker industry moves more slowly than most of the audio industry – it’s common for a model to remain on sale for many years. In fact, many of the speakers we reviewed years ago in this guide are still available. However, the growth of highly competitive suppliers – such as Dayton Audio, OSD and Monoprice – has increased the number of models.

I began the testing process by breaking in each speaker with music played at high volume for 10 hours. Then I listened to them all in my backyard for a few days. If the speaker showed any negatives—such as distortion in the deep bass notes or a harsh treble that made the vocals sound—I eliminated it, knowing it had no chance of being a great performer.

After that, we played

The Best Outdoor Bluetooth Speakers Of 2022

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