Outdoor Bluetooth Speakers Wired

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

Outdoor Bluetooth Speakers Wired

Outdoor Bluetooth Speakers Wired

We love the convenience of portable Bluetooth speakers. However, if you want more durable – and better quality – outdoor sound for your yard or terrace, we recommend a good pair of weatherproof outdoor speakers. OSD Audio AP650 speakers are your best choice because they sound great, are easy to install, and are built to withstand harsh weather conditions and keep insects and dust out.

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

The OSD Audio AP650 speakers represent the best value for money in outdoor speakers. Their clarity surpasses anything we’ve heard from other sub-$200 models. They have full, powerful sound that will easily fill an outdoor space of about 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 get loud, so you can pair them with a small amp. Thanks to the completely closed design, there is no need to worry about water, dust or insects getting in. This pair is also better built than most outdoor speakers under $200, with thicker housings and a sturdy, powder-coated mounting bracket.

The NS-AW294 speakers provide full sound but are not the best choice in bad weather conditions.

If you want to spend a little less for decent outdoor sound, the Yamaha NS-AW294 speakers are a good choice – unless you live in a place where storms are common, as their transducer design allows water to enter and cause damage. . The NS-AW294’s speakers don’t sound as clear as our top pick, but they have a good amount of bass and can play pretty loud.

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The Dayton Audio IO8XTB costs about twice as much as OSD and Yamaha’s choice, but it’s safe to say that this speaker delivers at least twice as much power. Not only does it deliver a lot more bass, but it sounds clearer and more fluid in the mids and highs. Whether you listen to hip-hop, rock, folk or classical music, you’ll appreciate the improvement.

The LU53PW is a compact, affordable choice that is fully enclosed, but this pair lacks depth and doesn’t sound as good at very loud volumes.

The Dual Electronics LU53PW speakers appeal to those who only want to listen to light music in their garden and want to keep their investment to a minimum. Although they don’t have a lot of bass and can get very grating when cranked up, they sound good for background music, podcasts and internet radio. They’re also more compact than other non-motorized models we recommend and are fully sealed to prevent water leaks.

Outdoor Bluetooth Speakers Wired

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

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

I can safely say that I’ve reviewed more passive (that is, non-amplified and non-Bluetooth) external speakers than all the other audio journalists in the world combined—a fact that says a lot less about me than the near-total lack of attention these speakers receive from audio publications. My outdoor speaker testing experience includes several individual product reviews and seven multi-product shootouts: one for Home Theater magazine, one for Home Entertainment magazine, one for Sound & Vision, and four for Wirecutter. I built the voice changer specifically to carry out the brand’s secret testing. And perhaps most importantly, I have a yard—and I’m not afraid to use it.

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In addition to conducting my own Stealth Brand listening tests, I have enlisted the help of many other listeners over the years of developing this article. They include Wirecutter senior writer and headphone expert Lauren Dragan (who also writes audio reviews for Sound & Vision magazine and earned a degree in music performance and audio production from Ithaca College), and author Daniel Varghese.

These speakers are designed for those who are lucky enough to have an outdoor space—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 outside for years without worrying about water damage. (They may not survive extreme weather such as hurricanes, and some models allow water to pass through under certain conditions.) These speakers have metal grilles and a fairly sturdy plastic housing. That way, they usually survive the impact of a stray volleyball, and bedbugs can hardly or not nest in them. And most of them are powered by a separate amplifier, so you don’t need to connect or recharge them, but instead have to connect them via a speaker wire.

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Outdoor speakers rarely sound as good as a bookshelf speaker designed for indoor use. The plastic casing of outdoor speakers tends to vibrate and produce a booming sound, and the perforated metal grill blocks or reflects some of the sound waves coming from the speakers. I also suspect that because the manufacturers know that their outdoor speakers are unlikely to stand up to much scrutiny, they don’t put as much work into these designs as they do their indoor models.

Because the speaker cable must be run from the amplifier to the speaker, setting up a traditional pair of passive (unamplified) outdoor speakers requires more skill and effort than placing a portable Bluetooth speaker on a patio table. You can turn off the speakers on your existing home theater receiver if you have some unused amplifier channels. Most stereo receivers have a “speaker A/B” button that allows you to route the sound to another set of speakers, or you can use an inexpensive speaker switcher. You can also use a cheap stereo mini amp from brands like Fosi Audio or Loxjie. Add a Bluetooth adapter (or buy a built-in Bluetooth amplifier) ​​and you can easily get digital music files, online audio streaming services and podcasts from your Bluetooth-enabled smartphone, tablet or computer (if you keep the Bluetooth adapter close to where you sit outdoors – usually 15-30 feet maximum).

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You must keep the amplifier indoors and run the wires outside the house through the walls or attic. Obviously, this operation requires certain skills and experience. Most areas allow low-voltage (ie audio, video and network) cables to be run through walls without a permit, but you should check your local building code. Make sure you use CL2 or CL3 rated cables for safety.

Outdoor Bluetooth Speakers Wired

An alternative to all these complexities would be to buy external speakers with a built-in amplifier and Bluetooth connectivity. With this option, you only need to run the cable between the two speakers and the connection to the power supply. You’ll need an external power outlet nearby, and you’ll probably prefer to unplug the power adapter when the speakers aren’t in use.

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Another option is a waterproof portable Bluetooth speaker that’s big enough to fill your backyard (or at least your patio) with sound. Find them in our guide to the best portable Bluetooth speakers.

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

I started the testing process by hacking each speaker for 10 hours with music played at medium volume. Then I listened to them in my garden for a few days. If any speaker showed major anomalies—such as deep bass distortion or sharp treble that dwarfed the sound—I eliminated it, knowing it would have no chance of being the best choice.

We did the following

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