What are the features that make the best outdoor speakers? For starters, these are the best speakers to use around water because of their extensive water and dust resistance. Their rugged designs also help them stay protected from drops and bumps, even from taller heights. Plus, some options offer smart features and Bluetooth speaker functionality for wireless connectivity.
If you’re looking for superior sound quality from a speaker that can stand up to tough weather conditions and other outdoor elements, you can’t go wrong with a set of the top outdoor speakers. These outdoor sound systems are best for outdoor enthusiasts, adventurers, and backyard lovers. They’ll certainly work better than the top center channel speakers, which are meant for indoor use anyway.
Keep reading below if you want to learn all about the best outdoor speakers, how you can pick the right product for your needs, and which features are the most important to consider.
Top Outdoor Speakers
#1 Comiso X26 Waterproof Bluetooth Speaker
Award: TOP PICK
WHY WE LIKE IT: Its lightweight makes for easy carrying, and it can offer almost a full day of music playback. Users will be able to choose from eight color choices, and since it has a built-in mic, it can also be used as a speakerphone.
- Lightweight at 0.85 pounds
- 20 hours of playback
- Available in 8 color choices
- No USB port
This Waterproof Bluetooth Speaker from Comiso produces 360° sound for a full-range listening experience and weighing only 0.85 pounds, it is pretty easy to move around with. The speaker offers up to 20 hours of playtime courtesy of its 4000 mAh battery, and since it has an IPX5 waterproof rating, the speaker can withstand a gentle water spray or splashing. It can also be double paired with another X26 speaker to produce stereo sound, but its lack of a USB port might deter some buyers.
Since it is available in up to eight different colors, buyers will have a wide variety of options to choose from. Sound quality is also pretty good since the speaker doesn’t distort sound at max volume, and since it also comes with a built-in microphone, it can be used for receiving calls when connected to a smartphone through Bluetooth. Its battery will only take 3 hours to get charged to full capacity, and it also features a hook that makes it pretty easy to carry around.
#2 Pyle 3-Way Mini Box Speaker
Award: HONORABLE MENTION
WHY WE LIKE IT: These speakers are pretty lightweight and feature a removable mounting bracket. They are also corrosion and stain-resistant.
- Great for outside use
- Lightweight at 2 pounds each
- Feature a mounting bracket for easy mounting
- No AUX in port
This 3.5-inch Mini Box Speaker System from Pyle is a reliable set of speakers that, when paired together, have an output of up to 100 Watts. The speakers can also be connected to an amplifier and come with a bracket for easy mounting. Weighing 2 pounds each, they are pretty easy to handle, and because of their heavy-duty ABS construction, they should be able to stay in good condition for a pretty long time. The speakers are also ideal for use in outdoor settings since their mesh grills are corrosion and stain-resistant. However, they do not have an AUX-in port.
These speakers are great for people who would like to have outdoor events, and since their mounting brackets can be removed, the speakers can be adjusted and configured for indoor use. The sound quality of these speakers is also pretty good, and they can produce a thumping sound thanks to the 3.5-inch Aluminum cone woofer.
#3 Dual Electronics LU43PB 3-Way High-Performance Outdoor Indoor Speakers
Award: BEST FOR ROUGH WEATHER
WHY WE LIKE IT: They are covered by an all-weather resistant coating for outdoor use and come with swivel brackets for easy mounting.
- Have a 120° range of high fidelity sound
- All weather resistant coating for outdoor use
- Features mounting swivel brackets
- No Bluetooth connectivity
These 3-way high-performance speakers from Dual Electronics are perfect for indoor and outdoor use. They can be mounted horizontally or vertically and are entirely weather resistant. The speakers have a 120-degree high fidelity range, and since they also have an all-weather resistant coating, they can withstand a bit of rain or dust when placed outdoors. The set also includes a 4-inch woofer that creates deep bass, however, the speakers do not feature Bluetooth connectivity.
These speakers are coated with a UV-resistant resin to prevent any effects of being laid out in sunlight for too long, and with up to 100 Watts of peak power, the speakers tend to get pretty loud despite their size. Fortunately, the sound remains pretty good even when turned up to max capacity.
#4 Polk Audio Atrium 4 Outdoor Speakers
Award: BEST FOR EASY INSTALLATION
WHY WE LIKE IT: The speakers can be easily installed and withstand all types of weather. The sound produced is of high quality, and its bass is also satisfactory.
- Great all weather endurance
- Produces high fidelity sound
- Easy to install
- Require amplified power to work
Available in either black or white, the Polk Audio Atrium 4 speakers are an excellent choice for bass lovers since they deliver a deep, thumping sound, and with a one-click speed-lock mounting bracket, users will be able to mount the speakers either vertically or horizontally. The speakers have been praised for their rugged durability, making them ideal for use in heavy rain or extreme temperatures. They are also pretty well designed and have gold-plated, 5-way binding spots for secure, dependable hookups. Still, they will require amplified power to function.
The speakers are composed of 4.5-inch drivers and .75-inch tweeters to produce a high-fidelity sound. They can get as loud as 95 decibels, with no signs of perceptible sound distortion. Users will also need a receiver or amplifier to set them up, and the mounts that they originally came with can also be removed for those who want to place them on a table or stand.
#5 Yamaha NS-AW150W 2-Way Indoor/Outdoor Speakers
Award: BEST FOR CRISP SOUND
WHY WE LIKE IT: They produce a crisp sound with a good measure of bass, and the vocals also pop pretty well. They are water-resistant and available in either black or white.
- Produce a crisp, clean sound
- Are water resistant
- Available in either black or white
- Not waterproof
These two indoor or outdoor speakers from Yamaha are an excellent option for users who want to have some good sound projected onto their deck or porch. The speakers can also be used indoors and are available in either black or white. They are medium-sized compared to other outdoor alternatives and have a curved back to allow for easy mounting. Their half-inch dome tweeter and 5-inch woofer are protected with perforated metal, allowing them to withstand outdoor weather conditions. They can be placed either horizontally or vertically, however, they could’ve been better if they were waterproof.
The sound quality produced by these Yamaha speakers is pretty good. Most have described the sound quality as crisp and noted that the vocals pop. They can get as loud as 85 decibels without any distortion and should be able to withstand gentle splashing. Owners will need to connect them to an amplifier to get them to work.
#6 Bose SoundLink Flex Bluetooth Portable Speaker
Award: BEST FORTRAVEL
WHY WE LIKE IT: It is ideal for users who would want to move around with their sound and can offer up to 12 hours of playback. It is both waterproof and dustproof and can be managed through an app.
- Offers 12 hours of playback
- Can connect to Bluetooth devices within a range of 30 feet
- Waterproof and dustproof
- Only available in three color trims
The Soundlink Flex Bluetooth portable speaker is a nice-looking entry from Bose that most audiophiles will find quite sufficient for carrying around when hiking or even showering. The speaker has a robust exterior and is available in either black, blue, or grey. It features a Lithium-ion battery that will offer up to 12 hours of playback and has a built-in microphone that’ll allow users to make and receive phone calls through it. It’ll be able to connect to other Bluetooth devices within a range of up to 30 feet, however, it is only available in three color trims.
Once integrated with the Bose Connect app, users will be able to customize settings, unlock product features, and tailor the audio produced to their liking. It has an IP67 rating, meaning it is both waterproof and dustproof. It is, therefore, able to handle outdoor exposure, and since it also features a utility loop, users will be able to carry it around easily.
Beginner’s Guide to Outdoor Speakers
What Are Outdoor Speakers?
Outdoor speakers are audio products that can be used in outdoor environments without the fear of getting ruined by water and dust exposure. These helpful audio systems offer a wide volume range so you can enjoy your favorite music in both quiet and loud scenarios. Outdoor speakers come in a wide variety of different types, shapes, and sizes, which enables you to find an option that will fit your specific needs and preferences.
Outdoor Speakers vs Traditional Speakers
Outdoor speakers don’t stray far from the form or functionality of traditional speakers. This type of speaker uses the same basic internal components and operating principles as other types. If you were to open up an outdoor speaker, you’d find a cone, voice coil, and magnet, among other parts. Like other speakers, outdoor audio systems connect to an audio source — either directly or wirelessly — to play music, podcasts, or audiobooks.
So, how do outdoor speakers differ from more traditional alternatives? The differences are subtle, but they are present. The biggest thing to note about an outdoor speaker set is its ability to function normally outside, even when exposed to the elements, thanks to being weather resistant. These speakers are also more dust-resistant than other types of speakers.
An outdoor speaker is also louder than indoor speakers, which are made for use within closed spaces. Since an outdoor speaker is meant to be used in wide-open spaces, it needs to produce rich sound at higher volume levels while still playing with excellent audio quality. To produce this sweet spot of louder volume, many outdoor speakers use more wattage in their peak power than other kinds of speakers.
How Outdoor Speakers Work
When you look at the core functionality of your outdoor speaker, you’ll find that they work in essentially the same way as other kinds of speakers. All speakers operate under the same principle, which is that vibrating objects create sound waves. Once you connect your speaker to both an audio source and an amplifier power source, it will receive electrical audio signals and create crisp sound as a result.
To do this, speakers use an internal component called a driver. This piece of the speaker is also known as a transducer, which can shift one type of energy into another type of energy. For speakers, the driver can switch an audio signal into detailed sound waves.
Do You Really Need Outdoor Speakers?
Just because you’re outside doesn’t mean you need to go without your favorite type of music, audiobooks, or podcasts. From gardening to swimming at the pool, a good outdoor speaker can help you bring your favorite audio and ambient sound experiences with you. Plus, thanks to their added durability and water resistance, you won’t need to worry about your speaker getting ruined thanks to some rain or dirt.
Are Outdoor Speakers Worth Buying?
- You Want to Use Speakers on Your Patio: If you’ve ever been out on your patio enjoying a book or hosting a social gathering, you may have thought the audio experience would be better with some quality music. Installing quality speakers on your patio is an easy way to make your outdoor space more inviting and fun.
- You Want to Listen to Music on Hiking and Camping Trips: Going hiking or camping with your friends can be even more fun with the addition of your favorite tunes. If you want to bring music with you to your preferred outdoor activities, then you’ll definitely need to consider a high-quality outdoor speaker.
- You Want to Bring the Music to Your Pool Party: What’s a pool party without some music? Thanks to waterproofing and rugged durability, these are the perfect speakers for poolside use. Even if your outdoor speaker gets accidentally knocked into the water, you won’t have to worry about it getting ruined, depending on its level of water resistance.
Why Outdoor Speakers May Not Be For You
- You’re Looking for Indoor Speakers or Home Theater Solutions: If you’re planning on purchasing speakers to install inside your home or for your home theater, then outdoor speakers aren’t the best choice for you. Instead, you should focus on purchasing speakers specifically made for your intended purpose.
- You’re Looking for Vehicle Speakers: If you need to install speakers on your vehicle, you’ll need to purchase options made specifically for that application. For example, if you want to install a sound system on your motorcycle, then you’ll want to purchase the best motorcycle speakers or the best marine speakers.
- You Need to Stick to a Budget: Thanks to their added durability and water resistance, outdoor speakers are often more expensive than other types of speakers. Unfortunately, if you need to stick to a budget, you may find the best outdoor speakers outside of your price range. While some budget speakers exist in this category, they aren’t nearly as good as more expensive options.
How Long Will Outdoor Speakers Last?
Since an outdoor speaker is more durable than other types of speakers, it typically offers a much more lifespan. If you were to ask people like the experts at Sound & Communications how long outdoor speakers should last, you would get an answer of up to 25 years. Of course, the exact lifespan of the speaker you purchase ultimately depends on a wide variety of different factors.
One factor that can extend its lifespan is the level of waterproofing your speaker features. The higher the Ingress Protection (IP) rating your speaker has, the better it will stand up to water and dust exposure. The “You Get What You Pay For” rule also applies to outdoor speaker options. In general, more expensive speakers will last longer than budget alternatives.
How to Choose Outdoor Speakers
Finding the right environmental speakers for your preferences and needs is a matter of first identifying your needs and wants. Then, you’ll need to purchase an option to fit those qualifications. For outdoor speakers, you’ll want to decide between wired and wireless connectivity.
You’ll also need to figure out how much water and dust resistance your speaker needs, depending on the environments in which you plan to use the speaker. Finally, consider how much volume you want your speaker to produce, as well as what kind of additional functionality or extra features you want.
Best Outdoor Speakers Factors to Consider
1. Should you purchase wired outdoor speakers or wireless outdoor speakers?
Your first point of order when researching different outdoor speakers is to determine between wired speakers and wireless speakers. Let’s look at both options and their specifics:
- Wired: These speakers are best for installations in your backyard or patio. Wired speakers are semi-permanent fixtures and offer a more comprehensive and enjoyable experience than wireless alternatives. However, outdoor speaker installation is more difficult with wired options, and they aren’t portable, so you’ll need to stay in one place to enjoy your music.
- Wireless: These speakers are best for wireless music streaming while you’re on camping trips, hiking trails, and block parties. The best wireless outdoor speaker options come in a Bluetooth speaker configuration, meaning they can connect directly to your smartphone without the use of a headphone jack or audio cable. That said, for one with a 20-hr battery life and loud sound, then you’ll want to read our DOSS Bluetooth speaker review.
2. How weather-resistant should your outdoor speakers be?
An outdoor speaker is meant to be exposed to all kinds of extreme weather. However, the extent of the exposure and the number of foreign objects or liquids your speaker can handle depends on how weather-resistant it actually is.
To measure your speaker’s water and dust resistance, you’ll want to understand the Ingress Protection standards. These are also known as IP ratings. Your speaker’s IP rating indicates how protected it is from dust and moisture ingress
Your speaker’s IP rating is displayed with the letters “IP” followed by two numbers. For example, a speaker with both dust and moisture protection may carry an IP rating of IP65. The first number tells you how protected the speaker is from dust and the second number tells you how protected the speaker is from water. The higher the number, the more protected your speaker is.
For an outdoor speaker, consider IP ratings of at least IP5X or IP6X for dust protection and IP ratings of at least IPX4, IPX5, or IPX6 for water protection. If you’re looking for a completely durable waterproof speaker, you’ll want to find an option with at least an IPX7 water resistance rating.
3. How rugged should your outdoor speakers be?
If you’re planning on hiking or camping with your outdoor speaker, you’ll want to consider an option that’s built with some additional rugged features. This can include rubber lining on the edges and corners. Some options even include shock-resistant housing and designs that can withstand drops from various heights.
We recommend purchasing a speaker that matches your activity level, and that’s a little tougher than a dirty iPhone speaker. Even a bare minimum of ruggedness is helpful, no matter where you plan to use your speaker. However, if you’re out in the wilderness, we highly recommend purchasing a speaker with enough durability to handle worst-case scenarios.
4. What level of sound quality and volume output should you consider for your outdoor speaker?
As with any speaker, the sound quality of your outdoor speaker is an important factor to consider. However, how exactly do you measure sound quality? For starters, the brand matters. High-end speakers from high-end brands often sound much better than cheaper alternatives. However, the size of your speaker can often also affect your sound quality. Larger speakers often sound better because they can use more premium materials. Also, consider how easy it is to carry the speakers if you plan on transporting it. A good portable option that sounds great at high volumes is the model featured in our Pioneer Steez Crew review.
You should also think about how much volume you need out of your outdoor speaker. Small, portable speakers are quieter than larger alternatives, but they’re easier to carry around with you. Although, there are tricks to boosting Bluetooth speaker audio. Generally speaking, portable speakers are better for camping and hiking trips, while larger speakers with more volume are better for installing in your patio or backyard. If you need decent bass out of it, make sure you get one with the proper specs, like the best Bluetooth speaker with bass.
5. How much battery life do you need for portable speakers?
If you opt to purchase one of the many portable speakers available on the market today, you’ll need to consider how long the rechargeable battery inside of them lasts. Consider the potential maximum amount of time you would use the speaker at any given moment. If you only need it for the length of a work or school day, you might want to consider the one in this Philips Fidelio DS7700 review. Then, find an option with enough battery life to match the periods you plan on using the speaker.
Of course, the larger the portable speaker, the bigger the battery typically is, which ultimately results in more hours of playtime and lower portability. Smaller speakers are more portable, but with less battery life overall.
6. What additional functionality or smart features should you consider for your outdoor speakers?
Finally, consider the additional features and functionality you might want on your outdoor speakers. Some popular extra features might include:
- Smart speakers with voice assistant capabilities
- LED lights
- Dolby Atmos compatibility
- Angled design
- Call-back feature
- 3D spatial audio
You may also want to consider purchasing the best party speakers for outdoor use. These speakers can connect to create a surreal experience with 360-degree sound. They also produce more volume and balanced sound quality than a single speaker or even an outdoor pair of speakers. You can also learn to make your own Bluetooth speaker if you can’t find a speaker that satisfies your needs.