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There are all kinds of reasons to want to have speakers outdoors. Whether you’re throwing a large backyard bash, listening to podcasts or the radio while gardening or working in your yard, or just swaying in the hammock trying to relax, having audio outdoors can help you chill out, have fun, or get distracted.

There are two situations to consider when looking to add outdoor speakers; do you want them installed permanently? Or do you want to be able to move them from indoors to out? Let’s take a look at some speaker picks for each situation.

Permanent Use/Hard-Wired Outdoor Speakers

Permanent speakers are designed for audio listeners who are serious about sound. For the most part, these speakers need to be installed permanently, in a fixed location, using speaker wire connected to a receiver. That means you’ll need to choose your location carefully, and it also means that you’ll want to choose your speakers wisely, as they are a little more difficult to remove and return. Not to mention you’ll need a receiver; either the one you already own, or a separate one for outdoor/yard use (perhaps hidden in a shed, garage or cabinet).
With that said, permanent speakers can provide a more home theater-level of high quality audio then many portable or Bluetooth speakers can. Permanent/wired speakers are an excellent choice for people who really want to appreciate music.

Polk Audio Atrium 4
A popular pair of speakers, this Polk audio duo has been around a while and has been a hit with Best Buy customers. The Atrium 4 set (photo at top) needs to be hardwired to a receiver to work, so there are some considerations when choosing them for your deck, patio or balcony.
The Polk Audio Atrium 4 all-weather loudspeaker system has enough power to fill a large area with hi-fi sound. The system’s 19mm soft dome tweeter and 4.5″ dynamic balance composite driver are designed to bring a great spectrum of sound to a wide area. Polk’s special ‘Speed Lock’ mounting bracket also allows the speaker to be mounted in various positions vertically or horizontally, and can be snapped in or out of the bracket with ease.

Klipsch Outdoor Speakersrsz_klipsch_aw-650-lifestyle_1000.jpg
These Klipsch outdoor speakers are also a hard-wired variety. Like the Polk, they can be re-painted in any colour to match your siding or wall colour to help them blend into the background, giving you cool clear audio seemingly from nowhere. A mounting bracket is supplied for hassle-free installation.

These speakers are also very well-reviewed, with one customer writing, “for outdoor speakers, sound quality is very good. Good quality construction. A great answer for those wanting music on the patio. If you really don’t like your neighbours, you can really turn these speakers up. 😉 All around, solid choice.

Portable Uses/Wireless Outdoor Speakers

Portable speakers have become increasingly popular in the last few years. They’re popular in part because they can be very versatile. It’s very easy to take a portable speaker from inside to out and enjoy music anywhere. If you’re the forgetful type, making sure you get a waterproof outdoor speaker will be key. Check out my blog regarding great waterproof speaker options that can not only withstand rain, but some can also get doused in the pool or hot tub too.

While portable speakers are the ultimate in convenience, there is definitely a bit of a trade-off when it comes to audio quality. So be sure to choose good quality outdoor/portable speakers when making your buying decision.

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Monster Blaster Bluetooth Speaker
Audio giant Monster has a couple great outdoor options this season. But if you’re looking for something ultra-durable that can really crank, look at the Monster Blaster Bluetooth speaker. It promises crisp, powerful sound, while the built-in subwoofer creates rich, pounding bass. The splash-resistant design means you can take this speaker to the beach plus the indoor and outdoor modes allow you to customize your sound. Special bi-directional drivers angled 360-degrees  give you powerful sound all around, for large open spaces.

Europort MPA40BT-Pro Speaker

This portable option looks like a cross between a hard-wired outdoor speaker and an indoor portable speaker similar to a Sonos or a Bose. But the Europort MPA40BT-Pro can truly go anywhere.

This all-in-one portable PA features Bluetooth technology that allows you to stream songs from compatible devices with a battery life of up to 12 hours. With a simple set-up, and AC or battery operation, it gives you a lot of versatility for special events.

Eton Rugged Rukus
If you’re the type who wants a bit more ruggedness from your outdoor speakers, this is the one for you. The Eton Rugged Rukus all-terrain speaker is solar-powered, so you can take it hiking, camping or out on a boat, and never need to worry about running out of juice.
The extra power from the sun’s rays can even charge up your smartphone while you’re partying.Eton-Rukus-Xtreme.jpg
I’ve had a lot of portable and outdoor speakers in my life; from an 80’s ‘ghetto blaster’, to the original mini “Chill Pill”, to the Jawbone Jambox and even a set of red spacey-looking wireless orbs. What’s your go-to outdoor speaker solution? Share your choice in comments below.


Erin Lawrence
Editor TV and Home Theatre
Erin is a journalist, writer, and TV producer with a fascination for technology and a love of gadgets. Check out her blog TechGadgetsCanada.com