When I think about summertime, pretty much any activity I do, whether it’s at home or away, involves music played through either my home audio system or a portable speaker. Splashing around in the pool, hanging out at the beach, chilling in the backyard with friends and family, doing chores around the house, cooking in the kitchen, or camping with the kids can all be drastically improved with music. But how can you decide what kind of speaker will provide you with the best experience for your lifestyle and summer plans? Here’s a look at some of the best option to consider for your personal “Sounds of Summer” needs.
Full sound for your next patio and backyard party
I don’t think my family ever goes into the backyard without music. Whether we’re working from home on the back deck, tending to the garden, building a shed, or playing games, there’s music. And when we have friends and family over, the special party playlists come out.
There are many options for getting sound on the patio and in the backyard. At my house we have rock speakers in the garden as well as an outdoor wall-mounted speaker on the deck.
If you entertain a lot, a speaker like the JBL PartyBox 100 Bluetooth Wireless Speaker is an option worth considering. You’ll get loud, booming sound that can fill the entire backyard and you can easily stream your favourite playlists to it, have guests take over by connecting their smartphones via Bluetooth, or plug in a USB drive with tunes. The 12-hour battery life means it can run all night. It even has cool RGB LED light patterns that sync with the music to give off the perfect party vibe. To create an even more immersive experience, connect up to two more compatible JBL speakers via True Wireless Stereo. And using the mic and guitar inputs, the musician in the family can rock out; or turn things into a karaoke party!
If you want something more permanent for your deck, consider all-weather speakers like the Klipsch AW-400 Outdoor Speakers. They have paintable UV-resistant ABS enclosures with a rustproof aluminum grille to blend in with outdoor décor. And they come with a C-style mounting bracket and hardware. Sold in pairs, set them up for enveloping stereo sound on your patio or deck.
If you’d rather have something simpler and more versatile, consider an outdoor-friendly portable Bluetooth speaker that you can easily move indoors and out—take it wherever you go. The sound it provides might not provide as powerful as something like the JBL PartyBox, but for background music outside it will likely be just fine. Plus, you can find ones that are ruggedly built and can withstand the elements, from snow and rain to extreme heat.
Fill every room of your home with the sounds of summer
The world is your oyster when it comes to sound at home. In my house, when the TV isn’t on, 99% of the time, music is. Whether it’s quiet background tunes while we work from home or eat dinner, or exciting music to get us going while doing chores or cooking, bopping to tunes is a must.
How can you get the best music experience at home? There are so many options. Tower speakers or wireless multi-room speakers that provide an immersive listening experience when watching TV or playing video games can also come in handy for playing back music when the TV isn’t on. Even a soundbar can serve multiple purposes including just playing your favourite music.
For example, the Bose Soundbar 700 Smart Speaker has voice control built in so you can just tell Google Assistant or Amazon Alexa to play your music; it also has a universal remote and works with the Bose Music app. To switch to personal listening, pair it with the Bose Headphones 900 using Bose SimpleSync. When listening with the entire family, ADAPTiQ audio room calibration helps fine tune the sound to your room so you get the best possible listening experience.
Another great indoor options is a nice-looking portable home speaker: you can move it around and play music in whatever room you are in. The Bose Home 500 Wireless Multi-Room Speaker delivers room-filling sound and it’s compact so you can place it just about anywhere. Plus, it has built-in voice control capabilities using Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa so you can simply ask it to play your favourite playlist. Alternatively, use the buttons on the speaker itself, which include six customizable presets, or the Bose Music app. Using Bose SimpleSync technology, pair it with select Bose SoundLink speakers to expand the listening experience and hear the music in more than one room, or on different floors of the house.
For those who really want to harken back to the old days, lie back with a hot coffee or tea, and immerse yourself in a vinyl album spinning on a turntable. There are models that range from entry-level to super Hi-Fi enthusiast. Connect one to your existing speakers and enjoy that signature crackle as the needle hits the record.
Durable outdoor speakers compatible with your active lifestyle
A very popular category of portable Bluetooth speakers are ultra-portable, rugged, and waterproof ones that you can confidently take anywhere. I have one that I bring along if we go to a cottage, camping, beach, or any other outdoor space away from the house.
The Ultimate Ears BOOM 3 Waterproof Bluetooth Wireless Speaker comes with a POWER UP Charging Dock that makes it easy to recharge when needed, providing up to 15 hours of listening on the go. With 360-degree sound, you can even have a backyard party or play music everyone can enjoy while deep into a game of volleyball on the beach. It’s compact and is waterproof so it can be immersed in up to a metre of water for up to 30 minutes. A neat Magic Button on the device can be used to play, pause, and skip tracks right from the speaker itself.
If you’re getting active on your own, a good pair of fitness headphones are essential. One of my favourite brands in this respect is Jabra, and the Jabra 75t In-Ear Noise Cancelling Truly Wireless Headphones offer an impressive up to 28 hours of battery life when using the charging case (7.5 hours per charge). They are IP55-rated for dust and water-resistance, so you can safely use them while going for a run or cycle in the rain. Use the Jabra Sound+ app to customize the listening experience and the four microphones to accept incoming calls or interact with your phone’s voice assistant. The passive noise cancelling technology means you can focus on your music and not distracting sounds around you.
While those headphones are great, I also really like the Jabra Elite Sport In-Ear Truly Wireless Headphones, which can also keep track of your heart rate and deliver in-ear coaching as you work out.
Privacy At Home or On The Go
While sharing music with loved ones can be fun, sometimes you just want to sit back and enjoy tunes on your own, revelling in every note, strum of the guitar, and tickling of the keys. If you spring for a decent pair of noise cancelling headphones, you get the added benefit of blocking out ambient noise around you so your neighbour mowing his lawn or the garbage truck passing by won’t interrupt your listening session.
Sony’s WH1000XM3/B Over-Ear Noise Canceling Headphones feature a proprietary HD noise canceling processor that blocks out surrounding noise. Plus, it features built-inGoogle Assistant so you can simply say “next track” and manage your playlists all from your voice. The 30-hour battery life and convenient folding design means you can use it for private listening both at home and on to go.
Another unique option is audio glasses like the Bose Frames Alto Bluetooth Audio Sunglasses, which can play music for personal listening while also blocking out harmful UVA/UVB rays. Pop on a pair and lie back in the backyard hammock with some relaxing tunes.
How are you going to get the most from your sounds of summer? Huge tower speakers in the living room? Small, light, portable speakers in your backpack? As I’ve discussed, the options are pretty much endless and there are speakers to suit your lifestyle indoors and outdoors. Check out these and more audio products to entertain you this summer at Best Buy Online.