Also known as “loudspeakers”, the current line of best outdoor speakers began back in 1877 with a patent by Ernst Siemens. The first mass use of outdoor speakers was seen in 1919, during the inaugural speech of president Woodrow Wilson. The outdoor speaker allowed people to hear is voice for up to a mile.
Today, outdoor speakers are common for public speeches are music festivals. But they’re also common in homes and backyards. They are all-weather entertainment and relaxation appliances. They come in two versions: wired or wireless. When positioned well, outdoors speakers won’t blast or disrupt your neighbor’s peace and privacy either. Rather, they’ll allow you to listen to open-air music comfortably.
The difference between outdoor and indoor speakers is in the construction and materials. Outdoor speakers are built to withstand most weather conditions and built to project sound in the open. Indoor speakers are built for indoor applications with walls and closed spaces.
All of the speakers on our list are weatherproof. They provide excellent sound and are easy to set-up.
Here is a list of 2017’s top rated and reviewed outdoor speakers to help you choose the best products for your backyard, patio or other outdoor stereo.
Best Outdoor Speakers | Top 7
|Our Rank||Outdoor Speaker||Power Handling (RMS)||Sensitivity (dB)||Frequency Response||Price|
|1.||Yamaha NS-AW390||130 watts||87 dB||55 - 40k Hz||$$$|
|2.||OSD Audio AP670||120 watts||90 dB||44 - 22k Hz||$$|
|3.||Boston Acoustics Soundware XS Satellite||100 watts||87 dB||150 - 20k Hz||$|
|4.||Acoustic Research Hatteras||40 watts||n/a||27 - 30k Hz||$$$$|
|5.||Bose 251||200 watts||n/a||10 - 200k Hz||$$$$|
|6.||Klipsch AW-650||85 watts||95 dB||70 -20k Hz||$$$$|
|7.||Dayton Audio IO655||85 watts||87 dB||45 - 20k Hz||$|
Best Outdoor Speakers | How We Tested
When reviewing outdoor speakers, we considered many features and aspects. Performance, price, wattage, size, user friendliness, and value for money are a few of the aspects we used to narrow down the best.
Arguably the most important of these factors is the all-weather performance. This requires one to ask questions:
- Is it water-resistant? Moisture will corrode grilles, electronics, and other speaker materials. Water resistant is a must.
- What materials were used to construct the speakers? Some outdoor speakers use polypropylene. Others invest in rust proofing, or even uses sealants.
- Will the speakers withstand all types of weathering? Humidity, salt, UV exposure, varying temperatures. These are all examples of weathering that can affect your speakers.
Also crucial is the speakers power handling, coverage and quality. Some outdoor speakers will perform better when used as pairs. Others will do a great job as a stand-alone unit.
You’ll want to align your speakers with the type of music that you listen to. Some outdoor speakers are treble heavy. Treble is great for rock and other similar types of music, but not for pop. Other outdoor speakers have a deeper bass sound and are great for bass heavy music.
Price and value you money is also an incredibly important factor! No one likes to get home, install his or her speakers, only to feel buyer’s remorse.
In our review, we gave performance a higher priority than price. There were a few brands that provide an amazing audio experience at a reasonable price.
Best Outdoor Speakers List
1. Best Overall: Yamaha NS-AW390BL
Yamaha NS-AW390 Quick Review
The wired Yamaha NS-AW390 was introduced in 2008. It remains incredibly popular to this day. In fact, this March 2016, it won Best Sounding Outdoor Speaker by Tom’s Guide. As a midsize speaker, the sound it‘s able to produce is impressive. Especially when you consider the reasonable retail price of under $100.
Some of the features that make this outdoor speaker with a grill design shine include:
- 1-inch PEI dome tweeter
- 5-inch hi-compliance PP mica-filled woofer making it resistant to heat
- Adjustable mounting bracket with safety wires and screws
- 130 watt maximum input power
- All weather system
- High power handling
- 6 Ohms impedance
- Magnetic shielding sensitivity
- 2-way acoustic suspension
A frequent issue we saw from buyer reviews is the lack of bass. But with all outdoor speakers, bass sounds different than indoor speakers due to the open space. As far as value for your money, the NS-AW390 passes our criteria with flying colors.
If you want a newer model, consider the Yamaha NS-AW294BL. It can be used both indoors or outdoors.
2. Best Value: OSD Audio AP670
OSD Audio AP670 Quick Review
The OSD Audio AP 670 is another great outdoor sound system with a modern look. You have a choice between a black or white model. Both of which come with swivel brackets. These speakers are sold in pairs for around $129.95 and can mount either horizontally or vertically.
Other features of these waterproof speakers include:
- Rust-resistant grille, sturdy frame
- 5-inch paper cone woofer
- 1-inch silk dome woofer
- Spring compression binding posts for maximum connectivity
- 120 watts
- 90 dB, 8 Ohms impedance
- Frequency response of 44 to 22 kHz
- One year warranty
If you want a deep bass, the AP670 is an outdoor speaker that will deliver rich bass. In a test with higher-priced models from Polk and JBL, this pair of outdoor speakers performed much better. And it performs better without costing hundreds of dollars. The AP670 is made with quality craftsmanship. They’re are all weather and are able to withstand salt, pool chemicals, snow, and rain. That said, JBL does recommend covering the speakers with plastic wrap in extremely cold temperatures. This will prevent rusting which is one of the downsides to this product.
3. Best Compact: Boston Acoustics Soundware XS Satellite
- Ultra Compact Outdoor Speakers
- Power Handling: 100W
- 2-1/2″ mid-bass driver
- 1/2″ Dome Tweeter
- Frequency Response: 150Hz – 20kHz
|$79.00 on Amazon.com|
Boston Acoustics Soundware XS Satellite Quick Review
In our opinion, this is the best-looking pair of outdoor speakers on our list. It’s the perfect outdoor speaker for country, jazz and pop music is the 2-way Boston Acoustics SoundWare. However, we don’t recommend these for heavy rock music. They tend to be a little more treble-heavy than other speakers. Another reason this set falls into the list of best outdoor speakers is because it is fully sealed. Its interior is protected from moisture. It can also be mounted any way you want because of its cube-shaped design. They retail for around $200 per pair.
Other features that make this set of speakers top-notch are:
- Comes in 5 colors (2 shades of black, white, red, grey)
- 5 Mid-Bass driver
- Half inch tweeter
- 100w Subwoofer
- 8 ohms
- 3500 Hz Crossover Frequency
- 15 to 100 watts
- 87 dB
- Comes with an articulating mounting bracket
- Magnetic Shielding
- 5-year warranty
4. Best Wireless: Acoustic Research Hatteras
Acoustic Research Hatteras Quick Review:
Another competitive outdoor speaker is the $179 Acoustic Research Hatteras, which is part of the brand’s Elite Series. It’s another one of the top reviewed outdoor wireless speakers on the market for many reasons. It weighs 11 pounds and is 2 feet high, making it very portable. It is well-constructed to handle a lot of wear and tear. This black plug-and-play outdoor Bluetooth speaker has a brushed steel look with user friendly controls. It also has a 360 degree LED light that offers party light and soft mood mode. And to top it off, it comes with its own drawstring bag.
Some of the special features that make this one of the best wireless outdoor Bluetooth speakers include:
- Lighthouse design, UV resistant
- Dual 2-inch tweeters
- Two 20 watt amplifier systems
- 4-inch midranges
- 4 way speaker
- Built-in subwoofer
- 30 feet Bluetooth range
- Comes with an AC plug and one 55 mm auxiliary cable
You will love the audio quality of the Hatteras. It has a great range of sound, including deep bass and clean treble. One of the downsides is that it does not have its own internal rechargeable battery.
5. Best Volume: Bose 251
Bose 251 Quick Review
It is one of the higher-priced outdoor speakers at $398 but the Bose 251 is definitely worth every penny. The audio quality of this speaker is superb. It comes in a water-resistant, all-weather casing and is packed with lots of power because of its multi-chamber enclosure.
Some of the features of the Bose 251 include:
- Made in the US
- Easy installation
- Great for open spaces because it has 2 speakers
- Known to last for years
- All-weather speakers
- 3 drivers: two 2.5-inch drivers and one 2.5-inch woofer
- Weighs 8 pounds each
- Articulated Array speaker design for wide dispersion
On the downside, these speakers are not self amplified. This means to get the power and outstanding sound, you need to get an amplifier.
6. Best Hidden: Klipsch AW-650
Klipsch AW650 Quick Review
Uniquely designed to look like a rock, the wired Klipsch AW 650 outdoor speakers have been named Best Hidden Speakers of 2016. With a price tag of $299.00, these outdoor speakers don’t just blend into your garden or backyard, the sound is almost flawless.
Other features that make this one of the best two-way patio speakers are:
- Dual ¾-inch polymer dome tweeters
- 5-inch dual voice coil polymer woofer
- Weather-proof, UV resistant with sealant on the undersides and thick wiring
- 50 watts continuous power, 200 watts peak
- 8 ohms, 2500Hz Crossover Frequency
- Stereo or mono sound options
- 13 pounds
On the downside it has no transmitter but has multiple speakers inside. It also lacks the heavy bass but the treble and mid range is perfect. Other than these two minor issues, the Klipsch AW 650 outdoor speakers is above reproach.
7. Best Budget: Dayton Audio IO655W
Dayton Audio OI65 Quick Review
For less than $90, you can’t complain about the performance of the 2-Way Dayton Audio OI65. It sounds and looks like a high-end outdoor speaker. In blind tests, the Dayton Audio IO655 went up against several high-end brands. It performed just as well, if not better. The Dayton Audio OI 655 is one of the best outdoor and backyard speakers because you get great value for your money.
The features that turn this speaker into a must-have include:
- Full sound, clear treble sound, good bass
- Fully sealed to prevent moisture, bugs, and rust
- Weather-proof, ABS plastic casing with aluminum grills
- Polypropylene 6.5-inch woofer
- One-inch dome tweeter
- Has a 70 volt version that is slightly more expensive
- One year warranty against defects
On the downside, with such great reviews and value, this model is often not available in stores. And because of the plastic enclosure, there tends to have a little resonance. Also, if you want to use it with a computer, you will have to get an amplifier since they are not self-powered.