What Are The Best Outdoor Speakers?

Welcome to your one stop guide to help you navigate the abundance of options on the market in your search for the best outdoor speakers. The world of technology is always expanding and ever-changing so shopping for any electronics can be daunting if you are not sure where to begin. Outdoor music systems are no different.  In fact, shopping for them can be even more complicated if you don’t understand what separates a great quality one from the other mediocre options on the shelf. We’ll cover what the most important features are to look for later on this page. But first, we’ll give you our list of the top rated speakers for 2017.

Outdoor Speakers 2017 Comparison

SpeakersTypeRatingPrice
Def Tech AW6500 Definitive Technology AW6500Wall-Mount

Surround

4.6Check Price
Klipsch AW-650Klipsch AW-650 6.5; Reference SeriesWall-Mount

Surround

4.5Check Price
Polk Atrium 6polk atrium6Wall-Mount

Surround

4.6Check Price
Bose FreeSpace 51 imagesIn-ground4.7Check Price
Bose 251 SeriesBose 251 Environmental SpeakersWall-Mount

Surround

4.6Check Price
Klipsch AWR650-SMklipsch AW-650-SM rock speakersGround

Surround

4.7Check Price
Klipsch KHO-7Klipsch KHO-7 SpeakersWall-Mount

Surround

4.2Check Price

Top 10 Outdoor Speaker Reviews 

1. Polk Audio Atrium6

polk atrium 6

The Polk Audio Atrium 6 could pass for an indoor with its exceptional sound. Don’t let the small size fool you, as most  Polk reviews rave that the power of this particular speaker surpasses expectations with their sonic bass performance. These Polk’s are all weather certified and have been engineered to endure the most rigorous weather conditions, including extreme heat, rain and snow. They’ve succeeded in passing a drop test, UV and salt exposure, as well as a signal response test. Simply put, they are built to last a lifetime, inside and out. (full review)

 

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2. Definitive Technology AW6500

definitive technology aw6500

If you are looking for top-of-the-line outdoor system that will blow you away, Definitive Technology’s AW 6500 is hands down the most impressive in its class. With a peak power handling of 200-watts, Def Tech delivers what most in its category lack – a sonic bass performance. The only complaint about the bass will be your neighbors unable to sleep at night. Def Tech delivers the crisp, natural sound of an indoor speaker that can hold up to the outdoor elements. (full review)

 

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3. Klipsch AW-650

klipsch aw650

Klipsch’s AW-650 Reference Series are likely the highest rated on the market with a whopping 4.6/5 on Amazon. They are comparable to Def Tech’s AW6500’s in clear, crisp and superb sound that will take you to music heaven. Equipped with a 6.5” IMG woofer and delivering 340-watts of peak power, this powerful set does not disappoint in the bass department. They are efficient at projecting a full range of bass to fill your outdoor area, while still producing a top notch, natural sound.  The 1” titanium dome tweeter is connected to a 90 degree by 90 degree square Tractrix horn, producing clear, crisp highs with a broad frequency response from 70Hz to 20kHz and sensitivity of 95dB. The Klipsch AW-650 outdoor system takes the listening experience to another level. (full review)

 

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4. Klipsch KHO-7

klipsch kho-7

If you are looking for a company that really stands behind their brand, you can’t go wrong with Klipsch. Ringing in at just under $300, these Klipsch KHO-7’s are a budget friendly option delivering 300-watts of peak power. They feature a 5.25″ poly cone woofer and a 1″ silk dome tweeter loaded with an exclusive Klipsch Tractrix(R) Horn, increasing efficiency and allowing them to deliver more power using less energy. With their compact size and moderate price, we found the sound clarity is impressive, with sharp mids and highs. (full review)

 

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5. Bose 251 Environmental

bose 251 speakers

What is the first name that comes to mind when it comes to speakers? I’m going to go ahead bet you’re thinking Bose, a household name for top notch quality. Bose lives up to its reputation in delivering one of the options on the market, the Bose 251’s. Although Bose is also known for it’s more expensive price tags, their most popular and top rated speakers ring in at just under $400. At 200 watts of power, Bose offers a great price when compared with others in their league.  They will blow you away with their crisp and balanced sound, delivering a stellar performance with a wide range so you can enjoy them no matter where you are in or around your house. (full review)

 

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6. Bose FreeSpace 51 In-Ground

bose freespace 51 outdoor speakers

The Bose Free Space In-Grounds are often referred to as “landscape” speakers and I’m sure you can figure out why just by looking at the picture. These discreetly sit among your garden or landscaping, but believe me you will know they are there. With a 360-degree sound coverage, you can enjoy your favorite music from your entire outdoor area.

They are protected by a rugged green shell that is promises to endure even the most extreme outdoor environments. They can sit above or in-ground, blending in seamlessly so that you barely know they are there. Bose backs their brand with a 5-year limited warranty. (full review)

 

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7. Yamaha NS-AW592 All-Weather

yamaha outdoor speakers 392

Yamaha is a household name in many industries, but did you know they make a helluva speaker too? The Yamahas are much more affordable than the likes of Bose or Klipsch, but unless you are an audiophile, you might never notice the difference in performance. The Yamaha AW592’s are one of the more popular choices, delivering 150-watts maximum output.  They are available in black and white, so they are sure to fit in just about anywhere.

You have the flexibility to mount these on the wall (mount included) and ceiling, or they look great on the floor faced up or on the side. Not only are they designed to endure and look great outdoors, they make a great indoor speaker as well. They can serve great as surround sound. (full review)

 

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8. Klipsch AWR-650 Rock

klipsch AW-650-SM outdoor rock speakers

We’ve already learned that Klipsch rocks in this industry, but have you checked out their outdoor rock speaker yet? This is another popular choice that looks amazing among your landscaping or on a pool deck. Available in a granite or sandstone, you can choose the color that suits your taste.

These are sold individually and they are certainly not a “budget” choice, but if you want something that looks great and packs a punch, the Klipsch AWR-650 is your best bet. At 200 watts of peak power, one speaker will likely do the trick. The UV-resistant enclosure can survive the harshest of outdoor conditions for years to come. (full review)

 

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9. Boss Audio ATV

atv speakers boss audio systems

If you’re looking to take your music with you on all of your outdoor adventures, the Boss Audio Four Wheeler Set might be the ticket. These are the perfect companion for your four wheeler, ATV, UTV, side-by-side or for tailgating days. You have the option to choose between Bluetooth or non Bluetooth. The Bluetooth option is great if you want to stream your favorite playlist from Pandora, Spotify etc.

You’ll be happy to know that installation is just as easy as a plug and play. This allows you to conveniently take it with you when you’re enjoying the great outdoors, or bring it safely inside to protect it from the elements and prolong its life. (full review)

 

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10. TIC GS3 In-Ground

TIC outdoor speakers gs3 omni speaker

These TIC speakers show great resemblance to the Bose FreeSpace set. They share a similar radial design enclosed in a green, durable shell that allows for a great sound from every direction. However, don’t be fooled. If you are looking for a budget-friendly option, you will be pleased to find that the TIC is a fraction of the price. Furthermore, many reviewers state that they sound just as good as the Bose.

You’ll find these also blend in effortlessly in your garden or landscaping. They are also quite smaller than the Bose, weighing in at just over 8 lbs. (full review)

 

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How To Choose Your Speakers

  • Determine Optimal Placement: The first thing you want to consider before beginning your search is where your primary listening area will be: your patio, pool deck, backyard, sauna, etc. Once you consider your listening area, then you can determine optimal placement. For example, Bose Freespace in-ground speakers will likely be ruled out if you are looking for a set for your patio. Once the location of is determined, then cosmetics, weight, dimensions, flexibility and portability will all play a role in your search through reviews.
  • Quality of Sound: Obviously the quality of sound is of utmost importance in providing you with a superb listening experience. A good outdoor music system should deliver more power using less energy. The audio should be balanced with a crisp, clear and natural sound with any genre of music. Is thunderous bass a priority for you? Keep this in mind while skimming reviews. Also, don’t forget to consider the best type of speaker wire in your budget if the wire is not included. This will have an impact on the quality of sound as well.
  • Durability is another huge factor to take into account. They are a big investment. You want to find a system that will survive the elements while still delivering a stellar performance for many years to come. For some, durability will be an even bigger priority depending on the use, such as if your using for your ATV or boat stereo systems, since these are much more vulnerable to the elements. Finding a durable option usually means investing a little bit more in the beginning, but it will save you in the long run. Find something that can stand the test of time and protect your investment.
  • Budget: Last, but certainly not least (and probably first on your list) – budget. We all have a budget, and of course we try to keep that budget to a minimum. But, as mentioned before, they are an investment and its one of those things that you get what you pay for. Sure, you can go out and by a $100 pair and then have to place them after every rainy season. On the other hand, you can pay $400 up front for a quality set that can last up to 10 years and saving you much more money in the long run.

How To Install

If you are not the most tech savvy, installing anything in the electronics field might be intimidating. Fortunately, Crutchfield has made it easier when it comes to installion. They put together a video that can help.