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5 Tips to Design High-Performance Outdoor Audio Systems

Updated: May 11, 2021

There is something that you can do with the back yard just about any time of the year. Warmer weather is ideal for cookouts and different types of family or neighborhood parties. During the warmer months, it’s easy to put the pool to good use. That fire pit is a great way to while away some time on a crisp autumn evening. Even during the winter, it’s possible to barbecue outdoors and make use of the heaters that are found around the patio area.

All this activity does not have to be conducted in silence. You also don’t have to run speakers from inside the home or make do with some sort of portable device. It’s possible to create and install an outdoor audio system that provides the perfect sound. How can you do this? With a little help from an expert and some imagination, you could have the system in place in no time at all. Here are five tips that will help with the process.

Man in Hot tub listening to Outdoor Audio System

Identify the Different Ways You’ll Use the System Throughout the Year

Once the system is installed, you’re sure to find all sorts of uses for it. The thing is that you don’t have to wait for the system to be present in order to brainstorm some ideas now. In fact, having some ideas before you install the system will provide inspiration for how to structure it.

Think of how you use the space right now. Which of those activities would be more enjoyable if you had some music other than streaming music on your smartphone or going old school with a boom box? You’re likely to find that most of what you use in the back yard, for now, would be better if there was a little music in the background.

For example, music, while you slave over a hot grill, would be great. A favorite tune or two would be excellent if you’re enjoying a soak in a hot tub. There’s no doubt that a playlist of the songs you like best will help you relax while you’re poolside and working on a tan. The same goes for cookouts and pool parties.

There are other applications that may come to mind. Do you ever like the idea of having music for dancing during a backyard gathering? Unless you have the cash on hand to hire a band, you’re likely getting by with some type of device that you haul outside for the occasion. Think how much better it would be if you had an outdoor system with superior sound.

Every idea, no matter how infrequent you may actually employ it, can generate additional ideas for the system. Be sure to jot them down and talk them over with an expert.

Electronics Design Group Hidden Speaker

Evaluate Speaker Styles That Work in Your Space (You May End Up Using More Than One)

With some ideas on how you will use the system, it’s time to talk about the speakers and the speaker layout. One mistake that many people make is assuming they can mount a few speakers on an exterior wall and call the task done. Perhaps this would be better than hauling a portable system outdoors when you want some music, but it’s far from the best solution you can come up with.

The goal is to place the speakers in a way that easily provides consistent sound no matter where you happen to be in the back yard. In order to accomplish this, you’ll likely need to connect more than one type of speaker. This is not a problem as long as each type you select has similar sound quality.

It may be that a few conventional speakers will work fine for the patio and maybe the area where you have the hot tub. They won’t be as practical or as effective if you try to mount them somewhere around the pool or other areas of the yard. You’ll need something different for those locations.

Did you know there are speakers on the market that look quite a bit like simple landscape lights? In fact, you could work these into flower beds that line the privacy fence or even islands that are found at various points in the yard. They’re not visually intrusive, but they do provide clear sound with excellent volume. A mix of these speakers with more traditional models closer to the back door will effectively create an area that’s enclosed with sound. Think of what that will mean for anyone who’s in the mood to take a break from the festivities to sit under a shade tree and enjoy whatever happens to be playing.

Zero In On Speakers That are Made to Hold Up in All Sorts of Weather

Weatherproof TV, Speakers outdoor

The speaker style is not the only factor that you should consider. There’s also the matter of what sort of materials are used for each one. You also want to make sure the casing is tight and won’t allow moisture into any of the speakers.

Consider the different weather conditions that prevail during various seasons. Those outdoor Hi-Fi speakers will be subjected to significant changes in temperature, precipitation, and humidity. Ideally, the casings are made to reflect heat and cold. Direct sunlight won’t case the cases to fade to any significant degree. The materials won’t weaken when subjected to rain, sleet, snow, wind, and anything else that might happen during the year.

It’s true that nothing lasts forever. It’s also true that you should not find yourself having to replace all or most of your speakers after a year or two. Before you buy anything, make sure you know what materials are used for the speakers, the sort of warranty the manufacturer offers, and the recommendations for taking care of the speakers. That will help you determine if they are really the right thing for your back yard or if you need to look for something else.

Ensure That You Can Link to Multiple Sources of Audio Without Having Them Outside

Now that you have the number and types of speakers selected, it’s time to think about what audio sources you want to include in the system. If you’re like many homeowners, there are multiple sources found indoors. There are even some vintage options that you may want to include.

There’s no doubt that you want the ability to connect to any digital music system that you currently have. That means the network must be set up so that the speakers can pick up any mp3 file you’re playing on a device.

Maybe you love to stream music instead of having it saved on a device. You would want the speakers to connect to any device that you use for streaming. Since the system is designed to avoid any audio lags, the music will sound great no matter where you happen to be in the yard.

Maybe you still have CDs that you like to listen to from time to time. Those outdoor speakers should be able to connect to your CD player and provide crystal-clear sound with ease.

Having a turntable no longer means you’re hopelessly behind the times. In recent years, vinyl has made something of a comeback. Along with new pressings of classic albums, many independent groups are doing limited releases as well as publishing their music via streaming, downloadable files, and CDs. Ideally, your outdoor system should be able to connect to your turntable and ensure you get to enjoy old favorites as well as something new.

Hi-Fi audio control from Smartphone

Choose a Control Device With Care – And Make Sure It Supports All Your Sources

A key element in your Hi-Fi audio system is the ability to control it. As part of the setup, an expert will talk with you about different options for remotely controlling the music network. A great deal depends on the type of control you want and the devices that you’ll connect to as the source for the music.

In some cases, the control device will look like the one you use for the television. Others may look more like a smartphone, complete with a display screen. That can make switching between different sources simpler, especially if you have a touchscreen instead of a simple display.

In fact, you may not need a dedicated control device. Some outdoor systems include the ability to use applications to control the entire network. The expert may set you up with an option that can be managed using an app you download to your phone or tablet. Migrate to the app and with a few quick touches, the music will be playing.

Now that you have some ideas on how to structure your outdoor audio system and what sort of control you can include, it’s time to call in an expert. Contact EDG through the form below or by phone at (732) 650-9800. Arrange for a consultation and get some ideas about everything from the equipment to the number and placement of the speakers. Once there’s a plan in place and you agree that it will work, a team of professionals will begin the installation followed by the quality control testing. By the time they’re done, you’ll already be making plans for that first big backyard bash.

Need help with your outdoor audio set up? We're here to help.

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