Beyond the Bluetooth: 4 essentials to outdoor home audio

Today, it’s easier than ever to bring your music outside. Whether you’re hosting a party by the pool or simply spending the evening under the stars, there are countless portable speakers you can take with you wherever you go. As familiar as homeowners may be with these small speakers, their convenience comes at a cost: Users end up sacrificing sound quality and limiting themselves to short battery lives just to take their tunes outdoors.

On the other end of the spectrum, simply hanging several pairs of speakers around a property is equally ineffective. No one wants their conversation to be dominated by the blaring speaker next to them, but you don’t want to be forced to turn the music down so low your other guests can’t hear it. Plus, with no walls to contain their sound, large outdoor speakers can often end up bothering the neighbors.

While many homeowners believe they have to choose between these two extremes, this is actually a compromise no one has to make.

The ideal outdoor audio system uses several satellite speakers installed along the property line and positioned toward the home to provide an experience as seamless as a portable speaker, without the dramatic highs and lows of a large speaker system. Here’s what you can expect from this set-up:

1. It sounds great from anywhere
With smaller satellite speakers spread throughout the property or entertainment area, you make sure there are always multiple speakers near each listener. Plus, pairing these satellites with several hidden subwoofers ensures they can still can provide satisfying, filling sound without turning up the volume. By positioning them all toward the house, the amount of sound that might leak out and disturb your neighbors is limited.

2. It’s durable
To ensure your outdoor audio system will perform at its peak year after year, it must be durable. Unlike the speakers in your home, or even those you bring outdoors on occasion, permanent outdoor audio equipment must be able to withstand continuous exposure to dust, rain and heat, even if it’s installed under shelter. Plus, by choosing the most durable equipment possible, you may be able to avoid having to replace your speakers before their time, making your investment even more worthwhile.

3. It’s well-connected 
Nothing can put a damper on a day by the pool like having to wait for your favorite song to load. Now that most people stream their music over an internet connection, it’s crucial you have a strong signal outside. However, many home Wi-Fi systems may not be powerful enough to offer high-speed streaming where you plan to listen. Outdoor access points can extend the range of your home Wi-Fi in a secure manner, and are built to withstand exposure to the elements. Plus, wouldn’t it be great if you could let your guests control the music without having to sacrifice your phone? A dedicated music streamer can solve this problem, giving any mobile device on the network the ability to add their favorite song to the queue.

4. It looks as good as it sounds
At the end of the day, you want your outdoor entertainment area to be relaxing and fun. With all the time you’ve spent perfecting the decor and landscaping, your audio system should reflect that very same taste. Satellite speakers are very small, and can be hidden in shrubs and even trees, while larger subwoofers can be built into planters or even buried underground. Once placed, audio professionals can connect the speakers in no time, simply running a single wire underground where it won’t be seen.