The best outdoor speakers for every occasion

The best outdoor speakers from top brands like Bose and Sony.

The best outdoor speakers for every occasion
Speaker held in front of sea

Maybe you like to dine outside, splash around in the pool, or simply kick your feet up and relax in the garden. There's one simple but crucial element that could take your outdoor leisure time to the next level: music.

Sure, you could just blast your playlist from your smartphone's speaker, but let's be honest — it doesn't sound great. If you're serious about your music, treat it with respect by using quality speakers — speakers that won't muffle the sound, cut out at your favourite part of a song, or hiss, crackle, or pop their way through a playlist.

Finding a good pair of speakers is straightforward when you're building a sound system for inside your home, but finding the same kind of high-quality audio for the outdoors can be tricky. You simply can't use the same speakers for your living room as you do in your garden. Not only can they not withstand the weather, but indoor speakers just aren't built to carry audio in wide-open spaces. Fear not: We're here to help you find the best speakers for your garden or outdoor space.

Can you mount outdoor speakers?

Mounting wired speakers around your outdoor living area is an ideal choice when you have the space to place them on walls or under decks. Often, these speakers are sold in pairs and have a stereo configuration with left and right inputs to help fill your space with more complex audio. The only downside is that they have a more limited range of projecting sound as they can only be tilted so far without literally hitting a wall.

If your outdoor space is further away from mountable opportunities, however, you could opt to hide your setup in your landscaping with some in-ground speakers instead. It will involve the careful burying of some wires, but it's a great choice for dispersing audio more evenly as many ground-level speakers boast 360-degree sound. The only caveat? Whichever option you choose for your outdoor listening, you'll want to ensure that they are actually meant to be used outside.

Are outdoor speakers waterproof?

While on your search for outdoors speakers, look out for keywords like 'weatherproof,' 'waterproof,' and 'water-resistant.' Most outdoor speakers will clearly let you know that all the electrical stuff is safely and securely housed inside a weather-resistant shell. This means it will be able to withstand the elements, including rain, snow, and extreme hot or cold temperatures. 

A high waterproof rating is standard with portable Bluetooth speakers, but less common on mountable wired speakers. That said, it's common for wired outdoor speakers to simply be weather-resistant rather than waterproof. If you are concerned about wild weather where you live, you might opt to place your speakers under some sort of cover to offer them more protection.

Wired vs wireless outdoor speakers — which is best?

Wireless Bluetooth speakers are great and their portability makes them really convenient, but wired outdoor speakers are likely to be more powerful, more dependable, and less susceptible to interference. Plus, you'll never have to worry about recharging any devices or walking too far out of Bluetooth range with your streaming device. Those are definite perks — especially when you’re throwing an all-day, all-night party and want to mingle with your guests. Outdoor wired speakers also tend to be better at filling large spaces with an even distribution of sound, especially since you can hook up a bunch around the garden.

Wireless speakers — which usually work via Bluetooth — have their plus points, too. Bluetooth speakers can stream audio content from your smartphone, tablet, laptop, or other Bluetooth-capable device. Sometimes, these speakers will also allow for hands-free capabilities through voice assistants like Alexa or Google Assistant. The other bonus is that you can take them to the party, so you're not bound by one location. You can also take a portable Bluetooth speaker to the park, the pool, or on holiday.

What is the best outdoor speaker?

We've tried to narrow down your options and compiled a roundup of top speakers for a wide range of people, budgets, and activities. We’re pretty confident you’ll find what you need to enjoy the outdoors without missing a beat. We've tracked down impressive devices from top brands like Bose, JBL, and Sonos. Just pick a favourite.

These are the best outdoor speakers in 2023.

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