You’re sitting outside on your patio furniture, you’ve got some burgers on the grill, the kids are playing in the yard…what could be more relaxing than enjoying a cool summer evening out on your patio? Well, some of your favorite music, of course! Let’s face it—your smartphone’s speaker isn’t cutting it anymore and you want a more permanent solution than wireless speakers. You need an outdoor speaker system.
You’re not handy, you say? No worries—hhgregg’s got you covered with these outdoor speaker installation tips and tricks.
The first thing to remember about outdoor speaker installation is that you need speakers that are truly designed for the outdoors, not just any old speaker system you have laying around (we recommend this indoor/outdoor speaker pair). And while it may seem easy to position them to avoid rain damage, the truth is that wind, rain and sun damage can happen no matter where you place your speakers. Try to minimize their exposure from sun, wind and rain as to preserve their lifespan and sound quality.
After you’ve selected your speakers, it’s best to find a sturdy location to mount them—one that won’t move with heavy winds. Additionally, even if your speakers are lightweight, you’ll want to consider how their weight might affect the support. Make sure you attach the speakers to something hard and sturdy, or else they may begin to sag and can damage the support.
When setting up outdoor speakers, you’ll want to place them fairly high so that they can project into your yard. Pointing the speakers downward also allows for natural drainage, thus preserving the life of your speakers. Additionally, keep this guideline in mind for distance: place the speakers about 12 feet from your central listening position and separated by about 8-10 feet for the best setup.
When mounting multiple speakers, something to consider is your deck or patio shape. For example, according to DigitalTrends.com, if you have a rectangular deck, place three speakers on the long wall and only one on the short wall. For square decks, place the speakers in the corners, with the left-channel ones opposite of each other (and vice versa for right-channel speakers). Lastly, don’t forget to listen to your speakers in their locations at various points around your yard before mounting to ensure you like where they’re placed.
You have the speakers and the mounting positions figured out, now you need to know how to actually install them. Who better to consult than This Old House’s general contractor Tom Silva? Follow his helpful speaker installation video for a simple, step-by-step guide on how to install outdoor speakers.
Once you’ve gotten your outdoor speakers installed and connected, you’re ready to get this summer party on the road. While you may want to party all night long, be sure to limit your speakers to your city’s noise ordinance, otherwise you may have some pretty angry neighbors.