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The Difference Between Outdoor Speakers and Indoor Speakers

Outdoor Speakers Versus Indoor Speakers

Enjoying music isn’t limited to just in your home or even just in your car. What’s better than hanging out in your backyard, with the grill fired up, your friends all around, and music filling the air? Nothing.

Sound systems are made for different purposes to maximize performance in different fields. You find that some individuals who don’t know speakers think that indoor speakers can be taken outdoors and optimized to get the staging sound they want.

This is not usually the case as indoor speakers are made for indoor purposes where sound quality is greatly affected if you try to use them as outdoor speakers. Here are some of the major differences between outdoor speakers and indoor speakers.

Sound Quality

The manufacturers of high-quality speakers produce the best speakers with the acoustic setting in mind to maximize the purpose of the speakers.

This means that indoor speakers are made to be used in smaller enclosed spaces while outdoor speakers are made to project effective sound over a large area.

The volume of the speakers also differs in that outdoor speakers reach a very high volume without interference while indoor speakers are made to reach a lower volume when compared to outdoor speakers.

The volume of indoor speakers is much lower as it is made to hit the wall surfaces and bounce back or to absorbed by the walls. The bass also applies the same where the bass of outdoor speakers is built into the enclosure of the speaker while indoor speakers usually have a standalone woofer.

A good example indoor speaker here is the Bose SoundLink Mini.

The Design

You will notice that outdoor speakers have a unique design that concentrates on durability. They are made using a hard and sturdy material considering they are large and heavier too.

Many people want an aesthetic style indoors and no one would want to mount large speakers on the walls as outdoor speakers are not so good looking when placed indoors.

A good example of outdoor speakers with high-quality sound and design is Yamaha DXR12 Powered Speakers.

On the other hand, indoor speakers are designed in a cool sexy style that brings a sensation of elegance to improve the general appearance of the room.

The design is an aspect considered while manufacturing the speakers and you realize that both are made to fulfill the purpose they are made for with high performance.

Speaker System Arrangement
Image credit: albund, Deposit Photos

All-Weather Resistance

You will notice that outdoor speakers are made with durable water-resistant materials to prevent wearing out fast. Sometimes rain may fall during a stage show in the outdoors, but these speakers can withstand and the show will continue without disruptions.

Also, the speakers can withstand the effects of objects that may be thrown at them. If you had been using the indoor speakers for such a show, you could be cunting a loss as they can get easily damaged. This ensures that you don’t have to replace the speakers frequently thus helping you save a lot of cash.

It is, therefore, recommendable to use outdoor speakers for outdoor purposes too as they are made of sturdy material that can withstand harsh weather conditions like the QSC K10 Active Powered Speaker.

On the other hand, indoor speakers are made with a material that requires the speakers to be used indoors as the material can’t withstand outdoor weather conditions.

The material is not water-resistant and can get damaged easily in case of sharp objects land on the speakers. Indoors speakers are made with this type of material as it produces excellent sound it’s expected to be used indoors where there is the suitable weather condition.

Such an indoor speaker is the Yamaha NS-SP1800BL.

Input Power

Outdoor speakers can be divided into active and passive categories. Good music and sound quality in outdoor conditions can be achieved by using active outdoor speakers as the use of an enhanced amplifier can enhance them.

There are numerous sound obstacles experienced in outdoor conditions where the speakers have to be strong and powerful.

Outdoor factors such as wind and background noise cause the sound to disperse, loss of bass, and poor quality sound output.

This means that outdoor speakers are larger and require high power input to overcome these factors.

Such speaker is the Behringer-Eurolive-B115D outdoor Powered Speakers.

Indoor speakers are not made to overcome such obstacles as bass production is better indoors due to the presence of reflective surfaces. The indoor speakers are usually installed within your systems such as woofers, Hi-fi systems, and home theatres.

These systems usually have built-in amplifiers that do not require a high power supply when compared to those large amplifiers used to boost outdoor speakers like the Logitech Z623 indoor Speaker System.

The Bass

Any speaker would suffer from the effects of poor bass production in the open space due to the lack of reflective surfaces. The lack of reflective surfaces reduces bass output in open spaces thus amplifying should be considered an option.

This is why you find that outdoor speakers are made from high-quality and sturdy material that helps in boosting the bass within its surfaces. Sufficient bass is obtained when drivers that handle lower frequencies are used.

The engineering behind outdoor speakers considers all the effects of outdoor conditions thus is made to produce high-quality sounds to fulfill the needs of outdoor events and shows like the Peavey Dark Matter 112 Powered Speaker.

You have noticed that indoor speakers produce high-quality bass no matter how small. This is due to the presence of reflective surfaces such as walls, enclosed rooms, and stable air conditions where there is no wind.

This means the best conditions for indoor speakers where small bass and volume make a huge impact thus producing a high-quality sound such as the Pyle KTHSP125 In-Ceiling Home Speaker System.

Omnidirectional Sound

Another major difference exhibited by outdoor speakers is that they can be single-point speakers which means they can allow both right and left inputs into the speaker.

This enables the speakers to produce omnidirectional surround sound that covers a wider area. The sound covers a wider circular area that maximizes the output so that everybody can receive the desired effect.

Omnidirectional sound also enables the speakers to output the sound at 360 degrees that manages to cover a wide area.

Outdoor restaurant set up audio
Image credit: davidtran07, Deposit Photos

To provide the maximum output and cover an extremely large area, multiple omnidirectional speakers are used in large outdoor shows and events.

Indoor speakers are always single-directional and can’t provide such an effect.

Indoor speakers are made as a unidirectional speakers as the sound they produce is not expect to meet much resistance. Indoor speakers produce the greatest sound output depending on the power of your system and the levels of control you need.

You find that you don’t even need to adjust to a very high volume as a slight increase makes a significant improvement due to the presence of good indoor conditions.


It can’t bring a good picture when you place the tall home theatre speakers on your patio. Something small such as wind may blow and the speakers tip over and break easily. They are not designed to withstand the fall on hardcore and are not waterproof too.

The outdoor speakers are made to withstand all these harsh conditions such as wind, falling on the hard ground, harsh temperature, and many more. This is one of the major factors that you find the price of outdoor speakers is very high when compared to indoor speakers.

Some people will be tempted to place the indoor speakers outside and cover the speakers but note that the effects of bad weather will still reach the parts of these speakers and cause damage.

The indoor speakers are not made in rustproof materials too and can get corroded once exposed to places where they can obtain moisture.

An example of a good indoor speaker with such quality is the Polk Audio RTiA1 Bookshelf Speakers.


If you are keen enough, you could realize that outdoor speakers are constructed to blend in with the different outdoor environments. Some would look like rocks, benches, tree stumps, and even flower ports whereby you can place the rock-like speakers around your garden for concealment.

This gives an impressive appearance thus improving the aesthetics of your home. Outdoor speakers also produce great surround sound to meet all your needs such as the Mackie THUMP15 Thump Series powered speakers.

On the other hand, indoor speakers produce the greatest sound when used indoors. They are built on a decent design that dwells on the essence of style and personality.

You find those slim and tall home theatre indoor speakers blending too well with your living room style thus facilitating your idea of maintaining an elegant style. The woofer systems are also beautiful where they are made in a modern design that adds perfection to your room such as the Pioneer SP-FS52-R.


Indoor Speakers, outdoor speakers, speakers

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