It goes without saying that setting up and using outdoor speakers comes with some hurdles that you hardly experience when compared to using indoor speakers. Chances are you would often get tempted to use outdoor speakers in an outdoor environment like how you use them indoors.
However, the naked truth is that the outdoor space demands completely new strategies to get the best possible sound from outdoor speakers. Speakers meant for the outdoor space are not built the same way as indoor speakers.
Outdoor speakers are typically designed to handle the harsh outdoor elements such as wind, dust, rain and heat. However, they still need protection and proper usage to last many years.
Thus, before investing in a new set of outdoor speakers, you'll need to go for speakers that can withstand severe outdoor conditions. With that said, here are the top 7 tips and tricks on how to use outdoor speakers.
Table of Contents
1. Position the Speakers to Face Downwards
It’s advisable to keep all outdoor speakers pointing a bit downwards such that they face your patio or garden side pool for enhanced sound projection towards the outdoor listeners. This way, everyone will get to hear the sound coming off the speakers effortlessly.
Also, keeping them pointing a bit downwards prevents water from accumulating on the speaker casing and cones. This way, the components are protected from damage by water. Whenever it rains, any water that gets on the speakers flows down naturally rather than collecting on the cones and casing.
2. Placement Distance
If you desire to use outdoor speakers for the best outdoor music enjoyment, then you will need to place them strategically from each other.
The general rule when positioning outdoors speakers is to always position them approximately 10 feet away from each other. This separation distance is good enough for most outdoor speakers that don’t demand any professional adjustment and setting up.
Always avoid positioning the speakers more than twelve feet away from each other. Doing so will destroy your listening experience as a result of unbalanced sound. By positioning them at an ideal distance away from each other, you will always get to hear a balanced sound regardless of the speaker you are closest to in your garden.
3. Inspecting and Cleaning the Speakers
Outdoor speakers should never be left alone like indoor speakers. You need to inspect them regularly to make sure they’re in good shape. Outdoor speakers are often exposed to elements. You should make sure the grilles are not obstructed in any way. Any obstruction of speaker grills can lower the quality of sound.
In case the grille is removable, you can remove it to check whether there is any debris inside and remove the debris if any. Debris such as sand particles can distort the sound coming off the cones as they will bounce on the cones.
In case the speaker is tightly sealed for protection against debris and other elements, avoid forcing it open since you may damage it. If this is the case, you will simply do regular maintenance like cleaning the casing and other external parts such as the cones to remove dust and cob webs.
Even if the outdoor speakers are waterproof, avoid cleaning them with high pressure water as it may seep into the ports and damage electronic components.
4. Protecting Speaker Wires
Another trick on how to use outdoor speakers involves taking care of wires that connect the speakers to a power source or stereo system. These wires should never be left exposed on the ground surface or sagging around the garden. A lawnmower can easily cut them off or they can trip anyone visiting the garden.
The best way to keep them protected is by running them through plastic pipes and burying them beneath the ground. This way, no one will trip over the wires and garden machinery will not damage them. You can use silicone to seal the pipes to prevent moisture from seeping into them and keep bugs off the wires.
When burying outdoor speaker wires, only use cables suitable for direct burying. Burring ordinary wires is not advisable since they can corrode easily or get damaged by bugs.
5. Creating a Balance Between Speakers and Volume
Some people assume that getting optimum performance and quality sound from outdoor speakers is all about keeping the volume high. However, it’s best using several speakers to project sound to a wider outdoor area rather than using a single speaker under high volume. Although some speakers still sound great even when the volume is extremely high, you may disrupt some guests or neighbors with noise. Thus, use multiple outdoor speakers for the best audio experience rather than raising the volume too high when using a single speaker.
6. Protecting Outdoor Speakers Against Elements
If you want to use outdoor speakers for many years to come, you should keep them protected against outdoor elements. In most cases, outdoor speakers are set up under eaves to keep them safe and protected from direct exposure to sunlight and rainfall.
As such, check whether they’re still safe. You can check whether wall mounts are still mounted firmly and don’t have any signs of falling off. In case you initially mounted the speakers under a shady area, ensure they’re still protected under the shade and are not exposed to the hot sunlight. You may also cover the speakers using plastic bags during winter to protect them from extreme cold.
7. Use an Amplifier for Bass
If you desire to get bass from your outdoor speakers, then you should add an amplifier. An amp will enhance your overall outdoor music experience for it powers speakers and has support for outputting bass. Just ensure the amp does not overpower the outdoor speakers. The amp output should not exceed what the speakers can take.
Some people assume that after setting up outdoor speakers, they can forget them till they require replacement or when they start malfunctioning.
While some outdoor speakers may survive many years of use without regular maintenance, learning these tips and tricks on how to use outdoor speakers will assist you to get the best out of them for many more years to come. Thus, keep these tips in mind for the best outdoor music experience.