Will they get rained on? Do you need much bass? Can they be permanently mounted?
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If you’re not needing dance music levels get a new version of a small portable little "boom box" thing with bluetooth...nobody at a party cares about the quality of the background music anyway. Another solution is small PA speakers like the Mackie C200...efficient, lightweight due to Neo woofers, built in handles to carry the things, built like a tank and partygoers can spill drinks on ’em all day. Those you CAN dance to and they’ll take 500 watts peak...couple hundred bucks each.
.nobody at a party cares about the quality of the background music anyway.
Right. There’s precisely two kinds of party music: background noise barely audible over conversation, and so loud you have to shout to be heard. Either way, anything over $100 is a waste. The conversation situation nobody cares, or will even notice. The other situation people will notice, and call the cops.
No, they won't be mounted or get rained on. Just setting up when I want to hear music outside.
Thanks, I will check them out. PAs might be the way to go.
Maybe I should clarify a little. Yes they will be used at BBQs and pot luck dinners. However, sometimes I like to listen outdoors with the volume up. So, although I'm not looking for a very expensive high-end speaker, I would like to enjoy a musically sounding speaker outdoors without reflections in a large back yard around 1/4 acre in size.
Thanks again everyone.
I have had two pairs of SpeakerCraft indoor-outdoor speakers mounted under my eves at my current home for 15 years and the larger pair actually was moved over from my previous residence. 365 days x 15+ years through Michigan winters and they still sound great.
I have no idea whether the newer versions are as solid as the speakers I have, but they are still in business and the Boom Tomb In-Ground Subwoofer Kit looks pretty cool.
My idea of an outdoor party speaker is a Tekton Mini Lore. 35 pounds so not going to break a back and will sound good. Only 575 a pair new and they have some thump with 8". I want a set for the same reason. 50 bucks for the grill. Cool Paint colors to go with outdoor furniture.
edit...only 575 now delivered.
Outdoors is tough. No room enhancement for the bass. For my sons outdoor wedding reception I went with powered studio monitors. Run from an iPod! If you have AC power you can rock the neighborhood! This was an outdoor park. But bass will be limited. Try zZounds, guitar center and any local guitar store. Portable. Volume adjustable on site. And good sound above 80 Hz. Battery operated source.
If they would work for you I put a pair of wall mounted Polk Atrium 6 speakers out on the deck this year.
These were a steal, highly rated, and replaced a pair of years old Minimus 7s that finally weathered out.
These have a bit of a clean but tipped up bass that is useful outside where there are no room acoustics to help reinforce the bass. Very nice outside top to bottom with good dispersion which helps. Vocals in particular are crystal clear.
Going the Bluetooth route, Harman Kardon Onyx Studio puts out a lot of very good sound and also will not break the bank.
TIC Outdoor Omni directional GS38
i have used these for installing friends outdoor sound system . Rotel Preamp Emotiva XPA 2 and speaker switch box with volume control. These speakers are used in all the theme parks and also the Gardens at the palace of Versailles. My friends Boss was over his house and couldn’t believe how good it sounded compared to his $11,000 set up
Used to set up my old American Acoustics party speakers outside for parties and just jamming while gardening. Pretty large back yard for the city. Not audiophile inside, but I was actually impressed how decent they sounded outside. No reflections to worry about. 8" woofer actually does pretty tight bass and mids not horrible. Tweeters a bit harsh but better outside. Not too many parties lately and too lazy to pull them out for gardening. But I should one of these days, maybe this weekend. Have considered taking my big Snells outside but never got around to it. Give it a try, you will probably be surprised. It's a fun experiment at the very least.
+1 on the JBL bluetooth speakers. I have two of the Charge and they don't sound bad at all so I just use those lately.
+1 for @mapman ‘s suggestion for Polk Atrium 6’s. I’ve had them outdoors for 5 years, without a problem. I actually enjoy their sound regardless of being an outdoor speaker.
I also use a pair of Definitive Technologies AW6500’s as well. Really impressive sound, weatherproof build. a bit awkward to setup if you’re going to be moving them back and forth though.
In 1997 I bought a set (5) of the BIC speakers. Plastic ported pods. 5-1/4” MW, polypropylene with butyl rubber surrounds, 1” polycarbonate tweeters. They’ve been doing duty outside since 1998. 22 years! Still sound and work great! Nice bass, but not subwoofer bass. I have 2 on the pool deck, 2 on the patio deck. I use the headphone out connections from a portable CD player to a weather-tight Pyle amp. Cheap. But sounds great for non-critical outside music. 50 Watts/channel is plenty of power for outdoors.
Proficient Audio AW830.
They are 4 ohms and they like power... feed them and you will be rewarded.
They are AWESOME ! You will not look for anything else after owning them !
Anything that will survive the weather and produce sound. Remember when you are out side you are never in the sweet spot and moving around. You and your company will usually be drinking and any sound will be the best they heard. I picked up a pair from menards here in WI for $50 and they do what they need to, stero sound loud and that have lasted 10 years. Can’t even tell you the brand they are so off market.
Coastal Source 2-way Ellipse Bollards are totally weatherproof and quite good Fi. But if weather proof isn't an issue, AND if you are somewhat handy, look into the Parts Express Executive BT kit: https://www.parts-express.com/executive-200-watt-portable-bluetooth-speaker-kit--300-7164
I’ve heard just about every outdoor weatherproof speaker on the market. The best enclosed model I’ve seen is the Near LB8, with the LB6 just behind:
From there, the sub/satellite systems from Near/ Sonance/ Episode/ James/ etc are also very nice, but are more expensive and require more installation effort.
The LB8’s are fantastic and are in another league above the offerings from Klipsch/ Polk/ etc. Find a local dealer and ask for a demo.
I have a system that I roll out onto my back deck. During the spring, summer and fall seasons often get played more than my main system. I have used several monitor speakers. One of my favorites was a used pair of B&W 685 which worked well. They could broadcast well, loud or soft, and the bass was suitable even without reinforcement. I would stick with 6-7" monitors, maybe build some outdoor stands what wouldn't need to be moved, at least not taken inside.
Check out these new portable line array systems from electro-voice.
They sound great. Are powered and easy to transport. Have built in bluetooth and dsp. Just one stack should be more then enough volume. The clarity on the mids and highs are so much better with these line arrays compared to horn loaded compression drivers most PA speakers use.
Get a pair of Used Mackire Srm 450’s. Mount them on the adjustable pole mounts with the 3 legs...
The pole on the stand is height adjustable and you can lift the speakers up high so that the sound isn’t blocked by people standing in front of the speakers. They have a horn waveguide on the tweeter and therefore a very wide dispersion pattern.
buy something like a parasound z dac; something with balanced outputs. Plug an i phone or ipad into the zdac streaming soundcloud or spotify or tidal, whatever. Plug the z dac into the speakers with xlr cables. All in, speakers, dac, stands, i pad, you will spend $1500 but will have a system worthy of a serious dance party!
On the large side of things, I bought a cheap PA setup from monoprice for outdoor events and karaoke. Two self powered 15" plastic boxed PA speakers, stands, cables, a wireless mic set from Amazon. I have under $400 into everything (less than my last cable upgrades for the main rig). I hook up a phone or a laptop for the source and everyone loves it. I can host or take the whole thing to a friends house. Plenty of sound.
On the small side of things, the weather proof JBL Charge bluetooth speakers are fantastic. Link two of them together and use a phone as a source and you can fill any room with sound. My dad puts a set on his deck for outside listening and small gatherings. You can pair up to 100 speakers if I remember correctly (running in mono) so you can always add another one for more sound.
Both good options depending on what you are trying to achieve.
I'll throw another vote out there for a JBL portable. I have the Boombox 2, sounds good and with deep bass you have to hear to believe. It also weighs close to 15lbs, stretching the definition of portable. But hey, it has a handle.
Definitely on the "v" curve of sound signature, but the app has an EQ, and it can be linked with other JBLs.
My other "portable" setup is a Fosi Audio mini amp with Dayton Audio B652s, using a Chromecast Audio dongle as the input. All in, less than $150, plays loud, sounds good, but it is hard to beat the flexibility of the JBL for placement and ease of setup/takedown.
I’ve had these kickers a few years. Sound great and cheap on Amazon so return if yuh don’t like. But you should...
Kicker KB6 2-Way Full Range Indoor Outdoor Speakers (Pair) | Weatherproof Speakers for Patio Sunroom Garage Poolside in-Home | 6.5 inch woofer, 2x5 inch Horn Tweeter | Quick Mounting System https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07T8ZSRWJ/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_i_sBx9EbYNN8A2J
I am outdoors almost every weekend either swimming or doing BBQ or both. I have one of the Bose F1 systems and really like it. Has plenty of bass and you can play them as loud as you want and drive them with an iPhone since they are powered.
Other option I love if you want something easier to set up and take down is my Phantom Gold. These are great for outdoor use as you only need one and you can drive them via Bluetooth if you want.
The speakers were pretty old even so the support at Klipsch had difficulty identifying them but what they determined was the model was similar to the CA-6T. They must of had some variations of custom outdoor speakers back in the day. The tweeters were fine but the woofers were cached. I found some replacements not for my model but took a chance on pictures that looked similar to my woofer and had to do some fine dremel shaving to make it fit but the results were amazing!