I'd buy those ones that look like rocks.
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Speakercraft makes several resonably priced and good quality models. Outdoor listening is not critical listening, but good speakers do sound better than bad ones. I wouldn't go crazy, though. I replaced the cheap Sony TV speakers with the Speakercraft ones (~$150) at my poolhouse and it made a noticeable difference, commented on by several friends. Happy Listening
i'd second the don't overspend idea. hi end outdoor spkrs for 'outdoor' use are probably a waste of $$ for what the listeners are after. polk, jbl, nht etc will be fine. if you really want to impress your buddies find a big bassy subwoofer and put it in a sweet spot. and yes , anything shaped like a terd or clod i would avoid at all costs on principle. what if a worker or cleaner accidentally kicks your clod or limes your terd? and do you really want to hang a terd from a tiki torch...gross.
I enthusiastically agree with Chadnliz--just about anything I've ever run outdoors sounds surprisingly good. Used to have a pair of Niles OM-5s that were excellent, and lately, I've been carrying a pair of B&W DM303s into the yard on outdoor days while I'm waiting for delivery of a pair of "off brand" outdoor speakers from an online shop. I'd spend conservatively. . .just getting rid of all those walls makes the extraordinary difference. But beyond that, you're competing with ambient noise, and you're probably not glued to the "sweet spot" so it seems there's a rapid accelleration of the diminishing returns principle.
I would recommend buying direct fron the manufacturer. I purchased my speakers over the web from outdoorspeakerdepot.com. I purchased the AP850 model. They may be a little large for some people however, they are OUTSTANDING outdoor wall mounted speakers. The price is EXTREMELY affordable and they trounce anything within $1000 of their price.
Thanks for all the outstanding suggestions and generous amount of replies.
My main focus is not to impress guests with the sound of the film or the pre film tunes that i'll be playing through a ipod or lap top. The 20' X 12' screen i have constructed is normally the thing that everyone is paying attention to and impressed with.
My dads 40 year old Keenwood that i have had laying around for years and some cheep Bose sound pretty good so far.
I was mainly looking for something that sounds decent and will hold up through time in the weather, that i can mount outside and eliminate one step of my set up and break down stage when showing a film.
The suggestions offered so far gave me a good staring point for manufactures.