The 7 Best Outdoor and Backyard Speakers of 2021

Relax on your deck and listen to some tunes with these outdoor speakers

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The Rundown
Built to withstand the elements, the Bose 251 are made of a water-resistant composite that’s tough enough to handle extreme temperatures.
We chose them as the best value speakers because they offer a lot of power, and for such a good price.
In terms of sound quality, the rock speaker has a 6.5-inch dual voice coil polymer woofer and dual ¾-inch polymer dome tweeters.
The weather-proof speakers come as a pair and cost around $50 for the set.
The ANERIMST lantern speaker serves as a Bluetooth speaker, a tabletop lantern, and a hanging lamp.
Best for Portability:
Bose S1 Pro at Amazon
Because it’s a rugged, battery-powered amp, it’ll go wherever you take your party.
The camouflaged unit can be buried in the ground, or you can install on the surface and let the green speaker blend in with your garden.

Outdoor speakers can help turn your backyard into a lively entertainment space. The best outdoor speakers deliver the high-quality audio you'd expect from indoor speakers, but in a housing that will shield the interior electronics from the elements (or the occasional splash). 

Our experts searched for weather-resistant speakers that provided the right combination of audio quality, durability, performance, and easy-installation. We also looked at cost versus features, examining what each speaker offered for its price. Read on to see our top picks.

Best Overall: Bose 251 Environmental Outdoor Speakers

What We Like
  • Come as a pair

  • Mounting hardware included

  • Works with Bose SoundTouch SA-5 Amplifier

What We Don't Like
  • Expensive

With a design that’s fitting for the outdoors, music fans looking for a high-end experience backed by a strong name should check out the Bose 251 Environmental Outdoor Speakers. They come as a pair with mounting hardware that lets you adjust the speakers on a vertical angle.

Built to withstand the elements, the Bose 251 are made of a water-resistant composite that’s tough enough to handle the hottest of hot (140 degrees Fahrenheit) and the coldest of cold (-22 degrees Fahrenheit). These speakers have been around for quite a while, and we’ve seen users report they still work well after five or more years outside in the elements.

The design offers an extra powerful sound that’s more than loud enough to be heard whether you're in your yard or on your patio, thanks to the 2.5-inch full-range drivers and a 5.25-inch woofer. You can easily install the Bose on a wall, overhang or even from a horizontal surface (think shelves or railings).

If you're trying to build a large set-up, you may want to read up on some tips on how to experience home theater outdoors.

Number of Speakers Included: 2 | Bluetooth/Wireless: No | Weather Resistance: 140° F to -22° F, ok in snow, rain, and salt | Driver Size: 2.5-inch drivers, 5.25-inch woofer

Best Value: Kicker KB6000 Speakers

What We Like
  • Affordable

  • Powerful sound with horn-loaded tweeters

  • 180-degree mount

What We Don't Like
  • Not as attractive as some other options

While the Kicker KB6s' design is a bit plain, we chose them as the best value speakers because they offer a lot of power, and for such a good price. They come as a pair, with the included mounting hardware to install the KB6 on your porch, deck, or even indoors if you wanted to.

These Kicker speakers measure 17 x 10  x 16 inches and weigh around 14 pounds, so they have some weight to them, but the included mount clamps around the back of the speaker for enough support. You can rotate the KB6s 180 degrees from side to side to direct the sound, and the inside hardware is impressive.

They have a 6.25-inch Kicker woofer and dual 5-inch compression-loaded horn tweeters. This is quite a lot of power for a set of speakers in this price range. Music will sound robust, with clear mids and highs, and ample bass.

Number of Speakers Included: 2 | Bluetooth/Wireless: No | Weather Resistance: Waterproof and UV-treated enclosure | Driver Size: Dual 5-inch tweeter, 6.5-inch woofer

Best Hidden: Klipsch AWR-650-SM Indoor/Outdoor Speaker - Granite

What We Like
  • Looks like a rock

  • Clean sound

  • UV resistant

What We Don't Like
  • Comes with only one speaker

When it comes to adding music to your backyard, rock speakers are a fun conversation starter and an effective way to add music and movie audio without distracting from the natural scenery. The speaker should still function well though, with good sound clarity and a durable design, which is why we chose the Klipsch AWR-650-SM.

Whether you live up in the North where the seasons can all happen in one day or the South where the power of the sun can beat down, Klipsch adds UV protection to the enclosure to help prevent damage from sitting out in the rays. 

In terms of sound quality, the rock speaker has a 6.5-inch dual voice coil polymer woofer and dual ¾-inch polymer dome tweeters, with a two-way design and two grille areas for sound to travel out of. It has a frequency response of 66 to 20,000 Hz, along with a sensitivity of 94 dB. We’d like to see a lower bass response, but the mids and lows should still sound clean.

Like some of the other outdoor speakers on the list, this model has been on the market for several years now, and many users report that it still functions well after a decade or more outside.

Number of Speakers Included: 1 | Bluetooth/Wireless: No | Weather Resistance: Outdoor rated, UV treated | Driver Size: 6.5-inch woofer, dual ¾-inch tweeters

Best Budget: Dual Electronics LU43PB 100 Watt 3-Way Indoor/Outdoor Speakers

Dual Electronics LU43PB 100 Watt 3-Way Indoor/Outdoor Speakers
What We Like
  • Very affordable

  • Come as a pair

  • Lightweight

What We Don't Like
  • Not good for bass

If you need outdoor speakers on a rock-bottom budget, take a look at the Dual Electronics LU43PB 100-watt speakers. They come as a pair and cost around $50 for the set. The weather-proof speakers measure 8.25 x 5.25 x 5.25 inches, and each Polyelite PVA Surround is 4 inches, so they’re not particularly large. 

They have a 1.6-inch midrange driver and a 0.78-inch dome tweeter. This leads to a frequency response of between 100 Hz and 20,000 Hz, which doesn’t represent very strong bass. So, these are not ideal for those who want to blast tunes loudly in the backyard. But, for background music for small gatherings, this set can do the trick.

Number of Speakers Included: 2 | Bluetooth/Wireless: No | Weather Resistance: Outdoor rated, UV treated | Driver Size: 0.78-inch tweeter, 1.6-inch midrange, 4-inch woofer

Best Lantern Speaker: ANERIMST Outdoor Bluetooth Speaker

What We Like
  • Affordable

  • Use as a lantern and speaker

  • Good battery life

What We Don't Like
  • Sound isn't powerful

If you’re not looking for built-in or permanent speakers, but rather something you can take with you outside when you have a few guests over, the ANERIMST lantern speaker serves as a Bluetooth speaker, a tabletop lantern, and a hanging lamp. While you won’t get the sound quality you could get out of most of the other speakers on this list, as it has only a 5W driver, you do get the benefits of not having to install speakers or connect wires. 

The lantern speaker includes a 3600mAh battery and Bluetooth 4.2, so you can connect it straight to your phone and blast your playlist. The battery is rated for about 18 hours of playtime, and the device takes about four to five hours to charge.

Number of Speakers Included: 1 | Bluetooth/Wireless: Yes | Weather Resistance: IP65 | Driver Size: N/A

Best for Portability: Bose S1 Pro

What We Like
  • Battery operated

  • Bluetooth capable

  • Can act as a PA system

What We Don't Like
  • Pricey

The S1 Pro is Bose’s take on a battery-powered backyard speaker, but the brand has built this one to be able to work for a lot more applications, too. The battery-powered wedge speaker serves as a Bluetooth speaker, letting you pair your phone or music player, while the rechargeable battery offers up to 11 hours of play time. 

Bose has also added the incremental benefits of a two-channel mixer right on board, letting you plug two microphones or line-in instruments right into the device. It’s also compatible with the Bose Connect app for additional features. In terms of design, the chassis has plenty of flat edges so you can position it in any direction. It has built-in sensors that will adjust the output equalizer to match the angle. It’s all pretty ingenious, and because it’s a rugged, battery-powered amp, it’ll go wherever you take your party.

Number of Speakers Included: 1 | Bluetooth/Wireless: Yes | Weather Resistance: Suitable for short-term outdoor use | Driver Size: N/A

Best Design: TIC GS4 8-inch Outdoor Dual Voice Coil (DVC) In-Ground Speaker

What We Like
  • Hides in garden

  • In-ground or surface install

  • Very durable

What We Don't Like
  • Comes as a single speaker

While TIC isn’t the first company to release an omni-directional submersible speaker, it offers an affordable model that’s well designed. TIC has made different omnidirectional speakers, and the brand even have a woofer, so you can outfit your entire backyard with 360-degree sound and have the speakers almost completely hidden. 

The GS4 model has dual voice coils, so in addition to an 8-inch woofer, it also has dual two-inch soft-dome tweeters. The drivers produce a frequency response of between 35 and 20,000 Hz, which is actually pretty impressive for a hidden outdoor speaker. The camouflaged unit can be buried in the ground (revealing only the grille), or you can install on the surface and let the green speaker blend in with your garden.

Number of Speakers Included: 1 | Bluetooth/Wireless: No | Weather Resistance: Outdoor-rated | Driver Size: 8-inch woofer, dual 2-inch tweeters

Final Verdict

For most, Bose's high quality 251 Environmental Speakers (view at Amazon) will be the best option for rocking out outside. For a budget friendly option that’s durable and still delivers powerful sound, however, consider the Kicker KB6000 (view at Amazon).

About Our Trusted Experts

Erika Rawes has been writing professionally for more than a decade, and she’s spent the last five years writing about consumer technology. Erika has reviewed roughly 150 gadgets, including computers, peripherals, A/V equipment, mobile devices, and smart home gadgets. Erika currently writes for Digital Trends and Lifewire.

FAQs

How do you choose outdoor speakers?

The most important thing to consider is how you’re going to be using your outdoor speakers. Are you having large parties, or do you just want background music for smaller gatherings? Do you want a built-in sound system that’s permanent, or do you want to be able to move the speakers around? If you want something portable, look for a Bluetooth speaker. If you want a permanent solution, look for speakers with high-quality sound that mount to your exterior walls and connect to a receiver or amplifier.

Do outdoor speakers need a receiver?

Unless you’re going with a Bluetooth or wireless speaker that connects to your mobile device, you’re probably going to need a receiver or amplifier to set up a sound system in your backyard. If your speakers have red and black connections for speaker wire and it doesn’t have wireless capabilities or built-in amplification, you’ll likely need a receiver or amp to make your speakers function. 

How are outdoor speakers powered?

Most permanent outdoor speakers (that have the black and red connection ports) draw power from an amplifier or receiver. Portable speakers usually run on a rechargeable lithium ion battery.

What to Look For in Outdoor and Backyard Speakers

Weatherproofing

Solid protection against the elements—including water and ultraviolet light—is an absolute must-have. Outdoor speakers can last for years if they have decent weatherproofing, but you’ll be lucky to get a single season out of a regular speaker left outside in the same conditions.

Connectivity

Wireless outdoor speakers are extremely easy to set up and use, but wired speakers are more reliable and have the potential to offer higher-quality sound. If you plan on using your phone to play music most of the time, Bluetooth might still be the best choice, but nothing beats the reliability and sound quality of physical speaker wires.

Wattage and Sound Specs

A pair of speakers rated at 60W each will do if your yard is less than 300 square feet, but go for a higher rating if you’re working with a bigger space. (A set of 200W speakers will provide coverage for about 1,000 square feet of backyard.) Also, look at the frequency response, as this indicates the ranges of tones the speaker can produce. Usually, you’ll want to see a speaker that can go up to at least 20,000Hz.

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