How to Install Outdoor Speakers Under Eaves, Overhangs

The right location and plenty of speaker wire are the keys to success

If the idea of enjoying audio outside at home appeals to you, go for it; pick up a set of outdoor-rated (weatherproof) speakers. This type of speaker installation can seem like a daunting task, but it's not as difficult as it sounds. With a bit of planning and some tools, you'll have your favorite music tracks playing across your backyard in no time.

Read the Instructions

Before you start drilling holes or running wires, read the product's instructions. Manufacturers typically provide pertinent information along with a bracket mounting kit. After giving the manual a good scan, locate some positions for consideration.

Lush backyard lawn and illuminated patio at dusk

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Select the Mounting Locations

Placing speakers under roof eaves or patio overhangs offers added protection against the sun, wind, and rain. Another benefit is having less wire to run and disguise—important if you prefer a blended, seamless look to connected equipment.

Keep in mind a few things as you scout the available space:

  • Confirm the speakers can be mounted deep to solid material (such as wood, brick, stone, or concrete) and not to siding, gutters, or thin drywall. This reduces the chance of a speaker loosening or falling over time.
  • Position the speakers up high (out of finger reach, 8 to 10 feet) and about 10 feet apart from each other.
  • Angle the speakers down slightly. This focuses the sound toward listeners and not neighbors. It also assists with water runoff to prevent pooling on the speaker surfaces.

Test the Speakers

Test the outdoor speakers before mounting them, if possible. Location and positioning matter in terms of performance. All a test takes is temporarily setting up the speakers and running cables through an open door to your equipment inside. If the sound is perfect, mount away.

Add a Volume Control Box

Unless you like the idea of going inside the house each time you want to turn the music volume outside up or down, consider a volume control box. Make this decision first because it can change where you drill holes to run the audio wires. It can also affect the overall amount of wire needed.

A volume control box is easy to mount, connecting between the speakers and receiver/amplifier. The same considerations exist if you plan to install a speaker B switch or a separate speaker selector switch altogether.

Buy the Right Wire ... and Plenty of It

Make sure you have enough wire of the proper gauge. If the estimated distance is 20 feet or less, 16 gauge should be fine. Otherwise, consider using thicker gauges, especially if the speakers are the low impedance kind.

It's the total distance traveled that counts and not a straight line from one component to another; all the little twists and corners count. Factor in some slack, too. When in doubt or if the numbers are too close to call, go for the thicker gauge wire.

Drill the Holes

If you have conveniently located attic vents, push the wire through and toward the area closest to the receiver/amplifier. If not, or if going through the attic proves to be more trouble than it's worth, drill a small hole in the exterior wall. Don't run wire through windows or doors, since that can lead to damage. Make things easier on yourself by choosing a drill spot that is easily accessible on both sides.

Homeowner drilling a hole into a wall

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Run the Wires

Run the wires from the speakers to the receiver/amplifier. Use banana plugs for the outdoor speakers if a compatible connection exists. Banana plugs limit the amount of exposed wire, are often more reliable in terms of performance, and are easier to manage than bare wires.

Once everything is connected, test the system and connections to make sure everything works properly, especially if you've opted for a volume control box, speaker B switch, or a separate speaker selector switch.

Leave some slack in the wire to guide water away from the points of contact. If the length leading to a speaker is taut, water can flow back into the speaker's terminals and cause potential damage; it's the same with holes drilled in walls. Adjust the wires so that they create a U-shaped dip. Water will follow down and safely drip off the bottom.

Caulk the Openings

Finish up the installation project with some silicone-based caulk. You need to seal all the drill holes on both sides to maintain the house's insulation and keep unwanted bugs and pests outside.

Homeowner using a caulking gun outside

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