Outdoor speakers come in all shapes, sizes and colors, and choosing the right one for your backyard is more of an adventure than simple shopping. You can go three different ways about this, speaking in general terms – get a wall-mounted type (pretty much your garden variety, no pun intended), decorative and disguised type, or go for the classical in-ground variety.
Outer Audio’s top picks:
In terms of power, impedance, connectivity, sound quality and all other things an audiophile might find important, there’s not much difference between these three categories. The main distinction is what and where are they meant for. For example, if your backyard is fairly barren, without much decoration, getting speakers disguised as rocks or flower pots would feel a bit out of place. What are you left with? The ones that can go in the ground, the subtle ones. Luckily, we have a list of the best in-ground speakers available on the market.
1. Bose Free Space 51 Outdoor In-Ground Speakers
No matter the type of speakers you might be looking for, Bose is one of the names that is bound to come up. In the case of the Bose Free Space 51, you get a 24-pound hunk of ham. On a more serious note, the speakers are heavy-duty, as they well should be, able to withstand the rigors of being outdoors in all manner of weather conditions – sunlight, heat, rain, ice, sleet… it’s like they belong in the US Postal Service. What’s important to know about the Free Space 51, as well as all other Bose products, is that they’re typically high-end products, and have matching price tags. On the flipside, it’s all warranted.
The sound you get out of these babies is impressive, to say the least, far-ranging, with crispy clear highs, creamy mids, and surprisingly powerful lows. The speakers use 4½ full range drivers, and, unlike most outdoor speakers, theypack some serious bass. The design allows for 360-degree sound coverage, so anywhere you place them, you’ll get the full sound.
As far as looks go, the speakers come in camouflage green, so they should be able to blend in nicely wherever you put them.
2. TIC GS-3 150-Watt Outdoor In-Ground Speaker
The TIC GS-3 in-ground speaker isnot the highest piece of tech out there, but it does come at an affordable price, and it comes ready to shred with the big dogs, giving them a run for the money.The speaker uses a full-range 200W driver and packs some hefty bass. To feel the full bass onslaught, you need bury the base of the speaker underground.
Luckily, the speaker is omnidirectional (full 360-degree sound coverage), so there’s no need for swivelling and repositioning all the time. It doesn’t need a lot of power pushing it o sound good, and 50 Watts should do the trick.The max input is150 Watts, and the impedance is 8 Ohms, so keep that in mind when doing the wiring. Keep in mind that the sound may distort if you crank it up, though.
As far as the casing goes, it should go without saying that it’s durable, as it well should be. This is a nice big speaker encased in hard plastic, andthe only gripe, a minor one, is that you’d need to dig a sizable hole for it. Still, it should blend in nicely with the ivy and grass.
3. Niles GSS10 Speaker
The Niles GSS10 is one of those products that make you say“It’ll be worth it,“ and keep repeating it. The thing is – it’s true. Yes, it does require shelling out some more money than you might’ve planned initially, and, yes, it does require digging an 18-inch deep hole in the ground to install it, but, boy, is it worth it! The whole thing has two distinct parts – the enclosure with the woofer inside it, and the output tube that houses the driver.
Both sections are made from industrial grade uPVC, on a par with contemporary underground plumbing or irrigation systems. As such, it’s more than capable to withstand a decade’s worth of bashing by the elements.The manufacturer is so confident in its longevity that they are willing to offer a lifetime limited warranty on the GSS10. One minor note – the output or port tube is fully paintable, so you can customize it any which way you like.
As far as the sound goes, the bass is more than impressive, and it’s going to give any part more “unz” than the neighbors can handle.
4. OSD Audio OS525 5.25-inch Omni 360-Degree Outdoor In-Ground Speaker Pair
The OS525 is your garden variety (pun very much intended) outdoor in-ground speaker – it follows all the guidelines, and it’s inexpensive, to boot. The casing is weather-proof and watertight, protecting the cabinetry and driver concealed within from the elements. Moreover, the UV resistant ABS plastic enclosure is more than capable of withstanding a bash or two, though experimenting in this manner is strongly discouraged. In all seriousness, though, the casing is very durable and fairly inconspicuous as well, once dug in.
For a tight bass response, the speakers are best installed in the ground, which is pretty much what they are designed for. The best thing is that even if you crank up the volume, these puppies will pump out clear highs and well-rounded mid-range.The sound dispersal is omnidirectional, so you can place them just about anywhere and still get great sound coverage.The speakers handle up to 100 Watts of power, but they will do well with just 50 Watts pushing them.As far as impedance goes, these handle 8 Ohms, so be mindful of that when doing the wiring. Be careful not to blow them, though, since they appear to be liable to being shorted if you overload them.
5. OSD Audio OM-SUB200 8-inch Omni 360-Degree Outdoor 250-Watt Subwoofer with Built-In Crossover
The OSD Audio OM-SUB200 is pretty much what it reads on the tin – an all-weather 8-inchsubwoofer with a built-in crossover.Thanks to Omni, you won’t have to settle foran inferior sound system for the outside, even if you’re working within a budget.For those not in the know, if a speaker rocks a built-in crossover, it means that each driver will get the frequency range that’s appropriate for it to play off the bat, without you having to finagle around the cabinetry. The downside of this is that you can’t connect this piece to a subwoofer output, but rather to the speaker outputs and then wire it to the speakers, meaning you won’t be able to separate the volume of the subwoofer from that of the speakers.
The speaker is ideal if you’re looking to enhance your current sound, but don’t expect it to give you a deep, low bass, simply due to the fact that this is a passive sub, and it doesn’t pack a particularly large woofer. Still, you should get a bit fuller sound with this puppy.
As far as the technicalities go, this sub handles power within 10W to 250W range and has nominal impedance of 8 Ohms. Itdoesn’t take up much space, so whether you decide to bolt it to the patio or veranda floor, or dig it in, the job won’t take too much time. Wiring is also pretty straightforward – simply plug your current speaker wires into it and enjoy; the crossover will filter the lows, allowing the speakers to concentrate on the mids and highs. We hope you enjoyed the ride, rock steady!