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Setting up a makeshift movie theater in your backyard can be a great summer night activity with friends, and may be easier than you think. We’ve covered projectors here, but to really recreate the right atmosphere for movies, pairing some powerful speakers along with it can make a huge difference. Here’s everything you should consider when buying your new speakers for your outdoor projector.
Outdoor Projector Speakers Buying Guide
From sound quality to durability, there are a several features we took into consideration for this guide. Read on for our full breakdown.
Sound: The most important thing to consider when searching for the right speakers is how they sound. But outdoor speakers don’t mean you’ll need to take a hit in terms of quality. Speakers have both a woofer and a tweeter inside — a woofer to handle the lower end of the sound spectrum, and a tweeter for the mids and highs. A subwoofer is a separate standalone unit, one that sometimes comes with the speaker set, and specializes in bringing an even lower range of bass, which helps in authentically recreating a real theater experience.
Setup: Ideally, these should be pretty easy to get up and running, both for the first time, and every time you want to use them. For a wired connection, HDMI is the preferred way to go, though you may need to also use a receiver and stereo speaker cables. Anything Bluetooth should ideally pair easily, or automatically. Keeping a movie-ready audience waiting while you work out technical problems every time isn’t worth it, even for a slightly lower price.
Durability: These should be able to, at the very least, take some light damage from weather and falls. Even if they won’t live outside permanently, a sudden rainstorm or accidental tumble onto the ground (or in the pool) is always a possibility. Speakers that have an IP rating of 6 or above are usually pretty solid against invasive elements like water, sand, heat and dust.
Power: More wattage in a speaker doesn’t automatically mean it’ll be louder. A speaker that’s 20 watts should be plenty loud for an otherwise quiet backyard setting, but for loud parties, even 50 watts will get the job done. Decibels, however, do measure how loud a speaker can get — a typical rock concert is around 120db, so home speakers that can hit 85-100db can bring booming sound to your space.
What Are the Best Speakers for Outdoor Projectors?
From Klipsch to Yahama, we’ve found the top projector speakers to upgrade your outdoor setup.
1. Klipsch AWR-650-SM Sandstone Outdoor Rock Speaker
These speakers rock — pun fully intended. Klipsch designed these 13-pound passive speakers to not only blend in with your backyard, but to live outside permanently.
It’s not just a novelty either — faux-stone enclosure fits into any backyard setting, and features a fiberglass build that can stand up to harsh UV sunlight all summer long. Inside, the dual polymer-dome tweeters and 6.5-inch woofer deliver a full-bodied sound that can span a small backyard.
2. Polk Audio Atrium 4 Outdoor Speakers
Polk’s Atrium speakers were born to be outdoors. No matter which extreme the thermometer runs towards, these can handle it, along with down-pouring torrential rains. No matter the setting, these come through with an earth-shaking bass (especially when the added sub is included) and beautifully clear mids and highs. Loud as they are, they’re still easy to tuck away in a corner or mount on a wall with an included rust-proof bracket, ensuring no one trips over it during movie night.
3. Yamaha NS-AW350W All-Weather Indoor/Outdoor Speakers
Yamaha’s pair of all-weather speakers can handle 130 watts of max power capacity, while still sounding clear and not crackling up.
These are magnetically shielded for placement close to a TV monitor, and water resistant, with a mica-filled woofer inside and a 1-inch PEI dome tweeter. The bass has a nice full boom to it, and each speaker has a high frequency response range of 55 to 40,000 Hz. They can withstand some wind and rain, but in the really cold and snowy months, it’s best to bring these inside.
4. iLive Wireless Tailgate Party Speaker
This convenient and portable speaker syncs with Bluetooth 5.0, and can cover a span of around 60 feet from the source.
But besides Bluetooth, there’s a bunch of different ways to get the party started here, including USB, SD card, voice commands, even an FM radio. This also works well for addressing a crowd, as it’s easy to hook up a mic, and was surprisingly lightweight at under 6 pounds. There’s a retractable handle with built-in roller wheels too, and the flashing LED lights give you a choice of color to flash along as the 8-inch woofer plays your favorites.
No matter where you take it, the Lithium-Ion battery inside will give you about 4-6 hours of consistent usage from a full charge, though the lower the volume, the less power it draws.
5. OontZ Angle 3 Bluetooth Portable Speaker
OontZ, a Cambridge Soundworks brand, is a reliable budget option that works with Bluetooth and can last up to 12 hours on a single charge. At just 9 ounces, this gives you the option to travel with it too, instead of having big, bulky speakers that aren’t meant to move. It’s also IPX5 waterproof, making it safe for poolside splashes, or even to take into the shower.