Outdoor Speaker Tips
- Distinguish the differences between outdoor speakers. Many outdoor speakers need to be placed under the eaves or otherwise out of the elements for protection. Better speakers like Terra, can be fully exposed and therefore placed almost anywhere. This allows for greater flexibility in system design and enhanced performance without worry.
- Be skeptical about promotionally priced outdoor speakers that claim to be weather resistant or weatherproof. All else being equal, truly weatherproof outdoor speakers will cost more and last longer than these “throw away” speakers, and ideally they will be guaranteed as such. And note how much it costs you to replace your client’s defective outdoor speakers even under warranty, not to mention the questions it raises in their minds.
- Make speakers part of the audio system and/or landscaping budget. The difference in cost between cheap outdoor speakers and real hi-fidelity speakers (that will also last longer) is negligible in most home improvement/building budgets. Like most everything else, when it comes to quality, you get what you pay for.
- The best time to design and install an outdoor audio system is while the landscaping is being planned or installed. Having the ground open is ideal for running speaker wires/conduit. And considering distributed audio during the early design stages results in better system coverage and sonic performance.
- When running cables underground, use PVC pipe or conduit. If possible, that is, to protect the wires and facilitate future changes – like adding lights near speaker locations.
- Weatherproof all your cabling and connections with a good silicone sealant.
- When proximity to neighbors is an issue, consider installing speakers along the perimeter of the area. Facing the house is optimal as opposed to installing them facing out, towards adjoining properties. This makes for a more “stealth” installation that directs sound towards the listening area rather than at the neighbors. If they’re placed close to the ground they’ll also deliver enhanced bass output!
- Consider the dispersion and coverage characteristics of the speakers you use. Some are optimized for wide dispersion; others for deeper, more focused coverage. The best specialty retailers and custom installers should be conversant in such details. While traditional speakers assume the listener will be positioned centered between a stereo pair, this is typically not practical outdoors. Using multiple carefully positioned speakers and running them at lower volume levels will provide smoother, more consistent sound coverage with less chance of bothering the neighbors and fewer dead or hot spots.
If you need further information regarding coverage of Terra speakers please contact us directly at 207-725-1005.