Outdoor speakers vs. indoor speakers isn’t an often talked about topic.
There are multiple reasons why you should get both an outdoor speaker and indoor speaker.
Both have pros, but both have cons.
To make it easier for you, here is a guide, or rather, a detailed breakdown on what each type of speaker brings to the table.
This will make it easier for you to decide.
Let’s start off by discussing outdoor speakers first.
Why Should I Get Outdoor Speakers?
There are obvious advantages when you pick an outdoor speaker.
The first one that sticks out is its durability.
When manufacturers make outdoor speakers, they keep the weather in mind.
Whether its rain, snow, or heat, these speakers have been tested to endure tough physical conditions.
Manufacturers make sure to have rigorous conditions in place for testing the music speakers.
They look to recreate horrendous conditions to simulate an actual environment you’re speaker would be in.
An example of this is manufacturers putting the speaker in different ends of the temperature spectrum.
What we mean by this is speakers are put in conditions where the temperature can be extreme heat, or subzero conditions.
It’s a test to see if its durable to withstand the sun’s UV rays and freezing conditions.
During freezing conditions, it’s normal to see moisture form in condensed areas such as a car.
But speakers also have condensed areas inside their design. This makes it possible for condensation to seep inside your speakers.
To combat this, loud speakers are put in an immersion test not to see if it’s waterproof, but to check if water gets in.
Furthermore, outdoor speakers also go through salt/fog tests.
The salt/fog method is also known as the salt spray test. The objective is to see how the coating on a speaker withstands corrosion.
What we want to see is a strong resistance to all the accelerated tests to create corrosion.
The longer a speaker stays resistant to corrosion, the better.
This method has been around for awhile and is an industry standard for 4 reasons.
- Low costs
- IT WORKS
What’s even better is speakers also get custom tests for better quality assurance.
One example of this is an outdoor speaker which has lighting.
Installing a light on top of a speaker has inherent risk.
First risk is you have to worry about electrical issues.
Asking yourself what would happen if rain got on this is a valid question.
For testers, their mission would be to answer that question by conducting tests like the water immersion test, which is a basic test for outdoor speakers.
A more customized test would be to see how people react to lighting. Vibrant lighting can cause seizures, so its the manufacturer’s job to see how much lighting causes this reaction.
This is an example of a customized test different outdoor speakers go through.
High Power Handling
Power handling for a speaker means how much power a speaker can handle (a very elaborate explanation..we know).
For the great outdoors, there are multiple factors to consider when placing speakers, but one of them is sound.
With higher power handling, outdoor speakers can overcome noises such as traffic, lawnmowers, or other people which is why it has high power handling.
If you were to blast speakers indoors, you wouldn’t need that much power because of acoustics.
Plus, if you did blast it indoors, then your ear drums would burst.
But the point is the power handling for an outdoor speaker is much better than an indoor speaker’s.
In addition to power handling is its booming bass. A low frequency response gives outdoor speakers the boom it needs so your party is booming (joke intended).
Low Frequency Response
What we mean by low frequency response is the range of audible frequencies.
Anything lower than 20 Hz is considered deep bass. This is where outdoor speakers range in terms of hertz.
Once it gets to that level, humans can’t hear, and is felt more meaning you just feel the bass, instead of actually hearing it.
It’s like sitting in a car with lots of bass and it feels like you’re getting a massage because everything is trembling around you.
But if you’re outdoors, speaker placement and acoustics are factors to how effective your speakers are.
As for cons, here are some downsides to think about when it comes to outdoor speakers.
Downside To Outdoor Speakers
You might think speakers can just be played right away, but outdoor speakers also need cable to connect to a source of power.
The problem with this is it can be difficult to navigate the wire around a wall to configure the speaker.
One solution to this would be to outsource the work.
Another problem related to this would be if you’re considering burying the wire underground.
This requires technical expertise, and more than just a contractor. You should hire a custom installer who are professionals in this line of work.
Because you never know what hazard or special equipment you might need to make sure everything works properly.
As you can tell, speaker costs plus installation costs add up.
Include the warranty on the outside speaker and you can see where this is going.
If you look at Amazon there isn’t many outdoor speakers up for selection.
And how do we know which outdoor speakers are good?
It’s rare for someone to actually purchase an outdoor speaker which leads to less reviews.
If you purchase one, it’s pretty much staying where it is.
It isn’t like a Bluetooth speaker where you can bring it anywhere.
Outdoor speakers are less in demand but are also expensive due to its capabilities.
Heavy bass and more power plus durability is a quality product which is why it’s super expensive.
Add the fact none of this guarantees a quality sound system, and you’re risking money.
The custom installers can set everything up, but are they going to create a sound landscape for the speakers?
Sound quality depends on the speaker, but it also depends on what the acoustics are like.
Depending on where you put your equipment, sound can differ.
If you’re backyard is big, you can’t just place a speaker on one side and hope it sounds good, you need to actually plan.
This goes hand in hand with installation costs, but on a much larger scale.
You need to make sure wiring is all correct, but you need to make sure you have the right amount of wire.
Having a big backyard doesn’t help this problem, in fact, it’ll make it harder as you have to work your way around obstacles and pay more for speaker wires.
After this is done, figuring out how many speakers you need for your backyard is another problem you’ll encounter.
Generally, having 2 speakers is a must because 1 isn’t going to sound balanced.
But optimal sound depends on your landscape.
Here are some quick questions relating to acoustics which affect outdoor speaker owner:
Questions to ask for acoustics
- Are there trees in your backyard which affect acoustics?
- How does my wall play into acoustic design?
- How does the architectural design affect acoustics?
Remember, the bigger your backyard, the stronger your speakers have to be.
The reason behind this is the distance a speaker has to cover. A bigger backyard will have more distance, and a small speaker isn’t getting that job done.
An outdoor speaker which has more wattage will cover more distance. Although we couldn’t provide any specific numbers, know you need more watts for more power.
The best practice would be to spread them far enough where it sounds “good”, but good is subjective, so here are guidelines to follow:
- No one side sounds louder than the other
- If you have 3 speakers, make sure they’re equidistant
- All speakers are pointing towards the middle
Not really a problem but you want to invest in protection if you’re going to go through all of these problems.
So for protection, you have the option of purchasing a cover, or you can deal with the hassle of bringing the speaker in and out.
If you’re going to purchase some cover we recommend something like this:
Definitely not the most sophisticated product, but keep in mind we’re thinking about the budget-minded.
For those who are willing to go deeper in the pockets, we recommend a screen shield.
A screen shield can block out rain or bugs. Anything that’s considered “small” will be blocked out by a screen shield.
To sum it all up, outdoor speakers are good but they come with a hefty price tag.
From the actual speakers, installation, protection, and other equipment, it’s a huge investment.
But the upside is great if you’re looking for heavy-hitting equipment.
Outdoor speakers are powerful for heavy bass and power handling. This isn’t something you can replicate with indoor equipment.
But as we’ll see, indoor equipment does have its perks.
The topic of indoor speakers can go many ways.
The interesting part about indoor speakers is there are many variations.
Consider that an advantage.
From home theater speakers, studio speakers, to Alexa, there is a lot to digest from that alone.
For now, let’s just focus on home audio speakers which can also be home theater speakers.
Indoor speakers such as home theater speakers are versatile.
Not only can you watch high-def movies, but you can also enjoy quality gaming sessions whether it’s by yourself, or your good friends.
Another enjoyable aspect is live sporting events.
Watching a championship game when the volume is super loud brings more excitement to the game.
You can hear commentators better, and this emphasizes critical moments.
One of the best parts about home theater speakers is you can set it up to fit your needs.
With outdoor speakers, you had less room to wiggle when it came to customization, but for indoor speakers, there’s different ways to make your set-up original.
Let’s start off with accessories.
When you’ve seen a home theater, you’ve probably seen a sound bar sometime in your life.
Sound bars aren’t meant to be outside due to the simple fact it’s not durable enough.
But the advantage of an indoor speaker like this is the exact opposite of what makes an outdoor speaker great.
The high frequency.
Remember when we talked about loud speakers having deep bass, well, a home theater audio system has crystal clear audio.
This makes it perfect in a compact area where sound can get muffled if its too loud.
What’s even better is a lot of the sound bars are Bluetooth which make it easy to set-up.
In addition, the sound bar is a small part of a surround sound system. What makes this interesting is its just a small part of the customization.
The other parts of customization such as furniture, acoustics, lighting, and configuration can be explained more but we can talk about that in another post.
You’re probably thinking this is a huge investment, but this investment comes with a return on investment.
Home Theater Appreciation
Just as a backyard increases a home’s value, so can a home theater.
The more you invest in a home theater, the more value you give it.
But the catch is it actually has to look like a theater; meaning you have to have to have ambient lighting, rows of seats, and a solid surround sound system.
Understandably, not everybody has the mula to expense a home theater, but it is an added benefit to know your money isn’t going to be lost.
As for benefits, this is it, let’s move on to the downside of an indoor sound system now.
Downside To Indoor Speakers
What we mean by indecision is all the products that are classified as indoor speakers.
We said that the downside with outdoor speakers is a lack of products, but the opposite is true for indoor speakers.
There are so many indoor speakers!
It helps with versatility, but it can cause a home owner to waste money because they might choose the wrong product based on too many products.
This causes a waste of money for the home owner.
That’s why if you’re building a home theater, home owners are advised to hire a professional.
But another problem arises when your project takes place in a compact space.
Think about what goes into a home theater…
You need chairs, furniture, speakers, and if you’re smart…a television.
But all of that can’t fit into a small room.
And you can’t just renovate the whole place to make extra space for your audio sound system, so the next best thing would be to purchase a sound bar.
Even though this enhances the viewing experience, it doesn’t have bass to amplify explosions and action scenes.
What we’re trying to get at here is there are many factors into what goes in a home audio experience.
If you’re trying to set-up indoor speakers for an entertainment experience, then understand it takes serious planning.
But if you just want music playing then why not buy a Bluetooth speaker.
Unfortunately, just like setting up the backyard gets complicated for outdoor speakers, setting up an isolated room for indoor speakers gets overwhelming as well.
Pricey Part 2
Not much has to be said here.
Setting up the room and buying the equipment will cost thousands…
Outdoor Speakers Vs. Indoor Speakers
Both sides vary, but one factor is clear, both types of speakers cost…a lot and both require meticulous planning.
One main difference between the two is the durability of an outdoor speaker.
Loud speakers need it and is an obvious difference in comparison to indoor speakers.
Indoor speakers on the other hand have the advantage of coming in different forms.
Home owners can get versatile with what type of indoor speaker they want.
One difference and where they’re on opposite ends of the spectrum is customization.
This is due to the popularity of indoor speakers compared to outdoor speakers.
Most home owners would probably purchase a Bluetooth speaker to have a speaker outside, and plus, it’s not as common to have an entertainment center outside which is why outdoor speakers vary less in products.
In conclusion, the attempt to answer the question of which speaker is better can’t be answered.
But the question you should be asking is where are you going to spend most of your time being entertained.