Review: Bose 251 Environmental Outdoor Speakers – Noisylabs

It's time to a deep dive on this Bose outdoor speaker.

We know it's time because we always mention this speaker whenever we talk about outdoor speakers.

Bose is known for its quality speakers in general. It has home theater systems which we also talked about.

Other product lines they offer within the speaker category are smart speakers, computer speakers, and more.

But what's special about the Bose 251 environmental speakers?

They're consistently at the top of our rankings when it's time to talk about outdoor speakers.

Let's get a closer look as to why.

Mounting Options

These speakers aren't portable, but that's not a problem.

The problem is it only mounts vertically. All your horizonal mounting plans went out the window, and we're sorry.

An advantage to the 251 is you can mount it anywhere. 

What Does It Look Like?

A variable that makes this speaker stand out is its design.

One great part of its design is its wide-ranging sound. A lot of outdoor speakers claim to be "wide-ranging", but a lot of speakers are hard to hear over a party.

The Bose 251 has balance in both speakers to minimize sound distortion. They're meant to create low frequencies, but also create higher frequencies with ease.

Most speakers have difficulty producing both because you need the right parts. Another factor in the equation is the material used to create those parts.

We recently created an article on speaker anatomy to illustrate how much goes into a speaker. 

Think of the Bose outdoor speaker as an outside speaker cabinet producing low frequencies. When we talk about balance, we're talking about its ability to have great bass while being able to hear lyrics.

There are times a speaker leans towards one side of the spectrum too much and it makes it hard to listen to.

The ability for the 251 to cover a wide-range with precision is due to its "Articulated Array Speaker Design."

What this means is the drivers are positioned precisely where the designers wanted.

Of course, what designer would want a driver out of place? But the Articulated Array Speaker Design means the driver is angled to create clear highs and consistent tones.

It's like concert speakers where everyone is able to hear the performers along with the bass.

What Is It Made Out Of?

An advantage of the Bose 251 speakers is its versatility. It can be placed on the patio, in the atrium, or the porch.

A downside to this speaker is it can't stand on its own. It needs to be mounted to something.

Like all Bose speakers, this one is meant to withstand all weather conditions.

They're made to withstand polar extremes. We're talking sub-zero temperatures to desert temperatures. To give you some numbers, it can go from -40 degrees to 150 degrees.

We mentioned in our outdoor speaker anatomy article how the dustcap prevents dust from coming in. This speaker prevents dust from coming in, but it also prevents salt water spray from coming in.

The Bose 251 has undergone 1,200 hours of salt-fog testing. To demonstrate how cautious they are, 1,200 hours is double the amount of testing time of the marine industry standard.

And the marine industry includes components which are meant to be underwater the whole time.

On top of that is the water-resistant composite casing. This is what allows the Bose 251 to handle those extreme temperatures.

A composite casing is when 2 different materials combine to make something new.

When 2 different materials come together to make something new, the purpose is to make something stronger than its individual parts.

Composite materials' purpose is to provide rigidness and strength. The materials to create the speaker varies though. Some materials to make a composite casing is carbon fiber.

An advantage to carbon fiber is it's light, but strong.

Even with all that, we still recommend putting it under your roof or putting it under something in general. Never take anything for granted, especially when it comes to technology.

How Does It Sound?

Let's get into the specs now.

If we're doing a deep dive on the Bose 251 environmental outdoor speakers, we have to recognize what it does for sound. But instead of giving regular stats, we're going to go into numbers we don't usually discuss often.

First up are the speaker sizes. The 251 speakers weigh in at 8 pounds and its dimensions are 13.5 inches in height while its width is 5.75 inches.

Scaling it to something you can relate to, 13 inches is about 1/4 the size of Gary Coleman (R.I.P). who was 4 feet and 8 inches. 

Each Bose 251 Environmental speaker has a 5 1/4 low-frequency driver with two 2 1/2 twiddlers . Think of a twiddler like a tweeter, except it covers mid frequencies also.

We already mentioned the array speaker design giving this speaker the ability to disperse sound at a wide range. What we didn't mention was how much impact the bass delivers.

It's one thing to hear your speakers amidst a noisy environment, it's another to hear everything clearly while feeling the bass.

This is possible because of the drivers. 

Furthermore, the vocals are clear as day. They don't ring your ears or distort at higher levels.

If you're looking to maximize the power of this speaker, we recommend connecting it to an amplifier ranging from 80-100 watts.

You don't want to go any lesser or else you're undervaluing its wattage power. 

What Else Do I Need To Know?

Talking about speaker wires and speaker gauge isn't the most appealing subject, but it's necessary.

To install your Bose outdoor speakers properly, you need to follow Bose's recommendations:

- 30 feet maximum = 18-gauge

- 45 feet maximum = 16-gauge

- 70 feet maximum = 14-gauge

- 70 feet plus = 12-gauge

But wire and gauge size aren't the only installation factors which matter.

Bose made installing the 251 environmental speakers easy for one person. One way they made it easy was by providing brackets. Once the user is placed in the brackets, they can angle it however they want.

For the sound dispersion to be effective, you need to space the speakers 7 feet apart. You also need to give 15 inches of space for its length.

In addition, you can connect to these speakers via WiFi, Bluetooth, and an 1/8 AUX. It's also able to connect to smart speakers like Alexa. 


As far as outdoor speakers, these are top of the market.

Combine everything from the price point to its quality and you have one of the best environmental speakers.

It's easy to setup because of its brackets, but the only downside is it can't stand on its own. You have to place it under a roof or patio.

The consensus on these speakers is it's a worthy investment. Its durability is unmatched because you can place it in extreme environments.

Its sound is what separates it from other speakers though. With its Array Speaker Design you have a speaker which is audible throughout your whole outdoor space.

Clear vocals and deep bass is the pinnacle of speaker systems and that's what you get with this set.

What's not mentioned is this speaker's versatility. You can have these as party speakers or background speakers. It suits whatever environment you're trying to create.

Whether it's a relaxing get-together or a pool party, this is the one.

Leave a Comment