Top 5 Outdoor Speaker Systems

A concise list of our favourite premium outdoor speaker options. (5 Mar 2015)

The 5 Best Outdoor Speakers

The most sociable season is approaching, and our anticipation is growing as the mornings get brighter and the evenings get warmer. Summer is a time for catching up with friends, laying in the sun and drinking Pimms. What can be better than indulging in such activities listening to music? In this post we highlight and review the best outdoor speakers available, from the indestructible to the invisible, the sleek and stylish to the highest quality of sound.

1. Monitor Audio CL80

British owned Monitor Audio has some brilliant outdoor speakers across its Climate range but let's concentrate on the top of the range CL80s.

The rigid and robust qualities of the CL80s ceramic-coated aluminium drivers produce a far truer sound than those made of paper or plastic. In fact, the frequency range almost exceeds what the human ear can hear. These speakers feature an auxiliary bass radiator that effectively improves the bass frequencies to a deeper and punchier sound.

The CL80s have an impressive IP55 rating. But, if this doesn't mean anything to you, let us explain. It's all to do with "ingress protection". The first digit of an IP rating represents how dustproof a device is (from 0 (not protected) to 6 (completely dust tight)) and the second how waterproof a device is (from 0 (not waterproof) to 9k (protected against steam jet washes)). A rating of IP55 means that although some dust might get in, it won't be enough to interfere with the speaker and that water projected by a 6.3mm water jet nozzle would have no harmful effects on the speaker.

Unobtrusive and sophisticated, the CL80s are available in two simple finishes, black and white. They can also be painted any colour allowing the speaker to sit seamlessly in all environments.

Supplied with a 175˚ rotatable bracket, the speaker is not only easy to install but also comes with an anchor point - invaluable for securely attaching the speaker to a wall.

2. KEF Ventura 6

These KEF outdoor speakers are the best of the Ventura range. They are two way, all-weather speakers manufactured with premium materials. They emit a rich and high performance sound at even the highest of volumes.

The Ventura 6s use an anodised aluminium dome tweeter and injection moulded woofer to help create the jaw dropping frequency range that comes close to the maximum auditory capabilities of the human ear. A UV resistant and high impact composite casing makes these speakers robust and resilient to the harshest of conditions. With an IP rating of IP65 these speakers are dust tight and able to be cleaned with jets of water without being harmed.

3. Garvan Outdoor 360 SA210

Garvan is an Italian manufacture that hand builds all its speakers. It has a great range of outdoor speakers from in-wall to in-floor models but let's concentrate on the in/on-floor Outdoor 360˚ SA210s. This speaker is the top of the 360˚ range and the most robust of Garvan's speaker options.

With their unique shape, the 360˚ speakers marry stunning sculptural design with clever audio technology. Using an acoustic lens located at the base, these speakers enable sound dispersion a full 360˚ around the speaker, hence the name. An IP rating of 35 means these speakers are robust.

The external housing of the speakers can be finished with any RAL tone of lacquerer to accommodate for any taste and a rustic looking weathered steel (corten) effect is available too.

4. Sonance SLS LS68 SUB12E System

The Sonance SLS speaker system is possibly the most incredible in terms of sound quality of all the outdoor speakers we have covered in this article. The immersive sound that is generated by this satellite/subwoofer system makes them perfect for larger areas. The system comes with eight satellite speakers and a twelve-inch subwoofer as standard however they are available to buy as sets or individually so you can completely customise the system to its surroundings.

The eight two-way satellite speakers are designed to be concealed amongst foliage. The colour-moulded composite construction is both discreet and robust, removing any worry of them chipping, peeling or fading over time. At just seven pounds they are lightweight, but with a frequency range just within the constraints of human audibility, Sonance hasn't sacrificed sound quality whatsoever.

The twelve-inch subwoofer is also designed to be hidden within foliage and can even be buried underground for ultimate discretion. It also goes as low as 25Hz and is contained within non-corrosive LDPE sealed enclosure for added strength against the elements.

With an IP rating of 64, come sun or rain, snow or sand, wind or sea, these speakers have proven themselves to withstand the most brutal of conditions.

5. Linn Sweetspot

The Linn Sweetspot speakers are the perfect option for very small spaces and through areas. They might not have the frequency range of the other speakers we have covered but they are uniquely small and discreet. At 80mm in diameter these tiny speakers can be installed into recesses as small as those for down lights. Despite their size and weight, they are resilient and versatile. Being waterproof, fireproof, corrosion resistant and able to be installed into just about any flat and rigid surface allows them to be used in pools, showers, bathrooms, patios, marine purposes and more.

Whilst these Linn speakers are only available in a white finish, they can be painted any colour to complement any backdrop.

If you're as excited about summer as we are and you're looking for a speaker system to compliment your outdoor socialising, any of these speaker systems would be a good choice. Our recommendation for selecting the right outdoor speaker system is simple: Listen to the speakers before you commit and think hard about what your priorities are. Consider the size of your garden and the functions you want from your speakers. Are you looking for the best sound, for total visual discretion or are you looking for a combination of sound and aesthetics? No matter what you're looking for, we can assure you there will be a perfect option for you.

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