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How to Connect Outside Speakers to a Receiver

Are you looking to get some sound outdoors? Well, if you want the best quality, you’re going to need to connect some proper speakers to your system. Sure, a portable Bluetooth speaker might work, but the sound quality will certainly leave something to be desired. If you already have an audio system in your home, how can you connect outside speakers to your receiver?

Connecting outdoor speakers to a receiver is a fairly easy process. There are a few things to keep in mind, like speaker placement and power consideration. There are also some unique challenges to managing proper sound quality in an outdoor space.

Whether it’s a backyard BBQ or just a night out by the fire pit, having high-quality audio is a game-changer. If you are a fan of having your favorite tunes by you at all times, you need to find the best solution for connecting speakers outdoors. We’ve got the information you need! Read on to discover the best ways to connect outside speakers to your receiver.

How to Connect Outside Speakers to a Receiver

If you already have a receiver in your home powering your other speakers, how easy is it to connect outside speakers?

Since outdoor speakers are compatible with most amp/receivers, it shouldn’t be too hard to get things working; in fact, we’ve explored this in our other guide before. There are a few things you might want to consider, though, and we’ll touch on those now.

Behind your receiver, you’ll see plenty of outputs. Make sure that you have enough to manage the new outside speakers. Sometimes, you’ll already see connections for “Zone A” or “Zone B.”

This may be all you need to get things working. Keep in mind that you may not have the juice to power both inside and outside speakers. If this is the case, you’ll need to find another amplifier.

Another thing you’ll want to think about is the type of equipment you will be using. You will want to source high-quality outdoor speakers, like these Polk Audio Atrium 4 Speakers (on Amazon).

Manufacturers make these speakers withstand the trials of being outside all the time. While speakers can be weatherproof, finding a receiver can be challenging.

For this reason, you will want to make sure the receiver is a reasonably safe place away from the elements. Next is the wiring. If you plan to have wired speakers outside, or make regular speakers Bluetooth, this is just part of the planning process. Make sure you source high-quality wire and have a method for keeping things both safe and hidden.

Running wire can be difficult. Avoid using lazy methods like using a window, as this can cause damage to the wire over time.

If you can, drill holes in your outside walls and seal with silicone to keep your home’s cooled air inside. You will also need to think about speaker placement.

Selecting Outdoor Speaker Locations

To truly maximize your sound quality and performance, you’ll need to find the best place to put your speaker. If you don’t, you could be getting less than stellar sound and not hearing everything in stereo. Another factor that comes into play is mother nature.

While most outside speakers will be able to handle a good bit of rain, you’ll still want to keep them protected if you can. This can extend the life of your speaker system and prevent problems down the road.

Some elements that can ruin a speaker include the wind, rain, or even direct sunlight. We’ve found that some spots are better than others when it comes to proper speaker placement. 

Under Eaves

If you have a covered patio or eaves, this is a great spot to place your speakers. This will make sure that you will block the majority of the rain and wind. It’s a very popular place for speakers and has a good reason.

The installation process is usually pretty simple, especially when compared to speaker placement that is farther away from the source.

The proximity makes running wires easier and means you won’t need to source a larger speaker wire gauge. While this makes for a great speaker location, they will most likely be in plain sight. If this is an issue for you, there are some things you can do.

The first option is to paint the speakers and speaker mounts to match your outdoor decor. Just check the manufacturer’s recommendation before you break out the paint.

Decorative Designs

If you want to add a little audio to a green space in your backyard, there is a perfect option for you. Products like these Klipsch AWR-650 Speakers (on Amazon) make a perfect addition to any garden, flower bed, or outdoor space.

The genius comes from their unique design. They are meant to look like a rock and can blend in easily to almost any outdoor space. There are plenty of designs to choose from, so matching the correct rock to your environment is a breeze. 

You can even find speakers designed as tree stumps, lanterns, and Rustin lawn ornaments. Running wires to these speakers can be a challenge because you’ll want to maintain the illusion that they aren’t speakers at all! But more on that later.

In-Ground Speakers

If disguised speakers seem a bit too corny or cheesy to be placed in your yard, consider in-ground speakers.

These are certainly the more classic options when it comes to outdoor speakers because a lot of users like how discreet they are; moreover, they’re much better than using indoor speakers outdoors, which we’ve talked about before.

In-ground speakers are big enough to produce some booming sound and can be partially buried. This means you can place them strategically to hide them from view without needing a clever disguise.

You find these kinds of speakers in commercial settings a lot. Think theme parks and college campuses. 

Managing Outdoor Speaker Wires

There are a few things to consider when sourcing speaker wire. While you can get away with using regular speaker wire for some situations, it could cause some issues down the line. For this reason, you’ll want to source specialty outdoor speaker wire.

This CL3 Outdoor Speaker Wire (on Amazon) is a perfect choice. This type of wire is rated and designed for outdoor use. They can withstand some extreme weather situations and come with twice the insulation as regular wire. The polyethylene jacket is also UV resistant. 

If you are planning on burying wires, there are also specifically rated wires for that as well. Direct Burial Wire (see on Amazon) is easy to source and is the best option for this application. Some people even recommend using PVC piping to house the wires.

This can be a great option if you use them in a yard that might see work in the future. The PVC protects the wires from shovels and other tools and makes them easy to identify.

What to Look for in Outdoor Speakers and their Receiver

When it comes to finding the right speakers and receivers for the job, there are some things to think about. The first thing you will need to understand is how much power your system will be using. You see, speakers placed inside your home have an advantage over outdoor speakers.

When the speakers create sound, it can bounce off the interior walls amplifying the noise. With outdoor setups, this isn’t an option. This means outdoor speakers need more power to produce the same perceived loudness. Outdoor speakers range from 60 to 100 watts.

Using more wattage means you are going to get more power. But, there is only so much that your receiver can handle before it doesn’t have the amplification needed to power the speakers fully. To prepare for this situation, you need to match the amount of power needed for your speakers with the power output of your receiver.

Planning Your Outdoor Speaker Setup

To get the most out of your outdoor speaker system, a little planning can go a long way. The situation you don’t want to fall into is piecemealing your setup together over time. This can not only produce a less than stellar sound experience, but it can also mean less efficiency.

Another thing to consider is how many zones you want to sound in. If you have a larger yard, planning these out is key.

Since outdoor speakers don’t have the advantage of using walls to bounce sound, speakers need to be closer for you to hear them. Having this plan in place ahead of time can maximize the sound in the areas you have chosen.

Planning is more than just speaker placement, though. You will want to know what kind of speakers you want to use and where they are being placed. You might use multiple types of speakers in your setup.

Planning also means having a plan for all your wires and having the power needed to get everything working. Amplifiers, receivers, wires, and speakers all play a part in an outdoor audio system.