You’re outside, cooking up a delicious meal on the grill, and you’re enjoying your Friday night—that is, until the fighting over what’s playing on your outdoor audio speakers begins. The kids want to listen to the newest hits while they’re swimming in the pool, but you’d like to have your favorite tunes playing in the outdoor kitchen area.
And besides the fact that you can’t all seem to agree on the same music, you may be frustrated by your complicated set-up. You either have cords running from inside the house or have to remember to charge your bluetooth speakers, all to just to enjoy a little music.
It’s far from ideal and you may have decided you need a better solution.
Of course, you may not know much about outdoor audio or what type of equipment would complete your space. You might love the idea of incorporating speakers—or even surround-sound television—into your outdoor living space but you may want to be sure that you make a wise investment in a system.
Advice from the Outdoor Audio Experts
Fortunately, we know the outdoor audio experts. We work closely with Coastal Source when we install outdoor audio on a lot of our projects, and asked them to share some of their best advice for incorporating the right equipment into an outdoor living space.
What makes them the experts? Well, for one, Coastal is a company that was born in the Florida Keys and is focused on “tough outdoor audio products” that can truly stand the test of outdoor elements. The company is known for its high-quality systems which do not have to be brought in over winter. They have installed systems in snowy Canada, sizzling Arizona, and the wetlands of Florida.
If their systems can withstand the weather in those regions, we think they’ll be just fine for your Lancaster, York, Hershey, or Reading, PA home.
We asked Bill Albertson, Coastal Source’s Northeast Sales Specialist who works with Earth, Turf, & Wood, to fill us in on what you should know about outdoor audio for your home.
Taking the Indoor Audio Experience to the Outdoors
Before understanding what goes into an outdoor audio experience that is truly exceptional, you must first understand the way things used to be done, says Bill. Prior to incorporating well-integrated audio systems into outdoor living areas, most homeowners would mount speakers onto the home and broadcast from there.
Actually, that still happens today.
But Bill says it’s not ideal for several reasons.
For one, a system like this is typically wired indoors and runs to the outside. That alone can be complicated. But oftentimes this is done with speakers that aren’t really capable of holding up to the weather and corrosion can occur.
In addition, you have to hope that broadcasting from that one zone next to the house is going to be loud enough for everyone throughout your outdoor living area to hear the sound, Bill adds. That means it’s going to have to be very loud. So, in order for the kids in the pool to hear it, the folks gathered on the patio are going to have to deal with the music blasting. It requires them to scream in order to even hear one another.
A Smarter, Integrated Experience
An outdoor audio system should be different. Bill says that integrating outdoor audio systems into the landscape, and throughout multiple zones, givies you an even level of music throughout the listening zone. That means the music doesn’t have to be blaring in order for everyone to hear it.
The outdoor audio speakers can be placed amongst shrubbery in a discreet manner if you want something a little more inconspicuous. And everything's made to stay outdoors and to withstand the elements. You don’t have to worry about corrosion.
You also have the option to set up zones, says Bill, or what he calls “listening rooms.”
“You can have one kind of music playing at the pool and another playing in the outdoor kitchen, simultaneously,” Bill says. “And you can adjust the listening level individually.”
It can definitely prevent all that bickering over who is listening to what, Bill adds. Now everyone can be happy.
What are some of the other benefits of a high-quality outdoor audio system?
- You can also have music that is incredibly high in quality, even at a very low-listening level so that you can have a conversation.
- You could have music that is really loud but still produces fantastic sound.
- Outdoor televisions with surround sound can also be incorporated into the mix. You can have excellent sound quality to watch the game on Sunday or to become truly immersed in your favorite movie.
“With high-quality sound, it’s a very emotional experience,” Bill adds. “You hear that sound and it really grabs a hold of you. Because of that, it enhances your time spent in your outdoor living area.”
Cost Considerations for Outdoor Audio
Having a high-quality outdoor audio system installed is not going to be your cheapest option for sound, but it’s your best one. Even a basic system we install is better than your basic box-store option as it’s going to withstand weather and produce higher quality sound. After all, you don’t want to have to replace it after a few, short years or realize after it’s installed that the quality is subpar.
Adding outdoor audio o an existing landscape design project is a worthy upgrade. Let’s look at three cost ranges and what you can get for that investment.
Basic Investment (approximately $2,600-$4,000)
For a minimal investment, you could get an amplifier with a Bluetooth outdoor audio receiver and four rock speakers to incorporate into your landscape. This would be a simple setup that is great for smaller areas and would give you real good sound quality.
Mid-Range Investment (approximately $6,800-$8,000)
For a bit more of an investment, you could get your amplifier and Bluetooth receiver along with 8.0 Bollard speakers and a 10.0 subwoofer (which gives you that thumping base sound), plus two extra speakers, giving you five speakers altogether. This is a step up in both capacity and sound quality.
Premium Investment ($11,000-$20,000)
For a larger investment, you could get Coastal’s 3-Way Ellipse Bollard speaker, which is the absolute best in outdoor audio. It’s a subwoofer and full-range speaker all-in-one and is both the highest performing and best-selling speaker Coastal has despite being their most expensive. It is highly sophisticated and gives the best possible sound quality. At this cost range, and upward, you can have a truly complete system with speakers in multiple listening zones set up throughout your space.
Completing your Space
Outdoor audio is ultimately just one decision of many for your outdoor living space. But it’s a big one. Music or surround sound on your television can help make your experience feel complete. It can be a critical aspect of the entertainment and have a big impact on how much enjoyment you get out of the space.
“Imagine it’s a Friday night and you get home from work, invite some friends over, and head out to your patio,” says Bill. “You turn on some great music on a really high-quality sound system. You’re taking that beautiful backyard project that you had completed and you’re bringing it to life. That’s what high-quality audio can do. It takes your experience to a whole new level.”
But that’s only if you choose a high-quality system and have it installed by a landscape contractor that has done this type of work before. After all, the know-how (when it comes to installation) is just as important as the system.
An Outdoor Space That’s Music to Your Ears
In the end, the choice is yours. You can mount a couple speakers to your house and hope for the best. You can have someone install your system who doesn’t often specialize in designing and installing outdoor audio solutions.
Or you can invest a little bit more money to have a high-quality outdoor audio components professionally installed by a landscape contractor that frequently takes on these types of projects. Here at Earth, Turf, & Wood, we have installed many of these systems so this is not an out-of-the-blue or special request. It’s something we love doing for our clients.
By choosing to work with a company that delivers both high-quality products and service, you can be sure that your outdoor audio lives up the high standard of the rest of your outdoor living area and makes your space truly complete.
If you’d like to talk about incorporating outdoor audio into the outdoor living space for your Harrisburg, Lancaster, York, Hershey, or Reading, PA home, then contact us for a free consultation and get ready to take your space to a whole new level of enjoyment.
Image Source: Coastal Source