Music sets the stage for all forms of environments, from boisterous to romantic. You can’t have a summer party without it. You really can’t have any kind of party without it. Certainly not a Garden Party.
Outdoor music makes even working in the garden feel festive, digging tunes while digging beds, trimming trees, and raking the lawn…then diving into the pool to cool off, emerging to the festive sounds of whatever it is that soothes your soul.
The fourth installation in our series on outdoor living looks at audio, and speaker options.
Question: What are the most popular requests for outdoor living installations?
Lindsay: The biggest outdoor purchase is for music. It isn’t only for music enthusiasts, although for those who are, it’s even more important.
The basic installation is some speakers, which are wired for power, but controlled by a wireless device. We wire the yard using specialized burial cables and make any required network upgrades to support the system.
The most popular suburban outdoor installation, is a couple of small weatherproof box speakers, attached to the house with a mounting bracket. These are usually placed somewhere unobtrusive, perhaps near the soffits, or on either side of a sliding back door that goes out to a patio. We sell many brands of these made by both leading speaker companies and outdoor specialists, including: B&W, Definitive Audio, Paradigm, and Speakercraft.
The second type of outdoor speaker looks like a rock. You can put it in amongst your shrubs and flowers in a self-contained enclosure. We sell Paradigm’s Rock Monitor, which looks and works well.
We usually use one or two of those, but an installation could use more depending on the size and shape of the yard. These don’t require a subwoofer, because they’re usually about an 8″ speaker. They sound pretty good, are weather proof, and they stay outdoors 24/7, 12 months of the year. They’re wired but usually managed through a wireless control system.
The ones we sell are excellent quality, guaranteed, and weatherproof, with 5-year warranties, sometimes lifetime warranties, and they provide really good audio. When hooked up to a good amp, they sound great.
People put them around the backyard or the pool depending on the layout. The better sounding units which we carry are also more nicely designed, and blend well into the garden, disguising their purpose.
The third type of outdoor speaker, is the Garden Oasis series made by Paradigm. These have a stake and look like a spotlight, but instead of a light bulb, it’s a speaker. They mount in the ground, focused, because they’re kind of directional. The sound goes where you want it and it doesn’t go where you don’t want it. They’re very small, about 4″round, and they don’t have much bass, so we install an outdoor subwoofer to go along with those speakers.
The outdoor subwoofer is kind of a box, about 12 inches square. This base gets dug into the ground, and there is a piece that sticks up and looks like a mushroom, about 12 inches round. The bass is in the ground and vents out through this. It’s unobtrusive, and adds the bottom end to the speakers that are spread out around the property.
With a job like this, you can have 2, 4, 8, 12, as many speakers as are required by the size of the property, and then 1 or 2 subwoofers, to fill it all in.
It’s usually larger backyards that get this treatment. People that have big gardens and a pool area where they want sound everywhere, at a good volume, without it disturbing the neighbours.
In ground speakers supported with subwoofers is a fairly high-end approach, generally the most expensive. It also sounds really, really good.
Finally, they aren’t an installed item, but we sell some wireless on-the-go type speakers. These are powered by an internal chargeable battery and can be used indoors or out. They’re suitable for cottages, or for people who live in apartments and want to have occasional music on the patio without disturbing the people next door. Liptons sells the Soundcast VG7.
Many leading speaker companies make outdoor speakers as part of their line, they make architectural speakers that are mounted in ceilings and walls, they make box speakers that can be waterproof, Paradigm for example, has several outdoor speakers, and Bowers & Wilkins also makes an excellent architectural monitor. There are also some companies which specialize in speakers for outdoor environments, or particularly excel at producing for the outdoors.
Liptons takes care to stock high quality items that work well together. We specialize in custom installations and service to ensure that customers are able to enjoy the experience they’re looking for. Especially at that all-important summer bash. All we need now, is some great lighting. More on that next week.
Contact Liptons anytime to discuss an outdoor audio installation at your home. Feel free to call us at 805-898-7133, email firstname.lastname@example.org, drop by 130 Davis Drive to talk with one of our Audio Video professionals, or use the form below. We’re eager to get started and help you let the music begin!