Maximize Your Summer: Your Guide to Outdoor Audio
Posted on May 06 2020
Ahhh… the great outdoors. Close your eyes, inhale deeply, and imagine laying poolside during the wonderfully warm summer months. There are, of course, a few semi-evil things lurking in your backyard. Depending upon your psychosomatic fears, these may include big spiders, slithery snakes, black flies that are the size of commuter aircraft, and even ill tempered caterpillars. None-the-less, do try to refrain from cowering in fear and hiding indoors. One of the most vainglorious pleasures of life is simply being outdoors and enjoying the simmering warmth of the summer sun.
Picture this: on a hot and breezy August afternoon, you lazily dog paddle back and forth in your backyard pool or at a quiet cottage lake. After taking a swim, you relax poolside in a deliriously comfortable reclining lounge chair and sip at a glass of wine or a refreshing glass of your favourite nectar. Is there a more spiritually relaxing and emotionally reassuring thing than thoughtlessly lounging at the water’s edge in comfort and serenity? Probably not. In fact, the only thing that might elevate the experience to a higher spiritual level is sinking into your favourite music while you’re doing so.
We truly understand the idea of music allowing all of us to maximize the outdoor experience. Many music lovers may think of listening to records, CDs, or streaming music as an indoor hobby. This is not true though. As spring arrives and we emerge from winter, now is the time to think about how to make the most of the summer months. While it’s easy enough to play music outdoors on a portable Bluetooth speaker, the majority of these speakers simply don’t do much justice to music. If you’re looking to enjoy good sound – no, make that GREAT sound – there is no better spring project than adding a dedicated outdoor music system to your backyard, balcony, garden, pool area, cottage, boat, or business.
Advantages of a Dedicated Outdoor Audio System
One of the key advantages of a dedicated outdoor music system is that it is always ready to play. Just open your favorite music streaming app on your phone and you’ve got tunes playing in seconds flat. We are all inherently a little lazy and if you rely on a portable Bluetooth speaker to listen to music outdoors, you are much less likely to actually do it. Let’s be honest, carrying the speaker between your indoor and outdoor spaces every time you want to listen to music is a bit of a hassle. Forget about recharging batteries or having to plug in your speaker, with a dedicated system you can jump right into your music.
Of course, musically speaking - there is an even greater benefit. Most portable speakers have small drivers and poorly designed amplifiers, and hence their performance leaves much to be desired. The fact that all these components are cramped into a single, compact enclosure makes matters even worse performance-wise. A dedicated outdoor audio system on the flip side is capable of achieving a fuller frequency range and a much more engaging sound. Larger speaker drivers and more powerful amplification allows dedicated outdoor systems to reach far lower frequencies, which is particularly important when listening to music outdoors, where low frequencies disperse very quickly. A dedicated system will usually consist of at least two speakers, which means that you’ll also be able to achieve proper stereo separation. If you choose to install several speakers in your outdoor space, you’ll enjoy a fuller, more consistent sound throughout your outdoor living environment.
Fun Ways to Engage With Your Music Outdoors
There are lots of ways to enjoy music outdoors: while BBQing, having company over for dinner and drinks or catching up on social media feeds on your phone. Music can enhance just about any outdoor activity. It can also inspire you to try something new...
Aside from actively listening to music outside, one of our favourite outdoor pastimes is to read a book while the music provides a soundtrack. We recommend listening to music without words to accompany your reading time - classical music or instrumental jazz are perfect for this purpose - since they won’t distract you from the words on the page. Bonus tip: if you’re reading a book or graphic novel that has been made into a movie, play the movie soundtrack and enjoy an even deeper level of engagement.
If you work from home, or get a chance to do so once in a while, taking your laptop to your patio, balcony or poolside is likely one of the best work environments you’ll ever experience. Add some music to this environment and it’ll be like magic. Listening to music while working has a ton of benefits in addition to taking in the fresh air - like improving your mood, focus and productivity, and it also makes the time fly by quicker.
If you’re looking for a more energetic way to engage with your music, try taking your exercise routine outdoors. Music with a faster pace will quickly raise your heartrate and get your in the workout mood. Better still - we suggest looking up a few music cardio workout routines on YouTube and giving them a try outside!
Health Benefits of Music
It’s no secret that music offers a great number of health benefits - lots of studies have shown this over the years. Combine this with the fresh outdoor air and vitamin D from the sun, and you’ve got a winning formula for healthy living. Our brains are wired to distinguish different elements of music such as melody, rhythm, pitch and tempo. We also know that slow music can lower our heart rate and blood pressure, and slow down our breathing - while fast music has the exact opposite effect. The health benefits of music are so powerful in fact, that last month we wrote an article specifically about this topic. We invite you to give it a read HERE.
How Do You Build an Outdoor Audio System?
As you might imagine, there are lots of approaches to building an engaging outdoor music system. Generally speaking, you will need three components: one, weatherproof loudspeakers that are specifically engineered for outdoor usage; two, a dedicated amplifier to drive the speakers; and three, a music source like a streamer that can access online music services such as Spotify and TIDAL.
Outdoor speakers come in all shapes and sizes, ranging from traditionally styled bookshelf, oval or spherical models all the way to exotic designer models. Your appreciation for sound quality, aesthetics and budget will all play a role in determining the best speakers for your space. When it comes to amplifiers, just about any good quality amplifier should be able to drive your outdoor speakers. If you would like to play music indoors and outdoors at the same time, consider an amplifier that offers enough channels to power all your music zones. Finally, choosing a good streamer - that offers access to all your favourite music services, access to your local music library and an easy-to-navigate interface is essential to the success of every outdoor music system.
Installing a couple of outdoor speakers in your outdoor space can be a fun project to tackle on the weekend - if you’re handy with a few basic tools. If you’re thinking of setting up a garden or pool audio system, on the other hand, that consists of several speakers, a couple of subwoofers and long cable runs be sure to contact your local Audio / Video shop or Custom Installer to get the most from your project.
Maximize Your Summer
Music lovers no longer need to compromise the performance of their favourite musicians while spending time in the great outdoors. The summer months should be spent outdoors enjoying the glorious warmth of the summer sun. Being able to hear your favourite music at the tap of a touchscreen can transform your backyard from a forgotten wilderness into a relaxing oasis of comfort and joy filled with the music you love.
Now is the time to invest in a streamed-content backyard, cottage, or balcony music system and conquer the outdoors with your favourite tunes. We have the solution for all of your outdoor speaker, subwoofer, amplifier, and music streaming needs - we invite you to explore all the outdoor speaker categories HERE.