Best Patio Outdoor Speakers - Audiostance

The 10 Best Patio Outdoor Speakers

Tired of lugging around your Bluetooth speaker to entertain your friends and family at your outdoor entertainment area? Outdoor patio speakers are an excellent permanent solution to bringing music to the outdoors. A good pair of patio speakers will impress your friends and get you excited to spend more time outdoors. These speakers aren’t just for entertaining, however, and even garden work will become a pleasure as you get lost in the sound of your favorite tracks playing in the background.

Our Top Picks!

Best Overall: Polk Atrium 8 SDI

The Polk Atrium 8 is our top pick, with great audio performance and durability that has proven itself over the years. We recommend this speaker because it is the best balance between affordability and audio performance, with exceptional bass response. You could also go with the Atrium 6 if you feel these are overkill.

Budget Choice: Yamaha NS AW150W

The Yamaha NS-AW150W wins our pick for the top budget choice. While these speakers may lack the bass of some of the competitors as they use 5″ primary woofers, they come in at around $100 for a pair, making them excellent value for money.

Loudest: Klipsch AW-650

If you’re looking for loudness, the Klipsch AW-650 packs a punch with its 6.5″ drivers. With a sensitivity of 95dB, which is about 4dB higher than that of the Polk Atrium. These are a great choice to cover a larger entertainment area.

Best Sounding: Sonos Outdoor Architectural

We recommend the Sonos Outdoor Architectural Speakers if you’re after quality sound. While this pair of speakers do not come cheap, they offer incredible quality, especially when paired with the Sonos amp.

Patio outdoor speakers differ from traditional outdoor speakers in that they are wired, mounted speakers that tend to be placed under the eaves of your home. In this list, we feature the best patio outdoor speakers across all budgets. We will also run through things to be aware of when buying patio speakers, from sound quality to required amplification and even how certain speakers may affect your home’s aesthetics.

1. Polk Atrium 8 SDI

Polk Audio Atrium 8 SDI Outdoor Speaker

Why We Recommend It

The Polk Atrium 8, being the largest of this flagship range brings with it a lot of volume thanks to its large and efficient drivers. The installation is easy and the overall sound quality is some of the best in the field.


  • Great sound quality
  • Loads of volume
  • Easy installation


  • Requires a fairly powerful amp to bring it to life
Drivers1 x 6½” + 2 x 1″
Weight9.7 lbs
Size12.8 x 8.5 x 9.1″
Release Date2010

If you’re looking for a speaker to make some noise and perhaps through a few parties out in the backyard, then the Polk Audio Atrium 8 SDI Outdoor Speaker might be what you’re after. The Atrium 8 SDI is the flagship speaker from the Polk Audio Atrium outdoor speaker range. The entire range is built tough to withstand extreme temperatures, salt fog, UV, and even heavy rain. The speaker even comes with a 5-year warranty on both the cabinet and speaker drivers.

Speaker Design and Sound

The Atrium 8 SDI is sold as a single speaker and is designed to be used on its own or as a pair. A switch on the rear of the Atrium 8 SDI enables the speaker to be used as a single or in stereo mode. The Atrium 8 SDI features a single 6½-inch low-frequency driver with two 1” tweeters. The tweeters are mounted in an array to maximum vertical and horizontal dispersion. On the rear of the Atrium 8 SDI is a Polk Audio PowerPort which works with the low-frequency driver to maximize the bass response.

The result is the Atrium 8 SDI delivers a deep, punchy bass sound that can easily fill most patios or indoor entertainment areas. The speaker performs well in the mid-range delivering excellent vocal clarity. The tweeter array gives the Atrium 8 SDI a nice sizzle in the high-frequencies and a decent amount of throw-to-project sound across your backyard. The Atrium 8 SDI is a powerful speaker. If you choose to install a pair of these outdoor speakers with paired with the right-sized amplifier, you won’t have any issues annoying your neighbors with some big sound for outdoor parties.

Amplification, Cabling, and Installation

The Atrium 8 SDI has a power handling of 10W to 125W at 8 ohms. You can go with a smaller amp between 10W to 50W to run these speakers, but then you may as well purchase a smaller and cheaper speaker. The Atrium 8 SDI comes alive at 100W, where they can deliver their full power. You can go with the Bose SoundTouch SA-5 Amplifier, which will work fine but is almost $500. If you’re looking for something cheaper, the Yamaha R-N303BL Stereo Receiver costs just $300 and will perform the same job. The R-N303BL features analog and digital inputs as well as Bluetooth and WiFi. The receiver is also compatible with Alexa.

Polk Audio doesn’t offer speaker wire specifications for the Atrium 8 SDI. However, I wouldn’t go thinner than 16 gauge for these outdoor speakers. For cable runs longer than 30 feet, use a 14-gauge, and past 50 feet, go with a 12-gauge cable.

The Atrium 8 SDI is available in black and white, with both the speaker enclosure and grille being paintable to match the color of your home. The speaker comes with paint protectors to cover the speaker drivers and rear bass port while applying paint.

The Atrium 8 SDI can be mounted horizontally or vertically, depending on the speaker position and area you want to cover. The trademarked Atrium Speed-Lock mounting bracket makes installation easy for a one-man DIY job. The unique C-bracket can even be mounted at a 45° angle in a vertical position between the wall and ceiling. Usually, mounting brackets only allow you to get a 45° angle on the horizontal, so this is a small bonus the Atrium speaker range offers.

If you’re looking for a powerful outdoor party system, then the Polk Audio Atrium 8 SDI Outdoor Speaker is definitely the way to go. A pair of these outdoor speakers can deliver up to 250W with excellent bass and clarity. If you’re looking to install a full home entertainment system with multiple speakers inside and outside, the Atrium series offers five different sizes in black and white. The Atrium 8 SDI costs just over $170 for a single speaker, but this is larger and more powerful than your average outdoor speaker.

2. Klipsch AW-650 Outdoor Speaker

Klipsch AW-650 Outdoor Speaker

Why We Recommend It

The Klipsch AW-650 is one of the best deals for a great-sounding patio speaker. For around $300, you’ll get a product that doesn’t only produce quality sound but also produces a whole lot of volume. The 95dB sensitivity of the AW-650 makes it stand out from the competition.


  • Great sound quality
  • Loads of volume
  • Easy installation


  • Requires a fairly powerful amp to bring it to life
Drivers1 x 6½” + 1 x 1″
Weight9 lbs
Size15.0 x 9.5 x 11.0″
Release Date2005

Klipsch is undoubtedly one of the leading speaker manufacturers in the consumer audio market. Their speakers are always built with the finest parts and sound exceptional. The Klipsch AW-650 Outdoor Speaker is one of the best outdoor speakers on the market. It comes in black or white, with both options featuring paintable enclosures and grilles to customize the color of your speakers to match the color of your home.

Speaker Design and Sound

The AW-650 is sold as a pair of outdoor speakers suitable for installation inside and outside the home. Each speaker features a 6½” low-frequency driver with a 1” titanium dome tweeter. The AW-650 has a wide 90° x 90° dispersion, which means the speaker will perform exactly the same whether mounted vertically or horizontally.

One thing you’re guaranteed with Klipsch is great sound. The AW-650 is no different in this regard. These outdoor speakers sound exceptional with a typical Klipsch sound profile. The bass is solid, with a decent punch and definition in the response. The mid-range is balanced perfectly, with vocals clear and pronounced. The tweeter produces a brilliantly crisp sound which adds to the overall clarity of the speaker. Even at high volumes, the AW-650 never distorts or becomes harsh. It can only be described as a smooth buttery sound, and yet still manages to provide a sensitivity of 95dB.

Amplification, Cabling, and Installation

The AW-650 has a power handling of 85W – 340W Peak, which gives you a significant amount of power to play with. Sonos has recently released the Sonos Amp, which features WiFi connectivity allowing you to integrate the amplifier with your existing home network, though these don’t come cheap.
The Sonos Amp delivers 125W per channel into 8 ohms which will work just fine for the AW-650. Some people are using the smaller Sonos Connect to power the AW-650 and seem happy with the results. However, at only 55W per channel into 8 ohms, I feel this is far too little power to drive these speakers efficiently.

Klipsch recommends using a minimum of 16-gauge speaker wire when installing the AW-650. For best results and superior sound quality, it’s best to go with a 12-gauge speaker cable, especially if you are planning long cable (30ft plus) runs for your AW-650 installation.

The AW-650 is designed to withstand extreme temperatures, salt air, direct sunlight, and even rain. The speaker enclosure has a drainage system to prevent water buildup. As always, we recommend you still install the AW-650 in a position that’s sheltered from the elements. This will prolong the life of the speakers.
The AW-650 comes with C-brackets for mounting the speakers, and all the components, including the speaker enclosures, are paintable.

If you consider yourself somewhat of an audiophile, you’ll genuinely appreciate the Klipsch AW-650. These outdoor speakers sound incredible, delivering a natural, accurate sound profile. One thing you can rely on from Klipsch is quality parts, meaning these speakers will likely last longer than most competing outdoor speakers. The AW-650 is an absolute steal for around $300 for a pair of premium speakers.

For more details on these speakers, you can read our full review of the Klipsch AW-650.

3. Bose 251 Environmental Outdoor Speakers

Bose 251 Environmental Outdoor Speakers

Why We Recommend It

The Bose 251 is a bit of a classic; it’s hard to compile any patio speaker list without including them. The build quality is where the Bose 251 shines; there are reports online from customers who even had these speakers survive hurricanes. Soundwise, they are impressive for 5.25″ drivers and have an impressive bass response for such a small speaker.


  • Robust durability
  • Good volume for driver size
  • Easy to drive


  • Somewhat pricy for a 5¼” driver
  • Sound signature may not be appreciated by those looking for reference-style tuning
Drivers1 x 5¼” + 2 x 2½”
Weight8 lbs
Size4.5 x 6.0 x 12.4″
Release Date2004

Bose always seems to produce the goods for consumer audio products. The brand does get some criticism from audiophiles because its products are not true or flat. Bose products might not sound flat, but they’re always exciting to listen to. The Bose 251 Environmental Outdoor Speakers are not different in this regard. The speakers are powerful, with a sound profile that makes them fun to listen to. The 251 Environmental can be used as an indoor or outdoor speaker, which means you can have one speaker for installation throughout your home or indoor and outdoor entertainment spaces.

Speaker Design and Sound

The 251 Environmental is sold as a pair. Each speaker features a 5¼-inch low-frequency driver with two 2½” Bose Twiddler™. The Twiddler is essentially a high/mid driver with a wider frequency range than your average tweeter. In addition, the Twiddlers are mounted in, what Bose calls, an Articulated Array®. This means each Twiddler driver fires in slightly different directions to the left and right, widening the speaker’s dispersion. An array of this kind is especially important for outdoor and entertainment areas where the listening position is not necessarily one focused area. For example, you will have guests on the patio, at the BBQ, out in the yard, and possibly around the pool. The Bose Articulated Array is able to cover a wider area with just two speakers.

The low-end produced by 251 Environmental is incredible. The 5¼-inch driver performs exceptionally well, producing a bass response that sounds like it’s coming from a bigger speaker. The tweeters also perform to a very high standard with a clear mid-range which makes vocals and instruments present. The 251 Environmental has a pleasant high-frequency response offering excellent detail and clarity without hurting the ears at high volumes. Overall, the 251 Environmental is a fun and exciting outdoor patio speaker that can be used for background music and parties.

Amplification, Cabling, and Installation

The 251 Environmental has a power handling of 10W to 100W into 6 ohms per channel. However, the speakers are compatible with 4 – 8 ohm amplifiers and receivers. The best amplifier to pair your 251 Environmental is the Bose SoundTouch SA-5 Amplifier. The SoundTouch SA-5 is a stereo amplifier that allows for 2 x RCA, ⅛-inch AUX, Bluetooth, and WiFi connectivity. The SoundTouch SA-5 is also compatible with Alexa. Perfect for any modern home entertainment system. You can even purchase the 251 Environment and SoundTouch SA-5 with speaker wire as a complete bundle.

Bose recommends using a minimum of 18-gauge speaker wire for connecting the 251 Environmental. Here are the recommendations from Bose based on the length of your cable run:

  • 18-gauge – up to 30ft maximum
  • 16-gauge – up to 45ft maximum
  • 14-gauge – up to 70ft maximum

The 251 Environmental comes with mounting brackets which are cleverly designed to allow for a one-man installation. Once the bracket is mounted in position, the speaker can be placed in the bracket, which cradles the 251 Environmental while you adjust the angle before tightening the speaker in place.

Bose recommends placing the 251 Environmental a minimum of 7ft apart for optimum stereo imaging. For the 251 Environmental Articulated Array to work, the speakers must be mounted in a vertical position. I wouldn’t recommend mounting these speakers horizontally, no matter the reasoning. Two points to keep in mind if you already have a speaker position in mind.

The speakers are designed to withstand snow, rain, salt, and temperatures as high as 140° F and as low as -22° F making the 251 Environmental the perfect pair of outdoor speakers. With that said, make sure you mount the 251 Environmental under the eaves of your roof or covered patio away from direct exposure to the elements.

The Bose 251 Environmental is one of the best outdoor speakers we have come across. Hence the reason they top our list of the best patio outdoor speakers. The 251 Environmental is durable, easy to install, and delivers excellent sound quality. If paired with the right amplifier or receiver, the 251 Environmental can get really loud, making them great for parties. The 251 Environmental is a premium outdoor speaker, which unfortunately comes with a premium price of around $400. However, the 251 Environmental is worth every penny.

For more details on these speakers, you can read our full review of the Bose 251.

4. Sonos Outdoor Architectural Speakers

SONOS outdoor architectural speakers

Why We Recommend It

The Sonos Outdoor Architectural Speakers are in a league of their own regarding premium sound. While budget constraints can limit the quality of speakers, Sonos is well known for focusing on quality and ignoring budget. These speakers are no different; when paired with the Sonos amplifier, you will get crystal clear sound that can be pushed to loud volume without degradation of quality.


  • Great quality sound
  • Lightweight
  • Balanced sound signature


  • Expensive
Drivers1 x 6½” + 1 x 1″
Weight8.79 lbs
Size12.2 x 8.86 x 7.48″
Release Date2019

The Sonos Outdoor Architectural Speakers are one of the newer product releases that we’ve included on this list. If you’re unfamiliar with the Sonos brand, Sonos has been around since 2002, and in just two decades, they’ve established themselves as a premium audio brand with dozens of quality products.

The truth is Sonos gear is extremely high quality but also on the pricy side, so these speakers aren’t going to fit everyone’s budget, but if you can afford it – you’ll be investing in a trustworthy brand that is well known for their sound and build quality. Their outdoor architectural speakers are quite new to the market but have also quickly become a holy grail in the patio speaker market.

Speaker Design and Sound

The design of these Sonos outdoor speakers is fairly standard with the rest of the market; it seems that patio speakers are one of the products that established a tried and tested design formula decades ago, and why fix what isn’t broken? 

It’s worth noting that these speakers are only available in white. A small fact that we really like about these speakers is their weight. The Sonos outdoor speakers weigh around 8 lbs, which is a fair bit lighter than other patio outdoor speakers, which offer the same size drivers. This doesn’t mean much in terms of performance, but it does impact the installation process, as we’ll discuss further below.

These speakers feature a 6.5” polypropylene woofer for the low end and mids and a 1” soft-dome tweeter for the highs.

Sonos products stand out because of their attention to detail regarding sound performance, and they have also hit all the right notes with these speakers. You can expect a fairly balanced sound signature, and that is where Sonos thrives. These are a bit of an audiophile product in that the sound signature is developed for accuracy and vibrancy but is not tuned to be too bassy or push too much treble.

Amplification, Cabling, and Installation

The secret to getting great sound out of these patio speakers is using a high-quality amplifier, and a popular combination is combing these with the Sonos amp. At the time of publication, the latest version of the amp is the Sonos Amp (AMPG1US1BLK). This is by no means an affordable amplifier, but considering everything about the Sonos brand assumes one has a large budget available, it only makes sense that they’d pair their high-end speakers with a high-end amplifier.

These speakers are rated at 8 Ohms with a sensitivity of 89dB at 1m and hold a frequency response range 55Hz – 20KHz (±3dB).

You don’t need to rely on the Sonos amp to power these speakers, but doing so will give you some truly astounding results and bring your outdoor audio game up a level.

We touched on the weight earlier. Each Sonos speaker weighs in at 4.4 lbs (or 2kg), which makes installing these speakers a bit easier a task. One of the biggest challenges for homeowners installing new patio speakers is carefully mounting the speaker while trying to hold its weight. These speakers are light enough to make that task a bit easier.

Overall, if you’re after a high-quality sound that can impress your audiophile friends, these are probably the closest you’re going to come to when it comes to patio speakers. Their sound is vibrant but also balanced and accurate. Just be prepared to put aside a fairly big budget.

5. JBL Control 23-1 Compact Indoor / Outdoor Speaker

JBL Control 23-1 Compact Indoor / Outdoor Speaker

Why We Recommend It

The JBL Control 23-1 is JBL’s smallest flagship patio speaker, and it’s been around for some time now. These aren’t the best-sounding speakers on the market, but instead, these speakers focus on affordability, durability, and, perhaps most important, size. These speakers can mount in locations where larger speakers may not fit.


  • Value for money
  • Durability
  • Compact size


  • No standard U-bracket provided
  • No cables included
Drivers1 x 3″ + 1 x ½”
Weight4 lbs
Size7.9 x 5.6 x 4.4″
Release Date2016

JBL is one of our favorite speaker brands. The company never disappoints, from the superior parts which make up each speaker to the exceptional sound quality of every product. The JBL Control 23-1 Compact Indoor / Outdoor Speaker lives up to the JBL name with a great build producing excellent sound. The Control 23-1 is ultra-compact and offers some interesting features, including a special mounting system which we cover later in this review.

Speaker Design and Sound

The JBL Control 23-1 is sold as a pair of speakers available in black or white for installation both indoors and outdoors. Each speaker features a 3-inch low-frequency driver with a ½” tweeter. Although small, the ½” tweeter is horn-loaded, which enables the Control 23-1 to deliver a decent amount of throw. This is especially useful if you need to cover a backyard or a large patio area. The woofer is constructed with woven fiberglass, which ensures maximum durability. An essential feature for outdoor speakers.

Although the Control 23-1 doesn’t have a particularly big bass sound, the speaker is warm with a rich low-end response. The balance across the frequency is decent, with vocals sounding upfront and present. The ½” tweeter performs well, offering good intelligibility. If you are looking for a pair of speakers for your outdoor TV, then a pair of Control 23-1 speaker would be an excellent choice. I would only recommend the Control 23-1 for background audio applications. For loud music and parties, you might find you’ll have to drive the speakers too hard and may encounter distortion. These speakers do best at a low to medium volume as background music.

Amplification, Cabling, and Installation

The Control 23-1 has a power handling of 10W to 50W at 8 ohms. For amplification, we recommend the Pioneer Bluetooth Audio Component Receiver. The Pioneer is a stereo amplifier delivering 45W per channel into 8 ohms. A perfect match for the Control 23-1. The Pioneer offers several inputs, including 4 x RCA and Bluetooth. There is also an RCA line out and subwoofer out. In addition, the amplifier features a built-in AM/FM tuner.

JBL doesn’t recommend specific speaker wires. However, don’t use cable thinner than an 18-gauge. For excessively long cable runs (60ft plus), use a 12-gauge wire to install the JBL Control 23-1.

One of the best features of the Control 23-1 is JBL’s trademarked InvisiBall™ wall-mounting system. Unlike most wall mount speakers where the bracket is located on the sides (either top/bottom or left/right), the Control 23-1 has a rear mounting bracket. This means the speaker appears as if it is floating on the wall for a cleaner aesthetic. This is especially appealing for commercial installations where aesthetics are as important as sound.
The speaker can also be mounted using a standard U-bracket. Only the InvisiBall mounting system is supplied with the Control 23-1. The standard U-bracket and ceiling-mount InvisiBall adapter are available as extra purchase options.

The Control 23-1 is an all-weather speaker capable of handling extreme temperatures, wet and cold. Every part is weatherproofed, including a rubberized surround protecting the low-frequency driver. While the speaker features excellent weatherproofing, you wouldn’t want to install the Control 23-1 in direct exposure to the elements.

If you’re looking for an ultra-compact outdoor speaker, then the JBL Control 23-1 is a great option. The speaker isn’t particularly loud but will perform better than most 3” outdoor speakers. The sound quality is exceptional, and you won’t find anything better at this price point. The Control 23-1 is sold as a pair and costs just over $220. Great value for a pair of high-end JBL outdoor speakers.

For more details, you can read our full review of the JBL Control 23-1.

6. Yamaha NS-AW150 2-Way Outdoor Speakers

Yamaha NS-AW150 2-Way Outdoor Speakers

Why We Recommend It

Yamaha’s NS-AW150 is similar to the JBL but is even more affordable at around $100 for a pair. While they aren’t without flaws, the NS-AW150 offer unbelievable value for money and punches above their weight in almost all regards. These lightweight speakers are also a breeze to install.


  • Extremely affordable
  • Great value
  • Lightweight


  • A 5″ woofer results in a limited volume
  • Bass lacks compared to larger speakers
Drivers1 x 5″ + 1 x ½”
Weight3.74 lbs
Size5.4 x 10.1 x 6.1″
Release Date2004

Yamaha is another well-known, premium brand providing some high-quality, competitively priced consumer audio products. They have an extensive range of outdoor speakers in a variety of shapes and sizes. The NS-AW150 2-Way Outdoor Speakers form part of the All-Weather range from Yamaha. The NS-AW150 is extremely popular online. The speakers are competitively priced, durable, and provide good sound for outdoor installations.

Speaker Design and Sound

The NS-AW150 is sold as a pair but can also be purchased as bundles of four or six speakers complete with cabling. For a distributed home sound system, the NS-AW150 is definitely a smart option. Each speaker features a 5” low-frequency driver with a ½” PEI dome tweeter.

The 5” low-frequency driver performs surprisingly well, delivering an excellent bass response. The mid-range and high-frequencies aren’t as detailed as the Klipsch or Bose but still perform exceptionally well. Especially consider the NS-AW150 costs under $100 for a pair! The NS-AW150 is a good speaker for background and party applications. However, if you want a loud music speaker, go with the 180W Yamaha NS-AW992. Another speaker from Yamaha’s All-Weather range.

Amplification, Cabling, and Installation

The NS-AW150 has a power handling of 35W to 120W in 6 ohms. If you’re looking to power the NS-AW150 for background music, then a 50W amplifier will be sufficient. You will need an amplifier or receiver with a little more power for louder applications or to get the most out of these outdoor speakers. The Yamaha R-N602 AV Receiver delivers two channels of 125W at 6 ohms. This is perfect for driving the NS-AW150 effectively and efficiently. The R-N602 features multiple inputs, including Bluetooth and WiFi. The receiver is also compatible with Alexa.

Yamaha doesn’t specify speaker gauge recommendations. However, it wouldn’t be wise to go lower than an 18-gauge cable for the NS-AW150. Try to use a 16 gauge if possible with 12 gauge for wire runs further than 30ft.

The NS-AW150 can be mounted in a vertical or horizontal position and is designed to withstand light rain, and are UV resistant. You definitely do not want to install the NS-AW150, where they will be fully exposed to the elements. Under the eaves of your roof or under a patio will be fine. For stereo imaging, the NS-AW150 should be placed a minimum of 6 feet and a maximum of 10 feet apart.

At under $100 for a pair, the Yamaha NS-AW150 2-Way Outdoor Speakers are the most affordable premium speaker option we came across. It’s mind-blowing just how good these speakers sound for the money. This price point makes the NS-AW150 a great option if you have more than a stereo pair to install. These speakers are great for indoor and outdoor applications and can be paired with other speakers in Yamaha’s All-Weather range.

7. Definitive Technology AW 6500 Outdoor Speaker

Definitive Technology AW 6500 Outdoor Speaker

Why We Recommend It

The Definitive Technology AW 6500 is a powerful speaker, and with the right amplifier, you can get some impressive bass. The mids and highs are also what we’d consider “good” for the outdoor speaker market. The AW 6500 can also last you for years with proper maintenance.


  • Great bass
  • Durable
  • Lots of volume


  • A bit pricy
Drivers6½” + 5″ x 10″ + 1″
Weight9.2 lbs
Size8.8 x 14.4 x 9.2″
Release Date2005

If you’re after some serious bass, then the Definitive Technology AW 6500 Outdoor Speaker might just be what you’re after. With a large bass radiator, this outdoor speaker is optimized for a low-end response. Definitive Technology is one of those lesser-known brands, but it produces some of the best speakers for the consumer audio market. The AW or, All-Weather series features just two speakers, with the AW 6500 being the larger and more powerful of the two.

Speaker Design and Sound

The AW 6500 is sold as a single speaker offering great performance on its own, as a pair, or even for a distributed multi-speaker home entertainment system. The AW 6500 features a 6½-inch low-frequency driver and a 5-inch x 10-inch bass radiator in the rear. A 1-inch tweeter is mounted on the front of the speaker. The AW 6500 is triangular shaped with the front and rear of the speaker at 45° angles. This means when you mount the speaker near a ceiling. The bass radiator fires up at the ceiling, accentuating the bass response. You get the same effect when mounting the AW 6500 horizontally in the corner of a wall.

If mounted properly, the results can be impressive, with the AW 6500 producing a serious amount of bass. The balance between the mid-range and high-frequencies is great, with the AW 6500 delivering excellent vocal clarity. If you choose to install these as a pair, the AW 6500 will more than fill most patio areas. In fact, Definitive Technology state a pair of AW 6500 will cover a 200-400 square foot outdoor space at moderately loud levels (60% + volume, depending on your amp). The AW 6500 also has a wide dispersion, enabling the speaker to cover a wide listening area.
Keep in mind the AW 6500 has a “break-in” period of 20-40 hours at 50% volume. So don’t max the speakers straight out of the box. Allow time for the drivers to loosen and settle. You will achieve optimum results once the speakers have broken in properly.

Amplification, Cabling, and Installation

The AW 6500 has a power handling of 10W – 200W at 8 ohms. These speakers have 92db sensitivity, which is a few decibels more than most of the speakers in this article. If paired with enough amplification, the AW 6500 can deliver a serious amount of power. To get the most out of the AW 6500, we recommend the all-new SVS Prime Wireless SoundBase.
This incredible compact stereo amplifier delivers 150W at 8 ohms per channel. You have digital and analog input options with Bluetooth and WiFi. The SVS Prime Wireless SoundBase is also compatible with Alexa.

While Definitive Technology doesn’t make any specific cable recommendations, it’s best not to use anything thinner than 16 gauge when installing the AW 6500. For runs longer than 30 feet, use 14 gauge, and beyond 50-foot you’ll want to use a 12-gauge cable.

To get the most out of the AW 6500 bass radiator, you’ll want to mount the speaker up near the ceiling or in the corner. You can get a similar effect to lowering your wall. However, the best sound will be from against the ceiling, where the bass frequencies have less space to dissipate. Ensure you install the speakers correctly, as the speaker design does lend to confusion, with the front and rear looking very similar. Make sure to read the user manual before installation.
Both the speaker enclosure and grille are paintable should you wish to match the speakers to the color of your walls.

The Definitive Technology AW 6500 is a speaker which means business. The large bass radiator means this outdoor speaker can produce significant bass. More than any other speaker we reviewed for this article. With the right amplification, the AW 6500 can get seriously loud enough for parties and large entertainment areas. At $250 per speaker, the AW 6500 isn’t cheap; however, if you’re serious about bass and volume, then the best outdoor speakers come at a higher cost.

8. OSD Audio Patio Pro AP650

OSD AP650 Patio speakers

Why We Recommend It

OSD Audio’s AP650 earns its place with a well-rounded performance. The AP650 doesn’t do anything extraordinary. Instead, it has refined everything we look for in a great outdoor patio speaker. The bass is impressive, the sound is crisp and clear, and the durability can compete with the strongest speakers on this list.


  • Great, well-rounded performance
  • Very easy to install
  • Value for money


  • Bass lacks a bit
  • Highs can be a little harsh
Drivers1 x 6½” + 1 x 1″
Weight18 lbs
Size7.6 x 12 x 8.6″
Release Date2011

OSD Audio is a fairly well-recognized brand for outdoor audio equipment, and we’ve covered several of their products in the past. Here we’ll be looking at the Patio Pro AP650, one of OSD’s older outdoor speaker models, yet it remains one of our favorites from the company. We selected to include this product over the OSD’s BTP650 due to the superior performance across the board, as well as the more affordable price tag, though the AP650 doesn’t offer Bluetooth connectivity.

Speaker Design and Sound

The first thing we noticed on the OSD AP650 were the design features which utilize a lot of rounded corners to create a soft appearance that blends well into most patio environments. Being available in both black and white, you’ll be able to select a speaker that best suits your patio aesthetics.

These speakers are rated IPX6, meaning they are protected from the elements to a fairly high degree. While IPX6 is rated to protect against direct rainfall, we still recommend keeping the AP650 undercover to prolong its lifespan and require a bit less routine maintenance.

Under the grille, you’ll find a 6.5” polypropylene woofer and a 1” silk dome tweeter. And regarding sound quality, the AP650 can go head-to-head with many of the other products on this list. Adding a bass port brings more low-end sound but falls a bit behind the Klipsch AW650 in bass performance. If you’re after a more bass-heavy version, you can also look at the AP800 variable from this range which offers a larger 8” woofer.

The mids and highs slightly overpower the lows, especially at a close listening distance. The bass can be enhanced by mounting these into the corner of eaves, which will help reverberate some of those lows. The mids are clear, and the highs crisp – but to some, they may be too bright and a touch hollow if one is going for critical listening. 

Amplification, Cabling, and Installation

The installation process of the OSD AP650 is fairly straightforward and shouldn’t pose problems for any home DIY enthusiast. The mounting brackets are easy to work with and fairly small. The speakers themselves aren’t the lightest out there, so you may need someone to assist you in the process, but otherwise, just a few tools and you’ll get these set up.

The mounting bracket features tilt and swivel functions, meaning you can rotate the speakers horizontally or vertically, depending on your preferences.

The OSD Audio AP650 has an 8-ohms impedance with an optional 70V transformer. For larger speaker setups where you’re looking to power more than a single pair of these, you’ll want to use the 70V line, but note that the upper mids and highs can become distorted if pushed too hard with this method.

Overall, the OSD AP650 is a well-rounded speaker that performs well in all areas we look for in an outdoor speaker. The sound quality may not be able to quite match something like the Sonos, Klipsch, or Polk, but for its price range, it stands tall with the competitors on this list.

9. Dual Electronics LU43PB 3-Way Outdoor Speakers

Dual Electronics LU43PB 3-Way Outdoor Speakers

Why We Recommend It

Dual Electronics’ LU43PB is an extremely affordable speaker; it’s the cheapest pair of patio speakers we’d feel comfortable recommending. You’re not going to get quite the same quality sound as most of the other speakers on this list, but if you have lesser demands from your outdoor speakers, these are a great consideration, especially if you’re looking for background music without needing it to get a party going.


  • Extremely affordable
  • Quality materials


  • Sound quality lacks
  • Susceptible to water damage unless well covered
Drivers1 x 4″ + 1½” + ¾”
Weight2.8 lbs
Size8.2 x 5.2 x 5.2″
Release Date2001

If you’re after ultra-compact, then the Dual Electronics LU43PB 3-Way Outdoor Speakers are just what you’re after. Even though these speakers are compact, they deliver some serious sound through great power handling. Dual Electronics designs and manufactures speakers and amplifiers for marine and car installations, which means they have some experience making audio products built to withstand the elements.

Speaker Design and Sound

The LU43PB is a 3-way speaker sold as a pair and is about two-thirds the size of many of the speakers on this list. Each speaker features a 4-inch low-frequency driver with a ½-inch mid-range driver and a ¾-inch tweeter. The 3-way configuration works well for the LU43PB. The speaker delivers excellent separation and clarity for a speaker this size. Even though the LU43PB only has a 4-inch low-frequency driver, the bass response is excellent. Not as big a bass sound as a 5” or 6”, but certainly impressive for its size and better than most 4-inch speakers on the market.
The mid-range and treble also perform well, which can only be attributed to the 3-way separation.

The LU43PB probably isn’t the speaker you want for loud music and parties. However, they can get somewhat loud. For background music or an outdoor TV on the patio, the LU43PB will be an excellent choice.

Amplification, Cabling, and Installation

The LU43PB has a power handling of 50W to 100W at 6 ohms. The Fosi Audio BT20A Bluetooth Stereo Amplifier is an excellent choice to power a pair of LU43PB speakers. The BT20A is an ultra-compact stereo amplifier measuring 10.1 x 8.1 x 2.8 inches and weighing a mere 1.7 lbs which means you can install this amplifier just about anywhere. The unit allows for just two inputs Bluetooth and RCA. You have separate bass and treble control with a master volume. All you need for a compact outdoor speaker system.
Use a minimum of 18 gauge when connecting your LU43PB speakers to an amplifier. For runs longer than 40 feet, go with a 16-gauge speaker wire.

The LU43PB comes with a mounting bracket for each speaker. It is important to note the LU43PB is not waterproof in any way. The speakers can handle moisture from due and the like but no direct rain or water. On days where it’s particularly damp with due in the morning or evening, allow the speakers to dry completely before using them. If the woofer cone is at all damp, it may perish. For this reason, it’s probably better not to install these speakers near the ocean or where your speakers may get wet. It’s best to install the LU43PB under a covered patio or the eaves of your roof, and it can be mounted vertically or horizontally.

The Dual Electronics LU43PB 3-Way Outdoor Speakers are truly impressive for their size. These speakers deliver excellent bass response for 4” speakers. The clarity in the mid-range and high frequencies is also very good. If you’re looking for a compact sound system for your patio, then the LU43PB is an excellent choice. Keep in mind these speakers aren’t as loud as some of the larger speakers on this list. However, they do a good job for a focused area such as a patio. The LU43PB costs just $33 for a pair of speakers, which is simply incredible for what you get. If you include the Fosi Audio BT20A amplifier to power the LU43PB, you’ll be just shy of $110 for a complete Bluetooth outdoor speaker system.

10. Klipsch KIO-650 Patio Speakers

Klipsch KIO-650 Patio Outdoor speakers

Why We Recommend It

If you’re looking for Klipsch reliability on a somewhat limited budget, the Kio-650 is a cheaper but newer alternative to the AW-650. It doesn’t pack as much power as the AW-650, but it still carries a lot of what we enjoyed about the AW-650, including the quality of sound and the reliability of the durable design.


  • Great sound quality
  • Fairly affordable
  • Durable build


  • Falls behind the AW-650 in bass
  • The AW-650 can sometimes be picked up at similar prices on sale
Drivers1 x 6½” + 1 x 1″
Weight17.86 lbs
Size22.5 x 17 x 12″
Release Date2022

The Klipsch KIO-650 is one of the brand’s latest offerings and an exciting addition to the outdoor patio speaker market. Many of the speakers on our list are several years old at this point, so seeing Klipsch bring a new product to this space meant we had to take a look for ourselves.

The KIO-650 is similar to the AW650 we discussed further up in our article, so which one is best for you, and how do they differ?

Speaker Design & Sound

In short, the KIO-650 is a more budget solution, but it also utilizes different materials in the construction, specifically the woofer. Whereas the AW650 uses an IMG (Injection Molded Graphite) woofer, the KIO-650 uses a “cerametallic” design. A cerametallic woofer can typically maintain better control over the low-end frequencies when driven hard by the user. This means less distortion at higher volumes.

For the highs, Klipsch uses the Tractrix® horn-loaded 1” aluminum tweeter – which has been their go-to choice for much of their outdoor speaker range.

The Klipsch KIO-650 puts out less overall volume than the AW650, but it provides an impressive low-end response even with a frequency response range of 67Hz – 18kHz. If you’re a fan of the AW650 but lack the budget to add them to your outdoor entertainment area, the KIO-650 may be a more realistic option.

Amplification, Cabling, and Installation

You can expect the same high-quality build as the AW650 and the KIO-650 still feels sturdy and overall well-constructed. The Klipsch KIO-650 is weather-proof and protects from rust and outdoor damage, but we couldn’t find exactly what IPX rating it has. For this purpose, we recommend installing these in a well-covered area.

Visually, the KIO-650 looks like most other patio speakers and features a fine mesh grill that protects your drivers and a fairly round-corner design that tends to pair well with various architectural styles.

Overall, we can recommend the KIO-650 for those looking for Klipsch quality at a lower price point. But we also suggest looking at the AW650’s sale prices which occur quite frequently and can come close to the KIO-650 at times.

How We Selected These Products

We believe it’s important for our readers to understand how we selected these products and give you insight into our selection process. All the products on this list passed the first-round evaluation of quality, where we ensured that they could meet our fairly strict requirements for overall quality. This relates to sound quality, build quality, and how the manufacturer deals with any problems the customer may experience.

We also looked at how the audio performance aligns with other products in that speaker’s price range. Because everyone has budget constraints, we’ve also included products that fit various price points and are inclusive to everyone. In the cases where we’ve selected cheaper products, we’ve made a point to note any ways in which their quality may differ from the higher-end options.

Buyer’s Guide – What To Consider When Buying Patio Outdoor Speakers

Let’s walk through what we consider important considerations to remember when on the market for an outdoor patio speaker. Some talking points will be more relevant than others, depending on what is important to you, but we highly recommend considering the following points before purchasing.


First things first. Your available budget is going to shape your entire purchase decision. There’s no point in recommending a great-sounding product if it sits way outside of your budget.

You don’t need to spend a lot on outdoor patio speakers to get some good sound. For a small budget, you will be looking at around $150-$250 for a pair and another $100-$200 for an amplifier to drive them if you don’t already have a supporting amp.

We consider the mid-range pricing on patio speakers to be around $250-$500, excluding the amplifier. And then the more high-end products, you can expect to pay up to around $800, and then sometimes even as much as an additional $1000 for a high-quality amplifier.

Also, take into account that if you don’t want to install them yourself, you may need to pay a professional installer to help you set them up.

Sound Quality

Sound quality is unsurprisingly one of the most important factors after your budget has been accounted for. Consider the size of the area you want to cover with sound, and then make sure you have the power to cover it. For larger areas, you will want a 6.5” or 8” woofer, whereas smaller areas can get away with a 5.25” woofer fairly easily.

Aside from just volume, consider how picky you are regarding sound. We try to approach our reviews from a balanced perspective that takes both audio enthusiasts and everyday customers into account. While one can approach every product with a critical ear, you may not be too concerned about the separation between the lows and mids.

If you’re just looking for some audio in the backyard, most speakers on this list will do the job just fine. But if you’re approaching your purchase from a critical listening perspective, that will narrow down your available options and cost more.

Many buyers of outdoor patio speakers are disappointed when they cannot achieve the same high-fidelity audio as their premium bookshelf speakers. The reality is that you should set yourself realistic standards when shopping for patio speakers. It’s not that there aren’t great sounding options on the market, but it is also easy to set your expectations too high.

Ease of Installation

It’s a common practice for homeowners to install their own patio speakers, in part thanks to how easy the manufacturers have made the process. Patio speakers will typically include a mounting bracket that can be easily attached to your home with bolts or screws. The speaker then easily attaches to the bracket. This whole setup can usually be done in less than an hour.

Some speakers are easier to install than others, though, and if you have limited DIY skills, we recommend either opting for one of the easy-to-install models or getting the help of a private audio installer or family member.

If you’re considering DIY but aren’t sure where to start, this guide may help you.

Wired vs. Wireless

Outdoor patio speakers come in both wired and wireless formats, though Bluetooth options often lag behind in their performance. If you’re looking to use Bluetooth with your outdoor speakers, we would recommend concentrating on the speaker quality first and then looking at your options for wireless connectivity.

You don’t need a native Bluetooth patio speaker to get Bluetooth or Wifi functionality in your outdoor entertainment area. The use of a Bluetooth/Wifi receiver or amplifier that’s set up close to your entertainment area can bring you a balance between high-quality sound and the additional functionality you’re after in the wireless technology.

Outdoor Speaker Amplifiers

One part of outdoor speakers that is often overlooked is the amplification required to drive them. While you do get active speakers in the outdoor speaker market, the best quality tends to come with passive speakers that utilize a standalone amplifier.

Active speakers aren’t speakers without amps. They have amplification built into the speaker itself. Obviously, the form factor and cost implications mean that these amps aren’t going to, in most cases, deliver the same high-quality audio a dedicated amplifier would.

If you’re new to outdoor audio, it may come as a bit of a shock when you see that you need to buy an amplifier that costs almost the same as the speakers you’ve bought. Before making any purchase, make sure that you understand these requirements.

If you’re concerned about whether or not an amplifier will work for your setup, call your local audio store or installer and speak to someone who can help you make the right choice that will work with the speakers you’re looking to buy. A good amplifier can improve overall sound quality, and a bad amp can reduce the quality you hear from your speakers.


Lastly, consider the aesthetic. Most patio speakers have a fairly standard design to them, but some brands only provide their speakers in black and others in white. This, for many people, isn’t a concern, but for some homes, a black speaker can look out of place. Even the shape of the speaker can fit certain homes better. While we would always suggest picking sound over aesthetics, looking at how the angles of your speaker design match your architecture can definitely boost the appearance of your patio setup.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is power handling?

Within the specs and description of a product, you’ll find the speaker’s power handling. This indicates the minimum and maximum power required to drive the speaker efficiently. Also included is the impedance output, which is just as important. The output impedance must match the speaker’s impedance, as the output wattage differs for each impedance rating.
To get the most out of your speakers, always try to match an amplifier or receiver as close to the speaker’s peak handling as possible. This will ensure the amplifier is able to provide enough power to the speaker at all times.

What’s the difference between a 2-way and a 3-way speaker?

Most speakers operate as 2-way systems with a woofer or low-frequency driver and tweeter. Within the speaker’s enclosure is a crossover that splits the audio signal sending low frequencies to the woofer and high frequencies to the tweeter.
In some cases, speaker manufacturers will design a 3-way driver configuration. These speakers hold three speaker drivers, which are usually a woofer, a mid-range driver, and a tweeter. Here the crossover splits the audio in three, with low frequencies going to the woofer, mid-range frequencies going to the mid-range driver, and high-frequencies delivered to the tweeter. 3-way speakers are often cleaner sounding due to the separation of bass and mid-range frequencies.

Can I pressure wash my patio speakers?

While outdoor patio speakers are made to withstand outdoor conditions, they are not typically rated very highly in terms of IPX ratings. You may find some IPX6 models on the market that in theory can be cleaned with a hose, but we still recommend cleaning your patio speakers carefully by hand instead. Patio speakers do best at protecting from ambient moisture in the air, but often falls short when they’re exposed directly to water.

Can I mount the patio speakers myself?

It’s quite common for homeowners to install their own patio speakers. Typically this involves a simple mounting process that can be achieved easily by following the manufacturer’s instruction guide. If you’re worried about damaging the speakers or your home, we recommend hiring a professional installer.

How do I get Bluetooth connectivity with my patio speakers?

While there are some products that offer native Bluetooth support, we’ve found that most of these models offer subpar performance. We recommend using a Bluetooth receiver or supported amplifier to bring Bluetooth functionality to your patio speakers.

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Written by
Bryn De Kocks

Bryn De Kocks is the lead editor for Audiostance, as well as one of our trusted reviewers. He has more than 15 years of experience in online publication and stands firm in being transparent with both the benefits and drawbacks of the products he reviews. Outside of editorial work, Bryn has been an avid online gamer and casual digital music producer since his teenage years, bringing his understanding of audio and especially headphones to the table. His daily driver is a humble pair of Fidelio X2HRs powered by a Fiio E10K. In his spare time he enjoys nature photography.

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