As the summer approaches, I’ve got my vaxxes and I’m hopeful that life will resume a bit of normalcy as we meet up and (tentatively) hug our friends and family once again. If last summer taught me anything, it’s that having outdoor spaces is a lifeline for congregating in a way that feels a bit less stressful, so we leaned in to making ours as comfortable as possible.
One way to do that is to make it easy to play music— whether it’s jazz for Sunday pancakes, Joni Mitchell for gardening, or the new Olivia Rodrigo album for a teenager-filled jacuzzi, having music outdoors definitely lifted the mood and made those outdoor get-togethers a little less tense.
There are lots of ways to fill your backyard with music, ranging from smaller more portable options to wired installs that wrap your space in indoor-worthy audio, complete with sub-woofers and surround sound. Here are a few ideas, along with products that are trustworthy and well-reviewed.
If you’re able to wire speakers to your patio or balcony walls, this is a great option for getting them up and out of the way. These will connect to your whole home audio system indoors, so you can extend the tunes from inside to your good time outside.
Out of Sight
For larger outdoor spaces away from the walls of your home, these genius garden speakers are wired yet hide in plain sight amongst your plants or shrubs. Sonance Garden system comes as a set that you can “plant” strategically around your space, including a sub-woofer. And the rock speakers are a deliver high quality sound that will keep your guests guessing about where it’s coming from.
These are portable speakers designed to live indoors but be easily carried outside for fun by the pool or on the patio. They’re portable (they each have carrying handles) yet hefty— they still deliver great volume and sonic superiority over your average Bluetooth speaker. Two come with their own charging cradle so they’re always ready to go. The Bang & Olufsen one is especially stunning with its leather strap… it would love lovely on your patio. Always check the ratings to know how weatherproof they are: The Sony is rugged and splash-proof, The Sonos can be left out in the rain or cold, and the Bang & Olufsen better come indoors when you do. Notable is the Beats Pill+, which is sized (and priced) similarly to the waterproof class, yet delivers a waaay bigger sound than you’d expect.
This last category are the kind that you’d pack in your bag for a day trip to the beach/boat/park— they’re small but still pack a great sound and connect easily to your phone via Bluetooth (the Sonos Roam lets you choose between a Bluetooth and Wifi connection, making it easy to connect to your Sonos system if you’re home, but useful if you’re on the go. And the Ultimate Ears Wonderboom 2 is floatable if you want to drop it in the pool or the lake (or your bathtub?).