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The best outdoor speakers in 2020

best outdoor speakers
(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

The best outdoor speakers will enhance any home with great audio for any occasion. Typically large and build to blend in with natural surroundings, these speakers serve up booming audio quality and are the perfect centerpiece for home parties, backyard ceremonies and concerts and everything in between.

Outdoor speakers are always getting smarter, with many of them supporting Alexa and Google Assistant commands for hands-free voice controls. These unique speakers also come in a wide range of sizes, from portable models you can bring to the pool to larger sets meant to fit perfectly within your garden or patio. 

Outdoor speakers can be expensive, but you're getting what you pay for in terms of size, sound quality and, most importantly, durability and longevity. If you're ready to take your outdoor audio setup to the next level, read on for all of our best outdoor speakers picks. 

What are the best outdoor speakers?

The best outdoor speakers combine great sound, durable construction and helpful features, but won’t break the bank as you outfit your backyard or patio. The speakers on our list all meet these criteria, though they each have their pros and cons. 

Based on our testing, the best outdoor speaker right now is the Polk Atrium 4, which offers quality audio and a sturdy design for a good price. The Atrium series continues to impress. The Atrium 4 are fairly small but deliver full sound. And if you want more bass, the larger Atrium 5 set is also great if you’re willing to pay more. 

The Dual LU53 is a great budget option that pumps out quality sound for around $50. It produces both rich bass and clear vocals, making it a top option for playing music at parties.

Read on for all of our picks for the best outdoor speakers. 

The best outdoor speakers available now

Best outdoor speakers: Polk Atrium 4

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

1. Polk Atrium 4

The best outdoor speaker overall

Drivers: 4.5-inch mid/woofer, 0.75-inch tweeter | Wireless: No | Output: 80 watts | Battery: None | Mounting Hardware: Included

Large, crisp soundstage
Relatively small size
Temperature and rain resistant
So-so bass

The best outdoor speakers have to withstand the elements and deliver robust bass, crisp treble and full midrange with enough power to be heard over both the wind and the chatter of a party. These Polk speakers check all the boxes, and still usually cost less than $150.

At 8.6 x 6.7 x 5.7 inches, the Atrium 4s are small enough so that they won't dominate your landscape and big enough to deliver full sound. With a 4.5-inch mid-woofer/tweeter and a 0.75-inch tweeter inside each speaker, the Atrium 4 aptly handled both the distorted guitars of classic rock and the thumping bass of hip-hop while producing clear vocals.

If you want more bass and have the space (and some extra cash), consider Polk's $150 Atrium 5, which come with 5-inch midrange woofer/tweeters.

Best outdoor speakers: Klipsch AW-650

2. Klipsch AW-650

Killer sound and size

Drivers: 6.5-inch woofer, 1-inch tweeter | Wireless: No | Output: 85 watts | Battery: None | Mounting Hardware: Included

Big, durable design
Satisfying bass and crisp treble
Expensive
Not ideal for smaller areas

If you subscribe to the "go big or go home" school of outdoor entertaining, the AW-650 speakers are some of the best outdoor speakers you can buy. These monsters of rock measure 15 x 11 x 9.5 inches and feature a 6.5-inch woofer and 1-inch tweeter. The result is thunderous bass and crisp, full vocals that can easily overpower the ambient noise of the outdoors when you want.

The AW-650 speakers are  built like a tank, with a UV-resistant ABS plastic polymer enclosure that's backed  by Klipsch's lifetime warranty. And at 9 pounds each, you'll want to make sure you securely mount them if you choose to place them up high; they would also work well at floor level.  

But all that power will cost you: A pair of AW-650s runs between $360 and $400 on Amazon.

Best outdoor speakers: Dual LU53

3. Dual LU53

Big bass on a budget

Drivers: 5.25-inch woofer, 1-inch midrange driver, 0.8-inch tweeter | Wireless: No | Output: 60 watts | Battery: None | Mounting Hardware: Included

Big bass for size
Versatile mounting options
Weather resistant
Not as crisp as competitors

With big bass and full vocals, the Dual LU53 speakers are a steal for about $50. The 10.1 x 7.3 x 7.3-inch three-way speaker houses a large 5.25-inch woofer, a 1-inch midrange driver and a 0.8-inch tweeter. The drivers help it produce enough bass to be heard outdoors while the vocals remain prominent in the mix.

Although not as crisp or as detailed as the Atrium 4s, the Dual LU53's bigger size creates a wide soundstage that can entertain the crowd at your next barbecue. Don't mix up the LU53 with the cheaper Dual LU43 — there's a world of difference between the sound of the two models.

For a slightly more detailed sound in a more compact form, take a look at Yamaha's $75 NS-AW150. These speakers also feature Yamaha's bracket mounts on the underside that swing from top to bottom, rather than the far more common left-to-right movement.

Best outdoor speakers: Sonos Move

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

4. Sonos Move

The best outdoor smart speaker

Drivers: One downward-firing tweeter, one mid-woofer | Wireless: Bluetooth, Wi-Fi | Output: N/A | Battery: 10 hours | Mounting Hardware: None

Superb audio quality
Built-in Automatic TruePlay technology
Easy Wi-Fi-to-Bluetooth connection conversion
Pricey
No smart features in Bluetooth mode

Need an outdoor speaker that also doubles as a portable Bluetooth speaker? The Sonos Move will fit the bill and then some. This beefy Bluetooth speaker offers Sonos' signature high-end soundscape on top of a 10-hour battery that should last through all of your backyard festivities.

On top of offering rich bass and crisp dialogue, the Sonos Move is one of the best outdoor speakers for folks who want smart features. The speaker supports both Alexa and Google Assistant for voice controls, and can switch from Bluetooth to Wi-Fi on the fly, making it ideal for just about any outdoor setting. Plus, Sonos’ Auto TruePlay technology uses microphones to automatically tune the speaker for its surroundings. Add support for all major streaming services on top of all that and you have the ultimate outdoor portable speaker. 

Read our full Sonos Move review.

(Image credit: UE)

5. UE Megaboom 3

The best wireless Bluetooth speaker

Size and Weight: 8.9 x 3.4-inches, 2 pounds | Battery Life (Rated): 20 hours | Water Resistance: Yes | Maximum Sound Level: 90db | Voice Controls: No

Big bass and full vocals
Good battery life
Can pair with older Megaboom and Boom models for stereo sound
Big and heavy for a portable
No speakerphone

If you're looking for the best outdoor speaker that you can take on the go — and in the pool — the UE Megaboom 3 is the way to go. Large for a Bluetooth speaker but much smaller than anything on this list, the UE Megaboom 3 pumps booming sound out of its attractive, portable frame. It also carries an IPX7 waterproof rating, meaning it can sit by the pool, on the beach or even get dunked underwater and keep on ticking.

The Megaboom 3 also stands out thanks to its 20-hour battery, which should have your outdoor pool parties filled with music all day long. Better yet, you can pair the Megaboom 3 to other UE speakers for the ultimate stereo experience. Overall, the UE Megaboom 3 is the perfect pick for those who want an outdoor speaker that can go anywhere — and sound great doing it.

Read our full UE Megaboom 3 review.

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

6. Klipsch AWR-650-SM Outdoor Rock

Perfect for backyards

Drivers: 6.5-inch woofer, dual 0.75-inch tweeters | Wireless: No | Output: 50 watts | Battery: None | Mounting Hardware: None

Unique, natural-looking design
Great sound quality
Pricey
Work better as a pair

Give the folks at Klipsch credit: When they promise a speaker that looks like a rock and can seamlessly blend into your backyard surroundings, they really deliver. The AWR-650-SM is more than  part garden decor and part undercover agent; like our premium pick, the Klipsch AW-650, it also delivers spectacular sound.

The housings of these ingeniously designed speakers are made to resemble 17-inch-high hunks of either sandstone or granite, depending on the overall aesthetic of your patio or garden. The undersides are slathered with sealant, and the wiring is thick and waterproof. But on the inside, Klipsch has packed these faux boulders with punch: Dual 0.75-inch tweeters and a 6.5-inch woofer deliver superior sound quality, with brass that pops and bass that comes in heavy and authoritative.

The biggest knock on these rocks? Price. Each one will set you back almost $300, and they really should be experienced as a pair. The 13-pound weight is not terribly heavy, but these are clunky to carry. (They are, in essence, large rocks, and need to be handled  as such.) But if you're willing to go the distance for maximum outdoor sound and minimal footprints around your grounds, pony up a few extra clams for these secret speakers.

UE Hyperboom review

(Image credit: UE)

7. UE Hyperboom

The best Bluetooth outdoor speaker

Drivers: Dual 4.5-inch woofers, two 1-inch tweeters and two 3.5 x 7.5-inch passive radiators | Wireless: Yes | Output: N/A | Battery: 24 hours | Mounting Hardware: None

Big and balanced sound
Gets very loud
Good battery life
Pricey
Really, really big and heavy

The UE Hyperboom blends the size and power of a true outdoor speaker with the versatility of a Bluetooth speaker. This 14-inch tall speaker offers huge, balanced sound for outdoor gatherings and cookouts, and lasts for 24 hours on a charge to power your patio hangs all day and night.

The Hyperboom is also IPX4 rated, making it able to withstand splashes and drizzles. With easy Bluetooth pairing to any mobile device, big bass and sharp high-end, the Hyperboom is one of the best outdoor speakers you can buy for social gatherings.

Read our full UE Hyperboom review.

How to choose the best outdoor speakers for you

As you shop for outdoor speakers, the first thing you’ll want to look for is weather-proofing. Outdoor speakers should be completely weatherproof or at least rated IPX7 or above. The next thing you’ll want to consider is how the speakers will be connected. Many outdoor speakers are wired, so you’ll need a power source. If that’s not doable in your backyard or patio, then you will want to concentrate on portable Bluetooth speakers. 

Next, think about how big your space is and what kind of volume level you’ll require. If you have a small patio or mainly want music for dinner parties, a smaller set of outdoor speakers may be perfectly adequate. But if you have a large suburban backyard or want to host crowded dance parties, you may want to shop for larger speakers with more audio capacity. 

Last but not least, there’s cost to consider. Outdoor speakers can get pricey, as they need to be tough and rugged enough to withstand the elements. You can still find great sets at any budget level. Note that Bluetooth speakers are generally going to be more expensive. 

How we test best outdoor speakers

For the best outdoor speakers, we look at a number of factors. We start with audio quality: how bass, mid-range, treble and vocals sound. Are they balanced? What kind of woofer, midrange driver and tweeter do the speakers have? We also look at size and range to determine how the outdoor speaker will sound in different settings, from a large backyard to a smaller patio or deck. Will the speaker be able to fill various areas or are they better in certain set-ups?

Next, since these are outdoor speakers, we have to take weatherproofing into consideration. Are they temperature and water resistant? Does the speaker’s housing ward off against bugs and dust? Other factors include how easy it is to mount the speakers and to use any included features like smart technology. 

And we want to test a variety of outdoor speakers at different price points, so that we can recommend one for every type of budget.