How to Set Up Outdoor Speakers

by Joshua Smyth

Once patio season starts, having music to sip drinks to can be a wonderful thing. Although it's possible to get by with a boom box or some speakers for your MP3 player, it is also possible to install outdoor speakers that are connected to your home or cottage's stereo system inside. These speakers are often camouflaged as rocks, allowing them to be hidden in a garden. Getting good sound outdoors is not easy; without walls to reflect the sound, much of their volume can be lost. Setting them up, though, is easy.

Setting up Garden Speakers

1

Drill a hole through an exterior wall of the house close to the location of your stereo system. The hole needs to be just wide enough to accommodate your speaker wires. Avoid running the wire through a door or window, as it will quickly wear as the moving pieces pinch it.

2

Position your speakers around the garden or yard, with the speakers positioned towards the area in which you and guests are most likely to be sitting.

3

Measure the distance between your speakers and the hole you drilled through the wall. Add this to the distance between the other side of the hole, then add five feet for maneuverability.

4

Dig a 12-inch deep trench along the path you wish your speaker wire to follow. The trench should be at least 1.5 inches wide.

5

Use a hacksaw to cut pieces of 1-inch PVC pipe to run along the bottom of the trenches. The pip protects your speaker wires from animals, moisture and shovels.

6

Thread the wires through the pipes and into the house. Connect them to terminals on your stereo amplifier. You will need to use speaker terminals, since most outdoor speakers are standard loudspeakers. If your output terminals are not speaker terminals, you will need an amplifier between the receiver or preamp and the outdoor speakers.

7

Connect the other ends of the wires to the speakers. For ideal outdoor durability, use wires with insulated jacks on the end, rather than bare copper wire wrapped around exposed contacts.

8

Seal the hole where the wire enters the house with silicon caulk. This caulk canister fits into a caulking gun that will squeeze the sealant out of its tube.

Setting Up Wall-Mounted Outdoor Speakers

1

Attach the mounting brackets that shipped with the speakers to the exterior walls of the house using a drill and long screws. Point the brackets toward the area where you and guests will congregate. Locating them under eaves or roofs will help them last longer, while placing them higher will project the sound better.

2

Hang the speakers on the mounting brackets, then plug speaker wires into them and route the wire to the your entry point into the house. Run them through the hole, and connect them to a speaker port on your stereo's amp.

3

Secure the wires against the walls of the house with metal or plastic staples or wire brackets. They are secured in place with screws.

4

Seal around the entry point for the wires through the wall using silicon sealant.

Items you will need

About the Author

Joshua Smyth started writing in 2003 and is based in St. John's, Newfoundland. He has written for the award-winning "Cord Weekly" and for "Blueprint Magazine" in Waterloo, Ontario, where he spent a year as editor-in-chief. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in political science and economics from Wilfrid Laurier University.

Photo Credits

  • photo_camera speaker element image by bright from Fotolia.com