An outdoor sound system brings your client’s patio to life. But instead of blaring speakers, modern outdoor sound systems are engineering marvels that allow homeowners to enjoy music without disturbing the neighbors. Here are four ways to incorporate a sound system in outdoor living spaces in York, PA.
Even with today’s sophisticated and “smart” sound systems, a common way to enjoy music outdoors is to simply mount a couple of speakers to the side of the home, and turn on the stereo.
However, this is not an ideal solution. First, speakers are rarely fully weather-resistant, which can lead to shorts in the electrical system and a short speaker lifespan. Second, if everyone in the yard is going to hear the music, it must be very loud; this makes the music much too loud in the vicinity of the speakers, and also potentially disturbs the neighbors. And third, many people still rely on extension cords and exposed speaker wires to give them the flexibility of speaker placement.
There’s a much better option, and that is to integrate outdoor sound systems into the landscape. You can hard wire and place speakers strategically throughout the landscape, allowing everyone in the yard to enjoy the music without any one spot being too loud/too quiet or blaring music throughout the neighborhood—and maintain an attractive look by burying all speaker wires.
A Discreet Setup
You could disguise outdoor speakers in shrubbery, trees, rocks, under the eaves, or even incorporate them into retaining walls or other vertical elements for a discreet look. Make sure that the speakers are truly weatherproof and not just weather-resistant if they will be placed in areas they will be exposed to moisture.
Spread Out the Speakers
For a small patio or yard, surround the patio with sound by setting up several outdoor speakers about 10 feet apart for the best stereo effect. In new patio construction, speakers can be incorporated into seating walls, pillars, or even into a gas-fueled fire pit structure.
Plan Out “Listening Zones”
Large backyards pose the biggest challenge. Even multiple speakers placed in a central location won’t provide the best sound quality. For best results, set up listening zones that allow the homeowners to play music in the seating area, outdoor kitchen, pool, fire pit area, or meditation nook—without broadcasting their music to the whole neighborhood. Each zone in the yard is treated like a separate room. Whether you install a simple system that plays the same music in multiple locations or a sophisticated system that allows for different music in each zone, creating zones lets you effectively modulate the volume for everyone’s listening enjoyment.
For a covered porch, cabana, gazebo or pergola, mount speakers on the ceiling or as close to the ceiling as practical. Since many outdoor speakers are not fully waterproof (but rather water-resistant) the under-ceiling mount will offer them protection from the elements. In covered outdoor kitchens, place speakers away from the cooking area, as cooking grease can build up on speakers.
Wiring is, of course, the trickiest part. Avoid any use of extension cords or any sort of exposed wiring or cabling. Cables should always be buried in plastic conduit to avoid damage from enthusiastic dogs, gardeners, or rodents.
Designing an outdoor system that will meet everyone’s needs can be challenging, especially in large yards with multiple zones. Our outdoor sound experts can help you design a system your clients will love, and help you choose the best products for your project needs.
Photo Credit: Unilock