Tip: Improved Outdoor Audio for Your Home

When you spend time outside by your pool or on your deck, what audio options are you using? Speakers hanging on the back of the house? A sound dock or bluetooth speaker for your phone or iPod? A bit limiting, right? Either you’re too far away and can’t really hear all that well or you’re stuck sitting next to the music and the sound is too loud to have a conversation with the person sitting next to you. Plus your neighbor may not share the same tastes in music. Or decibel level.

The good news is there is a better solution for providing high-fidelity audio that doesn’t require excessive volume and that blends into the landscaping of your backyard.

image courtesy of Sonance

image courtesy of Sonance

The above diagram shows an example of the speaker layout in a backyard with pool. Instead of one or two sound sources, the outdoor array of speakers easily covers all areas where you and your guests would be spending time outdoors. The sound is directed towards your property and can be kept at a pleasant volume thanks to the number of speakers.

One complaint about outdoor speakers is their lack of bass, but the new trend solves that issue by ingeniously burying the sub-woofers underground to provide tremendous bass coverage. All the speakers are run off a single audio output and relayed together without disturbing the beauty of your landscaping. Below is an example of just how little of a visual impact the speakers have.

courtesy of Sonance

courtesy of Sonance

These speaker systems can be installed using a single cable from the audio source. It is always best to use direct burial wire for an outdoor system as this type is made to deal with the range of temperatures and moisture conditions present in soil. We recommend and use 14-gauge wire for direct burial as this will provide the best quality and performance over the lifetime of the sound system.

Keep in mind when installing direct burial wire that you should dig down at least six inches when creating the channel for the wire. You’ll likely be aerating your lawn annually and you want to make sure your wire doesn’t get harmed during this process.

Rock your yard this summer with a new outdoor sound system.


Planning Your Home A/V Project


Checking out a new outdoor patio and pool for a music system in the Spring of 2013

Recently I completed a site visit along with Brian Gibson, Elite Media Solutions founder, at a nice home in the Medfield, MA area where the owners are putting in a beautiful pool and outdoor room/patio. The partially – covered patio area included a stone fireplace and outdoor kitchen. We  went there to check out a space for an outdoor TV and speakers. The customers already have a nice porch, and some other outdoor speakers we installed years ago.

The outdoor fireplace had a nice sized niche area above it for a flat panel display, all done in stone. Remember, there are specially-designed televisions for outdoor applications.  Hanging a regular TV outside, even under cover, is certainly not suggested.

As I was looking at this area and visualizing the family enjoying the pool and outdoor space, I noticed that there was apparently no plan for getting electricity and other access to the TV area for cables, etc. Whooops!   Later, we were able to communicate with the contractor and determine a solution.

This is a lesson of how it is better if we are consulted earlier in a project. Don’t wait until construction starts, as some electricians and contractors may not fully understand the project requirements when it comes to sound and video. So, don’t be shy! Get in touch with us during the initial planning stages of your project, whether it is a remodel, new space, or outdoor living area.

You will be glad you did, and you’ll likely save money and hassle down the road.

 To chat with us about your project, please call Elite Media Solutions in Wellesley, MA at (781) 237-2929. We design and install custom audio, video, and smart home automation and control systems, in and around Boston and eastern Massachusetts, including Newton, Brookline, Weston, Wayland, Waltham, Bedford, Needham, Medfield, Dover, Sherborn, Concord, Lexington, Norfolk, Wrentham, and Cape Cod.