Outdoor speakers for gardens or yards are one of the lesser known niches of the audio market. However, people who love good sound reproduction are passionate about any kind of speaker, and that’s certainly the case with omnidirectional outdoor speakers. These products come in various shapes and sizes, so selecting which one is best for your outdoor space can be tough.
There are plenty of options to choose from, enough that it may become confusing. Is a wall-mounted speaker best? What about a standard in-ground unit? Maybe you will select a disguised or decorative variety. Deciding which omnidirectional outdoor speaker to get does not need to be hard… in fact, it should be fun.
That’s where we come in, making it easy for you to choose between the best outdoor speakers currently available. Our recommendations all balance affordability, connectivity, and audio quality to provide the best omnidirectional outdoor speaker experience. Whether you’re on a budget or are an audiophile with money to spend on an outdoor soundscape, we have you covered.
Bose Free Space 51
Let’s deal with the elephant in the room. The Bose Free Space 51’s are expensive… around $450 for a pair. That’s clearly a lot of money and you may be wondering whether you’re really paying for the Bose name and not the speakers themselves. Luckily, that’s not the case as these are amazing omnidirectional outdoor speakers.
Bose is one of the leading brands in the audio market and the company has created a sound experience to match its reputation. Firstly, these speakers are built for the rugged nature of outdoors. Sure, you may only be using these in your yard, but they will stand up to the rigors of bad weather. Heat, cold, snow, rain, sun, the Bose Free Space 51’s can handle it all.
Because these are high end speakers, you get an audio performance that matches expectations. The flip side to the expensive price tag is impressive sound quality, including omnidirectional capabilities. It’s worth noting the Bose speakers are wired and produce excellent sound range, never compromising the butter smooth mids, grunting bass reproduction, and crisp highs.
If you want 360 degree coverage of your yard, setting up the space with Bose Free Space 51 is a good option.
If you cannot splash the cash on the expensive Bose speakers, you’ll need an affordable alternative without making too may compromises. The TIC GS3s check most of the boxes and provide a cost-effective solution to building an omnidirectional outdoor soundscape. Of course, there are some compromises, such as overall style and feel, but in terms of audio performance these speakers are good.
Certainly, the 200W 360 degree drivers throw down some big bass, especially if you bury your TIC GS3’s underground. Elsewhere in the audio performance, the mid-levels are creamy enough and the highs clean. Unlike a lot of “cheaper” speakers, the TIC does not need to be running on high power output to cover space or sound good.
50 Watts should be enough for most situations, although these speakers can max out at 150 Watts. In fact, we’ve found high volume playback loses some sound quality as the audio frequency becomes more distorted. A mid-volume compromise is best for these speakers.
This is also a hefty product, clearly built to withstand the best Mother Nature can throw at it. Keep in mind that the girth of the TIC GS3 means it requires a sizeable hole if you want to place it in-ground.
OSD Audio OS850 Premium
Cutting a line between the budget TIC and the high-end Bose speakers is the OSD OS850 Premium. It’s worth noting OSD Audio also has other omnidirectional outdoor speakers that are more affordable, but we think the Premium line is the best choice. Completely waterproof and UV resistant, these speakers are ideal for semi-above-ground use.
That said, we still recommend in-ground installation to get the most from the bass. Unlike the TIC speaker that gets muddy at high volume, the OSD OS850 excels when you crank up the audio. Highs remain sharp and on point, which the rich mids provide a stable underpinning for the soundscape.
In fact, you can push these puppies up to 100 Watts and get quality sound reproduction. Although, the best performance still comes from running the speakers at 50 Watts.
JBL Professional Control 85M
Like Bose, JBL is one of the giants in the audio space. With the Professional Control 85M speaker, the company has just done everything right. If you want a mid-range omnidirectional outdoor speaker that offers solid protection, solid sound output, and solid price, this is probably the one for you. JBL also sells an 88M, which improves most aspects of this unit at a higher cost.
To ensure complete protection from the elements and user safety, JBL uses a fully isolated wiring chamber. In terms of sound quality, the product offers a high-fidelity output with smooth deep bass, slick mid sounds, and airy highs. Distribution covers 360 degrees, and these speakers are excellent at producing quality audio across a space with obstacles, such as a yard.
Thanks to 80 Watt Pink Noise Power Handling, the JBL Professional Control 85M can remove many distracting noises that may interfere with the audio.
Outdoor speakers have traditionally been for businesses such as hotels, spas, and gyms. In recent years, more people are embracing omnidirectional outdoor speakers to bring audio to their own natural spaces, such as yards and gardens. Our recommendations provide the best options for delivering stellar audio quality to all areas of your outdoor space. They also work in all weather and blend seamlessly with the environment.
Whether it’s an affordable option like the TIC GS3, a high-end product like the Bose Free Space 51, or the models we have selected in the mid-range, we hope there is something for you. If you have any questions, please leave us a comment below.