Bookshelf Speaker For Outdoors

I've been using a pair of Definitive Technology AW6500 speakers with an NAD C325BEE for years and want to get something significantly better. Thinking of using a nice pair of bookshelf speakers and drilling the back to wall mount them under an awning. I like the AW6500s for what they are and consider them the best you can get in a true outdoors speaker,but find them lacking in REALLY good sound. I spend a lot of time outdoors and entertain a lot with music around a fire pit. I would of course upgrade my integrated along with them. They would sit under a large awning, so not exposed to rain, but would be exposed to outdoors. Maybe a plastic cover when not being used? I use a LMS>Rpi4 picoreplayer>Musetec 005>Krell Digital Vanguard>Dynaudio Focus 360 in my main system and was thinking of LMS>RPi4 picoreplayer>Gustard X26 Pro>Class A or NAD C298>Dynaudio Evoke 20. Stream 3000+ 16/44, 24/96 flac and SACD DSF files. Thoughts on using the Evoke 20's outside and if so, being riven by NAD C298 rather than class A amp. Worried a little about the Dynaudio rear port if used outside. Don't want the speakers to become a spiders/bug nest. Open to other thoughts on speakers or just a plain old 'your crazy' will suffice. Thanks


I would not use indoor speakers outdoors like that. The best, but not the cheapest wall-mount outdoor speakers I have ever used were the NEAR LB8’s and LB6’s.  Just increase your budget and check them out. 

Another option are the landscape and planter speakers from James Loudspeaker. The James and the NEAR offerings are both top-shelf. 

Thank you, but not seeing the Near's as the improvement I'm looking for. If I'm looking at Dynaudio speakers, my budget doesn't need to be increased.... Just sayin'

I have a system I use outdoors. I move it there when in use. Keep it stored indoors. A simple integrated amp with internal DAC and speakers makes setup easy. 

It's a thought,but prefer having a permanent system in place. I have the speaker wire run and I use Ethernet for streaming. Find wifi sometimes unreliable for larger .dsf files. Regardless, thanks for the idea.

btscott: I have the older version of these: incredible little speakers once you break them in, which takes some time. they're hooked up to a Yamaha a-s701 100wpc integrated. awesome combination. good luck!

Thanks, I did look at those. Couldn't find many reviews. Let me see about return policy and maybe I'll check them out.

i bought them site unseen/unheard/no reviews. First pair of focals i'd ever heard. i love em. i have a few pairs of bookshelves that i listen to outside. those are my absolute favorite.

What do you find is most lacking in your outdoor sound? My guess — it sounds thin and bass shy, no? When I worked for Magnolia I discovered the option of incorporating outside subwoofers to fill out the sound. I didn’t even know outside subwoofers existed. Maybe you just keep your existing speakers and add a couple subs? Plus, you get to watch your friends scratch their heads in bewilderment when you even mention the term “outdoor subs.”   They’ll immediately feel ignorant and behind the curve.  That’s what I’d look at unless you think your current speakers sound like crap, then it’s time for a wholesale change. I think the subs were part of the Sonance product line, and a few times a year they offer insane discounts on their products and Magnolia is usually pretty open when those occur.  Hope this helps, and best of luck.

I want something that is some assemblance of the sound I get from my main system. My outdoor living room is truly an outdoor living room. Currently, the AW6500s provide a decent amount of bass. Just not enough truly amazing audio I get inside.

I wouldn’t permanently install anything outdoors that isn’t designed for it, but I live in a climate that gets both >100 F and subzero temps. If your local climate is mild enough and they stay 100% dry, you might have better luck, but it seems like a big risk of turning nice speakers into trash. I definitely wouldn’t install anything ported or those speakers will end up as a home for something. 

I’d suggest getting an amp you feel confident about and then trialing speakers bought from somewhere with a good return policy (the already installed AW6500s with the new amp first, of course). Dynaudio makes outdoor speakers, as do Kef, Focal, B&W and several other reputable companies. Can’t say I’ve heard many, but they’ll at least probably sound different than the AW6500s that aren’t quite making the magic you want. Also agree that an outdoor sub might free up the compromised outdoor speakers to sound better in the non-bass frequencies, especially if the amp has a high-pass filter to not run them full range. 

Why not just buy a pair of outdoor speakers like Focal, Yamaha, Polk, Dual.

What I do. I have Dual 3 ways on my deck by the pool. Replace them every 4 years or so. $80.00 maybe and it is just background sound for parties, not critical listening.

Well, go ahead and install indoor speakers outside, rather than any of the high-performance, weatherproof speakers designed for that purpose, then.  Just sayin'.


Chill, as I originally said open to 'your crazy' comments. But, the anonymity of the Internet doesn't mean you can be rude.

I apologize if my "just sayin" comment set you off. Was trying to explain that my budget was not a factor.

Wasn't aware that Dynaudio, KEF, etc... made outdoor speakers. Will have a loook. Thx.

I think the Dynaudio OW-8 with an SVS Powered Sub is the solution. Thanks for pointing me there.


I heard their Flagstone model at Axpona a few years ago in a large open atrium. They have a nicely balanced sound and were designed to be outdoors. 

@btscott: did you pull the trigger on anything yet? if so, what did you go with?