The magic of outdoor listening

I tend to keep one system I can pull outdoors when I am in the mood the freedom from room colorations is an amazing thing. Being outside listening to a great system playing wonderful music is magic. I have a bike race by my home and if the weather is nice many times I'm out jamming I have had large groups of cyclists stop 50 yards from my home to enjoy my music. Last year I has using a giant pair of RCA front horns with a full range in it this year going with a community leviathan system with radial. I pull out a tube amp when I jam outside. When I retire I plan on putting out a permanent outdoor horn system so it is ready to go when I am. Sitting still seated centered in a room all alone is enjoyable at times but also kind of tragic I am happy I have options. Maybe consider the outdoors as one of your listening spaces.

johnk: i couldn't agree with you more. my listening is about 95% outside. i get to enjoy my music and wine while i play fetch with my dog, under the great L.A. weather. there are some great sounding speakers out there. enjoy!

We used to jam out with Klipsch Forte Ils on my back deck, high spls. Our neighbors were all good with the wide variety of loud music,most of which they had ever heard before. Now we have one that is less thrilled with it so although we still listen, nothing compares with hearing Car Wheels on a Gravel Road at "concert levels! 

Yes listening outdoors with a good source is a different kind of treat. 

Yep, agree.  My friends, family and myself all have awesome outdoor setups.  Yard work during the morning and day, beers on the deck in the afternoon with music throughout.  My brother uses Klipsch KlF20’s outside, one buddy uses Infinity Beta 50’s, another buddy uses a crown xti 500 with a pair of peavy’s each using 2 15” woofers, and I use Audio Engine A2 with a sub.  

Seems like a good way to enjoy music if you have the luxury of acreage to avoid being a nuisance to neighbors. Unfortunately, I live in city adjacent suburbia and am subjected to noise pollution on a daily basis. Mostly barking dogs and leaf blowers, but I can tell when my neighbor is cleaning out his garage when I hear jean shorts, white sneaker, boomer rock coming out his front door.

yak: don't let that bother you, man. i'm in the same situation. i have noisy neighbors, too. just enjoy the music outdoors.

Headphones are great too in order to cancel noise pollution and listen to tunes at the same time.  Key here is to have as many wayd to enjoy tunes as possible.

for party Meyer sound are the most pricey outdoor speakers, but probably one of few brands able to deliver great quality outdoor sound.

Backyard and garage are wired to the system in the family room through a switch box and volume controls in each location.

Paradigm outdoor speakers in both locations sound really nice but I'm sure doesn't compare to what the OP is referring to with pulling a nice system outdoors.

With that said the music outdoors when the weather is nice is very enjoyable.


You can’t beat sitting on your deck or patio listening to tunes with a glass of wine in your hand.  I live in a Seattle suburb and am fortunate enough to be surrounded by a lush green belt. I use a Harmon Kardon Onyx 4 bluetooth speaker for my outdoor listening. It’s not audiophile quality, but decent enough and portable as well. It accompanies me on every road trip.

I’ve a cluster of 4 silos across from my patio that I’m considering turning into subwoofer systems. Basically adding 2 or 3 large bass drivers to the silo doors. I’d then take my old Valencias outdoors or maybe pickup some larger horns. A projector screen and it would be perfect for movie nights in the VA summer.




Pyle bluetooth outdoor speakers outside on deck under the eves...good enough for me. Rock speakers out back near woodline and gazebo. I would not say they compate in any way to a good indoor sound system, not even close. The room reinforces the sound. 

Its great listening at the beach or park I have a pair of Turtle Boxes they pair by bluetooth in stereo and EQed for outdoors  I had them disappear on the beach where the music sounds like it is coming from the waves

People aways come over and ask about them and thank us for the music 

Enjoy the Music


I firmly believe no one should have to listen to my music outside of my home and where neighbors are concerned, the understanding should be mutual. 

I don't have to drag it outside - just need to open the balcony doors.
One day last summer I got home early in the afternoon.
Put a glorious Bach LP on the turntable and turned it up louder then I have ever played it, threw the doors open to water plants.
By the time the side ended there was a knock on my door from the president of the Condo board telling me I need to lower it. I apologized and she stated that I didn't need to apologize to her but that she received calls from 3 different buildings and someone who lives 4 floors above me.
I found it embarrassing and a bit humiliating. After some thought I came to the same conclusion as noromance above. ...urban environment

Get a Sony Walkman to store your digital tunes....use the top Grado in ear phones and take it anywhere with really high end sound

I’m fortunate not to have neighbors. I can’t imagine being on the receiving end of some of the crap that I play.

I have a garage, with a complete sound system that is on wheels, that l wheel out on most  sunny California days, and some nights, and l can blast full wattage to the surrounding vineyards and orchards surrounding  our property.  The garages are each at 90 degree angles, so it creates a semi amphitheater , that exudes beautiful  Melodie's to the birds, and neighbors 250 yards away. It sounds soooo good , l wish l could invite dancers, to enliven the night!!!

My system presently , consists of  a pair of Forte l's that are rehabbed to perfection, a set of Sound Lab subwoofers, an optional set of Emotiva quint surround sound speakers (5), including center channel . I use mainly Apple Music streaming, into Cambridge Dacmagic 200, into a quad of Carver M500T amps, from my Paraound  P/SP 1000 pre amp .  This is my throw together system. I love it , sounds great, and l feel privileged to be able to jam this loud. I will be adding a pair of LaScala speakers to beeeef it up!! In 2 weeks!!!!

My outdoor system is the only system I have. Coastal source speakers can deliver audiophile quality music. I have a bricasti dac, Townshend rock 7 turntable, McIntosh c2600 hooked up to 4 coastal source bollards plus a subwoofer. Sounds 'almost' as good as an indoor listening room I used to have

Listening outdoors to me evokes memories of mowing the lawn with my dad, listening to Vin Scully call the afternoon Dodger game.

I do my speaker testing outside at 0300. Does that count? I don't like chamber testing so the backyard has worked for 20 plus years.

We concert in the back. We roll out the BIG ones and blast every now and then.. The song "10,000 Watts" I try.. LOL

Wow! It takes a very large ego to believe that the music you are enjoying is enjoyed by everyone who also is forced to listen to it at any given time. How often has a car passed you with its windows open and music blaring and you have felt grateful to the driver of that car for sharing his music with you? One man’s Nirvana is usually another woman’s noise pollution. I live in a rural area and it is amazing how far sound carries. When somebody on the next Hill is having a party I get to listen to their music all afternoon while working outside and we don’t share the same taste in music. Be a little considerate.

I have no neighbors when I play outdoors only those driving near my home would hear it I am very considerate and those saying otherwise are just the types that kick kids off their lawns. 


Well, I also have a system I roll outside onto my back deck. Listen to that system more than my main one during summer months. Yes, the freedom from room constraints is amazing. 

I live in the country, nearest neighbor is 1/4 mile away. Listening is during afternoon hours.

I prefer indoor listening. Noise floor is lower and details more defined. Think signal/noise ratio. Don’t get me wrong, outdoor is great for special occasions 

I am glad to see this thread , I always try to convey to folks how amazing outdoor listening is. I have a system on my outdoor deck where I sit with my back to the house and facing back of my property with lots of trees and a big field, beautiful nature with birds singing all around.. and bookshelf speakers firing back at me 11’ apart in an equilateral triangle perched ear level on railing on granite slabs for stability and isolation.. with 10” subwoofer and 100 watt amp in an outdoor cabinet behind me next to the power outlet ,, and so the only reflection for the bookshelf speakers is the homes exterior wall behind me, so no ceiling or sidewalls and no wall behind speakers. It’s a very budget oriented economical system and the sound is absolutely incredible.. Soooo magically spacious and natural sounding.. I spend entire summer out there and rarely listen to indoor systems until weather changes forcing me back indoors ..if you haven’t ever done so and your able ,, set something up outdoors maybe similar to as I’ve described and I’m confident you’ll be shocked.. I’m literally astonished at the sound.. this year I’m pulling my Elacs outside for upgrade .. enjoy the music!

Okay, guys.  Don't try this at home.  Unless, of course, you love bass, pyrotechnics, and the shocking look of bewilderment on the faces of your guests.

This is a project I did a while back.  The concept was to use the bass vents from buried subwoofers to interact with the flames of an outdoor wood-burning fire pit.

Details:  Buried 3 high performance subwoofers in custom PVC enclosures.  Vent the boxes via 3" automotive steel exhaust tubing to the fire pit.  Cut hole in bottom of fire pit.  Make custom heavy gauge perforated plate to contain ashes. Using our enclosure design software, it was determined that the air speed thru the ports was 76MPH.

Result:  An extremely active display of music & fire that was a crowd pleasure and actually produced decent outdoor bass.  I called it the Man Pit.  At 76MPH windspeed, it does go through firewood pretty quickly.  So, have ample supply on hand.


I worked for Magnolia for a short while, and IME Sonance speaker’s with their outdoor subwoofer is an awesome value. They run incredible sales a few times a year that cut the price in half, and Magnolia employees will usually be forthcoming in when those sale periods will be. IME running an outdoor sub or two makes all the difference because monitors sound thin and tinny outdoors without them.  

Count me among the curmudgeons. If you have no neighbors close enough to be bothered then knock yourself out, otherwise the lack of consideration for others you exhibit by blasting your music outdoors is simply staggering. I have some outdoor Kefs on a screened-in porch and I was careful how I placed them so as not to disturb others, and my house is in the middle of a five-acre lot, partially surrounded by other similarly sized lots.

You have no idea what is going on with your neighbors. There could be health issues that would make this sort of thing unbearable (i.e. chronic migraines), but above all you simply do not have the right to destroy the peace and quiet of those around you. The law is on your neighbors side. If racking up numerous disturbing the peace summons' or noise ordinance violations didn't deter you, then the courts would be the next logical step and it would be a very easy case to prove.

The outside setups look dreamy! My neighbors have a big yard and once in a while they will put on a concert out there with their sound equipment. They are musicians, and pretty good ones. Some of what they play is pre-recorded popular music too. It’s nothing hi-end, just some decent pro gear - looks like 15" drivers with horns on top mounted on tall stands. When I go out and listen I always have to admit it sounds really good. I recall from my youth that some kids would open their bedroom windows and point their boom boxes out into the open. Interesting because they were in their room looking out, not out with us listening. Some kind of mating display, I think. Nevertheless it always surprised me how nice it sounded.

@shooter41 I’m with you, sir.

Should someone have a very healthy, say, at least 1 mile radius between their speakers and other dwellings, go nuts, I guess.

I’m not keen on people who live in close proximity to others getting any big ideas about outdoor sound systems.  There’s enough disrespectful noise pollution out there as it is. It says here that people who introduce their mobile device audio into the public sphere should be drawn and quartered.  

@tylermunns  Stupid selfish notion by OP.  Quite agree about the noise pollution.

You've got the right idea, but perhaps a touch OTT.  Selfish people should not be physically harmed but neighbours should have a legal right to smash their equipment.  Don't complain.

Be a little considerate.


NO! When I blast the music, the neighbors are forewarned. IF you know what your doing, it NEVER bothers the neighbors. No one around here couples the sound to the ground. THAT neighbor get spoken to by everyone. This isn't drive by noise pollution. We truly share. The other option is to MOVE. 

I HATE NOISE!!! I love music any kind BUT, NO Yoko Ono..

I do keep it (Yoko Ono) on hand just in case a cop pulls me over, he/she gets the OH NO sound as they handcuff me. Sometimes. :-)

@tylermunns      No.  I said it to the people who play their equipment in the garden. I already said I agree with you.


@helmholtzsoul    It's you that should move.  To the desert.  But I agree with you about Yoko.  Maybe you'll find her there.  She's 89 now.  Lennon would be 82 this year.  Roll on John.

Wow so many think they know my living situation. One asshat says it's wrong to listen outdoors but is a shooter I wonder if he cares about the noise when he's shooting, another thinks I'm rude and selfish for playing a bit of music on my large property far out in the country with no neighbors. All I can say is you are the type that doesn't get invited to parties.  


Well nothing has changed, people still read what they want and understand as they see fit. Weather it has anything to do with what the person said is a whole different story. 

The "OLD FART" crowd can take a mood elevator.  Me and the OP are going to have a good time. We are in the yard not the GETTO for god sakes. This isn't "Gunpoint" where I live. The homes aren't stacked on top of each other.

If you can hear music a 1/4 mile away clear, it has to be VERY flat for that IB to work that well. If you can hear someone else that WELL, the cops in my neighborhood are on the way. They don't ask you to turn down the music, they will do it for you. 

BTW. Use a cell phone while a cop is talking to you in my town, you get the side of your head slapped, as anyone should. I think that is the rudest thing in our culture. Cell phone ABUSE using the stupid speaker walking around talking so EVERYONE can hear their loud mouth.. 

I blast outside normally around Halloween when we use to have a harvest party. This isn't 90210, but it is an old farm/industrial community with tons of different music. Bali to Gospel. Me I love Latin Jazz, the hotter the better. 

When we party everybody dances not an Eeyore in the bunch.. :-) No I don't drink.

Life is just to short fellas. :-)

Wow.  Sounds like somebody got up this morning, slipped into a new pair of BVDs and forgot to take the cardboard out of them first?

As a group we're probably not the guys who, when turning into our street driving our hot rods, depress the clutch and rev the engine just to get attention.  I also doubt that we get happy with our volume controls with little, or no, regard for the comfort and well-being of others.  Especially, or friends/neighbors.  That's not us.  And I think the contributors to this discussion have clarified their positions on this.

A few comments on noise pollution:

I have very nice, highly tweaked outdoor music system that's generally played at "normal conversation" levels with family and friends by the fire pit.  We have an additional outdoor system at lake home 100 miles away.  Some homeowners there seem to have a bit of problem defining the difference between a family subdivision and a resort and the appropriate/corresponding noise levels.  I found that communication and education (along with a teaspoon full of tolerance) is helpful in this situation.  

Just some thoughts:

Educate your neighbors.  Understanding the power/distance relationship is helpful.  Getting speakers closer to the listeners and using arrays can provide a quality music venue while substantially reducing the sound/noise escaping the target listening space.

Every homeowner as an investment in their property.  They have paid for the right to define what THEIR outdoor experience is and have no right to impose their "outdoor experience" on someone else's outdoor experience.  Yes, it is rude, and selfish IF they know that their sound/noise is dimenishing the quality of someone else's investment in their experience.

Those playing music loudly "assume" that others are enjoying their music.  They are convinced that they are "party central" and acting as a uncompensated DJ providing a valueable service to the community.  Don't make this assumption!  Have a nice conversation/interview with all neighbors within earshot and get their permission to "share" your music.  Some people may be too nice, or feel intimidated to say no.  Read their body language and act accordingly.

Your neighbors may not like your music.   Music to you may be extremely objectionable to others.   Even if what you're playing is on their Top 40 all time hits list, they still may not want your music/noise to outpower their background music and/or conversation.

Ask for, and give permission to others for "special occassion" rowdiness.  Just announce a timeline and stick to it.  And, invite them if the event is not too personal.


I always worry bout neighbors even though 

their 1/4 mile away ish but don’t listen crazy

loud anyway. But actually asked all (4) if they hear 

my music. All said nope and even if they did

wouldn’t care. But I keep it low cause I don’t care

for too too loud. Just enough volume to “feel the music”

Always amazes me how with certain

music the birds actually seem to sing along. I know

there were some recordings done in a bird

sanctuary that I don’t recall titles as I’m typing but

it seems true.. But for sure be considerate of neighbors.



I’m quite blessed to have a very large private back yard (1/3 of an acre) north of LA with a beautiful pool and my wife and I love nothing more than spending most of our time in the back yard sipping wine just outside the main family room and lounging in the pool on weekends for hours. I used to bring my Marshall blue tooth speaker outside and now with my recent purchase of legacy XDs with Wavelet v2, I’m able to open the double French doors and wood windows and turn the system up to around 65 to 70 and have amazing sound that easily fills the back yard. The Wavelet with Roon on my iPhone I can control playlist and volume while floating in pool with my wife and wine. I could not have found a better sound system for the price with the Legacy XDs and Wavelet. I have Roon running on a MAC mini.

I always tell people if they think their speakers don't sound "right" take them outside where there are no boundaries.  This is the single best way to hear your speakers as they actually sound and for some, it is shocking.  It's not about loud, it's about getting as close as most of us will ever get to a perfect acoustical space.  Worth setting up once to hear the difference.  It will lack SPL, the system will not play nearly as loud as it does inside unless you have horns or devices meant for narrow dispersion.  

The posts about loud sound blasting outdoors are something else entirely, I agree, its rough to play music so everyone in the neighborhood HAS to hear it with you.