How to Install an Outdoor Patio Sound system for (less than) $100 Bucks
Good Outdoor Sound on a Budget
After recently buying a house outside of Las Vegas, I had this awesome backyard with a grill and a pool that was wayyyy too quiet. I needed sound outside. But how to do it? I first researched wireless sound systems, and found that most of them had interference problems and poor sound quality (unless you get into the $1k+ range.) So I eliminated that option. After much research, I finally settled on an entire system; speakers, wire, and amp, bought from Amazon for a total price of $104.72 that I'm very happy with!
While looking for an amp, I had to reacquaint myself with all the audiophile lingo- RMS, Watts per channel, AMPS, etc. I was prepared to spend a lot more but came across reviews for the Pyle Home PCA4 Mini 2X120 Watt Stereo Power Amplifier. It has bass/treble controls, L/R RCA inputs and a slick LED output level display. (The LED's are VERY bright, which could be an upside or a downside, depending on if you like that) While I do acknowledge that the power claims are misleading, it is 120 watts at peak, but maybe 20 watts/channel without clipping, which is more than enough power for my speakers and even 20 watts/ch is enough to disturb the neighbors. My goal is nice background music for a BBQ or relaxing in the spa, not having a rave in my backyard. Also, the Pyle does not have a tuner built-in, which accounts for its price point. But that was perfect since I wanted to use Pandora or something on my iPhone or iPad as the source, anyway. The Pyle amp has a mini-stereo input (2 actually) so a small cable provides that connectivity.
I already had the ubiquitous Yamaha Outdoor Speakers in my shopping cart for $100, but from the "users also bought" section of Amazon, I came across raving reviews for the Dual Indoor/Outdoor 3 way Speaker Set for only $30! (and free shipping with Prime) For only $30 my expectations were low but I ordered them based on the good reviews. They come in black and white with a mounting bracket and screws and are are actually pretty attractive speakers, obviously copying a JBL design even down to the logo.
Next was the speaker wire. Since this system is outside, I wanted something that could handle a little rain (although we don't get much here in Vegas) and elements. Based on some advice, 16 gauge wire seemed to fit the bill. The 100 feet spool from Amazon was by far the best price for the length. The wire clips I actually bought at Lowes but these are less expensive.
Now that I had all my components (Thanks Prime 2 day shipping!) It was time to install. First, I mounted the speaker brackets about 15' apart on the patio ceiling supports. Next I ran the wire along the ceiling, tapping in wire-clips about every 1.5' to avoid sagging. Since the Pyle amp is not for outdoor use, it had to reside on my kitchen counter right inside the sliding glass door. So to get the speaker wire in, I drilled a small hole through the outside of the house and sealed it with silicone after putting the wires through. After plugging in the amp and attaching the 2 pairs of speaker wires, I was in business. Total install time = 90 minutes, total cost $104. I'll think of you guys while I'm relaxing in my spa later tonight listening to some sweet tunes...
More Detailed Description Available here:
- Best Cheap Outdoor Patio Speaker System - Home
Detailed description of how to install an outdoor patio speaker system for under $100 bucks