Outdoor Sound System Design

A Planning Guide

San Diego, are you searching for outdoor sound system design tips? Staying at home doesn’t have to mean staying indoors. With amazing year-round weather that allows for outdoor activities any month of the year, it only makes sense that a home in San Diego is equipped with a properly designed and installed outdoor sound system. Although there are countless ways to configure an outdoor sound system, the key here is to have a plan. This will help guarantee a jaw-dropping outdoor experience for you and your family to enjoy.

From the pool to the patio and all around your backyard, when it comes to outdoor sound system design, there are several things you need to take into account. Things like, how many speakers you will need, how you will power them, what sources you will listen to and how you will control your playlist and volume are items you want to consider if you want to do it right. With this in mind, we offer some insight on the most important things one must consider during an outdoor sound system design.

Outdoor Sound System Design Guide

Start Here

The number one thing you need to do is determine the number of outdoor speakers you will need. One way to do this is by walking and measuring the perimeter of your outdoor living space. For homes under construction, you can achieve the same thing with a blue print (accurately scaled). The ultimate goal is, even coverage so you also want to be cognizant of the types of speakers you use. Since more outdoor speakers will help create more uniform even coverage, you should place them every 20 to 40 feet.

Types of Outdoor Speakers & Common Uses:

  • Landscape Speakers: landscape speakers are great for distributing sound and a great option for those who want to listen in an area that’s farther away from your house like the pool area
  • Surface Mount Speakers: most commonly seen mounted under the eaves, provides optimal audio quality in wide dispersion audio systems for (porch or patio)
  • Rock Speakers: rock speakers are designed to disappear in your landscape and can be used anywhere 
  • In-ceiling Speakers: this type architectural speaker is installed in a covered patio ceiling
  • Subwoofers (burial or surface): for uniform coverage and to reduce hot-spotting, we recommend using at least two subs

Power: Choosing an Amplifier

Next Step

The next step is figuring out what kind of power you need for your outdoor speakers. There are two general types of amplification which are volts and ohms. So, depending on the type of outdoor speaker system you choose, the power of the amplifier directly correlates with your speaker choice not the number of speakers. Something to make note of: some outdoor sound systems use a combination of both 70 volt and 8 ohm to create a hybrid solution. 

70V vs 8 Ohm Systems:

  • 70V Setup (Larger Systems): wiring longer runs over smaller gauge wire, easy to add speakers later, ensures uniform coverage
  • 8 Ohm Setup (Smaller Systems): fewer than two speakers per channel, speakers can handle more power
    • Ideal when using fewer speakers at high volume

Sources and Control

Last Step

The last step is to consider what music sources you want to listen to. And, how you will control your music (playlists) and volume.

Here Some Things You Should Know:

  • Music + Playlists + Volume: can be selected and controlled from a home automation system, your cell phone or tablet
    • Depends on your needs and the system you choose

But when you combine your outdoor sound system with a Control4 home automation system, you have full control of your system. And the best part is, you’ll have built-in access to popular streaming music services like Pandora, Napster, TIDAL, and dozens more without the need for additional gear. This is something you want to think about if you are going to design an outdoor sound system that not only entertains, but also offers you convenience.

Outdoor Sound System Design & Installation

With years of experience, our team of outdoor sound system installation experts can help you design your outdoor oasis. When you are ready to add an outdoor sound system and want the best solutions, products and installation services, call Shultz Audio Video. San Diego’s trusted source for outdoor audio installation and home automation integration. Ready to take your home entertainment to the next level? Let us show you how it all works with a complimentary outdoor audio demo. Call us today at (760) 505-7461 or press on the button below to fill out the popup contact form to get started!

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