How to Create a Resort-Level Audio Experience in Your Backyard

Great sound comes to the great outdoors.

Summer has arrived! It’s the perfect time to build a resort-quality outdoor sound system for parties with friends or barbecue fun with the family. Best of all, advancements in audio products now allow you to bring a fully theatrical sonic experience to pretty much any open-air space.

Here’s how to find the products that are the perfect fit for the system you want to create, whether it be for listening to ambient music or for watching movies.

Choosing the Right Speakers

When choosing speakers, it’s important to begin by assessing whether you want your outdoor experience to depend more upon look or audio quality. All-weather wall- or ceiling-mounted speakers offer the best sonics, but may take away from the overall aesthetic of your space. Options like “rock speakers” (speakers designed to look like rocks) can blend seamlessly into the backyard environment, but generally don’t deliver the kind of audio fidelity you’ll get from wall-mounted speakers. Then there’s the option of going with light-and-speaker combos. These all-in-one units can serve the important function of lighting up your late-night parties while providing music at the same time.

An audio speaker designed to look like a rough hewn rock.
A rock speaker.

Whichever speakers you decide on, remember that you can always augment them with buried subwoofers. These fit well into the backyard and provide the bass that above-ground speakers can lack at times. Installation is a snap, too: Simply dig a hole and then drop a cement subwoofer box down, leaving a four- to five-inch port extending up. To your guests, it will look like a landscape light, but it’s actually delivering the all-important rumble that brings movies and dance parties to life.

Don’t just stop at stereo, either. Building a full surround sound setup in your backyard will turn simply watching movies outdoors into a gloriously cinematic event. There are countless options for speaker setups, and having a mix of different types of speakers can make for a more dynamic experience. Consulting an installer is a good way to determine the best blend of speakers for you.

Choosing the Right Controller

A high-quality outdoor sound system wouldn’t be complete without an easy-to-use controller to manage everything. You want one that not only controls the outdoor components, but all the ones inside the house too. One of the best options for this is Yamaha MusicCast, which provides full-featured wireless control over all connected Yamaha speakers, receivers and sound bars, either from a free downloadable app or through voice assistants like Amazon Alexa and Google Home. MusicCast also supports direct streaming from the biggest music platforms like Spotify®, Pandora® and Amazon Music, and it can work with more than just music by using features like Apple® Airplay 2® and Wi-Fi to stream any kind of audio, including podcasts, movies and TV.

Mobile phone with music app visible on screen.
The Yamaha MusicCast app includes multi-room audio control.

If you want to take things to the next level, you can even opt for a control system that governs all of the “connected-home” aspects — not just outdoor and indoor sound, but lighting, curtains, etc. Third party companies like Control4, RTI®, URC®, Elan®, Josh.ai and Crestron® provide this kind of full coverage, and also offer control of dozens of Yamaha audio devices via MusicCast technology. The possibilities are endless!

While some folks may find building an outdoor audio system to be a DIY project, for others, it requires considerable skill, especially if you want to go all-in. That’s why you might consider hiring a custom installer, who can answer specific questions regarding what you want out of your outdoor experience and ensure you get the best performance out of your system.

 

Check out these related blog postings:

How to Easily Expand Your Outdoor Sound System

Enjoy Music Outdoors With Zone 2

How to Mount Outdoor Speakers

How to Enjoy Great Outdoor Sound Without Disturbing Your Neighbors

Take the Party Outside!

Wireless Amp Turns Outdoor Speakers Into MusicCast

How to Use Alexa With MusicCast

How to Use Google Voice Control With Yamaha MusicCast

How to Use Actions on Google With Yamaha MusicCast

How to Use Yamaha MusicCast With Airplay 2

The Perfect Pairing: Yamaha MusicCast and Home Automation

Smart Home Integration — From DIY To CI Guy

Top Five Things You Should Know When Hiring an AV Installer

 

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