How To Set Up Wireless Speakers Outside

We spend more time in our outdoor living spaces these days so it's good to know how to set up wireless speakers outside. There are a few things to consider when setting up wireless speakers outside: the transmitter type, whether the speakers are weather proof or weather resistant, and how to place them for best effect. Weather proof speakers can usually be left out in all but the worst weather. Weather resistant means the speakers won't die right away if they get rained on but they won't be happy about it either. The transmitter will be either infrared or radio frequency. Infrared speaker transmitters are a "line of sight" type. They work like remotes-the eyes have to see each other or there's no communication between devices. Radio frequency is more versatile since it's mostly only limited by distance. Distance also factors into placement.

To set up wireless speakers outside you need:

  • Wireless speakers with all the contents that come in the box.
  • An outdoor space you're free to make noise in.
  • A music maker to connect the transmitter to.
  • Batteries (possibly)
  1. Read the manual. Seriously. Open the box and dig around in there until you find the manual/spec-sheet/details of some sort about what you should and should not do with your new toy. When you find it, read it. You don't have to believe everything it says if you don't want to, but consider the paragraph where it tells you about adverse weather conditions to be absolute gospel. Don't screw around with this or you'll wind up with silent (yet decorative) lumps on your patio. Just sayin'. Also check to see if batteries are included. Some wireless speaker sets use off-the-shelf batteries, some use rechargeable, and some even include an ac adapter.
  2. Connect the transmitter. If you're pulling music from a portable MP3 or CD player, plug it in and you're good to go. To connect your wireless speakers to a stereo, you'll probably have a choice of plugging in composite cable or plugging into a headphone jack. Note that using the headphone jack will cancel the volume on your indoor speakers so keep that in mind if you want music indoors and out. The transmitter is usually self-tuning though some come with more fine-tuning capabilities. Unless you have a solid wall of glass, a radio frequency transmitter is almost always going to be better for outside speaker set up if you're plugging into your home stereo.
  3. Find the sweet spot. You read the manual so you know how far your transmitter can transmit. Some wireless speakers out put 360-degree sound. These are easy to place. With single direction speakers, trial and error is your friend. For general use-say you're setting up on a standard sized patio or other small area and are using indoor speakers as well-place the outside speakers on the outer perimeter, facing the house. Set the left speaker diagonal to the left inside speaker and the right one diagonal to its partner inside. You'll have general coverage and everyone should be able to hear reasonably well. For odd shaped spaces or other unique setups, just keep adjusting until you get the sound you want.
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