There are two good reasons why the best model we heard in the S&V test was also the least expensive. First, outdoor speakers use plastic enclosures that tend to vibrate and create their own sounds, which interfere with your music. This may seem like a minor thing, but it’s not—the vibrations can be very audible and tend to create a booming sound. Typically, expensive outdoor speakers are larger than inexpensive models, so there’s more surface area to vibrate.
Why should music be confined to the indoors? Was Woodstock indoors? Outdoor speakers let you enjoy music everywhere: sunbathing by the pool, playing in the yard with the kids or even tending the garden.
P.S: If one of your friends, relatives or neighbors might be interested in installing some outdoor speakers, please share this post with them – I’d really appreciate it.
The outdoor speaker I did about two years ago for Sound & Vision gave us a head start for the first Wirecutter outdoor speaker test in August 2013. The S&V article was supposed to compare outdoor speakers that cost about $400/pair. However, Niles Audio sent its OS5.5, which typically costs $249/pair on Amazon, and in my blind test, the OS5.5 sounded better than its larger, more expensive competitors.