What’s The Difference Between Outdoor & Indoor Speakers ?

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Planning your summer parties already? Looking to get the best tech for your next garden celebration, or do you just want to know if an indoor speaker is going to be right for your bad weather gatherings?

Whatever you want to know about indoor and outdoor speakers, this handy guide has all the answers you need – from what they are to what makes them so very different. Take a moment to read through and discover the one that is going to work best for you. 

What are Indoor and Outdoor Speakers? 

Both indoor and outdoor speakers are very self-explanatory, as they operate in the same way as a standard model.

They can work wirelessly or through a wired connection, allowing you to stream your music freely for guests when throwing parties or just having a few people over. They can come in several different forms as well, giving you a good range of choices when you go to pick one.

While there is the choice to purchase a box model in each that looks like the regular speaker, the outdoor ones do not typically come in this form.

Usually, you will find that they are wall mounted for your ease as well as discretion – something that will be explored further in the next section of this article. Indoor speakers usually have a more diverse range of designs for you to select from. 

Also Read: Best Outdoor Bluetooth Speakers

What are the Main Differences? 

There are several big differences between indoor and outdoor speakers, each of which you should be aware of before you make any decisions with regards to which one you should buy. You can go through each of them below.

#1 Weather Resistance

One o the most noticeable differences is the fact that outdoor speakers are resistant to all forms of weather, which increases their longevity and also means that they won’t break if they are left in the rain.

This is perhaps the most important part of the weather resistance, the fact that it is able to cope with pouring rain, simply because there is so much of it.

Additionally, the weather resistance means they can withstand cold winter weather, dewy mornings, and intense heat. Even the wires tend to be specially coated in order to cope, and the installation is often done through a wall to ensure further protection.

#2 Sound Quality 

Typically, indoor speakers have less issue with sound than outdoor ones, simply because there is not as much space to cover.

The quality can be the same across both; it’s just that the outdoor models will have to work harder (something we look at in the Power Requirements section).

Interestingly, outdoor speakers are usually made for bass reproduction, offering you a deep and resonating sound that will really get the party started.

It makes for a more compact design and a better sound experience, especially when you consider that the indoor models usually require a subwoofer if you want to enjoy a good bass.

Indoor speakers are usually designed with an acoustic setting in mind, which is to say a smaller and more enclosed area.

Therefore, the maximum volume it can reach is smaller than an outdoor model, but you may end up with a crisper and clearer sound for a low price, whereas the same sound quality on an outdoor model is often quite a bit higher.

Overall, they both have great sound quality, but it really does depend on what you need the speakers for, as well as your budget. 

#3 Sound Coverage 

Straight up, we can tell you that the outdoor speakers have a wider coverage than the indoor ones, something which may seem obvious from the start.

This is because they are usually single-point speakers, which means that they offer a circular coverage across a wide area because they are the only speaker in the area, and so have to engage both left and right inputs at once.

Indoor speakers, on the other hand, do not usually have this kind of design, and so offer a smaller sound coverage in comparison.

This is because they have separate left and right inputs most of the time, triangulating the sound as it comes from a single direction as opposed to offering circular coverage. This is why many people have more than one speaker indoors. 

#4 Durability

We have mentioned weather resistance before, but this does link in with the durability of the speakers. Indoor models can still have a robust design, but this does not mean that they are able to withstand the same amount of wear and tear as the outdoor ones.

Due to the nature of their location and the added stress they have to go through, outdoor speakers are usually made from more robust materials that can take the weather, being bashed around a little, and also have a thicker casing for added reliability.

Indoor speakers can be just as tough, depending on what you buy, just without that added resistance to the weather. 

#5 Power Requirements 

Outdoor speakers have higher power requirements than indoor ones. This is because the former needs to cover a wider area while maintaining excellent sound quality, and this means the outdoor models need to work a lot harder.

As a result, they can be a little more expensive to run than their indoor counterparts.

If you have a wireless outdoor model, the batteries will need to be changed or charged a lot more regularly as well, whereas the indoor speakers will often last a lot longer in terms of charge, and cost less to keep running if using mains power. 

#6 Design and Appearance

This is another big difference, because outdoor speakers have been designed to be inconspicuous and blend into the environment so that you are able to enjoy your garden without a glaring eyesore.

Usually, they are quite small and compact, offering you powerful sound and function while remaining small and out of the way.

While many are mounted on the wall as little circular devices with dark or natural colours, you are able to pick up outdoor speakers that look like tree stumps or flower pots, sometimes even benches.

This is in contrast to the indoor speakers which can vary greatly in terms of appearance, but rarely reach the discreet levels of the outdoor models. 

Also Read: Speaker vs Soundbar

Can You Use Outdoor Speakers Indoors (and vice versa)? 

If you want to install your outdoor speakers inside, there isn’t any issue there. You will be able to have them mounted easily, and they will work just the same as they would in your garden.

However, just remember that the volume does tend to be louder than their indoor counterparts, so be careful when you decide to crank it up. If you want to put your indoor speakers outside, there are a few issues.

If the sun is out and it’s a nice day, you should be fine to have it playing outside for a few hours while you party.

However, if you want it installed outside, then even the smallest amount of moisture could cause damage or breakage (even if it is covered by a porch or gazebo). The sound is not able to travel as far or wide either, so you will end up with quieter and less widespread music. 

To Conclude 

Hopefully, this has helped you to learn more about the differences between indoor and outdoor speakers, so you can make an informed choice when you go to buy.

They both work great for playing tracks and keeping everyone entertained, just remember that an indoor speaker is not going to have a great effect when operating outside.

We’d love to know how you got on with this guide, and your thoughts on it, so please leave us a message in the comments below. 

About the author

Tim Rhodes

As well as being Chief editor here at Myaudiosound.co.uk - Dan is a freelance writer and blogger, as well as tech, loves a chilled weekend river fishing with his mates.