WHAT Do You Want to Listen To?
When asked this question, the most common answer is, “I want to play music from my phone through the outdoor speakers.” There are two ways to accomplish this — wirelessly stream the music from your phone to the audio system OR use your phone to tell a media player located connected inside what to play.
Wirelessly streaming music from your phone can be done. But it may be problematic if you don’t have good WiFi coverage everywhere in your yard. There can also be issues with wireless interference or dropouts and interruptions due to incoming phone calls, texts, and push notifications. Oftentimes, the better option is to have your technology integrator specify and install a media player that can stream your favorite music services (Spotify, Pandora, SiriusXM, etc.) or access your music library. You can use your phone, tablet, or remote to tell the system what to play and not have to worry about disruptions.
But music isn’t your only option here. If you have a TV on the patio, we can route the TV audio through your outdoor audio system instead of relying on just the TV speakers. Some systems will also allow paging to the outdoor space or the ability to hear the front doorbell when you’re out by the pool.
WHERE Do You Want to Hear It?
When we plan for audio on the inside of the house, we generally specify which rooms we want speakers in and the quality of sound we desire for each space. Outdoors is no different. Even though one might think of the backyard as one big space, it makes sense to break it up into sections or zones.
Some of those areas might be semi-enclosed, like a screened-in patio. Others like the pool area have no ceiling or walls that direct or contain the sound. The characteristics of each zone will significantly influence the type of speakers that make sense for that area.