Technology in the garden - bringing on sound

With the weather warming up and garden gatherings back on the cards, you might want to liven up the atmosphere with a little music.  There’s an increasing range of wired and wireless speakers designed to withstand the weather and spread sound around a garden.  Here’s what to bear in mind if you’re thinking of investing.

If you have a dedicated entertaining space and don’t need to move your speakers around the garden, wired speakers have excellent sound quality.  They are usually sold in pairs for stereo sound, but you can get single stereo outdoor speakers.  Wall-mounted outdoor speakers are an option if you have the right space and they are becoming smaller and more discreet.  Otherwise in-ground speakers including spike-mounted speakers or rock speakers, available in various sizes and finishes, will blend in with your garden borders.  These speakers need specialist outdoor speaker cables and an Ingress Protection (IP) rating for certified protection from the elements.

If you want flexibility, perhaps because you want to move your speaker around the garden while listening to a podcast for example, there is also an increasing array of small, sleek portable Bluetooth and Wi-Fi speakers made by companies such as Sonos and Bose.  These have the big advantage of not needing any wires – though if they’re not battery driven, they’ll just need to be plugged into a wall outlet, then connected to your sound source via Wi-Fi or Bluetooth.  You may get occasional connection issues or messages from your phone coming through the speaker, but the sound quality of portable speakers is catching up with wired models.