Best outdoor speakers to buy this summer
Helping to unleash your meticulously constructed Spotify playlist into the great outdoors, here's four outdoor speaker set-ups to prop up against your garden gnomes plus some expert tips on how to get the most out of your set-up.
Big Jambox reviewBest for / Design
There's no denying that the Big Jambox is a very nice speaker indeed. Along the minimalist design and simple controls, the reliable pairing and fantastic sound quality all win it points. It makes a great desktop speaker, although it's maybe a little too hefty to be taking away on your hols.
At a touch under £260, the speaker is a tad pricey for what it is, but if you've got the cash to spare then you're unlikely to be disappointed.
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Jabra Solemate reviewBest for / Price
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The Jabra Solemate is a portable Bluetooth speaker that like the Jawbone Jambox delivers in the sound and the looks department. It's perhaps no surprise as many of its features share more than a passing resemblance to the Jawbone speaker, but it does add its own unique design with the trainer-style look and a pretty impressive sound performance.
The £149 price does still feel a bit steep, and it could benefit from the ability to customise performance via apps as is possible with both Jamboxes, but if you are after a Bluetooth speaker that is compact enough to carry around in your bag and can fill a hotel room with enough sound to throw a party fuelled by drinks from the mini bar, the Jabra Solemate is definitely a good fit.
B&W A5 reviewBest for / Multi-roomEditor's Choice
Combined with the larger A7, B&W can now offer a truly great multi-room set up for iOS lovers. The B&W A5 is an impressive wireless speaker that, while not as showy as the original Zeppelin, offers top-line design, investment-worthy build quality and exceptional sound quality.
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Beats Pill reviewBest for / Connectivity
With its slender styling, competitive pricing, solid build and Beats by Dr. Dre branding the Beats Pill will sell faster than Viagra. It’s a neat proposition with excellent packaging, quality peripherals and seamless NFC connectivity.
If you’re looking for a portable speaker with simple controls, effortless connectivity and better than average sound you’ll not be disappointed, but if you’re expecting Dr. Dre inspired trouser flapping bass don’t be surprised when it all goes a bit limp.
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How we tested
T3's audio specialists have put these portable speakers through their paces, testing them in the environments that we think our readers will hope to make best use of them. All have been tested individually and now we have drawn them together to see how they compare.
Outdoor speaker tips
Rufus Greenway, Managing Director of www.soundenvironment.co.uk
1. Because sound is dampened outside go for an active sub for better bass response.
2. The higher the speakers, the further sound travels, so position them at a lower level if you’re in a built-up area.
3. Be careful with the controls. If you’re indoors and accidentally turn the outside speakers on, the first you’ll know about it is when the neighbours come to complain.
4. If you live in a cold area check the temperature range the speakers will work.
5. Cables will need armour or pipe work, unless you can bury them during a house refurbishment.