Incorporating sound into your outdoor entertainment space. Spring officially begins March 20 and soon those barren wastelands of patios and decks will once again be alive with activity. Grills will be fired up, furniture cushions placed and portable stereos plugged in. Time out. … Portable stereos?

It’s time to retire that boom box you’ve had since high school and take advantage of today’s technology in introducing symphony quality sound to your outdoor entertainment space. Even those lunch box-style outdoor speakers mounted to the home are becoming a thing of the past. Innovative design has taken these systems completely outdoors gaining popularity with ease of installation and control.

Bluetooth and WiFi are two words most people are familiar with and use on a daily basis. Permanent outdoor sound systems have the same capabilities to be controlled by either of these platforms with the use of a smartphone app. Whether the streamer for the system is a simple bluetooth connection or more advanced WiFi, such as Sonos, they both can be installed on a home’s exterior. In conjunction with an amplifier, your entire audio system can remain within the vicinity of the outdoor space without any costly interior wiring or renovations. A GFI electrical receptacle is all that is needed to get this outdoor powerhouse control center up and running.

The quality of sound is undoubtedly the most important end product of a well-designed system, but speaker type and their placement is key. They should be located amongst the landscape surrounding the space to create an absolute sensation of immersion. Directional speakers will deliver sound to specified areas while at the same time being considerate of neighbors’ ears. Combination three-way speakers are also available, which provide subwoofer, woofer and tweeter all in the same unit. Speaker durability and longevity should be considered as well. We live in a region where temperature extremes and Shore salt exposure can wreak havoc on outdoor electrical devices, so speaker housing materials are very important. Coastal Source ( is one of the leading manufacturers of these turnkey, plug-and-play systems, and have designed them to fit basically any application.

The presence of sound in an outdoor environment enhances the experience and influences the dynamic. Some relaxing alone time or a rocking party can both be achieved with a properly planned outdoor sound system installation. As you start venturing back outdoors, imagine being able to control the complete vibe and tone of the space without even leaving your seat. “Music is the wine that fills the cup of silence.” —Robert Fripp

Michael Pasquarello is a degreed landscape architect with Elite Landscaping. Email him at or call (856) 753-1944. Visit for more information.