I love music, and I love sunshine. The only thing better than each of these is both at the same time. Throw a cold adult beverage in the mix and you’re gonna have a hard time getting me away from that spot. I also really love helping people get this same experience at their home, and so it drives me nuts when I go to someone’s house who has all the equipment they need to have music in their back yard, but the last A/V guy at their house just failed to mention that all they needed was a pair of speakers. Since this has happened over and over, let me explain what you should be looking for on your equipment.
If you have a surround sound system look at you’re A/V receiver that powers everything. Most of these receivers are made by Yamaha, Onkyo, Sony, and Denon, so look for one of those name brands in your stack of equipment. Does it say Zone 2, Multi-Zone, or Speakers A/B? If it does, then there’s a 95% chance that all you need to buy is a pair of speakers ($100-400 per pair), run wires where you want them to be, and viola, you now have an outdoor sound system! Now, of course, there are no less than 1,000 ways to control the music going to this area, but I’ll try to help there too.
For $99, you can buy an Apple Airport Express. This will let you sit in your lounge chair and use your iPhone or iPad to send music to the speakers outside using what’s called Airplay. This isn’t the best solution out there, but it’s one of the cheapest. Another way to do it is to call us and get a Sonos unit. This works with both Android and Apple products, and gives you more choices in music than you could ever listen to in a lifetime. Sonos is approx $350 to get started, and is amazing. One of the only tradeoffs here is that Sonos does not actually control you’re A/V receiver, so you may have trouble trying to change volume, you can’t change channels if it’s a TV channel that your listening to, etc.
The ultimate experience is the combination of Sonos and Control4. With these 2 together, you can change to any music, volume, channel, etc. You can also control your landscape lights, pool controls, hot tub, etc. These prices can vary depending on existing equipment and desired results, but the sky is the limit here. But at the very least, look at your receiver. If it says multi-zone, be kind to yourself and get some outdoor music!