What are the best rock speakers in 2020?

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In this article, I review the best rock speakers:

If you don’t have time to read the whole article, here are my recommendations:

For audiophiles looking for traditional (non-bluetooth) speakers with the emphasis on sound quality, I recommend the Klipsch AWR-650-SM Outdoor rock speakers.

If you’re looking for Bluetooth outdoor speakers, I recommend the Bluetooth outdoor rock speakers by Sound Appeal.

Buying guide for rock speakers

Here is a list of things to consider when you’re buying rock speakers:

Wired vs wireless

Some speakers are wireless. By that I mean that are no wires are needed between the audio source and the speakers. The speakers and audio source are “connected” either via bluetooth or by wifi. This has the obvious advantage of portability – You can move the speakers around more easily. Make sure you check the maximum range.

Wireless speakers still need a source of power. Some speakers will be completely wireless and they are battery operated. They can be moved around and positioned exactly where you want them. They don’t need to be near a power outlet or have cables running underground to power them. The downside is that battery-powered speakers will tend to be less powerful than wired speakers and of course batteries wear out and need to be changed or recharged.

Wired rock speakers are like standard indoor speakers – They will require speaker cable running from an amplifier or receiver to the speakers. You’d usually run these cables underground, enclosed in a conduit to protect them from the rain and humidity.

Bluetooth connectivity

As mentioned above, many wireless rock speakers will have bluetooth connectivity. This allows you to play music from your iphone or any smartphone via bluetooth without the need for any cables or wires. Be sure to check the range of the bluetooth connection.

Mono vs stereo

Most rock speakers can be used as part of a set of stereo speakers, with each individual speaker being wired up as either the left or right channel. Some rock speakers can also be used a single stereo speaker – They have a left and right channel within the one speaker.  Other speakers are mono only.

Resistance to weather

Rock speakers, by definition are going to be outside, exposed to the elements. If you have a swimming pool, you’ll probably want to install these speakers next to the pool. In both cases, the speakers need to be waterproof or at the very least, splashproof. Make sure you check the weather rating.

Installation

Wired speakers are usually a bit harder to install than wireless speakers, but honestly most of these speakers are pretty easy to install. The biggest challenge will be laying the cable underground for wired speakers but once that is done, it’s done and won’t have to be touched again. The actual connections between the speakers and the amplifiers are the same as for indoor speakers.

Color and finish

Not all rocks are created equal! You’ll want to choose a color that matches your garden or back yard. Most of these speakers come in a brown, sandy color or a grey granite type color.

Sound quality

Sound quality is subjective of course. You have to decide if you are really looking for audiophile power and sound quality for a large party of people or do you simply want to casually listen to some music with friends and family while in the pool or while cooking some chicken wings on the grill! 

In this article, I have included a best choice for true audiophiles and another Bluetooth speaker for more casual listeners.

The best rock speakers from our review

Klipsch AWR-650-SM Outdoor rock speaker in granite finish

This is a high-end wired speaker that audiophiles will really appreciate! It’s more expensive than the other speakers in this review but if crisp sound quality is important to you, this will be money very well spent. The speaker is available in a stylish granite or sandstone finish that will blend in with the landscape.

Klipsch is an American company, based in Indianapolis, Indiana with a stellar reputation for making high quality speakers.

These are traditional wired speakers that are to be connected up to an amplifier or receiver using 4-conductor speaker cable (provided). These are not bluetooth speakers.

The Klipsch All-Weather Rock speaker (AWR-650-SM) is a two-way, dual channel design using a single high performance bass driver for the low frequencies and a pair of Polymer dome high frequency tweeters for wide, even coverage. The resulting sound quality really is excellent.

3 possible configurations

The speaker is sold as one individual speaker and you have 3 choices:

  • If you want a pair of stereo speakers, you must buy 2 of them and connect each of them  up as a single channel – One for the left channel and one for the right channel that together form a stereo set of speakers.
  • It is also possible to only buy one speaker and connect it up as a 2 channel stereo speaker thanks to its dual twitter design.
  • Finally, you can connect the speaker for mono output for situations where you need several speakers to bring smooth and even coverage to larger areas.

Durable and weatherproof design

The AWR-650-SM is constructed of durable weather proof materials such as a fiberglass enclosure and powder coated aluminum grilles, a polymer woofer cone and polymer dome tweeters. This ensures that the speaker will look and sound good for years to come regardless of environmental extremes.

Placement of these outdoor speakers

The Klipsch rock speaker is perfect for lawns, gardens, patios, decks or any other place where exposure to the elements makes conventional loudspeaker usage unsuitable. Due to its aesthetic design and up-tilted orientation, this particular model is designed for low or ground level placement. For the best sound quality, position the speakers on the same side of your intended listening area and at a distance of 8 to 20 feet apart.

If a single AWR-650-SM is connected in a two-channel configuration, I advise you to center the speaker on the preferred side for even coverage. The bass will be too strong if you put the speakers in a corner or near a wall.

Connections and installation

Clear instructions for each of the three possible configurations described above and installation is very simple. The speaker is provided with a 4-conductor cable to be able to connect either 1 or 2 channels.

Technical specifications

Frequency response: 66Hz-20kHz +/-3dB
Low frequency extension: 43Hz
Power handling: 50W continuous / 200W peak
Recommended amplifier power: 100 W / 200 W peak
Sensitivity: 94dB @ 2.83V / 1m
Nominal impedance: 8 ohms compatible
Tweeters: Two 0.75” poly dome tweeters using Neodymium magnets mounted in a plastic housing
Woofers: 6.5” poly cone dual voice coil woofer using a ceramic motor and plastic basket.
High frequency crossover: 2500Hz
Dimensions (per speaker): 17 x 15 x 11 inches (43.2 x 38.1 x 27.9 cm)
Weight (per speaker): 13 lbs (5.9kg)

Pros

  • Sound quality is amazing at any volume. The best sound quality of all speakers in this review by far.
  • The manufacturer, Klipsch, is an American company with over 50 years experience in audio. This is a product made for audiophiles by audiophiles.
  • They blend right into the landscaping.
  • They are very sturdy and durable. You can leave them outside exposed to the elements without any problems. They are completely weatherproof and waterproof.
  • They can be configured as a pair of stereo speakers, as a single stereo speaker or even as a mono speaker.

Cons

  • The bass might be a tad weak for some demanding listeners.

Bluetooth outdoor rock speakers by Sound Appeal

These speakers are the best choice if you’re looking for Bluetooth speakers. They come as a pair of bluetooth stereo speakers with a built-in amplifier. They are marketed as “wireless” but let me explain what that means – It means that there are no wires needed between the speakers and your music source (smartphone or any bluetooth-compatible device) because that connection is made wirelessly through bluetooth.  There is however a wire to plug the left speaker into a 110V power outlet.

There is also speaker cable to connect the powered left speaker to the right speaker. All the cables, plugs and adaptors are included with the speakers as well as clear installation instructions. They are very simple to install.

As mentioned above, an amplifier is integrated into the left speaker and this amplifier drives both speakers. The amp / speakers have a power rating of 60 watts.

Bluetooth

Thanks to the the bluetooth v3.0 interface, you can stream music wirelessly from your smartphone to these speakers at an advertised range of up to 100 feet. In practice, you’ll probably find it works best up to about 40 feet. Since these are bluetooth speakers, all of your volume settings will be adjusted through your music source – usually your smartphone or any bluetooth compatible device. There is no need therefore for any volume of balance controls on the speakers themselves.

Color and design

These speakers come in a very attractive brown “canyon sandstone” color and they really do look like real rocks! They are quite heavy which is a good thing. There is very little risk of these things being blown around your garden or back yard whenever there is a gust of wind!

Durability and weatherproof

These outdoor speakers are very strong and are made to withstand both hot and cold temperatures. These speakers are waterproof and so can be left outside even when not in use. Many satisfied customers have left them outside for several years without any issues. The speakers come with a 1 year manufacturer’s warranty.

Technical specifications

Woofers: 6.5″ woofer drivers
Tweeters: 1″ dome tweeters
Internal amplifier:  High efficiency class D design with 60w rms of output power.
Frequency response: 35hz to 20khz
Dimensions (per speaker): 11.8 x 11.0 x 10.60 inches  (30 x 27.9 x 26.9 cm)

Pros

  • Very easy to install. Just plug the left speaker into the mains and then connect the left and right speakers.
  • The bluetooth synchronizes very quickly.
  • The color and finish blend in very well with the landscape. You will hardly know they’re there until you turn on the music!
  • Excellent after sales support from the manufacturer in case of any technical issues.

Cons

  • The speaker cable connecting the left and right speakers is perhaps a bit short but it is possible to buy your own cable and extend it.
  • In terms of sound quality, the bass is a bit on the weak side.

Theater Solutions 2R8G outdoor granite finish speaker set

These Theater Solutions 2R8G outdoor speakers come as a pair of stereo speakers. They are wired speakers to be connected to an amplifier or receiver using speaker cable. They come with a short length of speaker cable to which you can connect your own length of cable back to your amplifier. Installation is simple and clear instructions are provided.

These speakers are extemely durable. They come in multi-layer composite cabinets with rustproof steel grills. They are weatherproof against rain, snow, ice and extreme temperatures (both hot and cold). They are also resistant to pool chemicals.

They can handle a hefty 250 watts of power per speaker and have been designed with outdoor use in mind. They are adapted for being positioned at ground level and their drivers are perfectly positioned at a 20 degree upward angle in order to deliver a very powerful sound in the target area.

Technical specifications

Woofer: 8″ Poly Mica Woofers with Sealed Voice Coils
Tweeter: Ferro fluid cooled soft dome tweeters
Connectivity: Speaker Wire
Power Handling: 10 – 250 watts per speaker
Frequency Response: 50Hz – 20kHz
Sensitivity:  97db
Impedance: 8 Ohms
Dimensions (each): 13.5 x 12 x 12 inches ( 34 x 30.5 x 30.5 cm)
Weight (each): 8 lbs ( 3.6 kg)

Pros

  • Very powerful – They can handle up to 250 watts per speaker.
  • Compact size – Their small size means they are a very discreet part of the landscape. Your guests will wonder where the music is coming from!
  • Durability – They can withstand all types of weather and you can leave them outside all year round. No need to move them indoors when not in use.
  • Excellent customer support from the seller.
  • Good value for money.

Cons

  • The bass is perhaps a bit lacking.
  • Sound quality – They provide decent sound and are fine for most uses and people. (However, if you’re an audiophile, you’ll probably be disappointed with the sound quality and you should take a look at the Klipsch speakers mentioned previously in this review.)

Alpine Corporation waterproof bluetooth rock speaker

This one is a bit different to the others. This landscape speaker is 100% wireless. It connects to your smartphone (or any bluetooth compatible audio source) via its bluetooth v4 interface. The bluetooth range is about 50 feet (15 meters).

Furthermore, it is powered by an internal battery that can be recharged either through the solar panel located on the top of the speaker or through its mini-USB port on the back. -To do this, you simply plug one end of a USB cable (not included) into the speaker and the other end into a PC, laptop or even a power outlet charger (like the one you use for a smartphone). Once charged, the battery lasts for up to 12 hours.

So since this speaker is completely wireless, it is also completely portable. You can pick it up and put it down wherever you want and then control the music to it via your smartphone. It’s particularly useful if you have a large garden or yard and you want to listen to some music a long distance from the house where traditional wired outdoor speakers would not be practical.

A common use for this speaker is gardening or yard work or maybe doing some repair work outside or eating outside with friends at a table very far from the house. – You can just put this speaker on the ground next to you and not be bothered by any trailing wires.

This is a single standalone mono speaker so don’t buy 2 of them expecting to get stereo sound. The sound quality isn’t amazing but it does the job it’s designed to do. It’s perfect for a small group of people who are outside and who want to have some portable background music that is easy to set up.

In terms of design, it really does look like a rock. You can choose between the color grey or brown.

Dimensions: 12 x 9 x 11 inches (30.5 x 23 x 28 cm)
Weight: 7.21 pounds (3.3 kg)

Pros

  • Completely wireless – It connects to your smartphone via bluetooth and it’s battery operated. This makes it completely portable.
  • Long battery life – 12 hours
  • Solar-powered battery charger integrated into the speaker – It charges as you use it!
  • Weather-resistant -It is designed to withstand extreme weather.

Cons

  • Average sound quality – It is a single standalone mono speaker – This speaker provides portable ambient music – Don’t expect amazing sound quality from it.

Conclusion

So what are the best rock speakers? For audiophiles looking for traditional (non-bluetooth) speakers with the emphasis on sound quality, I recommend the Klipsch AWR-650-SM Outdoor rock speakers.

If you’re looking for Bluetooth outdoor speakers, I recommend the Bluetooth outdoor rock speakers by Sound Appeal.

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