Who doesn’t love a good outdoor party? Whether it’s a birthday celebration out on the patio or a little pool party, or even a casual Barbeque night in your backyard, outdoor events are just so much fun, right? But what makes these parties even better is a good music system. However, as easy as it sounds, setting the music system up in the open is not just as simple as placing your regular speakers outside.
How to Weatherproof Speakers
Unlike indoor speakers, outdoor speakers need to be prepared for any kind of weather conditions, whether it is sudden rain or a windy day. Being exposed to the environment means the outdoor speaker requires some extra features to make them fit for the outdoor setting. Therefore we need to weather-proof them before their placement outside. Buying weatherproof units from the market can be expensive. So here are some ways to help you learn how to weatherproof speakers on your own.
Protect The Driver
The drivers are one of the essential components of the speakers. For efficient audio performance, you might want to give special attention to the functioning of the speaker’s driver. Especially in the outdoor setting, the driver must be kept safe from water, snow, and other kinds of moisture to prevent dysfunction of the machine.
Coating the speaker driver with a high gloss polymer is something you can try to keep them dry and safe. However, it is better that you take advice from a professional before choosing your polymer. They can guide you on which polymer brand is better and does not impact the audio quality of the speaker.
For the coating process, start with laying out some newspapers below the speakers. This helps prevent any spillage making a mess around the workspace. Before applying the varnish, shake the container well. Now use a brush to apply the substances to the entire space evenly. Some of the commonly used varnishes you can use are Thompson’s Water Seal or DuraSeal and The Wet Look Pint Clear.
People living in moderate climates can use varnish once. They don’t need to reapply for up to a year or even more. However, if you live in a humid place with frequent rain and snow, you may have to repeat the varnishing process every six months. Only then can you fully ensure the protection of your speaker drivers for a long time.
Protect The Cabinet
Other than the interior of the speakers, the exterior of the cabinet is also vital. To protect the outer enclosure of the speakers, first and foremost, try to place the speakers under a covered area like a tree or a shed. This can help protect from direct exposure to light rain etc.
Apart from the speakers’ placement, for the protection, you must coat the speaker cabinet with polymer varnish. Instead of using the polyurethane polymer that you use for the speaker’s driver, you should use a spar varnish for the cabinet. Although this is more costly, spar varnishes are much more effective—especially when it comes to protecting wooden enclosures from moisture and rot. Similarly, you don’t need to reapply this varnish frequently.
People living in extremely cold regions can also try padding the inside of their speaker cabinets. This helps protect the crossovers and wirings inside the box. Other than that, you can add a grill or any similar protecting structure around the cabinet. This can help provide safety from little objects directly hitting the machine on a windy day.
Protect The Cable
The electric cable needs special protection when placing your speakers outside. This is because, without an interrupted power supply, the speaker will not work at all. So firstly, you can try placing the speakers near to your houses to limit the cable’s exposure to the open environment.
However, sometimes it is necessary to place the speakers at a considerable distance in your backyard. In this case, you should bury the wires underground to increase protection. Some wires in the market are labelled as “direct burial” and may cost you more. Do not fall for this trick, as most of these wires hardly have any difference. You can coat your regular wires with a conduit or a cheap PVC and bury it in the ground without any worry.
Suppose the wires are too long for a complete coat of the protective varnishes, or you are unable to find these varnishes in the market. In this case, you can use another trick. Get some heavy-duty weather-resistant duct tape and wrap it around the wires before burying them underground. This should protect your wires from moisture and other damage for a significant time.
Now the leads of the cable are still pretty exposed above the ground. In this case, you can use a glue gun or other form of hot glue. Apply a considerable amount of this glue around the exposed ends of the wire and let it dry. Once dry, the wire ends can be safe from water or other forms of damage for a good time.
The Downside Of Weatherproofing And How To Deal With It
Using all those polymer varnishes and padding can have an impact on your speaker quality. You will notice the sound is not as powerful outside as you felt it was inside. The sound becomes unclear, the bass response lags, and similarly, the frequency range significantly decreases.
Although you cant altogether cancel out these effects, you can do some things to minimize the extent of the impact. Firstly to increase bass, try keeping the speaker cabinet near a wall. Also, by placing the speakers close (10-20 meters) at an angle of 15-30 degrees facing each other, you can improve the clarity of sound.
Nevertheless, the open environment is sure to reduce your speakers’ volume due to more sound dissipation. Therefore you will need to increase the volume of your speaker’s amplifier considerably when converting it into an outdoor weatherproof unit.
How do you protect outdoor speakers from rain?
When your outdoor speakers are not in use, cover them with a plastic bag or other containers to keep them safe and protected.
Can I put indoor speakers outside?
Placing your indoor speakers outside without any weatherproofing can cause damage to these speakers. In such a case, bring them back inside as soon as you are done using them.
Do outdoor speakers need to be covered?
Most speakers are weather-resistant and not weatherproof, so covering them up with a cover or a container is a practical option.
Using these simple tips and tricks, you can weatherproof your indoor speakers in no time and that too at such a low cost. There’s no need to spend all that money on expensive weatherproof speakers in the market anymore. Using these simple techniques, get ready to throw some great backyard parties at your home with your weatherproof audio system giving music quality that is sure to make your next home party the talk of the town.