I know you already have yours but I thought I would share the speakers we have on our pool deck and front porch for others who may be interested. For a hundred bucks a pair you can't go wrong. These are self powered and have Bluetooth built in. All you have to do is mount them on the wall and plug them in to an outlet. I like my music clear and full and was pleasantly surprised at the clarity of these speakers. I have to disagree with the post that sound doesn't carry well outdoors. My wife had these powered up yesterday afternoon on the deck while I was working in my shop 80 feet away and could hear her music perfectly clear and the speakers aren't pointed that direction.
Amazon.com: Outdoor Wall-Mount Patio Stereo Speaker - Waterproof Bluetooth Wireless & No Amplifier Needed - Portable Electric Theater Sound Surround System for Home Party Cabinet Enclosure- Pyle PDWR61BTWT: Home Audio & Theater
Well, good news, bad news, and good news on the speaker front. The speakers arrived today, so that’s good. Unfortunately one pair had been damaged, so that was bad. However, I got the non damaged pair installed and I’m not sure that I actually even need the other speakers.
I installed the two undamaged speakers under the eves of the house pointed toward the pool, because my goal for right now was to have music while I was exercising in the pool. And after I connected the echo amp and turned everything on I discovered that I can still hear the music very well even under the covered porch. In fact, I’m afraid that if I install another pair of speakers under the porch it will wind up unbalanced with the music too loud under the porch and not loud enough at the pool. I know I could solve that with a second amp so I could adjust the volume of each pair of speakers independently, but that’s more money that I don’t want to spend and frankly I think it’s working pretty well with just the two speakers.
So I’m just going to return the damaged speakers for a refund and leave it like this for a while. If I change my mind about speakers under the covered porch I can always add more speakers and possibly another amp at that time.
So far I have been really happy with it. I don’t have a Sonos amp to compare it to, but the echo amp fits my needs very well.
Before I go out to the pool I can tell one of my echos “Play <music> in the back yard”. You can make it part of speaker groups, so if I’m working on something outside and going in and out I can say “Play <music> in the kitchen and back yard” and it will synchronize the echo show in the kitchen with the amp and play the same music at the same time. Of course I could also use my phone to start the music through the Alexa app.
It doesn’t have a mic or offer any audio input, so you are supposed to control it with another echo device or your phone through the Alexa app. This can be a good thing and a bad thing. I don’t have an echo device outside, so if I want to change the music I need to use the alexa app on my phone or go inside to talk to one of my echo devices in there. But it’s also good in that I don’t really want a voice controllable echo device outside since I have a home automation system and I don’t want someone to just walk into my back yard and be able to tell Alexa to turn off my lights or unlock my doors.
Obviously using my phone to control it is no more difficult than it would be to use my phone to control Bluetooth speakers and offers a number of benefits over Bluetooth in that my phone doesn’t need to be nearby for it to play music, and it can also synchronize music with the other echo devices in the house.
I’ve debated trying to find a way to get an echo outside. There are little batteries you can get for the echo spot, to make them portable, so theoretically I could do that and bring an echo spot out to the porch when I was out there, but part of my goal here was to try to avoid have a lot of things to bring out when I wanted to swim and bring back in when I was done swimming. I’ve also seen people who have installed an echo device outside permanently, either waterproofing it in some way or in a sheltered place, like the porch ceiling, and then they plug it in to a controlled outlet, so it is only turned on and functional when someone is actually outside. However, I question how well an echo would really be able to hear commands outside, especially if it was on the porch and I was in the pool, so I haven’t really pursued any of those options.
But overall I think it’s a great solution. It sounds great and works well and I would definitely recommend it.
I actually keep two Echo devices outside. I have an old Tap in the cabinet for the outdoor TV stuff (discounted by you can still by them on eBay) and an Echo Dot that I have plugged into one of those battery pack in the cabinet with my outdoor kitchen.
I grab one of those two and bring it to the edge of the pool when I am swimming so I can go next song, or change the volume. The dot has a clock on it which is really useful when cooking for timing stuff and just wanting to know the time. I bought the dot on sale and with the battery pack I have about $50 invested in that so it is sort of disposable.
I second the Tap of you can get one. We have one and have been very pleased with the battery life. You can leave the dock/charger inside and just take the tap our when you need it. It doubles as a normal bluetooth speaker also when your away from wifi. We take it on vacations, use it in the backyard, etc... It also does a good job of re-connecting to wifi if we visit a place that I had it setup on before like my in-laws house or a friends house.