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  1. #1
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2006

    distance between outdoor speakers mounted to the house


    A couple of years ago I had some speakers installed for backyard listening. They are mounted against the back of my house facing straight back toward the patio/pool. They were installed about 13' apart, pretty much centered with respect to the width of my house/yard. My yard is about 50' wide and about 26' deep. None of the seating areas are between the speakers.

    What I've noticed is that if you are not in between the speakers, or even if you are but not very close to centered, you often really hear one channel much better than the other, particularly if the stereo mix has instruments or vocals panned hard left or right. So I was thinking I might want to move these closer together.

    Before I go rerouting cable or drilling any new holes, I was wondering about others' experiences in this kind of situation. I feel like they should be moved closer, but I'm sure at some point it might start doing more harm than good. Is there a range of distances between the speakers that normally seems to work out best in this kind of situation? I know about the idea of distance between speakers equaling the listener's distance from them (equilateral triangle), but that doesn't seem to really apply here, as we're never seated between them, and you can be almost anywhere in the yard as opposed to being in a room inside the house.

    Any advice or hearing about your own experiences would be appreciated and helpful. Thanks!


  2. #2
    Administrator Tracy Rainwater's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2003

    I don't have outdoor speakers, but I doubt they were installed with critical listening in mind. Personally, I would want them near the seating area, and maybe another one or two, so music can be heard while in the pool.

    Rather than repositioning them, try running the sound mono. I doubt you would be able to tell it was mono outside, but at least you would have the same audio coming from both speakers.

    Just a thought.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2012

    Greg: I've been doing outdoor speakers for a lot of years. I am not, however familiar with your yard. Sounds like you have a pretty large area, including a pool.

    First, I believe strongly in a lot of separation, especially in an outdoor environment. It also depends on the Brand & model of your speakers. My back yard is wider then it is long. My deck is almost 40 ft wide and to one side I have a rather large Hot Tub. A pair of Niles large speakers are on the house far to the left and far to the right. Mostly, we sit somewhere in between the two speakers. The separation is superb. In the middle against the house, I installed a powered Subwoofer from Earthquake Sound. It is enclosed, but breathes out onto the deck. In the woods just beyond my property line, I have a pair of JBL's attached to two trees on both sides. I crisscrossed them. This means that the Niles on the deck are the opposite of the JBL's so that the left & right speakers crisscross. I experimented with this for a while. What happens is, no matter where you stand in the yard, you hear excellent stereo imaging; very distinctly. I used the JBL's because Disney Corp gave them to me when we were doing de- installs for Disney. Usually, we did Disney installs between Delaware down to N. Virginia. Sometimes they got rid of stores that were not performing up to their expectations.

    Greg: In your case it seems to me that you need 2 pairs of Outdoor Speaker's. I would recommend that you put 1 pair on your house towards the pool. The other pair should be rock speaker's that would easily blend into the landscaping around your pool. Niles also makes great rock speaker's. They really stand behind them. Previously we tried Rockoustics, Stereo Stone. They did not hold up well, and these companies made too many excuses, rather then replacing the defective ones.

    Whenever we did uninstalls for Disney, they let us have certain things like speaker's wall/ceiling mount brackets, shelves. etc. What they would not give away was anything that had a Disney Logo on it. Mickie Mouse, Donald Duck, Goofy dolls, statues were off limits. Even the beautiful Disney carpeting was off limits. From prior experiences, when they gave that stuff away, they tracked it to the internet, and found people selling this stuff on eBay and getting very good money for the stuff. That really pissed them off big time.

    From then on, when they trashed this stuff; everyone was told it had to be destroyed beyond recognition. The carpet had to be shredded. The statues & dolls had to be spray painted black and then bashed in with big hammers.


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