With Winter quickly coming to an end, we will soon be enjoying Spring. As the weather warms up, we start to head outside again and soon enough we'll be hosting our Summer BBQ's. We have the BBQ, we have the terrace, deck or patio but wouldn’t you enjoy having control of the outdoor entertainment too? Did you know that you can use your iPod, iPhone or Android smartphone in lots of great ways to hear your tunes outside? And more importantly, you can even control it from outside? There are a few ways to do this and you can even retrofit a system to plug into your existing AV setup to utilise the high quality audio you may already have. Let's start with the easy option first.
Portable Mini Speakers with Dock.
They are what they sound like, a set of small speakers with a dock for sitting the iPod/iPhone in to listen to. Starting from a tiny $29.95 for a small set of folding speakers (MPS200), you can also use any other MP3 player by connecting a headphone output.
The amazing quality of the House of Marley Portable Mini Speaker (EMJA000HA) for only $99.95 is an excellent option. Just switch on your Bluetooth, and you will be able to listen to your tunes outside with a minimum of setting up. The beauty of these systems is because they are battery powered, you can take these portable devices anywhere, to the beach, the park or anywhere you need music.
Mini System with Dock.
A slightly larger yet easy to set up system would be the stunning Onkyo iPod System (CS245) with separate speakers. This system makes a great bedroom setup that can be quickly moved outside when you do. You can even control your iPod/iPhone with the remote control supplied. This system does require a power supply, so either an extension cord or outdoor socket would be suitable.
House of Marley – "Bag of Riddim"
Take your music with you with the portable and powerful Bag of Riddim. It's unique design has an integrated iPhone and iPod dock making it super easy to have music on the run. With an auxiliary input you can also connect hundreds of other phones and music players. Bag of Riddim delivers enough bass to fill a room, a backyard barbeque or a beach party with powerful and lively sound. The included protective canvas carry bag looks great and makes it easy to take your music wherever you need it.
Outdoor Speakers with AV receiver.
For the best quality audio you really can't go past hooking up to your existing receiver to some outdoor speakers. You will need to make sure that the receiver has a 2nd zone that is not already being used. A 2nd zone means that the receiver will run a second audio output to a separate set of speakers while it is still running the first and main zone of the receiver. An example would be the kids inside watching a movie from the DVD player through the main surround speakers while everyone else is outside listening to music through a second set of speakers.
Many people assume that you need to have the iPod/iPhone/MP3 player in with the receiver to control the playlist. This can become a bit tedious to run inside if you want to change the music or volume all the time. If you’d like the convenience and control of being able to change tunes while still outside, there is actually a pretty simple solution.
Why not set up a wall plate outside (under cover of course) to plug the iPod/iPhone/MP3 into so you can control it from outside? So how is it done?
Firstly you need to get wall plates at both points near the receiver and outside. You need to run 2 RCA leads between them in the roof or wall and you need the correct leads to take the signal from these wall plates to both the receiver and the iPod/iPhone.
So in order from the receiver end it would be; Receiver, 2 RCA leads, wall plate (see components below), 2 RCA leads through the wall/roof, wall plate, 2RCA-headphone jack, then finally iPod/iPhone.
To do this, you will need an adaptor cable to change the existing headphone output to 2 RCA leads. See the components you need below. (The other great benefit of this system is that you can plug your laptop or pretty much any device with a headphone output into the same system!)
See below for a diagram of how you can do this at your place.
Once this is installed you would need to also setup the speakers you need outside.
Depending on your area depends on the speakers you use. All speakers need to be protected from the elements to be sure you will get a good life from them. You may like to install some removable outdoor speakers are a great option if you live near the ocean where high levels of salt in the air can corrode even the toughest speakers. It means you can take them inside for the months of the year when you won't be entertaining outside and bring them back out when it heats up again.
You would then need to run speaker cable from these speakers back to the receiver to send the audio. If you are using removable speakers I would again use wall plates to keep it all looking tidy. (Refer to the diagram above) All in all it should only take you a few hours to get this set up working for years and years of entertainment.
If you are unsure of any of this, please give us a call on 1800 69 2225 and our Selby Techs can help out.