As the weather begins to warm up and everybody heads outside to enjoy the summer sun, more and more people will be looking for equipment that enables them to use their speaker systems outdoors.
However, possibly just as important as weather-proofing your sound system itself is having a good length of outdoor-rated speaker wire.
Since we all know that weather has the potential to change on a dime, no matter what the season, it’s also important that this wire be suited to use in all weather conditions for optimal safety and functionality.
If you’ve been looking for an outdoor, all-weather speaker wire to connect your speaker system outside, we have good news - your search ends here!
I’ve put together a selection of the best outdoor all-weather speaker wire available right now so that you can plug in and relax with no worries.
I’ve also included a buyer’s guide and FAQ section below to help you streamline your choices.
- 500 ft
- 12 gauge
- Oxygen-free copper
- Reinforced polypropylene jacket
- Double insulation
- UV protected
- Ergonomic unwinding
- High-quality sound
Top 5 Best Outdoor All-Weather Speaker Wire
OUR TOP PICK
This 12-gauge 2-Conductor rated speaker wire from OSD audio is hands-down one of the best purchases you could make when it comes to outdoor, all-weather speaker wire.
Available in a generous length of 500 ft, this copper speaker wire is oxygen-free for better conductivity and sound quality, and features a reinforced, double-insulated polypropylene jacket for protection and durability.
The wire jacket is waterproof and UV-resistant, so it will hold up against anything the elements have to throw at it, rain or shine. However, some customers have reported that the sheathing of the jacket feels a bit loose.
One of the best things about this speaker wire, though, is how ergonomic it is to roll out and use! The wire comes packaged in a wear-resistant box that allows for wire to be pulled out through a large hole without tangling or snagging.
Meanwhile, the tissue wrapping around the conductors further enhances the protection and ease with which the wire can be unrolled.
Because it is rated as Class 3, this wire can be connected to systems putting out a maximum of 300 volts.
It can also be buried between 4 and 6 feet underground for extra protection and to minimize tripping hazards, and is additionally rated as suitable for in-wall use.
- 500 ft length
- Reinforced polypropylene jacket
- Snag-free pulling
- Good sound quality
- Sheathing is slightly loose
The 16-gauge oxygen-free copper wire from Gear IT is one of the best outdoor, all-weather speaker wires for those seeking a lot of versatility in their purchase.
This wire is available in multiple length options, ranging from 50 to 500 feet, so you can economize on your purchase by selecting the length that best corresponds to your designated speaker area.
Because this wire is made from oxygen-free copper, it produces high-quality sound and is less likely to corrode.
These are 2 factors that are very important when using a speaker system outside and in various weather conditions. The sound quality is further improved by the use of high-stranded conductors.
This is a Class 3-rated wire, it can withstand currents of up to 300 volts, so it should be able to support even a powerful speaker system long-term.
The jacket construction of this wire is particularly durable because it has both inside and outside jackets.
This means that the 2 individual conductors, with the exception of the ends, are covered by PVC jackets, which are then contained within another external PVC jacket.
This wire, therefore, has 2 layers of insulation and protection from the elements, including UV, making it very safe for all-weather outdoor use.
As well as being suitable for outdoor burial, this wire can be used indoors with an in-wall installation.
In terms of ergonomic use, this wire’s conductors are color-coded to indicate polarity, while the length of the wire is marked per ft on the jacket for ease of installation.
- Multiple lengths available
- Oxygen-free copper
- Class 3
- Inner and outer PVC jackets
- Color-coded conductors for polarity
- Jacket is relatively inflexible
If you’ve been looking for a great multipurpose wire that’s suitable for outdoor, all-weather speaker use, as well as a great many other outdoor uses, the 14-gauge Direct Burial Speaker and Lighting Wire could be for you!
A total of 41 strands enables this 99.9% pure copper wire to produce excellent sound through high-quality signal transfer.
The strand count also makes this wire flexible and easy to use despite the thickness and insulation of the jacket.
The jacket of this wire is made from polyethylene and provides UV protection as well as protection from water and other environmental factors.
This makes the JSC 14-gauge wire exceptionally good at its primary purpose, which is outdoor use.
As well as speakers systems, this wire can also be used for low-voltage outdoor lighting and many other appliances.
This is an excellent speaker wire product overall, made slightly less convenient by the fact that it only comes in lengths of 100 ft, so won’t be suitable for everyone’s needs.
- 99.9% pure copper
- Insulated polyethylene jacket
- Only available in 100 ft lengths
Rite AV’s 14-gauge Direct Burial Speaker UV Wire is one of the toughest and most durable speaker wires on the market for all-weather outdoor use.
Available in a wide selection of lengths, from 10 ft to 300 ft, this pure copper wire features an external jacket that protects it effectively from wind, rain, and other disagreeable weather conditions.
It’s also UV-protected, so there’s nothing to worry about in terms of sun damage.
With 105 strands, this wire has excellent connectivity and is highly flexible and damage-resistant.
This also makes the wire easier to unroll and manipulate, enhancing the ergonomic quality of the wire as a whole.
This is, overall, an outstanding all-weather speaker wire, its only real drawback being that it isn’t available in lengths of over 300 ft for use over larger areas.
- Pure copper
- High strand count
- High-quality sound
- Maximum length of 300 ft
This 2-Conductor Outdoor Professional Speaker Audio Cable from Cables Direct Online is another good choice of outdoor, all-weather speaker wire.
For the 500 ft length of the cable, the 14-gauge model of this wire is ideal, although a 16-gauge option is also available, Alternatively, if you prefer, you can also purchase this wire in a length of 250 ft.
At 14-gauge thickness, the copper-clad aluminum wire is already pretty durable in itself. It’s also more affordable compared to oxygen-free copper wire.
However, its durability is massively reinforced by the insulated black jacket surrounding the wire.
This jacket is what makes the Cables Direct Online wire suitable for outdoor use and direct burial in all weather conditions.
Not only is the jacket insulated, but it’s also water-resistant and rated for UV protection so that it won’t be damaged by either the sun or the rain.
And physically the wire jacket also allows for a good deal of flexibility so you won’t have any problems uncoiling and manoeuvring it.
Because of the single-sided stripe on the wire jacket and the marked ft count, this wire is also very easy to unroll and install correctly out of the box.
- 500 ft long
- Copper-clad aluminium
- Insulated jacket
- Easy to install
- Some reports of wire corrosion
Best Outdoor All-Weather Speaker Wire Buying Guide
I hope this article has been able to show you how widely available and accessible outdoor, all-weather speaker wires are on the audio and sound market.
Contrary to popular belief, finding wires that are suitable for outdoor speaker use in all weather conditions doesn’t have to be a painstaking process, and it doesn’t have to cost you an arm and a leg, either!
However, purchasing a length of wire to connect to your outdoor speakers does require careful consideration, which is why I’ve constructed this buyer’s guide to remind you of some of the most crucial factors to think about.
One of the very first things you’ll need to pay attention to when evaluating outdoor speaker wires is the gauge of the wire.
Gauge is the technical term for the diameter of a wire. In general, when it comes to wires for outdoor speaker use, the higher the gauge, the better.
This is because you want your wire to be extra durable for outdoor use, and a thicker construction will automatically help to ensure this by making the wire more resistant to breakage.
Additionally, a thicker wire (12 gauge and up) is more likely to produce better sound quality than thinner wires.
However, a wire’s gauge should not be considered as a factor on its own. The recommended gauge of a wire is directly connected to wire length, as we will see in a moment.
The length of your outdoor speaker wire is, of course, necessary to consider before purchase so that you know the wire will cover the area you need it to.
The fact that cable length is also related to gauge makes this factor doubly important.
The first thing you’ll need to do when establishing how long you want your outdoor speaker wire to be is to actually measure (or simply bear in mind, if you already know the measurements) the area between where your speakers will be positioned and the point to which the wire will be fixed.
It’s wise to allow for some extra length in case burial or redirection is required.
As a general rule, the longer your wire is, the thicker (higher gauge) it will need to be.
Gauge numbering can be a little confusing at first because lower numbers indicate a higher gauge or thickness. So, a 12-gauge wire is thicker than a 14-gauge wire, and so on.
Any distance of over 100 ft will require a 12-gauge wire or more for optimal audio quality. Shorter distances will be able to make do with 14 or 16-gauge wires.
The best material for outdoor speaker wire to be made out of, especially if it’s for all-weather use, is pure copper.
Ideally, this would be 100% pure copper, but high percentages over 99% will also do the job.
Ideally, any copper used in outdoor speaker wiring should be free of oxygen to prevent corrosion if exposed to moisture.
Oxygen-free copper will also be more heat-resistant, so it’s less likely to overheat and cause a short circuit.
Aluminium wire is also an option, although the aluminium will need to be copper-clad.
Even then, however, the risk of corrosion is higher than with pure or oxygen-free copper, so we would always recommend pure copper wiring as your first choice.
All electrical wires are graded by class, and when you’re looking for a wire that can hold its own against adverse weather conditions while connected to an outdoor speaker system, being aware of wire class is imperative.
What you need to know about wire classes is that the higher the class grading, the higher gauge a wire can be, and the more electrical current it is able to withstand.
For outdoor wiring, the class rating should be at least 2, if not 3. Which class you ultimately go for will depend on how much power your speaker system needs and how many volts your power supply puts out.
For anything above 150 volts, class 3 will be needed.
Now that we’ve covered all the relevant features of outdoor, all-weather speaker wire itself, it’s time to move onto the subject of wire jackets.
The purpose of putting a jacket around a wire is to protect it, so when it comes to outdoor speaker wiring, jackets should be thick, durable, and waterproof or water-resistant.
If possible, they should also be UV-protected to prevent damage from the sun’s rays if exposed.
Some of the best materials for wire jackets to be made from are polypropylene and polyethylene.
Polyethylene is slightly softer than polypropylene and has lower heat resistance, so it’s a better choice for Class 2 wires that aren’t conducting as much electrical current.
Polypropylene is a solid choice for Class 3 wires because it’s more rigid and has a higher melting point.
Once you’ve looked into all the above factors relating to your desired choice of wire, you can be confident that your impending purchase will be high-quality and highly functional.
However, the next thing you will need to take into consideration is the ergonomics of the wire. In other words, you’ll want to think about how easy (or difficult) the wire will be to use and install.
One of the first things you’ll need to ascertain is how much effort the wire will take to unroll. In an ideal world, the wire should uncoil without snagging or tangling to avoid damage and make the process easier.
One of the best methods manufacturers use to achieve this is through clever packaging. A sturdy box with a large hole will allow the necessary length of wire to be unrolled without the rest of the wire becoming tangled or catching on anything.
Flexibility is important as well because a wire that is too rigid will be difficult to handle and manoeuvre. The flexibility of a wire can be improved by a softer jacket or a higher strand count.
When you begin the installation process, you will also need to be aware of the polarity of your wire. Color-coded conductors or an indicator stripe can help to determine this easily.
Moreover, it helps to be aware of how much wire you have rolled out as you go, so measurement markings along the wire are a very beneficial feature.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I use regular speaker wire outdoors?
We would not recommend using a regular speaker wire outdoors.
While some indoor-rated speaker wires may technically be able to perform outside through direct burial or some other means, these wires will not have been manufactured with the weather-resistant safety features that make outdoor wires suitable for all-weather use.
Therefore, using a wire for your outdoor speakers that hasn’t been designed for outdoor use is a safety risk that you should not take.
How do I bury outdoor speaker wire?
As long as your outdoor speaker wire is advertised as suitable for direct burial, you can choose to bury your wire underground.
There are many benefits to doing so, including better transmission rates, more protection from the elements, and a reduced risk of tripping hazards.
Burying your speaker wire can be time-consuming, but it’s not actually too difficult, and the benefits are well worth it.
Check the information supplied by the manufacturer or seller before you begin the process in case any specific directions are provided for burial.
To bury your speaker wire, you will need to dig a trench along the length of the area the wire will cross.
The trench should be at least 18 inches deep. Once you have dug the trench, you should lay your wire in it, making sure you have enough extra length on either end to account for the depth and cover it over fully.