How to Choose a Bluetooth Speaker

Choosing a bluetooth speaker is easier than you think, not much different from other discretionary expenditures you might make.
  1. Do I need a bluetooth speaker? - Do you often listen to music with friends or without a headset on? If yes, you should get one.
  2. How much do I have to Spend? - There are bluetooth speakers for every budget $10 - over $1,000. This of course is a personal thing no one else can guide you on, except your spouse.
  3. Where will I listen to it? - Is the room big or small, is it outside? The bigger the room or if outside, you'll want to choose a larger more powerful speaker bluetooth speakers, unless it positioned close to your listening area.
  4. What will you listen to? - Do you listen to Jazz or heavy vocal music or even podcasts? These tend to sound decent with mid sized speakers while pop and hip hop, usually more bass prominent might require a speaker with more bass response. My favorite for Jazz is the Bose Color. Nice clear mids with just enough bass.
  5. How portable do you need it to be? - There's portable, then there's very portable. One of the best sounding Bose Soundlink Mini is pretty portable, but the JBL Clip will attach to a belt loop as you do work around the house or yard.
I could likely go on but these are the main considerations on my list. Below are some of my favorites.

Do I need to Take Outdoor Speakers In During a Storm?

As with most of our answers, the answer is it depends. We'll answer the question at the end of the article but first, a few things to consider.

Most outdoor speakers are not waterproof and many are barely weather resistant. True waterproof outdoor speakers will usually set you back $300 or more for a pair. Although there are many waterproof and resistent bluetooth speakers, some of us, like the folks at TSG's prefer to have actual speakers on our decks or back porches, capable of filling our yards with quality sounding music, not just background noise.

What to look for in a Waterproof Speaker
  • How are they sealed - are they sealed with gaskets that will keep the rain out?
  • The quality of the cabinet - Is the outside of the cabinet easy to keep clean? Read reviews to be sure.
  • The quality of the driver - Are the drivers made of a material that will stand up to not just water, but temperature variations.
  • The quality of the binding posts - gold plated, not just gold colored binding posts will increase the lifespan of the posts and insure a solid connection.

So, do you have to take them inside or what? 

During normal summer weather, you should not have to take almost any quality outdoor speaker inside. But note that if you're expecting a driving rain storm and you opted for a less expensive outdoor speaker, you might take the time to bring them in.

Other times you'll want to bring any outdoor speaker in no matter the quality is in the fall and winter. With rapid changes in temperatures during the late fall and winter months you should consider bringing your speakers inside, especially if they are expensive! Any material can become brittle over time when exposed to extreme temperatures, breaking down the seal that's keeping moisture out. Besides, it's unlikely you're sitting out there in the yard listening at that time of year in any case.

Hope this article helped. Please share with a friend.

How to replace a bookshelf speaker Tweeter

You really like your bookshelf speakers. You've become accustomed to their sound and hey, they are almost part of the family. But sometimes tweeters blow out. Now what?

Diagnosing a faulty bookshelf speaker

If your sound is suddenly dull and lifeless because one of your tweeters has blown out, then it's time to grab a screwdriver and do some investigating. Here are a few things that could be wrong.
  1. The wires to the tweeter are somehow disconnected. (unlikely but hey...)
  2. Your buddy turned your system up to 11 and poof! (yep, this happened to me)
  3. Your crossover is faulty. (possible but unlikely)
  4. It just got old and died.

In any of these cases you'll need to pull out the speaker and check for item 1 first. Don't worry, this is pretty easy. You'll need a Phillips head screwdriver. (usually)
  • First remove the speaker grille from the cabinet. You can usually pry it off with your fingers. Avoid using tools.
  • Carefully, don't puncture the tweeter, remove the screws from the tweeter face plate.
  • Carefully lift the tweeter from the cabinet. If it is tight, use a small flat head screwdriver or putty knife to remove it. Be VERY careful not to scratch the cabinet. 
  • Check the wires to be sure they are fully connected to the speaker.
If all is well note any designations on the rear of the speaker. Take note of the impedance and diameter. Put it back in the cabinet for now. If you suspect it's the crossover you can test this by removing the tweeter from the other speaker and trying it in the malfunctioning cabinet. 

Buying a new Tweeter

This is the cheapest way to get back to listening to your jams but it does get a bit tricky. Here's what you need to do.
  • Note the correct impedance.
  • The size of the tweeter itself as well as material, aluminum, foam, silk etc.
  • The diameter and mounting (screw) configuration.
  • Depth of the cabinet. 
Once you do this you're ready to go shopping for a new tweeter.  

Important - If you're replacing a tweeter and it's not from the manufacturer of the speakers, you'll want to replace BOTH tweeters. Huh, why? No matter how carefully you think you're matching the speakers to the one you already have, the new tweeter WILL sound different than the original. Lots of folks might not notice the difference but chances are you will. 

Is it worth fixing the speakers vs buying a new set of bookshelf speakers? It depends on how old your speakers are, how attached to their sound you've become and of course, if you have the money.

Amazon Outdoor Speaker deal of the day

OK, these Yahama 6.5 inch all-weather speakers are not top of the line outdoor speakers and likely will lack a bit of bass when played softly, but if you are on a budget, they are a great deal.

Yamaha outdoor speakers are a good value across the product line but at $99 these are a good buy.

As with any outdoor speaker we don't recommend you leave them outside during extremely cold weather and if you can put them under an eve, do so. There are better high end outdoor speakers but the come at a price.

Turntables to make your speakers sound better...

...when you're playing vinyl records that is. Of course better is relative. But if you're new to vinyl or have a basement full of your own or Dad & Mom's old vinyl, these reasonably priced turntables should help you get great sound without breaking your budget or having a cheap turntable ruining your often irreplaceable vinyl.

U-Turn Audio Orbit Turntable with Ortofon OM-5E Cartridge

This turntable from U-Turn Audio sports clean lines and ease of use with lots of color choices.

Pro-Ject - Debut Carbon DC (Blue)

This neat little package from Pro-Ject-Debut is similar in design and function to the U-Turn. A bit more money but includes a carbon tonearm designed to further reduce the effects of vibration.

from Pocket

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