How to take your music outside (without annoying the neighbours)
Want to have a summer garden party without annoying the neighbours? Check out our tips for getting your music outside without disturbing the peace.
Taking your music outside used to be a bit of a mission - ghetto blasters perched precariously on windowsills or iPod docks with cables trailing across your garden.
But thanks to wireless speakers designed for outdoor use, those days are now over. With these new generations of speakers you don’t have to worry about wires or rain – but which is right for you and how do you keep from annoying your neighbours with the sound?
1. Finding the right wireless speaker
If you want hours and hours of tunes to take with you anywhere, look for a portable wireless speaker that is:
- Battery powered so you don’t need to plug in
- Lightweight and easy to carry around
- Able to stream music from your phone or tablet via Bluetooth
For thumping bass and flashing lights you’ll like the Sony SRS XB40. With it you can:
- Take the party outside – it’s water resistant and won’t stop playing in the rain or at the beach
- Create your own mobile disco – flashing strobes and colourful lights bring your music to life
- Connect up to 10 wireless speakers with Wireless Party Chain
- Enjoy deep bass – the dual passive radiators work together for a bass boost
Take the party outside with Sony SRS XB40
2. Organise your party
Plan your party in advance and invite everyone over WhatsApp – but try to keep the numbers realistic. Your house isn’t a tardis!
Make sure you check the weather forecast beforehand so your garden won’t be transformed into Glastonbury. Keep your guests fed and watered with plenty of food and drink – avoid any last-minute rushes to the shop for supplies by stockpiling more than you think you’ll need.
3. Keep the neighbours on your side
Out of courtesy you might want to pop round to your neighbours to let them know you’re having a party. Tell them the reason for the party and when it’s going to be – they might be a bit more understanding if they know it’s a milestone birthday.
Why not extend an invitation if you think they’d have a good time. Let them know when you expect the party to finish and stick to it. Give them your mobile number in case they need you to turn down the volume on the night.
4. Get the music sorted
Ask each of your guests to suggest a song and create a playlist on iTunes or Spotify that everyone will enjoy. If the party has a theme, pick music to match.
You might like:
- Laid-back folk: Laura Marling, Mumford and Sons, The Best of British Folk compilation
- R&B: Pharell Williams, Beyonce, John Legend
- Chilled-out electronica: Zero 7, Air, Ministry of Sound chill-out albums
Essentially you want to keep the neighbours onside.
Top tip: Avoid bass-heavy, thumping dance music, loud swearing tunes, amp-popping hard rock and clichéd anthems people are totally tired of hearing
5. Get your speaker set up
Decide where your speaker is going to go. The Sony SRS is lozenge shaped with dual passive radiators pumping out great sound and bass – despite its size.
A single charge can keep the tunes going for up to 24 hours - make sure it’s fully charged before the party though. A flat battery would really kill the vibe. Set a volume level you’re happy with and don’t go over it – you don’t want to give your neighbours a reason to complain, even if you did give them a heads-up beforehand.
6. Is your phone or tablet good to go?
Since your phone controls the music, you want to make sure:
- The battery is fully charged
- You have paired it with your speaker over Bluetooth
- The Bluetooth range has been tested – you normally have to keep the phone within 10-15 metres of the speaker
You can access Spotify or iTunes from your phone