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Bose® 251® environmental speakers

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  • Bose® 251® environmental speakers

    Black finish

  • Bose® 251® environmental speakers

    Install close-up

  • Bose® 251® environmental speakers

    Installed on deck

  • Bose® 251® environmental speakers

    Installed on deck

Item #: 018251B
 

Review Summary

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Our take on the Bose® 251® environmental speakers

Bose

Outdoor speakers let you move the party outside

Outdoor speakers are built tough -- they laugh at wind, rain and weather. Tuck a pair under your eaves and they'll pump out the tunes to keep everybody smiling and swaying at your next cookout or pool party. We also have some "rock" speakers that blend seamlessly into your landscaped lawn or garden.

Take sturdy, weather-resistant outdoor speakers. Provide them with angled drivers in a unique Articulated Array® design that reproduces sound over a larger listening area. Then add top-notch Bose audio technology, with patented multi-chamber bass enclosures for deep bass without audible distortion. The result? Bose 251® environmental speakers — and a whole lot of outdoor music enjoyment.

These innovative speakers can withstand temperature extremes from 158º F to -40º F, and passed the rigorous salt fog test 66% longer than required by the Marine Industry Standard. That means they can handle direct exposure to the elements — so they make just as much sense for your dock or boat as they do for your patio. And with weather-resistant mounting brackets and hardware included, and a 5-year warranty, you can count on years of groovin' in the great outdoors.

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Details:

  • recommended power 10-200 watts with receivers rated from 4-8 ohms
  • white or black polystyrene enclosure
  • integrated mounting bracket
  • 13-1/2"H x 5-3/4"W x 8-1/2"D
  • warranty: 5 years

Priced per pair

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Hands-on research from the Crutchfield Labs (what are the Labs?)

Features and Specs
Enclosure
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Bass Reflex
Tweeter Type
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Cone
Midrange Size
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---
Woofer Size
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5-1/4
Woofer Composition
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Poly Fiber Comp
Woofer Surround
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---
Power Range (watts)
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10-200
Sensitivity
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N/A
Impedance (ohms)
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8
Frequency Response
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N/A
Connector Type
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5-way post
Height (inches)
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13-1/2
Width (inches)
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5-3/4
Depth (inches)
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8-1/2
Weight (pounds)
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---
Mounting Bracket Included
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Yes
Parts Warranty
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5 Years
Labor Warranty
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5 Years
Product Research
What's in the box?

Download owner's manual

  • 2 Black indoor/outdoor speakers
  • 2 Black metal mounting brackets
  • 4 Black knobs
  • Eight 1-1/2" self-tapping screws
  • 8 Plastic wall anchors
  • 6 Self-adhesive rubber feet
  • Owner's guide
  • US/Canada registration and warranty card
  • Foreign registration and warranty card
  • Bose product line brochure
  • "Our Commitment to You" letter

Our Product Research Team

At Crutchfield, you'll get detailed, accurate information that's hard to find elsewhere. That's because we have our own in-house Product Research team — they open the box, verify contents, check the owner's manual, and record dimensions, features and specs. We stay on top of new products and technologies to help people make informed choices.

Driver Technology
Enclosure Design
Connections
Mounting Options

Driver Technology

Drivers: The Bose 251 environmental speaker features a 5-1/4" woofer and two 2-1/2" Twiddler drivers with ultra-durable, polymer fiber composite cones built to withstand temperatures from a blistering 158° F to a frigid -40° F. Additionally, the speaker can withstand salt fog, sun, high humidity (100% RH), vibrations and mechanical shock.

Articulated Array Speaker Design: By precisely positioning the drivers inside the speaker cabinet, an Articulated Array speaker design can provide a large, consistent sound field. This allows for a more even sound coverage with these outdoor speakers.

Enclosure Design

Water-Resistant Cabinet: Engineered with a water-resistant, weather-tight polypropylene housing, these speakers provide extra durability through extreme weather conditions and still deliver great high-fidelity sound. For additional protection, the speaker uses a galvanized, powder coated steel grille.

Multi-Chambered Bass Enclosure: Uniquely structured, the chambers within this patented design filter out unwanted audible distortion in the low-frequency range. They also improve speaker efficiency, resulting in deeper bass from a small enclosure.

Connections

5-Way Binding Posts: The nickel-plated brass 5-way binding posts will accept bare wire, pin connectors, spade connectors, banana plugs, and dual banana plugs.

Mounting Options

Mounting: Weather-resistant mounting brackets are also included to allow for easy installation. The speakers can be moved up and down in the mounting brackets, allowing you to position them for optimum imaging.

 

 
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Bose® 251® environmental speakers Reviews

Average Customer Review:

24 people say:

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5 out of 5

Bose® 251® environmental speakers

Written By Brian H., Chesapeake,VA on Friday, July 04, 2014
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
Excellent product! Crutchfield got it to my house the day after I ordered it!! Couldn't believe I could get anything that fast!
Pros:
excellent sound as only Bose could make. good looking produt and easy to mount.
Cons:
none
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5 out of 5

Bose® 251

Written By Anonymous, Denver, CO on Monday, June 30, 2014
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
Great Speakers with a nice full sound
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4 out of 5

Good outdoor speaker

Written By BobRN, Oregon on Friday, December 20, 2013
 
I bought these speakers back around 2003, so they have been in use for 10 years. They spent 5years in the cold weather of Colorado, and 5 years in the wet Oregon weather. They sound alright, With low volumes they are just boring. No High/No Lows, they sound better with higher volumes. I wash these things down every spring with a hose. THey just keep going. I have seen these outside in direct wind, rain, and snow at some local businesses. They are a Rugged decent sounding speaker. I am presently using on a 12'x20' front porch with a 100W/channel pioneer. I am looking into the 2 pair of PSB CS1000; one pair for a back porch I am building 12' x45' with Hot Tub. the other set will be up facing the back yard, about 1 acre.
Pros:
Rugged, takes some good weather abuse and still keep going after 10 years.
Cons:
The sound decent, but not fantastic.
1 out of 1 people found this helpful
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3 out of 5

Where's the bass

Written By Real deal, Wayne, pa on Thursday, November 21, 2013
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
Sound quality is good, although a little disappointing for the Bose price tag. They seem to sound better the farther back I stand so make sure you have space. I definitely wish there was more bass; considering the size of these speakers, Id expect more low end. Bose is known for making greater sounding life like sound in small cubes, so where's the bass?!
Pros:
Midrange sound. Build quality is high.
Cons:
Price. Light on the bass.
1 out of 1 people found this helpful
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2 out of 5

Bose 251

Written By Tony, Massapequa Park on Monday, July 15, 2013
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
Not what I expected
Pros:
Easy installation, great looking.
Cons:
Not enough bass or highs, sounds flat.
2 out of 3 people found this helpful
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5 out of 5

Bose

Written By Ricky, Chapel Hill, NC on Thursday, May 30, 2013
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
I auditioned 4 different sets of outdoor speakers....251s were clear winners at the under 500 per pair
Pros:
Great range. First in class for mids....creates awesome soundstage on patio; should last a long time
Cons:
Slightly more expensive compared to peer group
2 out of 3 people found this helpful
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5 out of 5

bose251

Written By floridaOutdoors, jacksonville, fl on Tuesday, May 28, 2013
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
Better than expected. Love Bose quality. Was worried about outdoor venue. Well made for the elements without giving up their rep for sound quality.
Pros:
well made for outdoors without giving up incredible sound quality
Cons:
Huge. Bigger than we thought, had to mount higher so would not be as visible
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4 out of 5

Bose® 251® environmental speakers

Written By Anonymous, Staten Island on Wednesday, May 15, 2013
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
Nice speakers. Easy to install. Bought them together with Niles WVC 100E outdoor volume control and AudioQuest FLX in-wall speaker cable.
Pros:
Sturdy, good sound, easy to install
Cons:
Pricey
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5 out of 5

bose 251 jawdropping sound

Written By marty, stockbridge ga on Friday, September 14, 2012
 
with a good reciever and high quality speaker wire (monser wire) Can't be beat. everone can't believe the sound or volume. when first installed i thought i had a problem my problem was although i have heard led zep a million times I had never heard all the backgound of the songs hands down blown away ! if you have a problem with sound quality it is in you wires or reciever even in a downpour best sound.
Pros:
Bose
Cons:
Only compaint I waited this long to enjoy the music this much.
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1 out of 5

Not a good buy

Written By Isaac, Isaac on Tuesday, May 15, 2012
 
I'm sorry but if you do any research online you'll find out that BOSE deliver subpar performance for high quality prices.
Pros:
Nice looking
Cons:
paper speaker cones, No tweeter or woofer just two paper cones
6 out of 24 people found this helpful
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4 out of 5

Bose plus and minus

Written By Bargamon, North Carolina on Monday, April 02, 2012
 
I am not a "Bose Fan" and I am one of those audio snobs who would not have "bose" in their house. But outside thats a different story! I like these speakers for its unique design and disperse sound characteristics. I own 4 of them in fact on my outdoor veranda that is 20 x18. The bass response varies. Two are hung high in a corner and the acoustic provides a great bass response. The other two are "naked" on posts and the bass in comparison is much lower. Two speakers, same power and yet two different bass effect. The "Trickery" ported 5.25 woofer hidden does a great job. The two mid/tweeters angled disperse the sound very well. My goal was to have a smooth well placed sound in all parts of this outdoor space without the speakers being "Placed". . If you want a highly dispersed sound over a wide sound stage the Bose do this job very well. Sound is subjective. These speakers achieved a very desirable effect of having smooth non-bright (low fatigue) environment where my guests can enjoy a high quality sound while not having to talk over the sound. Smooth midrange with tempered treble. For those who have large out door spaces to fill I suggest instead of getting two big speakers to play loud you consider what most professionally installed outdoor designs do and that is have many speakers dispersing quality sound at lower levels. Ever been to Disney? They are all over the place.

Pros:
Build quality very good with two array designed tweeters provide a wonderful sound over a wide area without having to increase volume. Great sound at lower levels provide less ear fatigue and happier neighbors. 7 years in operation and they are wearing very well! The narrow design is very appealing compared to other speakers. The Bose signature is very suitable for outdoors. The speakers disappear and make you happy. No need for swivel mount because the non directional design.
Cons:
They are a premium product and priced as such. The Bose name won't evoke coolness among the elite brand seekers. For those who need to attempt to thump the outdoors with bass will be disappointed. For those who need to make a statement with attention grabbing equipment will hate these things.Outdoor bass response is nearly impossible to replicate what we have indoors or in the car. If you want to rock out loud, I assume there might be better choices
18 out of 18 people found this helpful
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5 out of 5

It was a great purchase

Written By John L., Marshall, Texas on Monday, November 07, 2011
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
Good rich sound and great clarity.....will add bose to family room and game room also.....haven't found anything that compares....Thanks Bose for making a great Product
Pros:
The great sound, which I'm not new to Bose, Im building a new house and I installed these on the back porch, if I'm going to work I like my music, and what could be better than Bose?
1 out of 2 people found this helpful
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2 out of 5

Bose is not an outdoor company.

Written By Ray J, Deltona, FL. on Monday, August 11, 2008
 
I bought these in an electronics store because of the price cut and I was impressed with a friend's ipod Bose docking station. There is a reason Bose does not list their frequency range and sensitivity, because I'm sure those numbers stink! Bose relies too much on gimmicks/reputation and not enough on sheer muscle. These speakers sound good up high but have no bass. Also I could not drive them to picnic levels at my deck 25 feet away. They need to knock the price in half, yet I still wouldn't buy them. I promptly returned them and ordered efficient muscular Klipsch's through Crutchfield and never looked back. The lesson is: Don't rely on instore listening or reviews. You have to field test any speakers in your actual environment. Outdoor speaker engineers face huge obstacles; limited enclosure sizes, creating a good large listening environment, getting badly needed bass, making them loud enough to be heard far away, and packaging the whole thing to withstand outdoor weather. My advice to Bose: Stay indoors with your reflection gimmicks.
30 out of 40 people found this helpful
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2 out of 5

Failure

Written By Mark, Oak Harbor Washington on Thursday, July 17, 2008
 
I got these without listening to them and anxiously hooked them up. I was disappointed upon listening. No Bass to mention at all. I ended up taking these back for a refund and getting The Polk Audio's Atrium 45's. They cost 1/3 the price and sound much better.
11 out of 19 people found this helpful
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4 out of 5

Good speakers, need more bass

Written By Doug, Tucson, AZ on Friday, May 02, 2008
 
I agree with Dave in Jacksonville - the mid and upper frequency ranges are nice, but the bass response is just OK to nearly nonexistent on some songs. Listening to the 251's a few times after installing them, I started looking for an "outdoor rated" subwoofer to bring some bottom back to the music.

The installation was quite simple and straight forward. I was fortunate to have my house's back porch pre-wired for outdoor speakers near ceiling joists, so securely anchoring the speakers and connecting the wires was a no-brainer. I also had the porch prewired for a powered subwoofer near an outlet "just in case". Now I'm glad I did. The 251's do make for a clean, streamline look and I get quite a few compliments on them.

I've had the speakers for over 3 years and have not had a single problem with them. Living in AZ we can have severe temperature changes (30+ degrees from day to night) certain times of the year. I was worried about both condensation and the extreme heat taking its toll on them. They are, however, shaded from direct sunlight. To date, the performance is as good as the day I installed them and I don't have any complaints other than the lack of bass.

Would I buy them again? Probably. Compared to other outdoor rated speakers, I felt these had the best overall sound.
28 out of 28 people found this helpful
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4 out of 5

Durable, good-sounding speakers

Written By David, Jacksonville, FL on Saturday, July 07, 2007
 
These are excellent outdoor speakers, provided you check your audiophile nature at the door. They lack bass, but have reasonable mid-range and upper frequency response. I have them installed in my screened-in porch, and they do the job superbly--if you really want great sound, you'll need to pair them with a subwoofer. But if you use them as I do--as a place to get sound to the great outdoors, whether I'm playing with the dogs in the yard or drinking my coffee and reading the paper--they're excellent. Most important, they've survived 4 years outside in Florida; if you've ever lived near the coast in Florida, you'll realize what an accomplishment that is. A standard barbeque grill will last about 18 months here, before it's a rusted wreck. These speakers look the same as when I installed them, and that was ~5 hurricanes ago. So if you want good sound and durability, get these speakers.
15 out of 17 people found this helpful
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5 out of 5

Love the Bose 251

Written By Aaron, Shafter, CA on Monday, May 14, 2007
 
These speakers are real easy to install, they sound like all Bose speakers sound, WONDERFUL. If you are thinking about buying these and you haven't yet, BUY THEM. They also look very appealing. I bought a white set and you can barely notice they are hanging from my patio.
5 out of 10 people found this helpful
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2 out of 5

Not So Great

Written By Dan, San Francisco on Thursday, July 20, 2006
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
These speakers use 6 ohms And thats makes amps run hot.. They rattle, they dont have any mid range as all bose. I am a personal assitant for a family... its what they wanted ... the only i repeat the only good thing and the real reason we bought them was we didnt want to mount onto the house ... they are able to mount from the floor ...
oh yah they're way over priced for paper cone speakers

20 out of 36 people found this helpful
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5 out of 5

Great choice

Written By Don, Blacksburg, VA on Sunday, July 16, 2006
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
Very good speakers. Very easy to mount. For $400, the price to quality ratio is hard to beat. Wish they were "weatherproof" though. I'm a little concerned with the "weather resistant" rating. Maybe it's just the manufacturer's way of limiting product claims. Not sure. However, the Bose speakers sound great, and are very affordable.
2 out of 2 people found this helpful
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5 out of 5

Deck speakers

Written By Anthony, New York, NY on Tuesday, June 27, 2006
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
Bought these speakers back in 04,for my brothers deck.Just great sounding,clear speakers.
2 out of 2 people found this helpful
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5 out of 5

Good choice

Written By Denny, Titusville, FL on Monday, March 13, 2006
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
I have had the Bose 251 White speakers on my pool deck for about 3 years. They are mounted on the stucco wall under the overhang. The mounting brackets work well as I had to remove them several times during hurricane season.

The frequency response for outdoor speakers is good especially the bass. The sound is very good for Jazz and Pop (Michael Buble, etc). Rock/Heavy metal (Rammstein, Therion, Dream Theater) requires additional sub-woofer support, which has yet to be added. I have added a pair of Bose Free Space 51's at the back of the pool/patio for a fuller sound in the pool area. These do a good job of dispersing the sound and supporting the Bose 251's. The connections run through a Niles SSVC 2 that allows separate volume controls for each pair of speakers. The receiver used to power the speakers is an old Marantz 4300 Quad unit configured for stereo at 100 watts per channel. I play the Free Space 51's at a higher volume level than the 251's as the 251's overpower the Free Space 51's if both are set at equal volume levels. The Bose 251 speakers project their sound toward the back of the listening area, which is a woods. The advantage of being directional is that it does not have much impact on my neighbors on either side. My nephew has Bose 151 speakers in his pool/patio area and I find the Bose 251 speakers to be well worth the extra money. With both the Free Space 51's and 251's in my system, I would definitely recommend the Bose 251 speakers if a choice must be made between the two.
34 out of 35 people found this helpful
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5 out of 5

Bose® 251® environmental speakers

Written By William, Freeville, NY on Monday, October 31, 2005
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
Easy to install and set up, excellent sound quality.
9 out of 14 people found this helpful
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5 out of 5

Bose® 251® environmental speakers

Written By Bobby, Cambridge, MD on Tuesday, July 19, 2005
 
These speakers are fanstastic. I'm very happy with them. Response is perfect. I almost mounted these in my living room.
11 out of 13 people found this helpful
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5 out of 5

Great Outdoor Speakers

Written By TL, Atlanta, GA on Saturday, June 04, 2005
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
These are the 1st Bose brand outdoor speakers I've purchased and they are wonderful. Very full sound with good bass. I listened to the 151 as well but felt the better bass of the 251 justified the extra cost. Bose speakers in general are the masters of good flat response with a even "sound everywhere" effect. These are no excecption and fill our outdoor deck with very enjoyable even sound. I listen mostly to Jazz, Blues, & Folk music and these are just great for this type of listening. Brackets were easy to mount and hold the speakers fine for my application (mounted from overhang) but a swivel function would have been nice for vertical wall mounting.
101 out of 114 people found this helpful
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Add accessories for the Bose® 251® environmental speakers

UL-listed speaker wire is designed to be run through walls and is building code compliant. See all categories & accessories

AudioQuest FLX-14/2 14-Gauge 2-Conductor In-Wall Speaker Cable UL-approved for in-wall use; direct-burial rated (125 feet)
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AudioQuest FLX-14/4 14-Gauge 4-Conductor In-Wall Speaker Cable UL-approved for in-wall use; direct-burial rated (125 feet)
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AudioQuest FLX-16/2 16-Gauge 2-Conductor In-Wall Speaker Cable UL-approved for in-wall use; direct-burial rated (125 feet)
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AudioQuest FLX-16/4 16-Gauge 4-Conductor In-Wall Speaker Cable UL-approved for in-wall use; direct-burial rated (125 feet)
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Russound WALTX-2 Weatherproof stereo volume control with impedance magnification
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Niles WVC100E Weatherproof stereo volume control with impedance magnification
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Panamax MOD-SPKP Add-on protection module for outdoor speakers and control lines
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For a more in-depth review and enhanced detailed information on the Bose® 251® environmental speakers, please visit the Crutchfield website product page (/ISEO-rccbcspd/p_018251B/Bose-251-environmental-speakers-Black.html ).

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Compare with other Bose models

  • Bose® 251® environmental speakers
  • Get more spacious, accurate Bose sound for outdoor use!
  • 4 out of 5: In Stock
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