Bose® Free Space® 51 environmental speakers
Our take on the Bose® Free Space® 51 environmental speakers by Crutchfield's Julie Govan
The Free Space® 51 environmental speakers are yet another example of Bose®'s commitment to making great sound possible just about anywhere. They're perfect for placement in a garden or backyard, so you can enjoy your favorite music outdoors. And you don't have to worry about placing the speakers in a protected spot constructed of ultra-durable green plastic, these sturdy speakers are ready to handle the toughest weather and sound good doing it.
Bose's innovative radial design lets each speaker disperse sound in a 360º pattern, while protecting the weather-resistant driver no worries about finding the perfect "sweet spot" for listening. Plus, these rugged, flexible 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. They're designed for placement flexibility, too they can be placed on or around decks or patios, secured in-ground, mounted onto hard surfaces, or just left free-standing. And with a 5-year warranty, expect years of expansive outdoor music.
- downward-firing 4-1/2" environmental full-range driver
- recommended power 10-100 watts with receivers rated from 4-8 ohms
- base flanges with mounting holes for easy installation
- three wire grooves in base permit stable footing and a tidy appearance
- textured green enclosure
- 14-1/2" base diameter; 14-7/8"H
- withstands loads of up to 350 lbs.
- warranty: 5 years
Speaker failed just after warranty had run out. Had a 5 year warranty. 5years and 4 months, one of the speakers failed. Bose Would not stand behind or cover!!!
Jerry, Midlothian, VA
What's in the Box:
- 2 Free Space 51 outdoor speakers
- 4 Wire nuts
- Owner's Guide
- Bose Product Registration and Warranty Information
- "Our Commitment to You" letter
- Bose website information sheet
Bose® Free Space® 51 environmental speakers Reviews
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Features and Specs
|Woofer Composition||Polymer fiber|
|Woofer Surround||Treated cloth|
|Power Range (watts)||10-100|
|Connector Type||Tinned wire|
|Mounting Bracket Included||No|
|Parts Warranty||5 Years|
|Labor Warranty||5 Years|
Downward-firing 4-1/2" Full-range Drivers: Each woofer cone combines a pulp and plastic mixture with waterproofing agents for high-quality sound reproduction that is resistant to the type of deterioration often caused by extreme conditions. Because the drivers are downward-firing, they are further protected from the elements to help deliver high fidelity, long-lasting sound. Each woofer uses a treated cloth surround.
Radial Design: The Free Space 51 speakers offer exceptionally broad, even coverage thanks to a radial design that enables 360-degree sound dispersion.
Environmentally Tested: While all Bose speakers are thoroughly tested, the extreme demands placed on outdoor speakers require an even more rigorous evaluation. Bose engineers re-create extreme environmental conditions, like exposure to sunlight, rain, heat, ice, even corrosive salt and fog. They also simulate years of exposure to these conditions to ensure that these speakers can deliver reliable, long-lasting performance.
Green Speaker Enclosures: The speaker enclosures blend in with backyard greenery.
Centrally Located Ports: The centrally located port on each enclosure enhances low-frequency performance to help preserve the depth and richness of your favorite music outdoors.
Domed Port Grilles: Positioned over the centered port, this grille reflects high-frequency tones into the listening area to help deliver clear, consistent performance.
Wire Grooves: Wire grooves on the bottom of each speaker enclosure prevent the speaker from rocking on the speaker wire and enables a professional-looking installation on decks, patios and other flat surfaces.
Base Flanges with Mounting Holes: The mounting holes in each base flange provide easy, solid and secure installation on hard surfaces or in the ground.
In-ground Installation: Each speaker can be buried up to 7-1/4" in the ground. With the speakers buried, 7-5/8" of each enclosure will remain above ground.
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Product reviews from the Crutchfield Labs
by Ralph Graves
The Bose Free Space 51 outdoor speakers get reviewed by Ralph Graves of Crutchfield
Why did you buy this?
Recommendations by others. [ Robert Aug 26, 2018 ]
Same price and faster shipping than Amazon:) I love Crutchfield! [ Michael Jun 19, 2018 ]
good reviews [ gary May 17, 2018 ]
These are going to be installed around a new firepit area in our backyard. Powered by a Sonos ConnectAMP, these are the best reviewed outdoor speakers I could find, I trust Crutchfield and Bose, and have for years. [ Steve May 10, 2018 ]
We needed outdoor speakers around our pool deck [ Larie Apr 04, 2018 ]
These are great weatherproof speakers [ Robert Nov 02, 2017 ]
Liberman Networks recommendation [ Jim Jul 10, 2017 ]
Great outdoor speakers. sound is terrific. [ mark Jul 07, 2017 ]
Great Product. Love BOSE [ samuel Apr 29, 2017 ]
recommended on line, good reviews - [ pavel Feb 05, 2017 ]
Name, quality and positive reviews [ steve Dec 15, 2016 ]
For the House [ S Dec 10, 2016 ]
Good speakers [ Charles Dec 01, 2016 ]
Great reviews, solid reputation, good experience with Bose products [ scott Oct 06, 2016 ]
Had to replace a pair of round Niles Planter Outdoor Speakers which were an INCREDIBLE value, but one failed after being exposed to the elements for 8 years. Unfortunately, they are out of production and I wanted something that could also blend in with the environment vs. just hanging speakers on the house. A friend spoke highly of the Bose Free Space 51 and I like the idea that these can be buried in the ground. [ Michael Jun 08, 2016 ]
Wiring, [ richard May 18, 2016 ]
Heard these exact speakers in person by a friend's pool..... I had to have them for our new pool. Also look good in ground. [ BRIAN Apr 28, 2016 ]
I installed these at previous house and absolutely loved them - awesome sound! [ Kevin Apr 27, 2016 ]
4 questions already asked
I can't address your specific question regarding a subwoofer. However, if you have the speakers placed too far from the Sonos amp (Z120) you may need to consider a separate amp. I had the speakers placed ~100 ft away and it wasn't powerful enough. I blew one cheap amp and then upgraded to a better quality amp and it's worked fine. [ John May 02, 2018 ]
These units were a wired connection last time we installed .... don't know of any other options if not they would need power for wifi or blue tooth [ bryan Apr 10, 2018 ]
They are hardwired. I have a conduit thru an outside wall and buried in the ground. [ Seth Apr 05, 2018 ]
I hardwired them with heavy gauge outdoor speaker wire. [ David Apr 05, 2018 ]
Hard-wire . . . we have (4) and we love them! [ Jasen Apr 05, 2018 ]
6 answers What is your preferred volume level for these speakers? I powered four of them with Marantz Sr5008 receiver (100 watts/ch) and they are not loud enough until 65% volume. I barely hear them around 40% volume. The set up also includes a volume control and two Definitive Aw6500 speakers. I appreciate your input. Thanks and Happy Holidays. [ Alper Nov 30, 2014 ]
My speakers are by a pool and also have a volume control and I have no issues with the volume level. What gauge wire and length are you using for these? I suspect you are getting a lot of loss in the cables. Are the other speakers on a separate channel of the receiver? As a test I would just connect the Bose speakers directly to your receiver with a short cable length and see if the volume level is what you are expecting. If it is, it would show you that you are losing power in your installation. [ Richard Gonchar Dec 07, 2014 ]
Hello Alper, I must first tell you that I am no expert with the technical side of stereo watts and speaker ohms. I have a set of 2 of these speakers and 4 rock loud speakers. The rock speakers, also purchased from Crutchfield, are weather proof loudspeakers and provide sound 24-30 feet from each speaker. The Bose Free Space 51 speakers, are not loudspeakers, and generally provide sound coverage 3-4 meters (up to 13 feet) from center of speaker placement. I can tell you that the technical folks at Crutchfield are highly knowledgable and helped me design my system. In answering your question, I usually play zone 2 (outside speakers) no louder than 50%. I don't remember the advisors name at Crutchfield, but ask them to compare your setup to Onkyo's TX-NR709 and Niles Rock Loudspeakers. I have a total of 18 (eighteen) speakers powered by my Onkyo (inside & outside combined) split in zone 1 and zone 2, with perfect sound quality. I love Crutchfield, and have been with them for more than 2 decades. [ JEFF Dec 01, 2014 ]
Hi Alper S. I have mine powered by the Sonos CONNECT:AMP and placed on opposite ends of my backyard, which is somewhat sizeable for San Diego standards (still about 40-50yds apart). When it is just a couple people lounging in the back, sonos volume at 50% is fine. When we entertain, it must go closer to 80% or greater (but still sounds fantastic). I hope this helps. [ MATTHEW Nov 30, 2014 ]
I'm not a big expert in this area, but are you powering all three sets of speakers with one receiver and one set of L/R outputs? I think you may be spreading the signal/power too thin. I have two sets of these too but each channel is going through a 12 channel amp at 100w per channel. I am having no issue when I run outdoor audio to four of these Bose plus two in ceiling patio speakers. Volume is appropriate across the entire volume spectrum. sorry, I don't know what else I can tell you. Best of luck. [ BRIAN Nov 30, 2014 ]
I fire a pair of Bose Free Space 51 speakers with a Yamaha RX-A730 receiver and find that they're not all that efficient at a lower volume setting either, especially compared to my Klipsch AWR650 "Rocks" directional speakers on my front patio. Granted, they're located about 130 feet away from my amp and I'm using direct burial 16/2 speaker cable, so I expected some loss in efficiency due to voltage drop over this distance. Like you, I find that it's at about 60%-70% volume where they begin to punch-out half way decent. I've kind of accepted that fact since I really needed omnidirectional speakers set into my backyard landscaping berms ... the Bose are awesome with their deep and discreetly dispersed sound, they're just not a booming, high-output party speaker like my Klipsch "Rocks". Hope this helps. [ Jeff Nov 30, 2014 ]
I have them hooked up to a separate amplifier. I don't really know what level. I do know that they sound amazing. [ STEVEN Nov 30, 2014 ]
My house in az has a cement brick privacy fence like all homes here. We have two around our pool and it is tear dropped shaped. About 14 by 40. Two speakers is enough for us but they are up against the wall I mentioned. That helps keep the sound in the area. That said we never turn it up past 40 percent volume. I think u will be just fine with two. [ BRIAN Jul 20, 2014 ]
I have a 16 X 36 pool and installed two of these in the garden area that runs along the far side of the pool (long side). They are spaced right about 30 feet apart from each other and about 12 feet away from the edge of the pool. They provide plenty of sound for the pool, and surrounding areas. I would consider 4 only if I were worried about achieving a more perfect stereophonic sound. Not a fault of the speakers, but the large distances they are separated and where you intend to sit relative to that placement. But hey, it's a pool area, right? Two will provide plenty for ambient sound and can easily annoy your neighbors if you want to crank them a bit. [ MARK Jul 19, 2014 ]
Two should be fine. I have a pool 20x40, and a 2000 sqft lawn next to it. I'm using 4 of them. Enjoy [ ZHIGANG Jul 19, 2014 ]
2 is plenty. [ JOE M Jul 19, 2014 ]
They are fantastic! I have high end outdoor speakers on my porch but the bose are just as good. I have 4 throughout my back yard allowing sound to be heard wherever I am. I have had the first pair since 2010 and I have nothing negative to say. I also get constant positive comments which have led to neighbors and friends installing them as well. You will enjoy them for years. [ PAUL T Jul 19, 2014 ]
If you are only installing the Bose speakers and no other surface mount speakers than yes get four (two pair), But if you are supplementing them with a surface mount then two (one pair) is more than enough. [ TIM Jul 19, 2014 ]
A pair is plenty. The sound is amazing. [ STEVEN Jul 19, 2014 ]
2 speakers will be plenty. Many of the upscale outdoor malls in my area use these very speakers. It was at these malls that I first became aware of the Bose 51s. I just completed a large hard landscape of my backyard patio and these speakers are nothing short of amazing. They sound professional at low and louder levels. Thru experimentation I found that 34 feet seems to be the optimum maxiimum distance to place them apart from one another. At that distance you never have a dead area of sound, it continues flawlessly from one speaker to the other. [ MICHELLE R Jul 19, 2014 ]
Hello Alper, I have a 20' x 40' pool and have 6 speakers total, 3 on each side of the pool (deep end, middle, and shallow end). Four of the six are rock speakers (also purchased from Crutchfield). All of the speakers combined provide outstanding surround sound, and by having extra speakers, you don't have to play music too loud in order to hear it from all areas of your yard. You may want to try 2 of the Bose 51s first, maybe placing them on each side of the pool and towards the middle. As far as the performance of the speaker, I am very pleased with my purchase and highly recommend the Bose 51s environmental speakers. The sound is incredible. I hope this helps. - Best regards, Jeff [ JEFF Jul 19, 2014 ]
The two we installed around our pool can be heard 400 feet away. Love them!!! [ KURT J Jul 19, 2014 ]
I forwarded your question to an Advisor and they responded with the following: I'm sure going with two of them would be ok, but if you are after more volume and overall output for a space of that size I would recommend going with 4. If you would like to discuss further you can contact an Advisor directly by phone (1-800-324-9695) or online chat. [ Krissy Jul 19, 2014 ] Staff