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Bose 251 Environmental Speakers Review

Unquestionably, one of the more intriguing speaker brands available is Bose. Their speakers and headphones are incredibly well-liked and for good reason. They may not be “audiophile quality,” but their products are still enjoyable to listen to. One of those intriguing Bose products is the 251. The speakers are exquisitely made to fit any outdoor setting and will dazzle visitors with their acoustic and visual appeal. The popular SoundTouch line, which we will discuss later in this review, and other Bose products are compatible with and enhanced by the 251 Environmental.

Our list of the top patio outdoor speakers also includes the Bose 251.

Bose 251 Specs

Sold as:Pair
Power Handling:10W – 100W @ 6 ohms
Dimensions:13.5″ x 5.75″ x 8.0″
Weight:8 lbs
Speaker Drivers:5¼” low-frequency driver + 2 x 2½” tweeters
Bose 251

Design and Sound

Each 251 Environmental speaker has two 2 1/2″ Bose TwiddlerTM and a 5 1/4″ low-frequency driver. For their most recent line of indoor and outdoor speakers, Bose specifically designed the Twiddler high/mid driver. In what Bose refers to as a “Articulated Array,” these Twiddlers are mounted 45 degrees to the left and right of the center. The 251 Environmental receives a much-needed wider dispersion for outdoor use from the Articulated Array. This indicates that a larger area, such as your backyard, is covered by the “sweet spot” for the 251 Environmental.

The Bose 251 Environmental speakers sound fantastic and provide excellent coverage of a wide area. These speakers have a particularly impressive bass response. It’s difficult to believe the bass these speakers produce comes from a 5 1/4-inch driver with such a deep, punchy low-end response! The Twiddlers will also pleasantly surprise you. With regard to the upper mid-range and high-frequency response, these incredible drivers perform superbly. Without ever being obtrusive, the vocals are clear and upfront. The highs create an articulate brilliance that enhances the sound profile’s 251 Environmental clarity and understandability. The 251 Environmental never gets harsh, distorted, or breaks up in any way, even at loud volumes. No matter the volume, these speakers consistently deliver good performance.

Power and Amplification

The 251 Environmental has a power handling range of 10 to 100W at 6 ohms, but the speakers can also be driven by amplifiers operating at 4 to 8 ohms. For more information, be sure to consult the user manual or get in touch with Bose. Try to pair your 251 Environmental speakers with an amplifier that has a power output as close to 100W as you can to get the most sound from them. To connect the 251 Environmental to a receiver of less than 80W, in my opinion, would be wasteful.

The Bose SoundTouch SA-5 Amplifier was intended to work with the 251 Environmental. The SA-5 is a part of Bose’s SoundTouch line, which also includes WiFi amplifiers and speakers of all sizes. This enables you to use Bose products that connect to one another via your home WiFi network to build a complete multi-room entertainment system.


The SoundTouch SA-5 inputs support Bluetooth, WiFi, Ethernet, 2 x RCA, and 1/8-inch AUX. Additionally, the SA-5 is Alexa-compatible. You can buy a complete Bose package with speaker wire if you power your 251 Environmental using the SA-5.

Bose 251 Uncover


Follow Bose’s recommendations for cable gauge if you intend to install the 251 Environmental yourself. Following are some guidelines for speaker wire gauge vs. cable run length:

  • 18-gauge – up to 30ft maximum
  • 16-gauge – up to 45ft maximum
  • 14-gauge – up to 70ft maximum
  • 12-gauge – 70ft and beyond

A bracket is included with the 251 Environmental for each speaker. By positioning the mounting points vertically rather than horizontally, Bose’s 251 Environmental brackets facilitate one-man DIY installations. This implies that you can position the speaker on the bracket, angle it, and secure it in place using two hands.

Only a vertical mount can be used for the 251 Environmental. The Articulated Array will lose its left/right dispersion by firing into the floor and ceiling if the speaker is mounted horizontally, which is obviously useless. Bose advises placing the 251 Environmental at least 7 feet apart for the Articulated Array to function at its best. Therefore, wherever you intend to place the 251 Environmental speakers, make sure there are at least 7 feet between them and that you can mount them vertically (15″ of vertical space).


The 251 Environmental was created with the intention of surviving and functioning outdoors. Most of the US can be covered by the operating temperature range of the speakers, which is -22° F to 140° F. The 251 Environmental is also water-resistant against snow, rain, and salt fog. Even with all of this security, I still advise you to put the 251 Environmental speakers under the eaves of your roof or on a covered patio so they are not exposed to the elements.

Bose 151

Another outdoor speaker option from Bose is the 151 Environment. The 151 Environmental can be mounted either vertically or horizontally, unlike the 251 Environmental. With a temperature range of -40° F to 158° F, the speakers are also more resistant to extreme temperatures. Additionally, the 151 Environmental underwent 1,200 hours of salt-fog testing, which is twice as long as what is required by the marine industry for this kind of test. The 251 and 151 Environmental perform similarly in most other areas and have similar acoustic design elements. Alternatively, the SoundTouch SA-5 amplifier can power both of them.

What You Will Recieve

  • 2 x Bose 251 Environmental
  • 2 x mounting brackets with fastening knobs
  • Mounting hardware (8 screws and 8 plastic anchors)
  • 6 x rubber feet


At the price point of the Bose 251 Environmental, there isn’t much competition if you’re looking for the best outdoor speakers for your house. Both visually and sonically, these speakers are incredible. The 251 Environmental topped our most recent list of the top patio outdoor speakers for 2020 because it is so good. The 251 Environmental may seem expensive at just under $400, but they are definitely worth the cost. I haven’t come across any negative reviews of the 251 Environmental, which only serves to highlight how highly consumers regard their $400 pair of shoes.

The 251 Environmental is a no-brainer if you already own other Bose SoundTouch products for your patio or outdoor entertainment area. The 251 Environmental will integrate with your existing home entertainment system using the SoundTouch SA-5.

The 251 Environmental is one of the best options available in 2019 for outdoor entertainment areas, whether you’re looking for some background music or a party system.

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