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Bose® Free Space® 51 environmental speakers

36 Reviews

Item # 018FS51

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C$499.99 pair

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Our take on the Bose® Free Space® 51 environmental speakers

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.

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.

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Read our hands-on review of the Bose® Free Space® 51 environmental speakers.


  • bass-reflex
  • 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
Priced per pair

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

Average Customer Review(s):

(36 Reviews)

Bose® Free Space® 51 environmental speakers

Jerry from Midlothian, VA on 8/27/2018

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

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!!!

Pros: Great base

Cons: 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 cover!!!!!!

Bose® Free Space® 51 environmental speakers

Crutchfield customer from Gary, IN on 8/15/2018

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Excellent love the quality and sound



Bose® Free Space® 51 environmental speakers

Frank from Fairfield, CT on 7/24/2018

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Connected to my Sonos connect and Russ amp great sound and ease of use. Customer service was great help



Easy Setup, Great Sound

Michael from Hamburg, NY on 6/18/2018

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

These speakers were connected to my Sonos Connect Amp, and they are the perfect match. Excellent Sound!

Pros: easy setup, and great sound


Nice design, great sound that fills the backyard

Patrick from West Seneca, NY on 6/11/2018

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Great product for 360 degree sound , I like that they blend in with the landscape and you can't tell where the sound is coming from, I received these as a gift from my wife and couldn't be happier.

Pros: Sound, design, color

Cons: None

Bose® Free Space® 51 environmental speakers

Brandon from Bloomington, IN on 5/6/2018

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Awesome purchase, highly recommend Bose and Crutchfield!

Pros: Sound, speed of delivery

Cons: None

Great Sound

Mau from Medford, NJ on 12/5/2017

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

These are great speakers, well worth the investment; in fact I'm ordering a second pair to be powered by a sonos connect amp. Bose always impresses me with their technology, be it my first headphones from bose, or the original wave radio, these are no exception. For those looking at these speakers, they need to be close together (10'-15'). I originally had them closer to 30' apart but have since moved them to about 15'. If the speakers are too far apart, while at low volume you won't be able to hear the other speaker, and they lose the stereo affect that you can hear when your in the sweet spot. They still sound tremendous if you are outside the sweet spot, but these speakers take some planning to get the sound to the right location, or locations in your yard.

Pros: Bose

Cons: Location Couldn't cover the pool and fire pit, so need to get two more.

Very nice product

Crutchfield customer from Conroe, TX on 7/10/2017

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Very nice sounding speakers. Blends in with the landscaping. Easy to install. The finishing touch for the pool area.



Not worth the money

Adam from Holland, MI on 6/29/2017

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Product is fine, sounds fine, looks a little goofy, but will be more hidden once the landscape fills in some more. The reason for a low star rating is that I have some clearance rock speakers on the patio that are OK, but I wanted a nice upgrade so spent the big money on these. I have Bose speakers in my house and they are awesome so I figured it's worth it. These sound no better than the cheap speakers I already have and they are MASSIVE in comparison. That being said, if I upgrade my amplifier maybe I can get better quality from these compared to the cheap ones. My suggestion would be to buy something much cheaper if you aren't planning to have dance party volume outside.

Pros: The Bose name is about it from what I can tell.


Nice full sound

Kim from Westlake village ca. on 6/24/2017

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Excellent wide distribution of sound that won't offend the neighbors.



Bose® Free Space® 51 environmental speakers

Steve from Murphysboro, IL on 6/4/2017

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Easy setup, great sound with deep bass. Blends into landscaping very well making it appear that music is just coming from plants .

Pros: Great deep sound, easy to install and blend into landscaping.

Cons: So far, no cons. At first I thought they were pricey, but after installing them I realized they are well worth it.

Bose® Free Space® 51 environmental speakers

Rey from Florida on 7/8/2016

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

In some very good in the pool area.

Pros: No taxs . Excellent customer service

Cons: None

Expensive, but treat yourself.

Kevin C from Massachusetts on 1/8/2016

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Expensive speakers, but worth the money.

Pros: Sounds great around pool. Close your eyes and feel like you're at a resort. Durable, I've had my first pair for 7 years and leave them out in NE weather.

Cons: Wired speakers. I ended up placing them 70-100ft away from reciever, so running wires in the grass was a challenge

Great speakers

Jack from Houston, Texas on 8/29/2015

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Love these speakers next to my pool. They are on the ground which is right at ear level when you are in the pool. I've seen these at some hotels. Sound great and look pretty good too. Sound is 360 degrees, which had me a little worried (b/c I didn't want to upset my neighbors). I keep volume considerate of my neighbors, but b/c they are low at ear level when in pool, I don't have to turn them up to loud.

Pros: 1) Look nice. 2) Good sound. 3) Since they are right on the ground, the are right at ear level when I'm in the pool.

Cons: 1) Pricey but worth it IMO.

Hear everywhere

Pete from New Jersey on 7/13/2015

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Best outside sound everywhere in the yard. Terrific clarity even at high volume!

Pros: Can't see them really. spreads sound all around them.

Cons: A bit pricey

Great Sound and Exceptional Value

vkv from Virginia on 6/1/2015

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Excellent sound!! Have two pairs installed around the side and back of the house. Was planning on buying the 251 Bose speakers, but so glad I went with the 51 speakers. These are buried in the ground and just blend in the landscape. Love the Bose brand

Pros: Amazing sound.

Cons: Price is high and I wish they had speakers in shape of rocks.

Amazing sound!

JoeyB from Florida on 4/28/2015

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

I have been a fan of Bose for many years ever since I heard a pair of 301's from the 80's when in high school. As expected I am equally impressed with the Bose Free Space 51 speakers. These speakers are buried beside an in-ground pool towards the back of the yard. When you are in the pool or out you can't really tell where the music is coming from. I wasn't able to perfectly "overlap" them as suggested in the instructions but it doesn't seem to matter, they sound amazing. You are not going to hear any mind blowing lows on the bass side but the sound is crystal clear and really fills the back yard. I mounted a couple of other speakers on the deck that I ran through an outdoor volume control to have the ability to compliment the Bose or turn off completely while we are in the pool. Very happy with this purchase!

Pros: Amazing sound

Cons: A bit tedious to install

As good as all the reviews suggest

Ken from CT on 9/4/2014

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Toiled over a variety of outdoor speaker options for around pool area (As context, we already had 2 speakers in an adjacent ourdoor porch ceiling that required being turned up really loud to hear around the pool... i.e., if you turned it up so you could hear around the pool, it would be unpleasantly loud if you sat on the porch). Poured through reviews of various rock-shaped speakers and others that could be mounted on the fence and though many had good reviews, nothing stood out as a clear winner. I had passed by seeing these Bose 51's many times not realizing that a large part of the speaker sits in the ground. Once I finally read the spec's and then the glowing reviews, I knew these would be it (and also knowing general Bose quality). You can tell a good review from a "wow these are life changing" reviews and there seemed to be a lot of the "wow" type on this speaker--too many for it to be a bias. Spot on, these are amazing speakers. The omni-directional aspect - wow! I run them off a Marantz SR7005 off zone 3 which gives 125 watts per channel--but I have further split zone 3 using a Aton DLA4 speaker selector (distributes to 4 sets of speakers - 2 pairs outdoor and 2 pairs in 2 garages... these things are great at redistributing the power and giving volume panels/adjustments where needed). So even where this power is split a bit, it is plenty to drive these and sound great! Nice full sound. Some degree of bass (Not the same as if you had a sub but pretty good.

Pros: Omnidirectional sound, sound quality, look good when put behind some ornamental grass, guests are also impressed with sound

Cons: None that I have found yet

Bose free space 51 Review

michael d. from Austin, TX on 7/26/2014

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Easy to set up and they sound great! I'm really enjoying them. I love my Crutchfield Team!!

Pros: Quick set up. Great crisp sound.

Cons: Wish they came in different colors.

Bose 51 Speakers

JL from Corona, CA on 7/2/2014

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Wired four Bose 51 speakers to Russound X75 amplifier. Speakers are spaced 40 ft apart around our backyard pool area. . Set up left right left right. No matter where you are, the sound is great. No over bearing disturbing the neighbors. You can still have conversations with nice backroung music

Pros: Easy to setup, can bury part way in your planters.


Good outdoor speaker

RickG from CT on 8/25/2013

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Speakers have good quality sound, seem to be constructed well.

Pros: Sound. Sold as a pair.

Cons: The drain hole on the bottom does not appear to be large enough as the speaker does get water inside after rain. There is nothing obstructing the drain hole as the speakers were placed over stone as recommended. Hoping this doesn't cause any problems.

Bose® Free Space® 51 environmental speakers

BrandonK from Ohio on 8/1/2013

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Put one on either side of my patio (buried) and they bathe the entire area in sound. Great quality.

Pros: Rich sound, easy install

Cons: A little weak with the base but I don't push them that hard.

Bose Free Space 51 Speakers

Mercury from NY, NY on 7/17/2013

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

I needed outdoor speakers that could cover a large area. I tried wall-mount outdoor speakers and they just didn't get the wide dispersion. These speakers are all about 360-degree, wide dispersion which was just what I needed. Sound great and true 360-degree sound.

Pros: Wide, disperse, high quality sound.

Cons: A little inefficient. My 50-watt Sonos is just barely powerful enough. I would go with a bigger amp than 50 watts.

Bose 51

Bose lover from Georgia on 5/24/2013

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

I am a Bose's lover. I think Bose make the best speakers on the market for indoors. Well, the Bose 51 are the best speakers for the outdoors. Their 360 degree directional sound design is incredible. You will not believe your ears when you crank up the speakers. Very clear sound. I am thinking about buying another pair of the Bose 51 instead of installing my old Bose 151 that are just straight directional. Again, the 360 degree directional sound design is INCREDIBLE!

Pros: Great Sound.

Cons: None. Very easy to install in the ground.

Bose Free Space 51

rickrolled6336 from Collierville, TN on 1/23/2013

I heard these speakers in an outdoor mall in Collierville, TN and they sounded wonderful! Great overall sound. Crisp, clear, clean sound.

Pros: Rich overall sound.

Cons: These don't give off body shaking bass.

Awesome Speakers

BobC from St. Louis Greater Area on 7/11/2012

These speakers are tremendous. Sound quality, including base, is extremely good. Volume without distortion is also extremely good. No problems listening to music on my patio area, in the backyard, even down at the dock when the volume is up. For the sake of decent conversation, usually I have these at low volume and they still sound great. My kids have cranked them a few times without any dire consequences too. I compared several brands and models and these came out on top. Mainly because of their range when played at a reasonable volume, but also because of their unobtrusive installation. I put these speakers in the landscaping area surrounding my rear patio more than 3 years ago. They were installed to the manufacturers suggested depth and are hooked up to my older (and I might say "very fine") Kenwood receiver which in turn is hooked up to a computer (both indoors). I control iTunes through a dedicated laptop, that I don't use anymore, right from my comfy chair on my patio. For those having problems, I'd suggest you look hard at your installation and what you are using to drive the speakers.

Pros: Nicely blend into the landscape, no hanging speakers on the house or posts with exposed wires. Also no fake looking rocks (that don't sound that great anyway). Good quality sound that is omnidirectional.

Cons: None to speak of

does not handle bass or volume

Duane from cincinnati, OHIO on 2/13/2012

The Bose Free Space 51 , do not live up to the Bose name . They do not handle bass levels very well .And I've also had to return them a couple of times . I don't reccommend them for large areas .Invest your money on something else. I purchase them for my back yard pool area . Not happy at all.



Deck Party in a box

Busychild from Chesapeake, VA on 6/8/2011

I set these up in my back yard oasis. I followed the MFG recommendations and I have them buried in the rose garden by the house with about 5/8" of the base showing. I have them powered with a HCA-1000A that is zoned from an URC-1 processor. I think that they sound very good for out door speakers. With the 360 degree disperse pattern you can walk any where in the back yard and hear them. Clearly. They have good full range and for single driver, they also have notable high end. The over all sound is smooth and colorful. They will be easy to listen to all day long in your oasis with out getting listener fatigue. If you are considering these, please note that they are a lot larger than they look in the pictures. Once installed in the ground they do blend in quite nicely. My wife and kids think they sound great too. I had considered several other speakers and I ended up going with these based on several other reviewers notes. My wife and I did a lot of research prior to putting the out side zone together. Over all I am very happy with the sound of these speakers and Crutchfield is a name you can trust. I am very glad I spent the money on this particular set of out door speakers.



Spend the money!

Arthur from Columbia, S.C. on 3/16/2009

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

These speakers give a very well distributed, balanced full range sound that just seems to float in the air. The first time I heard them play was several years ago at Newport Beach, Ca. in a tank of water. They drained out the water, immediately cranked the power to them from an Onkyo amplifier, and everyone in the store came over to see what we were listening to. I have wanted them ever since but refused to spend the money. I finally broke down and made the purchase. Even my wife who normally says "it must be a guy thing, they all sound about the same to me" was impressed with the quality of the sound. We spend a lot of time outside and recommend these speakers to anyone who enjoys listening to music. They sound great at low and high volumes. I currently have them connected to a multi zone system with 50 watts of power going to them and normally have them playing betwen half and two-thirds volume. They will play considerably louder but you do not need it. My neighbor on the other side of the pond has no problem hearing the music! If you want good clean sound without having to blast out the speakers these are for you. If you want to blast out the sound these are still the speakers to get (they will take up to 100 watts of power).



High quality, good sound

milesm from Salt Lake City, UT on 9/7/2008

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

This is the second set of Free Space ® 51 speakers that I have purchased. I don't believe there is a comparable speaker on the market. The first pair has been in place for more than 4 years and perform just as well today as they did when I buried them. The sound produced is somewhat subdued which is both good and bad -- great for parties and relaxation. With their relatively compact size, they do not produce DEEP base well. To qualify that, however, they are far superior to any wall- or ceiling-mounted speaker. Reproduction of sound is accurate without being harsh. When buried, they blend well in any landscape. I have chosen to have them somewhat surrounded by plantings to keep them from being a focal point. With such a placement, people cannot determine where the sound is coming from, which is what I had wanted. Overall, I would highly recommend the Bose® Free Space® 51 Outdoor speakers to anyone looking for an outdoor. They produce very pleasing sound that is not brash. With the in-ground mounting near walls and plantings, the sound does not carry as much to neighborhood homes and I have never had any complaints about noise -- even though I will play them at high levels in the daytime and early evenings. Relatively high price (they are Bose®, after all, and are rarely discounted) is, in my opinion, justified by the sound and flexibility of placement.



Bose® Free Space® 51 environmental speakers

Steve from West Sayville, NY on 8/14/2008

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

I just built a new deck (650 Sq. Ft.) and permanently mounted these speakers to the deck floor on the far outsdie corners. Amazing sound for such a small speaker. I upset one neighbor with the now loud music and frequent deck parties. I never had anything outside before, but now that I do, the tunes are blasting all the time I'm outside. I also purchased an Onkyo receiver (TX-8522, XM ready) and Onkyo i-pod dock which pushes these speakers to the recommended 100 watts each producing the best sound. The only other thing I need to complete this ultimate outdoor sound system is the XM Mini tuner package. I highly recommend these speakers over the other Bose 151 and 251 Series outdoor loud speakers.



Excellent Sound for around pool

TONY from Arkansas on 8/12/2008

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

I put these speakers beside my pool and was completely blown away. We have an outdoor mall locally that uses these speakers in the flower bed so I had an idea of what I was getting before I purchased these. The sound is rich and carries VERY well. I've got one on each side of the deep end of the pool and when your on the Diving board it just surrounds you with rich sound. They are also easy to hide or just leave out in the open and they still look fine. If a multimillion dollar mall thinks they are the best, the'll do for my back yard. :P



Bose Free Space 51: Great Sound

Larry from Austin, Tx on 4/12/2008

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Best speaker purchase I have made in some time. Very smooth refined audio. First Bose ever purchased. I will definitely buy Bose again! These Bose Free Space 51's are excellent outdoor speakers. I installed them by the pool and the sound is fantastic. My neighbors will be complaining soon! Regarding Crutchfield, their Customer Service Dept. really did a super job with shipping me "replacement speakers" in three days turn around. One of the Bose was damaged in shipment. No questions, no hassel, they just shipped out the replacement and I shipped back the original. Simple, Done! Great service...



Great 360ø sound and practically hidden from view

Matthew from CT on 1/1/2008

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

I put these in the ground last summer and used them nearly every night for the remaining summer/fall evenings. The sound is great and the speakers are practically hidden from view. They create great atmosphere when hosting firepit parties on the patio. I've noticed our guests stay longer when there is music playing (that could be a negative though!). We'll see how the construction/materials hold up over the winter(s) but so far so great.



Not for Volume or Bass

Aggiegator from Pensacola, FL on 6/5/2007

I have been running my 51s for a couple of years now. At low volume levels they sound nice, but their bass is very limited and I have found that they begin to distort at very low volume levels. I am running 100 watts RMS to them through a Sony ES receiver, so the source should not be the problem. I recently bought a pair of the Mirage Omni 6s from Crutchfield to support the overworked 51s and mounted them under my cover lanai with the Bose out in the landscaping. The Mirages are far superior in music reproduction and their capability to handle the higher volume needed for a large space. This does create a problem though as my 51s begin to distort terribly... long before the Mirages even seem to be working hard. I almost am lead to think that something may be wrong with my 51s after reading the other review.



An unbelievable set of outdoor speakers

Mark from Washington, NJ on 5/22/2006

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

I placed these speakers about 30 feet away from each other and burried them as recommended in the manual. The directions did suggest placing them closer to one another but 30 feet was as close as I could get due to the size of my patio. The sound is simply amazing!! I have an Onkyo TX-SR803 powering the speakers and the sound has far exceeded my expectations. Considering the speakers only have 4 1/2 inch drivers, the bass is incredible. There are absolutely no down sides to these speakers after a month of HEAVY use. The price seemed a little high when I made the purchase but after listening to the speakers for a few weeks they seem like a great bargain. Buy these speakers.




Hands-on research

Product Research

Driver Technology
Enclosure Design
Mounting Options

Driver Technology

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.

Enclosure Design

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.

Mounting Options

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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