These Are the 7 Best Outdoor Projectors, From Budget-Friendly Picks to 4K Resolution Options
Though drive-in theaters are beginning to make a comeback, there's nothing cozier than movie nights in the comfort of your own home. Luckily, you can easily recreate the outdoor theater experience with the use of a top-quality projector. If you've never owned one before, there are many factors to consider when selecting the best option for your space.
You'll want to take into account throw distance, which is the measure of space between the lens and your chosen screen. Those with smaller outdoor spaces should opt for a shorter throw distance, as the image has less area to travel through. Level of brightness should also be factored in. Surrounding city lights, your neighbors backyard lights, and whether or not you plan to use the projector in the daylight are all things to consider — though you'll likely only need about 100 lumens of projection for a clear picture.
Another facet is built-in speakers. While most projectors nowadays come with audio, some of the less expensive options don't, meaning you'll have to rely on an external speaker for sound. Last but not least, if you plan to sync the projector with additional devices, such as your laptop or tablet, you'll want to select a model with compatible outputs.
A projector is an investment, so it's smart to take note of every model's offerings. Since the search can be overwhelming, we've rounded up some of the best projectors for streaming outdoors based on cost, features, and size.
These are the seven best projectors for outdoor movie nights:
- Best Overall: Vankyo Leisure 3 Mini Projector
- Best Compact: Anker Nebula Capsule
- Best Budget-Friendly: TopVision 1080P Supported Led Projector
- Best 4K: Epson Home Cinema 3200 4K PRO
- Best Built-in Speaker: Epson EF-100 Smart Streaming Laser Projector
- Best Bluetooth: Nebula by Anker Mars II
- Best Smart Tech: LG HU80KA 4K UHD CineBeam Projector
Best Overall: Vankyo Leisure 3 Mini Projector
The Vankyo Leisure 3 Mini Projector has over 24,000 five-star ratings from Amazon shoppers seeking affordable home entertainment. With a screen display of between 32-inches to 176-inches, it's compatible for outdoor areas of all sizes. It easily connects with your smartphone, PS3, PS4, XBox ONE or Wii, and the built-in HI-FI level speaker eliminates the need for an external one.
Best Compact Projector: Anker Nebula Capsule
Roughly the size of a soda can, the Anker Nebula Capsule is the best choice for those needing a portable, compact projector. Despite its smaller design, the 360-degree speaker delivers crisp, clear sound, while the 100 ANSI-lumen image brings excellent detail to every screen. It's compatible with HDMI and USB cables, alongside Airplay, Miracast, and bluetooth.
Best Budget-Friendly Projector: TopVision 1080P Supported LED Projector
For those looking to spend less, the TopVision 1080P Supported LED Projector offers great value at budget price. It has both HDMI and USB adapter outputs, as well as a memory card slot for direct media playback for viewing home videos or photo reels. It connects to an array of smart devices, including iPhone, Android, Amazon FireTV Stick, Chromecast. The picture range of 32-inches to 200-inches paired with high-quality pixelation far surpasses the low price point.
Best 4K Projector: Epson Home Cinema 3200 4K PRO
The Epson Home Cinema 3200 4K PRO offers an advanced picture quality that rivals all the rest. Its 3-chip projector design displays complete RGB signal for the best color accuracy around, while the 4K resolution processing shows a vastly clearer picture than your typical 1080p projector. Whether you're gaming, watching a movie, or surfing the web, you can expect to receive the best quality streaming.
Best Built-in Speaker: Epson EF-100 Smart Streaming Laser Projector
You get what you pay for, and with the Epson EF-100 Smart Streaming Laser Projector the experience is anything but cheap. It's high-quality bass-reflex built-in speaker produces incredibly clear audio, making it the preferred option for noisy outdoor areas. Watch all your favorite streaming services through AppleTV, roku, FireTV Stick, or any smart devices.
Best Bluetooth: Nebula by Anker Mars II
The Nebula by Anker Mars II boasts exceptional cinematic sound quality, and can even be used as a standalone speaker. The compact size can easily fit inside a backpack for on-the-go entertainment, whether it's streaming razor-sharp quality in a friend's backyard or out on a campsite. With WIFI compatibility, you can watch anything on the web and control it straight from your smartphone through the Nebula app.
Most Smart Tech: LG HU80KA 4K UHD Laser Smart TV Home Theater CineBeam Projector
This LG Smart TV Home Theater Projector is packed with a ton of features that your average projector lacks. It can project images straight from the floor onto any surface you desire, including garage doors, ceilings, or brick walls. Plus, with automatic keystone correction, the image is instantly straightened to perfection whenever you move or tilt the projector. Use the built-in wifi to browse the web, or stream movies and TV shows directly from your phone or laptop.