Ceiling speakers are a discreet audio solution, perfect for your home extension, renovation, or new-build.
If you value top-notch sound quality in your home theater, you would want to invest in the best ceiling speakers.
These ceiling speakers are designed to be a permanent audio solution that will provide you with excellent, aesthetically-pleasing sound for many years to come.
And the good news! Installing these ceiling speakers can save you some floor spaces and prevent you from having to hide wires. That is if you’re prepared to put up with the extra hassle of installing them.
That’s why it’s important to choose the right quality ceiling speakers and thoughts about how they will be installed.
However, this article presents a compilation of the best ceiling speakers and the necessary tips to help you choose the one that best suits your interest.
How we Picked the Best Ceiling Speakers
Ceiling speakers, in many cases, are associated with places you would rather not be. Schools, the DMV, hospitals, and used car dealerships are just a few places these kinds of speakers are found.
However, there’s no debating how good ceiling sound is at nabbing your attention, which makes these speakers perfect for immersive audio in your home.
Here are some of the things we took into consideration when picking out the best ceiling speakers.
One of the most important things to consider when buying a pair of gaming headphones or a soundbar is the high quality of the sound that comes out of these speakers. Because ceiling speakers will require at least a modest investment, however, quality is important, as well as the volume.
Sound should flood the room, especially if you are looking for that immersion that feels like you are in a movie theater. In general, bigger is better if you want to surround a room with sound.
Unless you’re a starting forward for the Lakers, the ceiling isn’t a place you’re going to be looking at most of the time. That doesn’t mean you should buy a pair of speakers that are built shoddily. After all, if they look cheap, it’s likely that they are built cheaply.
The best ceiling speakers blend in so well that you often forget that they’re even there. This compilation only includes ceiling speakers with paintable grilles, so they can blend in with whatever color your ceiling may be.
No matter what pair of speakers you buy, installing them will likely require you to bust out a ladder and power tools. Still, these are speakers well within reach of civilians, so you shouldn’t need to be an expert carpenter or audio technician just to get them up and running. All installations will be at least a little tricky, but they shouldn’t be impossible.
Also, as is the case with most expensive mounted devices, we really can’t stress the trite yet accurate adage “measure twice, cut once.” Speakers require a minimum of four inches behind them in the ceiling to operate safely and correctly. Ensure you have the space before splurging on one of the best ceiling speakers.
Check out this: 11 Top Tech Audio Speakers in 2023
The Best Ceiling Speakers
These best ceiling speakers are perfect for anyone looking to build a low-profile sound system. Relegating speakers to the ceiling is a good way to keep any entertainment center or home theater from looking cluttered, with wires poking out of every corner.
Although installing these speakers is no picnic, the awesome home aesthetics benefits pay off almost instantly.
Here’s a compilation of the best ceiling speakers available.
- Best Overall: Bose Virtually Invisible 791 In-Ceiling Speaker II
- Best for Small Rooms: Klipsch CDT-5800-C II In-Ceiling Speaker
- Best High-End: Sonos Architectural 6.5-Inch Passive 2-Way In-Ceiling Speakers
- Most Sustainable: Micca M-6C 6-Inch 2-Way In-Ceiling In-Wall Speaker (Renewed)
- Best for Outdoors: Polk Audio RC80i 2-way Premium In-Ceiling 8-inch Speakers
- Best for Surround Sound: Yamaha NS-IW280CWH 6.5-inch 3-Way In-Ceiling Speaker System
Things To Know About Ceiling Speakers
Ceiling speakers are designed to be a permanent audio solution that will provide you with excellent, aesthetically-pleasing sound for many years to come.
That’s why it’s critical you choose the right quality of speakers as well as thought about how they will be installed.
Installing built-in speakers requires gaining access behind the walls/ceilings to wire the speaker cable, and once everything is installed, we do not want any unwanted surprises!
Here, we have picked most things that every installer/customer should be aware of before they install the speaker into the ceiling.
See also: How to Choose and Install Speaker Wire Connectors
How Many Ceiling Speakers Do I Need In A Room?
Most ceiling speakers are sold in pairs, with a view to setting them up as a left and right stereo pair. One of the most important things about audio is the consistency of sound.
For larger spaces, we feel To balance audio levels better, in larger spaces, it is sensible to add 4 smaller speakers rather than 2 larger speakers.
If you are going to be powering your ceiling speakers with Sonos, you’ll need to use the Sonos Amp. Each Sonos Amp can power up to 4 mono ceiling speakers (8 ohms impedance) or 6 Sonos in-ceiling speakers, so many people choose to install 4 or 6 ceiling speakers in a square configuration whenever there is plenty of space to do this.
However, note that all ceiling speakers connected to the same Sonos Amp will play the same music at the same volume. If you’re looking for independent control between rooms, you will need a Sonos Amp per room to create your multi-room system.
Where Should I Position the Ceiling Speakers And How Far Apart?
It is best to position the ceiling speakers at an equal distance apart from each wall, along the length of the room, and at least 2 meters away from each other for the best stereo separation effect.
If the speakers are less than 2 meters away from each other, you may wish to consider a single stereo ceiling speaker positioned in the middle of the room’s ceiling.
Some customers may have awkwardly shaped room layouts, which can make it hard to know where the best place to position them would be.
In this case, it may be worth choosing a ceiling speaker with an angle-able tweeter to direct the sound to the room’s most habitable areas.
There are plenty of options with angle-able tweeters, and these can be adjusted to perfectly match your room’s acoustics.
Do Ceiling Speakers Need Mains Power?
No, ceiling speakers are usually passive speakers, which means they do not have built-in amplifiers and instead receive their power through a speaker cable that is run from an external amplifier. This is achieved by wiring each ceiling speaker up to the binding posts on the Amp.
Using a multi-room amp such as the Sonos Amp or Bluesound Powernode is recommended for the best user experience.
These amps allow the user to assign each amp their respective room name, and audio can be grouped or played individually wirelessly to any or all rooms using their easy-to-use apps. These amps also allow you to use multiple connectivity methods, such as Spotify Connect and Airplay 2.
The Sonos Amp itself then requires a mains power connection and a consistent WiFi connection.
If you do not have the facility to run speaker cables behind the ceiling, you can get ceiling-mounted speakers which simply require mains power from a nearby light fitting, for example, and are controlled through Bluetooth. No amplifiers and no cables.
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Do I Need Mono Or Single Stereo Ceiling Speakers?
Traditionally, house speaker systems have been designed to work with amplifiers that process left and right channels only, so you would need to purchase a pair of ceiling speakers to set up as a stereo pair.
This is still the case for most amplifiers available today. However, in some cases, it’s just not practical to install a pair of ceiling speakers for lack of ceiling space.
This is particularly common in bathrooms or other smaller-sized rooms. To overcome this, the single stereo speaker was designed to offer a left and right channel out of a single speaker, preserving space and opening up the options to have music in more rooms.
Which Speaker Cable Should I Use With My Ceiling Speakers?
For most installs, a 16 gauge 2-core speaker cable is recommended being the industry standard. The only time you may need to run a better quality cable is if any single cable run is longer than approximately 35 meters.
The audio signal can be degraded if it travels too far, affecting the sound quality. In this case, upgrading to a 14-gauge cable is suggested. The cable should be installed in a parallel configuration.
Do Ceiling Speakers Need Fire Hoods?
To prevent the spread of fire within the ceiling void, a fire hood is usually used to engulf the back of the speaker.
This is a legal requirement for any ceiling speakers that are being installed where there is a habitable room above to preserve the integrity of your ceilings in the event of a fire.
Another benefit of a speaker hood is that they provide a form of back box to enhance sound and prevent a certain amount of sound leakage. That means you can keep your upstairs neighbors happier for longer if you turn the volume up!
Please check with your builder/installer whether a fire hood is required for your ceiling speakers in your particular building. “Low smoke / zero halogen” speaker cable may also be necessary.
Can Ceiling Speakers Be Installed In High-Humidity Environments Such as a Kitchen or Bathroom?
Most of these best ceiling speakers are steam and humidity-resistant. This means as long as they do not get wet, they are excellent in a bathroom and kitchen environment. When buying Ceiling Speakers, it’s always best to check with your supplier or electrician on points like this if you are unsure.
Or, if you want to have the peace of mind of having a fully waterproof ceiling speaker that can be installed inside a shower enclosure or above the bathtub, the Monitor Audio AWC265-T2 is perfect for this environment.
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Can Ceiling Speakers Be Painted?
Yes, the grille on your speaker can be removed and spray-painted with good-quality paint in most instances. It’s important to spray thin layers of the paint so that you don’t clog the perforated holes in the speaker grille.
How Much Space Do I Need In The Ceiling Void?
The very least amount of mounting depth you will need is 36mm, though the average ceiling speaker is 100mm.
If the amount of depth you have in the ceiling void (behind the plasterboard) is very low, there are options available for slim and ultra-slim ceiling speakers.
Check Ceiling Speaker Homepage to find the most suitable speaker for you.
Where Should I Position My Subwoofer?
In terms of subwoofer placement, low-frequency sounds are non-directional, meaning you can position your subwoofer anywhere.
It makes sense in a lot of installations to have the subwoofer placed directly in front of your seating position. Don’t stress too much and position the subwoofer to best suit your room.
If using the Sonos Amp, pairing it wirelessly with the Sonos Sub is highly recommended.
Can I Voice Control My Ceiling Speakers?
Yes, this is now possible with the help of an Amazon Echo or Google Home device. Simply plug in your device in your chosen room and help Alexa or Google Assistant to discover your amplifier in the Amp’s operating app and follow the on-screen set-up to get started.
Technology is constantly evolving, and thanks to this snowballing effect. In-ceiling speakers are becoming a trendy new reality in home theater setups.
These ceiling speakers are a must-have if you are going for the true theater experience. Perhaps, with the speakers, you will get great sound in any room in your house without losing floor space. Also, they are easy to install and can work with just about any device.
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes, a ceiling speaker can be a great addition to your sound systems. If they weren’t any good, they wouldn’t really be made. You benefit not only by having to not compromise on your floor space or decor mismatch but also by the fact that ceiling speakers are extremely immersive. Their freedom to be placed anywhere makes them a great choice for home theater systems and surround sound systems!
In general, the best ceiling speakers are made by dependable names in audio like the Bose Virtually Invisible 791 In-Ceiling Speaker or the Sonos Architectural 6.5-Inch Passive 2-Way In-Ceiling Speakers.
Ceiling speakers roughly cost from one to several hundred dollars each and are usually available in pairs or alone. Buying a renewed model, like the Micca M-6C 6-Inch 2-Way In-Ceiling In-Wall Speaker is a good way to make the investment a little more affordable.
It depends on the size of the room. Smaller rooms could get by using a single speaker, but larger rooms may require up to three.
The larger the room, the more wattage you will need to fill it with sound. Efficient speakers may require as little as 25 watts per speaker.
It’s wise to consider buying a speaker with aim-able tweeters so that once you mount them, you can ensure that sound will be heard all around a room with little to no dead zones.