The best in ceiling speakers are awesome home accessories that can change the entire decor of your home. Have you seen homes on MTV Crib and how luxurious they look? In ceiling speakers can provide you with that sort of luxurious look. They ensure that your home isn’t filled with messy wires; they are compact and not as bulky as their bookshelf speaker alternative, and they come with beautiful designs as well as impressive sound quality.
In this review, we’ll be talking about ten of the best in ceiling speakers on the market. We’ll also be showing you what sets them apart from their contemporaries. Additionally, we’ll be adding a buying guide to this review. This informative guide will help you make a better buying decision as you’ll be well informed about everything an in ceiling speaker entails and what to look out for when purchasing one. So without further ado, let’s get right to it.
- 10 Best In Ceiling Speakers
- 1. Polk Audio MC60 High Performance In Ceiling Speaker
- 2. Yamaha NSIC800WH 140-Watts 2-Way RMS Speaker
- 3. Yamaha NS-IW280CWH 6.5″ 3-Way In Ceiling Speaker
- 4. Micca M-8C 8 Inch 2-Way In Ceiling In Wall Speaker
- 5. JBL CSS8008 Commercial Series 15-Watt 8″ Ceiling Speaker
- 6. Acoustic Audio CS-IC83
- 7. Pyle Pair 8” Bluetooth Flush Mount In Wall In Ceiling Home Speaker
- 8. Klipsch R-1650-C In Ceiling Speaker
- 9. Acoustic Audio R191 1000 Watt in Ceiling Speaker
- 10. AmazonBasics 6.5″ In Ceiling Speakers
- In Ceiling Speaker Buyer’s Guide
- The Best Number of In Ceiling In Wall Speakers You Need
- Mono or Stereo: Which In Ceiling Speaker Type Do I Need?
- What Size Ceiling Speakers Should I Get?
- What Type of Speaker Cable Do I Need?
- Are Fire Hoods Necessary for In Ceiling Sound Speakers?
- How Much Space Do I Need for In Ceiling Sound Speakers?
- In Ceiling Sound Speakers Installation Tips
- Which Shape is the Best? Round or Square?
- How are Speakers Controlled and Powered?
- Can Ceiling Speakers Be Used in High Moisture Environments?
- Painting Your Speakers
- Can My In Ceiling Sound System be Installed Outdoors?
- Are In Ceiling Speakers Any Good?
10 Best In Ceiling Speakers
1. Polk Audio MC60 High Performance In Ceiling Speaker
The Polk Audio MC60 High Performance In Ceiling Speaker is one speaker you're bound to love. This speaker comes with superb natural musicality. Even at low volume, you are guaranteed to get an excellent ambient performance with incredible detail. The MC60 is a lightweight in ceiling speaker. It offers still polymer drivers that provide some of the best mid damping and bass response. The swivel mount tweeters offer some high quality and realistic imaging, as well as immense accuracy for your listening pleasure.
Installing this speaker in your ceiling is very easy. It offers a one-cut, drop-in installation that puts the built-in audio within range. With its awesome templates, a precision flange, and pre-construction brackets, you can set the entire system up in minutes. Just by turning this patented rotating cam system, you are sure to achieve secure, vibration free efficiency on the MC60. This speaker is resistant to moisture, which means you can install it in your kitchen, outdoors, or even your bathroom. Feel like building a sound system for your home theater? This Polk Audio speaker can be used in the front, center, or as a surround speaker.
2. Yamaha NSIC800WH 140-Watts 2-Way RMS Speaker
When it comes to the world of speakers, Yamaha is one company you can always trust. And this in ceiling speaker is here to show you why this is true. The NSIC800WH is a pair of crossover type-2 way coaxial speakers. The audio sound they produce is amazing and well rounded with their seamless crossover.
To provide you with the best sound, Yamaha blessed these dual in ceiling speakers with a small fluid-cooled soft dome tweeter and an eight inch blue polypropylene mica woofer. The tweeter's efficiency is top-notch due to the cooling system. This cooling system also improves the longevity of the tweeter as it protects the tweeter from overheating, thereby giving you the opportunity to extend the high frequency response into very high reals. This means with the aid of the cooling system, the tweeter provides the kind of tops it's meant to do.
The crossover of the NSIC800 is fantastic and its frequency response is versatile. Consisting of premium components, these dual in ceiling speakers have low impedance and they're easy to install. You can effortlessly mount them to your ceiling as they come with large mounting clamps for enhanced security. Their grilles are built to improve your audio as they have spiral-shaped baffles that helps with audio dispersion. To make things better, you can easily take off the grilles and put them pack on. This means that painting them won't be a hassle.
3. Yamaha NS-IW280CWH 6.5″ 3-Way In Ceiling Speaker
Our second Yamaha pick just shows that the brand has actually perfected its speaker making craftsmanship. The Yamaha NS-IW280CWH comes with a performance that is very spectacular. Coming with a 3/4 inches dome tweeter and a 6.5 inch polypropylene mica cone woofer, this in ceiling speaker is endowed with the capability of producing up to 100 watt of maximum input. The woofers breathe life into the bass capability of this speaker. You'll get an immersive and awesome experience when you're watching an action movie or listening to rap beats on this in ceiling speaker.
The tweeters on this audio speaker are adjustable. You can easily adjust them to direct the sound they're producing towards you. Thanks to the SoundMax technology, amplifying the Yamaha NS-IW280CWH can be done easily without compromising the bass or the audio quality. This means that you can easily set these in ceiling speakers up for parties. Additionally, these Yamaha speakers are designed to last. They all come in a template in which any Yamaha speaker can fit into. So if you're looking to add bigger Yamaha speakers later, you'll be able to do that without much stress.
Installing these in ceiling speakers may take a little effort from you though. The mounting depth of the NS-IW280CWH is 4.81 inches, and with a 6.5 inches woofer, you'll have to make a hole that's over 10 inches wide. It offers wired connectivity and you'll need to be careful on the grilles when installing the speakers as their grilles are prone to bending if handled improperly.
4. Micca M-8C 8 Inch 2-Way In Ceiling In Wall Speaker
If you're looking for a low-priced option in the in ceiling speakers department, the Micca M-8C should be one of your best picks. You can get this 8 inch in ceiling loudspeaker for less than $40, which makes it one of the best in ceiling speakers you can use to build a sound system as you can just buy up to 6 for the ideal system.
Even with its low price, the Micca M-8C is one of the best in ceiling speakers you can buy. It comes with an 8 inch woofer and a one inch soft dome tweeter. Whether you want the booming bass or the subtle soundscapes in your home theater setup, these two components in its driver array provides it with a wide frequency response and allows you the flexibility to customize the audio.
The woofer of this eight inch speaker comes with a spectacular design that allows for immaculate sound dispersion. The tweeter, on the other hand, comes with a rigid but durable dome design capable of handling those high frequencies like they are nothing. Installing these in ceiling speakers is super easy and you can repaint them to fit in with your background or decor. It's no wonder you can easily find them in many best in ceiling reviews.
5. JBL CSS8008 Commercial Series 15-Watt 8″ Ceiling Speaker
The JBL CSS8008 is one of the best in ceiling speakers for paging and background music applications. From the build to the audio performance, these audio speakers are capable of providing you with maximum sound level even at low tap settings. You get full clear audio from these 8 inches speakers. The sound clarity and intelligibility are excellent, and you're sure to find them very easy to install.
The main attraction of the JBL CSS8008 in ceiling speakers is the transformer they come with. This 5W transformer provides you with the ability to connect the CSS8008 to any pro sound as it supports 25, 70, and 100V distributed line. Combine that with the 120 degree conical coverage pattern system it offers and you'll get an awesome background sound that's perfect for your office or restaurant. The only drawback to these in ceiling players is that they cannot be used as home stereo speakers, which means you can't add or use them in your home theater set up.
6. Acoustic Audio CS-IC83
A large speaker count, affordable price, and clean sound quality are the highlights of these audio speakers. The CS-IC83 from Acoustic Audio is a 5-piece set of in ceiling speakers that will leave you amazed at how perfect they sound. They are a 3-way class system setup and each of them come with an eight inch woofer, one soft dome tweeter with three-way passive crossover circuitry, and one mid range driver.
The woofers are encased in high-grade butyl rubber surround, which helps against dampening. The cones of these Acoustic Audio in ceiling speakers are made from premium polypropylene and their progressive spiders push them forward with incredible detail. The soft dome tweeters are 13mm in size and the mid range drivers are poly mica. With their 3-way passive crossovers, these in ceiling speaker components all come together to produce high fidelity and immense sound clarity for your listening pleasure.
Mounting them is super easy and their handling capability is something to write home about. If you're looking for the best 5-piece set in ceiling speakers with an affordable price tag, the Acoustic Audio CS-IC83 speakers are some of the best you can go for. Thanks to their high quality sound, hey are also some of the best speakers you can use to build a home theater system.
7. Pyle Pair 8” Bluetooth Flush Mount In Wall In Ceiling Home Speaker
Our first and only wireless in ceiling speakers, the Pyle Pair 8" Bluetooth Flush Mount In Wall In Ceiling Home Speakers come with no wire hassle. They are Bluetooth compatible which means you don't have to deal with all the many wires that typically come with even the best in ceiling speakers. Controlling the audio is easy as A,B,C as all you need to do is connect the speakers to an audio source such as your phone, iPad, etc, and enjoy your music or video hassle free.
Just like most of the in ceiling speakers in our review, the Pyle Pair 8" Home speakers are made out of polypropylene. They come with a cut-out template that makes these Bluetooth speakers in ceiling installation very easy. Once installed, your Bluetooth speakers ceiling will be able to provide your home with balanced stereo sound without taking any shelf or floor space. Additionally, the speaker grille comes with a stain and moisture resistant coating that ensures that they remain fresh and look good to your guests.
The compact flush mount system ensures that you do not lose office or apartment space like you do with bookshelf speakers. Also, the plug and play model of these best in ceiling speakers makes the whole experience intuitive and immersive. However, you can only connect one audio source to these speakers at a time.
8. Klipsch R-1650-C In Ceiling Speaker
If you're looking for the best in ceiling speaker that offers durability, great performance, and immense stability, then the Klipsch R-1650-C In Ceiling Speaker should be on the forefront of your considerations. This product is endowed with the ability to bring dynamic balance and an enhanced acoustic balance to your home and commercial environment at a really affordable price.
The 1650-C features a 6.5 inches polymer cone woofer as well as a large motor structure that grants it high sensitivity. The highs are clear and smooth as a result of the coaxially mounted 1-inch polymer dome tweeter working it's rear off. The sounds offered by these two driver components are carried over a wide range and are equally dispersed in a way that's pleasing to the ears.
To make them look even better, Klipsch decided to make the R-1650 in ceiling speakers rust and mold resistant by covering them in an aluminum body and adding some resistance coating to them. This means you can install the speakers virtually anywhere; whether it's in your kitchen, sauna, or living room, you're good to go. The grilles can also be painted to match your decor or background.
9. Acoustic Audio R191 1000 Watt in Ceiling Speaker
You think the price of the Acoustic Audio CS-IC83 is a steal for the quality it offers? Think again as the Acoustic Audio R191 1000 Watt In Ceiling Speakers are going to change your mind. At almost half the price of the former, these in ceiling speakers offer the typical great sound and performance that comes with Acoustic Audio speakers. Just like the IC83, the R191 is also a 5 speaker set, but it features a 2-way system instead of a 3-way system like the IC83. Additionally, these speakers are a little smaller than their brothers above. They feature a 12mm tweeter driver and a 5.25 inch woofer as opposed to the 1 inch tweeter and eight inch woofer of their senior counterpart.
This, however, does not mean that the Acoustic Audio R191 1000 Watt in ceiling speaker compromises on performance. Just like the rest of the series, these speakers come with some impressive hardware that will make your head bump. Some of their features include amazing surround sound, extended throw assembly butyl, and low profile when they are mounted in the ceiling. Additionally, they are moisture and water resistant and they also come with the cutout template their brothers come with. Combined with the integrated locking mounting features, you'll have an easy work to do when mounting this in ceiling speaker.
10. AmazonBasics 6.5″ In Ceiling Speakers
The AmazonBasics 6.5 inch In Ceiling Speaker is a minimalist speaker that helps you save space while providing you with a unique and awesome sound experience. You can mount it anywhere and it's perfect for your home theater, music playback PA, and every other place you may want to mount it on. The Amazon Basics 6.5 inch in ceiling speaker is one that provides high quality, clear and crisp audio even if you're in a big room. Unlike book shelf speakers, these in ceiling and wall speakers help you save space as all you need to do is hang them on the wall or mount them in your ceiling.
The 2-way sound system comes with a 6.5 inch composite woofer and a 1 inch high fidelity ring tweeter. The woofer makes for high quality audio reproduction while the tweeter ensures that you get clear stereo separation. Cut out templates, removable grilles, and painting masks are some other features you are sure to enjoy when you purchase these AmazonBasics in ceiling and in wall speakers.
In Ceiling Speaker Buyer’s Guide
When you buy the best in ceiling audio speakers, you’re getting a long lasting sound system that is more durable and more stable than many of the bookshelf speakers and wall speakers on the market. However, getting the best in ceiling audio speakers may be a hassle as there are many factors you need to consider before choosing one. For many beginners who are relatively new to the world of speakers, it is important to know the right elements needed to judge whether a speaker can be categorized as being one of the best or not.
In this guide, we’ll be telling you everything you need to know before choosing the best in ceiling audio speakers. You’ll become more conversant with the world of speakers and be able to identify what makes an in ceiling speaker tick. Also, if all you want is to just get the perfect speaker, the ten products in our review are guaranteed to give you a swell time. With that said, let’s dive into the best in ceiling speaker guide.
The Best Number of In Ceiling In Wall Speakers You Need
When buying an in ceiling audio speaker, there are two main considerations you need to make. The first consideration is deciding on the number of speakers that’s perfect for the environment you want to install them in. This decision is solely based on the size of the room and how you want to use your musical instruments.
For instance, if you’re setting up the speakers in your dining room for ambient, background music, just one or two speakers are great. But assuming you have a large living room and a really high ceiling, you’ll definitely need more than two. For a party, you’ll need up to five or six in ceiling audio systems to grab the attention of your guests.
Most in ceiling sound speakers come in pairs. Brands sell them this way so you can get the best and most true stereo sounds. As a rough guide, we’ll recommend that you utilize just one pair of speakers if the environment you’re setting up isn’t larger than 3×3 meters. If the room happens to be bigger than 5×5 meters, it is recommend that you use two pairs of speakers as they’ll provide you with more dynamic balance.
The second factor is the position in which the speakers are placed. You need to place them in places where they can provide you with the right combination of sounds as you want them to supply the right amount of coverage throughout the entire room. Getting this will require careful planning and it may take you some time to get it all figured out.
If you’re going for a multi-room sound system setup, you may need the help of a professional especially if you’re a novice. You can call on an A/V Designer to help you set things straight. All you’ll need to provide them with is your floor plan and they’ll let you know the right type of speakers, size, and amp you need to get.
Mono or Stereo: Which In Ceiling Speaker Type Do I Need?
Many traditional in ceiling audio speakers are built as mono speakers. That is why most of them come in pairs. A mono speaker has the sounds it produces coming from just one direction. This means that only one speaker can produce the left output and the other will produce the right output. So, to get the best stereo sound, you’ll need two mono speakers, i.e, if you’re using a mono speaker.
However, many customers do not like the idea of using two in ceiling mono speakers. So brands decided to create in ceiling stereo speakers that can produce sounds from both sides. These speakers save space and they are usually more affordable than their mono counterparts. One important thing to note is that while stereo speakers may be more affordable and provide sounds through two channels in one speaker, they do not offer the kind of stereo separation you’re bound to find in mono speakers.
So what’s our verdict? Well, we’ll recommend that if you’ve got limited space, then it’s best that you go for a stereo speaker. However, if your space can allow it, then go for the pair of mono speakers. Before you install a stereo speaker, you need to know that you’ll need two cables for one stereo speaker. This means that per Sono Amp, you can only install three stereo speakers or six mono speakers.
What Size Ceiling Speakers Should I Get?
The sizes noted in most speaker descriptions are talking about the cone size and not the overall size. There are many different sizes of speakers, but below is an outline that can help you select the best speakers for your environment:
Four Inches and Smaller
Speakers that come in these sizes are great when you want to complement the beauty of a room. While they do not provide the best audio, surround sound, or depth, these speakers make for some of the best aesthetics. They come with weak middle and lower frequencies, but they are easy to add and hide in the ceiling.
In ceiling audio speakers that come in this size are the best as they offer all round sound quality. Whether you want the best surround sound, background music, home theater setup, or LCR (left, center, right applications),these speakers are just great. They are neither too small nor too large, and they are considered to be the best bang for the buck.
These guys add life to a party. Combine them with one of the best amplifiers around and you’ll get some of the best sounds a speaker can provide. They are the best for environments that need more low end audio power. Eight inches in ceiling sound speakers provide the best range and the best bass. However, you cannot hide them in your ceiling and they will naturally take more out of your pocket than their smaller counterparts. If you aren’t bothered about them not being subtle, they are also great for building a decent home theater system.
What Type of Speaker Cable Do I Need?
For wired in ceiling audio systems, you are surely going to need your speaker cables. But which ones are the best to use? The 16 gauge, 2 core cable, popularly known as 16/2 cable is the industry standard for in ceiling audio speakers. However, if your amplifier is farther than 25 meters or your speaker is 25 meters or more farther than the source you are connecting it to, then you may decide to get a cable that’s thicker than the 16/2 cable.
If you reside in high moisture environments, it is best that you get a weather resistant speaker cable as they are the perfect solutions for outdoor and high moisture zones.
For stereo speakers, you may want to get the 16/4 cable (16 gauge, 4 cores) as it is the best cable for this speaker type.
Are Fire Hoods Necessary for In Ceiling Sound Speakers?
Fire hoods are simple enclosures for in ceiling sound speakers. They are some of the best solutions to maintaining the integrity of your ceiling. A fire hood goes is usually installed at the top of the speaker and it also acts as a soundproof solution for rooms that are above the speaker. So basically, with fire hoods, you won’t be disturbing your neighbors if your reside on the ground or middle floors.
If you’re calling in an expert for the installation of your in ceiling speakers, they are legally required to automatically add in fire hoods. But if you’re carrying out the installation by yourself, although it isn’t a legal requirement, it is recommended that you install fire hoods as they’ll make your speakers safe. And should you run into a fire hazard or accident, you won’t have any problem with your insurers in that regard. There are different sizes of fire hoods and it’s important to note that not all of them provide the soundproofing benefit.
How Much Space Do I Need for In Ceiling Sound Speakers?
This depends on the size of the speaker you choose to buy. Currently, the slimmest speaker on the market requires you to make a cut-out diameter of 196mm and a mounting depth of just 36mm. However, there are speakers that require cut-outs of up to 250mm and mounting depths of 160mm.
In Ceiling Sound Speakers Installation Tips
- In order to get the best sound, you need to ensure that your speakers are installed in the perfect positions. Most speaker models are designed to fire downwards. However, there are speakers that offer a tilt so you can get the best sounds. Therefore, when getting your speakers, ensure that they come with the technology that makes them accommodate adjustments for better performance.
- When installing your audio systems, ensure that your speakers are symmetrical to the existing technologies in the environment. It doesn’t matter whether you are going for a look that’s less visible than bookshelf speakers or floor standers, or you’re looking to achieve premium audio quality. Just ensure that your speakers are correctly located.
- Ensure that you don’t use any power cables in the ceiling or walls when installing your speakers. It is recommended that you use a 16 gauge cable, or worse, a 12 gauge cable instead. Power cables significantly reduce audio quality
- For a clean install, ensure that you use a well labeled plate and premium quality binding posts at the head-end. Make sure you are not skimping on your wire landings.
- Employ the use of a black box. Black boxes are enclosure that partially or fully encase the back of your speakers. Using them provides your speaker with the ability to project better and clearer sounds into the room, thereby maximizing volume and frequency range. While most manufacturers offer black boxes, not all of them do. But you can make a simple one by using basic materials.
Which Shape is the Best? Round or Square?
Round Speakers: This speaker shape is perfect when you have more round technology/appliances already installed in your home. They integrate better and are usually used as surround sound systems. However, keep in mind that there are no specific rules to what shape you use.
Square Speakers: These types of speakers are usually in wall speakers. They can also be used in ceilings and they serve as some of the best left-center-right speakers. Square shaped rooms tend to benefit more from these speakers though.
How are Speakers Controlled and Powered?
When it comes to how speakers are powered and controlled, two main options spring to mind; active and passive speakers.
Active Speakers: These speaker types are the plug and play options. They typically come with an in-built amplifier and all you need in terms of connection is to connect them directly to the mains. These speaker types are usually controlled via wireless connections like WiFi and Bluetooth. A good example is the Pyle Bluetooth Speaker in our review.
Passive Speakers: These are more common and they are typically powered by an external amplifier via a speaker cable. While there are many alternatives on the market, the Sonos Amp is one of the best amplifiers you can use. Once you connect your speakers to it, you’ll be able to control them wirelessly via the Sonos app which you’ll install on your phone or similar device. If you have multiple amplifiers, you can use the app to group your speakers into different zones.
Can Ceiling Speakers Be Used in High Moisture Environments?
Yes, you can use your sound systems in high moisture areas like your kitchen, saunas, and bathrooms. While many in ceiling and in wall speakers are going to do just fine, there are others that come with specific dust and moisture resistant technology to help keep your speakers functional in high moisture areas. They are known as Ingress Protected (IP) speakers.
Painting Your Speakers
The grilles of most in ceiling sound systems come with a white paint. Not everyone likes a white, bland look on their speakers. That is why manufacturers are designing the grilles to be removable for easier painting. You can go from white to a mix of colors or your favorite color. They can be painted to match your decor or home environment. However, always ensure that you don’t spray the grilles while they are still on your speaker. Remove them before changing their colors from white to whatever color you love.
Can My In Ceiling Sound System be Installed Outdoors?
Outdoor speakers have been in use for a while. They are usually wall mounted, sometimes disguised to look like a rock, and are usually hidden within borders or among plant pots. However, ceiling speakers are now versatile enough to be used outdoors. There are dedicated models with the technology to resist harmful elements. You’ll still need to protect them as they are not designed to be in the rain or accommodate snow.
Are In Ceiling Speakers Any Good?
Yes, they are a great addition to any home theater as they help provide an immersive sound experience and true stereo sounds. Below are some of the reasons why in ceiling sound systems are considered to be very good:
- They are affordable
- Your surround sound system will benefit from them
- They provide you with more layout flexibility
- They add an immersive sound experience to your surround system
The best ceiling speakers on our list will make your home sound and look different. They are built to add life into your sound system or home theater setup. With their compactness, functionality, and versatility, these guys serve as the perfect balance between producing awesome audio and remaining hidden while doing so. They are becoming more popular as the days roll by and if you haven’t gotten yours yet, then you may need to do so now.
However, getting the best ceiling sound systems require you to do some homework. We have done a great deal for you in this guide. You can choose to go with one of the top-notch products in our review or decide to use this informative guide we’ve provided you with to shop for the best ceiling speakers around. Just ensure that after you’ve bought your pick and want to install them, you measure twice and cut once to avoid wasting space, effort, and time. Now, go get the best in ceiling sound systems on the market.