Introducing: In ceiling Speakers System—What to Buy and How to Choose [11 Stategies]

An In ceiling speakers system is one of the best and discrete ways of playing music around the house—invisible, yet small, compact, and powerful instead of having your bulky speakers encroach your floor space. If you're thinking of buying one, here's all the preshopping research you need, as in this rough guide on in-ceiling speakers, I will cover:

  • What are in-ceiling speakers?
  • Pros or main benefits of in-ceiling speakers.
  • Factors that influence the sound quality of in-ceiling speakers.
  • The best in-ceiling speakers that will truly blow the roof off your party!
  • Answers to some common user questions on in-ceiling speakers.

And, as always, much more! So, happy reading!


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In-home speakers can refer to any kind of speakers that are attuned for use in an indoor, preferably domestic setting. It is these speakers that are the building blocks of a home theater, which are a great way to get consistent, balanced, and lag-free sound around the house.

in ceiling speakers system

Ceiling speakers, also known as in wall speakers, are one of the many kinds of domestic or in-home speakers out there, and form a great addition to home theater systems. They are a great sound system addition, especially if you’re aiming to make your own setup a home theater system.

Most users opt for a ceiling speaker because they are discrete and can be hidden from plain view, always a great factor for an audio source. However, their usage is determined by many factors such as the size of your room, your loudness expectations, if you want stereo or surround speakers, and most importantly on your budget.

Here are some common queries pertaining to these factors that I have answered after hours of exhaustive research.

Read and refer to the following sections to know more about in ceiling speakers.

How many ceiling speakers do you need?

Ceiling (or sometimes bookshelf speakers) speaker systems usually come in pairs: two speakers for the right and left bits of the stereo sound effects setup. However, depending on your room size, and even the nature of the room (living room or bedroom setups will be very different from each other), you can assess and opt for at least four speakers to take care of the four corners of the space.

Most speaker systems like Sonos for example, need an amp from the same brand to function. However, most such speaker systems will give you the same volume intensity distributed over your mono channel speakers: that is, whatever the loudness of a single amp, will be divided amongst your multiple speakers. However, going by the example, Sonos also manufactures multi room system amps, each of which can power multi room setups.

Where do you position your speakers and how far apart should they be for an optimum sound experience?

A good rule of thumb is to place the speakers along the length of the room, equidistant from each wall. And, do ensure that each speaker is at least two meters away from each other.

Ensure you check the build quality of each chassis, and go with reputed brands, for durability. Or just read on to know which are the best speakers for you!

Will in ceiling speakers require mains power?

No, in short. Passive speakers like ceiling speakers require the power of an amplifier, and hence most often derive their power from an external amplifier, or amplifier system, most via a speaker line or speaker cable.

Read on to know more solutions and tips to choose good speakers for your house.

The majority of Bluetooth ceiling speakers have 1 or 2 drivers. However, if you want something more precise, you can find a few Bluetooth ceiling speakers with up to 3 or 4 drivers that provide even better sound quality. Example : Herdio Ceiling Bluetooth Speakers

=> Check on Amazon

Do you need a single speaker or mono speaker for stereo sound?

Most traditional in ceiling speakers, basically any ceiling speaker is designed to work with a conventional amp and put in the left and right contributions to the sound each. So, yes, you need two single tweeters, for surround channels and surround sound; not a single speaker with two tweeters itself.

How many speakers do common amplifier systems power?

For example, the Sonos amp has a standard 8 ohm running power and can easily power two mono ceiling mounted speakers. However, if you use Sonos in-ceiling speakers with your Sonos amplifiers, you can increase the limit of channels to 3 speakers for the ultimate surround sound listening experience.

What kind of speaker cables will you need to work on your in-ceiling or ceiling mounted speakers?

16 gauge 2 speaker cables should cut most systems. The quality of sound deteriorates consistently with ear level barriers, the seating locations, and how far the speaker cable is stretched. This industry standard cable size will give you good frequency response, and align with almost every mounting depth. And because safety first, ensure good moisture resistant, insulated wires are used.

Can in-ceiling speakers be painted?

Yes, if you have paintable grilles, or rather, easily detachable speaker grilles. This will allow you to detach the opening grille, spray paint it and put it back. Some speakers come with a magnetic grille, which allows for even smoother attachment and detachment, and easy installation.

How do you set up your ceiling speakers in a 7.1 or 5.1 surround sound system?

To properly install a home theater system with surround sound like Dolby Atmos, first consider the amplifier system you are using and how to align it to include an in ceiling speaker.

For 5.1 Dolby:

5.1 surround sound system
iStock@Essentials 5.1 surround sound system
  • You need a pair of speakers as rear surround speakers.
  • Set these up behind or just above your ear level or seating position in the space.
  • You will need a pair of more speakers to place near/around your entertainment unit or screen. These are your front speakers.
  • You will need another center channel speaker, ideally between the two front speakers.

That’s your 5.1 setup for the best surround sound experience.

For 7.1 Dolby:

Just create a 5.1 setup from the steps above, and simply add a pair of speakers to the front or rear surrounds.

It’s a good way to play some background music and give your space an immediate feeling of a concert hall.

Are ceiling speakers good for movies?

In a world where movie theaters are just about slowly opening up again, home theaters are a great way to duplicate the same multidimensional surround sound experience indoors. Ceiling speakers form an important part of the whole surround experience, hence are a great choice if you are a movie buff like me.

Are ceiling speakers good for music?

Yes, they are a great addition to your music system and can give you crisp, nuanced, surround sound, with all the clarity expected of a good sound system. So, if you have a preexisting setup for listening to music, and want to go Dolby Atmos, adding a ceiling mounted speaker can make all the difference in the world.

Nowadays, ceiling speakers are quite commonly used around the home, even for purposes other than enhancing their existing home theater. One of the best ways to get the best out of a ceiling speaker is using one that works with Google Assistant. The manufacturer Klipsch, for example, makes ceiling speakers that work with Amazon Echo input module and can support Alexa as well.

You can integrate all your compatible ceiling speakers with a Google Home device as well.

If you are someone who wants to invest in a theatrical sound system for your home theater, you might as well pull out the big guns. Here are my top two picks for you:

Polk Audio RC80i 2-way Premium In-Ceiling 8″ Round Speakers

These speakers are definitely the best option if you are looking for benefits both in terms of design and audio, which not only justify it’s premium price, but it is also cheaper than other high-end in-wall audio systems.

(Definitely one of the best in-ceiling speaker)

You may install it in your bathrooms or rooms, but it can surprise you as one of the best outdoor in-ceiling speakers.

What I Liked

  • Adjustable tweeter
  • Water resistant

What I Did Not Like

  • Cylinders present instead of connection clips
  • Non-magnetic grille

Klipsch CDT-5800-C-II

A commendable and unique product, this is a durable audio system that comes with a two-way speaker that can be pointed towards a specific area of your space, with the help of a gimbal-style mount.

What I Liked

  • Build quality
  • Affordable
  • Easy installation

What I did not like

  • Pivoting speaker cannot be aimed straight down towards the floor, making it a tad impractical as a ceiling mounted speaker.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Are home speakers worth it?

In short, yes. In home speakers come in many shapes and sizes and have many benefits. And, depending on your budget, you can choose from an array of various shapes, sizes, and sound quality offered. And, home speakers can help you set up a home theater system, over time, too, which is always the best way to experience good sound quality in an indoor setting. Mostly, the bigger the speaker is, the more powerful it is, as a rule of thumb.

Are speakers in the ceiling good?

Yes. An in ceiling speakers system will help you discretely and unobtrusively play music loudly around the house, and is also a great way to get started on a surround sound setup around the home as well. An in ceiling speaker not just keeps the source of the sound away from eyes, but also offers the best sound quality, especially in tandem with other home speakers.

How do you install ceiling mounted speakers?

Installing ceiling speakers requires quite a bit of equipment including a ladder and cutters to make the template cutout for your speaker grilles. Most brands recommend professional installation, hence. Unless you’re a DIY enthusiast, I recommend opting for a professional. In case you are, however, there are many product-specific YouTube tutorials that walk you through the process.

Can I use ceiling speakers for surround sound?

In short, yes. Just ensure that the amplifier you are using supports the brand of surround sound you want. As a matter of fact, most users add in ceiling speakers systems to their preexisting audio setup. Ceiling speakers are discrete and can be a great addition to your sound.

In conclusion

A very good way to, as the proverb goes, “Add music” to your life, is to set up a proper home theater at home: and ceiling and in wall speakers are quite a great and affordable place to start from.

Which strategy did you like most?

If this article helped you make an informed choice, share your experience and let me know in the comments below.

Till next time!

You can read more about speakers in my Internet section and more here.

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