Are you trying to choose ceiling speakers for your house interior? If the answer is yes, you may find that this is a more difficult task than you initially thought. In-ceiling speakers have many different features that may not make sense to you, and what’s even more confusing is their prices: some of them are really cheap, while others are extremely expensive. But why is this happening?
Over the past few years, in-ceiling speakers have become increasingly popular in homes as more and more people are looking for quality audio devices that they can use to keep their interior decoration intact. In addition, in-ceiling speakers save a lot of space compared to large bookshelf speakers and optimize the sound direction that comes from above. All these advantages have led to the production of a variety of different models from many well-known speaker brands.
We often come across people complaining about not being able to find the right speakers to suit their setup. There are also complaints about how speakers can take up real estate that could have been used elsewhere. To top it off, are stray cables giving you heartache? There’s a one-stop solution for you: the best ceiling speakers!
Ceiling speakers, also known as in-ceiling speakers, are speakers that you can install directly into your ceiling (no question). These speakers are also called built-in speakers. An in-ceiling speaker has an extremely low profile and can be easily concealed. But by no means is the sound quality and performance low. In this article, we’ll help you find the best ceiling speakers on the market!
Best In-Ceiling Speakers of 2022
Polk Audio 2-way Premium In-Ceiling Speaker
Yamaha NS-IW280CWH In-Ceiling Speaker
Acoustic Audio R191 In-Ceiling Speaker
Polk Audio 255c-RT In-Wall Center Channel Speaker
Acoustic Audio R191 In-Ceiling Speaker Set
Yamaha NSIW360C 2-Way In-Ceiling Speaker System
Pyle 2-Way In-Wall In-Ceiling Speaker System
Definitive Technology Uewa/Di 8R In-Ceiling Speaker
Bose Virtually Invisible 791 II In-Ceiling Speaker
These Polk Audio premium 2-way in-ceiling speakers come in two sizes (6.5, 8) and come with a rubber grommet that aids in bass response and keeps out excess moisture, making them a great choice for bathrooms and saunas , or covered porches, among other humid places.
The paintable grille is beautiful and fully removable so it will complement any home decor, and these speakers come with a lifetime warranty, which is of course much longer than the one-year warranty that comes with our top pick. This combination of features makes these speakers one of the best in-wall speakers on our list. From the series we recommend the Polk Audio RC80i 2-way premium in-ceiling loudspeakers.
Speaking of recommendations, check out the best smart speakers. While they come in pairs, which is nice, they don’t come in individual units, which could be an issue if you’re looking for a solo replacement. In addition, the price is higher compared to some other products on this list. Maybe you also like the best floorstanding speakers.
Here comes a fairly affordable option from a top brand, the Yamaha NS-IW280CWH is a pair of three-way speakers that deliver exceptional sound quality. It comes with a 6.5-inch polypropylene mica cone woofer and double-inch dome tweeters, and allows you to tilt everything to point the sound in the right direction.
The speakers can deliver 100 watts of power and the tweeters are equipped with the SoundMax system for better quality in the high frequencies. These speakers come with a template that allows you to replace them with other Yamaha speakers without having to drill new holes. The Yamaha NS-IW280CWH have a fairly modern design and come with aluminum grilles that you can adapt to the ceiling.
Overall, these speakers are optimal for those on a budget, as they combine moving parts with sound that can easily fill a room, but some people will find that they lack sound quality compared to other speakers on the list.
Here comes the perfect choice for your home theater, the Acoustic Audio R191 are affordable in-ceiling speakers sold in sets of 5, the perfect number for a surround system. They feature a 2-way design with 5.25″ woofers and 12mm soft dome tweeters that deliver a frequency response of 45 Hz to 22 kHz and an efficiency of 95 dB.
These qualities allow them to deliver a crisp and clear sound performance suitable for most applications, while their loudness is more than adequate for any interior. They have a robust build quality and their materials ensure longevity. They are quite easy to install without the need for an expert using your tools. Their flat design is available in white color with paintable grilles to match your ceiling.
The Polk Audio 255C-RT is another choice from the Polk Audio brand, part of their acclaimed Vanishing series. This speaker is available both as an in-ceiling speaker and as an in-wall speaker as it has a wall bracket for mounting. It is essentially a center channel speaker with a 3-way design that features two 5.25″ polypropylene cones and a 1″ soft dome tweeter.
Its components allow it to deliver a rich bass performance as well as crisp and clear mid and high frequencies. The Twitter is capable of 15 pans, allowing you to direct the audio towards your listening position, and forgives you if you haven’t placed it perfectly in the room. The Polk Audio 255C-RT’s rubber surround ensures durability. The overall design is pretty nice and it comes in white finish.
The speaker is square with rounded edges. The grilles are very thin and attach to the speaker’s body with a magnetic snap, while their white color helps the speakers disappear into the ceiling.
This Acoustic Audio R191 speaker set offers five speakers at a great price and excellent build quality, making it extremely appealing to the budget conscious consumer. Knowing how to mount speakers to the ceiling helps, but these are easy to install. They mount with a screw and clamp and have a lightweight form factor (2 pounds each).
Each speaker comes with a removable grille, a polypropylene cone woofer and a soft cone tweeter, with the latter two combining to produce rich and natural audio. This set can be used for a home theater system, whole house audio system, business or retail installation.
Though installation was effortless, the removable grilles aren’t meant to be painted, which might be an issue for those of you who have colored walls. Additionally, the one-year warranty is on the low end, as our number two has a lifetime warranty. The best mini bluetooth speakers are another option.
The Yamaha NSIW360C 2-way in-ceiling speaker system is available in pairs and multi-unit bundles, which can save you a few bucks. These speakers sound fantastic, with sound quality increasing dramatically after several hours of break-in, and come with a fully paintable grille and surround.
The installation process was extremely easy thanks to the included cut-out template, which allowed you to know exactly how to cut into your drywall or other ceiling surface. While the multipacks are a great bargain, you can’t buy individual speakers, which could be a problem for some consumers. In addition, the price is higher compared to other products on this list. The best satellite radio for the home will sound fantastic.
This Pyle 2-Way In-Wall In-Ceiling Speaker System sounds great and has added treble control, thanks to a switch that allows easy decibel adjustments (+3dB, 0, -3dB.) The silk dome voice coil speakers can pan , allowing users to direct the sound where they want, and the full-range, polycone mid-bass woofers sound absolutely amazing, delivering natural and robust bass response.
We also liked that these come in two sizes, 6.5 and 8, which adds to their customization options. While the included two-year warranty is decent and longer than some items on this list, it’s still a lot shorter than the lifetime warranty that comes with our number two. Also, these are only available in pairs. It goes well with the best internet radio. You might even want to think about making them your new computer speakers.
Definitive Technology DI 8R In-Ceiling Speakers are the best invisible in-ceiling speakers with loud and hard performance. The invisibility of the speakers is due to the intelligent design of the hidden flange, small diameter and low micro-perforation grilles.
The grilles here have a diameter of 9 3/4 n, which is smaller than the other 8-inch ceiling speakers in this range. The Di 8R amplifies sound per square inch of speaker visibility. The contoured and textured AeroRing design contributes to the wide-angle sound. They also have fireproof enclosures for pre-construction installation. It features GaussGrip magnetic grid attachments.
They feature the most advanced technologies resulting in crystal clear and sharper sounds. It has a balanced dual surround system for midrange and woofers. Audio performance is further enhanced by the 1” pure aluminum pivoting dome tweeters.
The dome shape reduces diffraction and distortion. BDSS gives in-ceiling speakers an edge over traditional in-ceiling speakers. The BDSS is why bass response and range are nuanced and dynamic.
The Bose Virtually Invisible 791 II is a quality pair of in-ceiling speakers from another well-known brand. his model claims to disappear into the environment once installed. It is true that their strong point is the design: they are available in white color to adapt to the ceiling and have an almost frameless construction to blend in easily.
Their grilles are paintable and magnetically attached for easy removal, while the supplied templates make speaker installation easy. In terms of sound performance, the Bose Virtually Invisible 791 II comes with a 7-inch woofer and 2.1-inch tweeters that deliver crystal-clear audio with mid-range emphasis.
On the other hand, if you’re a bass enthusiast, you might find that these need a subwoofer to really shine. They are sold in pairs and their price is quite high compared to the other models.
Best In-Ceiling Speakers Buying Guide
In-ceiling speakers are growing in popularity as they are recognized as a beautiful alternative to bulky indoor audio systems and bookshelf speakers. However, most potential buyers feel lost when trying to choose the right speakers as they have many specifications that are not always clear and they come at wildly different prices making the task even more difficult. To help with this confusion, I have created the following buying guide for you, explaining everything you need to know before buying brand-new in-ceiling speakers.
As with any other speaker, there are certain factors you need to consider when purchasing the right in-ceiling speaker. These are:
Sound performance always comes first when looking for speakers. Depending on the materials used for the woofer and tweeter, the different models achieve different levels of clarity and crispness in sound performance. Most brands are very competitive in terms of materials used, so you’re sure to find a model that suits you.
Some of the speakers have built-in controls for different frequency ranges such as mid and high, allowing you to customize the system to suit your space and preferences. One thing to be aware of before buying your speakers is low-end performance: not all models are good at reproducing bass, and that might dictate your choice if you’re a bass enthusiast.
Installing ceiling speakers is the most difficult part of using them. Some ceiling speakers come with the necessary tools you need to install them in your ceilings. Some of the bigger brands try to make sure the installation process for their speakers is as easy as possible. Another way to install ceiling speakers is to use magnetic grilles.
This is one of the easiest ways to install ceiling speakers on your ceilings. Some speakers come with dogleg clamps, which again are a great tool for installing in-ceiling speakers.
One of the most useful features of certain in-ceiling speakers is the ability to pivot certain parts. This allows you to position them in places that may not be ideal, but turn them in the right direction later. Some speakers have moving tweeters, while others also have moving woofers. If you’re able to place the speakers in just the right spot in the ceiling, where they’re perfectly aligned with your listening position, then you don’t need this extra feature. If that’s not the case, it’s worth spending a little more money on pivoting tweeters.
Unlike regular floor or table speakers, replacing ceiling speakers is no easy task. Therefore, the build quality and robustness of an in-ceiling speaker are of paramount importance. By build quality, we don’t just mean the outside, but also the inside. It is crucial that tweeters, woofers, and cables are of the highest quality.
Once the internal quality control is complete, let’s move on to the exterior of the speakers. It is best to use ceiling speakers made of robust materials that are also rust and/or water-resistant.
The whole point of in-ceiling speakers is that they disappear into your ceiling. Therefore, such speakers are usually designed very reserved. One difference you might notice is the shape of the speakers. You can find square or round speakers as options. There are also some speakers with paintable grilles. This allows your speakers to completely camouflage themselves with the interior design of your room.
How can we ever forget our dear friend’s money? Your budget will determine the number of additional features you can afford for your ceiling speakers. Users may have to pay extra for features like adjustability, magnetic grids, paintable grids, etc. Don’t compromise by trying to save money.
It might end up costing you more. Now that we know what to look for when buying in-ceiling speakers, let’s take a look at some of the best in-ceiling speakers out there!
Depending on your tastes and needs, you might want to take a look at some other specs as well. Depending on the model, the grilles of the loudspeakers can be screwed or magnetically attached. The shape of the speakers is usually round, but there are certain speakers that are only available in a square shape.
Last but not least, don’t forget to check if the volume is good enough for your room: that means you may have to buy more or fewer speakers if you haven’t measured everything well. As you’ve probably realized by now, the market is full of in-ceiling speakers that come with different features. It is certain that you can find speakers that work for you as long as you know what you will be using them for.
Determining your needs is crucial: this means you need to consider the shape and size of your space, where you want to place them and whether you need an additional feature (e.g. waterproof design or square shape). I hope this guide has helped you understand all the different specifications of in-ceiling speakers.
While a list of the top 9 speakers will certainly help narrow your choices from this vast amount of speakers on the market, how do you decide on one? Well, the best ceiling speaker is the one that fits your needs, and the most important thing to consider is the shape and size of your room.
Not only does this determine the number and placement of your speakers, but it’s also useful to know in order to select pivoting or fixed speakers. If you think it’s important that your speakers disappear into the ceiling, the first thing you should look for is speakers with a low-profile design and paintable grilles. Another factor that will surely weigh heavily on your choice is the money you are willing to spend on these speakers.
I’ve presented you with choices for every budget, but it’s important to check if the speakers you’re considering buying come in pairs, individually or in sets of five, as that’s an important aspect of price. Ceiling speakers are a really nice addition to any interior. I hope this list helps you choose the ones that are right for you!