Over the years, we’ve seen so many changes to how we listen to music. However, the innovation is not just about sound, but about practicality and saving precious space in one’s home, pub, restaurant, gym, or any other place where music is welcome. For this purpose, ceiling speaker systems have turned out to be the best solution. Of course, they require some tweaking of the interior design. But these days, they have become pretty much a standard for a substantial portion of music lovers and business owners.
Slowly, but surely, they seem to be taking over the conventional speakers and home entertainment systems, sometimes even finding integration with larger systems paired up with those “smart” home devices. However, just like with every other trend, things get a bit complicated when you want to purchase something new. But don’t worry as we’ll help you out and guide you through some of the best ceiling speakers that you can find on the market these days.
Ceiling Speakers Buying Guide
Being Less Noticeable Is Important
Aside from saving on space, one of the main ideas behind ceiling speakers is to conform to the modern minimalistic interior design trend. Of course, it’s impossible to make them absolutely unnoticeable, at least with your regular flat ceiling design. Different types of false ceilings may allow you to hide them from watchful eyes, but otherwise, they’ll always be noticeable.
However, you can still make their design blend into your room. There are some simple tricks that include matching the color with the color of your ceiling and using generally less noticeable design traits. They usually come in different colors, and some can even be painted the way you want to. On the other hand, you can make them more visible ut still find a way to match them with your planned interior design.
Ease of Installation
When it comes to ceiling speakers, it’s usually the best idea to have professionals install them in your designated room. However, in case you’re planning to install them yourself, it’s not an impossible task, but it’s definitely something that you’ll have to be patient with.
With this said, it’s usually the best idea to chose something that’s designed with a simpler installation procedure in mind. Sure, nothing will be super-perfect, but it’s still possible to find something that will be easier to use. Overall, it wouldn’t really be the best idea for you to get wrapped up in all the complicated details and either waste your time or, even rose, do something wrong.
Just like with any other speakers, or other hi-fi equipment, the quality of the sonic output is your primary goal here. Of course, a great sound never comes cheap, although there are some budget-friendly alternatives that could still hit all the required checkmarks and deliver a great performance.
But for this purpose, you’ll also need to think not only of your room’s acoustics but also about different configurations of ceiling speakers. You can always go with the regular pairs of mono speakers for individual left and right channels, but there are also stereo ceiling speakers. These come with a single bass driver and two tweeters, one for each individual channel. Aside from requiring double wiring, they allow you to have a true stereo sound from only one speaker unit.
How Many Ceiling Speakers Do I Need?
As you may already know, in most cases, ceiling speakers come in pairs, one for each channel. As for the number of speakers that you’ll have to use, it all depends on the size of the room. For smaller ones, it’s always recommended to have just a pair. But if the room is larger, around 25 to 30 square meters, then two pairs are recommended. Of course, the bigger the room, the more pairs of speakers you’ll need.
However, it’s not uncommon to find rooms that are of uneven shapes. In these cases, you can consider adding an additional pair, or a single stereo speaker, in any part of the room that stands out from the regular even shape.
Positioning the Ceiling Speakers
If you’ve decided to go with the stereo speaker configuration, you can just simply put one in the center of your room and that will be more than enough. This is the simplest way for you to go about it. But if we’re talking about pairs of mono speakers, then the best idea is to place them at least two meters from one another and, ideally, at an equal distance apart from each of the walls in the room.
Then there are rooms of uneven shapes where you can add a pair or a single stereo speaker where it’s needed. Additionally, you can also get speakers with angled tweeters which can help you out in covering each part of the room as evenly as possible.
Powering and Controlling Ceiling Speakers
Now, one of the most complicated things here is to set all the wiring and controls over to the speakers. So let’s first start with the basic types. There are active and passive speakers. Active ones come with integrated amplifiers and can work according to the simple “plug and play” principle. Passive speakers are more common and they require an additional amplifier in order to make them work.
With this said, external devices also allow control. With an amplifier, or an external control device for active speakers, you can control the volume level and other parameters. However, some systems are more complex and can control speakers in multiple rooms at once. In some ways, they’re similar to mixers, like those in studios or live stages, although they’re adapted for home use. Just bear in mind that these kinds of settings are much more expensive.
More modern solutions come with active wireless speaker configurations. For instance, the Sonos Amp offers a very practical and straightforward approach to this otherwise complex setting.
Top 10 Best Ceiling Speakers Review
i-Star Bluetooth Ceiling Speaker Kit
We’d like to start things off with a simple and affordable Bluetooth ceiling speaker pair by i-Star. The system includes a pair of compact ceiling speakers in stereo formation, as well as a Bluetooth module. One of their biggest advantages is the simplicity in installation and they come especially in handy for average bedrooms, sometimes even living rooms.
They require holes that are 74 mm in diameter, just like standard ceiling lights, and are designed in a way not to stand out. As for the Bluetooth module, it’s designed to be attached to your light circuitry. Additionally, you’ll be able to pair it up with any device that supports Bluetooth connectivity. The set is a perfect solution for smaller rooms.
- Really simple to install
- Bluetooth connectivity
- Great for small rooms
- It’s only good for smaller rooms
Herdio 5.25-Inch 600-watt Bluetooth Ceiling Speakers
Another great Bluetooth solution, we have this double stereo set by Herdio. These are 5.25-inch speakers, each bearing 150 watts of output power. They’re also designed to cover anything from 60 Hz and up to 20 kHz. Using powered Bluetooth base units for each pair, you’ll be able to control it and pair it with any supported device.
Being the 5.0 Bluetooth technology, it allows up to 100 feet of distance from the source where the music is coming from. And, what’s more, there’s even the classic 3.5 mm input for any auxiliary device that comes to ming. It also comes with the active Bluetooth base and amp unit, which can be placed in such a way to go out of the wall and allow you to connect anything you need.
- Comes in handy for mid to large-sized rooms
- Allows for up to 100 feet distance from the source
- Great deal for the price
- May not cover the sub-bass territories well
Adastra OD6-W8 Water Resistant 6.5-Inch Speakers
In case you’re looking for great passive speakers at a fairly reasonable price, then we’d recommend OD6-W8 by Adastra. These come in pairs and are designed to withstand moisture. Additionally, they can withstand up to 100 watts of power each and have an impedance of 8 ohms.
These come as a great choice if you already have your own amplifier or are planning to get one. Considering their price, they’re a pretty good deal if you’re making your own fully customized system.
- Fairly cheap
- Simple to install
- Nothing at this price level
Yamaha NS-IC600 Ceiling Speaker Pair
To be fair, there’s not a single product category that you can go wrong with if you choose Yamaha. This also goes for all of the price categories. And we can easily say the same thing for their ceiling and wall speakers, especially with the NS-IC600 model. These are mono speakers that come in stereo pairs. Althoguh somewhat more expensive, they’re definitely worth it if you prefer great sound quality.
The individual NS-IC600 speaker comes with a 6.5-inch woofer and a single 1-inch tweeter. Their specialized design not only makes them aesthetically pleasing but also allows for superior sound quality compared to most of the other examples within this price category. Of course, you’ll also need an amp for them, but this is what true audiophiles will want to have with their fully customized systems.
- Great design
- Superior sound quality
- They might be expensive to some potential buyers
Heirdo 4-inch 160-watt Ceiling Speakers
More stuff by Heirdo that we wanted to look more into, we have their 4-inch speakers here that can withstand up to 160 watt of power per one pair. This is yet another budget-friendly passive option for your own customized system. What’s more, they’re water-resistant, so that also makes them a great choice for all the different types of rooms, even a pool area. Or, even better, they can come in handy for some outdoor settings where you need ceiling or wall-mounted speakers.
- Fairly cheap, great deal for the price
- Easy to install
- They might not cover the bottom end of the spectrum so well
Power Dynamics ESCS6 System
But in case you’re looking for a full-on system for large rooms or even entire homes, then we would recommend Power Dynamics and their ESCS6. It comes with the PRM606 6-Zone matrix amp and a total of 18 individual speakers, or 9 pairs. The amplifier allows you to control the volume of different “zones” or individual devices that the amp is connected to. What’s more, this is a rack-mounted amp, which is super useful for those who like to keep things tidy in racks.
As if all this wasn’t enough, the amp also comes with a Bluetooth receiver. Sure, you’ll need to put cables for individual passive speakers in the ceiling and walls, but you won’t have the tangled cable jungle in your rooms.
This is a full-blown system that’s really useful for restaurants, medium-sized gyms, cafes, and entire homes. Sure, this comes with a price, but it’s probably one of the best options if you need a full system out of the box.
- Great sound quality
- Very versatile amplifier for multiple different devices
- Great for entire homes or smaller businesses
- It’s expensive
Systemline E100 Bluetooth Speaker System
In case you need a stylish and simple solution for your living room or bedroom, then you can check out this Systemline’s Bluetooth speaker pair. Called the E100, it comes with an easy-to-install design and an external touch control unit with a touch screen and an auxiliary input (3.5 mm). Of course, the speakers are connected to the small unit using the cables, but the unit itself has a Bluetooth receiver and can simply be mounted to a wall in your designated room. The system is a bit expensive, but this is as good as it gets for your average living room.
- One of the best choices for your livingroom
- Simple “out-of-the-box” installation
- Easy-to-use base unit with a simple display
- Great sound quality
- The system is a bit expensive
Pyle PDIC80 Home Ceiling Speaker System
Another great solution if you want a fully customized system with your own choice of an amplifier and other components. Pyle’s PDIC80 are 8-inch speakers with a rich full bottom-end and some pretty clear higher frequencies. Coming in pairs, these can withstand up to 300 watts of output power. Sure, they might require you to make larger holes, which can take some additional time for installation. But considering their price and overall qualities, you’ll rarely find ceiling speakers that are such a great deal.
- Affordable considering their qualities
- Great sound both in quiet and loud settings
- Can stand up to 300 watts of power
- Being 8 inches in diameter, you’ll need to make larger holes
Lithe Audio 6.5-inch Bluetooth Speakers
Another “out-of-the-box” system of Bluetooth speakers, here we have the Lithe Audio set of three pairs. Each pair has a “master” and a “slave” speaker with 50 watts of power per pair. You can simply install them, connect them to a power source, like a lighting circuit, and you’re free to use them with any of your devices that support Bluetooth connectivity. What’s more, they also support the Amazon Echo Dot, Amazon Alexa, and Google Home Mini systems.
- Compatible with “smart” home systems
- Simple to install
- Can come in handy for multiple rooms or one large room
- Great sound quality
- They’re a bit expensive
Rockford Fosgate R165X3
Finally, we’d like to take a closer look at one of the stereo speaker choices on the market. For this purpose, we’re bringing you the Rockford Fosgate R165X3 speaker, which comes with a 6.5-inch diameter and a depth of 2.15 inches. They’re bought individually, but one of these speakers, along with an amplifier to pair it with, can be enough for your bedroom or a smaller living room. What’s more, if you get more of thee and connect them to one amp, you can get your entire house equipped.
- Simple stereo configuration
- Great sound quality
- Nothing for this price level
Setting up wireless speakers is definitely more complicated than using regular home entertainment systems. However, this approach is intended not only to allow for more space in your room but also to last for extended periods of time without replacement. With this said, you should carefully plan out where to put them and choose the right speakers for your needs. Sure, the whole process might be more expensive at first, but it’s way more rewarding. In the long run, it can even come as a cheaper option as you’ll have less need to change these speakers and buy new stuff. From what we can see, this is the future of home entertainment systems, especially the wireless setups that can integrate with other devices in your living space.