Best In Ceiling Speakers

Discussion in 'Loudspeakers' started by justinkase, Feb 3, 2009.

  1. justinkase Audiophyte

    justinkase
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    Hey there. First post here. Popping my cherry with the A/V thing. Just remodeled our house and we're putting in a home audio system. My AV guy is wiring the living room for surround (i think 5.1?) and wiring for in ceiling speakers throughout. I'm looking for a solid speaker in the $200-300 range. He recommended Legend Audio or Proficient? Is that a good choice? Are there others that are better?

    Also gonna need to pick up a receiver as well.

    I am a complete rookie at this. Would love any helpful input from you guys as to the best way to proceed.

    Thanks so much. Really appreciate it!!!
  2. ParadigmDawg Audioholic Overlord

    ParadigmDawg
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    Is the 200-300 bucks per speaker or for all of them?

    I like Sonance and SpeakerCraft.
  3. justinkase Audiophyte

    justinkase
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    200 per pair is within my budget. Unless you know of others that have the same quality for cheaper. Don't want to compromise sound though.
    Thanks
  4. TLS Guy Audioholic Overlord

    TLS Guy
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    You all ready have compromised sound severely. In ceiling speakers are just about acceptable for surrounds, but definitely not for left and right mains and center.

    Just consider for a moment whether you want you voices permanently coming from on high! It will be downright spooky. You need a better plan. A high quality in ceiling speaker is an oxymoron period.
  5. justinkase Audiophyte

    justinkase
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    As much as I appreciate the honesty, you just killed my buzz. The damage has already been done as they are cutting for six inch ceiling speakers. What are my options for decent quality sound? As I stated above, I'm a rookie when it comes to AV equipment and just want something that'll sound good.
    Appreciate all the insight.
  6. TLS Guy Audioholic Overlord

    TLS Guy
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    Have them patch the front holes.

    Before we can proceed further, we need you to tell us: -

    Your budget.

    Details of your room.

    What associated equipment do you have or plan to purchase?

    Whether this be home theater and TV only, or a music system as well?
  7. m_vanmeter Full Audioholic

    m_vanmeter
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    the in-ceiling units would be acceptable for the surrounds, I would recommend Mirage Omnicans, 5" or 6" for those locations.
    http://www.vanns.com/shop/servlet/item/features/546150670/mirage-omnican-5?s_c=site_search


    If free standing speakers are a problem, then the installers can wire for "in-wall" units for the left-center-right front speakers....definately a better solution than the front 3 in the ceiling. You will need to make a decision on the size of the TV and where it will be mounted on the wall or sit on a stand. The inwall left and right speakers would be on either side and the center channel immediately below (preferred) or above (OK if there is very little separation between the top of the TV and the speaker).

    good luck
  8. Midcow2 Banned

    Midcow2
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    "Sound Good" in ceiling is expensive!!

    "Sound Good" in ceiling is expensive!! Some of the better brands and best speakers listed below. You can go less but the sound will degrade proportionatey

    You would be much better off if you could buy some front tower speakers ( or even good book shelve with a subwoofer for bass0 and a matching center ( for voice and to maintain timbre ( seamless front sound).

    Definitive Technology UIW 94/a $299 each
    http://www.definitivetech.com/Produ...n-wall/In-Ceiling Speakers&productid=UIW 94/A

    Niles Audio CM750 In-Ceiling Speakers $269.95 each
    http://www.4electronicwarehouse.com/products/niles/cm-750.html

    Speakercraft AIM8 Five $949 each
    http://www.speakercraft.com/#Products:293:In-Ceiling Overview
    http://www.speakercraft.com/#Products:24:AIM8 Five
    http://www.securitycamerasandmore.com/index.asp?PageAction=VIEWPROD&ProdID=6893
  9. bandphan Banned

    bandphan
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    How are they "cutting" for speakers when you dont have them yet, you could be opening a can of worms.
    • Like Like x 1
  10. TLS Guy Audioholic Overlord

    TLS Guy
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    No matter what they charge, they can't change the laws of physics, so they will still sound lousy.
  11. Rickster71 Audioholic Spartan

    Rickster71
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    That's the first thing I thought of too...:eek:
  12. justinkase Audiophyte

    justinkase
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    I committed to 6 inch round speakers. Waits for a slap across the face. Go easy on me. Just want something decent to watch movies and music throughout the pad.
  13. Midcow2 Banned

    Midcow2
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    I completely agree ;)
  14. Midcow2 Banned

    Midcow2
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  15. AVRat Audioholic Ninja

    AVRat
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    Good vs Lousy is relative to the individual's perception! One man's treasure is another man's junk! :rolleyes:
  16. ParadigmDawg Audioholic Overlord

    ParadigmDawg
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    Steven seems to like the way his SCs and SVS blend together. The OP needs to use inceilings so lets help him with this.
  17. slothy420 Enthusiast

    slothy420
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    My local Paradigm dealer sold me on some paradigm in-ceiling speakers that I'm using for my surrounds and rear channels. The ones I have are designed to point at a 30 degree angle which is directed at my listening position. I don't remember what I paid for them (probably too much), but I've been enjoying them nonetheless. If I was to do it over again (or if I decide to upgrade at some point) I would probably go with in-wall speakers for the surrounds, but keep the in-ceilings for the rears.

    http://www.paradigm.com/en/paradigm/inwallcustom-cs-cs60r30-model-6-7-2-30.paradigm
  18. khazlett Audiophyte

    khazlett
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    in-ceiling might be okay, if....

    What some are forgetting....

    You've posted a question on an audiophile website. These guys, me included are critical of all small variations in sound and find most things you might not even notice as irritating.

    You mentioned you're new to this...based on the date of the post I'm sure you've done the dirty deed and put in the ceiling speakers. Good for you! Sometimes astetics don't allow for anything else - like in my family room, where I didn't want to trash my $10,000 fireplace that I designed with ugly box speakers. If you chose a high-end ceiling speaker then I bet you don't even notice a problem. Individually purchased, almost all high-end in-ceiling speakers will beat your average home theater systems bought from Best Buy. Those speakers almost always come from mainstream companies - most of those companies are relabeling speakers manufactured by someone else. Essentially, these speakers are manufactured and then one company will brand them their way, and another company will brand them their way. Its sort of like medicine....aspirin is aspirin, but how many companies sell it under their brand and say it is better than the others?

    For a novice, the important things are:
    1. Purchase from a high-end company: SpeakerCraft was mentioned
    2. Get a speaker with a "baffle" that is positioned at an angle (30 degree should do it), so it faces the listner. LCR speakers should come to a focus point in the center of the room (you mentioned 5.1, there are plenty of guides that give you the angle and pointing placement). It is mathematically impossible for the mid and bass to sound good if the baffles are pointing straight down - which is why you get the in-ceiling speakers are crap discussion - but many of the high end in-ceiling speakers have baffles that are angled - the best ones allow you to adjust the baffles (but those will be above $300 per speaker).
    3. Get a speaker with a tweater that is positionable...for the same reason. Almost all of the high-ends automatically have an adjustable tweater.
    4. Get a speaker with Aluminum or better material (that will be your typical high-end speaker - it's high-end because it uses a better material!).
    5. In general, the bigger the speaker, the better the sound.
    6. Make sure you have a separate sub-woofer and setup your AVR to not send bass to the in-ceiling speakers
    7. Don't get an in-wall sub-woofer....you'll be replacing your drywall within 3-4 years! Plus, almost all of them are passive. Get a good sub-woofer - they come looking like furniture these days, so sending wire to a wall jack and using a short cable to the Sub-woofer is sufficient. Get a powered sub-woofer
    8. Don't forget to use approved in-wall cable - regular wire is crap (you'll spend lots of money on cable if you do it right). Inspectors will make you replace non-approved in-wall low-voltage cabling.
    9. Use Gold connectors.

    With those guidelines, you should be able to get a in-ceiling speaker system that a novice will think is the best sound system they've ever heard! And you'll it for under $200/speaker.

    Problem with a sound engineer is they think everyone is like them. But 95% of the population would be more than happy with even an entry-level high-end speaker. Having said that...even those speakers are going to cost between $150-200 per speaker.

    Good luck...and hope you achieved these guidelines in your setup. If you didn't, and you ever want to replace your speakers, follow the above speaker guidelines and you would improve upon what you did. Just realize, you are not recording to drop a track or create a commercial....or chopping auido...so you don't need the best of the best. Many of these guys do.

    Kevin
  19. JerryWest_44 Audiophyte

    JerryWest_44
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    Kevin,

    This is one of the best recommendations for us non-audiophiles. Many of us are coming back to Hifi Audio/Home Theater after hearing music for several years from a computer. So anything is going to sound better.

    With your recommendations in mind can you list a few ceiling speakers in the $200 per speaker, as I don't have the speaker knowledge & experience as yourself.

    Speakercraft AIM 8 one (they don't have aluminum materials)?
  20. GO-NAD! Audioholic Ninja

    GO-NAD!
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    Are in-ceiling speakers your only option? As mentioned in several previous posts, it is most certainly a compromised arrangement, from a SQ standpoint.

    If in-ceiling speakers are your only option, I feel that I must argue with some of the last recommendations. But remember, it's just my opinion.

    The definition of "high-end" is very much open to interpretation. Judge each speaker on it's own merits - not on the price or the brand name.

    I've never seen speakers that allow you to adjust the baffle angle. I won't say they don't exist - I just haven't seen any. I'm curious as to which brand/models might have that feature.

    If the speakers are for HT or if you plan to listen to music in a predetermined position, yes you'll need aimable tweeters. Lots of relatively inexpensive speakers have this feature.

    I'm not sure if this is in reference to the drivers or the frame/baffle material.:confused: Yes, the frame and baffle should be metal and the installation arrangement should allow the speaker to be held very firmly in place. As for the material from which the drivers are constructed, I wouldn't worry to much about that. Plenty of crappy drivers are made of aluminum, while some high quality drivers are paper-based.

    As in other aspects of life, when it comes to speakers, size does not matter! Larger mid/woofers usually offer deeper bass extension if we're discussing different size drivers from the same model line. But, do not assume that a 6.5" driver from one brand/model will give a deeper bass response than the 5.5" driver from another brand/model. You have to check the manufacturers specs and independent test results in order to make that determination.

    Plus, "better sound" and frequency response are two different things. You can get deep bass response, but terrible SQ, at the same time. I would suggest that you read the AH articles about judging speaker performance.

    A ready-made in-wall subwoofer will be more expensive than its free-standing equivalent. Yes, they often don't have amplifiers, due to the space they consume. You would need a dedicated external amp in that case, as most AVRs just don't have sufficient power for that purpose. An in-wall sub can be a good option if you don't have floor space for a free-standing sub. If it is installed correctly, I don't think you will have problems with cracked drywall.

    Yes, if you are running wire through walls and ceilings, use wire that is approved for that purpose. That does not mean that regular wire is crap - just don't use it in a wall. And, in-wall speaker cable is not much more expensive than regular speaker cable. Monoprice probably has the lowest price you'll find for CL2 (in-wall rating) cable. It's dirt cheap and as good as any other cable you will find anywhere.

    Gold connectors? Meh....

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