In-Wall and Ceiling Speaker Recommendation

G

Golfer474

Audiophyte
The house we moved into came with a 5 channel setup consisting of SpeakerCraft AIM LCR3's for the front L/R and center channels, and SpeakerCraft AIM WIDE 3's for the rears. I'm looking to replace them because they have seen better days. What are some recommendations for in-walls and in-ceiling speakers? Budget to replace all 5 is about $1500, which I know isn't a ton, but looking for the best bang for my buck.
 
M

Mr._Clark

Audioholic Chief
The house we moved into came with a 5 channel setup consisting of SpeakerCraft AIM LCR3's for the front L/R and center channels, and SpeakerCraft AIM WIDE 3's for the rears. I'm looking to replace them because they have seen better days. What are some recommendations for in-walls and in-ceiling speakers? Budget to replace all 5 is about $1500, which I know isn't a ton, but looking for the best bang for my buck.
I know almost nothing about the speakers you have, but it's not at all clear that replacing all 5 for $1500 is going to result in a major improvement.

The rears are typically less critical, so you'd probably get a larger overall improvement by leaving the old rears in for now and spending your budget on upgrading the other speakers.

You didn't mention a sub, so I'm assuming you you don't have one? A quick review of the published specs for speakers you have suggests that a lack of bass is probably your single biggest weakness.

Is there any way you can switch to freestanding speakers for the front? For example, if you swapped out the fronts for BMR Philharmonitors (link below) you'd have a solid start on decent system. These have solid bass response, so it would help with that (assuming you don't have a sub). Granted, you'd probably want to get a sub at some point, but at least you would have some useful bass.

In my opinion, the thing to avoid is making a never-ending series of minor upgrades buying equipment (e.g. speakers) you still do not like. This ends up costing a lot more than replacing one set of speakers at a time with good speakers.


 
G

Golfer474

Audiophyte
I know almost nothing about the speakers you have, but it's not at all clear that replacing all 5 for $1500 is going to result in a major improvement.

The rears are typically less critical, so you'd probably get a larger overall improvement by leaving the old rears in for now and spending your budget on upgrading the other speakers.

You didn't mention a sub, so I'm assuming you you don't have one? A quick review of the published specs for speakers you have suggests that a lack of bass is probably your single biggest weakness.

Is there any way you can switch to freestanding speakers for the front? For example, if you swapped out the fronts for BMR Philharmonitors (link below) you'd have a solid start on decent system. These have solid bass response, so it would help with that (assuming you don't have a sub). Granted, you'd probably want to get a sub at some point, but at least you would have some useful bass.

In my opinion, the thing to avoid is making a never-ending series of minor upgrades buying equipment (e.g. speakers) you still do not like. This ends up costing a lot more than replacing one set of speakers at a time with good speakers.


I do have a sub. HSU VTF-3 MK5 HP. So I'm not too concerned about the low-end. The problem with the speakers is that they seem to distort at higher volumes and the bass/treble switches seem broken on a couple of them. The tweeters are also punched in on one of the rears. I may be able to switch to free standing, but they would have to be bookshelf's, as I don't have room for floor standing/towers.
 
M

Mr._Clark

Audioholic Chief
I do have a sub. HSU VTF-3 MK5 HP. So I'm not too concerned about the low-end. The problem with the speakers is that they seem to distort at higher volumes and the bass/treble switches seem broken on a couple of them. The tweeters are also punched in on one of the rears. I may be able to switch to free standing, but they would have to be bookshelf's, as I don't have room for floor standing/towers.
I have Aperion 6LCR In-wall Left/center/right speakers in one of my systems. These were an improvement over the prior in-wall speakers that were installed before I bought the house. These are not terrible speakers for the price, but I have a hard time actually recommending them. I'm not sure what changes have been made since I bought them.

https://www.aperionaudio.com/products/aperion-6-5-lcr-in-wall-speaker

I have no problem recommending the BMR bookshelf speakers. It's not an apples-to-apples comparison, of course.

Here's an Audioholics article about in-wall speakers that may be of interest:


There is not a lot of test data available for in-wall speakers so it's difficult to know what you're getting. Here's a blog post that provides some information about in-wall speakers. From the article:

>>>Because in-wall speakers are difficult to review, no magazine has ever put them through a rigorous laboratory test. Until now.<<<

 
M

Movie2099

Senior Audioholic
The house we moved into came with a 5 channel setup consisting of SpeakerCraft AIM LCR3's for the front L/R and center channels, and SpeakerCraft AIM WIDE 3's for the rears. I'm looking to replace them because they have seen better days. What are some recommendations for in-walls and in-ceiling speakers? Budget to replace all 5 is about $1500, which I know isn't a ton, but looking for the best bang for my buck.
$1500 for in-wall “upgrade” is going to be tough. You could look a monoprice in-walls. They are affordable and might be an upgrade for you. Otherwise, that budget is going to have to double for some decent in-walls. You should spend the most on the front 3.
 
AcuDefTechGuy

AcuDefTechGuy

Audioholic Jedi
Monitor CW280 In-Wall x 5 (1” tweeter, 8” woofer)

Monitor Audio CW180 In-Wall (1” tweeter, 8” woofer)

KEF Ci200QS Square In-Wall x 5 (1” tweeter, 8” woofer)

Klipsch Pro-160RPW In-Wall x 5 (1” tweeter, 6.5” woofer)

Klipsch DS-250W-LCR In-Wall x 5 (1” tweeter, dual 5.25” woofers)

RBH VA-610 In-Wall x 5 (1” tweeter, 6.5” Woofer)
 
BMXTRIX

BMXTRIX

Audioholic Warlord
I always feel like you need to spend a fair bit to get a significant upgrade from in-wall speakers vs. the cheaper models which are out there.

I really like the Monoprice 8" 3-way in-walls is an excellent value with solid volume levels and good sound. I wouldn't call it great, but I think it competes with the $200/pair models easily.


I'm just not sure how it competes with the $300/pair models that are out there. I don't think it competes as well once you start dropping $500+ a pair. Or even per speaker.
 
G

Golfer474

Audiophyte
Thanks all - I'll take a look at these suggestions.
 

newsletter
  • RBHsound.com
  • BlueJeansCable.com
  • SVS Sound Subwoofers
  • Experience the Martin Logan Montis
Top