in-wall/in-ceiling speakers

A

adondeeres

Audiophyte
Does anyone have a few recommendations for mid-range and mid-to-high end in-ceiling and in-wall speakers to integrate with Sonos amp? I'm pretty new to all of this and would love some advice!
 
mazersteven

mazersteven

Audioholic Warlord
I have no experience with a Sonos amp. But I do have experience with In-Wall and In-Ceiling speakers and these are few I like

Speakercraft Aim series

Triad
 
M

Movie2099

Full Audioholic
Does anyone have a few recommendations for mid-range and mid-to-high end in-ceiling and in-wall speakers to integrate with Sonos amp? I'm pretty new to all of this and would love some advice!
How much you willing to spend?
 
A

adondeeres

Audiophyte
I'd say that my range for each speaker is somewhere around the Polk Audio RC80i or Definitive Technology DI 6.5R and 8R speakers price range (around $150-$200 for a pair of ceiling speakers). I was quoted at a local place for DI speakers in combination with various Sonos equipment and the total was around 12-13k. I really don't want to go above 15k for all of this. I'll end up having about 22 speakers total throughout the entire house (7.1 surround for living room, then 2 speakers in each of the various rooms).

As a side note, in addition to handful of Sonos equipment to integrate everything, I was quoted for the Yamaha RXA780 receiver, CLR2002 center speaker, DI 5.5LCR in-wall speakers, and SC4000 subwoofer. Any thoughts on those items?

Anything I could substitute for those items within their respective price ranges?
 
mazersteven

mazersteven

Audioholic Warlord
mid-range and mid-to-high end in-ceiling and in-wall speakers
Polk Audio RC80i or Definitive Technology DI 6.5R and 8R speakers price range (around $150-$200 for a pair of ceiling speakers). I was quoted at a local place for DI speakers in combination with various Sonos equipment and the total was around 12-13k. I really don't want to go above 15k for all of this.
In your original post you were looking for Mid to High-End in-ceiling and in-walls. Well the Polk Audio and Definitive Technology speakers are far from mid to high-end audio in walls or in ceilings not even close.

$200 × 22 = $4400
$13,000 - $4400 = $8600

Hmmmmmmmm
 
M

Movie2099

Full Audioholic
I'd say that my range for each speaker is somewhere around the Polk Audio RC80i or Definitive Technology DI 6.5R and 8R speakers price range (around $150-$200 for a pair of ceiling speakers). I was quoted at a local place for DI speakers in combination with various Sonos equipment and the total was around 12-13k. I really don't want to go above 15k for all of this. I'll end up having about 22 speakers total throughout the entire house (7.1 surround for living room, then 2 speakers in each of the various rooms).

As a side note, in addition to handful of Sonos equipment to integrate everything, I was quoted for the Yamaha RXA780 receiver, CLR2002 center speaker, DI 5.5LCR in-wall speakers, and SC4000 subwoofer. Any thoughts on those items?

Anything I could substitute for those items within their respective price ranges?
I mean If you're going to go with DT or Polk Audio, stick with them for everything. Those are ok in-walls. They are by no means high end. I would say for your living room setup spend the most money. I would say at least $1k per speaker for LCR. Save some money for 1-2 subwoofers as well.
 
A

adondeeres

Audiophyte
Yeah, I guess that's where my lack of knowledge comes in (thinking those were close to high end). My apologies. Based on the total quoted, I thought they were high end! I'm not looking to spend an exorbitant amount of money, but I do want quality sound. Is DT better than Polk Audio? Or any better name brand alternatives?
 
A

adondeeres

Audiophyte
In your original post you were looking for Mid to High-End in-ceiling and in-walls. Well the Polk Audio and Definitive Technology speakers are far from mid to high-end audio in walls or in ceilings not even close.

$200 × 22 = $4400
$13,000 - $4400 = $8600

Hmmmmmmmm
I should have noted that I was quoted for Sonos Amps, which are $650 or so each for each pair of speakers, so those alone are another 7k or so.
 
mazersteven

mazersteven

Audioholic Warlord
Well I know we have a couple of custom installers here on the forum and I hope they chimed in.
 
BMXTRIX

BMXTRIX

Audioholic Warlord
Do you already have all of your wiring in place? Do you want the capability of listening to a bunch of different things in a bunch of different rooms at the same time?

It seems to me that you could talk to someone else who could get you a whole house audio system with iPhone control and a couple of Sonos port units for just a few thousand dollars. Then add in some speakers. The speakers you are looking at are very basic. This is important to realize that B&W in-ceiling speakers really don't sound any better than the cheap speakers off of Amazon. They are made cheaply and really don't have excellent sound overall.

If someone else is doing the work, then you can plan on spending at least $120 a pair on speakers that are decent for fairly good background and whole house audio music reproduction. None of them are 'top end' models, and shouldn't be treated that way. But, they work well enough. You can often buy them yourself for under $100 a pair if you are doing the installation work.

I just did an installation that ended up being a few thousand dollars. Speakers already in place in most rooms. Equipment was a bunch of keypads, audio distribution, a Sonos Port, and amplification with iPhone control for source select/volume in all of the rooms. Price was a few grand, installed.

Not sure of how much work you are having others do vs. work you are doing yourself, but certainly consider some other options and take a look at HTD.com for some real whole house audio (WHA) options. Oh, and call me if you are in the DC area (shameless self-promotion).
 
A

adondeeres

Audiophyte
Do you already have all of your wiring in place? Do you want the capability of listening to a bunch of different things in a bunch of different rooms at the same time?

It seems to me that you could talk to someone else who could get you a whole house audio system with iPhone control and a couple of Sonos port units for just a few thousand dollars. Then add in some speakers. The speakers you are looking at are very basic. This is important to realize that B&W in-ceiling speakers really don't sound any better than the cheap speakers off of Amazon. They are made cheaply and really don't have excellent sound overall.

If someone else is doing the work, then you can plan on spending at least $120 a pair on speakers that are decent for fairly good background and whole house audio music reproduction. None of them are 'top end' models, and shouldn't be treated that way. But, they work well enough. You can often buy them yourself for under $100 a pair if you are doing the installation work.

I just did an installation that ended up being a few thousand dollars. Speakers already in place in most rooms. Equipment was a bunch of keypads, audio distribution, a Sonos Port, and amplification with iPhone control for source select/volume in all of the rooms. Price was a few grand, installed.

Not sure of how much work you are having others do vs. work you are doing yourself, but certainly consider some other options and take a look at HTD.com for some real whole house audio (WHA) options. Oh, and call me if you are in the DC area (shameless self-promotion).
Appreciate the response! I'm on the other side of the country, so that's not gonna work at all unfortunately!

These quotes are just for the equipment only. I went to a fairly well regarded local home theater type store/chain in my region and asked for recommendations based on what I wanted to have my house prewired for and they helped me come up with a hypothetical list. I was mainly looking for a baseline quote, but since that time, my wife and I have decided that what was quoted should be more or less the upper limit of our budget. After purchasing the equipment, I would have to find someone to install these. I'm totally not a DIY and would completely mess up simple installs of nearly anything if I tried. For that part, I'm willing to spend money to get someone else to install.

My goal is to have the option of completely reproducing sounds throughout the house to all speakers or to just certain rooms, or to just one room. I looked into Sonos and so I was more or less sold on their system (I am naïve though when it comes to this stuff).

We listened to Sonos speakers as well as Sonos playbar in the store and we actually liked how they sounded. Do you think there is a disadvantage (either flexibility or cost or something else) going the route I've chose?

Also, may I ask why did you mention that these speakers are built poorly? When we listened to some of the DT speakers in the store, we were pretty impressed (again, we and especially I are/am naïve)...they sounded great.

Thanks for the feedback!
 
mazersteven

mazersteven

Audioholic Warlord

In-wall, in-ceiling speakers have their limitations just being what they are compared to traditional speakers. Very good in -wall, in-ceiling speakers have engineered back boxes.

If you're just looking for background music then inexpensive in-wall in-ceiling speakers are fine but if you're looking for critical listening and home theater applications then you need to look for quality in wall and ceiling speakers
 
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BMXTRIX

BMXTRIX

Audioholic Warlord
The reality is that you should head over to Monoprice for in-ceiling and in-wall speakers. I recommend the 8" versions of their speakers. This will get you quality audio at a very reasonable price in all of your rooms. The reality is that who you are speaking with will not sell you anything like this, but will sell you speakers that sound darn near identical for at least 50% more money.

I don't want you to think these speakers are built poorly. They are all built quite well in fact. But, they are built cheaply, and most are built extremely similarly. So, when you get a 6.5" B&W speaker and compare it to a 6.5" Polk Audio speaker and then compare it to a 6.5" Monoprice speaker, you would likely be very hard pressed to tell the difference between them in any standard ceiling scenario.

So, you start with as many rooms as you need of speakers...

Then you add in a 12 zone pre-amp/amplifier system for distributed audio...

and just one or two Sonos Port units for audio playback...

The most expensive part of this setup is all in the amplification. 12-channel amplifiers are expensive. It is possible to get used amplifiers that are of very high quality for a much more reasonable price and there are other options that allow some DiY integration options, but you will typically be dealing with a custom integrator that knows their stuff over a custom store. I will say that for years I worked at a well respected high-end custom chain in our area, and while they carried very nice equipment, some of the best I've ever seen, the problem was that you never had a clue whether or not you were working with someone good, or someone worthless.

So, I would make an effort looking for a local custom integrator whose sole business is custom work, as this may offer you some level of higher-end quality.
 
A

adondeeres

Audiophyte
The reality is that you should head over to Monoprice for in-ceiling and in-wall speakers. I recommend the 8" versions of their speakers. This will get you quality audio at a very reasonable price in all of your rooms. The reality is that who you are speaking with will not sell you anything like this, but will sell you speakers that sound darn near identical for at least 50% more money.

I don't want you to think these speakers are built poorly. They are all built quite well in fact. But, they are built cheaply, and most are built extremely similarly. So, when you get a 6.5" B&W speaker and compare it to a 6.5" Polk Audio speaker and then compare it to a 6.5" Monoprice speaker, you would likely be very hard pressed to tell the difference between them in any standard ceiling scenario.

So, you start with as many rooms as you need of speakers...

Then you add in a 12 zone pre-amp/amplifier system for distributed audio...

and just one or two Sonos Port units for audio playback...

The most expensive part of this setup is all in the amplification. 12-channel amplifiers are expensive. It is possible to get used amplifiers that are of very high quality for a much more reasonable price and there are other options that allow some DiY integration options, but you will typically be dealing with a custom integrator that knows their stuff over a custom store. I will say that for years I worked at a well respected high-end custom chain in our area, and while they carried very nice equipment, some of the best I've ever seen, the problem was that you never had a clue whether or not you were working with someone good, or someone worthless.

So, I would make an effort looking for a local custom integrator whose sole business is custom work, as this may offer you some level of higher-end quality.
Wow, there have been some great responses so far. Thank you everyone for chiming in. I'm new to this and I appreciate everyone's input in trying to help me understand everything a little better. I wanted to get this project underway by the end of this year, but I clearly need to take a step back and do some more research before deciding.

What I am certain of is that I do want whole house and multi room audio capability and from what I've read, Sonos does that very well and in order to integrate 'third party' speakers with Sonos, I need their pricey Amps at $650 each. I really like the idea of being able to play the same stream through every single speaker in the house or play something different in each zone. I'll end up with perhaps 8-12 zones total in the end (am still undecided whether I want to break up the living/kitchen/dining area because it's an open floor plan, so even though I want it, perhaps it doesn't make sense to have audio from the TV playing in the living room and different music playing in the kitchen and dining area).

One major reason for choosing Sonos is that it works well not only with Alexa/Google, but also with Homeseer, which will be what I use to integrate everything together in the end.

Using a 12-zone amplifier is news to me and not something I had thought about or knew was possible. Are there limitations to doing it this way vs the solution that was drafted hypothetically for me at the store?

Let's say that I wanted to have a maximum of 12 zones in which I could either play the same thing in all 12 zones or play 12 different things in each of those zones. For each pair of speaker, I would need a Sonos Amp. However, what you linked there is an amplifier that can do the job of approx. 12 x $650 Sonos Amps? Will that amplifier allow me to play different streams in each zone or the same stream in all zones? I don't know enough, but my gut tells me that if I had just 1 or 2 ports for the large amplifier, I can only play 1 or 2 streams differently, is that correct?

The 7.1 surround living room was the only area that was going to be set up differently - Yamaha receiver + 7 speakers + subwoofer + Sonos port. Every other location would be ceiling speakers + amp OR Sonos playbar/arc/beam.
 
mazersteven

mazersteven

Audioholic Warlord
Using a 12-zone amplifier is news to me and not something I had thought about or knew was possible. Are there limitations to doing it this way vs the solution that was drafted hypothetically for me at the store?

Let's say that I wanted to have a maximum of 12 zones in which I could either play the same thing in all 12 zones or play 12 different things in each of those zones. For each pair of speaker, I would need a Sonos Amp. However, what you linked there is an amplifier that can do the job of approx. 12 x $650 Sonos Amps? Will that amplifier allow me to play different.
$650 x 12 THAT'S NUTS!!!

Maybe one of these guys can tell you if something like this would work


 
BMXTRIX

BMXTRIX

Audioholic Warlord
Let's say that I wanted to have a maximum of 12 zones in which I could either play the same thing in all 12 zones or play 12 different things in each of those zones. For each pair of speaker, I would need a Sonos Amp. However, what you linked there is an amplifier that can do the job of approx. 12 x $650 Sonos Amps? Will that amplifier allow me to play different streams in each zone or the same stream in all zones? I don't know enough, but my gut tells me that if I had just 1 or 2 ports for the large amplifier, I can only play 1 or 2 streams differently, is that correct?
So, a 12-channel amplifier only handles 6 rooms of stereo audio, so you do need TWO 12-channel amplifiers to power 12-rooms of audio. The product I think I linked was designed to do 12-zones of stereo audio, so it would have 24 total channels of amplificaiton.

To that product, as you stated, you could only play back 2 streams differently. But, you could play those two streams in any combination of your 12 available rooms. I typically call them Sonos 1 and Sonos 2. Then you pick which one you want to play back. You play it in the kitchen, outside, and family room so as you move through the house, you get the same audio as you move about. But, if you are in the office, you can let your wife play with Sonos 1 and you can use Sonos 2 for your playback in the office.

The HTD system I linked above can support up to 6 different sources. So, you can connect a cable TV tuner or a third or fourth Sonos Port (instead of the Sonos Amp) and then connect the amplifier to speakers of your own choosing throughout the home.

It's worth noting that if your equipment doesn't have a central area where things will be wired to, and you were planning to put self-powered speakers from Sonos in the home and Sonos Amp units into the individual rooms, then it may not make sense to wire the home with a central distribution area for audio and the Sonos units may make a lot more sense.
 

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