10 Best In-Ceiling Speakers of 2021
We're going to comb through the 10 best in-ceiling speakers of 2018 in this post, since they have gone from an unobtainable attachment seen on MTV Cribs to a practical fact in recent years.
For most of us, ceiling speakers are probably not something that we have ever thought about unless job descriptions have required the design of a PA system for business premises or the installation of a home theatre set-up in your bat-cave.
View The Best in Ceiling Speakers Below
1. Klipsch CDT-5650-C II
Thanks to their high/low-frequency handling Controlled Dispersion Technology process, the need for a fixed position is essentially a thing of the past with the CDT-5650-C II. They have a 6.5" ceramic/metallic composite pivoting woofer, which has a 360-degree rotation, as well as the ability to move 15 degrees in any direction, putting the user in complete control of optimally targeting your sound."
The 1' titanium compression driver can pivot 100 degrees, its high-performance sound is driven through one of the revolutionary symmetrical patented TrackTrix horns from Klipschs which helps to direct the sound in a much more precise way than other tweeters. In order to further boost the high-end frequency response, this updated model also sees the addition of Klipsch's famous tried and tested Linear Travel Suspension to the tweeter.
- + Fully flexible placement.
- + Horn from TrackTrix.
- + Priced fairly.
- + Dispersion big.
Why We Liked It :They have incredible attenuation of treble and mid-bass and can be literally put anywhere in the ceiling with the intention of modifying the audio to suit your set-up.
2. Polk Audio RC80i
For a great 2-way class choice that gives Klipsch a run for their money, this collection of two from Polk Audio's highly famous folks is.
An 8" dynamic balance, mineral-filled, polymer-composite cone, with a high-grade rubber surround, is used for each speaker. Combined with a 1-inch metallic, soft-dome tweeter with a 15-degree swivel mount, the mid-bass driver offers super-wide, well-balanced performance, no matter where you listen from (even off-axis.)
By its solid basket nature, the moving parts are held in sync, it also has rotating cams to hold the speaker in place when suspended from your ceiling. In a fast and easy installation, the cams often support, and once fitted, they practically disappear due to their extremely low-profile construction. They are of a rugged nature and all pieces are made of water-resistant materials and rust-resistant hardware, making them a very versatile option for great ceiling speakers for saunas, outdoor eves, pagodas, etc.
- + Installed Swivel.
- + Priced competitively.
- + Weak-profile.
- + Rust and water-resistant.
Why We Liked It :Polk offers some of the highest ranking best-sellers on the market when it comes to affordable audio speakers, they somehow manage to produce quality models that equal the best in their class, but with a price tag that is far more forgiving.
3. Micca M-8C
Next up, the only prudent choice for some of us is a very low price option, which makes face, particularly given that we are likely to want 2, 4, or even 6 or more in ceiling speakers depending on the size of the space we want to be amplified.
The M-8C is a great 2-way in-ceiling class option that has a dedicated combination of woofer/tweeter in its driver array that gives it a large frequency response and great versatility to customise the audio if you are after its subtle soundscapes or high impact booming bass.
The woofer has a diameter of 8 inches and has a high excursion design that allows for maximised dispersion. In order to manage those high frequencies like a boss, the tweeter is about an inch and has a soft yet rigid and durable dome.
They mount quickly and can be decorated to further fit in with their environments.
- + Perfect combination for a driver.
- + Terrific extended bottom end.
- + Cheap.
- + Simple installation.
Why We Liked It :They are well-built from carefully chosen pieces, and feature a philosophy of foolproof construction. The whole range is quite remarkable. They come in a number of sizes, shapes and types, and for money, the price is great value.
4. Acoustic Audio CS-IC83
You may not be interested in singular speaker models or the 2-packs we have already reviewed if you find yourself shopping with a large speaker count in mind, so take a look at this fantastic 5-piece set from the Goldwoods Acoustic Audio range for something that is a bit more of a bulk purchase option.
They have an inexpensive price tag about the same as the 2-way models of some of our top contenders, but these bargain beauties act as a setup for a 3-way class structure. The speakers each consist of one 8-inch woofer, one midrange driver and one 3-way passive crossover circuit tweeter.
For dampening, the woofers are seated in high-grade butyl environments, the cone is made of extremely rigid polypropylene and benefits from forward-thinking spiders. The Midrange driver cones are Poly-Mica and have a soft dome configuration for the 13 tweeters to satisfy the specifications of higher frequency registers.
They treat and create well-balanced audio beautifully. They are easy to instal and have some pretty meaty power handling capabilities in your ceiling (20-350 watts per speaker)..
- + 5 x 3-way speakers for grouping.
- + Integrated luxury design concepts.
- + Value Bargain.
Why We Liked It :They're a great bulk package, they offer premium sound in a small box, and they're a nice central channel audio solution that won't set you back too much.
5. Polk Audio RC65i
These are basically only a step down from the RC80i in size. "The dynamic balance woofer is smaller at 6.5" on this one but uses a big dispersion design that can fill larger spaces. They share the same core electrical components and design features, but if you need a reminder, let us just summarise them.
The cones are composites of polymers, are mineral filled and have top-notch surrounding rubber to dampen any unwanted resonance. A conventional soft dome, the dedicated tweeter is swivel-mounted to allow flexible positioning.
With their convenient rotational cams, they are very easy to instal and of course, like the larger speakers tested, they are suitable for internal or external mounting as they are all components built using durable, moisture-resistant materials that are state of the art.
- + Mounted tweeter with swivel.
- + Dispersion big.
- + immune to water.
- + Affordable cost
Why We Liked It:They serve up a remarkably noisy sound, and their smaller size ensures they ring up as the first premium packaged pair as a penny-saving option.
6. Yamaha NSIC800WH
Now for a brief look at Yamaha's formidable entry. They are a pair of coaxial speakers from the premium level 2-way class. They create amazing audio that is well rounded with a seamless crossover and make it one of the current market's best in-ceiling speakers.
An 8-inch blue polypropylene mica cone woofer paired with a tiny fluid-cooled soft dome tweeter is used in the dual system. The cooling makes the tweeter much more powerful and contributes to the durability that prevents it from overheating, extends the ultra-high frequency response into ultra-high reals, and eventually provides the tasked crisp tops. For targeted dispersion, the tweeter is swivel-mounted. They have a great crossover, a flexible frequency response, high-quality parts, and low impedance.
They mount very flush to the ceiling easily and feature wide mounting clamps so that you can be sure they are secured. The grilles have baffles set in a spiral form that naturally support the audio dispersion one step further the grilles are magnetic, so that they can snap on and off in a jiff to be painted and repainted.
- + Well-conceived grilles.
- + Circuitry Specialist.
- + Pair affordable.
- + Assembled quickly.
Why We Liked It:They are engineered very specifically and have several steps in place to help achieve the highest possible sound quality from a direct mount (these can be placed in walls or ceilings).
7. Acoustic Audio R191
You will want to think again as we take a gander at the budget end of the Goldwoods Acoustic Audio R series, if you thought the low price of the 5 3-way speaker package was unbeatable value for money.
You can get your hands on 5 cheap and cheerful 2-way class speakers for almost half the price of the 3-way models. A 5.25" woofer, coupled with a 12mm soft dome tweeter, is also arguably smaller."
They also feature some of the remaining series' impressive hardware and technology, such as the butyl extended throw assembly, surrounds for better performance and durability. When assembled, they still have the same low profile and are water-resistant, of course, as their brothers in arms. With the handy cut-out template given and the integrated locking mounting features incorporated into its design, the mounting could not be simpler.
- + Dispersion big.
- + Profile poor.
- + Simple method of mounting.
- + Low choice budget.
Why We Liked It:The value of the money provided by this set of five is to say the least, very impressive. The Cones are of a top notch composite that we see twice the price of this one per pair more commonly used in goods.
8. Yamaha NS-IW280CWH
We agreed to up the ante and investigate exactly what is on offer in their 3-way class models after a nose at Yamaha's top 2-way class in ceiling pair.
This package has a maximum input of 100 watts (the 2-way option we tested was 140 watts) and has 6.25 dual woofers that are more compact.
Each is extremely well designed, and with the help of Yamahas SoundMax technology, their cones are once again composed of high-quality, polypropylene and mica blend and deliver pristine balanced audio.
With the excellent dampening surroundings, the mids and lows are kept clear. "The highs are left to the small tweeter of the dome, which is only 3⁄4" in size but manages under pressure impeccably. For hours of high energy efficiency, the driver cones are sufficiently rigid, the magnets are high grade, and it is obviously swivel-mounted for wider overall sound dispersion. They are super easy to instal and provide high-performance rich and natural sounding wide-frequency sound.
- + Compact dimensions.
- + Classification 3-way.
- + Crossover circuitry specialist.
- + Proprietary SoundMax technology for audio filling in an ultra large vacuum.
- + Low cost.
Why We Liked It:Yamaha is committed to offering outstanding sound quality and usability, and this pair definitely shines through in their goods, outperforming those in their class at a fraction of their retail price rivals.
9. Polk Audio 255C-RT
For a look at their 255C-RT package, which is a step up from the Polk Audio RC80i, go over to Polk Audio again. They make a very impressive central channel speaker for a 3-way class. This is part of the esteemed Fading Sequence of Polks
They also feature dynamic balance technology from Polks and several RT series parts, but they have been redesigned using progress made as a result of hours of heavy data collection. From the University of John Hopkins. Under a microscope, the vibrating surfaces of tweeters were scrutinised to observe the resonance advances produced when the cones were in motion. They then designed the best possible mix of materials and ideal geometry under laboratory conditions and helped with laser imaging to overcome the resonances that are mainly responsible for all high-end distortions.
They have highly effective dual-band pass bass ports, so they operate with 10-150 watts and the low registers will be transparent and capable of handling them.
Using their one-cut, drop-in installation method, the Vanishing series are all simple to mount and all feature a wafer-thin, magnetically protected, sheer grille with a nominal profile from its surround.
- + Class 3-way.
- + Calibrated expertly.
- + Part of the groundbreaking sequence Disappearing.
- + The wall or ceiling may be installed.
Why We Liked It :It is a central channel option and can be wall mounted as well as ceiling mounted, and the internal components are premium quality. The philosophy of the design employs some fairly advanced techniques that effectively fight distortion, delivering pretty impeccable sound.
10. Polk Audio 80 F/X RT
The open regions of audio speakers are practically dominated by Polk Audio, so it is no surprise to see many highlighted in today's reviews, so we end with this delectable offering from the fantastic Vanishing series again. It's from the top end of their product lines, so compared to Polk's more affordable versions, the price might seem a little high, but the quality speaks for itself.
With a woofer operating in conjunction with dual tweeters, it is a 3-way class, surround-sound model. The main driver has an ultra large dispersion and is 8 inches in diameter. High-end frequencies are best handled by the pair of tweeters hidden in each, separating the workload for better output and audio clarity.
The environment is constructed from a developed blend of high-quality materials and almost every component has been refined to suit its function perfectly. The circuitry is low impedance and features advanced crossover enhancements that further help to provide a more authentic and realistic sound representation while delegating frequency signals and processing the audio.
With their flange configuration and complementary cut out template, they are easy to fit. Much like the rest of the Disappearing series speakers, they have a nominal profile with their wafer-thin magnetic grilles. They make a perfect addition to any scheme, but they are simply sublime, joined by their comrades, as each feature matches cross-board timbre blending.
- + Pair of 3 way classification.
- + Dual for crystal clarity tweeters.
- + elements of the premium tier.
- + Advanced upgrades to the crossover.
Why We Liked It :They are one of our top contenders in their relative category for best sound in ceiling speakers.
In-Ceiling Speakers Buyers Guide
The main difference is that they come without any cabinet to house them in the ceiling speaker acts in the exact same way as any other conventional speaker. You would undoubtedly have decided that enclosures are critical in improving and shaping your audio clarity and maximising the output of the drivers inside if you have perused any of our other speaker posts. Though ceiling mounted speakers have many advantages over floor standing speakers, their understated aesthetics can not be disputed and they carry with them a few issues for businesses to counter their engineering.
What to look for when buying In-Ceiling Speakers?
A priority is something that is easy to mount, but the primary concern is audio quality. In order to minimise fire hazards, all circuitry should be impeccable. They should be lightweight. If they can be mounted and modified, it is ideal because if they point straight down, the sound is clearly projected onto any carpeting and dampened or echoed off hard floors, all of which impact the quality of the audio significantly.
Mounting a speaker in your ceiling implies that the ceiling space itself becomes the enclosure effectively, so it is important that the speaker is researched, planned, and installed with designs that take into account the issues that can come with it and tackle them head-on.
How to install In-Ceiling Speakers? (do I need a professional?)
With modern generations often opting for comfort, many manufacturers have maintained simple installation, adopting methods of 1 or 2 stages. Although these vary a little from each other, they are not too complex and you shouldn't need a specialist, and some have additional safety measures. You will need a little understanding of the ceiling space, wiring and pipes, and in certain states you will also need to consult with building inspectors about fire safety hazards.
How many channels you would have and how many speakers will be best for the room you hope to fill with audio is the key thing to consider. In today's review segment, there are lots of useful instructional videos on YouTube for some of the items we have compared.
How often will I have to change In-Ceiling Speakers?
They don't need to be replaced very much at all, this used to be an issue for older models, but luckily, if you are shopping with reputable manufacturers and retailers, for the most part, it is a thing of the past.
If it gets broken, if it shorts or blows, or if it's bad, you just only need to replace an in-ceiling speaker... One downside to an in-ceiling speaker is that you never know how it would sound until your ceiling is already installed.
Audio electronics is a constantly evolving sector, and companies often refine or update products, adding to their maiden models the latest technologies and improvements from new, better and more costly lines. So if you keep your ears on the ground and pursue the hype about what's new, you might fancy a revision from time to time.
Technology is continuously changing and in-ceiling speakers are becoming a trendy new reality in home configurations thanks to this snowballing effect. Thanks to the rigid rivalry from corporations hellbent on making their goods take first prize in terms of quality, if you know what you are looking for, you can actually get yourself a pretty great deal.
We have picked several 2-way and 3-way class models from some of the best manufacturers around to pick apart. They show some of the best available and show that the capital needed is almost as big as it once was, despite having 2 or 4 (or maybe more?).
We have tested the Polk 80 F/X RT as our predecessors, but the Yamaha 3 way class pair is an inexpensive option, but they are a pricier pair. You should have no trouble finding a set appropriate for your preferred setup with a consumer market and in all fairness, you will not be disappointed with any of the choices we have looked at today as they all make fantastic additions.
Hopefully, you have learned some of the benefits of adding ceiling speakers from today's article to your setup, if you're still unsure of overhead tone, instead of searching our Best In-wall Speakers article, you may prefer.
We suggest moving over to our 10 Best In-Wall Speakers in 2021article if you are working on a hidden surround sound system setup
Did you Know
Before splashing out on a large number of ceiling speakers, it is important that you know your room. They need a minimum clearance of 4 inches behind the speaker, this is key so check in advance as it is pretty permanent to cut into your ceiling.