Alternatives to B&W in-ceiling speakers? Ideas?

  • 27 September 2017
  • 7 replies
  • 4654 views

Userlevel 6
Badge +11
Morning all, my system is getting pretty big now, mainly CA's or ZP120's, a few Play's, subs and a single ZP90. They all (with the exception of gym which uses B&W 805's) use B&W in-ceiling speakers .....CCM616's, CCM663's, CCM 664's etc. And they work well.....the 663's very well.

But they are expensive and to progress further, I think I need to be looking at good alternatives and was interested in what that might be.

If anyone has any suggestions, products etc that would give the those various B&W's a run for their money then very interested to hear about.....especially if cheaper.

Many thanks

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7 replies

Userlevel 5
Badge +3
Try Blucube BCK65 @ £299/pr. 6.5" Kevlar woofer, 1" pivoting titanium dome tweeter. 88dB sensitivity 45Hz-22kHz frequency range. +/-3dB adjustment for both bass and treble. 4/8 Ohm switchable, so possible to daisy-chain these in series to run 2 pairs from a CA while still presenting an 8 Ohm load to the amp. The only area of the spec where the CM663 has an advantage is high frequency extension (45kHz vs 22kHz), so if you're a bat then buy the B&Ws 😃 lol

If you want more bass then there's an 8" version for £399/pr. Square grill versions of each are available at an extra cost.

Most of my experience has been with Monitor Audio, KEF and Proficient in-ceilings. The bass extension of the 6.5" Blucubes equals the 8" speakers from those other ranges. The treble is sweet and there's good integration at the crossover point. For sonics, install ease, flexibility and warranty (5yrs) I'd have the Blucubes in preference to the big name brands every single time.
Userlevel 4
Badge +2
Flexson, the Sonos accessory maker, now sell ceiling speakers intentionally designed for Sonos.

https://www.flexson.com/by-sonos-product/custom-install-ci-accessories/ceiling-speakers/65x3-ceiling-speakers-for-sonos-connect-amp

http://www.insideci.co.uk/news/flexson-unveils-65x3-in-ceiling-speaker-for-sonos.aspx
Userlevel 6
Badge +11
Try Blucube BCK65 @ £299/pr. 6.5" Kevlar woofer, 1" pivoting titanium dome tweeter. 88dB sensitivity 45Hz-22kHz frequency range. +/-3dB adjustment for both bass and treble. 4/8 Ohm switchable, so possible to daisy-chain these in series to run 2 pairs from a CA while still presenting an 8 Ohm load to the amp. The only area of the spec where the CM663 has an advantage is high frequency extension (45kHz vs 22kHz), so if you're a bat then buy the B&Ws 😃 lol

If you want more bass then there's an 8" version for £399/pr. Square grill versions of each are available at an extra cost.

Most of my experience has been with Monitor Audio, KEF and Proficient in-ceilings. The bass extension of the 6.5" Blucubes equals the 8" speakers from those other ranges. The treble is sweet and there's good integration at the crossover point. For sonics, install ease, flexibility and warranty (5yrs) I'd have the Blucubes in preference to the big name brands every single time.


Made me laugh .... yes there is a lot of that speak when it comes to speakers isn't there ... and guess we all guilty to some extent.

Very tempted to give a pair of these a try. B&W I love, absolutely love although I've forgotten why .... think it's the only speaker I've ever bought over the last 20+ years save the Sonos Sub but it's getting expensive.

Bass is a factor for me yes although I am adding Sonos Subs ... mind again this is getting an expensive past time as well.

You got my attention .... reading and price searching to do. Many thanks for sharing that information Lucid....very interesting.
Userlevel 6
Badge +11
Flexson, the Sonos accessory maker, now sell ceiling speakers intentionally designed for Sonos.

https://www.flexson.com/by-sonos-product/custom-install-ci-accessories/ceiling-speakers/65x3-ceiling-speakers-for-sonos-connect-amp

http://www.insideci.co.uk/news/flexson-unveils-65x3-in-ceiling-speaker-for-sonos.aspx


Also very interesting .... had no idea they did speakers although have bought 3 of their sub brackets.

Going to google a review on them ..... or has anyone used them and have feedback.

Thanks for sharing the data .... again very interesting and at a less eye watering price. Cheers
Userlevel 2
Badge +1
I just ordered one pair of klipsch cdt-5800-cii, and a pair of monoprice "15699 Black Back Ceiling Speakers 8-inch 2-Way Fiber with Covered Crossover (pair)". With my luck and non audiophile ears, I doubt I will be able to tell the difference between them (despite the 4X price difference). I was trying to find some B&W CCM382, since those are made for humid environments and I need a pair for my covered patio, but no where has them in stock. I definitely would have ordered them if I knew that the klipsch price was for one speaker instead of a pair.
They are replacing some ancient 8 inch Seas woofers installed probably about 25 years ago in the ceilings in my house that sound like an antique AM radio when music is played through them. So I will probably be happy with either set. I am skeptical on getting ANY bass out of them, though.
Userlevel 2
Badge +1
Installed both speakers - monoprice 15699 and klipsch cdt-5800-cii.
I put one of each in my office, and tested, driven by a connect:amp. First off - no bass out of either one (installed free-air in my ceiling).
There was a definite difference. The monoprice is much thinner sounding, and not as loud. When they are side by side, the monoprice sounds like something that would be in the ceiling at a doctor's office. I thought it may have been just my knowledge that one cost much more than the other. My wife (90% of her home listening consists of listening to tunein through an Amazon echo, and she is happy with the sound quality from that -- if that tells you how critical she is) immediately said the Klipsch sounded a lot better.
After moving the Klipsch to my kitchen, I did set the treble to -3 db to calm it down a little bit -- if you were right under it and had it loud, the highs were ear splitting. The low end is not great. For their purpose, they will work excellently. I would be disappointed if they were my only speakers. I would be happy with them + a sub for my main speakers, though I fear I would have a hard time finding a sub to keep up with them. They do get loud enough off of a connect:amp to drown out a play 5 in the next room. I have my speaker switch set to 5/6 pairs (niles ssvc-6) to increase the impedance even though I am only using 2 pair right now. I like it loud, and the Klipsch go loud and stay clear. Testing was done with the speakers hooked up directly to connect:amp, not through the switch.
I was probably spoiled, I had the connect:amp connected to my front/sub that were just sitting around unused (def tech promonitor 1000s + sub) for a couple of days before moving the amp to the ceiling speakers, and that setup sounded great.

I am glad I got to compare these. I probably wouldn't have bought the Klipsch's if I had known they were priced each. I saw a good deal on ebay ($200) and jumped before I realized that it was per individual speaker. That still beats the $345 amazon has them for (individually), so I guess I got a good deal, but I don't think I would spend that much on a pair of ceiling speakers again.

I wish I had the money to buy the higher end B&W's and compare them with the B&W ccm382, and compare them to the Klipsch/monoprice.
Userlevel 5
Badge +3
Installed both speakers - monoprice 15699 and klipsch cdt-5800-cii.
I put one of each in my office, and tested, driven by a connect:amp.


dejaso, thanks for the write-up. Interesting that you felt the Klipsch had very little bass. That hasn't been my experience with decent in-ceilings, but as you say, that could be compared to the big powered sub which would be understandable.

I once did an ad-hoc Sonos ZP100 demo with some Blu-cube 6.5" propped up against a wall and they beat the guy's £1900 Bose Lifestyle system. That was funny but kind of embarrassing at the same time.