Question

Ceiling speakers: ideal size?

  • 29 May 2017
  • 2 replies
  • 2488 views

Currently renovating my house, while the drywall is off, I figure it's a good time to install some ceiling speakers on the main floor (kitchen, living room, etc.). Trying to decide between 6.5" and 8" speakers, e.g.:

https://www.polkaudio.com/products/mc60
https://www.polkaudio.com/products/mc80

Any opinions on the subject? For example, in the living room I was thinking of installing two 6.5" speakers (more diffuse sound), but maybe a single 8" speaker would sound better. Thoughts?

...René

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2 replies

IMO best sound quality is obtained by speakers that are in the room, firing horizontally towards you, and units such as the play 1 are very discreet too.

If renovating, I would just add lan wiring to the task, such that every room has a couple of ethernet jacks that can allow Sonos units and other home devices that can use it, a wired connection back to the router. While Sonos does wireless well, wired works best for it and will also be very useful in future for the many devices that will use the home network as a backbone - where the wired backbone will offer better stability and up time.

What speakers to use in each room and where to locate them for best sound can then be tested with kit bought later on returnable basis and decided based on how it sounds.

Ceiling speakers make the most sense in bathrooms, if you must have music there.

Renovating is also a good time to lay down speaker wires of adequate core thickness to external speaker points if desired, running back to a room in the home where the amp can be located.
What do you mean by 'single 8" speaker'? The speakers you linked to are designed to work in pairs to create stereo sound, so you'll definitely need to buy a pair. You can stereo in-wall speakers that provide stereo sound all in one speaker (4 wire), but I would not do that unless the space is too small to make much difference or there is no real orientation to the room, such as a bathroom or hallway. Kitchen is a possibility too, depending on the size and shape.

Also, if your living room is also your entertainment center, you may want to think twice about using ceiling speakers, as Kumar already pointed out. TV sound makes a lot more sense coming from the direction of the tv (or behind you) then it does coming from above. You could use Sonos speakers or you could place your speakers in the walls instead of the ceilings. If you are taking the walls down, you can have an electrictian wire power to the speaker locations, if you're concerned about showing wires.

Last point, and this is just my personal opinion, consider rectangular speakers over round. Whenever you see in ceiling speakers in public places (schools, hospitals, other institutions), they are always round. Maybe it's just me, but round speakers feel more like an institution than a home. Round speakers certainly would look odd on a wall. As well, you likely already have rectangular air vents in your ceiling, and mixing round and rectangular looks a little strange, to me anyway.