Play:1 vs Ceiling Mounted Speakers

  • 25 September 2015
  • 17 replies

Userlevel 1
I am currently in the process of building a new house. I own 4 Play:1's wanted to use them in 4 rooms throughout the house (Kitchen, Dining Room, Screened Porch, and Office). The builder is suggesting I purchase the On-Q /Legrand lyriQ™ Single Source 4 Zone Audio Distribution Hub and let them install Klipsch in-celing speakers (1650c) in those 4 rooms and use the Play:1's elsewhere.

Is there a way to install or would anyone recommend installing Play:1's in the ceiling? Or should I consider the builder solution and purchase a Sonos Connect to plug into the distribution hub with in-celing speakrs?


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17 replies

Userlevel 3
PLAY:1 in ceiling would need some craftsmanship to mount flush. You won't find a standard mount for that. If you are OK with them hanging from the ceiling, though, then there are plenty of mounting options available.

Proper in-ceiling speakers are probably the better choice. The question is how to amp them. The audio system they mentioned only works if you know you always want to run the same audio in all rooms. No matter what, they will be pulling the wire from the various zones back to a central location, even for that system they recommended. So depending on budget, you could also buy multiple CONNECT:AMPs and stack them next to each other. (Best if you hardwire them and then disable the WiFi in them, since you'd have four of them sitting right next to each other creating radio interference with each other.) Then you'd have independent control of each of the zones, but at the cost of around $2000USD for the four Sonos units.
In the USA, in-ceiling installation of a PLAY:1 would violate the National Electric Code, thus your builder's recommendation, I imagine..

Perhaps you could build alcoves for such devices with electric connections inside each alcove. A removable scrim could conceal the install. Or you might install brackets of appropriate strength near a wall or ceiling receptacle. Do note that all electrical connections must be accessible. Flexible cord sets (the PLAY:1 power cable) CANNOT be concealed within walls, ceilings or floors.

Hard-wired in-ceiling speakers might well be a better alternative for you. In that case, I'd consider running EMT or other. I would install extra conductors or at least pull strings. I'd identify all cable sets well and label unused cables "For Future Use". (I believe NEC wants abandoned data and communication lines removed, but future use is not abandoned.)

I like my CONNECT. There is some sacrifice compared to the convenience of a purely SONOS setup. On the other hand, my existing system, which sounds great, has a new lease on life, but my speakers are larger than some humans I know... .

You might also consider CONNECT:AMP and more elaborate speaker distribution to work around impedance issues. Again, it sounds like your builder is on the right general track.

There are systems integrators who do a great job. Were I building a house, I'd be sorely tempted to consult with one.

Best of luck with your new house.

Userlevel 5
Badge +11
Since you are building, you have the flexibility now that you won't have later. I would take this opportunity to at least run the speaker wiring, even if you don't use it for years. Take photos and create a floor plan so that you know where the wiring is located for the future. If/when you want to install speaker, it will be a simple matter of cutting a few holes in the drywall.

I would run wiring to each ceiling or wall location that you might ultimately place speakers, with the other ends running to a central location (or multiple locations by floor). Relative to a Sonos solution, you would then be able to use:

1) A single multi-channel amp and multiple Connects, 1 per zone (depending on the number of zones and how you run the wiring, you may need multiple multi-channel amps, for instance 1 per floor)


2) Multiple Connect:Amps, 1 per zone

I am sure there are more complex setups, but those I listed would be super-easy to set up when you are ready. You'd also still be able to use your Play:1s as you see fit.
Userlevel 7
Badge +20
Hi folks,

I'm moving this conversation into the what to get area for better community visibility.
I have the Play 1 mounted in my ceiling and it works and sounds very good.
Here's a pic of how the box was made to house the speaker.
Here's a photo in the ceiling.
And here's the final result

Are you in the US? If so, how did you get around the code regarding power cords inside a wall?

Looks great!
I am located in the US. There's no power cords inside a wall. This is mounted in the ceiling with attic space above it. This is mounted in the attic. Technically, it's just a speaker in my attic. I ran an outlet right next to the speaker. There's easy access to unplug the speaker if necessary in the attic.
Ah, I see. Thanks for the response.
Hi jbrose,

I'm about to do the same - mount some Play:1s in my bathrooms. The cost of buying a Connect:Amp plus separate ceiling speakers is just far to prohibitive compared to the cost of Play:1s.

In your pics, how did you secure the Play:1 to your wooden box?


Anyone try this? I found a product valled the Vanco concealer, but i dont think they produced it.
Hi Lemmuhj,

I found the same as you - I couldn't find the Vanco product anywhere...

In the end I gave up on that approach, and just saved up for longer to afford a Connect:Amp. I used a Monitor Audio CT180-T2 speaker with this, and it's fantastic...although expensive.
Userlevel 3
Badge +4
any particular problem you encountered?

Thinking of doing the same, and building an enclosure to mount my sonos in-ceiling (unfinished attic above)
Userlevel 3
Badge +4
And here's the final result

any particular problem you encountered?

Thinking of doing the same, and building an enclosure to mount my sonos in-ceiling (unfinished attic above)
Userlevel 1
I've run into the same issue. I have some extra play 1's and am not happy with any other outdoor solution (including using a sonos connect amp). I live in the midwest, so we get the worst of all weather. I have finally figured out a solution. We have an old Nutone intercom on the back of the house. I have removed the speaker and added an outdoor outlet along with a play one inside of it. I have added a few layers of uv speaker fabric to the inside of the aluminum shell to protect the play 1 (even though it's mostly covered and is back a few inches)... see the picture. I'll remove in the fall and put back in spring... If it stops working, that's $150 down the drain I can live with.