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5 Best Reasonably Priced In Ceiling Speakers

Updated on May 26, 2011

Best In Ceiling Speakers Reviews

Considering remodeling and adding some in ceiling speakers? Read on for in ceiling speakers review - these are the top 5 ceiling speaker choices for those of us on a budget!

In a world of outrageously over-sized SUVs, jumbo "bling," and super-sizing mania, there is an interesting revolution going on quietly inside peoples homes everyday. The almighty jumbo tower speaker is being replaced by in ceiling speakers as the preference for in home audio and surround sound. Ceiling speakers have been around for a few years, but it has only been recently that their price has become more affordable accompanied by increased sound quality. Will an audio ceiling speaker sound as good as that $1,000 Klipsch tower speaker? It will not. But unless you are a die-hard audiophile with a need for the best sound quality possible, in ceiling speakers will sound excellent, be hidden away out of sight, free up floor space, and cost a fraction of the price of tower speakers.

When purchasing new speakers, there are a few different specifications to keep in mind. The first number - Hz - is the frequency response range of the speaker itself. Normal human hearing responds to a frequency range of around 20-20,000 Hz (bass is the low end of the spectrum). The wider the range of a speaker, the more balanced the sound will be. The wattage - watts - of a speaker system lets you know how much power the speaker can handle from the amplifyer without blowing out your speakers. You want to insure that your speaker can handle the power output of your amplifier/receiver or the two will not match very well and the sound quality will suffer. Efficiency or sensitivity - dB - lets you know how well a speaker uses the power that it gets from your receiver/amplifier. The higher the number, the less power that a speaker needs to play a sound at a certain volume.

In wall ceiling speakers have the benefit of freeing up what is sometimes a significant amount of floor space depending on the size of the towers you are currently using. The frames and grills of the ceiling speakers can be painted to match the décor, removing unsightly electronics from the room's décor. A ceiling speaker is able to use a much smaller footprint by using the hollow spaces of the wall and ceiling for sound rather than requiring a large cabinet. They are fairly easy to install yourself if you are comfortable using a keyhole saw or jigsaw, and doing so will save you further money. In addition, because the wires are run through the wall and ceiling, there is no need to find creative ways to camouflage all that stereo wire for a surround sound system.

Polk Audio RC80i 2-Way In-Ceiling Speakers

35 - 20,000 Hz, 100 watts max

If you aren't looking to push a lot of power out of your ceiling speakers, the Polk Audio RC80i pair are an excellent quality for the price.  Just don't expect the crispness and detail that you will get out of higher end models like Klipsch and Definitive Technology.

AudioSource AS8C Eight-inch In-Ceiling Speakers

28 - 24,000 Hz, 100 watts max

With a larger range than the Polk speakers, the AudioSource AS8C is an excellent budget in-ceiling speaker.  For the price, the sound quality is excellent.  For most situations, these speakers are a solid choice.  

Boston Acoustics DSi255 In-ceiling speakers

90 watts 75-20,000 Hz ±3dB

You will definitely  need a separate subwoofer with these ceiling speakers, but the Boston Acoustics DSi255 is an excellent budget ceiling speaker.  They are easy to install and sound great for the price. 

Klipsch KHC-6 In-Ceiling Loudpeakers

50Hz - 20kHz 3dB, 50-200 watts recommended 50 watt continuous range

These Klipsch speakers are sold in a pair and are the best compromise between price and sound quality.  The sound is smooth and distinct and the speakers themselves can handle a much larger amount of power than the budget models.  Klipsch is known for delivering quality sound.

Definitive Technology UIWBP/A In-Wall/Ceiling Bipolar Surround Speaker

28-30,000 Hz, Recommended 10-250 watts

The sound from these ceiling speakers is simply amazing - good enough to rival most higher-end tower speakers. The range and quality will cost you, as these are the best available under $500 but are sold individually rather than in pairs. They can handle a tremendous amount of power and the sound is clear and crisp throughout.

Recommended By a Reader - Proficient Audio Systems C640

These in-ceiling speakers are the mid-range entry into the market by Proficient. They were pointed out to me by a reader (below) and i'm adding them here for information. I have not personally been able to review these speakers, but here are the details:

32Hz 0 22kHz, 5-125 Watts, 8 ohm imp.

The speakers come with a 10 year warranty when purchased from Amazon or another reputable dealer -  which quite frankly is an excellent statement of how much Proficient stands behind their product. The low range is good - better in fact than just about any other in-ceiling speaker mentioned above. Definitely worth checking out.

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    • deegle profile image

      deegle 8 years ago from Ventura County California

      Great hub on ceiling speakers. I can't decide on whether to go with ceiling or wireless. This gives me more ideas thanks!

    • profile image

      Mikhail 8 years ago

      It would seem, that even the low end of the Proficient speakers (C500: 40Hz-20kHz) should be listed. Their mid-line C640 (32Hz-22kHz) is certainly a contender.

      http://www.proficientaudio.com/main.html

      With the range of human hearing being 20Hz-20kHz, it is unclear, why the manufacturers would bother exceeded the 20kHz by much.

    • Temperance M profile image
      Author

      Temperance M 8 years ago from Oregon

      @vade We've had the Klipsch in-ceiling speakers for about a year now. Before that I had a nice set of Cerwin-Vega surround sound speakers that were about 10 years old at this point. I loved the sound from the CV's but hated trying to find new ways to hide the cables up to the little speakers up on the wall. They aren't as small as the Bose cubes so the speakers stood out as well. The sound from the Klipsch in ceiling speakers has been awesome and I'm so glad we made the change.

    • profile image

      vade 8 years ago from Milford,mi

      I used speakers from monoprice.com htd.com and MCM.com. All are very good. the Monoprice.com speakers sound almost better than the klipsch speakers i used to use.

    • Jcasebmw profile image

      Jcasebmw 8 years ago

      We are starting construction on our home soon and these would be a sweet addition.

    • Alex ONeill profile image

      Alex ONeill 8 years ago from Sweden (But I'm from Colorado)

      Huh, very cool info about ceiling speakers. I bet they make the sound in your home incredible.

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