Top 10 Best Ceiling Speakers of 2019
With the large variety of products currently available on the market, choosing the best sets of ceiling speakers for your home sound system can be really challenging, especially if you’re new to the market and don’t know exactly what to look for.
The aim of this article is to walk you through the different factors you’ll want to consider when purchasing a sound system for your home, as well as go over several suggestions to consider when installing it.
In years past, getting an audio system installed in your home was a real hassle, what with all the different cables running through the roof and walls, the need to have a central console to plug in all the different cables, as well as manage the music you want to reproduce. Today, those inconveniences are a matter of the past, given that we now have access to Bluetooth speakers which can help you forgo all manners of pesky cables and jump straight into your favorite music as soon as the speakers are set.
If you are already familiar with ceiling speakers, jump down to our favorites below. If not, head down to our buying guide to learn more about what you should look for before you buy your next pair.
Here are the top 10 best ceiling speakers of 2019:
- 1Klipsch CDT-5650-C II - Best Ceiling Speakers
- 2Pyle 8.0" PDICBT286 - Best Wireless Bluetooth Ceiling Speakers
- 3SpeakerCraft AIM8 - Runner Up (Wired)
- 4Leviton AEC80 - Best Budget Ceiling Speakers
- 5MartinLogan ElectroMotion IC
- 6Polk Audio RC80i
- 7Polk Audio MC80
- 8Yamaha NSIC800WH
- 9Pyle PDIC60
- 10AOMAIS Ultra Portable
1. Klipsch CDT-5650-C II In-Ceiling Speaker (Best Wired Speaker 2019)
Best Wired Ceiling Speaker
Klipsch CDT-5650-C II
Superior product from a staple in the audio space, these Klipsch speakers are well worth the investment.
We’re kicking off the list with a product belonging to the most premium line of Klipsch products, that shines for its ease of installation and high-quality drivers, which are only present in high-end and expensive speakers. These speakers were designed to provide high-quality audio, especially in places where space is an issue, and where setting up other speakers might be impossible due to this. The reason for this is that this product is equipped with Controlled Dispersion Technology (CDT), which allows the user to tweak the direction in which the highs and lows are projected, allowing the creation of a great soundstage even in cramped spaces. The speaker itself is equipped with a two-way system, comprised of a titanium dome compression tweeter with a swiveling 100-degree drive to create a powerful sound throughout the area.
The purchase of this product only includes 1 unit, so you will still need to complement them with a few other speakers if you wish to create an optimal soundstage. That aside, the CDT-5650-C can create a great soundstage when paired with other devices. They require an 100 Watt amplifier to produce optimal sound. Installation is a breeze as well; all you need to do is connect this speaker to the amp, as you would a normal ceiling speaker, and that’s it. After your speaker is hooked up to the 5.1 or 7.1 speaker system, you’re good to go.
When it comes to volume and the power of the sound created by these speakers, we found that it can easily drive up to 50 Watts of power, which means that it can get very loud. Despite the volume, we found that the sound is still very clear and crisp, without a hint of distortion. Out of the box, the speakers are configured with an emphasis on mids and lows, although this can be tweaked to the user’s specifications. We were pleasantly surprised by the power of this speaker’s bass, which can produce rumbling lows to bring the action on screen to life. However, these perks are completely dependent on your choice of amp, as you need to provide enough power to the speakers in order for them to create optimal sound.
As far as specification goes, this product has features that are normally found on higher-end speakers. For starters, the tweeter is completely independent of the subwoofer, which means that you can tweak the direction in which the sound is projected in order to create a powerful soundstage. As we mentioned above, the tweeter can swivel up to 100 degrees, which means that you don't have to struggle with the physical placement of the speaker; just set it, and adjust the direction of the tweeter afterward. Furthermore, the swiveling design of the tweeter is very efficient, as it allows you to create a better and stronger sound while using less energy than conventional speakers. The 6.5” subwoofer equipped with this speaker also features great adjustment capabilities, as it can be rotated 360 degrees and tilted 15 degrees in any direction, which gives the user even more control over where the sound will end up.
In conclusion, while these speakers are some of the most pricey on this list, you will definitely receive what you’re paying for. These speakers will furnish your home with superb quality sound and are meant to be used with high-end amps. The sound that you will receive from these speakers is, simply put, above the average. The fact that you can completely tweak the direction in which the sound is projected - both for the tweeter and subwoofer - simply adds to the deal, as this is a feature that is not common on low-end speakers. For these reasons, these ceiling speakers are one of the best investments you will make if you want top-quality audio for listening to music, or for creating the best home theater setup at home.
Runner Up (Wired)
Easy to install and goes great with most decor, the AIM8 is the perfect fit for upgrading your in-ceiling system.
As far as quality speakers go, Speakercraft is one of the most prestigious brands out there. If you’re familiar with their products, you might know that these products are usually very user-friendly, featuring top-notch design, which makes them an absolute breeze to install and configure. The AIM8’s are no exception, and feature an impressive build quality; these speakers don’t feel flimsy at all, and you can tell right off the bat that they’re built from the quality materials. The speakers themselves feature an 8” woofer and an adjustable tweeter which, for the price, are able to produce exquisite sounds to furnish your home with that pleasant atmosphere or with the music of your liking.
As we mentioned above, SpeakerCraft products are usually very easy to install, with the AIM8 being no exception. After cutting an appropriate hole on the ceiling, the speaker fits neatly into the orifice, while 4 screws on the front of the speaker can be used to fasten it the to the roof. The installation to the amp is performed by two wires, which are conveniently color-coded as to avoid mix-ups. The user manual is also easy to understand, with no undue text of complex terms, which makes it even easier to set up these speakers.
As far as sound quality is concerned, we were actually really surprised with the AIM8, as it could produce crystal clear highs, mids, and lows, even without being complemented by a subwoofer. The bass produced by these speakers are strong enough to create their own soundstage, without the need get any additional speakers. Furthermore, with the purchase of this product, you will receive not one, but three speakers, which will allow you to create a decent soundstage, without having to invest in other units. Like our previous entry, the AIM8 also have direction tweeters, which allows the user to adjust the direction in which the sound is projected. Furthermore, they also have decibel adjustment controls, which allows the user to fine-tune their speakers to the environment in which they’re set in.
By themselves, the AIM8 are some of the best speakers manufactured by Speakercraft. While they boast a considerable price tag, keep in mind that you’ll receive 3 speakers, which are more than enough for most applications, from playing stereo music to complementing your home theater setup.
3. Leviton AEC80 Architectural Edition
Best Budget Ceiling Speakers
Equipped with JBL drivers and 100W operating power, the AEC80 is worth checking out to see if it fits your price range.
The AEC80 Architectural Edition speakers live up to their name by producing some of the best quality sounds for your home. Like the AIM8 mentioned above, these speakers are very easy to install and can produce impressive sound quality for their price range. Their price, combined with the quality of the audio they can create, make these speakers arguably the best investment you will want to make when it comes to home audio solutions. These speakers are equipped with JBL drivers, adjustable tweeters, and built-in crossovers, which result in them delivering impressive sound quality. The AEC80’s also like to play nice with other speakers, as they can be combined with other devices to create the very best soundstages for your home theater or music player. All of these factors are complemented with top-quality customer services, and good warranty support to give you the best bang for your buck.
When it comes to components, the AEC80 combines JBL’s drivers with the quality present in every Leviton product. The JBL drivers are made from titanium laminate which allows them to maintain audio accuracy in all the frequencies, even at low volumes. The crossover network equipped with these speakers is used to minimize audio distortion by preventing signal distortion. Additionally, these speakers are equipped with heavy-duty terminals to ensure connection integrity for years without warranting a replacement. The installation is further facilitated by the mounting brackets included with this product, increasing both its stability and durability.
Technical specifications and components aside, these speakers are designed to operate with 100 Watts and an audio sensitivity of 89 decibels. They are also aesthetically pleasing, as they are designed to blend in perfectly with your home decór; the grills and baffles are transparent and can be painted to fit with perfectly with the theme of your home. The idea behind the AEC80’s design is that you are able to create a great soundstage without having to be bothered about whether the speakers look good or not on the ceiling. The paintable grills and baffles allow these speakers to be concealed while still providing awesome audio. And all of these features are complemented by an amazing 2-year warranty, backed up by a great customer service department.
In conclusion, the AEC80 speakers feature some of the best features present in other products on this list, with an arguably better price tag. The tweeter of this speaker is also adjustable so that the user can fine-tune the direction in which the sound is being projected. The JBL drivers equipped with this speaker can deliver crisp highs and rumbling lows, even at lower volume levels. While it’s recommended to pair these speakers with a subwoofer, they are able to provide good enough bass power to forgo this requirement, effectively helping you save money without compromising on sound quality.
MartinLogan ElectroMotion IC
Default 5-year warranty and a 6.5" form factor, the IC model from MartinLogan is loved by many.
When it comes to awesome ceiling speakers, there are some products that simply blow you away with their sheer quality. The ElectroMotion IC by MartinLogan is one of such products. A simple glance is enough to tell you that we’re in for a treat; everything about this speaker screams quality. From the organization of the packaging to the components of the speaker itself, such as the grills, and the speaker protection, among others, we can tell a great level of attention was put into the details, as they well should, given that these are some of the most pricey speakers - along with the Klipsch CdT-5650-C II mentioned above - on this list. Furthermore, with the purchase of this product, you’ll receive a 5-year warranty after registering your product with MartinLogan.
The installation of this speaker is as easy as ever, requiring it only to be mounted wherever you choose, and then being hooked up to the home theater or amp. The quality of the sound generated by the ElectroMotion IC is impressively high, which took us by surprise. When used to reproduce different genres of music, we found that this speaker performs admirably, being able to deliver crystal clear highs and lows, even at high and low volumes. There’s no distortion with these speakers and, when used as part of a home theater setup, we found that it can perfectly complement any setup, even with no subwoofer to enhance the bass.
Speaking of bass, this speaker can definitely produce a strong enough “oomph” for its size, which makes it ideal for home audio over home theater applications. We noticed that, compared to other speakers that enhance certain frequencies over the others making them sound too high or rumbly, the sound produced by the ElectroMotion IC is pleasantly well-rounded, and will seldom need adjusting or tweaking to create an adequate sound for most applications. When used as a part of a home audio setup, these speakers pair well with high-end amps and can produce well enough sound by themselves. If used in a home theater setup, they can also perform well on their lonesome, due to their 6.5” aluminum core woofers, which help the enhance the lows without the need of an independent subwoofer. As a result, these speakers can provide booming lows and crisp highs with little to no distortion, even at high volume levels.
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Polk Audio RC80i
Great for areas of high humidity or humid climates. The RC80i are one of the most durable ceiling speakers on our list.
Let’s kick off our last entry by saying that the RC80i’s are, hands-down, some of the best speakers that you’ll spend your money on. Not only is the quality of the sound they produce on the great side of the spectrum, but they’re also quite affordable as well. The reason this speaker sounds so good is because of its mineral-laden composite cone, complemented with a rubber surround. The rubber is good for outlasting other speakers with foam surrounds. Furthermore, the RC80i speakers also have a 1” tweeter with a 15-degree swivel. The swivel is awesome for directing the audio at specific places, which helps with imaging as well as in the creation of an optimal soundstage for any purpose.
As far as performance is concerned, we found that the RC80i speakers perform best as part of a home theater setup, as their adjustable tweeters and powerful sound capabilities are able to create a great soundstage, even in cramped spaces. When paired with a high-end amp, we found that these speakers are able to create crisp mids and highs, while also featuring considerable lows. The bass capabilities of these speakers are expected from most ceiling speakers, as their purpose is to fill the most amount of space with sound, instead of creating booming lows. For this reason, if you need the rumbling of intense bass, or simply enjoy cranking up the lows to the max, you might want to invest in a subwoofer to complement these speakers.
One awesome thing about these speakers - aside from the quality of its sound - is that they’re actually made with rust and moisture resistant materials, which makes them great if you want to install them in humid places, such as saunas or bathrooms. If you happen to own a hot tub in your backyard and are looking for a good set of speakers that can withstand steamy conditions without failing after the first few months, then the RC80i’s are for you.
Best Ceiling Speakers Buying Guide
Now that we know which brands of speakers can actually provide us with the very best hearing experience for our money, we can go ahead and dive into the real nitty-gritty of purchasing one of these products. In this next section, we’ll be elaborating on the most important aspects you’ll need to keep in mind when browsing the market for good ceiling speakers. If you don’t know exactly which model to buy, feel free to consult this guide so you can get familiar with the lingo and terms used by retailers, and be able to choose for yourself the very best products, suited to your needs.
That being said, these are the most important factors you’ll want to keep in mind when purchasing ceiling speakers:
Measured in Herz (Hz), this unit is used to refer to the range in which an average human being can perceive auditory stimuli. Most of us can only hear in the 20-20,000Hz range; everything above or below this range in imperceivable to human ears. Similarly, this unit is used to measure the ranges in which any given speaker can reproduce audio. For example, a speaker with a frequency response of 30-20,000Hz can operate on a larger range than, say, a speaker with a range of 50-20,000Hz. In the latter, you’ll be able to hear a deeper bass and a more balanced sound in general.
As a general rule of thumb, you’ll want to lean towards the speakers that offer the largest frequency response ranges.
Drive Unit Size
The drive unit is the cup-sized component located within every speaker. These components are, in great part, responsible for the range in which the speaker itself can operate. Units with larger speakers will be able to produce deeper bass and a more balanced sound. The users that enjoy listening to bass-rich music in high volumes will benefit more from investing on speakers with large drivers, as the sound will distort less in high volumes and provide a more balanced experience throughout.
This element is used to refer to the power specification that the speaker can handle from the amp. Similarly, most speakers will also include the minimum power handling on the user manual. This information is important since it’ll help you know what type of receiver you’ll need in order to power the speakers. For example, a 100 watt RMS receiver will go well with a 20-100 watt speaker.
Measured in decibels (dB), this unit is used to determine the efficiency of any given speaker, specifically when referring to how effectively it uses the power received from the amp or receiver. Speakers with higher sensitivity ratings can be cranked up higher without causing undue strain of the amplifier. As a valuable point of reference, a speaker with only 3 dB higher sensitivity than another speaker will only need half as much power to deliver sound at the same volume.
Usually measured in millimeters (mm), this aspect refers to the amount of space that any given speaker will need in order to obtain enough clearance to fit into the wall or on the ceiling. Obviously, this factor doesn’t directly affect the performance of the speaker itself, but it’s still important to know, especially if you’re looking to set up a sound system in a cramped space.
Some speakers offer the capacity to adjust the direction in which the sound is projected, without having to physically alter the direction of the speaker itself. This is important in certain setups, such as when trying to set up a home theater, as it will let you fine-tune the direction in which certain speakers are emitting their sound.
Frequency Adjustment Controls
Similarly, some speakers will allow you to adjust the sound they produce to suit the space in which they’re set in. This can help you save much hassle, as you won’t have to painstakingly set the speakers in specific positions to produce the best sound. Instead, you’ll be able to install the speakers and adjust the sound with the frequency adjustment controls.
When it comes to ceiling speakers, odds are that you will want to install them throughout your home, including on potentially humid locations, such as bathrooms, the front porch, or backyard terrace, among others. In these places where humidity is a factor, you’ll need to buy heavy-duty speakers which are equipped to handle to extra moisture in the air. Otherwise, you might find that regular speakers can start to fail in humid conditions.
Stereo Single Speakers
One last thing to keep in mind if you’re operating in tight spaces is that there exist speakers that are capable of producing stereo quality audio on a single device, without the need to acquire two devices in order to create a surround sound experience. These are perfect for installing sound system in awkward spaces where two or more speakers are simply out of the question.
The Different Types Of Ceiling Speakers
In general, there will be only two types of speakers in the market: ceiling speakers and in-wall speakers; each come with their own sets of uses, strengths, and weaknesses.
These types of speakers are better suited for those looking to listen to music throughout the entirety of their home. This setup is the one that will take most space and will usually be more expensive as well, as you’ll have to furnish all the rooms in which you want your music to play in with speakers, as well as purchase additional mounting equipment to accommodate said speakers.
There are two very important factors to consider when buying ceiling speakers. First and foremost, you’ll need to consider the number of speakers you’ll need per room. This goes hand in hand with the size of the rooms in question, as well as the placement of the speakers themselves. For instance, one or two well-placed speakers can help set the mood in a small to a medium-sized living room. However, those that have bigger living rooms with high ceilings might require 4, 5, or even 6 speakers in order to provide adequate sound.
The other aspect you’ll need to consider when setting up ceiling speakers is the placement of the devices themselves. The most important thing to consider here is that each room receives an even amount of audio coverage, which requires careful planning. Your A/V designer will be able to help you further. Failure to properly plan out this step can lead to low-quality sound and uneven coverage.
As their name suggest, these speakers go mounted directly on your wall and offer much less coverage than their ceiling-based counterparts. However, the fact that these sound systems deliver sound to a much smaller area can definitely help to create immersive or very comfortable atmospheres in certain places. This type of setup is recommended for those who want to enjoy the very best audiovisual experiences when watching movies at home, or when playing music in a bedroom or family room.
Furthermore, a properly-placed in-wall speaker can definitely create a better sound stage for whatever show or music you want to listen, which can actually make you feel like you’re in a live show, or in the middle of the action currently playing on the screen.
In this article, we’ll be talking generally about ceiling speakers, but it helps to know the definition of both so that you can effectively tell them apart if you’re browsing the market by yourself. Either way, we’ll still present you with our top picks further along the article, so stay tuned!
Before that, however, let’s talk about the best companies that deal in these types of products.
The Different Brands Of Best Ceiling Speakers
As we mentioned earlier, choosing the best set of speakers for your home can be quite challenging if you don’t know what to look for. However, a good way to get started is by actually getting to know the best brands in the market. In this manner, even if you’re not sure what to get, you’ll still be able to rest assured that the product you bought is of utmost quality, and will provide you the best bang for your buck.
The next time you’re in the market for a good ceiling speaker, keep an eye out for these brands:
As an online retailer of quality home electronics, Micca Electronics is fairly conservative when it comes to variety. This company specializes in the sale of several leisure household electronics, including digital photo frames, media players, and a generous variety of ceiling and in-wall speakers. Though they don’t manufacture their products themselves, this company has the utmost quality control standards, as well as a robust customer service department which ensures that, if you’re not satisfied with your purchase in any way, they’ll respond for your product or give you your money back guaranteed.
As far as home audio is concerned, Micca has several lines of products designed for different purposes. Their Core series of products feature ceiling speakers exclusively, while their Media series has both ceiling and in-wall speakers. Furthermore, they also sell several types of shelf speakers, Amps, DACs, and other home audio products.
As far as audio products are concerned, Polk has existed since the era live shows started evolving to the point of selling out stadiums, arenas, and other such venues. The folks at Polk have worked hard since the early 70’s to capture the elements that made live audio so impressive and breathtaking in order to properly replicate it within the average American household.
For Polk Audio, what started out as a side-project in Matt Polk’s garage quickly evolved into a legacy which strived to provide the very best products to deliver high-fidelity sound to any space, via the engineering of the most reliable speakers in the market, and without having to break the bank in order to afford them.
Some of the most important factors of the products developed and sold by Polk Audio include, but are not limited to, dynamic balance, SDA technology, wide dispersion array, power ports, cascade crossover, and voice adjust, among others. For these and many other reasons, you can expect a quality experience from any Polk Audio product.
As a company that deals in quality audio products, Yamaha will seldom need an introduction. However, if you’re not familiar with this big-name brand, we can tell you that this is a company, with almost 140 years in the audio business, started out when Torakusu Yamaha - the founder - built his first reed organ in 1887. Since then, Yamaha as a company has evolved to provide a very wide selection of both instruments and home audio products, including string instruments, brass instruments, wind instruments, percussion, a wide variety of electronic audio equipment and, curiously enough, several pieces of sports equipment, such as golf clubs and composite bows.
It’s very likely that, due to the vast variety of products manufactured and sold by Yamaha, you could possibly also find them for sale by other retailers at cheaper prices. However, when it comes to Yamaha products, you’re not only investing in a brand that spans more than a century but also in the quality inherent in its namesake.
Silver Ticket Products
Despite only being around since the 1980’s, Silver Ticket Products is one of the smallest companies whose products are featured in this article. Regardless, this humble company is focused exclusively on the manufacturing of quality home audio solutions, including some of the best home theater sets on the market, as well as some products for home audiovisual purposes, such as HDTV projectors with their respective screens, and a very wide variety of speakers and accessories to personalize your home audio experience to your liking.
Like our previous entry, Speakercraft has been in the home audio business since the 80’s. Since this time, this company has been completely dedicated to providing a steady stream of in-wall and ceiling hi-fi audio speakers so that each and every hearing experience at home turns into a bliss-filled nirvana. They started out in 1985 as the original equipment manufacturer (OEM) of several big companies and worked their way up by developing and providing increasingly complex devices to improve the average citizen’s hearing experience.
Today, Speakercraft is among the biggest and most respected manufacturers of home audio solutions; their name has become synonymous with quality, which allows their users to enjoy each and every moment of listening to music or watching comfortably at home.
Best Ceiling Speakers Wrap Up
When it comes to choosing the very best Bluetooth ceiling speakers (not to be confused with Bluetooth wall speakers), there are definitely a considerable variety of factors to keep in mind in order to make the best purchase. Our hope is that, with the help of this guide, you are now able to understand what to look for when browsing the market, and will be able to obtain the very best product suited to your needs. If anything, feel free to choose from the products we mentioned above; we ensure you that you’ll receive nothing but quality.