Ceiling Speakers - Audiostance

The 11 Best Ceiling Speakers

Ceiling speakers have the benefit of blending seamlessly into your home decor or architectural design. Unlike regular speaker systems, they can also be set up in such a way that sound can be added to every room in your home for just a few hundred dollars per room. We’ve put together a list of what we believe are some of the best ceiling speakers currently on the market.

Our Pick!

Polk Audio RC80i In-Ceiling-In-Wall Speakers

Polk Audio RC80i In-Ceiling/In-Wall Speakers

The Virtually Invisible 791 Series II is perfect for most living spaces. The easy installation means these speakers shouldn’t be a challenge to install for seasoned DIY enthusiasts.

Quick Pick – Our Awards!

Best Overall

The Polk Audio RC80i is our top recommendation due to its overall solid performance in everything from sound quality to ease of installation. The 8″ woofer provides a solid low end, while the swivel-mounted tweeters can be adjusted directionally. While this isn’t a particularly flashy ceiling speaker, it does everything it needs at a very reasonable price. The moisture-resistant coating means the RC80i can also be installed in bathrooms.

Budget-Friendly Ceiling Speaker

If you’re on a budget, the Micca M-8C 8″ offer excellent value, with each speaker being available for around $50 and purchasable in singles. Despite the affordable price tag, the Micca M-8C offers great sound, a flush mounting profile, and great build quality. You won’t be sacrificing any features by going cheaper here, with the sound quality remaining impressive, the grilles paintable, and still being relatively easy to install.

Loudest Ceiling Speaker

Definitive Technology’s Uewa/Di 8R doesn’t come cheap, but if you’re looking for great sound and a lot of volume, this is our top pick. The DiR8 brings a 225W peak with a 90db sensitivity. Pair these bad boys with a 200W amplifier, and you’ll have enough volume to power a party. We also love that it mounts flush, creating a clean aesthetic too.

Best Ceiling Speakers for Moist Environments

We have two speaker options that offer protection against moisture that will work ideally in your jacuzzi room or bathrooms. The Polk Audio RC80i or Yamaha NS-IC800. There is no going wrong with either of these products, the Polk RC80i we prefer because of its overall sound and affordability.

Best Ceiling Speakers for Home Theater Surround Sound

Most speakers on our list work well for a home theater surround sound – but our pick has got to be the Polk Audio RC80i, which is a great ceiling speaker for home theater surround sound. You have the option of the 8” RC80i or 6.5” RC60i. You can also use the Polk Audio 255C-RT, which is a rectangular, box-shaped speaker for in-wall left/right/center positions. Polk Audio PSW505-powered subwoofer for added bass. Polk Audio is affordable with a decent sound.


If you already have an understanding of home audio installations, you’ll know that the process of getting ceiling or wall speakers installed can be a bit of an investment initially.

Quality amplifiers don’t come cheap and even the budget choices can add up when you’re having to power a whole household installation. If you’re looking to add audio to your gaming room or living room, the costs are going to be fairly reasonable. However, if you’re planning to cover the entire house, be aware that this can end up being a fairly costly process.

That’s not to say that your investment won’t pay off; there are a lot of modern homes being built with ceiling speakers from the get-go. This, especially when paired with a wifi or Bluetooth receiver, can add value to your home.

In our recommendations we included amplifiers which we consider some of the best in the market. There are some more budget-friendly options in the mix too.

If you’re contemplating between in-wall and in-ceiling speakers, we have a list of the best in-wall speakers which may help solidify your choice.

Our Picks For The 11 Best Ceiling Speakers

These in-ceiling speakers are some of the most trusted and reliable home audio solutions. We’ve included some more affordable options for those on budget while naturally bringing in more expensive ceiling speakers that offer more modern functionality and better overall sound quality.

1. Polk Audio RC80i In-Ceiling/In-Wall Speakers

Polk Audio RC80i In-Ceiling-In-Wall Speakers

The Polk Audio RC80i is one of Amazon’s best-selling in-ceiling speakers. The RC80i is affordable and easy to install, which is the main reason for its popularity. You also have the option of several speaker variations in the Polk RC range, which means you can find the right speaker for a complete sound system.

Sound & Technical Features

The Polk Audio RC80i features an 8” woofer with a single 1” tweeter. A 20-100W amplifier channel can power each speaker at 8 Ohms.

The 1” tweeter is mounted on a swivel mount so you can direct the high frequencies towards your desired listing position.

Installing the Polk Audio RC80i In-Ceiling/In-Wall Speakers

The Polk Audio RC80i features a protective moisture and heat resistant coating, which means these speakers can be installed indoors, on the patio, under your roof’s eves, in a bathroom or sauna. This is great if you want to install one speaker brand throughout the property. As Polk Audio is one of the more affordable brands on the market, this is great news for expenditure.

The speakers come with a template, so stenciling the holes is quick and easy. Connect your wires, push the speaker through the hole and tighten the screws to install. The screws have dog-ear locking tabs that swivel in place when you tighten the screw making the RC80i quick and easy to install.

Speaker grilles can be painted to match paint and decor.

Cabling & Amplification

Polk Audio doesn’t recommend a specific model of amplifier or receiver other than the output must produce 20-100W at 8 Ohms. A receiver we recommend is the Denon AVR-S960H, which doesn’t come cheap – but has a bunch of bells and whistles too.

Polk Audio doesn’t specify the exact speaker gauge per distance other than the minimum of 18 gauge. We would recommend anything over 30ft should be a 12 gauge for the RC80i.

What’s in the box?

  • 2 x Polk Audio RC80i
  • 2 x speaker grilles
  • 2 x templates/paint masks

The Polk Audio RC80i is an excellent choice if you plan to install a speaker system throughout the house. The Polk Audio RC range includes in-ceiling and in-wall speakers of all sizes to find the right speaker for each position in the room. The moisture-resistant coating is a big plus for bathrooms and outdoor installations. For home theater surround sound, you can purchase the RC80i/PSW505 subwoofer combo for some added bottom end.

What We Like

  • Affordable
  • Easy to install
  • Powerful sound

What We Dislike

  • Nothing really

2. Bose Virtually Invisible 791 Series II in-Ceiling Speaker

Bose Virtually Invisible 791 Series II in-Ceiling Speaker

The Bose Virtually Invisible 791 Series II In-Ceiling Speaker is sold as a pair and designed for fast installation. The speaker grilles are white and can be painted to match your ceiling or decor.

Sound & Technical Features

The Bose Virtually Invisible 791 Series II features a 7” woofer with two 1” tweeters to deliver a near full-range response. Each speaker is compatible with an amplifier or receiver rated between 10-100W at 4-8 Ohms. The speakers are rated at 6 Ohms and can deliver 50W IEC continuous power handling. This is enough power for a pair of Bose Virtually Invisible 791 Series II In-Ceiling Speakers to fill an average-sized living space.

A pair of Invisible 791 Series II features Bose Stereo Everywhere speaker performance which allows you to hear a stereo sound image no matter where you are in the room. This is partly due to how Bose has arrayed the tweeters to fire in opposite directions at 45° from the speaker’s center.

Installing the Bose Virtually Invisible 791 Series II in-Ceiling Speaker

The Invisible 791 Series II comes with a template so you can easily stencil out the right size of the hole before cutting. The wires are connected as easily as matching the positive and negative to each terminal on the back of the speaker. Mounting is as easy as pushing the speaker through the hole and tightening the clamp screws. The Invisible 791 Series II uses standard dogleg clamps, so it’s as easy as tightening the screws to clamp in place. The speaker grille is magnetic, so you just line it up, and it attaches as soon as you place it.

Bose has made the installation easy. This shouldn’t be too challenging, even if you’re a DIY newbie. Full step-by-step instructions are provided in the manual.

Cabling & Amplification

If you are unsure of which amplifier or receiver to use, Bose recommends the Bose SoundTouch SA-5 Amplifier. The SoundTouch SA-5 features 2 x RCA inputs, 1 x ⅛ inch input, Bluetooth, and WiFi for streaming music from apps like Pandora, Spotify, etc. The amplifier also works with Alexa. Bose recommends the following speaker cable when connecting from the amplifier to the speakers:

Lengths up to 20ft18 Gauge
Lengths 20ft to 30ft16 Gauge
Lengths 30ft to 50ft14 Gauge
Lengths 50ft to 90ft12 Gauge

What’s in the box?

  • 2 x Bose Virtually Invisible 791 Series II Speakers
  • 2 x white speaker grilles
  • Template to stencil holes

Bose Virtually Invisible 791 Series II In-Ceiling Speaker Conclusion

The Virtually Invisible 791 Series II is perfect for most living spaces. The easy installation means these speakers shouldn’t be a challenge to install for seasoned DIY enthusiasts. The Virtually Invisible 791 Series II is great for TV, music, and movies. Bose Stereo Everywhere means no matter where you sit in the room, you can enjoy a stereo sound.

What We Like

  • Excellent sound quality
  • Easy to install
  • Discreet profile

What We Dislike

  • On the pricy side

3. Sonos In-Ceiling Speakers

sonos in ceiling speakers

What’s in the box?

  • 2 x Sonos In-Ceiling Speakers
  • 2 x speaker grille
  • 2 x template/paint shield

These Sonos in-ceiling speakers are reasonably small (9.27 inch diameter) and lightweight (5.01 lbs.) and can be installed discreetly due to the matte grille, if you’re looking for a speaker to blend in rather than draw attention. The speaker comes in white to accompany most ceilings and isn’t advertised as being repaintable. These are only suitable for indoor use. 

Sound Quality

The Sonos Architectural In-Ceiling speakers deliver crystal-clear sound for music, film, spoken word, or ambient listening. The Sonos In-Ceiling speakers utilize Trueplay functionality, which adjusts the tonal qualities of the speakers according to room shape, size, and the obstacles within to deliver top-quality sound at all times, no matter where the speakers are installed. Displaying a frequency response ranging from 44Hz to 20kHz with a very slight deviation (+-3dB), these in-ceiling speakers are relatively neutral-sounding and unlike some, run a woofer and tweeter combination rather than a single full-range driver. The Sonos in-ceiling speakers can get reasonably loud (up to 89dB) and sound quality doesn’t suffer too much from high output volumes. 

Installation

Sonos have taken care here to make these as straightforward to install as possible, allowing anyone with basic DIY skills to perform the process themselves. Using a template, you can remove a space for the speaker and mount it into your ceiling using the supplied screws, though cable running can be challenging in some homes. A professional Sonos installer can be hired through the Sonos website, should you prefer a qualified technician to do the job for you. 

Amplification

While I’d recommend using the Sonos amp with these in-ceiling speakers, anything ranging from a 5W output to a 130W amp can effectively power these speakers. The speakers don’t come with cabling included, so you’ll want to get hold of some high-grade speaker cables to go with these- just be sure to match the cable gauge with your intended distance.

If you don’t mind spending a bit extra, the Sonos Wireless Amp offers 125W per channel at 8ohms. This amp isn’t cheap, but offers everything you could want in a modern home audio amplifier.

What We Like

  • Excellent sound quality
  • Loud output volumes

What We Dislike

  • Non-repaintable speaker grille
  • No cabling included

4. Klipsch CDT-5650-C II In-Ceiling Speaker

Klipsch CDT-5650-C II In-Ceiling Speaker

Klipsch is arguably one of the industry leaders in consumer audio. More specifically, their incredible range of high-quality speakers. The CDT-5650-C II lives up to all you’d expect from Klipsch with incredible design features and exceptional audio quality.

Sound & Technical Features

The Klipsch CDT-5650-C II In-Ceiling Speaker features a 6.5” speaker driver with a 1” titanium tweeter and a swiveling 100-degree Tractrix® Horn. Unlike other in-ceiling speaker brands, the CDT-5650-C II woofer can also shift 15 degrees. This is Klipsch’s Controlled Dispersion Technology™ which directs highs and lows to the preferred listening area.

There are also treble and midbass attenuation switches, so you can fine-tune the sound depending on the room or installation. For both treble and midbass, 0db or a -3db attenuation is available. The switches are located on the front of the speaker, so you can make adjustments even when the speaker is installed.

Installing the Klipsch CDT-5650-C II In-Ceiling Speaker

The Klipsch CDT-5650-C II in-ceiling speaker is extremely simple to install. The speakers come with a template so you can stencil the exact shape before cutting. You can also find detailed install instructions on the Klipsch website in case you lose the template.

With the hole cut, installing the CDT-5650-C II is as easy as positioning the speaker and tightening the screws till the dogs lock in place. Once fitted, you can angle the tweeter and speaker driver to your desired listening position.

Additionally, you can purchase the IK-650-C install kit designed for the CDT-5650-C II. The kit features parts that make the CDT-5650-C II easy to install as well as straps to attach to a beam above the speaker for improved safety.

The speaker grilles on the CDT-5650-C II can be painted to match the ceiling or decor.

Cabling & Amplification

Klipsch doesn’t recommend a specific model of amplifier or receiver other than the output must produce 50-100W at 8 Ohms. We recommend the Yamaha R-S202BL Stereo Receiver.

What’s in the box?

  • 1 x Klipsch CDT-5650-C
  • 1 x speaker grille
  • 1 x template

Klipsch CDT-5650-C II In-Ceiling Speaker Conclusion

When it comes to sound quality, the Klipsch CDT-5650 is going to be your best option. The Klipsch sound is high quality with good low-end definition and clear highs. Klipsch offers a wide range of in-ceiling and in-wall speakers, so you can create a complete home theater system or distributed speaker system throughout the house.

If you plan to install the Klipsch CDT-5650-C II as part of a home theater system, consider adding the Klipsch R-12SW Subwoofer to thicken up the bottom end.

What We Like

  • Deep bass response
  • Excellent sound
  • Easy to install

What We Dislike

  • A bit on the expensive side

5. Pyle 8” Flush Mount In-Wall/In-Ceiling Speaker Kit

Pyle 8” Flush Mount In-Wall-In-Ceiling Speaker Kit

If you’re looking for an affordable all-in-one in-ceiling speaker kit, then the Pyle 8” In-Wall/In-Ceiling Speaker Kit is just what you’re after. The kit includes four speakers, a mini amplifier, your choice of circle or square speaker grilles, and four lengths of speaker cable.

Sound & Technical Features

The Pyle 8” Flush Mount In-Wall/In-Ceiling Speaker Kit features a total of four speakers producing a total of 250W peak across all four speakers. The four speakers are driven by the 250W 4-channel mini digital amplifier supplied with the kit.

Although Pyle rate this speaker system at 250W, the true output of the whole system isn’t more than 100W peak.

The mini digital amplifier is Bluetooth enabled, so essentially, you can install everything in the ceiling without the need to drill holes for signal cable. The amplifier features Bluetooth version 4

Installing the Pyle 8” Flush Mount In-Wall/In-Ceiling Speaker Kit

Installing the Pyle 8” In-Wall/In-Ceiling Speaker Kit is extremely simple. With the Bluetooth mini digital amplifier, there is no need to run the speaker cable into the ceiling. No need for extra holes or trying to find a way to run cables.

The Bluetooth digital amplifier has a range of 30ft which. If you place the amplifier in the ceiling above your primary playback device like a TV or Bluetooth device, 30ft will be more than sufficient to transmit to the amplifier. Make sure when installing to get the amplifier against the ceiling board if possible and away from any electrical components. This will reduce any interference.

If you plan to install the speakers in the wall, then the distance will be greatly reduced. Again make sure you’re clear of any other electrical components to avoid interference.

Pyle supplies you with both circle and square speaker grilles which means you can select the right shape to match any decor. Typically, in-ceiling speakers are circular, and in-wall are square.

The speaker grilles are white, but Pyle doesn’t specify whether or not the speaker grilles can be painted. You might want to check that with customer service before attempting to paint the speakers.

The speaker kit comes with four lengths of speaker cable. Consider purchasing an extra speaker cable should you wish to install these speakers further apart. Keep in mind the mini amplifier isn’t the most powerful, so increasing the distance will reduce the amount of power each speaker will receive.

What’s in the box?

  • 4 x 8’’ speakers
  • 4 x Removable round speaker grills
  • 4 x Removable square speaker grills
  • Speaker connection wire
  • Bluetooth control receiver/mini digital amplifier
  • Power supply for the mini digital amplifier

Pyle 8” Flush Mount In-Wall/In-Ceiling Speaker Kit Conclusion

The Pyle 8” In-Wall/In-Ceiling Speaker Kit is perfect for installs where your primary application is background music. This system will be great for restaurants, cafes, and small retail stores. At home, this system is recommended for some background music but won’t be too impressed with TV or movies. These Bluetooth ceiling speakers eliminate the need for running cables into the ceiling, making installation quick and easy.

What We Like

  • Durable
  • Clear sound

What We Dislike

  • Bass response could be deeper

6. Definitive Technology Di 8R In-Ceiling Speaker

Definitive Technology Di 8R In-Ceiling Speaker

The Di 8R In-Ceiling Speaker is part of Definitive Technology’s Disappearing™ Speaker Series. Disappearing™ Speaker Series features a selection of speakers of all shapes to suit your speaker installation and layout.

Sound & Technical Features

The Definitive Technology Di 8R In-Ceiling Speaker features an 8” woofer with 1” tweeter capable of a maximum output of 225W. Our most powerful ceiling speaker is featured in this article.

Definitive Technology’s BDSS™ technology delivers maximum efficiency across the entire frequency range for a clear and balanced listening experience, while the pivoting 1” tweeter allows you to direct the sound exactly where you need it.

The Di 8R also features an Environmental EQ switch. If your room has a lot of hard surfaces like glass, stone, or hardwood, then setting this switch to “- (minus)” will compensate for these reflections. If your room is “dead” (in other words, there are loads of soft surfaces absorbing a lot of sounds), then setting the Environmental EQ to “+ (plus)” offers a treble boost to brighten up your speakers. Try playing with this setting to find the right sound for your room.

Installing the Definitive Technology Di 8R In-Ceiling Speaker

The Definitive Technology Di 8R has a template to stencil the hole before cutting.

The Di 8R features a cable clamp on each terminal. Striping a ½” shield off of the cable is enough to fit through the terminal. Once in place, tightening the screws will enable the tabs to swivel into place and lock the speaker into position.

The Di 8R can be painted. However, Definitive Technology provides some strict instructions to follow when painting the grilles, so be sure to check out the user manual before attempting to paint.

Cabling & Amplification

Definitive Technology recommends an amplifier with a maximum of 225W output at 8 Ohms. For home theater installations, I would recommend the Marantz SR5015 7.2 receiver. Although this doesn’t produce 225W, the Marantz operates very efficiently and will deliver enough power to drive the Di 8R effectively.

Definitive Technology recommends you use nothing smaller than an 18 gauge cable when installing the Di 8R.

What’s in the box?

  • 1 x Definitive Technology Di 8R
  • 1 x speaker grille
  • 1 x template

Definitive Technology Di 8R In-Ceiling Speaker Conclusion

The Di 8R is a high-end ceiling speaker with exceptional power and sound quality. This ceiling speaker will be great for most applications, including music, TV, and movies. If paired with a 200W amplifier, these speakers could produce a serious amount of power if you wish to play loud music or movies.

For home theater surround sound, you have the choice of several speakers from Definitive Technology’s Disappearing™ Speaker Series.

What We Like

  • Lots of volume
  • Great sound quality
  • Low depth requirements
  • Flush mounting

What We Dislike

  • Quite pricy

7. Yamaha NS-IC800 In-ceiling Speakers

Yamaha NS-IC800 In-ceiling Speakers

The Yamaha NS-IC800 features one of the most low-profile, flush-mount speaker grilles on the market. Once installed, the speaker sits beautifully against the ceiling. The NS-IC range features multiple wattage options from 90W to 140W, great for an in-ceiling surround sound system install.

Sound & Technical Features

The Yamaha NS-IC800 features a single 8” with 1” tweeter per speaker, each producing a maximum power output of 140W. This is a significant amount of power output, and a pair of these speakers will give you some serious sound.

The 8” speaker cone is moisture resistant while the sealed back protects against dust and moisture. Effectively, the Yamaha NS-IC800 can be installed in any room in the house. The 1” tweeter is fluid-cooled to deliver optimum performance, even at higher volumes.

The tweeters are fixed to a swivel mount so you can angle the sound to your desired listening area.

Installing the Yamaha NS-IC800 In-Ceiling Speakers

The Yamaha NS-IC800 is simple to install. The speakers have a template so you can stencil the hole accurately before cutting. The Yamaha NS-IC800 features a large mounting clamp with a non-slip tread to ensure the speakers fit tight against your wall or ceiling.

For an optimum listening experience, install the speakers between 6ft-10ft apart, an equal distance from the focal point, such as a TV or HiFi. For improved clarity, the tweeters can be angled to fire into the desired listening area.

If you plan to install additional speakers for surround sound, then it’s recommended you install the surrounds behind the listening position and at least an equal distance apart from the front left/right.

The speaker grilles can be painted to match decor, wall, or ceiling color.

Cabling & Amplification

For the NS-IC800, Yamaha recommends an amplifier or receiver capable of producing 50W to 140W at 8 Ohms per speaker. To get the most out of your NS-IC800 in-ceiling speakers, you want an amplifier capable of producing as close to 140W as possible.

For home theater installations, I would recommend the Yamaha RX-V483BL 5.1-Channel. The RX-V483 features multiple inputs, WiFi, Bluetooth, and Alexa voice control enabled (Alexa device purchased separately). There are other models in this range, so you can also choose to upgrade to 7.1.

Yamaha doesn’t specify which gauge of speaker cable to use. However, I wouldn’t use anything less than 16 gauge on the NS-IC800 going to a 12 gauge for runs more than 30ft.

What’s in the box?

  • 2 x Yamaha NS-IC800
  • 2 x Speaker grilles
  • 1 x Template

Yamaha NS-IC800 In-Ceiling Speakers Conclusion

The Yamaha NS-IC800 is suitable for a variety of applications. Music, TV, and movies will all sound good on these in-ceiling speakers. The NS-IC800 is excellent for home theater installations, with a variety of speakers in the range to choose from, including box-shaped designs for in-wall installations.

What We Like

  • Affordable
  • Angled teeters

What We Dislike

  • Clarity could be slightly better

8. Micca M-8C 8” In-Ceiling Speaker

Micca M-8C 2-Way in Ceiling in Wall Speaker

The Micca M-8C 8” In-Ceiling Speaker is part of the M Series from Micca, which features both in-ceiling and in-wall speakers for those wishing to install a full home theater system. Micca speakers are an affordable option. Important to note these speakers are sold as singles.

Sound & Technical Features

The Micca M-8C 8” In-Ceiling Speaker features an 8” woofer with 1” tweeter capable of producing 100W peak, depending on how you choose to amplify the speakers.

The 1” tweeter is fixed to a swivel mount so you can direct the audio to your desired listening position.

Installing the Micca M-8C 8” In-Ceiling Speaker

Micca provides a template so you can stencil the correct size before cutting. Once in position, tightening the screws will swivel the tabs to fasten the M-8C securely into position.

The speaker grilles are paintable, so you can match your ceiling color or decor.

Cabling & Amplification

The Micca M-8C 8” requires an amplifier or receiver to produce 20-100W at 8 Ohms. We recommend the Denon AVR-S960H for a great amplifier that is capable of powering the Micca M-8C. We realize that the Denon has fairly high pricing, so if you’re not in need of all the features you can also consider the slightly cheaper Onkyo TX-NR595.

What’s in the box?

  • 1 x M-8C 8”
  • 1 x speaker grille
  • 1 x template

Micca M-8C 8” In-Ceiling Speaker Conclusion

The Micca M-8C 8” In-Ceiling Speaker is a great choice for a simple stereo left/right system or a full home theater surround sound system. Part of the M Series range includes box-shaped and circular designs depending on where you wish to position the speaker. Micca has even designed an in-wall center speaker (Micca M-CS).

The Micca M-8C will be great for music, TV, and movies. Consider adding a subwoofer for surround sound systems.

What We Like

  • Overall sound quality
  • Good value for money
  • Powerful volume

What We Dislike

  • Installation is not as easy as some other models

9. Pyle Pro PDIC60T In-Ceiling Speaker

Pyle Pro PDIC60T In-Ceiling Speaker

The PDI range from Pyle features circular and box-shaped speakers that run on 70V amplifier systems. Each speaker comes with a 70V transformer which can be removed to run the speakers on a regular amplifier or receiver.

Sound & Technical Features

The Pyle Pro PDIC60T features a 6.5” woofer with a 1” tweeter capable of handling 125W peak at 8 Ohms. This obviously depends on how you choose to amplify the speakers. The 1” tweeter can pivot to point towards your primary listening position.

Installing the Pyle Pro PDIC60T In-Ceiling Speaker

Pyle provides you with a template to accurately measure the right size to cut your holes. Place your PDIC60T and tighten the screws till the tabs swivel into place and secure the speaker.

Cabling & Amplification

If you plan to install the Pyle PDIC60T for music, either as stereo or multiple speakers, then it’s best to use one of Pyle’s 70V amplifiers. The Pyle PCM60A is a great budget choice 70V amplifier with three RCA inputs, each with its own rotary volume control. You can also adjust the bass and treble. Check the user manual for speaker installation and configurations.

For home theater, you can switch the speaker to 8 Ohms and run them on the Onkyo TX-RZ6100 7.2 Receiver for multiple speakers or the Yamaha R-S202BL Stereo Receiver for left/right configurations at a lower price. Use a 16 gauge cable for up to 20ft cable runs. If you’re using the 70V amplifier, go for a 14 gauge up to 100ft and 12 gauge if you need to run anything longer.

What’s in the box?

  • 2 x Pyle Pro PDIC60T
  • 2 x speaker grilles
  • 1 x template

Pyle Pro PDIC60T In-Ceiling Speaker Conclusion

The Pyle PDIC60T is a very versatile speaker. For large installations in a restaurant, office, etc, you can use a 70V amplifier and use the speakers for announcements and background music. Consider installing a delay unit for this kind of install.

The Pyle Pro PDIC60T can also be switched to 8 Ohms and used in a home theater installation. There are both circular and boxed speaker shapes in the PDI range, so you’ll find the right speaker for each position.

What We Like

  • Loads of volume
  • Good sound quality

What We Dislike

  • Not paintable

10. Yamaha NS-IW280CWH 6.5″ In-Ceiling Speaker System

Yamaha NS-IW280CWH 6.5 In-Ceiling Speaker System

The Yamaha NS-IW280CWH 6.5” In-Ceiling Speaker is great for most applications. The advanced design enables you to pivot both the speaker driver and tweeter to direct sound to your desired listening area.

Sound & Technical Features

The Yamaha NS-IW280CWH In-Ceiling Speaker features a 6.5” driver with two ¾” tweeters. Yamaha recommends you use a 20-100W amplifier at 8 Ohms to drive each speaker.

The driver and tweeters can be pivoted to direct the sound exactly where you want it. There are only two speakers we feature in this article able to pivot both the driver and tweeter.

Installing the Yamaha NS-IW280CWH 6.5″ In-Ceiling Speaker System

The Yamaha NS-IW280CWH 6.5” comes with a template so you can stencil your hole before cutting. Once the speaker is positioned, you can angle your speaker driver and tweeters to the desired location. The grille clips into place; however, Yamaha provides you with glue strips to ensure a secure fit.

The grille on the NS-IW280CWH is paintable in case you need to match paint or decor.

Cabling & Amplification

The Micca NS-IW280CWH 6.5” requires an amplifier or receiver to produce 20-100W at 8 Ohms. We recommend the Onkyo TX-RZ6100 7.2 Receiver for multiple speakers or the Yamaha R-S202BL Stereo Receiver for left/right configurations.

The Bose SoundTouch SA-5 Amplifier is a better option if you plan to use the NS-IW280CWH 6.5” for music only. Use a speaker cable no less than 18 gauge or 12 gauge for installs longer than 30ft.

What’s in the box?

  • 2 x NS-IW280CWH 6.5″
  • 2 x speaker grille
  • 1 x template
  • 1 x paint cover
  • 2 x glue strips for the speaker grille

Yamaha NS-IW280CWH 6.5″ In-Ceiling Speaker System Conclusion

The Yamaha NS-IW280CWH is an excellent choice for music-only applications. The speaker comes in a 100W or 120W option and delivers exceptional sound quality and clarity. The NS-IW280CWH is also great for home theater surround sound systems. The ability to angle both the speaker and tweeter means you can get the best sound quality to your desired listening position.

What We Like

  • Loads of volume
  • Great mids & highs
  • Affordable
  • Easy to install

What We Dislike

  • Bass could be improved

11. NHT Audio iC4-ARC In-Ceiling Speakers

nht audio ic4 ceiling speakers

The iC4-ARC speakers from NHT Audio are an upgrade of their well-performing iC3-ARC speakers, with the addition of an 8-inch woofer to deliver further warmth and depth to the overall sound in indoor and outdoor environments. 

Sound & Technical Features

The iC4-ARC in-ceiling speakers are housed in 8-inch enclosures with a woofer buried beneath a group of 3 tweeters. These tweeters are each angled carefully to distribute sound across a room and avoid unwanted reflections or muffling of the high-end, while the woofer successfully delivers warm and full-bodied sound that can fill any room with immersive sounds. The speakers are constructed from high-grade materials that enhance the acoustic properties and allow for mixing and matching between models, as well as a degree of weather resistance that allows for outdoor usage. 

Installing the NHT Audio iC4-ARC 

The NHT Audio iC4-ARC speakers are another easy-to-install model that comes with a cutout template to help you with the drilling alignment. NHT offers a pre-construction bracket (sold separately) that can be used to aid the installation process further. Due to the design of the speaker and its tweeter placement, I’d recommend researching ideal speaker placements or consulting a professional to get the most out of this speaker- too close to room boundaries or certain furniture types and features could prevent this speaker from sounding as good as it should.  

Cabling & Amplification

The NHT iC4-ARC speakers run at an 8-ohm resistance and need 150W to power the drivers. They can be used with any power amplifier that meets these specifications, and the cabling is not included with the speaker. The Denon AVR-S750H is a good choice for pairing with these speakers for large installations especially.

What’s in the box?

  • 2 x NS-IW280CWH 6.5″
  • 2 x speaker grille
  • 1 x template
  • 1 x paint cover
  • 2 x glue strips for the speaker grille

NHT Audio iC4-ARC Conclusion

While the sound characteristics and build quality of this speaker are undoubtedly fantastic, they don’t come cheap, and the fact that they are sold individually rather than in pairs only makes this a pricier option. Because of this, I’d recommend these in-ceiling speakers for more premium home theater or entertainment setups since the speaker quality will need to be matched with high-grade amplification, cabling, and installation as well as other speaker components such as subwoofers and wall-mounted units, for example.

What We Like

  • Includes paint cover & glue strips
  • Good overall sound
  • Powerful bass

What We Dislike

  • Needs a lot of power to drive
  • Fairly pricy

How We Selected These Products

When compiling our list of what we believe are the best ceiling speakers, we went through the process of examining multiple brands and models, with a focus on creating a list that is accurate, as well as helpful to those with different budgets and intent in mind.

All the ceiling speakers on this list offer sound quality that we would feel comfortable recommending. That’s not to say that all the options are S-tier, some models were selected because they offer something of value to the consumer, whether that is being affordable or offering moisture resistance.

We took into account our own experiences with the brands and products, as well as getting an idea of how others felt about them. We excluded products that had a high number of customer complaints or where reliability issues had been brought up online.

In addition to this, we also looked at the volume of each speaker, the frequency response range and how balanced the sound was. Most of the models we included have a fairly flush fit to them, as this almost always looks better.

Out of all the types of speakers on the market, ceiling speakers have been developed to a point where there aren’t new models being pushed out by brands constantly. Many of the speakers on this list have dominated the market for years.

What to Consider Before Purchasing Ceiling Speakers?

Speaker Depth

If you can get a look into your ceiling, check if there are any low-hanging beams or obstacles which need to be taken into consideration. Some ceilings have very little clearance between the ceiling boards and roof. Sometimes, you may even have an extra insulation layer above the ceiling.

Make sure that you have the right clearance available for the speakers you’re looking to install, if you’re currently building a property or an extension, speak to the builder or architect to find out the distance between your ceiling boards and your roof or support beams.

Just because a speaker looks nearly invisible from under the ceiling, some of these ceiling speakers can really be quite large in the roof. Take note of the product measurements prior to purchasing to ensure you can confirm where placement can be made in your ceiling area.

Speaker Weight

It’s important to check whether or not your ceiling boards can take the added weight of a speaker. Most ceilings won’t have any issues, but for thinner ceiling boards, you may need to double-check the load rating.

If you suspect your ceiling boards may be too fragile, you can always speak to a builder about what they recommend. You may have the option to opt for a slightly lighter speaker, or make an alternative plan. For vast majority of installs, this isn’t typically an issue.

Amplification

Ceiling speakers are generally not powered, which means they need amplification from a receiver or amplifier. Make sure you have budgeted for this if you don’t already have one. Throughout this article, we make recommendations for each ceiling speaker we’ve listed.

Each speaker model requires a certain amount of power in order to drive it, and not all amplifiers will work for all speakers, at least not if you want to get the most out of them. We’ve recommended amplifiers that we know do a good job at driving that particular speaker. You can always make your own amplifier selections, but just make sure you understand what the speakers will need. Remember to pay attention to the wattage per channel and the ohms.

Connectivity (Bluetooth/Wifi)

With Bluetooth and wifi functionality being added to a lot of home speakers these days, you may be wondering how to get the benefits of Bluetooth technology for your in ceiling speakers. It’s almost essential at this point in time to invest in wireless home technology, as it will likely be standard down the line when you’re looking to sell.

While the ceiling speakers themselves will not typically offer built-in Bluetooth or wifi functionality, what can offer you this type of wireless connectivity is the receiver or amplifier that you chose to purchase.

Some amplifiers come with Bluetooth and wifi capabilities built in, while other amplifiers will need to be paired with a Bluetooth receiver/adapter. We’ve added a number of amplifier recommendations to our list above, which come with both Bluetooth and wifi capabilities.

Cables

You’ll need to connect your speakers to an amplifier or receiver. Getting into the ceiling requires longer cable runs than your average home theater installation. Make sure you measure your cable runs accurately. Take into account the length to the wall, up the wall, around any obstacles, and to the speaker in the ceiling. Check out our installation tips article for cable recommendations.

Tools Required

Installing the ceiling speakers we recommend in this article is relatively simple, and we cover the key parts of the installation in our article on ceiling speaker installation tips linked in the paragraph above. However, you will still need some tools. Here is a list of tools you’ll need and what you need them.

  • Pencil – mark out speaker holes and placement before cutting. Have a soft eraser on hand to clear any lines you don’t need. A soft eraser won’t leave any smudges or marks.
  • Screwdriver – You’ll need to tighten screws to fix the speakers in place. Usually, a Philips #2 will do; however, having a multi-head screwdriver will be handy to tackle any screw head.
  • Carpenter’s Level – This isn’t too important for ceiling speakers, but if you plan to install ceiling and in-wall speakers simultaneously, then a level will be necessary for the wall speakers.
  • Measuring Tape – A measuring tape will ensure your speaker placement is accurate. You don’t want a mismatched or uneven speaker placement!
  • Utility Knife – Best tool for stripping speaker cable and opening packaging.
  • Diagonal Pliers – Diagonal pliers come in handy when cutting speaker cables. These can also be used for stripping cable.
  • Jab Saw – A jab saw is the best tool for cutting ceiling boards, drywall, or sheetrock.
  • Drill – Before using the jab saw, use a drill to get your pilot hole.

How many ceiling speakers can connect to one amp?

This will depend on the model of amplifier you’re using. Each channel can power two speakers. So a 1-channel amplifier will be able to drive 2 speakers, a 2-channel amplifier will be able to power 4 speakers etc.

Can I install ceiling speakers myself?

If you aren’t used to home audio DIY projects, installing ceiling speakers is fairly easy to do. The hardest part for most people is cutting the hole, the rest of the process lies around wiring and mounting the speakers. Even if you’re not experienced with home audio, some speakers are so easy to install that they can even be installed yourself. That said, many people prefer to hire a professional installer to make sure things are done right the first time around.

How far apart should I install my ceiling speakers?

The distance between ceiling speakers is slightly variable depending on the speaker volume and room size – but as a general rule of thumb you’ll typically look to place speakers between 6 and 10 feet apart.

Is it worth installing ceiling speakers in a new home?

With home entertainment constantly evolving, there is a lot of merit to installing ceiling speakers in a new home to bring some extra value. We highly recommend opting for Bluetooth or Wifi amplifiers, as wireless technology will no doubt become standard down the line.

Our Pick!

Polk Audio RC80i In-Ceiling-In-Wall Speakers

Polk Audio RC80i In-Ceiling/In-Wall Speakers

The Virtually Invisible 791 Series II is perfect for most living spaces. The easy installation means these speakers shouldn’t be a challenge to install for seasoned DIY enthusiasts.


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Written by
Bryn De Kocks

Bryn learned of the importance of quality audio through competitive gaming. Since then he's expanded his interest in the audio sphere, focusing primarily on the headphone market.

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