9 Best In-Ceiling Speakers: Reclaim your Space

best in-ceiling speakers
The best in-ceiling speakers do a great job at de-cluttering the space from huge bookshelf speakers that gather dust and make a room look small and cramped. While it may be a bit scary to consider such a permanent setting, once you see the advantage you’ll never want to go back!

So, unless you want to install an audio lab in your home, in-ceiling speakers will do a fantastic job as home theater systems, gaming audio systems, and audio designs for general music listening.

Now, given that it’s quite easy to get stuck on the price of some of these products, we put together a list of features that high-end in-ceiling speakers should have and reviewed some of the best designs on the market.

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How to Choose the Best In-Ceiling Speakers?

Sound Quality

There’s no doubt about it: the speakers must be able to deliver high-end sound quality! The good news is that modern in-ceiling speakers produced by renowned brands manage to deliver crystal clear sound.

Aimable Tweeter

Because the speaker is mounted in the ceiling, some designs only deliver the sound downwards. This means that you’ll have to be directly under them to get the full range of the sound.

To avoid this scenario, select a model with tweeters that can be adjusted or rotated. This way, you can aim the sound towards a specific direction that is not directly underneath the speaker.

Stereo Speakers

Many people that have to deal with the space problem (small rooms) don’t have room for two in-ceiling speakers. But this situation can easily be solved with a speaker that can deliver stereo sound by its own.

Also, the speaker should be at least a 2-way design so the sound quality will be at decent levels even with just one in the room. Of course, if you want something more high-end, there are 3-way and 4-way designs on the market as well.

Size, Weight, Mounting Options

The size and weight of the speaker are important because it tells you where it can be mounted and if it can be installed in the type of ceiling you have (drywall, suspended, conventional, and so on). It also helps to know if the speaker has a back can because this means it is a bit higher than the standard designs.

Most speakers come with their own mounting system (usually clamps or dog-ears) so you don’t have to worry about this. Still, some may require additional elements which you have to purchase separately, so make sure you understand the installation sequence before making a purchase.

Other Features

Once you know about the sound quality and mounting system, you can also look around for other features such as resistance to humidity (for the bathroom or the kitchen), low-profile grilles that can be painted, small bezels, and so on.

9 Best In-Ceiling Speakers

Yamaha NSIC800WH 140-Watts 2-Way RMS Speaker

Rich Stereo Sound from Above

yamaha nsic800wh 140-watts 2-way rms speaker
If you’re looking for a system that’s difficult to see in the ceiling, the Yamaha NSIC800WH is perfect. The magnetic grille can be painted over (so it blends in with the ceiling) and the large mounting clamp and slim profile make it perfect for wall mounting and flush in-ceiling.

Moreover, the speakers are protected against dust and moisture by the sealed back cover. This means that you can use these as both in-ceiling and in-wall speakers.

With 140 watts RMS output power and 3.50 kHz crossover frequency, these two-way speakers manage to deliver high-end and powerful stereo sound. Furthermore, the polypropylene mica cone woofer keeps the mid and low sound reproduction to some high standards. Also, the sound is dispersed naturally through the room due to the grain-finished acoustic baffle with a spiral pattern.

Finally, the speakers are easy to install and don’t require professional installation.

Pros:

  • Powerful stereo sound
  • Natural sound dispersion through the room
  • Fit both ceiling and wall profiles
  • The magnetic grille is easy to remove and place back
  • 50 Hz – 28 kHz frequency response
  • Don’t need professional installation
Cons:

  • Speakers don’t really fit in the space made by a 2×4
  • Some durability issues

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Klipsch CDT-5650-C II In-Ceiling Speaker

The Best Atmos Ceiling Speakers

klipsch cdt-5650-c ii in-ceiling speaker
With 1-inch titanium tweeters and a 6.5-inch pivoting Cerametallic woofer, the Klipsch in-ceiling speakers promise to deliver incredible audio quality. Furthermore, due to Horn-loaded and Controlled Dispersion Technology (CDT), the sound is dispersed through the entire room without any lags.

To make sure you get the experience you want, Klipsch also installed treble and midbass attenuation switches. This way, you can make the switch from movie settings to gaming settings without too much effort.

Furthermore, you can use them in a wide range of settings, starting with stereo designs and ending with a 7.1 system with an attached Dolby Atmos woofer (the movable tweeters enhance the Atmos 3D effect). Also, due to the removable magnetic grille, you can hide them in the ceiling (the grille can be painted over) and still have full access to the speakers.

Pros:

  • High-quality materials
  • Impressive sound delivery
  • Crisp and detailed sound that can be customized
  • Easy to install on your own
  • Virtually invisible once installed
Cons:

  • The price is a bit steep

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Polk Audio RC80i

Great In-Ceiling Surround Speakers

polk audio rc80i
If you’re looking to add to your home theater speakers or you’re trying to adopt a minimal interior design, these in-ceiling speakers may be a fantastic solution. They are almost invisible once mounted in the ceiling or the wall, due to the magnetic grille over which you can paint.

Also, the installation is simple and quick; no need for professional help. Not to mention that they work wonders in humid spaces such as the bathroom, a porch or the kitchen! This is possible due to the rubber seal that prevents moisture access.

In terms of sound, Polk managed to bring their well-known quality and created a series of speakers that deliver deep and rich music. Also, due to the 8-inch dynamic-balance woofer and the 1-inch metalized soft dome tweeter, you get the music quality you enjoy.

Finally, the mineral-filled polymer cone and strong composite driver baskets are specially installed to keep the moving parts in perfect alignment. This way, the speakers will last longer, and the sound is evenly dispersed throughout the room.

Pros:

  • Great quality of materials
  • Impressive sound quality
  • Durable design
  • Easy to install
  • Virtually invisible
  • There are no distortions at high volumes
  • Can be installed in rooms with high humidity
Cons:

  • There is no backing
  • Sound is unidirectional
  • A bit heavy

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MartinLogan Installer Series ML-60i

The Ideal Choice for a Musical Background

martinlogan installer series ml-60i
With a titanium dome tweeter and low-profile bezel-free paintable grille, the in-ceiling speakers from MartinLogan can be installed in a wide range of settings. Even though the speakers only develop 50 Watts of output power, they are quite loud and don’t let any distortions pass through.

The crisp highs and great mids make these some of the best in-ceiling speakers for music. Also, they deliver Atmos quality without any glitches.

While they are easy to install, you should know they are not delivered with a back cover, so if you install them in a ceiling with insulation, you will have to take care of this aspect. Finally, due to the paintable grille, the speakers will almost disappear into the ceiling.

Pros:

  • Good sound quality
  • Durable profile for inside
  • Can be used in varied settings
  • Paintable grille
  • 50 Watts of output power
  • Can get loud
Cons:

  • No back cover to protect from insulation
  • Not designed for humid environments

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JBL 8128

The Best Ceiling Speakers for Restaurants, Bars & Cafes

jbl 8128
JBL is well-known on the market of audio products, so there’s no wonder the 8128 in-ceiling speakers are quite popular for commercial applications. These 8-inch speakers manage to deliver a full-range loud sound with crisp mids and highs and deep bass.

The drivers work on a 50 Hz – 16 kHz frequency range and cover a 90-degrees area creating an omnidirectional sound experience.

The speakers feature an open back design (the back ends with bare wires) and dog-ears for bling mount installations. This makes them perfect for installations that don’t require a back can. Also, the grille design is modern and looks amazing in all sorts of interior design settings.

Pros:

  • High sound sensitivity
  • Impressive volume levels
  • Perfect for commercial installations
  • Can be used in a home setting as well
  • Good frequency range
Cons:

  • Open back design

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Micca M-8C

Affordable & Easy to Install 2-Way Speakers

micca m-8c
Whether you need a center channel speaker that can be easily hidden, or you want an affordable in-ceiling audio system the Micca M-8C make for a great acquisition.

This 2-way speaker features an 8-inch poly woofer and a 1-inch soft dome pivoting tweeter, which means it can be used in a wide array of configurations. You can have it installed in stereo mode or you can go wild and create your own custom configuration that perfectly molds on your needs.

The M-8C speakers are fantastic for delivering relaxing background music in the bedroom but they also work as a high-impact multi-channel home theater system that’s virtually invisible (the grille is paintable). Furthermore, each speaker is designed with durable materials that promise a long lifespan.

Finally, the speakers don’t require professional installation, and everyone can do it with a basic set of tools. Still, you should know that the grille is pressure-fitted which makes taking down the speakers a bit difficult.

Pros:

  • Good sound quality
  • Easy to install in a wide array of configurations
  • Virtually invisible
  • Durable materials
  • Affordable price
  • The pivoting tweeter is perfect for customization
Cons:

  • Installation requires some adjustments
  • A bit difficult to take down

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Bose 742898-0200 Virtually Invisible 591 in-Ceiling Speaker

High Sound Quality

bose 742898-0200 virtually invisible 591 in-ceiling speaker
Bose doesn’t disappoint with this in-ceiling speaker with a 5-inch woofer and two ¾-inch tweeters! The result is a full range of sound delivered omnidirectionally and loud, without any disturbances or drop-offs.

The sound quality is matched by the build quality as the speaker features a near-bezel-less construction. This means that it fits in any type of interior design since the grille can be painted over. And, without a bezel to mark the spot, the speaker is almost one with the ceiling.

Finally, the installation is simple due to the standard dogleg clamps that can be used with basic tools. Also, if the budget allows, these speakers can be used in different combinations, creating a true home theater or audio gaming experience.

Pros:

  • Extreme sound quality
  • Dolby Atmos compatible
  • Durable materials
  • Sleek design
  • Almost invisible profile
  • Easy to install
Cons:

  • A bit expensive

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Polk Audio 265-RT

The Ideal In-Ceiling Home Theater System

polk audio 265-rt
Home theater speakers can be quite voluminous and if you have a small room, they take a lot of space. The good news is that you can use the 256-RT in-ceiling speakers from Polk to get rid of those big boxes and enjoy the space without lowering the sound quality.

The 256-RT speaker delivers crystal clear sound and deep bass due to Polk’s patented Power Port technology and the combination between the 65-inch woofer and 1-inch tweeter. The result is a beautiful cinematic experience without any sound distortions.

Overall, the speakers are easy to install due to their perfect fit template and patented rotating cam system that ensures a vibration-free installation. Once installed, the low profile and sleek paintable grille make the speakers vanish into the ceiling or wall, creating a clutter-free audio setting.

Pros:

  • Incredible sound quality
  • Perfect for a home theater experience
  • New technologies
  • Durable materials
  • Easy to install
  • They almost vanish into the wall or ceiling
Cons:

  • A bit expensive
  • The bass is a bit light

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Acoustic Audio R191

Ideal Low-cost In-ceiling Speakers for Regular Use

acoustic audio r191
The R191 are 2-way speakers that feature a frequency response of 45Hz-22 kHz, 95dB efficiency, and an impedance of 8ohm. As a result, they deliver high-level sound quality and can be used for background music, gaming surround systems, or home theaters.

Due to their 5.25-inch woofers with high rigidity polypropylene cones and extended throw assembly, the speakers are durable and deliver sound all over the room. They also have 12mm soft dome tweeters to help balance the highs and mids without any distortions.

The R191 speakers have a low profile and paintable frames and grills, which make them ideal for both ceiling and wall mounting. The installation is simple and easy to make with basic tools.

Pros:

  • Good sound quality (crisp and rich)
  • Durable design
  • Low profile and easy installation
  • Elegant design
  • Loud without distortions
Cons:

  • Not for audiophiles
  • Wiring is a bit cheap

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Wrap Up

As you can see, there are lots of options regardless of your budget! In-ceiling speakers come in a variety of shapes, builds, and quality which is why it’s rather easy to find one that fits your needs.

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