Why Ceiling Speakers Are Good (Worth It) For Surround Sound

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When Are Ceiling Speakers A Good Addition?

Most entry level Home Theater or Surround Sound audio systems don’t come with built in ceiling speakers and it’s likely that you have been contemplating installing them.

For those who don’t know, ceiling speakers are speakers that are mounted on the ceiling of your room, flush with the surface. They are connected to your surround sound or home theater system through an in-wall speaker wire and are used to provide sound effects that originate above the viewers.

While standard ceiling speakers are great for a simple surround sound system installation, in my opinion, they’re worth the investment for a more powerful, immersive surround sound experience.

You see, sound affects emotions and moods. It’s even used in movies to heighten mystery, suspense, and tension. Therefore, if you’ve already invested in a surround sound or home theater setup, ceiling speakers should be an important addition to your audio system, since they’ll provide a more rich sound experience.

Besides adding more realistic sound experience and better overall audio to your home theater system, you can also install ceiling speakers to fill in the low frequencies (bass) that many home theater systems leave out.

They’re less messy

Than in-wall speakers, but require a hole in the ceiling.

Ceiling speakers are similar to in-ceiling speakers but hang from the ceiling instead of being bolted to the wall. This mounting method is ideal if you don't want to have an unsightly speaker box above your TV or if you have a hard ceiling that's difficult to drill. But, you do need to have a hole cut in your ceiling to hang the speaker.

Where these speakers REALLY come in handy is when you install a multi-channel speaker setup. Most surround sound speaker systems come with a minimally equipped receiver that may have only a couple of HDMI inputs. Even the receiver may not have HDMI inputs on the back. So, if you have a home theater, a surround sound surround sound speaker system, or a 7.1 receiver you need a for 7.1 channel sound and no less than 6 inputs/outputs. So, instead of adding 3 or more in-wall or in-ceiling speaker boxes that run the length of your wall you add one ceiling speaker and a speaker selector box that allows you to transform your speaker into a speaker bundle.

This gives you the benefits of the clean look of in-ceiling speakers without the hassle of the in-wall installation. You don’t have to worry about wires, boxes behind each speaker, or speaker grills reducing the visual appeal of your room.

They’re a good way of completing a surround sound system

It’s easy to overlook ceiling speakers as a part of your home audio surround system, but they can be an extremely valuable way to complete the surround sound system with flexibility. The obvious function of speakers for ceiling is that they’re speakers you place on your ceiling, that is for the purpose of music or movie sound.

Every sound system requires the center and the surround speakers. For some consumers one set of speakers is enough, while others may want to have the side and the rear surround sound speakers. However, a complete surround system needs at least two pairs of surround speakers. As you can see, most of the time, a surround sound system includes up to five pairs of speakers.

Standard ceiling speakers are generally designed to be flush mounted and ceiling mounted speakers are mainly designed to be recessed into the ceiling so that they are out of sight. This is something that many consumers find to be attractive … no ugly speakers mounted on the wall or furniture. Usually, these speakers are made in such a way that the front of them can be flush with the ceiling and the rear opening of them is designed to be smaller than the front. So your eye immediately sees their front which is flush with the ceiling but you can’t see their back which is recessed slightly into the ceiling.

They allow you to be more flexible with your layout

One of the biggest advantages of ceiling speakers versus in-wall or in-ceiling speakers is that they aren’t fixed. Because they’re mounted on (or in) a hanging fixture, you can easily move the speakers around to different locations in your room. And since standard ceiling fixtures aren’t permanently attached to your ceiling, it’s easy to install ceiling speakers wherever you like.

You can also mount your speakers vertically or horizontally. Since it’s typically not advisable to mount electronic equipment in high-traffic areas (directly above or below a door, window or stairway), ceiling speakers allow you to have flexible and creative freedom.

Vertical speakers can be mounted directly on the wall or on an angled bracket. They can be placed in a corner without obstructing window and door frames. If the overall layout of your room is unusual or not uniform, you can easily pick out a suitable pattern.

They give you a more immersive experience

Ceiling speakers can add ambiance to your room or home theater, and they’re an ideal solution for people who want to enjoy their audio content while sitting, working, or relaxing in the room. They’re also a great way to add sound to areas of your home that won’t fit floor-standing speakers or bookshelf speakers. By installing speakers in the ceiling, you can provide convenient ambient sound in an area, and it provides a more seamless and invisible audio experience.

Placing speakers on the ceiling makes them the most out of the way, especially if you have low furniture in the room. Of course, given that speakers need to be mounted on the ceiling, you’re limited to the models of speakers you can choose. But this may present a better option than choosing bookshelf speakers that would then look bulky and out of place.

To find the right speakers for your ceiling, parameters like speaker sensitivity, power handling, and frequency response will still be important to consider. However, because the installation is only for one room, and not for an entire house, budget and aesthetics will also be a bigger priority.

How Many Ceiling Speakers Do You Need In One Room?

Most home theater aficionados recommend installing ceiling speakers in a main area like a living room or home theater room. This is the place where you and your family congregate and enjoy entertainment.

Some people, however, have smaller rooms or open areas that also need great sound. In these rooms, you may not need a full ceiling speaker system, so you install a combination of both ceiling and bookshelf speakers.

If you have more than one room that you want to use surround sound with, you may want to install speaker packages in each room. This allows you to customize the listening experience in each room and allows you to have surround sound in different rooms at the flick of a switch.

So how many speakers do you need? If your budget allows, I recommend installing one ceiling speaker package in your home theater room and one or two packages in other areas like your living room, open areas, and small rooms.

If you can afford it and you have the room for it, installing one speaker package in each room will give you the best home audio experience.

Try To Strike A Balance

Setting up surround sound is a challenging task. Just finding the right location for placing your speakers can be a challenge. Placing speakers is all about striking a balance between quality and the preferred listening position for a given room.

A good "sweet spot" for the most accurate surround sound mixing starts at the front speakers and ends at the listeners ear. Certain brands of speakers may recommend an ideal sweet spot slightly different from that of another brand, but the basic fundamentals will remain the same.

Since height is often overlooked in a listening room, you shouldn’t. Cutting the corners can save room for other uses, but you’ll lose balance, compromise the sound and ultimately “cheat” yourself out of a truly great theater experience.

Speaker Placement

Have you ever been in a movie theater or listening to great music on a really good sound system and wondered, "How come I can’t get that kind of audio in my home?" Is it just that you don’t have the right equipment?

The truth is, with the right speaker placement and a few tips for success, you can easily create a theater-like experience in your living room. Whether you’re a movie buff or a music-lover, upgrading your home theater equipment can greatly improve the quality of your listening experience and allow you to enjoy movies and music like never before.

In this post, we’ll discuss the basics of home theater speaker placement. We’ll also go over what you need to get started and how to set things up in the best way possible.

Calculate The Number Of Speakers

There's more to buying speakers than shopping for the most powerful ones you can afford. Ask yourself what kind of speaker system you want: wire, wireless FM, iPod or with a built-in CD or DVD player. Or, do you want to buy a set that can do all of these?

If you have a large room, then you will need to add more speakers. For a medium sized room, you'll need 2 or 3. In a small room, you'll only need 1 or 2 speakers. If your listening area isn't too large, two speakers can create a stereo image that sounds like it's coming from the center speaker. If you have a large room, however, you'll want the individual speakers placed farther apart

Plan out your speaker placement. Don't just put a couple of speakers in each corner of your room. That's usually a waste of money.

What Size Ceiling Speakers Should You Get?

Surround sound speakers are installed to create that all important sense of immersion that comes with the HD movie theater experience and to assist to create a realistic sound on a high definition big screen image.

Surround sound is used on classic stereo systems (EMI) as well as newer surround sound systems or formats like Dolby Digital, SRS, etc. which are used for digital sound formats via cable and satellite television. You are not confined to the age old 6 speaker set up that has become the standard, as speakers can be placed at strategic locations in your room to create that surround sound effect.

There are many types of surround sound systems but the most common types are the 3.1 (5.1 and 7.1) or 5.1 surround sound systems. A 5.1 signifies that there are 5 speakers (front, center and L & R surround with sub woofer) which gives you the left, center, right and a rear channel set up.

Also, there is the big brother which is the 7.1 surround system which has the 4 channels plus an additional rear right surround speaker. With modern home theaters to complement the big screen size televisions, surround sound systems have become popular.

Standard Speaker Sizes

While small speakers sound great in general, there are a few downsides. They are generally more fragile compared to larger speakers, they’re less stable, and the smaller speaker cabinets are harder to place in certain locations.

Fortunately, there are numerous integrated speaker systems designed to be ceiling speakers. Fortunately, you don’t have to compromise good sound for a small package. Ceiling speakers are designed to seamlessly blend into the decor of any room. You can find them in any size, ranging from an individual speaker to an entire ceiling panel.

One of the clear advantages to having ceiling speakers is that they can be used to achieve the optimum surround sound effect. This allows you to spread out the speakers to get the full surround sound experience. One or more of the ceiling speakers can also be mounted in a high spot or on the ceiling, resulting in excellent, room-wide sound.

When installing a speaker, it’s important to make sure it is securely fastened. This is done to make sure that the ceiling speaker doesn’t drop or fall. Some entertainment centers have wire or hooks that can be used to firmly attach your ceiling speaker to the ceiling.

Which One Should You Get?

You may not be convinced yet of the benefits ceiling speakers bring to the equation, but let’s take a look at how a ceiling speaker can change your life. Firstly, a ceiling speaker is versatile. That means that you can either listen to it alone with surround sound, or you can increase the number of speakers and take it down a notch for casual music, without any surround environmental music. You can also easily switch from one speaker to two or three, and the best part is that the cables won’t be in your way because they will be folded inside the box and you won’t need to worry about excess cable length. This means that you can hide them as well under your sofa and blend them perfectly with your interior decoration. In addition, you can also place speakers on the ceiling in any room you like, and not just the living room, or the media room, for instance.

Where Should You Place Your Ceiling Speakers?

Your surround sound system is only as good as your speakers.

In the past, surround sound speakers were big and bulky. They had to be mounted on the wall. But nowadays, you can place your surround sound speakers into your ceiling for better sound coverage.

You can mount your surround sound speakers into your ceiling in two ways. You can use a specialized ceiling speaker mount or install your speakers as regular fixtures in your ceiling.

Either way, mounting your surround sound speakers in the ceiling instead of on the wall reduces the amount of time you have to spend on the installation. But mounting your speakers in the ceiling isn’t just convenient, it has numerous advantages as well.

We’ll take a look at some of the compelling reasons in this post.

Things To Remember When Using Ceiling Speakers

Ceiling speakers sound much better than speakers placed on or on a television stand. However, you might not want to mount all of your ceiling speakers in one room. If you’ve got a two story house, you can’t just run wires up to your second floor so speakers up there. If this is a concern, check out our previous post on wireless ceiling speakers. If you're not set on surround sound, check out our dedicated article.

If you’re planning to just get these for your living room, there’s one other thing you should consider. Ceiling speakers are mounted on your ceilings. As a result, the sound will be bouncing off of the ceiling. When you have all of your ceiling speakers in your room, you’ll notice that the sound is surprisingly good. However, when you place speakers on the ceiling, you’ll notice the difference compared to speakers mounted on a bookshelf, which is directly in front of your viewing area. This is the major benefit of ceiling speakers: You’re not limited to placing your speakers right in front of your television, they can be placed around your room with you in the center.

How To Install Ceiling Speakers

One of the first questions people ask when they want to set up a surround sound system (or any audio system for that matter) is where do I put the speakers. As with any audio question, for surround sound there is more than one right answer. Most of us do not have the time or resources to set up elaborate speaker placement systems.

Ceiling speakers are an obvious and convenient choice because they are out of the way. They are also generally high enough that few people will even notice them, so your surround sound buddies can get "underground" sound while everyone else in the house is oblivious to the big movie party. The only potential problem with ceiling audio speakers is that they can sound weird if not properly placed since the sounds are reflecting off the ceiling and the wall behind the speakers. Here is how to install them.

Conclusion

Is a Ceiling Speaker Worth it?

Ceiling speakers are definitely worth the money! Especially if you have are building your home theater system from scratch or are considering removing your floor speakers and installing a ceiling speaker system.

Ceiling speakers can provide better sound in two ways. The first, and most obvious way, is that they are located higher up and actually closer to the audience. This will provide better sound quality as they will eliminate the issue of sound bouncing off the wall and ceiling. It will also make the sound feel more natural in comparison to the sound of sitting at a table and being able to hear the sound "up close".

The second reason why you should use ceiling speakers in a home theater system is that room acoustics are less disrupted because the sound is no longer bouncing off the room walls and ceiling quite as much. The greatest part about ceiling speakers is that they can be adjusted for better sound quality, should you need to compare levels.

Ceiling speakers are generally a good investment if you have the means. If you do not have the ceiling space at this moment but your theater system is built, it may be a good idea to consider a speaker mount. These can be installed at a later date.

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Ceiling speakers are a great option for surround sound setups because it helps reduce the clutter and the visual distraction and they improve upon the sound quality by providing better sound coverage throughout an area.

The most of the classic home theater systems use at least a pair of ceiling speakers because it provides greater, dynamic sound coverage inside a room.

But more than that, the speaker is usually a prime spot for aesthetics. And ceilings are naturally great because you don’t have to deal with ugly speaker wires, like in floor-standing speakers.

In short, they are space-saving, beautiful, and functional.

Whether you want to create the perfect surround sound system in your living room or bedroom, it is essential that you choose the right speakers. And in my opinion, ceiling speakers are definitely worth considering.

Ceiling speakers are used to fulfill the task of reproducing the surround sound effect. They are designed to be mounted on the ceiling or above the pyramid structure of the speaker stand.