Big, ugly speakers can ruin the look of a nice, clean home theater. Unsightly wires never look good no matter how well you organize them. A pair of the best in-ceiling speakers will minimize bulk and clean up the look of your home theater. With some measuring, cutting, and simple installation, they'll blend right into your ceiling. Your guests won’t even notice them.
If you’re upgrading your home audio for the first time, you’ll be amazed at the improved sound quality that'll come along with a pair or two of these speakers. Some of the highly preferred home theater speakers on the market are ceiling or wall-mounted. If you’ve wanted to upgrade from your sub-par built-in television speakers, but don’t want the look of big traditional speakers, these speakers are perfect for you.
Think about all of the movies you watch, all of the TV shows you enjoy, and all of the games you play. Even if you have the best possible resolution on your screen, you’re not getting the full experience if you settle for bad audio. Try some of the best ceiling speakers and take your home theater experience to the next level. Without the ugly equipment and wires.
Here is a list of 2018's top rated and reviewed in-ceiling speakers to help you choose the best products for your home theater.
Best In-Ceiling Speakers | Top 8
|Our Rank||In-Ceiling Speaker||Power Handling (RMS)||Speaker Type||Frequency Response||Price|
|1.||Atlantic Technology IC-6HT-S||125 Watts||2-Way||45 - 22k Hz||$$$|
|2.||Bose Virtually Invisible 191||50 Watts||2-Way||10 - 200k Hz||$$$$|
|3.||Polk RC80i||20 Watts||2-Way||25 - 20k Hz||$$$|
|4.||Klipsch R-1800-C||40 watts||2-Way||56 - 20k Hz||$$|
|5.||Yamaha NS-IW480CHW||35 Watts||3-Way||50 - 28k Hz||$$$|
|6.||JBL SP8CII||100 Watts||2-Way||32 - 20k Hz||$$$|
|7.||Definitive Technology DT8R||N/A||2-Way||26 - 30k Hz||$$$|
|8.||Pyle PDIC60||250 Watts||2-Way||65 - 22k Hz||$|
Who Is This Review For?
This review is for anybody looking to improve their home theater. A really nice television doesn’t do much good if the audio lacks in quality. This is for anyone who loves watching movies and shows or playing video games and wants a better experience. It’s for anyone who wants to reduce the bulk of their home theater and add a clean, sharp look. It’s for anyone who wants fuller audio, but doesn’t want to spend tons of money on a full surround sound setup or floorstanding tower speakers. Or for those who think that even the best soundbar speaker setup won't cut it.
After reading this review, you’ll be better equipped to navigate the wide world of ceiling speakers. It’s a great explainer that points out which speakers are right for different the many tastes and different budgets. Have you tried shopping for in-ceiling speakers before, but got intimidated or confused by the technical statistics or sheer volume of options? Keep reading to make it sound a bit more clear.
What to Look For
If you look at a spec sheet for a pair of speakers, it’s a long list of numbers that blur together. These lists can be hard to decipher. We’ll let you know which specs and details really matter and what you need to know.
- 2-way vs 3-way - Most speakers you look at will either be 2 way or 3 way speakers. This indicates how many speaker components are in each individual speaker. A 2-way speaker typically consists simply of a tweeter and a woofer. The tweeter makes sound for high treble inputs like cymbals, high-pitched screams, or any high-frequency sound. The woofer takes care of the low bass sounds like explosions, bassy music, or deep sound effects. The two components work together to deliver a nice, balanced, complete sound. A 3-way speaker, however, has a third component. In addition to the tweeter and the woofer, it usually has a speaker for mid-range. This is for things like people’s voices. That’s not always the case, sometimes a 3-way speaker is a woofer and two tweeters or some other combination. There are many different “ways” of speakers like 4 way, 5 way, etc. 2 and 3 way are the most common ones you’ll encounter. 3 way generally gives you better sound than 2 way, but that isn’t always the case. A well designed, well-constructed 2 way speaker will sound better than a low quality 3 way speaker.
- Passive vs active - All of the speakers on our list are passive, but what does that mean? Passive speakers require an amplifier and active speakers have amplifiers built in. In other words, passive speakers need to plug into something for an audio source. Sources like a Blu-ray player, a television, or some kind of head unit. Active speakers are powered and have a built-in audio source. Think guitar amplifiers that are one piece. Almost all home audio speakers are passive.
- Size - This isn’t a technical specification as much as it is something to keep in mind. If you have a certain spot in mind for mounting ceiling speakers, measure it first to figure out what size is right. Size doesn’t have much to do with sound quality, but it’s an important part of installation and aesthetic.
And if you do decide to purchase an in-ceiling speaker, be sure to read through our guide on How to Install an In-Ceiling Speaker to learn how to DIY!