Speakers in the ceiling
The best ceiling speakers combine excellent sound with integrated and elegant designs, which can sometimes make them almost invisible both inside and out. However, Sonance’s Sonos Architectural Speakers take things to the next level, connecting directly with the Sonos ecosystem. This allows these speakers to work with audio and sound applications for the entire home through AirPlay 2 streaming technology. We’ve put together all the best speakers on the ceiling to help you choose the perfect speaker for your budget and needs.
Best General: Sonance Architectural speakers from Sonance
Sonos Architectural speakers in the ceiling deliver a high-quality, roomy sound in a small, unseen package. These frameless, built-in speakers house a powerful 6.5 “woofer paired with a 1” ceramic dome tweeter capable of outputting up to 150 watts of audio quality.
Deep integration with the Sonos ecosystem allows Architectural speakers to work with various audio applications and protocols. Perhaps the most significant benefit comes in the form of AirPlay 2 compatibility. It uses Apple audio technology to match playback with any connected speaker, allowing true sound for the whole house.
Although it requires an additional purchase, the sound of Sonos Architectural speakers can also be fine-tuned for the environment, thanks to Trueplay adjustment. The Sonos amplifier enables this functionality, which uses acoustics and in-room positioning to determine optimal sound performance.
- Sound quality
- Sonos integration
- Trueplay tuning
- Wired only
- Adjustment requires amplification
Best value: Pyle PDIC1661RD
PDIC1661RD from Pyle offers basic sound at a tailor-made price. Inside the package is a 6.5-inch woofer and a 1/2-inch tweeter, which is enough for installations that are good for occasional, ambient listening.
These pocketless speakers come with an easy-to-install spring installation, making them great for quick replacements. The wiring is also convenient thanks to the push-in terminals of the speaker, making the process completely practical without tools.
- Low price
- Easy installation
- Limited design options
- Input sound
Best for outdoor: Polk Audio RC80i
Not all ceiling-mounted speaker installations are in living rooms or cinemas. Polk Audio RC80i speakers are available for those looking for a true home placement. A powerful 8-inch woofer leans under the grille, along with a pivotally mounted tweeter that allows the ability to direct sound to the perfect location.
Featuring a rubber-sealed driver and rust-resistant components, this speaker can withstand wet areas, such as bathrooms or covered outdoor areas. Although it’s waterproof and not waterproof, Polk offers little extra insurance for your investment, as it offers a long, limited five-year warranty.
- Suitable for humid locations
- Rotary mounted tweeter
- Five-year limited warranty
- It is not completely waterproof
- Average sound quality
- Wired only
The best Bluetooth speaker: Pyle PDICBT852RD
Pyle PDICBT852RD is a pair of ceiling speakers that provide playback from more than one connected amplifier or receiver. Bluetooth capability allows these speakers to work with phones, tablets, computers, and more with just a few taps, as long as you’re 40 meters away from them.
These speakers use a spring-loaded installation method, allowing them to be set up in minutes as they lock in place after they have been inserted in place. In addition, these versatile speakers feature stain-resistant round and rectangular grilles. This allows them to act as a set-it-and-forget-it solution that will retain their visual appeal for years to come.
- Bluetooth connectivity
- Spring installation
- Stain resistant grill
- Requires power
- Limited range
Best design: Bose virtually invisible 891
As its name suggests, Bose Virtual Invisible 891 is a speaker that aims to disappear into its surroundings. Although it may not be completely invisible, this speaker has an ultra-thin frame and a paintable grille, making it as close as possible.
Of course, Bose is best known for its sound quality, and the 891 does not disappoint. Inside this beauty is a large 7-inch woofer, along with two 1-inch tweeters, perfect for acting as a surround sound system for movie nights or just to jam the latest songs.
- Paintable grill
- Elegant design
- High quality audio
- Wired only
- Big size
The best speaker with drip plates: VCA8 pure resonance audio
Pure Resonance Audio VCA8 is a specially designed speaker that offers easy installation and a fully integrated design. These speakers are made to fit in place of traditional tiled ceilings. This aspect allows them to fit exactly in the right place, while providing sound in the right place above the camera.
Perfect for home theater in the basement, Pure Resonance Audio VCA8 can be placed with a drop, just like a ceiling plate, giving up cutting dirt and maintaining installation time. The large panel design also allows for great sound, as it has a double-cone driver with high sensitivity that can be customized with a dial on the back of the unit.
- Tile design
- Easy installation
- Price per pair
- The speakers are not level with the case
- One color option
- Limited placement
The best ceiling speakers are a great way to provide rich sound in locations that may not have floor or table space. These speakers also help keep the house focused on the decor, join the ceilings and walls, and keep ugly cables and bulky speakers out of sight.
Despite their high price, we love Sonance Architectural Sonos speakers for their deep integration with Sonos, giving them essentially future evidence. Once connected, these speakers can work with audio protocols, such as Apple’s AirPlay 2, allowing home playback. Adding a Sonos Amp adds Trueplay adjustment, making sure these speakers sound best for their environment.
Credits – The team that worked on this guide
Christopher Close he spends most of his time writing and dreaming about all things HomeKit for iMore. If you want to join him in his quest to automate everything, you can follow him on Twitter at @itschrisclose.
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