Are you ready to select home theater ceiling speakers?
What to Look For…
A custom Home Theater system installed with all wiring “hidden” will have speakers flush mounted in the ceiling or walls. After the audio receiver – amplifier, the speakers are the most important and most difficult to select. Here are the key important items to consider for your speaker selection:
- Speaker Size — The 6.5-inch round speaker (about the size of a ceiling down-light) is the most typical size for home application. Go to the next size 8-inch only for very large Grand Rooms. The 6.5 or 8-inches refers to the woofer cone size, overall size is slightly more.
- Speaker Shape — By convention, speakers in the ceiling are in round housings; speakers in the wall are in rectangular housing with the same speaker parts. Wall placement is selected when the ceiling is very high or cantilevered.
- Speaker Parts — The typical speaker will have a larger woofer cone and smaller .75” – 1.0” Tweeter cone covered by a white, paintable mesh grill. The tweeter is in the center in a round speaker and on the side in a rectangular speaker.
- Speaker Power — Look for power handling of about 100-watts, around the same per channel power of your audio receiver. The speaker power can be less than the receiver as you never turn the volume full-blast. A 75-watt speaker will cost less than 100-watts so choose accordingly.
- Speaker Cone Material — Speakers are advertized and touted in many exotic, space age materials but the material makes little difference; it is the frequency response for a given price that counts most. However, do avoid paper cones which can be degraded by dampness in the air.
- Speaker Response — This cuts the good speaker from the not so good speaker and is the single most important factor in a premium Home Theater system. In a nut shell, look for a frequency response of at least 45Hz – 20kHz, nothing less. With a sub-woofer for the really low tones this speaker works find. For a better speaker, go to a 32Hz – 22kHz performance and you may not need a sub-woofer. There are several speakers in this category, about $99.95 each, in a 6.5-inch size with 125-watts power handling.
Our favorite 6.5-inch ceiling speaker with the higher performance is the AudioStar Model RS-C68 by Interstar and manufactured by one of the nation’s most premier speaker brands (not revealed on their website). You will want to use this speaker’s specifications as your gold standard when searching for speakers. There are dozens of major speaker manufacturers offering 100’s of similar speakers so it may be a tough search.