Deciding on the right in-ceiling speaker will mean considering a few factors…
Will the speakers primary purpose be for listening to music?
Or perhaps to complete your home theater system?
Will you be installing them inside or outdoors?
And of course, what budget do you have to spend?
The following line-up of the best in-ceiling speakers takes each of these considerations into account to give you a range of options.
Whether you have $100 or $1000 to spend, and no matter the use you have in mind, there is an in-ceiling speaker below that will get the job done!
Quick List: Best In-Ceiling Speakers in 2021
- Best Overall: Micca M-8c
- Best for Surround Sound: Klipsch CDT-5800-C II
- Best for Home Theater: Acoustic Audio CS-IC83
- Best for Music: Polk Audio RC80i
- Best Value In-Ceiling Speakers: Pyle PDICWIFIB62
- Best Outdoor In-Ceiling Speakers: Polk Audio RC6S
- Best for the Money: Silver Ticket Products 5252AC
- Best Under $1000: Bose Virtually Invisible 791 II
- Best Under $500: Bose 742898-0200 Virtually Invisible 591
- Best Under $200: Pyle PDICBT286
- Best Under $100: Yamaha NS-IW280CWH
In-Ceiling Speaker Reviews
1. Best Overall: Micca M-8C Speakers Review
- 2-way in-ceiling speaker, 9.4-inch cutout diameter, with a high excursion 8-inch poly woofer and a 1-inch soft dome tweeter
The Micca M-8C 8-inch speaker is a two-way in-ceiling speaker that provides a high excursion poly woofer. It has a one-inch dome tweeter that is made with silk and is soft. A 6dB crossover network allows seamless integration between the woofer and the tweeter so that there is no distortion in the sound.
Speaking of sound, it is smooth and natural, allowing a robust bass that gives you an incredible listening experience.
The Micca M-8C in-ceiling speaker has been chosen as the best overall because it provides great performance in a variety of different home entertainment situations. You can have your friends over for a movie marathon, enjoy some music on a leisurely evening or even play your meditation music for a quiet night in. It can also be installed quite easily and matches a variety of home decor.
- There is perfect integration between the tweeter and the woofer, thanks to the 6dB crossover network which makes the job much easier.
- This is a two-way in-ceiling speaker that offers a robust bass sound and is suitable for a variety of home entertainment experiences.
- You can install it with ease if you have the right tools and it looks great with most interior design styles.
- It has a rigorous design and all the components and elements have been carefully selected to make this dynamic product.
- The pivoting silk dome tweeter creates a clear sound.
- The audio can be a bit scratchy at times when played at high frequencies.
- The audio can go in and out periodically.
2. Best for Surround Sound: Klipsch CDT-5800-C II Review
- 1” Titanium Tweeter
- 8" Pivoting Cerametallic Woofer
The Klipsch CDT-5800-C II is one of the best in-ceiling speakers with an incredible sound. It has a one-inch titanium tweeter and the cerametallic woofer is a pivoting 8 inches that allows the sound to resonate and provide the listener with a great musical experience.
The CDT in the name of the speaker stands for ‘Controlled Dispersion Technology’ which Klipsch products are especially good at doing. It also has attenuation switches for treble and mid-bass which makes it extremely easy to use and navigate. Finally, the Klipsch speakers also have horn-loaded technology which improves the sound even more.
- The 1-inch titanium tweeter and the 8-inch pivoting cerametallic woofer provide a clear sound.
- Controlled Dispersion Technology (CDT) is something Klipsch specializes in which makes it the chosen product for best surround sound.
- It challenges all the inherent limitations of a fixed location when it comes to an in-wall speaker.
- You can also angle the direction of the speaker with ease.
- The treble and mid-bass attenuation switches make it extremely easy to use the speaker.
- The return policy is not very accommodating.
- The speakers are not sold in a pair, they are sold as individual pieces.
3. Best for Home Theater: Acoustic Audio CS-IC83 Review
- FLUSH MOUNT IN CEILING SPEAKERS - Wide sound dispersion designed speakers easily integrate with new and existing audio systems, traditional Passive speaker design, simply drive power from your home...
The Acoustic Audio CS-IC83 is a five-speaker set that provides a complete home theater experience. Each speaker has a frequency response of 40Hz-20kHz and has a three-way design and functionality. The woofers are 8 inches in measurement and the polypropylene cones have a high rigidity that provide a great sound.
These can be used for in-wall or in-ceiling home theater systems or even in multiple room systems. It has an industrial sound which makes it suitable even for outdoor entertainment areas, patios, decks and pools.
- With its three-way design, functionality and efficiency of 95dB, this is a highly recommended speaker set for a home theater system.
- It has spring-loaded speaker wire terminals which are designed for ease of installation.
- Even apart from a home theater, it can be used in a variety of other settings and as a multiple-room system.
- It has great sound quality even in the outdoors.
- The polypropylene cone has progressive spiders, butyl rubber surrounds and poly mica mid-ranges which give the sound quality a strong thrust.
- The volume can pop sometimes throwing the entire sound off.
- The bass is not up to the mark.
4. Best for Music: Polk Audio RC80i Review
- GET SEAMLESS AUDIO QUALITY & POLK'S EXCELLENT SOUND REPRODUCTION with these timbre-matched overhead speakers that elevate the sound quality. ADD TO YOUR EXISTING HOME THEATER SETUP or build your own...
The Polk Audio RC8oi offers incredible sound reproduction thanks to its timbre-matched overhead speakers in the set. It can be added to your existing home theater or it can be enjoyed even independently.
The speakers emanate a balanced and lifelike sound which is sure to enhance your musical experience. They also have a mineral-filled polymer cone and composite driver baskets which make it easy to provide an even sound.
- The speakers have an 8-inch dynamic balance woofer that allows it to provide more enhanced bass.
- The rubber seal drive on the speaker keeps moisture out, allowing you to install the system even in your bathroom.
- It can be installed in three simple steps.
- The aluminum grille is paintable so you can leave it as it is or paint it to a color that matches your home decor.
- The speakers do not have enough mid-range bass.
- The sound can be airy or hollow for some tracks.
5. Best Value In-Ceiling Speakers: Pyle PDICWIFIB62 Wi-Fi Speaker Review
- BLUETOOTH AND WIFI: Built-in with Bluetooth and Wifi for wireless music streaming. It is compatible with all of your favorite Bluetooth devices like iPhone, Android, Smartphones, iPad, computer and...
The Wi-Fi Bluetooth Ceiling Mount Speaker from Pyle is a dual active and passive speaker system that is compatible with Bluetooth devices like the iPhone and Android phones. It can be worked with a mobile application and can be navigated remotely. You can stream songs from any of your mobile devices to the speakers which can be installed in the same zone or in multiple locations through the house.
This is a 6.5” dual speaker that can provide up to 270 watts of peak power. It also has a 1-inch silk dome tweeter that has a frequency response of 50Hz-20KHz and a sensitivity of 90dB. It can also work as a passive speaker with an output connector.
- The speakers are built-in with Bluetooth and Wi-Fi which allow you to stream music wirelessly from any device.
- It can be navigated using any mobile device and is compatible with Apple and Android devices.
- It works as a dual active and passive speaker system, providing you with great value for money.
- It can be installed two ways, either as an in-wall speaker or as an in-ceiling speaker.
- The 6.5-inch mountable speaker provides an incredible 270 watts of peak power.
- The speaker system often needs to be rebooted every few days due to overload.
- The provided amp often cannot handle 270 watts of peak power.
6. Best Outdoor In-Ceiling Speakers: Polk Audio RC6S Review
- Great Stereo Sound for ROOM WITH LIMITED SPACE FOR ONLY ONE SPEAKER (with Left and right sound). Equipped with a Dual Voice Coil 6.5" Dynamic Balance full bass woofer and (2) 0.75" metalized soft dome...
The Polk Audio RC6S in-ceiling speakers are perfect for using indoors as well as outdoors. They have great endurance for humidity so you can use it by the poolside, keep it installed on the porch even on a rainy day and even in bathrooms, kitchens and saunas.
The rubber surround keeps the moisture out and allows you to use it in a variety of settings.
The RC6S has a dual voice coil with a 6.5-inch dynamic-balance full bass woofer that adds depth and a great sound to whatever it is you are listening to. The directional tweeters also allow the speakers to emanate a crystal clear sound quality.
- It provides a great stereo sound even for a room that has less space and can accommodate only one speaker.
- It can be used in a covered porch area, in the bathroom, sauna, kitchen and a variety of outdoor spaces as well.
- Regardless of where you are, you can direct the tweeters so the sound emanates directly towards the listener.
- The speakers can be installed in three very simple steps.
- It has a 6.5-inch dynamic-balance full bass woofer and metalized soft dome tweeters that give the sound quality an incredible sharpness.
- The price of the speaker can be a bit steep for the sound quality it eventually offers.
- The frequency response of the speakers is limited.
7. Best for the Money: Silver Ticket Products 5252AC Review
- 14.625 x 10.5" Speaker Hole Cutout required in Ceiling. One speaker 2-way in-ceiling with two 5.25" mica polypropylene cone woofers each with rubber edge and a 10oz magnet deliver clear,...
The 5252AC Silver Ticket in-ceiling speaker has pivoting adjustable angle woofers and tweeters. The 20-mm silk dome tweeter allows it to produce a smooth sound and the 15-degree pivot allows you to listen to the sound clearly no matter where you are sitting in the room.
It has a solid construction and is moisture resistant so you can even use it in the bathroom or the kitchen.
With a frequency response of 63 Hz – 20,000 Hz, it provides a clear, concise and distortion-free sound. The best quality of this speaker set, however, is the fact that it comes at such an economical cost and is sure to fulfill your expectations.
- This is a two-way in-ceiling speaker with polypropylene cone woofers that provide a clear and distortion-free sound.
- The cone woofers have rubber edges that prevent moisture from getting in and allow you to install the speakers even in your bathroom.
- It has a frequency response of 63 Hz – 20,000 Hz and a power handling capacity of 40 watts nominal and 80 watts peak, which is great for a speaker that costs so little.
- It has a solid construction that is sure to last you for a long time.
- The dust cover can be hard to remove at times.
- It is not necessarily the easiest to install or even remove.
8. Best Under $1000: Bose Virtually Invisible 791 II Review
- The best Bose in-ceiling speaker has one 7" woofer and two strategically positioned 1" tweeters
The Bose Virtually Invisible 791 in-ceiling speaker is a great device to splurge on for your music listening and film viewing experiences. It has a seven-inch woofer and two 1-inch tweeters that are strategically positioned. It offers a full-range, high-quality performance that is unparalleled when compared to other installed speakers of a lower range.
The Bose speakers provide a balanced stereo sound that has no drop-offs and which can cover the room with its incredible sound. The installation process is extremely easy, thanks to the standard dogleg clamps and the magnetically attached grilles.
- The seven-inch woofer and the strategically positioned tweeters give a holistic sound that encompasses the whole room.
- The construction is nearly bezel-less and it can blend in with the interior decoration of any room.
- There are no sound drop-offs with these speakers.
- The magnetic grilles and the dogleg clamps make the installation process extremely easy and smooth.
- It provides you with a high-quality, full-range performance that can be compared to few other speakers in the market.
- The customer service can be quite frustrating to deal with.
- This provides a great sound but may still need a sub to accompany it.
9. Best Under $500: Bose Virtually Invisible 591 Review
- This quality Bose in ceiling speaker has one 5 inch woofer and two strategically positioned 3/4 inch tweeters
This is another Bose product that has made it into our lineup and offers great sound for a speaker that is under $500. The Bose 742898-0200 Virtually Invisible 591 in-ceiling speaker is similar in qualities that have been described in the speaker above, but its asking price is cheaper.
It has a 5-inch woofer and the 3/4-inch tweeters are positioned strategically. It also comes with standard dogleg clamps and grilles that are magnetically attached, making the installation process a whole lot easier.
The grilles are easily painted so you can choose any color that suits the interiors of the room. With the near bezel-less design, however, there is a good chance you will not need to change the color as the speakers are “virtually invisible” for real.
- The 5-inch woofer and the strategically positioned tweeters allow the entire room to fill up with the sound the speakers emanate.
- It offers a high-quality, full-range performance that is unparalleled when compared to other speakers in its price range.
- It has a near bezel-less construction which allows it to integrate and fit in with any home decor.
- The standard dogleg clamps and the magnetically attached grilles make the installation process a lot easier.
- The grilles can be painted in case you want to change it to a more suitable color for your interior design.
- It is certainly not the cheapest option in the market but is one of the best in its price range.
- The bass can sometimes vibrate the drywall mud or joint and cause cracks.
10. Best Under $200: Pyle PDICBT286 Speakers Review
- BLUETOOTH - Built-in Bluetooth no hassle wireless music streaming from all your favorite Bluetooth enabled devices Perfect for incredible stereo sound in any room in your home from speakers you can...
The Pyle 8-inch 4 Bluetooth flush mount speaker system is a two-way speaker system that has a built-in Bluetooth system that allows you to stream music wirelessly without any hassle.
It provides an incredible surround sound in any room and does not use any floor or shelf space. The speakers can be installed very easily and can be integrated with your existing home theater system for an incredible sound.
The speaker system comes with a pair of round and square, stain-resistant grills that you can choose from and change whenever you see fit. It has a compact flush mount design that makes it easy to install whether in the wall or in the ceiling. The speaker openings are pre-cut and it can be used on any flat surface, whether in your home or at the office.
- The built-in Bluetooth system allows you to stream music wirelessly and connect to any compatible device.
- The system comes with square and round grilles that can be changed whenever you see fit.
- It can be integrated seamlessly with your existing home theater system.
- It comes with a cut-out size template and speaker-terminals that are spring loaded, making the installation process extremely easy.
- The flush mount design also makes it extremely easy to install.
- The customer service and negotiating the warranty with them may not be the most pleasant experience.
- The Bluetooth receiver acts up at times and then you are required to reboot the system.
11. Best Under $100: Yamaha NS-IW280CWH Review
- 6.5 inches Polypropylene mica cone woofers (two per package)
- Dual 3/4 inches dome tweeter with SoundMax technology
The Yamaha NS-IW280CWH is a three-way in-ceiling speaker system with 6.5-inch polypropylene mica cone woofers that give it a great sound quality. The dual 3/4-inch dome tweeter comes with SoundMax technology, which also swivels so you get a wide dispersion of the sound.
The aluminum grille is paintable so you can choose to paint it with whichever color that matches your home decor. It also comes with a protective cover.
It has a maximum input capability of 100 watts and also comes with a limited warranty, provided you purchase it from an authorized Yamaha dealer.
- The 6.5-inch polypropylene mica cone woofers offer a concise sound and give the speakers durability.
- It has a 100-watt maximum input capability which makes is incredible given that the speakers cost less than even $100.
- The swivel tweeter allows you to disperse the sound in whichever direction it is required.
- The dual 3/4-inch dome tweeter also comes with SoundMax technology which is sure to enhance your listening experience.
- The speakers are also extremely easy to install and offer a great surround sound.
- The speakers do not perform as well when it comes to bass or lower mid-range.
- The sound quality is not always as natural as the manufacturers claim it will be.
What to Consider When Buying In-Ceiling Speakers
There are a few different factors you may want to consider before buying an in-ceiling speaker. They do require some work to install, for example, making space in the ceiling or wall so it can be fitted. Unlike a speaker that you can simply place on the floor or on your shelf, in-ceiling speakers require thought about whether they will match with the decor of your room.
The following are some of the factors you may want to consider before buying an in-ceiling speaker:
Ceiling Speaker Installation
The first thing to consider is the ease of installing the speakers. Since it needs to be installed into the wall or in the ceiling, there are a few more steps involved than simply placing it on a shelf or on a floor and plugging it in. You may even require some additional labor and support to install these speakers. An alternative option is to get wall mounted speakers which are a very popular option.
A good manufacturer and a good brand understand that the installation process needs to be made as pleasant as the process of using the speakers. Some manufacturers provide magnetically-attached grills for the speakers, which make it easier to install. You may also be provided with dogleg clamps which make installation much easier.
There are often cut out templates provided which make it easy to install the speakers and to make them look seamless with your interior decoration. If the grilles are paintable, that is even better, as you can then get it to match with the color of your wall. A few speakers reviewed above even have a near-bezel-less design which makes the speakers virtually invisible and allows them to integrate seamlessly with any interior design.
Most in-ceiling speakers can also be used as in-wall speakers. They typically have a two-way use which allows it to be installed in-wall or in-ceiling. Other than that, the speakers can have different specializations. Depending on what you are looking for, you should narrow down the search. For example, if you are looking for a speaker that provides ample surround sound, there are plenty of in-ceiling speakers that specialize in providing great surround sound.
Others are speakers that come in sets and are perfect for integrating with your existing home theater system. There are speakers that are ideal for listening to music and there are others that provide an incredible bass.
Which one you buy is based on what you are looking for. If you are looking for speakers for a home theater experience but end up buying a single speaker for a small room, you are sure to be disappointed. So think of the criteria in your head before you set out to browse in the market.
Location Of Speakers
The location of where the speakers can be installed is extremely important too. Not every speaker can be installed in the outdoors and not every speaker can withstand moisture and humidity. So if you are looking to install the speakers in a covered porch area, you need to purchase one that is suitable to do so.
There are also speakers that are specifically manufactured so they can be installed in bathrooms, kitchens and even saunas. They have rubber fittings and other contraptions that prevent moisture from getting in. Only those speakers which come with specific instructions about installing in bathrooms, kitchens, etc. are fit to be used in these parts of the house. For other speakers, it is safe to assume that they are indoor speakers.
Checking the location in which the speakers can be used is extremely important as it will completely change your experience with the speakers and the quality of the sound.
Most of the speakers that have been reviewed above also have tweeters that allow you to change their direction and decide in which direction you would like the sound to emanate. No matter where you are sitting in the room, you can position the tweeter in a way that the sound reaches you directly instead of spreading thin into the room. T
his does not mean the sound of the speaker in the rest of the room should be muffled. But it only enhances the sound of the speakers in the direction of the listener. A superior dispersion of the sound and flexible tweeters are markers of a good in-ceiling speaker system.
No In-Ceiling Speaker Hits & Misses
The speakers that have been reviewed above are some of the best in the market in their respective categories. The reviews have managed to acquaint you with a variety of different speakers based on different specializations and uses. For example, if you are looking for a speaker that will provide incredible sound in the outdoors or by your pool, there is a speaker that has been picked out precisely for that type of experience.
There are speakers that have been picked out for an incredible experience of listening to music and others that have been picked out because they provide incredible surround sound. For each category, there has been one speaker that has been picked out and chosen as the best from the lot.
Finding an in-ceiling speaker that satisfies you can be a long process of hits and misses. There is a good chance that you will be disappointed with the first few times, but with the reviews like the ones elaborated above and with a clear understanding of precisely what you are looking for, the search becomes a lot easier.
A good speaker can completely change how you consume media. It changes how you experience a night alone listening to music or even how you watch a movie with friends at home. For an enhanced experience with sound and audio, a good in-ceiling speaker system is a must.
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Simon is a music lover, musical instrument player and passionate audio afficionado. When he is not playing the guitar or listening to music he is either eating tacos or snoring too loudly.