Ceiling Speakers For Home Cinema
, by Jake Abberley, 6 min reading time
, by Jake Abberley, 6 min reading time
A question we are often asked by customers is can you use ceiling speakers in a home cinema setup and the answer is absolutely. Ceiling speakers are a great addition to an existing home cinema setup, moreover a full in ceiling home cinema setup works very well.
Ceiling speakers have become increasingly popular in home cinema setups, and for good reason. When used as part of a traditional 5.1.2 setup, in-ceiling speakers offer a number of benefits that make them an excellent choice for creating an immersive home cinema experience.
One of the main benefits of using ceiling speakers in a 5.1.2 setup is that they are largely invisible. Unlike traditional speakers that sit on a shelf or stand, in-ceiling speakers are installed directly into the ceiling, making them almost imperceptible to the naked eye. This is especially useful for those who want to create a seamless, cinematic experience in their home without being distracted by bulky speakers.
In-ceiling speakers are also highly versatile. Because they are installed directly into the ceiling, they can be placed almost anywhere in a room, giving you the freedom to create the perfect home cinema setup that works best for your space. Whether you want to create a traditional front-facing setup or opt for a more immersive, 360-degree experience, in-ceiling speakers can be placed wherever you need them to be.
Another advantage of using ceiling speakers in a 5.1.2 setup is that they offer excellent sound quality. Modern in-ceiling speakers are designed with high-quality drivers and tweeters that deliver crystal clear audio, making them an excellent choice for any home cinema setup.
Finally, using ceiling speakers in a traditional 5.1.2 setup can also be more cost-effective compared to using traditional speakers. Because they are installed directly into the ceiling, you don't need to purchase separate stands or shelves for them, which can save you money in the long run.
Overall, using ceiling speakers in a 5.1.2 home cinema setup offers a number of benefits, including a seamless, cinematic experience, versatility, excellent sound quality, and cost-effectiveness. If you're looking to create the ultimate home cinema setup, consider using in-ceiling speakers as part of your system.
A misconception with ceiling speakers is that they will not work well for the front 3 channels. Ceiling speakers have a range of features that actually make them highly suitable for the front channels.
Some ceiling speakers have pivotable tweeters and drivers which allow them to work fantastically for the front channels, this ability to pivot enables you to direct the sound toward the listening positions which is important for the front channels. Speakers that demonstrate this very well are the IDC range from Monitor Audio.
These ceiling speakers offer 18 degrees of pivot in all directions of both the driver and the tweeter meaning you can direct the sound anywhere you want whilst being fixed to the ceiling. The IDC models also offer a true 3-way design which offers extra clarity across the frequency range. These models can actually be used throughout a Home Cinema setup e.g Rears and surrounds.
Another innovative feature that some ceiling speakers have which make them brilliant for front channels are angled drivers. Angled drivers fixate the sound to a certain listening position. It means that you can get great direct accurate sound to a position from a fixed point in the ceiling. A good example of speaker that does this is the Focal 300 ICA6. This speaker has a built in angled coaxial driver at a pivot of 35 degrees, this creates a highly focused directional sound which is great again for the front channels. These can also be used for Dolby Atmos channels and surrounds.
One of the key advantages of using ceiling speakers for surround sound is their ability to provide a more immersive listening experience. Because they are mounted on the ceiling, the sound waves can be directed towards the listener from above, which can help create a more natural, three-dimensional soundstage. This can be especially useful for movie watching, as it can help create a more realistic and lifelike audio experience.
There are a few things to consider when using ceiling speakers as surround speakers. First, it's important to choose high-quality speakers that are capable of producing clear, accurate sound. You'll also need to pay attention to placement, as the speakers should be positioned in such a way as to provide an even sound field throughout the room.
A good example of a speaker fit for rear and Surround use is again from Monitor Audio, more specifically the C265-FX.
The C265-FX has dual angled tweeters which makes it perfect for rear and surround use. Dolby's latest surround sound technology, Atmos, allows sound to come from all directions, including overhead, to create an immersive experience with astonishing clarity, richness, detail and depth. You can use ceiling speakers located above the listening position to create this overhead dimension. Speakers with a wide dispersion pattern such as the Monitor Audio C265FX are preferred. This will ensure the closest replication of the cinematic environment, where overhead speakers are placed high above the listeners.
As rears it is recommended to point the C265-FX's into the corners so that the dual tweeters can bounce and refract around the corners of the room to create a 3D audio sphere.
For home cinema, subwoofers are essential to add a low level bass. If you're wanting to keep everything nice and clean and hidden, then an in ceiling subwoofer is a great choice, they offer the same great low level bass but hide themselves away in the ceiling to keep everything nice and neat. One thing worth noting about ceiling subwoofers is that they are passive, this means they require power from an external subwoofer amplifier which then feeds into the AV receiver. We have different choices available when it comes to in ceiling subwoofers, see here.
In-ceiling subwoofers are installed in the same way as regular in-ceiling speakers, by cutting a hole in the ceiling and mounting the speaker in the opening. In-ceiling subwoofers can be a good option for those who want to add bass to their home theatre system without taking up additional floor space with a separate subwoofer enclosure.
In conclusion, ceiling speakers can be a great option for a home cinema setup as they allow for a more immersive movie-watching experience. They can be easily integrated into the ceiling, providing a discreet and unobtrusive look while still delivering high-quality sound. Additionally, ceiling speakers allow for more flexible speaker placement and can provide better coverage and a more even sound distribution throughout the room. While they may require some additional installation work and planning, the benefits of using ceiling speakers in a home cinema setup make them a worthwhile consideration.