In-ceiling or in-wall speakers are a rage today as they do not lend a foothold on your important living space. They will simply fit anywhere, irrespective of the size of the property. After a detailed discussion with my expert colleagues and using my years of experience, I have come up with the best in ceiling / in wall speaker reviews for 2017.
Polk Audio RC80i 2-Way In-Ceiling / In-Wall Speakers – Best Sound Quality
Polk Audio is a leading manufacturer of sound systems. The brand has a gained a tremendous popularity in the past few years. The hype around this product is almost overwhelming. So, I decided to give it a look. The first thing that perhaps attracts potential buyers is its price tag. Given the appearance of the model, it doesn’t give you the vibe of a “budget-speaker” from any angle. Mineral-filled polymer composite has been used to design the frame of the speakers. It is equipped with an 8-inch dynamic base.
It can be used as both in-ceiling speakers and in-wall speakers. You won’t have to struggle much to pair it up with your existing home theater system. That’s a big plus. If it’s all about the bass for you, the frequency response ranging between 35 Hz- 20k Hz will give a loud and clear bass.
Even some of the most veneered speakers tend to offer distorted sound at the max volume, the RC80i 2 is an exception thankfully. The overall sound quality is smooth, crisp and bombastic. You can hear almost all the musical instruments clearly. Given the size and built of these speakers, for the optimal clarity of sound, you should use it in a mid-sized room.
The Polk Audio RC80i 2 is a value for money in-ceiling cum in-wall speaker for all the valid reasons. The package comes with step-by-step instructions for the installation. The overall process is pretty straightforward. You can enjoy loud and crisp music even at the highest volume. The bass is impressive but not the best in this segment.
Klipsch R-1800-C In-ceiling Loudspeaker – Best Features at Low Price
Klipsch could well be termed as the dark horse of sound system manufacturing industry. It has slowly made its way among top-of-the-line brands like Yamaha and Polk. Their R-1800-C series in-ceiling speakers have been in huge demand since the year it was first launched. A 1-inch polymer dome tweeter employed in these speakers can be used to target the sweet spots of the room to create the ultimate surround sound effect.
The bass is exceptional, to say the least. The overall sound quality is also quite soothing to the ears. The 8″ polymer cone woofer ensures a high sound sensitivity, resulting in an amazing clarity of sound. You could comprehend all the instruments played in the background without any issue. Another bonus is that the installation kit that comes with this product can be used for setting up many other Klipsch series speakers as well.
There’s no such thing as flawless speakers. This one is not free of minor glitches either. But if you analyze all its features and performance from a broader perspective, there’s hardly anything wrong with it. The sound quality isn’t the best but definitely astonishing for the price you pay.
Yamaha Natural Sound Custom Easy-to-install In-Ceiling Speaker – Best Speaker for Watching Movies
Yamaha is an iconic brand, we all know it. This segment would have been incomplete without including some of their most popular in-ceiling speakers of all time. The product under scanner this time employs 8″ PP Mica Cone woofers for an even distribution of sound and great highs. It offers a high sound sensitivity of 88 dB. It is a great buy for spacious rooms with high ceilings.
You can also fit them in mid-sized auditoriums and conference rooms. There is no dearth of people who swear by the sound quality of Yamaha speakers. The 1″ soft dome tweeter ensures zero noise distortion at the highs. I watched the entire Star Wars series on my home theater connected to these speakers at a friend’s house.
I could write an entire article on how thoroughly I enjoyed the background music but that’s for another day. To top it off, the speakers are also super easy to set up. The weight of the speakers isn’t that heavy either, ideal for standard ceilings made from regular tiles.
These Yamaha speakers are a deal worth fighting for if you are on a tight budget. The sound quality is almost at par with that of its higher end counterparts. The dynamic surround sound makes up for an excellent home theater experience. Moreover, you probably won’t have to call in a professional to install the speakers.
Pyle PDIC60T In-Wall / In-Ceiling Speakers – Easiest to Install Speakers
Pyle PDIC60T can be distinguished by its crystal clear highs, moderate bass, and treble along with a deep midrange. Its 1-inch tweeter and 6.5-inch woofer produce great sound for regular music listening. The dome shaped tweeter can be easily pivoted to any direction you want. However, I would have appreciated it more if the tweeter was a little less noticeable. You will also get a decent experience of watching 3D movies with this pair of speakers.
The installation process is fairly simple. You won’t have to buy mounting brackets for it. Just be a little careful white cutting the holes in the ceilings. You got to get the measurements right. One piece of advice here, do not punch big holes right in the beginning. Looking at the size of the speakers, I feel fist-sized holes would be perfect. I have tested 4 pairs of them as surround speakers in my game room.
About the sound quality, it is better than some of its costlier counterparts. The stylish design will add a dash of glamor to your living room or wherever you choose to install them. The music can blow you away at the max setting no matter which corner of the room you’re in.
If you are looking for a pair of speakers to match up with your home theater, this could easily give you a solid bang for the buck. The speakers produce a blasting surround sound effect to make your streaming movie watching experience memorable. I also know a few people who have used it outdoors and have had an equally amazing time with it.
Micca M-CS Dual 5.25 Inch 2-Way MTM In-Wall Speaker – Best under $50
It would have been an act of blasphemy not to include Micca M-CS in my list of the best in-ceiling/ in-wall speakers of the year. From revered musicians to general music enthusiasts, these speakers have received rave reviews from everyone. The biggest USP of this model is its smooth and natural audio quality. It is loud but not in a disturbing way, that’s exactly what great speakers are all about. The midrange is absolutely awesome. I am an ardent fan of soft rock music. Listening to Pink Floyd was a dreamy experience on these speakers.
The system is an ideal fit for 7-channel home theater systems. The configurations are also quite easy to learn. The 5.25″ poly woofers deliver a brilliant low-end frequency response. The woofer is mounted in the central channel, making you feel the thump and bass loud and clear when you’re listening to some hard rock stuff or EDM.
There are only a handful of speakers in this saturated market which are suitable for almost every music genre. This is one of them. Be it the relaxing Fur Elise or an electrifying performance of Slash, the sound clarity and loudness will simply blow you away. You will not have a hard time installing these speakers around your house either.
Acoustic Audio CS-IC83 In-ceiling Speaker – Best Speaker for Both Indoor and Outdoor
The central channel surround system of CS-IC83 makes it a befitting choice for outdoor entertainment areas, conference halls, game room, RVs and home theaters. It has a durable construction owing to its extended throw assembly butyl rubber surrounds. You will also get cut-out templates in the package to help you with the setup. Moreover, these are self-mounting speakers so, you won’t need to but any separate mounting kit for it.
It is an 8″ 3-way in-ceiling speaker with a sound sensitivity of a whopping 95 dB and a frequency response of 40 Hz to 20k Hz. The bass is mind blowing, the highs are clear, the mid tones are decent and the lows are also quite up to the mark. If you’re looking for a great sound system for industrial purposes, these could be your go-to choice.
These 3-way speakers can produce crisp and clear audio which can be enjoyed from any corner of the room. The lows without subwoofers are exceptionally good. If you’re a fan of classical music, you simply can’t go wrong with these speakers. The installation is nearly effortless. So, overall, it is a value for money product.
Yamaha NSIC800WH 140-Watts 2-Way RMS Speaker – Best for Small Rooms
Here’s another skillfully crafted pair of RMS speakers from Yamaha. In case you don’t know what RMS stands for, it is Root Mean Square, a unit used to measure the power output of an amplifier. Anyway, technical jargons aside, its natural tones with excellent voice clarity can be attributed to its spiral shaped, grain-finished acoustic baffles. It provides 140W RMS wattage which, in layman’s terms, translates to blasting audio output. The 8″ polypropylene mica cone ensures smooth and soft sound quality at both high and low volume.
The low-profile design goes to with simply any décor. The speakers are engineered for both in-wall and in-ceiling mounting. The grille can be painted to match the color of the wall or ceiling. Moreover, it is flat enough to blend with the décor of the room so that it is not easily noticeable. They are equipped with magnets to make the installation a cakewalk.
To ensure you get the best surround sound experience no matter where you’re sitting in the room, it also employs swivel tweeters. It disperses the sound uniformly all over the room. Lastly, it also comes with a sealed back cover to safeguard the sound system against weather elements.
All in all, it is a great pair of speakers for small living rooms and bedrooms. I haven’t used it for outdoor entertainment areas but I’m sure it can be used for that purpose as well, given its fuss-free installation. The feature I loved the most in these speakers is the tweeters. Its performance exceeded my expectations.
Polk Audio 265RT (Ea) 3-way In-wall Speaker – Best Speakers for Front R and Front L Channeling
265RT series is another massively successful venture by Polk Audio. These classic rectangular shaped in-wall speakers would gel with any room décor. It has a frequency response of 30 Hz-27k Hz. It also employs Polk’s signature power port bass venting system. All these contribute to the powerful audio output, amazingly natural tonal quality and a clear bass. They could be ideally utilized as Front Left and Front Right speakers.
The design has been kept minimal. Once installed, they would be almost invisible. They are equipped with magnet covers that make installation a breeze. However, if you’re not confident about cutting wires, I’d suggest you to get professional help. Another good thing is that they clutch onto the wall very tightly. The low tones are quite pleasing even without subwoofers. The surround sound effect is alone worth every penny.
You can use it floor playing some groovy tracks to spice up your in-house party. Similarly, enjoy your favorite movie with stunning background music that’ll give you a real theatre-like experience. For those with an eye (read ears) for details, these speakers would be a dream come true. You can hear all the instruments distinctly. Most of all, irrespective of how you loud you play it, the woofer and 1-inch silk/polymer tweeter will keep the sound soft.
These in-wall speakers bear the age-old legacy of Polk Audio. Naturally, my expectations were quite high, provided Polk Audio 265RT is a premium model and a go-to choice for many sound engineers I have worked with. The price maybe a bit on the higher side of the spectrum but it is the quality we are prioritizing here. If you’re keen on getting the best in-wall speakers for your specious living room or auditorium, you should give this one a glance.
Yamaha NS-IW660 3-Way In-Wall Speaker System – Best Speaker for Midtones
The frequency range of these speakers is the first thing that grabbed my attention. While the lowest response is 50 Hz, it can yield up to maximum 28k Hz. This is completely wild. It also integrates a 1″ titanium tweeter to disperse smooth and crisp sound. The 1 .62 inch aluminum dome midrange driver is another cool addition. It results in a smooth transition from deep bass to high-pitched. You can swivel it to target the spots to enjoy the optimal sound effect.
They can be used as both front and central channels. The crossover networks effectively prevent sound distortion. On top of that, it comes with Kevlar woofers which are a huge bonanza at this price range. The paintable exterior will easily blend with the color of the wall. As far as the installation is concerned, the procedure isn’t complicated per se. Yamaha has kept the design simple and sober. Setting up the speakers won’t be an issue even if you have a space crunch.
For what it’s worth, the Yamaha NS-IW660 is one of the classiest and powerful in-wall speakers currently available in the market. The mids have surpassed my expectations, although the bass is not good enough for me. However, you could use subwoofers to produce a deeper bass if that’s what you require. Other than that, for the sound quality and sleek design, the product is a complete value for money.
Speakercraft Aim 7 Two In-Ceiling pivoting Speaker – The Loudest Speaker
This is probably one of the most technologically advanced in-ceiling speakers I have come across so far. With just a push of your hand, you can adjust the speakers in any direction you want. I’m sure the Pivotmaster Ross would buy this product as soon as he sees it, who knows? Jokes aside, fully directional in-ceiling speakers at this price would be a reason to rejoice for potential buyers.
I have tested these as rear speakers and the outcome lived up to my expectations, and in some aspects, exceeded it. The home theater buffs will be blown away by the bass. I like listening music at high volume, my “highs” are really high. So when I cranked up the volume to the highest, the impact was thunderous to put it correctly. You will not have to toil much to cut our proper sized holes to fit these speakers.
Speakercraft Aim is an unbelievably powerful in-ceiling speaker. You can direct the sound to the main sitting area of the room to enjoy the blasting sound that these speakers disperse. With proper maintenance, they will last for years without fail. It can give many speakers thrice its price a tough run for the money in terms of natural and crisp audio output at highs.
The Bottom Line
After a lot of pondering and hair-splitting assessment of features, I have jumped to the conclusion that the Polk Audio RC80i is the best in-ceiling/ in-wall speaker in this segment. It is budget-friendly, has a robust built at the audio quality in any range is stupendous. If you strictly want a speaker that’ll make the floor and furniture in the room tremble at its loudest, Speakercraft Aim is might be what you’re looking for. I hope my attempt to narrow down the options for you will help you find the best speakers to meet your requirements.