The best ceiling speakers 2022 (2022)

Ceiling speakers can seem like a high-tech extravagance. But, in practice, they are affordable, easily installed and a pleasure to operate. Resting in a ceiling cavity, these hidden audio gems deliver beautiful audio discreetly. To help you access the potential of ceiling speakers, we’ve rounded up a selection of the best.

For many years, ceiling speakers have been found in home cinema and indoor entertainment areas. Nowadays, as technology prices fall, we see more people adopting ceiling speakers around the house, particularly in bathrooms and home gyms. They are also incredibly useful and affordable for anyone setting up their own business, restaurant or café.

However you plan on using the best ceiling speakers, read on to find the set for you.

The best ceiling speaker shortlist:

1. Lithe Audio Bluetooth Ceiling Speakers

2. Q Acoustics 6.5-Inch Ceiling Speakers

3. Polk Audio RC80i 8-inch Ceiling Speakers

4. Amazon Basics In-Ceiling Speakers

5. Yamaha NSIC600 Ceiling Speakers

6. Bose Virtually Invisible 791 Ceiling Speaker MK II

What to look for in the best ceiling speakers:

Here are some of the elements that you’ll need to consider before buying a new ceiling speaker set:

Tweeter: These small drivers take care of the higher frequencies in audio. A good quality tweeter helps carry across the details of music and audio. With ceiling speakers, tweeters are located on a stalk protruding from the centre of a subwoofer - this helps save space. They can often be angled to direct audio towards listeners.

Subwoofer: These bigger drivers deliver lower frequencies in audio. They add power, drama and atmosphere to sound. Without a good subwoofer, audio will be thin and unimpressive.

Output wattage: An amplifier processes sound and passes it through to speakers as output. The amount of output signal sent to a speaker is called output wattage. Each speaker has a limit to the amount of wattage it can handle and going above this limit can damage the speaker. You must make sure that the output wattage of an amplifier does not exceed the output wattage rating of a speaker.

Speaker type: There are two speaker types to consider - passive and powered. Most ceiling speakers are passive, meaning that they have no way of receiving power or audio signals without being connected to an amplifier via cables. You can read more about amplifiers at the bottom of the page. Powered ceiling speakers draw their power from the mains electricity. Typically, powered speakers carry their own amplifier and connections, and therefore, don’t require an external amplifier.

Fire Hood: You're legally required to install a fire hood. This ensures the safety of yourself and others and that you maintain fire safety and building regulations. You can read more about this at the bottom of the page.

The best ceiling speakers:

Lithe Audio Bluetooth Ceiling Speakers

The best ceiling speakers 2022 (1)

The best ceiling speakers 2022 (2)

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Unlike other options here listed, the Lithe Audio Bluetooth Ceiling Speakers are an all-in-one solution, carrying an in-built amplifier and Bluetooth receiver. This simplifies installation and daily use considerably, requiring no extra tech to operate, other than a connection to mains power. Though purists may be offended by such a concept, the performance of these speakers remains of undeniably high quality. The 6.5-inch subwoofer has plenty of oomph, and the 1.2-inch tweeter delivers crisp details. Media can stream over the speakers via the Bluetooth 4.0 connection, which is also compatible with Echo and Google Home devices.

The speakers use a master and slave configuration, allowing up to six Lithe Audio speakers to be linked to create a larger setup.

Pros Cons
• All-in-one solution • No external amp for custom sound
• Perfect for wireless streaming • No Bluetooth 5.0
• Smart assistant compatible
Specifications
Output: 50W
Tweeter: 1.2-inch
Subwoofer: 6.5-inch
Waterproof: Yes
Type: Master - Mains powered via in-built amp. Slave - Passive.
(Video) Best Ceiling Speakers in 2022

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Q Acoustics 6.5-Inch Ceiling Speakers

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The best ceiling speakers 2022 (4)

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Q Acoustics is an award-winning British brand with a solid reputation for delivering quality professional audio products. Its ceiling speakers are a great example of its craft - simple but effective. Each speaker carries a 6.5-inch subwoofer and 0.75-inch tweeter (which can aim in a specific direction), giving a good quality sound across the frequency ranges for a pleasant listening experience. Their efficient build makes them easy to install, and the waterproofing means that they will do well if installed in a bathroom.

Pros Cons
• Affordable quality • Not all that powerful
• Aimable tweeter • Basic
• Nice audio
Specifications
Output: 60W
Tweeter: 0.75-inch
Subwoofer: 6.5-inch
Waterproof: Yes
Type: Passive

Polk Audio RC80i 8-inch Ceiling Speakers

The Polk Audio RC80i is one of the largest pairs of speakers on our list. They carry an 8-inch subwoofer and 1-inch tweeter, with 15-degrees of directional adjustment. This size, coupled with Polk Audio engineering, means that the sound quality and detail are maintained at higher volumes. A real highlight of these speakers is that Polk has matched the timbre of the speakers to its RTiA Series - a series that aims at home cinemas and premium entertainment setups, as is recognised for its accuracy and realism. These ceiling speakers should be high on the shopping list of any audio enthusiast.

Pros Cons
• High-quality audio • Only 50W
• 8-inch subwoofer
Specifications
Output: 50W
Tweeter: 1-inch
Subwoofer: 8-inch
Waterproof: Yes
Type: Passive

Amazon Basics In-Ceiling Speakers

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The best ceiling speakers 2022 (8)

(Video) Best Atmos Ceiling Speaker In 2022 - Top 10 Atmos Ceiling Speakers Review

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As far as entry-level ceiling speakers, the snappily named Amazon Basics In-Ceiling Speakers are a nice option. With a max output of 100W, an 16.5cm subwoofer and a 2.5cm tweeter, the audio has a nice, clean life to it. We recommend that these speakers are used for background music, PA systems, beginner setups and smaller rooms; anyone wanting to build a serious in-ceiling system will want to spend a little more for a more rounded product.

Pros Cons
• Cheap • Basic
• Nice sound • Better audio found elsewhere
• Functional
Specifications
Output: 100W
Tweeter: 1.5-inch
Subwoofer: 8-inch
Waterproof: Yes
Type: Passive

Yamaha NSIC600 Ceiling Speakers

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The best ceiling speakers 2022 (10)

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The Yamaha NSIC600 Ceiling Speakers are a well-thought-out option. Handling up to 110W and carrying a 6.5-inch subwoofer and 1-inch tweeter, the speakers are adept and delivering a natural audio sound thatu2019s great across all multimedia and music genres. Yamaha has gone the extra mile to incorporate a horn-shaped cone that insets the speaker for increased and improved sound distribution. To assist installation, the speakers also have large, non-slip clamps mounted to their sides.

Pros Cons
• Unique horn-cone design • Need deep ceiling cavity
• Versatile audio • Tweeter only 1-inch
• Powerful
Specifications
Output: 110W
Tweeter: 1-inch
Subwoofer: 6.5-inch
Waterproof: Yes
Type: Passive

Bose Virtually Invisible 791 Ceiling Speaker MK II

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The best ceiling speakers 2022 (12)

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The Bose Virtually Invisible 791 Ceiling Speaker MK II represents the most refined and most expensive option on our list. Though a sizeable investment (especially considering youu2019ll need a decent amp to get the most out of them) the payoff is clear. The sound is notable for being rich and vibrant, benefitting not only from a 7-inch subwoofer, but the unique inclusion of two tweeters per speaker, and, of course, Bose sound engineering. This design culminates into Bose Stereo Everywhere, a catch-all phrase that describes a speakeru2019s ability to direct audio in multiple directions. This allows the stereo experience to be heard around the room, not only in one specific area.

Pros Cons
• Excellent stereo audio • Very expensive
• Rich timbre
• Two tweeters per speaker
Specifications
Output: 100W
Tweeter: 1-inch x2
Subwoofer: 6.5-inch
Waterproof: n/a
Type: Passive

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(Video) Best Ceiling Speaker In 2022 - Top 10 Ceiling Speakers Review

Looking for an amp?

We’ve listed a couple of basic but accomplished options to get you started. Note that depending on the cables provided, you may need to purchase some banana plugs.

Amazon Link Amp

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The best ceiling speakers 2022 (15)

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The Amazon Link Amp is a really simple option with a slick styling. Itu2019s a DAC 60W two-channel amplifier with plenty of flexibility, supporting both analogue and digital signals. Combine with an Alexa device, like the Echo Dot, for voice control. It will also connect to Amazon Music, Apple Music, Spotify and TuneIn. It might seem a lot, but it's arguably the most straightforward and intuitive amp on the market.

Audio inputs: Analogue (1 x L/R RCA), Digital (1 x Coaxial RCA, 1 x Optical Toslink), WiFi, Bluetooth

Audio outputs: Analogue (1 x L/R RCA, 1 x Subwoofer RCA), Digital (1 x Coaxial RCA, 1 x Optical Toslink), L/R Speaker Binding Posts, 3.5mm audio jack

Other: Ethernet

Fosi Audio BT20A Mini Amplifier

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The best ceiling speakers 2022 (17)

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The Fosi Audio BT20A Mini Amplifier is a neat little DAC 100W two-channel amp for amplification newcomers. Audio input can come from an RCA connection or Bluetooth 5.0 for wireless streaming. The audio signal is clean and free from noise, and the simplified control knobs are also a nice touch, allowing for treble, bass and volume to be set easily. Available in black and silver.

Audio inputs: RCA, Bluetooth

Audio outputs: Passive speakers

Your questions answered:

Do I need an amp?

Most ceiling speakers will require an amplifier to provide both power and audio signal. There are many amplifier types, with varying degrees of power and requiring different levels of skill and know-how to use. It can get a little complicated if you’re new to the field, so you’ll find some simple and easy-to-use amplifiers listed above to get you started.

If your speakers are mains powered, like the Lithe Audio Bluetooth Ceiling Speakers, you will not need an amplifier.

What is a fire hood and do I need one?

A fire hood is a cover that sits in the ceiling void to cover the back of a ceiling speaker. It is made from a flame retardant material and maintains a ceilings fire barrier rating. Installing a fire hood is not only a sensible idea but a legal requirement in almost all situations, including personal houses, offices and businesses.

(Video) Best Ceiling Speakers 2022

You can read more about the regulation in the UK Government’s Building Regulations Fire Safety online document. Click here to view the PDF.

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As Smart Home Sound notes, if a fire hood is not installed, any insurance claim relating to fire damage may be rejected by an insurance provider.

There are other good reasons to install a fire hood. They soundproof the back of a ceiling speaker, which is especially important if the room above is a bedroom or office. This soundproofing also improves the audio performance more generally, as the sound cannot bleed and escape into the ceiling cavity. A fire hood also insulates against drafts created during installation and protects the speaker from dust, debris and rodents.

Here are two popular fire hood options:

Firetopper Pro Fire and Acoustic Ceiling Hood

The best ceiling speakers 2022 (19)

The best ceiling speakers 2022 (20)

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Fire and acoustic installation. Quick to install with no fittings, low smoke and zero halogens. Fits speakers between 6-inches and 8-inches.

Lithe Audio Ceiling Speaker Fire Hood

The best ceiling speakers 2022 (21)

The best ceiling speakers 2022 (22)

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Hood fits surfaces via internal locking grips. Provides one hour of fire protection, includes a dedicated cable outlet. Fits speakers between 6-inches and 8-inches.

Can I mount a ceiling speaker in a wall instead?

In most cases, yes. As long as there’s a wall cavity deep enough to hold the speaker and related cables, then a ceiling speaker can be mounted in a wall.

Do I need speaker cable?

Most ceiling speakers come with a length of speaker cable, allowing for a quick and easy installation. However, if you’re installing the speakers far apart, or using multiple speakers, you will likely need to purchase an extra speaker cable.

The standard cable needed for ceiling speakers is a 16-gauge two-core cable. We recommend the GearIT 16AWG Speaker Wire, which sits at around £20 for 100ft of wire. Amazon Basics offers 100ft of similar cabling for under £10, but note it’s single-core - as a typical speaker requires two cables, this works out at only 50ft of useable length.

William Lobley is a Deputy Commercial Content Editor and reviewer for What's The Best, specialising in gaming, technology and the outdoors. He also writes for Empire Online.

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FAQs

The best ceiling speakers 2022? ›

Top 10 Best In-Ceiling Speakers For The Money 2022 Reviews
  • 1 Polk Audio RC80i.
  • 2 Pyle PWRC65-BT.
  • 3 Micca M-8C.
  • 4 Yamaha NS-IW280CWH.
  • 5 Polk Audio RC60i.
  • 6 Bose Virtually Invisible 791-II.
  • 7 AmazonBasics 6.5″ Ceiling Speakers.
  • 8 Niles CM7SI FG01659.
Aug 21, 2022

Is it worth getting ceiling speakers? ›

The majority of low-cost ceiling speakers provide excellent sound quality and value for money. So, if you're trying to stick to a strict budget while adding to your home audio, there's no need to worry about it taking up the entire budget.

Are Polk ceiling speakers good? ›

Polk Audio Ceiling/Wall Speakers Sound Great

I installed these Polk Audio Ceiling Speakers in our Family Room Ceiling to support Surround Sound from my Sony Home Theater System. They sound great and were easy to install. I would definitely recommend them.

Are Sonos ceiling speakers worth it? ›

We particularly love the Sonos In-Ceiling Speakers for a nuanced surround sound performance if paired with a Soundbar and Sub, but also love to see the Sonos In-Ceilings as a great all-rounder, particularly when pairs are combined to fill an open plan living space such as a Kitchen-Diner.

How many in ceiling speakers do I need? ›

As a rule of thumb, they should be no closer than two meters to each other. For rooms larger than 3m2, use one pair of ceiling speakers, and for rooms bigger than 5m2 two pairs of ceiling speakers will offer a more balanced sound.

How do I get more bass from my ceiling speakers? ›

How to Get MORE BASS From Your Wall or Ceiling Speakers - YouTube

Videos

1. Top 5 Best Ceiling Speakers in 2022
(mix reviews)
2. INSTALLING DOLBY ATMOS SPEAKERS! Atmos In Ceiling Speakers
(Andrew Robinson)
3. Klipsch Ceiling Speaker Install and Review | CDT-5800-C II
(House Stuff)
4. OSD Audio In-Ceiling Speaker Shootout - R62EZ vs ACE650 vs ACE670
(Joe N Tell)
5. Top 5 Benefits of In-Ceiling Speakers
(Smart Home Sounds)
6. Best Ceiling Speakers for Atmos 2022
(Gadget N Gallery)

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