In Ceiling Speaker Recomendations - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 30 Old 05-16-2013, 11:10 AM - Thread Starter
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Working to add in ceiling speakers to my new build home. I have the "holes" in place, starting with a single zone in an open concept living room/dining/kitchen. 6 speakers total.

Have the opton to add a sub, though not sure I want to as this will primarily be used for music, though maybe for surround in the living room only.

Ive looked at HTD, Polk, Bose, Klipsche, Revel... hard to audition speakers, not many places have them.

Looking to stay around 200 per speaker, unless someone can make a great argument to spend more.

Would love so ideas, based on your experience with in ceiling set ups.

Thanks!
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post #2 of 30 Old 05-16-2013, 11:26 AM
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I have listened to dozens of in-ceiling speakers. What I've found is that anything that doesn't have a back-box built into it tends to sound extremely similar. The home construction takes part in the sound of the speakers more than the speaker itself seems to matter, and that larger 3-way designs are a much better way to go if your budget allows it... Such a speaker as the Sonance 832D. Do NOT put a speaker above a hard surface (hardwood/tile) unless you can tilt the tweeter to reduce reflections. Do not plan on playing them too loud.

http://www.sonance.com/products/speakers/detail/326
http://www.sonance.com/products/speakers/detail/323

After 3 homes I've lived in, and after all the listening, I use the Monoprice 8" 2-way in-ceiling speakers. The difference between these and every other 8" 2-way speaker out there is negligible.

http://www.monoprice.com/products/product.asp?c_id=108&cp_id=10837&cs_id=1083703&p_id=4104&seq=1&format=2

Their angled version helps with reflections a great deal and definitely directs audio towards listeners if you have a spot you are getting audio to...
http://www.monoprice.com/products/product.asp?c_id=109&cp_id=10837&cs_id=1083703&p_id=4929&seq=1&format=2

I've had people spend more and not be one bit happier with their upgraded spending.

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post #3 of 30 Old 05-16-2013, 11:30 AM
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I wouldn't install dual voice coil '3 way' speakers into a large space - unless extremely large. They're for half baths and hallways (and large areas like commercial spaces and outdoors).

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post #4 of 30 Old 05-16-2013, 11:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Neurorad View Post

I wouldn't install dual voice coil '3 way' speakers into a large space - unless extremely large. They're for half baths and hallways (and large areas like commercial spaces and outdoors).
That's good advice. Single speaker stereo speakers have a specific place and purpose, which I rarely find.

So, hopefully the original poster doesn't confuse the 3-way speakers that I linked above with single speaker stereo speakers which are very different than 3-way speakers.

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post #5 of 30 Old 05-16-2013, 12:05 PM - Thread Starter
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Appreciate the advice, half of the space is carpeted, half is hardwood, so speakers that tilt might be a good idea.

Have heard about Sonance as well as Monoprice... what are your thoughts on Revel or HTD?

No boxes for these speakers, standard construction so it appears that the speakers will be place approcimatly in the middle of standard 18" construction, no insultion in the ceiling either.

This point on 2 way or 3 way speakers, without a sub, wouldnt I want a 3 way speaker?
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post #6 of 30 Old 05-16-2013, 12:11 PM - Thread Starter
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Also, ive tried to find the Sonance 326 speakers online, must be only through select dealers?

Again, thank you!
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post #7 of 30 Old 05-16-2013, 01:11 PM
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Sonance product 323 is actually model # 832R. The 'round' 832 speakers. Their 831 and 832 speakers are a nice 3-way in-ceiling speaker with pivoting woofers. I imagine Speakercraft and Niles may have something similar, but I'm more familiar with the Sonance products.

Google Sonance 832R and you will have more results. About $520 for the 832R and $375 for the 831R speakers...

http://www.newaudiounited.com/index.php?route=product/product&product_id=200

http://www.newaudiounited.com/index.php?route=product/product&filter_name=831r&product_id=201

If you aren't going to this level of speaker, then I would think that the Monoprice speakers I linked above would be comparable to about anything else you may find in a 8" 2-way design. Pivoting tweeter, 8" woofer, good bass extension without a sub.

I like the 8" speakers because they have more low end range than 6" or 6.5" speakers typically deliver. You get more out of them in the long run.

I have been very happy with Monoprice 3-way in-wall speakers, but they don't have a matching ceiling speaker version.

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post #8 of 30 Old 05-16-2013, 06:03 PM
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I think Proficient are generally a slight improvement over the Monoprice. I have both. Proficient are available from ASIHome/Worthington.

For my last in-ceiling purchase, I installed Monitor Audio, bought from a local dealer. Very high quality, good sound, though I probably overspent, as I don't use the room often. I had rectangular holes to fill, existing speakers had rusted grills. I really wanted the narrow bezel grills for that space.

+1, 8" in-ceilings, when you have the space to fill.

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post #9 of 30 Old 05-17-2013, 11:53 AM
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AV_Integrated..


is Mono price speaker that good? I was inclined towards HTD speakers... I am surprised for that price. they have $88 for a pair even for angled one.
Will it be good for in wall speakers for Fronts ( Left, Center and Right). Or which set of front speakers go well with Mono price speaker placed as surround??
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post #10 of 30 Old 05-17-2013, 05:58 PM
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I have not mixed and matched the Sonance and Monoprice speakers to A-B them, but I ran 12 pairs of Sonance 632 speakers in my last home. They certainly sounded good, but I ended up putting Monoprice in my basement setup and a couple of other rooms and I thought that the 8" in-ceiling speakers sounded more full and rich compared to the Sonance speakers. I never played them at high volume, but would enjoy them while working around the house. I find their 8" 3-way in-wall speakers to be the best they have, and to sound better than any 6.5" two-way speaker I've heard.

http://www.monoprice.com/products/product.asp?c_id=108&cp_id=10837&cs_id=1083703&p_id=6816&seq=1&format=2

I have used those for my clients, with statements along the lines of "Shouldn't I pay more?", and then had them smiling after an install and satisfied.

I mean, there are really good in-wall and in-ceiling speakers out there, but not at $300. You go to a Martin Logan Edge series speaker, and you are talking about a serious improvement in overall quality (better build a good wall!)...

http://www.martinlogan.com/architectural/stealth/index.php#edge

I just installed a set of those behind an acoustically transparent screen and was happily blown away with the quality delivered. But, a boxless 6.5" or 8" ceiling speaker? You just aren't going to get much more than a typical speaker with rubber surround and call it a day whether it is B&W at $500 a pair, Polk at $120 a pair, or Monoprice at $80 a pair. Sonance delivers one of the best mid-priced models with their 831/832 series of in-ceiling speakers, but because I tend not to crank in-ceiling speakers, the premium has never been worth it to me.

If you are curious, you can certainly buy one pair, install them, then see if they meet your needs. Perhaps buy one pair on Sonance speakers to see if they offer as much of an improvement to justify buying more of them for your home.

I do agree that this is a problem, and you may get some better responses just asking in the 'speaker' area in case someone has performed a true shootout of some different models (including monoprice). I expect that I will pick up a pair of Monoprice and some Sonance speakers at some point and put them side-by-side on the same amp in my basement when I finish it to act as a 'showroom' setup for people to come by and compare. Depends on how much extra funds I have to do that in a few years.
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post #11 of 30 Old 05-17-2013, 06:18 PM
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I did a fair amount of A/B testing of basic ceiling speakers and could very much hear differences between them.

See my notes in this thread - http://www.avsforum.com/t/1466398/micca-reference-series-speakers-price-drop-on-amazon#post_23185673
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post #12 of 30 Old 05-17-2013, 06:49 PM
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scttq - Thanks for that post. As I said, I've mostly heard 6.5" speakers against the 8" MP 4104s and I found that the MP speakers generally sounded as good or more often better. But, I certainly have not tried them all, and would love the chance to try a bunch of reasonably priced 8" in-ceiling speakers. How were the Polks in comparison and did you try any more mid-level models for comparison? Would love your input and will take it into account next time I'm buying some speakers. I was really impressed with what the Sonance speakers delivered with their pivoting drivers over hard surfaces, and frankly I thought the Monoprice 4929 speakers with the angled woofer tended to sound a bit more full than their regular 8" models. A bit tighter construction maybe?

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post #13 of 30 Old 05-20-2013, 11:05 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AV_Integrated View Post

I have listened to dozens of in-ceiling speakers. What I've found is that anything that doesn't have a back-box built into it tends to sound extremely similar. The home construction takes part in the sound of the speakers more than the speaker itself seems to matter,

I probably need to search in the Speaker forum, but I've been wondering about boxing in my ceiling speakers as my home is still in the rough framing stage. Are there specific box volumes needed or will most any size sealed box get 99% of the improvement. I will likely do Sonance 800 series but last time I google for box sizes, I came up empty.

Thanks!
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post #14 of 30 Old 05-20-2013, 02:39 PM
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I would likely contact the manufacturer if there was a specific model I was looking for. Since the opening size will not be standard across manufacturers, I would pick a product, then build the right box that is needed for that. I think some manufacturers have back boxes available specifically for their products which you can buy as well.

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post #15 of 30 Old 05-20-2013, 03:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ranger519v View Post

I probably need to search in the Speaker forum, but I've been wondering about boxing in my ceiling speakers as my home is still in the rough framing stage. Are there specific box volumes needed or will most any size sealed box get 99% of the improvement. I will likely do Sonance 800 series but last time I google for box sizes, I came up empty.

Thanks!

http://www.sonance.com/products/accessories#53

B.
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post #16 of 30 Old 05-20-2013, 05:57 PM
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Originally Posted by AV_Integrated View Post

scttq - Thanks for that post. As I said, I've mostly heard 6.5" speakers against the 8" MP 4104s and I found that the MP speakers generally sounded as good or more often better. But, I certainly have not tried them all, and would love the chance to try a bunch of reasonably priced 8" in-ceiling speakers. How were the Polks in comparison and did you try any more mid-level models for comparison? Would love your input and will take it into account next time I'm buying some speakers. I was really impressed with what the Sonance speakers delivered with their pivoting drivers over hard surfaces, and frankly I thought the Monoprice 4929 speakers with the angled woofer tended to sound a bit more full than their regular 8" models. A bit tighter construction maybe?

Sorry for the late reply.

For background music I found all the speakers to be reasonable and most people would likely be happy with any of them. I didn't get the chance to try any of the Sonance line but they seem very nice. For my primary listening area I used Polk TC80i speakers, which are solid mid priced speakers.

For my ears the monoprice speakers sounded off, like the crossover wasn't well matched to the drivers or the drivers didn't pair well. The cheaper Polk RC80i sounded a bit muddy to me. As I mentioned, I think they all sounded fIne with light background music but once you apply some volume you could easily tell them apart. A couple months post install and I'm still very happy with the Micca's. I didn't like them when I first powered them up to test in the box but they either very quickly "broke in" or my ears changed their mind.
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post #17 of 30 Old 05-21-2013, 08:53 AM
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http://www.sonance.com/products/accessories#53

B.

Thanks Brian! Exactly what I needed.
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post #18 of 30 Old 05-21-2013, 01:00 PM
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Originally Posted by scttq View Post

I did a fair amount of A/B testing of basic ceiling speakers and could very much hear differences between them.

See my notes in this thread - http://www.avsforum.com/t/1466398/micca-reference-series-speakers-price-drop-on-amazon#post_23185673

Perfect timing! thanks for this, I was in the middle of researching for my remodel. kitchen, bedrooms, I needed 10 pairs of speakers.

The Micca reference will probably be the way to go. Question is do I do the 6.5" or 8"? I'm thinking for WAF factor the 6.5" except for the outside patio and do 8"?

We did want to put speakers in the master bath, one inside the steam room, and one outside. I was thinking dual voice coil speakers. Any suggestion on what might be good there there's weatherproof and isn't crazy expensive?

thanks
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post #19 of 30 Old 05-22-2013, 01:55 PM
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Originally Posted by gadgetfreaky View Post

Perfect timing! thanks for this, I was in the middle of researching for my remodel. kitchen, bedrooms, I needed 10 pairs of speakers.

The Micca reference will probably be the way to go. Question is do I do the 6.5" or 8"? I'm thinking for WAF factor the 6.5" except for the outside patio and do 8"?

We did want to put speakers in the master bath, one inside the steam room, and one outside. I was thinking dual voice coil speakers. Any suggestion on what might be good there there's weatherproof and isn't crazy expensive?

thanks

Some thoughts from my install... the 8" worked well in the kitchen and dining room. I used them in the master bedroom in the angled part of the tray ceiling but would use the 6.5" if I did it again. They sound great but look a little large. If you are mounting them in a standard horizontal position the 8" would probably look fine.

In the (small) master bath I used a 6.5" dual voice coil speaker from OSD that appears to be identical to the Micca Reference speakers - http://www.amazon.com/OSD-Audio-MK690TT-In-Ceiling-Dual-Voice/dp/B007U2GX48 or http://www.outdoorspeakerdepot.com/trimless-speaker-acemk690tt.html

Note that the OSD speaker doesn't indicate being all weather but it seems well suited

Hope this helps.
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post #20 of 30 Old 05-27-2013, 07:52 PM
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thanks!

quick question, do these speakers come with ceiling brackets in the box? Or do I have to buy those separate?
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post #21 of 30 Old 05-28-2013, 12:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gadgetfreaky View Post

thanks!

quick question, do these speakers come with ceiling brackets in the box? Or do I have to buy those separate?

You cut the hole in the drywall and the speakers use doglegs to clamp on to the drywall. You need to avoid joists.
Some manufacturers have pre-wire brackets for installation before drywall goes up and these greatly reduce the install time and difficulty.
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post #22 of 30 Old 05-28-2013, 06:13 AM
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Crutchfield has some good speaker installation info.

http://www.crutchfield.com/S-C2YARMp3ipq/learn/learningcenter/home/inwall_retrofit.html

http://www.crutchfield.com/S-id5TDpao56s/learn/learningcenter/home/inwall_video.html

http://www.crutchfield.com/S-h6WTcwYjhYB/learn/learningcenter/home/speakers/inwall_placement.html

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post #23 of 30 Old 05-28-2013, 11:03 AM
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I've done a few installs for friends and I must say that the OSD ACE 800 speakers are hard to beat. My personnal favorite and what can we say about the price....
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post #24 of 30 Old 06-03-2013, 07:58 AM
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I just got done wiring and installing from scratch my zone 2 in my old construction house. The wiring was challenging as each run is about 90 or more feet and had to run up 4 stories. I used a ton of wire and I futureproofed with CAT5E as well. I took the advice of AV_Integrated and went for the 8" in ceiling Monoprices with the aimable tweeter. I was already looking at Monoprices but at the 6.5" version and am glad I went 8". I am actually suprised at how much bass they produce for in ceiling's. I am satisfied but can't quite figure out what the High Frequency -3db, -6db attenuation switch is supposed to do. I can't hear any difference when I switch it around. What is it's purpose? I actually don't think that the 8" speakers are too large at all either. The sound from the bathroom is vastly different than the sound from the carpeted bedroom. The sound in the tiled bathroom is more lively while the bedroom is more subdued which is exactly how I would want it if I could've planned it. I've got Zone 3 in wall Monoprice 3way speakers on the way for the dining room and I'm still not sure how I'm going to handle the kitchen. Access to the ceiling is going to be a bear.
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post #25 of 30 Old 06-10-2013, 07:59 AM
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I just got done wiring and installing from scratch my zone 2 in my old construction house. The wiring was challenging as each run is about 90 or more feet and had to run up 4 stories. I used a ton of wire and I futureproofed with CAT5E as well. I took the advice of AV_Integrated and went for the 8" in ceiling Monoprices with the aimable tweeter. I was already looking at Monoprices but at the 6.5" version and am glad I went 8". I am actually suprised at how much bass they produce for in ceiling's. I am satisfied but can't quite figure out what the High Frequency -3db, -6db attenuation switch is supposed to do. I can't hear any difference when I switch it around. What is it's purpose? I actually don't think that the 8" speakers are too large at all either. The sound from the bathroom is vastly different than the sound from the carpeted bedroom. The sound in the tiled bathroom is more lively while the bedroom is more subdued which is exactly how I would want it if I could've planned it. I've got Zone 3 in wall Monoprice 3way speakers on the way for the dining room and I'm still not sure how I'm going to handle the kitchen. Access to the ceiling is going to be a bear.


I installed the 3 way, 8" monoprice square in wall's this past weekend I mentioned above and they sound a bit better than the 8" 2way Monoprices in other rooms. At least the mids and highs do. They have no more bass and possibly less actually but one is in a wall with a large cavity where three rooms converge and needs a backer of some sort while the others are on exterior walls with full insulation backing. You can actually hear a difference when you move the attenuation switch around as well. I just kept them on 0DB. As I am continuing the installation, I'm now debating whether to put these in the ceiling of the kitchen which is the next room on the list.
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post #26 of 30 Old 06-10-2013, 11:29 AM
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I installed the 3 way, 8" monoprice square in wall's this past weekend I mentioned above and they sound a bit better than the 8" 2way Monoprices in other rooms. At least the mids and highs do. They have no more bass and possibly less actually but one is in a wall with a large cavity where three rooms converge and needs a backer of some sort while the others are on exterior walls with full insulation backing. You can actually hear a difference when you move the attenuation switch around as well. I just kept them on 0DB. As I am continuing the installation, I'm now debating whether to put these in the ceiling of the kitchen which is the next room on the list.

do you have the 15 degree angled ceiling speakers? or the straight downfiring ones? you use this for home theatre ?
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post #27 of 30 Old 06-11-2013, 08:00 AM
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do you have the 15 degree angled ceiling speakers? or the straight downfiring ones? you use this for home theatre ?

All the upstairs rooms with the 8", 2ways have vaulted ceilings and so they are already angled the correct amount because of the vaults, the tweeters however can be tilted if I wanted. As for the in walls, I mounted them at ear level in the dining room and so again no need for angled woofers and in the top end Monoprice 3ways in walls (the ones I have in the DR), the tweeters can't be angled. The cheaper 2way, in walls can be however. Everything but the 5.1 system in the family room is for background music and not Home theatre but the 5.1 system is the Energy Take Classic 5.1 set up so of course is angled as appropriate. At some point I'm going to figure out how to make or buy baffles since some of the speakers have large open spaces behind them.
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post #28 of 30 Old 07-11-2014, 08:53 PM
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Originally Posted by AV_Integrated View Post
I have not mixed and matched the Sonance and Monoprice speakers to A-B them, but I ran 12 pairs of Sonance 632 speakers in my last home. They certainly sounded good, but I ended up putting Monoprice in my basement setup and a couple of other rooms and I thought that the 8" in-ceiling speakers sounded more full and rich compared to the Sonance speakers. I never played them at high volume, but would enjoy them while working around the house. I find their 8" 3-way in-wall speakers to be the best they have, and to sound better than any 6.5" two-way speaker I've heard.<br><br>
<a href="http://www.monoprice.com/products/product.asp?c_id=108&amp;cp_id=10837&amp;cs_id=108 3703&amp;p_id=6816&amp;seq=1&amp;format=2" target="_blank">http://www.monoprice.com/products/product.asp?c_id=108&amp;cp_id=10837&amp;cs_id=108 3703&amp;p_id=6816&amp;seq=1&amp;format=2</a><br><br>
I have used those for my clients, with statements along the lines of "Shouldn't I pay more?", and then had them smiling after an install and satisfied.<br><br>
I mean, there are really good in-wall and in-ceiling speakers out there, but not at $300. You go to a Martin Logan Edge series speaker, and you are talking about a serious improvement in overall quality (better build a good wall!)...<br><br>
<a href="http://www.martinlogan.com/architectural/stealth/index.php#edge" target="_blank">http://www.martinlogan.com/architectural/stealth/index.php#edge</a><br><br>
I just installed a set of those behind an acoustically transparent screen and was happily blown away with the quality delivered. But, a boxless 6.5" or 8" ceiling speaker? You just aren't going to get much more than a typical speaker with rubber surround and call it a day whether it is B&amp;W at $500 a pair, Polk at $120 a pair, or Monoprice at $80 a pair. Sonance delivers one of the best mid-priced models with their 831/832 series of in-ceiling speakers, but because I tend not to crank in-ceiling speakers, the premium has never been worth it to me.<br><br>
If you are curious, you can certainly buy one pair, install them, then see if they meet your needs. Perhaps buy one pair on Sonance speakers to see if they offer as much of an improvement to justify buying more of them for your home.<br><br>
I do agree that this is a problem, and you may get some better responses just asking in the 'speaker' area in case someone has performed a true shootout of some different models (including monoprice). I expect that I will pick up a pair of Monoprice and some Sonance speakers at some point and put them side-by-side on the same amp in my basement when I finish it to act as a 'showroom' setup for people to come by and compare. Depends on how much extra funds I have to do that in a few years.
Thank you for your insight on ceiling mounted speakers. I have a few questions: would you recommend wall mounted over ceiling mounted if the floor is tile or wood? I'm not sure if there we're able to utilize wall speakers, but the renovation hasn't started, so we could always try and alter the design to accommodate them.

Also, I notice that you suggested that there is a negligible difference between monoprice speakers and polk or B&W, etc. Since your original post, have you had a chance to test any other speakers in that price range? I'm looking to spend from $100-$150 (or higher MSRP) per speaker.

I'm also debating on whether or not I should just re-purpose by old B&W HCM1 and Solid monitors instead of getting in-ceiling speakers, add on a subwoofer and call it a day. They have a dated 90's look, so they won't be as visually appealing as in-ceiling speakers, but not sure if sound quality will be any worse.

Looking forward to your thoughts.
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post #29 of 30 Old 07-12-2014, 07:45 PM
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If doing a theater, using external speakers is always my first recommendation. But, ceiling speakers are NEVER my recommendation. Ceiling speakers are not going to deliver the same quality sound for a good home theater (or family room surround sound) setup that floor standing or bookshelf speakers will. While I'm not a fan of in-walls for these setups either, I feel strongly that in-walls are a far more acceptable choice at $100-$200 per speaker for these setups. You can get a pretty nice speaker for that money. The 8" Sonance 3-way speakers are a very solid choice and should be around this price range. But, I would not go in-ceiling if you want accurate sound in a more critical listening area, including TV/surround zones which are used frequently.

I haven't listened to a bunch more, and would love the opportunity to do so, but I don't see that chance coming up anytime soon for me. I would dig into the speaker section of the forums and get as many thoughts from there that you can.

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post #30 of 30 Old 07-14-2014, 01:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AV_Integrated View Post
If doing a theater, using external speakers is always my first recommendation. But, ceiling speakers are NEVER my recommendation. Ceiling speakers are not going to deliver the same quality sound for a good home theater (or family room surround sound) setup that floor standing or bookshelf speakers will. While I'm not a fan of in-walls for these setups either, I feel strongly that in-walls are a far more acceptable choice at $100-$200 per speaker for these setups. You can get a pretty nice speaker for that money. The 8" Sonance 3-way speakers are a very solid choice and should be around this price range. But, I would not go in-ceiling if you want accurate sound in a more critical listening area, including TV/surround zones which are used frequently.

I haven't listened to a bunch more, and would love the opportunity to do so, but I don't see that chance coming up anytime soon for me. I would dig into the speaker section of the forums and get as many thoughts from there that you can.
Thank you very much. This is very helpful and helps quite a bit with the decision making.
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