In-ceiling speakers with back boxes or other options - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 13 Old 10-23-2013, 08:49 AM - Thread Starter
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Hi,
I am in the process of a kitchen remodel and will be installing some speakers for a whole house music system.
I want to go with an 8" in-ceiling speakers for the best bass response. Are there any brands that have an integrated back box?
What is the best way to place in-ceiling speakers for an even response over the kitchen?
The kitchen is roughly 15x25, with 9 ft ceilings.

Thank you
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post #2 of 13 Old 10-24-2013, 03:55 AM
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Add a subwoofer to the kitchen for best bass response. If there is an attic above, it can be placed there, maybe in a corner.

Most of the in-ceiling coax speakers with integrated back-boxes are for fire rating; generally steer clear of those (e.g. JBL Pro, other commercial lines;think grocery store).

Many resi coax in-ceilings, though, do have back boxes that can be ordered from the manufacturer.

I think Monitor Audio offers some 8" coax speakers with integrated back boxes, but I'm guessing they would be $600/pair. Find a local MA dealer to get a quote.

Building back boxes out of OSB, plywood, drywall, or MDF is cheap and easy. The speaker manufacturer will give you the ideal back box volume for each model.

I've not tried Dynabox, but I'm personally not sold on the concept.

I've built back boxes for 2 pairs, it's easy. Glued and screwed, dropped them over the speakers from the attics above. I secured them to the floor with lengths of pipe strapping stretched over the boxes, fastened to adjacent joists. Building them in place shouldn't be too hard, from below.

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post #3 of 13 Old 10-24-2013, 04:08 AM
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I'm getting 404 errors at the Monitor Audio USA site, for in-ceilings with integrated back boxes. Still viewable at the MA UK site, call the local dealer.

One of their offerings:

http://www.monitoraudio.co.uk/products/ci-series/cp-series/cp-ct380/

The cabinet installer or trim guy could build the back boxes.

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post #4 of 13 Old 10-24-2013, 06:05 PM
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I really like the appearance of a narrow bezel in-ceiling speaker, aka trimless.

I am also doing a kitchen remodel.

I will pick up a pair of Revel 8" speakers tomorrow, C783. Last minute decision, available locally, right price point for me, on sale.


I'm undecided on building backboxes.

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post #5 of 13 Old 10-25-2013, 07:46 PM
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I bought a pair of the Revel C783s, from a local AV shop.

Will install next week, unsure on a backbox, but I will place an email to Revel to determine the ideal backbox volume for the C783, just in case. I have access from above. smile.gif

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post #6 of 13 Old 10-28-2013, 05:53 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for the info. I do not have access above, but do have access from below and might be able to tuck a sub somewhere. I think I will go with trimless speakers as well (they really should blend in nicely with the ceiling). If I go with a sub maybe I can go with a smaller ceiling speaker to keep the size down, though the 8" is probably still the best bet.
Those Revel speakers look nice, let me know how they perform.
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post #7 of 13 Old 10-28-2013, 10:29 AM
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I spent a couple hours yesterday, building backboxes, from above.

For installing backboxes from below, find and mark the joists (electric studfinder). Then decide which stud bays you want to use, that best line up with the downlights/can lights (the hardest part, IMO). Then, cut big holes in the drywall ceiling. Install 2 x 10 pieces (or other wood to match the height of the joists), perpendicular to the joists. I used angled wood screws to attach them to the existing joists. I caulked my joints, generic caulk from Home Depot. I just built the boxes square, 14 x 14 x 10".

Let the drywall guy repair the holes. Then, using your studfinder, find the edges of the backboxes. Install the speakers, or have the kitchen installer do it, if trust his judgement.

Electrician is coming later this week to move some of my can lights. I'll do the final speaker cutouts after he moves the lights. My new speakers are larger than the old 6" ones, so I have some play. Drywaller is coming after I decide on the final speaker positions.

You could do some research on in-ceiling subwoofers. I haven't used any for distributed audio, but I've read it's certainly the best way to get good bass for whole-house audio.



When searching for trimless speakers, also use the search terms 'narrow bezel' and 'disappearing'.

Many speaker manufacturers use it as a feature of their higher priced models, but even Monoprice has trimless grills now.

Edit - I don't mean to imply that you don't know how to build backboxes. I just thought this might be a good place to post this info, for posterity. wink.gif

If I had to build backboxes again, for these speakers, they would have been rectangular, and larger. They are currently about 1.1 cubic feet.

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post #8 of 13 Old 10-28-2013, 12:04 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for the info. I have 2x12's above, so I should have enough room to build the box and leave a little airspace in back of it to help reduce the sound transmission upstairs (if I have time to build them before the ceiling is covered back up smile.gif ).
I may be leaning to go with 6' speakers if I have a sub (those will match the recessed lighting better). I still have to pick out the speakers.
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post #9 of 13 Old 10-28-2013, 01:01 PM
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Harman/Core support confirmed that these Revel 783 speakers are not designed for back boxes, but should have 2 cubic feet, if back boxes are required.

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post #10 of 13 Old 10-29-2013, 04:38 AM
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The backboxes would increase sound transmission to the floor above. To reduce transmission, fill the cavity with insulation, above the speaker, and/or make the box smaller than the joist cavity.

You could line a box with material that would reduce sound transmission, e.g. QuietRock (or other brand of damped drywall), but I would definitely make the box smaller than the joist cavity. You don't want the subfloor above to be a part of the box; air gap helps.

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post #11 of 13 Old 10-29-2013, 04:59 AM
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In your kitchen remodel situation, I think having your trim guy or kitchen installer build boxes to your specs, and screwing them to a joist, would be a good option.

Ideally the boxes would not be in contact with the joists, to help reduce sound transmission to the floor above, but keeping it simple may get it done.

Lining up the speakers with the downlights is a challenge. The backboxes will make it harder. Your downlights, if 'old work' (installed before the drywall ceiling was installed), are abutting joists. You're now moving the speaker away from the joist with the additional back box material.

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post #12 of 13 Old 10-29-2013, 05:43 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks. That is a good idea, I should probably just try to keep it simple. I need to move fast to figure out what speakers (or at least size) I am going to use. The recessed lighting is going to be new, so I can probably make them close enough.
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post #13 of 13 Old 10-29-2013, 10:08 AM
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The positions of the lights will be chosen by someone, at some point. Be there, so the speaker positions can be taken into account.

To make it super simple, use trim rings, for the speakers.

Pick a speaker, buy the trim rings, and hand them to the electrician. Then, after the electrician is done, fasten the wood backboxes to the trim rings, so the boxes don't touch the joists or subfloor above. The drywall guy will do the cutouts for the speakers, and they will be aligned perfectly with the downlights. This is the reason for trim rings.

Don't forget fiberglass R19 insulation, throughout the kitchen ceiling, if there is a bedroom above the kitchen. Maybe you can fit some in between the backbox and the subfloor above, too.

Believe nothing, no matter where you read it, or who said it, no matter if I have said it, unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense. -Buddha

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