In-ceilings are almost always a bad idea, but with the coming of Dolby Home Atmos
, those in-ceiling jacks might come in handy. Atmos adds height speakers to the soundfield, and uses ceiling speakers for this effect. I would skip tower speakers, by the way, and go with bookshelf speakers and dual subwoofers. Tower speakers don't have that much advantage when you cut out their bass extension, which is exactly what you will be doing by adding a subwoofer to your setup. Dual subs are pretty much a necessity for getting more accurate bass anyway.
If I were you, I would look at system from Hsu
For Hsu, I would get a 7.1 Hybrid 2
or Hybrid 3
package, and add in an additional sub from the same package. If you want to take advantage of the in-ceiling wiring, add on some Hsu HIW in-walls for an Atmos setup. You could substitute HIWs for the side surrounds as well. You can also upgrade the fronts to HC-1
s to be used vertically to beef up the front stage. Anyway, all that will give you a 11.2 system (or, in Atmos speak, 7.1.4 system) for between $3 to 3.5K shipped.
For Ascend/Rythmik, I would go for a CMT-340
front stage, with CBM-170
surrounds. I would get a pair of Rythmik LV12r
subwoofers with that package, which can be purchased at Ascend's site for a discount. You would have to figure out something if you wanted some height speakers for an Atmos system. I would go with some Klipsch, Hsu, or Boston Acoustics in-walls for height speakers. With your ceilings, you may also want to look at JBL 8320
s to see if they would work.
You would need an AVR with Atmos aboard if you wanted to go that route. They don't really start coming out until September. One that can handle a 7.1.4 system will be a bit pricey, probably around $2k. But if you wanted to go that route, you can be the first kid on your block to have a full blown Atmos system, that would be pretty cool.