In-ceiling speakers for the rear surround - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 18 Old 09-03-2014, 06:47 PM - Thread Starter
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In-ceiling speakers for the rear surround

Building a new HT setup and I'm considering doing in ceiling speakers for the rear surround. So far I've looked at the HTD speakers:
http://www.htd.com/Products/high-definition

Aperion has the Intimus L6-IC for $298/pair but that may be too much of a speaker for the rear.

I'm not really sure what size I would need to get and what other value brands to consider. Recommendations are very welcome. Oh and I really like them round, not rectangular for the ceiling.

The rest of the setup goes something like this (at least on paper thus far):
Denon AVR-S900W
EMP Tek E55Ti Towers
EMP Tek E56Ci Center Channel Speaker
HSU STF-2 sub

Thanks.
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post #2 of 18 Old 09-03-2014, 08:50 PM
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I've had two home theaters with in-ceiling surround speakers. They work pretty well - pointed at the floor they give a good, diffuse sound field. Remember that the surround speakers in a 5.1 setup are supposed to go directly to the sides of the main listening position (90 degrees) or just slightly behind (up to 110 degrees).

The issue isn't the quality of the speakers, it is the fact that most in-wall speakers are open on the back and the same amount of sound going into the room is also going into the ceiling which means sound in adjacent rooms and vibration of walls and ceiling which gives you muddy sound.

Limiting the bass (via crossover setting in your AVR) or using smaller 6.5" or 5.25" speakers will help, but the real fix is build "back boxes" behind the speakers. If you are handy and have access, you can box in a 3 foot area between ceiling joists, screw and caulk, cover the top with 5/8" MDF and the speakers will sound MUCH better. If not handy, you can buy "flat pack" boxes which are Pre-cut and easy to assemble if you have access to the back of the speakers in the attic.

Surround speakers don't have to be timbre matched to the front three. I like Polk in-wall speakers so I would suggest the 6.5" or 8" version of these - the tweeters can be aimed toward the MLP:

Polk Audio RC60i 2-Way In-Ceiling Speakers (Pair, White) - $154 free ship


2-Ch (HT L/R): Oppo BDP-105 BD, Adcom GFP-750 pre, Bryston 10B Sub Xover, Bryston 4BSST2 / Paradigm Signature S4 v.2 (L/R), (2) SVS SB12-NSD (Subs)
Home Theater: Bryston 4BSST2 amp / Paradigm CC-590 (C), Outlaw 7700 amp / (4) Def Tech UIW-RSSII (LS/RS/LB/RB), Samsung 46” 3D LCD
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post #3 of 18 Old 09-03-2014, 09:08 PM - Thread Starter
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Thank you. Mounting them on the side is not an option as one side of the listening area is wide open. The only choice I really have is in the ceiling, about 1-2 ft. behind the couch.
The Polks you mentioned look like a good deal, not that the HTDs are a lot more expensive.
I wonder why they don't ship with some boxes to install in. Do they expect the installer to build the boxes?
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post #4 of 18 Old 09-03-2014, 10:31 PM
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Originally Posted by SirDracula View Post
I wonder why they don't ship with some boxes to install in. Do they expect the installer to build the boxes?
In my experience, most in-wall and in-ceiling speakers are used in whole house audio systems (like mine) where a low "background music" volume prevents problems or in home theaters by people that don't care about (or know about) sound quality - where hidden is the only thing that matters.

Some manufacturers (like Definitive Tech, Triad, Totem, etc) make in-wall speakers with built-in speaker enclosures, they sound great but they are expensive. Hopefully more manufacturers will start making these to bring the prices down.

These are the Def Techs that I'm using for my surround and back surround - nice, but over $500 each street price:

Definitive Technology UIW RSS II Reference In-ceiling/In-wall Bipolar Loudspeakers

2-Ch (HT L/R): Oppo BDP-105 BD, Adcom GFP-750 pre, Bryston 10B Sub Xover, Bryston 4BSST2 / Paradigm Signature S4 v.2 (L/R), (2) SVS SB12-NSD (Subs)
Home Theater: Bryston 4BSST2 amp / Paradigm CC-590 (C), Outlaw 7700 amp / (4) Def Tech UIW-RSSII (LS/RS/LB/RB), Samsung 46” 3D LCD
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post #5 of 18 Old 09-03-2014, 11:55 PM - Thread Starter
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That Def Tech box looks sweet. Overkill for what I need though.
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post #6 of 18 Old 09-04-2014, 08:32 PM
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Originally Posted by SirDracula View Post
That Def Tech box looks sweet. Overkill for what I need though.
Agreed, a standard in-wall speaker used as a surround speaker is capable of keeping up with most front / center speakers.

The need for the back box is really a function of what is in your attic above the speakers. If you have a two story with 2x10 floor joists on 16" centers and a thick sub floor upstairs, you aren't going to get much vibration. If you have an open attic with 2x4 trusses widely spaced and adjacent bedrooms you will get a lot of vibration and unwanted backwave sound.

Before I built the back boxes in the attic of my first home theater, the sound into the attic could be heard though the attic vents outside all the way to the sidewalk and in two nearby bedrooms.

2-Ch (HT L/R): Oppo BDP-105 BD, Adcom GFP-750 pre, Bryston 10B Sub Xover, Bryston 4BSST2 / Paradigm Signature S4 v.2 (L/R), (2) SVS SB12-NSD (Subs)
Home Theater: Bryston 4BSST2 amp / Paradigm CC-590 (C), Outlaw 7700 amp / (4) Def Tech UIW-RSSII (LS/RS/LB/RB), Samsung 46” 3D LCD
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post #7 of 18 Old 09-05-2014, 06:28 AM
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I put the HTD HD-R65's in for my side and rear surrounds in a 7.1 setup and have been really pleased with them. Great value for the money.
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post #8 of 18 Old 09-05-2014, 03:37 PM - Thread Starter
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I put the HTD HD-R65's in for my side and rear surrounds in a 7.1 setup and have been really pleased with them. Great value for the money.
Did you build any boxes for them?

I spoke with the guys at EMP Tek and apparently if you ask them nicely they can hook you up with RBH in-ceiling speakers too which otherwise are for dealers/installers only. They seem to be affordable too, around $160/pr.
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post #9 of 18 Old 09-05-2014, 10:37 PM
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The Polk speakers are cheaper and probably sound just as good - and with the aimable tweeters they would work well for surround duties.

2-Ch (HT L/R): Oppo BDP-105 BD, Adcom GFP-750 pre, Bryston 10B Sub Xover, Bryston 4BSST2 / Paradigm Signature S4 v.2 (L/R), (2) SVS SB12-NSD (Subs)
Home Theater: Bryston 4BSST2 amp / Paradigm CC-590 (C), Outlaw 7700 amp / (4) Def Tech UIW-RSSII (LS/RS/LB/RB), Samsung 46” 3D LCD
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post #10 of 18 Old 09-05-2014, 10:44 PM - Thread Starter
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For rear surround, do I want to aim the tweeters if the speakers are about 1-2 ft. behind the couch or do I just want them to point down for a wall of sound behind the listening position?

And usually what frequencies are used for the surround channels, in other words where should they be crossed?
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post #11 of 18 Old 09-05-2014, 11:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SirDracula View Post
For rear surround, do I want to aim the tweeters if the speakers are about 1-2 ft. behind the couch or do I just want them to point down for a wall of sound behind the listening position?
If they are that close to the couch, even the most directional high frequencies aren't going to be lost as most speakers are designed for up to 30 degrees off-axis listening, but aiming the tweeters forward a little will help to not lose the highs.

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And usually what frequencies are used for the surround channels, in other words where should they be crossed?
That depends on the bass management in your AVR or surround processor. If it allows different crossover points, I would pick a higher frequency for the surrounds to prevent low bass and some mid bass in the ceiling - maybe as high as 150Hz - you won't miss it back there. If you can only pick one crossover frequency, choose it to best match your fronts and center - usually 80Hz.
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2-Ch (HT L/R): Oppo BDP-105 BD, Adcom GFP-750 pre, Bryston 10B Sub Xover, Bryston 4BSST2 / Paradigm Signature S4 v.2 (L/R), (2) SVS SB12-NSD (Subs)
Home Theater: Bryston 4BSST2 amp / Paradigm CC-590 (C), Outlaw 7700 amp / (4) Def Tech UIW-RSSII (LS/RS/LB/RB), Samsung 46” 3D LCD
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post #12 of 18 Old 09-06-2014, 07:14 AM - Thread Starter
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Any thoughts on the JBL SP6CII on sale for $70/pr. at Frys?
http://www.frys.com/product/5436689

Last edited by SirDracula; 09-06-2014 at 05:59 PM.
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post #13 of 18 Old 09-06-2014, 10:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SirDracula View Post
Did you build any boxes for them?

I spoke with the guys at EMP Tek and apparently if you ask them nicely they can hook you up with RBH in-ceiling speakers too which otherwise are for dealers/installers only. They seem to be affordable too, around $160/pr.
No, I spoke to one of the tech's at HTD about that. He said you can but it makes them harder to mount (obvious). I did, however, on his suggestion place a piece of R30 insulation above each one. I made quite a difference in the tone for the better.

Casey
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post #14 of 18 Old 09-06-2014, 01:15 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CaseyH71 View Post
No, I spoke to one of the tech's at HTD about that. He said you can but it makes them harder to mount (obvious). I did, however, on his suggestion place a piece of R30 insulation above each one. I made quite a difference in the tone for the better.

Casey
The insulation sounds like a good idea. Thanks for the tip.
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post #15 of 18 Old 09-18-2014, 07:11 AM - Thread Starter
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I decided to order the Monoprice 4103 speakers:
http://www.monoprice.com/Product?c_i...3702&p_id=4103

They are on sale and if I don't like them I can always re-purpose them and replace them with something better. They get great reviews though so I'm sure they will be fine to make some "noise" in the rear.

What's interesting about them is that they will offer enclosure boxes for them soon (I was told to check back in 2-3 weeks). Hopefully the same box could be used with other speakers too. The part number is in the description above:

Quote:
Note that you can improve the bass response and overall sound quality of in-ceiling speakers by using an enclosure. The Monoprice In-Ceiling Back Enclosure (PID 11941) is designed for use with this speaker.


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post #16 of 18 Old 09-19-2014, 08:20 AM
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Would the HTD's make good Atmos ceiling speakers? Dolby indicates that in-ceiling speakers for Atmos be as diffuse as possible.
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post #17 of 18 Old 09-19-2014, 11:14 AM
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Originally Posted by SirDracula View Post
Thank you. Mounting them on the side is not an option as one side of the listening area is wide open. The only choice I really have is in the ceiling, about 1-2 ft. behind the couch.
The Polks you mentioned look like a good deal, not that the HTDs are a lot more expensive.
I wonder why they don't ship with some boxes to install in. Do they expect the installer to build the boxes?
Dude, apparently we have almost the same set-up, though it sounds like yours is a bit nicer than mine (I'm leaning towards Level 2 towers or possibly L3 bookshelf for my LCR). I was unsure of what to do for my rears until I saw this thread and now I think I'm almost ready to pull the trigger. Just a question of if i want to try to build boxes to enclose my speakers in the ceiling....

What do you think of the monoprice speakers so far?
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post #18 of 18 Old 09-19-2014, 04:11 PM - Thread Starter
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What do you think of the monoprice speakers so far?
I just received them today. They look OK, I will try and hook them up to a stereo this weekend just to make sure they make "noise" and they are not DOA.
I'll wait for the boxes to become available, hopefully Monoprice is right and won't take more than 2-3 weeks to start having them in stock, they say it's a new item that was just added to the inventory.
People love them at least according to the reviews, I'm sure with the boxes they will be fine for the rear, over the years I've noticed there's not a lot of material sent to the rears anyway. But sometimes I like to play music in 5 ch. stereo mode.
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