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Ceiling speakers and directionalism

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 
Hey Everyone,

I have searched high and low for a good way to install the idea I have for ceiling speakers.
You know the eyeball type recessed lights and how you can point them in a direction spotlight style? Well I was wondering if there is any possibility that such a light enclosure could be retrofit as a speaker housing. I want to install in-ceiling speakers because my ceilings are low and my basement is a rather large area of no walls. I need a way to get sound to the listening zone without losing fidelity; by the speakers just pointing straight at the carpet below.
I guess I also want to know how much sound I would lose by not having the speakers directed towards the listening zone and just using the standard down facing ceiling speakers. I currently have some !JBL bookshelf speakers mounted to joists and poking through holes I put in the ceiling tiles. They are slightly lower than the tile and pointed towards the listening zone. It works, but it looks horrible. They weren't easy to set up and ceiling tiles suck...
So what do you think?! Eyeball style in-ceiling speakers; worth the trouble of attempting a retro fit, or just an exercise in futility since standard ceiling speakers sound fine?

4x JBL bookshelf speakers
2x 5 1/2" bookshelf speakers with 1" tweeters (ghosting the center channel)
1x Polk Audio 80W subwoofer
Onkyo TX-SR702 Receiver
Panasonic VIERA TC-P55ST30

I use my system as a Home Theater system mostly.


Edited by Slim4 - 12/13/12 at 8:21pm
post #2 of 4
You're thinking it about it wrong.

Speakers create soundwaves that move away from a speaker in spheroid space, becoming increasingly on axis as frequencies rise. To offset this, the speaker diameter is reduced.

Mounting a speaker in a roof is almost Infinite baffle, so bass frequencies will emanate in a half spheroid space. Given that you have a nice small tweeter, these frequencies should also play into a half spheroid space as well. The problem with mounting speakers in the ceiling has far less to do with the directionality of the drive units themselves and far more to do with the pathlegth's of the listener to the speaker, and the walls/floor/ceiling.
post #3 of 4
Standard ceiling speakers will work fine. If you're absolutely convinced that you need directional speakers, here you go

post #4 of 4
Thread Starter 
@Gonadman2 - I feel like sound waves come out of speakers in a conical shape rather than half spheroid. At least quality sound does. Low frequency might make it throughout the sphere, but the high frequency sounds are much more directional. But I am just a newb at this whole thing smile.gif Regardless, the pathlength to the listener from the speaker can be any length and I have the benefit of having under 8 ft ceilings in the basement (suspended ceilings). So ceiling mounted speakers wouldn't be far from the listener, though the angle may be somewhat steep (like maybe 7 ft from speaker to ceiling above the listener then 4 ft down)

@Dropkick - Nice name for one. Seen them in concert, what a show. But those are definitely out of my price range for ceiling speakers. Would I be best off keeping my bookshelf JBLs and find a better mount to attach them to my ceiling?

Does anyone think it would be viable to retrofit eyeball style recessed light housings to house a speaker?

Thanks for the answers so far!!
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