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post #1 of 17 Old 04-06-2018, 01:21 PM - Thread Starter
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Suggested ceiling speakers for home audio

We are doing a major remodel and the entire house will be down to studs. What speakers do you folks recommend for ceilings in rooms where we will just play music?

I will be using Control4 for lighting, shades, and at least automation of the theater/family room so all that equipment can be in the media closet.
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post #2 of 17 Old 04-06-2018, 01:34 PM - Thread Starter
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Another question. We will have a TV in the kitchen breakfast area that lifts out of a cabinet. This will be used by my wife for watching TV when cooking, and for news at breakfast. The kitchen and the breakfast area will both have ceiling speakers for music. One option is to use control4 to pipe the TV audio to those speakers when watching TV. The other option would be a sound bar or other speaker setup that lifts out of the cabinet with the TV. Expecting a 46-55" TV.

I also need a speaker solution for the bedroom and for the bath. Same question. We don't care about surround sound for these areas and most viewing will be news channels and my wife will occasionally have a movie on at a very low volume level when she naps. I am the one who cares about audio and I just want sound bar level audio. I feel like TV sound coming from the master bedroom ceiling will be odd. What think you all?

In the master bath the TV will be small, maybe 26" or less, and it will be on a wall behind my wife where she sits to do makeup in the morning. Seems like ceiling speakers would be best here?
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post #3 of 17 Old 04-07-2018, 10:50 AM
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Another question. We will have a TV in the kitchen breakfast area that lifts out of a cabinet. This will be used by my wife for watching TV when cooking, and for news at breakfast. The kitchen and the breakfast area will both have ceiling speakers for music. One option is to use control4 to pipe the TV audio to those speakers when watching TV. The other option would be a sound bar or other speaker setup that lifts out of the cabinet with the TV. Expecting a 46-55" TV.

I also need a speaker solution for the bedroom and for the bath. Same question. We don't care about surround sound for these areas and most viewing will be news channels and my wife will occasionally have a movie on at a very low volume level when she naps. I am the one who cares about audio and I just want sound bar level audio. I feel like TV sound coming from the master bedroom ceiling will be odd. What think you all?

In the master bath the TV will be small, maybe 26" or less, and it will be on a wall behind my wife where she sits to do makeup in the morning. Seems like ceiling speakers would be best here?
Great questions! A few thoughts / suggestions ...

I'm sure you will get some great suggestions on vendors for WHA speakers! I've seen a number of people give positive mentions to Monoprice WHA speakers. I went with Kevlar in-wall / in-ceiling speakers from Outside Speaker Depot ("OSD Audio") and have been very pleased with them. They are Proficient Audio "clones". I did size the speakers based on the size of the room and the type of listening we planned to do.

Speaker location is important, especially for TV Viewing. We have several rooms where we have TV's. In all those rooms I went with in-wall speakers vs in-ceiling. The sound projection coming from the walls is much more natural and serves a dual purpose for TV audio as well as WHA. I painted the speaker frames / grills to match the walls and it is very non-intrusive! I did use in-ceiling for my WHA application in areas that were more for "open listening".

Don't forget about possible outside speakers. We find that we enjoy listening when we are outside just as much (and sometimes more) as when we are in the house. I would at least run the speaker wiring to those locations and bury it in the walls/ceilings/ground (we do use "rock" style speakers in some locations).

If you are going to be down to raw studs, you might want to take advantage and run as much additional cabling as you can back to your wiring closet! When I build our house I literally ran network cable drops everywhere! I'm sure your integrator has a plan for the C4 system wiring. The wiring locations that often get overlooked are things like wi-fi AP's (I use Ubiquiti UniFi AP's inside and outside the house), PoE Cameras (I have 10 external cameras tied back to a NVR), automation control points for things like water control valves, garage door openers, irrigation control, jacuzzi/spa control, etc.

Have fun with the project!
Rick
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post #4 of 17 Old 04-07-2018, 03:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe Jensen View Post
We are doing a major remodel and the entire house will be down to studs. What speakers do you folks recommend for ceilings in rooms where we will just play music?

I will be using Control4 for lighting, shades, and at least automation of the theater/family room so all that equipment can be in the media closet.


x2 --- check out outdoorspeakerdepot.com ... been very happy with their in wall and in ceiling line of speakers as well as their multi channel amps, outdoor speakers, etc.
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post #5 of 17 Old 04-07-2018, 07:23 PM - Thread Starter
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I bit more data, We will have a media/wiring closet that's 12 feet deep by 6 feet wide. It shares a wall with rear of the family room. All data wiring, lighting automation, automated shade wiring, security, cameras, etc will be run to this room. Likely add a dedicate mini split AC to keep it cool.

We have two patios and another area by the BBQ with a large trellis for shade. We will be adding outdoor speakers under the patios and possibly in the landscaping.

We are pre-wiring for everything. Media bundle (two cat5, one cat6, and an RG6) to every room. Speaker pre-wire to every room. Ethernet to every possible future camera location. As much wire as I can think of.

I considered pulling flex duct everywhere but after reading a ton on the internet it looked like you needed 1.5" or 2" and it's pretty expensive. A couple of premium AV and automation companies suggested also adding fiber to every media drop as the cable is cheap. But the terminations are costly and apparently every few years the fiber changes. Also considered a 1" flex conduit with the media bundle. Thoughts on this?
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post #6 of 17 Old 04-07-2018, 07:50 PM
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Have you asked your integrator what they think of the soundbar idea?

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post #7 of 17 Old 04-08-2018, 08:13 AM - Thread Starter
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Have you asked your integrator what they think of the soundbar idea?
I have not yet hired the AV firm. One is strongly advocating some I think M&K LRC speakers in the ceiling for that Master bedroom and just using the ceiling speakers for TV in the Master Bath and the Office. I'm not convinced I like the audio coming from the ceiling. The master bath would be fine but not the office or bedroom.
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post #8 of 17 Old 04-08-2018, 08:39 PM
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I have not yet hired the AV firm. One is strongly advocating some I think M&K LRC speakers in the ceiling for that Master bedroom and just using the ceiling speakers for TV in the Master Bath and the Office. I'm not convinced I like the audio coming from the ceiling. The master bath would be fine but not the office or bedroom.
But you've already settled on C4?
Are you going to use distributed audio and video?

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post #9 of 17 Old 04-08-2018, 09:24 PM - Thread Starter
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I shopped Savant and C4. Two friends have used the one C4 dealer, in both cases he rescued them from the work of a incompetent C4 dealers. There is a second C4 dealer who rescued another friend from a botched install. The Savant dealer has insane pricing. Based on all the research I've done, the dealer is more important than the system. I feel very comfortable with the two C4 dealers.

We will have about 32 lighting loads to control and 6 large shades. I would also like to automate the main family room/theater. Still up in the air on Video distribution. I think we have decided to do audio distribution to several rooms. Distributing video is yet another step up in cost. One dealer is proposing a 4 way switch to just distribute to the 4 TVs we would want more than Directv. The other TVs would have a Directv genie behind the TV,

Thoughts?
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post #10 of 17 Old 04-09-2018, 06:03 AM
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What speakers do you folks recommend for ceilings in rooms where we will just play music?
I typically use Niles CM7BG (least expensive, good for background music), Niles CM7PR, and Speakercraft Profile AIM7 Two Series II. Origin Acoustics makes a speaker ring you can install in your prewire and then snap in/out any level of speaker you want, it's a cool system, would let you demo a couple different qualities on site. In general though, it's usually the WHA amp that could use some upgrading not the speakers. The CM7PR's are where I usualy find the sweet spot in cost and performance. IMHO speaker selection is very.... unimportant, so long as you just get something decent midgrade, it will be pretty similar. I'd just look to get the largest speaker with the smallest cutout, make sure it's reputable, and frameless grills are a must.

Quote:
One option is to use control4 to pipe the TV audio to those speakers when watching TV. The other option would be a sound bar or other speaker setup that lifts out of the cabinet with the TV. Expecting a 46-55" TV.
This will actually depend on a coupel factors. Either option, soundbar or I/C speakers for sound will work fine, but the quetion is, does on cost way more than the other. If the lift you're using will operate up and down with a factory cable box remote (IR learning), then you can stick with the soundbar and you would not need to purchase an expensive remote for this zone.

However, if you already have to comitt to a remote for this zone because of the lift, then I suggest you use the I/C Speakers. They will already be there for the WHA system, just make them do double duty. Soundbar would be a couple hundred dollars, adding the sound to these speakers would probably cost about the same assuming that you already had the control in place for it.

Similar can be said for your master bedroom situation. I typically send the sound through the i/c speakers, but I understand your point about maybe wanting it to come from the TV. Depends a lot on the room size, etc.

Quote:
I considered pulling flex duct everywhere but after reading a ton on the internet it looked like you needed 1.5" or 2" and it's pretty expensive. A couple of premium AV and automation companies suggested also adding fiber to every media drop as the cable is cheap. But the terminations are costly and apparently every few years the fiber changes. Also considered a 1" flex conduit with the media bundle. Thoughts on this?
I use 1 1/4" and it's not that bad when you're buying it in 100' or 500' rolls. Don't use fiber unless you really have a good reason to do so. "Future Proofing" is not a good reason. Very rarely is there a solution that only works on fiber, and doesn't have it's Cat cable counter part coming out shortly after and at half the price. See the video section of my wiring guide, 2 Cat6, 2 RG-6 is sufficient. Put in the tubing if you want to feel good about it.

Quote:
I bit more data, We will have a media/wiring closet that's 12 feet deep by 6 feet wide. It shares a wall with rear of the family room. All data wiring, lighting automation, automated shade wiring, security, cameras, etc will be run to this room. Likely add a dedicate mini split AC to keep it cool.
The mini split isn't necessary, there's way more than enough air volume in this room. You could also pull a/c lines here and just try it without it first, but I pretty much gauruntee it won't be necessary. Just seal the rack up, blow the hot air out the top, and the air coming in from the bottom will be plenty cool enough.

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post #11 of 17 Old 04-09-2018, 06:12 AM
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I would visit htd.com and take a look at their new HDX line of in-ceiling speakers. Their older line is very well reviewed, and the price is right. HTD is also very awesome to work with. If you have any questions, simply give them a call. You can even send them your house plan and they will send it back with suggested speaker locations.
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post #12 of 17 Old 04-09-2018, 08:28 AM - Thread Starter
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What size speaker for general audio listening around the house? I will need to balance appearance and performance. I see the 8" speakers have a grill over 11" wide which seems pretty big. Do 6" sound fine or is it worth it to bump up to 7"?
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post #13 of 17 Old 04-09-2018, 09:32 AM
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What size speaker for general audio listening around the house? I will need to balance appearance and performance. I see the 8" speakers have a grill over 11" wide which seems pretty big. Do 6" sound fine or is it worth it to bump up to 7"?
I always felt like 7" was a good balance. Look around though, even though they all might use a 7" speaker the actual grille size can vary a lot depending on the construction.

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post #14 of 17 Old 04-09-2018, 11:45 AM
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You will want to use a distributed video matrix for the main TVs in use, and use the Genies for the guest bedrooms.

I would suggest using a passive soundbar, many can be found from Monitor Audio, SnapAV, Triad, James, etc. The soundbar, powered by a receiver in the rack, would give you many options.

I have not found a reliable solution for using a control system with a powered soundbar, due to there being no discrete codes for them. Use the soundbar idea for the master and the kitchen, but use the ceiling speakers for the master bathroom.

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post #15 of 17 Old 04-10-2018, 05:35 AM
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What size speaker for general audio listening around the house? I will need to balance appearance and performance. I see the 8" speakers have a grill over 11" wide which seems pretty big. Do 6" sound fine or is it worth it to bump up to 7"?
I used primarily 6.5" for my in-wall & in-ceiling speakers. The OSD 6.5" ACE speakers (https://www.outdoorspeakerdepot.com/...-ace650mk.html) trim out at 9" and even the more conventional ones trim out not much larger than that. I did use some 8" in-wall speakers in rooms that were either larger or where I wanted a "step up" in sound quality. If the grills either match your existing ceiling color (or if you paint them to match which is what I did) they are really very unobtrusive. Although I have mostly 10' and 12' ceiling height which tends to make things a little further away ...

In larger open areas, I chose the approach of using more than a single set of speakers to cover the space rather than trying to push all the sound out of a single set of speakers. Like with lighting, you don't want there to be "hot spots" where the volume level is noticeably louder within a room.

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post #16 of 17 Old 04-10-2018, 09:25 AM
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Originally Posted by bairdmj View Post
I would visit htd.com and take a look at their new HDX line of in-ceiling speakers. Their older line is very well reviewed, and the price is right. HTD is also very awesome to work with. If you have any questions, simply give them a call. You can even send them your house plan and they will send it back with suggested speaker locations.
Yeah - I was going to say HTD too. I have heard very good things about them and was planning on using their speakers too.
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post #17 of 17 Old 04-10-2018, 01:23 PM
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Originally Posted by ifor View Post
You will want to use a distributed video matrix for the main TVs in use, and use the Genies for the guest bedrooms.

I would suggest using a passive soundbar, many can be found from Monitor Audio, SnapAV, Triad, James, etc. The soundbar, powered by a receiver in the rack, would give you many options.

I have not found a reliable solution for using a control system with a powered soundbar, due to there being no discrete codes for them. Use the soundbar idea for the master and the kitchen, but use the ceiling speakers for the master bathroom.
Depending on the soundbar you can use sensors to determine if it's on or off. I used a Def Tech soundbar that a customer had, and it had no discretes, but I used a sensor over the blue light to track power state. PITA, but.. not as bad as it could be.

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