AVS Forum banner

1 - 20 of 22 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,383 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I'm currently researching and planning on tackling a WHA solution as an upcoming summer project. I'll be doing all in ceiling speakers in various zones. That said, I've decided to focus my research on higher sensitivity speakers in order to maximize output from whatever amp I end up using.


I've found a few higher sensitivity models thus far, but if anyone has any other findings, I'd appreciate if they could post them up (preferably with a link) so I can make a consolidated list for people to reference.


I understand some manufacturers have different methodologies they employ to measure speaker sensitivity (1W/1M vs 2.83v/1M and Half Space vs Full Space, etc...), but I'd still like any suggestions people might have or can post up.


Also, I'm fully aware that speaker sensitivity has no bearing on sound quality, so I just want to confirm that's not my train of thought in looking for a higher efficiency options.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,016 Posts
What is your affiliation with Theater Solutions?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,383 Posts
Discussion Starter #5

Quote:
Originally Posted by Neurorad  /t/1521682/high-sensitivity-in-ceiling-speakers/0_100#post_24464920


What is your affiliation with Theater Solutions?

I've banged their entire staff...even their family pets.


All they asked of me was to create this thread...


Didn't realize my fan boyism was so apparent.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,016 Posts
So, your answer is...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,383 Posts
Discussion Starter #7

Quote:
Originally Posted by Neurorad  /t/1521682/high-sensitivity-in-ceiling-speakers/0_100#post_24464990


So, your answer is...

My apologies. You caught me in a mood yesterday. First time I've had someone question my affiliation with any company and (at the time) I read into your response as implying that I was attempting to promote one brand over another. I mean, it's not like I'm some random guy with 3 post attempting to start a thread about the next best thing, ya know?


I have no affiliation with theater solutions, or any other company on AVS.


Just a guy looking the best performance per $ ceiling speakers. Most multi-zone amps are on the weaker side of the power spectrum and higher sensitivity speakers would allow one to maximize output within XX power constraints. A 6db sensitivity difference from one speaker to the next is a HUGE difference in potential output--- of course that is making the (sometimes misguided) assumption that the same/similar measurement methodology was utilized in developing said sensitivity rating.


Not saying that output should be the only consideration when choosing a product, just saying that my personal experience/preferences with speakers tend to guide me towards higher sensitivity designs.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,016 Posts
The specs from the 2 vendors are, interestingly, different, despite being the exact same unit.






Frequency response 25-21K vs 42-20K Hz; who is lying? Or is the TS spec at -30 dB? The TS 8" is rated to 400 Watts peak? Really?


Don't trust speaker manufacturers/vendors for specs. I personally wouldn't believe the 95% sensitivity rating.


The 6.5" JBL with a rear enclosure is a completely different speaker than the angled TS. Not sure why you're comparing them.


I personally think Monoprice is a decent choice for distributed audio - for background music. I have a pair of 6.5" in my MBa, and a DVC in my wiring closet.


If you really need help choosing speakers, approach them by zone. Rear enclosure, diameter, back box, aesthetics, and source are all variables to consider. But, I'm pretty sure you know that already.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,383 Posts
Discussion Starter #9

Quote:
Originally Posted by Neurorad  /t/1521682/high-sensitivity-in-ceiling-speakers/0_100#post_24467546


The specs from the 2 vendors are, interestingly, different, despite being the exact same unit.






Frequency response 25-21K vs 42-20K Hz; who is lying? Or is the TS spec at -30 dB? The TS 8" is rated to 400 Watts peak? Really?


Don't trust speaker manufacturers/vendors for specs. I personally wouldn't believe the 95% sensitivity rating.


The 6.5" JBL with a rear enclosure is a completely different speaker than the angled TS. Not sure why you're comparing them.


I personally think Monoprice is a decent choice for distributed audio - for background music. I have a pair of 6.5" in my MBa, and a DVC in my wiring closet.


If you really need help choosing speakers, approach them by zone. Rear enclosure, diameter, back box, aesthetics, and source are all variables to consider. But, I'm pretty sure you know that already.

Thanks for the input. Good catch on the spec variance and all great points in general.


I've heard great things about the monoprice offerings. Might be a safe bet to just stick with what has been well reviewed/received by so many. My only issue with taking that approach (besides liking to takie"informed" chances on a new product) is that I'm not aware of many people that have had exposure to several different offerings in their own listening environment to directly compare against each other. I mean, good quality time with more than one product and running each through their paces...


Not sure I've ever seen one in room measurement from an in-ceiling speaker. Obviously attempting to measure a ceiling speaker maybe a bit awkward in-and-of itself, especially given the envirronments that most ceiling speakers are used in (kitchens, halls with hardwood floor, etc...), but at least a baseline FR and compression sweeps between two speakers could be good for comparison purposes.


If only I had an understanding wife, I'd scoop up 5-6 different sets to compare them against each other in my own space.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,016 Posts
Non-critical locations, use 6.5" coax monoprice in-ceilings. I think they're comparable to most contractor-grade speakers, up to $200 a pair. Proficient might be a slight step up from Monoprice.


For more 'important' locations, splurge on something nicer.


I have Revel C-783 8" coax in-ceilings, Monitor Audio WT165 6.5" rectangular (in-ceiling), Monoprice 6.5" coax, Monoprice 6.5" DVC, Proficient outdoor speakers, Polk on-wall OWM5, and ancient Boston Acoustics in-walls and in-ceiling speakers (BAs came with my house, replacing them slowly over time).


If you have a big space, or bass response is very important, go with 8" or, better yet, an additional subwoofer.


Back boxes are controversial. Some say back boxes will reduce audio quality, that the in-ceiling is designed for an infinite baffle. But, if the joist cavity is full of insulation, a back box would be better, IMO.


Looking back through your recent posts, I think you know most of this.


What type of DA system are you considering?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,383 Posts
Discussion Starter #11

Quote:
Originally Posted by Neurorad  /t/1521682/high-sensitivity-in-ceiling-speakers/0_100#post_24468316


Non-critical locations, use 6.5" coax monoprice in-ceilings. I think they're comparable to most contractor-grade speakers, up to $200 a pair. Proficient might be a slight step up from Monoprice.


For more 'important' locations, splurge on something nicer.

For my specific situation, all in-ceilings will be used for ambient music, house parties, etc... Definitely not going to be doing any critical music listening. At most, will want to split my AVR pre-out's to route the signal to my DA for sporting events.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Neurorad  /t/1521682/high-sensitivity-in-ceiling-speakers/0_100#post_24468316


I have Revel C-783 8" coax in-ceilings, Monitor Audio WT165 6.5" rectangular (in-ceiling), Monoprice 6.5" coax, Monoprice 6.5" DVC, Proficient outdoor speakers, Polk on-wall OWM5, and ancient Boston Acoustics in-walls and in-ceiling speakers (BAs came with my house, replacing them slowly over time).


If you have a big space, or bass response is very important, go with 8" or, better yet, an additional subwoofer.

Given the cost difference between the 8" and 6.5" monoprice, I figure it would be better to stick with the larger one. Still might want to try a pair those other higher sensitivity ones, just to see how they compare/measure (smoke and mirror specs aside) in my space.


I went to a small little HT boutique shop right next to my work yesterday. I went in just to check it out, meet the owner and talk shop (I love talking audio to anyone that will listen). He happened to have some "$1,200" Sonance and Martin Logan (with the AMT tweeter) in-ceilings hooked up and he gave me a quick demo. He was a really cool guy, but I thought to myself, wow I could probably do my entire house for less than a few pairs of those. Par for the course I guess...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Neurorad  /t/1521682/high-sensitivity-in-ceiling-speakers/0_100#post_24468316


Back boxes are controversial. Some say back boxes will reduce audio quality, that the in-ceiling is designed for an infinite baffle. But, if the joist cavity is full of insulation, a back box would be better, IMO.


Looking back through your recent posts, I think you know most of this.

Thanks for the vote of confidence.




Well, I have no direct experience with ANY in ceilings, but I just don't see how enclosing a speaker would be detrimental to the "sound-quality" of an in-ceiling speaker as long as the crossover and driver were built with that specific application in mind. Maybe whoever was arguing that case was disappointed with the bass response? Anytime you seal up a speaker, the driver has to deal with air spring, which in-turn would cause the bass response to start rolling off much sooner and require additional power + DSP to compensate. Given the size limitations most in-ceilings are presented with, I'd have to assume that they simply weren't getting the air space they needed to compare against other decently capable in-ceilings that are simply using the ceiling as a baffle...especially at lower listening levels. The amount of variables that come into play with how one speaker sounds over another is pretty damn incredible when you sit back and attempt to put everything into perspective.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Neurorad  /t/1521682/high-sensitivity-in-ceiling-speakers/0_100#post_24468316


What type of DA system are you considering?

As much as I would love to do a 6 separate zone Sonos Connect system, my marriage wouldn't be able to handle it. Just too damn expensive.


That said, I'm looking at two more affordable options. Either the Monoprice 6 Zone Kit or the Dayton Audio MA1260


Since I wouldn't have the flexibility and ultimate control that 6 separate Sonos Connects would provide, I'm thinking the Monoprice option with the impedance matching volume controls would be my best bet at the moment.


Hummm, you just got me thinking. Since I have an external DSP, I could go AVR Source > DSP > DA and control my DA volume (actually the signal level) through the DSP itself. This would also give me the flexibility to EQ the speakers to my personal listening taste if I'm not necessarily happy how they sound.


Still have a lot to learn about RS232 controls, but since I'm not really set up with any type of real home automation (Harmony Remote!), I guess that's a bit of a moot point at this time.


Thanks for weighing in man. I appreciate the feedback.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,295 Posts
Pop - curious to see what you end up with, so subscribing to the thread. I just bought a new home which will be built with a close date of July 2015. Plan on having 3 - 4 zones for the same sort of non-critical listening. Living room/dining room (2 in-ceiling speakers for each on the same zone with separate volume controls); Kitchen (either one or two pairs of speakers); patio (likely one pair), so will be seeing if I can get them to prewire some speaker wire and Cat5 cables to each of these areas (I'm sure they can, at triple the cost of course!).


So just starting looking into in-ceilings. Don't really intend to spend much, mainly because they will be used sparingly (I'd guess a few times a year sort of thing), but would like half decent sound when I do use them without fear of distortion at moderate levels, high sensitivity if possible given most multi channel amps don't offer much more than ~25watts per channel if that, and then a system that can ideally be run via a smart app. I was looking at the Polk RC-80i's given they are 8" woofers and should offer a bit more low end vs the 6.5" Monoprice ones. Not sure about overall SQ. As most I'm tempted to think the Polk's would sound better given the "brand name" as admittedly when I think Monoprice, I think cables and TV mounts, though I'm sure the Mono-price sound fine especially for my purpose so it really just comes down to the larger woofer. Edit: NM, looks like the Monoprice are also 8".


Also looking at the Monoprice 6 zone kit you mentioned, just am concerned about the comments regarding leakage (i.e., claims that even when "off" you can still hear music leaking into the zones that are off from their speakers). I'm not sure if the leakage is simply from the speakers that are in the zone that is actually playing (i.e, ceilings I'm sure don't really contain sound very well but not interested in paying more for enclosed ceiling speakers) vs the amp letting sound leak.


Would likely just stream music from say an XBMC box (like the Pivos XIOS or similar) and a free streaming app like Songza which I've really been enjoying lately and the Android app for it is simple to use with tons of preset play mixes for parties (obviously if you're particular about what you play, some streaming apps may not be for you!).


Was also considering something like this... http://www.amazon.com/OSD-Audio-MX1260-12-Channel-Distribution/dp/B004S3PY9M/ref=cm_cr_pr_product_top which apparently can be bridged (since I may only need 3 zones anyhow) to get to 80 watts (obviously the manufacturer spec so who knows what you'll really end up with) per. But like the Monoprice (and more expensive Russound) options better as they appear to come with Ethernet ready apps and volume control units. Not sure how one can do the same with say an AVR and this OSD unit?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,383 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
Been looking into high sensitivity ceiling speakers a bit more over the past few weeks because we plan on building a home within the next year.

I stumbled upon the highest sensitivity ones I've found yet.

JBL 8128 - 97db 2.83v/1m

These look very appealing from both a high sensitivity and low cost standpoint. Going to keep looking for other alternatives though.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,016 Posts
I don't think you want an Electrovoice commercial speaker for your home.

Sound quality aside, it's designed for a tile ceiling.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,016 Posts
That JBL 8128 is also a commercial speaker, designed for 70V systems.

Same with the JBL 226C/T, though I think that one could conceivably be used.

What's the need for high efficiency speakers? 70V speakers are very efficient - that's why they keep coming up in your search.

Sound quality will generally be better with typical residential speakers. Try out a pair of 6.5" or 8" 'whatevers', in a zone that's not commonly used. Pros and cons to starting with 6.5".
 
  • Like
Reactions: popalock

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,383 Posts
Discussion Starter #17
That JBL 8128 is also a commercial speaker, designed for 70V systems.

Same with the JBL 226C/T, though I think that one could conceivably be used.

What's the need for high efficiency speakers? 70V speakers are very efficient - that's why they keep coming up in your search.

Sound quality will generally be better with typical residential speakers. Try out a pair of 6.5" or 8" 'whatevers', in a zone that's not commonly used. Pros and cons to starting with 6.5".
Well, I want high sensitivity/efficiency to make the most efficient use of "xyz" amp that I end up choosing. Having decent experience with a few high sensitivity designs in the past, I like the fact that they are easy to drive with acceptable sound quality.

While it would be nice to be able to physically hear all of the options I am looking at in person, I realize that isn't feasible. I went into a local home theater boutique store awhile back and they had several high dollar ceiling "home theater" type speakers available to audition. Boston Acoustics, Sonance, Speaker Craft, etc... All of them were $300+ and none of them really stood out to be to be anything special.

All I'm really looking for is ample sound reinforcement for entertaining without fear of blowing the speakers up. The only place I plan on adding any type of low end reinforcement would be the home gym. Bang for the buck is important.

Are there any drawbacks to going with a 70v system throughout the house?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,383 Posts
Discussion Starter #18
Pop - curious to see what you end up with, so subscribing to the thread. I just bought a new home which will be built with a close date of July 2015. Plan on having 3 - 4 zones for the same sort of non-critical listening. Living room/dining room (2 in-ceiling speakers for each on the same zone with separate volume controls); Kitchen (either one or two pairs of speakers); patio (likely one pair), so will be seeing if I can get them to prewire some speaker wire and Cat5 cables to each of these areas (I'm sure they can, at triple the cost of course!).

So just starting looking into in-ceilings. Don't really intend to spend much, mainly because they will be used sparingly (I'd guess a few times a year sort of thing), but would like half decent sound when I do use them without fear of distortion at moderate levels, high sensitivity if possible given most multi channel amps don't offer much more than ~25watts per channel if that, and then a system that can ideally be run via a smart app. I was looking at the Polk RC-80i's given they are 8" woofers and should offer a bit more low end vs the 6.5" Monoprice ones. Not sure about overall SQ. As most I'm tempted to think the Polk's would sound better given the "brand name" as admittedly when I think Monoprice, I think cables and TV mounts, though I'm sure the Mono-price sound fine especially for my purpose so it really just comes down to the larger woofer. Edit: NM, looks like the Monoprice are also 8".

Also looking at the Monoprice 6 zone kit you mentioned, just am concerned about the comments regarding leakage (i.e., claims that even when "off" you can still hear music leaking into the zones that are off from their speakers). I'm not sure if the leakage is simply from the speakers that are in the zone that is actually playing (i.e, ceilings I'm sure don't really contain sound very well but not interested in paying more for enclosed ceiling speakers) vs the amp letting sound leak.

Would likely just stream music from say an XBMC box (like the Pivos XIOS or similar) and a free streaming app like Songza which I've really been enjoying lately and the Android app for it is simple to use with tons of preset play mixes for parties (obviously if you're particular about what you play, some streaming apps may not be for you!).

Was also considering something like this... http://www.amazon.com/OSD-Audio-MX1260-12-Channel-Distribution/dp/B004S3PY9M/ref=cm_cr_pr_product_top which apparently can be bridged (since I may only need 3 zones anyhow) to get to 80 watts (obviously the manufacturer spec so who knows what you'll really end up with) per. But like the Monoprice (and more expensive Russound) options better as they appear to come with Ethernet ready apps and volume control units. Not sure how one can do the same with say an AVR and this OSD unit?
Hey bud,

What did you end up with?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,016 Posts
70V systems are mono, or summed mono. Commercial speakers and amps are usually low-fi, historically. Supermarkets don't usually need better sound. Your dentist might, though.

You will need commercial 70V amps. And control of the volume, at the amp or with 70v VCs. I don't know much about 70V, but I think the wiring may be a challenge too, since you're wired conventionally.

I think you would need to become fairly well versed in 70V systems, and spend more money (and time) than you need to, to make a 70V system sound good.

Whole house audio speakers aren't for critical listening, typically, so a 70V system could work. But it will be easier and cheaper to bite the bullet and buy a cheap pair of 6.5" or 8" speakers ($50-150/pair), install them, and drive them with any old AVR for a few months, and see what you think. If you don't like them, move them, and buy a different pair.
 
  • Like
Reactions: popalock

·
Registered
Joined
·
6 Posts
two zone audio

Here in Mckinney, TX also... Building in Allen and also looking for higher sensitivity in ceiling speakers. One thing still has me baffled, though. The builders' vendor for WHA (really more like two zones... living room 4 ceiling speakers wiring in place, and back patio has two. that is it) installs wiring for the speakers during rough construction. I checked the speaker wire, and it is NOT 16 or 18 guage 2 strand copper wire. It is some cheesy looking purple sheathing skinny wire. I forgot to take a picture of it but I am wondering if anyone has run into this before? Sales guy said NO CHANGES can be made to this now....(whatever. I have wired two houses for audio before and it ain't that hard). Contract says I am not to do anything during construction...(thinking about hiring a guy to run wire for me alongside their crap stuff...) Hope I don't go to jail!
Why would they run low voltage looking wire for the speakers? Did I miss a massive industry-wide change? Is it a low cost issue?
 
1 - 20 of 22 Posts
Top