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Discussion Starter #1
Hello,

I am building a new HT room, have heard that in-wall/in-ceiling speakers will not have the same acoustic quality as floor standing speakers. Is this accurate? Which option is recommended?
If I have to choose floor standing speakers, they will be placed next to a projector screen, how do I conceal the speakers? Is a false wall covered with acoustic fabric needed?

Thanks in advance.
 

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Hello,

I am building a new HT room, have heard that in-wall/in-ceiling speakers will not have the same acoustic quality as floor standing speakers. Is this accurate? Which option is recommended?
If I have to choose floor standing speakers, they will be placed next to a projector screen, how do I conceal the speakers? Is a false wall covered with acoustic fabric needed?

Thanks in advance.

Really depends on the speakers. I think architectural speakers have gotten a bad rap, but really, modern speakers - you've got a lot of high quality options for in-walls and they can be quite good. One disadvantage though is that you can't easily experiment with placement like you can with free standing speakers. Everything has advantages and disadvantages.
 
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Hello,

I am building a new HT room, have heard that in-wall/in-ceiling speakers will not have the same acoustic quality as floor standing speakers. Is this accurate? Which option is recommended?
If I have to choose floor standing speakers, they will be placed next to a projector screen, how do I conceal the speakers? Is a false wall covered with acoustic fabric needed?

Thanks in advance.
One of the best things to do is to see what others have done, find something that catches your eye, from room design to speaker choices and go from there. Check out the links for ideas.

https://www.avsforum.com/forum/29-whats-your-system-configuration/

https://www.avsforum.com/forum/19-dedicated-theater-design-construction/
 

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Hello,

I am building a new HT room, have heard that in-wall/in-ceiling speakers will not have the same acoustic quality as floor standing speakers. Is this accurate? Which option is recommended?
If I have to choose floor standing speakers, they will be placed next to a projector screen, how do I conceal the speakers? Is a false wall covered with acoustic fabric needed?

Thanks in advance.
Why do you want to conceal the speakers?

In general, floor standing are preferred to in walls for reasons already mentioned plus many others including not taking them with you should you sell the house.

Floor standing, or powerful stand mount speakers, are easier to audition/compare to others/return.

If you must conceal cabinet speakers a simple wood frame with acoustically transparent material can be constructed for not that much money.
 

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Hello,

I am building a new HT room, have heard that in-wall/in-ceiling speakers will not have the same acoustic quality as floor standing speakers. Is this accurate? Which option is recommended?
If I have to choose floor standing speakers, they will be placed next to a projector screen, how do I conceal the speakers? Is a false wall covered with acoustic fabric needed?

Thanks in advance.
I've owned a custom A/V company that does custom theaters all over the US for the past 12+ years.

In a word, YES, in-wall speakers can be the same quality as a floor standing or large monitor/LCR speaker as long as you select the correct speaker size for the room and desired quality and SPL levels. The architectural speaker market has come a very long way in this product category as, in the US, in-wall and in-ceiling leaves are - by far - the highest demand in the passive speaker category. Therefore, a tremendous amount of R&D has been put into this type of product. There are many outstanding in-walls for theater use.

However, there are a lot of variables that come into play with deciding where to invest your $ when designing a theater. Because of the variables in a system's design, it isn't as simple as a blanket statement saying "Speaker type "QRS" is best".

I will say that in a typical system crossed over at 80hz, people way underestimate an in-wall speaker's ability to put out the SPLs and coverage needed for a Cinema or theater experience. There are many in-walls that are outstanding and virtual mirror images of their in-room counterparts.

That isn't to say small, junky speakers won't sound bad - in-wall or other wise. But, the proper sized speaker for your room and at the quality level you desire is what to look for. Not if it is in the wall or in a box.

Nearly every theater I design anymore consists of in-wall speakers behind an acoustically transparent screen. Three major advantages with an in-wall outweigh any theoretical drawbacks compared to a tower or traditional "box speaker" lay out:

1: We can place the speakers correctly in relation to the image on screen. Meaning: Speakers not on the floor and on the correct axis for the seating positions.

2: A clean, commercial cinema look (there's a reason they put them behind screen in large cinemas) with the largest screen possible. In-room box speakers, like a floor stander or bookshelf, will take up floor space and limit screen size.

^ Personally, when I watch a movie, all I want to see is the film, not all of the gear around the screen reminding me I'm in my house.

3: Eliminates the expense and square footage loss building a false wall to accommodate larger speakers would require.

^ Now, there are definitely ways to do a theater with huge speakers in a false wall behind an AT screen, but the only need to do so would be for a very very large room or to accommodate very very large speakers. Like, for example, Klipsch's Professional line of theater gear. Those speakers are SERIOUS business in terms of size and output, but require square footage in depth, height, and width.

Most residential spaces are nowhere near that big to need that. If yours isn't THAT huge, than those larger types of speakers are wasted $ as they aren't being used anywhere near their potential.

Bottom line - There are some amazing in-wall speakers that play loud, clean, and sound huge. Some have 9, 8, 7, 6 1/2 or even 5 1/4 inch woofers. They're perfect for a theater as that is what they were designed for. And the cost per speaker depends on your room size and quality desires. If you have $300 per speaker budget you may be better off doing a bookshelf monitor or tower in a larger room because a quality in-wall for a theater like that would be more per speaker.

We recently did a very entry level theater in a wide open basement using 3 of these https://www.klipsch.com/products/reference-premiere-professional-series-in-wall?model=pro-180rpw behind a 133" AT screen with all in-ceiling surrounds in a 7.2 channel system. Modest budget of under $8,000 for the whole theater (Screen, projector, receiver, remote, labor, etc) for the home owner, but they were thrilled with it. Those put out a great sound for the cost. Are they something I would use a lot? Not typically. But, for an entry level system, it worked well and, IMO, there would be nothing tangibly gained by switching to the bookshelf or floor standing version of that speaker in their situation. We used 2 10" subs with them, but for entry level, that was a great little theater!

Hope this perspective helps. If you need specific recommendations, feel free to give some details about your room. Room size and shape, quality expectations, number of seats, seating distance, etc. Dedicated room or open space? The more details the better!
 

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There is sometimes confusion and contradiction of applications.

In wall and in ceiling are referred to as architectural spaeakers being part of the build of the space.

A baffle wall is normally an acoustical designed and treated space to place cabinet speakers (or in walls, thus the possible confusion).

When you attend a commercial cinema the speakers are in a baffle wall type construction behind the screen.

There are many comments that in wall speakers don’t or can’t sound as good as a cabinet (floor standing or book shelf) speaker. That’s just a pile of poop. Some of the best sounding demos at trade shows are in wall systems. The room design, proper layout and acoustic treatment are vital for optimal performance.

With in walls you can spend $50 or $15,000 each. Value (sound quality to $$$ ratio) solutions can come from multiple speaker manufacturers.
 

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There is sometimes confusion and contradiction of applications.

In wall and in ceiling are referred to as architectural spaeakers being part of the build of the space.

A baffle wall is normally an acoustical designed and treated space to place cabinet speakers (or in walls, thus the possible confusion).

When you attend a commercial cinema the speakers are in a baffle wall type construction behind the screen.

There are many comments that in wall speakers don’t or can’t sound as good as a cabinet (floor standing or book shelf) speaker. That’s just a pile of poop. Some of the best sounding demos at trade shows are in wall systems. The room design, proper layout and acoustic treatment are vital for optimal performance.

With in walls you can spend $50 or $15,000 each. Value (sound quality to $$$ ratio) solutions can come from multiple speaker manufacturers.
Well stated. I need to start using less words. Ha!
 

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There is sometimes confusion and contradiction of applications.

In wall and in ceiling are referred to as architectural spaeakers being part of the build of the space.

A baffle wall is normally an acoustical designed and treated space to place cabinet speakers (or in walls, thus the possible confusion).

When you attend a commercial cinema the speakers are in a baffle wall type construction behind the screen.

There are many comments that in wall speakers don’t or can’t sound as good as a cabinet (floor standing or book shelf) speaker. That’s just a pile of poop. Some of the best sounding demos at trade shows are in wall systems. The room design, proper layout and acoustic treatment are vital for optimal performance.

With in walls you can spend $50 or $15,000 each. Value (sound quality to $$$ ratio) solutions can come from multiple speaker manufacturers.
I have nothing against in walls other than they are very hard to audition at home and return if you are less than pleased.

Would be easier I guess if there were standard wall cutout sizing across brands.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks for the wealth of information, learnt so much from your post. My room measures 18 x 19 ft. Any recommendations on in-wall speakers would be greatly appreciated. My budget is around 800 to 1000 per speaker.

Thanks again!
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I've owned a custom A/V company that does custom theaters all over the US for the past 12+ years.

In a word, YES, in-wall speakers can be the same quality as a floor standard or large monitor/LCR speaker as long as you select the correct speaker size for the room and desired quality and SPL leavels. The architectural speaker market has come a very long way in this product category as, in the US, in-wall and in-ceiling leaves are - by far - the highest demand in the passive speaker category. Therefore, a tremendous amount of R&D has been put into this type of product. There are many outstanding in-walls for theater use.

However, there are a lot of variables that come into play with deciding where to invest your $ when designing a theater. Because of the variables in a system's design, it isn't as simple as a blanket statement saying "Speaker type "QRS" is best".

I will say that in a typical system crossed over at 80hz, people way underestimate an in-wall speaker's ability to put out the SPLs and coverage needed for a Cinema or theater experience. There are many in-walls that are outstanding and virtual mirror images of their in-room counterparts.

That isn't to say small, junky speakers won't sound bad - in-wall or other wise. But, the proper sized speaker for your room and at the quality level you desire is what to look for. Not if it is in the wall or in a box.

Nearly every theater I design anymore consists of in-wall speakers behind an acoustically transparent screen. Three major advantages with an in-wall outweigh any theoretical drawbacks compared to a tower or traditional "box speaker" lay out:

1: We can place the speakers correctly in relation to the image on screen. Meaning: Speakers not on the floor and on the correct axis for the seating positions.

2: A clean, commercial cinema look (there's a reason they put them behind screen in large cinemas) with the largest screen possible. In-room box speakers, like a floor stander or bookshelf, will take up floor space and limit screen size.

^ Personally, when I watch a movie, all I want to see is the film, not all of the gear around the screen reminding me I'm in my house.

3: Eliminates the expense and square footage loss building a false wall to accommodate larger speakers would require.

^ Now, there are definitely ways to do a theater with huge speakers in a false wall behind an AT screen, but the only need to do so would be for a very very large room or to accommodate very very large speakers. Like, for example, Klipsch's Professional line of theater gear. Those speakers are SERIOUS business in terms of size and output, but require square footage in depth, height, and width.

Most residential spaces are nowhere near that big to need that If yours isn't THAT huge, than those larger types of speakers are wasted $ as they aren't being used anywhere near their potential.

Bottom line - There are some amazing in-wall speakers that play loud, clean, and sound huge. Some have 9, 8, 7, 6 1/2 or even 5 1/4 inch woofers. They're perfect for a theater as that is what they were designed for. And the cost per speaker depends on your room size and quality desires. If you have $300 per speaker budget, you may be better off doing a bookshelf monitor or tower in a larger room because a quality in-wall for a theater like that would be more per speaker.

We recently did a very entry level theater in a wide open basement using 3 of these behind a 133" AT screen with all in-ceiling surrounds in a 7.2 channel system. Modest budget of under $8,000 for the whole theater (Screen, projector, receiver, remote, labor, etc) for the home owner, but they were thrilled with it. Those put out a great sound for the cost. Are they something I would use a lot? Not typically. But, for an entry level system, it worked well and, IMO, there would be nothing tangibly gained by switching to the bookshelf or floor standing version of that speaker in their situation. We used 2 10" subs with them, but for entry level, that was a great little theater!

Hope this perspective helps. If you need specific recommendations, feel free to give some details about your room. Room size and shape, quality expectations, number of seats, seating distance, etc. Dedicated room or open space? The more details the better!
Thanks for the wealth of information, learnt so much from your post. My room measures 18 x 19 ft. Any recommendations on in-wall speakers would be greatly appreciated. My budget is around 800 to 1000 per speaker.

Thanks again!
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thanks for the wealth of information, learnt so much from your post. My room measures 18 x 19 ft. Any recommendations on in-wall speakers would be greatly appreciated. My budget is around 800 to 1000 per speaker.

Thanks again!
I have about 6 seats in 1 row, planning to install a riser and add another row of seats. The front row would be around 11 to 12 ft from the screen.
 

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I have about 6 seats in 1 row, planning to install a riser and add another row of seats. The front row would be around 11 to 12 ft from the screen.
Common ones to look at are Phase Technology, Triad, Episode, and really almost any common loudspeaker manufacturers have their own also. So companies like Klipsch, Polk, Martin Logan, etc.

I believe Monitor Audio has some also. There's lots! But I haven't heard any of them :p
 

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Thanks for the wealth of information, learnt so much from your post. My room measures 18 x 19 ft. Any recommendations on in-wall speakers would be greatly appreciated. My budget is around 800 to 1000 per speaker.

Thanks again!
Look at Revel in walls at Crutchfield.
 

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I have about 6 seats in 1 row, planning to install a riser and add another row of seats. The front row would be around 11 to 12 ft from the screen.
So, I think you would be able to get the Klipsch THX Ultra2 In-wall system for your stated budget. The main speakers behind the screen for those has an MSRP of $1667, but under $1,000 could be doable from a strong dealer. https://www.klipsch.com/products/thx-ultra2-in-wall-speakers-1?model=thx-8000-l


The Revel W990 is an awesome speaker as well. It's $1,750, but under $1,000 is possible. (I prefer the Klipsch, but that is just me.) https://revelspeakers.com/productdetail/~/product/w990.html

Phase Tehcnology's CI-130 is an awesome speaker (I like over the Revel above as well). MSRP $1,199 but under $800 is something that can be attained.

^ Those are big speakers for you room. You could go smaller if budget was getting tight. Either the Klipsch or the Phase Tech would be top shelf in your room with that stated budget. I don't know how you would get more from a tower or larger speaker when crossed over at 80hz and with those dimensions.
 

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In walls for the rear centers are probably fine (I have some Klipsch in walls like this and they work well), and maybe even rear surrounds if you have walls at the proper distance from the MLP. and in ceilings are good to go, as long as you line them up properly based on atmos specs (and as long as they are wide enough dispersion). However, my experience has been that you are better off with floorstanding or large bookshelf speakers in general, at least from a price/performance standpoint, and easier/more flexible from a setup perspective. I may be wrong, but that's been my experience.
 

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Golden Ear comes to mind.

The new INVISA SPS is $1000 each (MSRP) and would make a great LCR.

INVISA MPX for surrounds and INVISA HTR7000, both $500 each (MSRP) would make a very nice system.

All at $7,000. MSRP

Of course you could spend less but you could spend more.

Other brands come to mind like RBH, GTL SOUND LABS and KEF come to mind. There are many more.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
So, I think you would be able to get the Klipsch THX Ultra2 In-wall system for your stated budget. The main speakers behind the screen for those has an MSRP of $1667, but under $1,000 could be doable from a strong dealer.


The Revel W990 is an awesome speaker as well. It's $1,750, but under $1,000 is possible. (I prefer the Klipsch, but that is just me.)

Phase Tehcnology's CI-130 is an awesome speaker (I like over the Revel above as well). MSRP $1,199 but under $800 is something that can be attained.

^ Those are big speakers for you room. You could go smaller if budget was getting tight. Either the Klipsch or the Phase Tech would be top shelf in your room with that stated budget. I don't know how you would get more from a tower or larger speaker when crossed over at 80hz and with those dimensions.
Thanks. How does Bower & Wilkins/Martin logan in wall speakers compare to the above 3?
 
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