To help you find the best in-ceiling speakers for your home theater setup, we tried out dozens of top models, testing for sound quality, preferring products with high quality woofers and tweeters, installation simplicity, with designs intended to fit drywall or other ceiling surfaces, and aesthetics that can match nearly any ceiling, often featuring paintable grilles. We also liked products with additional features, such as paintable grilles, and lengthy warranties.
The best product we tried was easily the Micca 2-Way in-Ceiling in-Wall Speaker, which comes in at a nice price point and a wide variety of size options (6.5”, 8” and MTM.) These speakers are easy to install, with paintable grilles, and come with a pivoting silk dome tweeter. The 6dB crossover network helps achieve perfect integration between the tweeter and the woofer, combining to create a robust bass response and natural and performative mids and highs. Keep reading to learn more about the Micca 2-Way in-Ceiling in-Wall Speaker and the other products on this list.
Top 7 Best In-ceiling Speakers Compared
#1 Micca 2-Way in-Ceiling in-Wall Speaker – Top Pick
WHY WE LIKE IT: Boasts a paintable grille, making it fit any home decor, is available in a variety of size options (6.5”, 8” and MTM) and creates beautiful audio, thanks to a pivoting silk dome tweeter. This is just a fantastic in-ceiling speaker that should suit the needs of any home theater enthusiast.
The Micca 2-Way in-Ceiling in-Wall Speaker is perfect for any home theater setup, including Atmos or surround sound, thanks to its pivoting silk dome tweeter, which means sound can be aimed wherever you want, and poly-mica woofer, which helps to deliver a robust bass response. These speakers feature a removable and paintable grille, so it can match nearly any decor, and come in a variety of size options, including 6”, 8” and the less common MTM (midwoofer-tweeter-midwoofer) configuration.
These speakers weigh five pounds each, more if you select MTM, which could be an issue when it comes to installation, though we found the process to be somewhat simple. Additionally, each speaker only comes with a one year warranty, which is lower than what is found in several other picks for speakers.
#2 Polk Audio 2-way Premium In-Ceiling Speaker – Honorable Mention
WHY WE LIKE IT: Features a rubber seal, making these speakers excel in moist locations such as bathrooms or saunas, and a paintable grille, with high quality woofers and tweeters that create fantastic audio. The lifetime warranty helps to make these a great product for those who want to install in-ceiling speakers in a covered porch or bathroom.
These Polk Audio 2-way Premium In-Ceiling Speakers are available in two sizes (6.5”, 8”) and come with a rubber seal, which helps with the bass response and helps to eschew excess moisture, making them a great choice for bathrooms, saunas or covered porches, among other moist locations. The paintable grill is nice, and fully removable, so these can match any home decor, and these speakers come with a lifetime warranty, which is, obviously, much longer than the one year warranty that comes with our top pick.
Though they come in a pair, which is nice, they are not available in single units, which could be an issue if you are looking for a solo replacement. Additionally, the price is on the higher side, compared to some of the other products on this list. You may also like the best floor standing speakers.
#3 Yamaha NS-IW280CWH 6.5″ 3-Way In-Ceiling Speakers – Best Surround Sound
WHY WE LIKE IT: Available in pairs, packs of four and packs of six, which increases this product’s value, with a swivel tweeter, for sound dispersion, and a paintable grille. This is just a great choice for those looking to buy a bunch of speakers for a large room.
These Yamaha NS-IW280CWH 6.5″ 3-Way In-Ceiling Speakers come in a variety of bundles (2 pack, 4 pack, 6 pack,) making them perfect for large rooms or for those of you looking to furnish an entire home. The swivel tweeter can be aimed to better direct the sound and they are available in two wattage options (100 watts, 120 watts) to better fit the amps powering your home theater setup. We also liked the paintable, and removable, aluminum grille, which helps these speakers match any home decor.
Though the wattage options are nice, these speakers are only available in one size (6.5”) which may not fit every home theater setup. Additionally, Yamaha throws in a two year warranty, which is decent, but much lower than the lifetime warranty that comes with our number two pick. You can also check out best Bluetooth speakers.
#4 Yamaha NSIC800WH 2-Way RMS Speaker – Most Wattage Options
WHY WE LIKE IT: Available in three wattage options (90, 110, 140) to better fit the amplifier powering your home theater setup, with a paintable aluminum grille and a grain-finished acoustic baffle, which helps with sound dispersion. The many wattage choices makes this a great choice for a wide variety of amplification types.
These Yamaha NSIC800WH 2-Way RMS Speakers sound great, thanks to an acoustic baffle that helps with sound dispersion and a polypropylene mica cone woofer, delivering robust bass response. They are also available in three wattage options (90, 110, 140) making them fit a wide variety of amplifications, and they come in bundled packs, which is useful. We also enjoyed the painted aluminum grille, which features magnets for easy removal and installation.
Though these sound fantastic right out of the box, the built-in tweeter does not tilt or adjust, which could be an issue for those with unique acoustical needs. Additionally, the two year warranty is decent, but much lower than our number two pick, which offers a lifetime warranty. Out to sea? Try the best boat speakers.
#5 Acoustic Audio R191 Speaker Set – Best Budget
WHY WE LIKE IT: Packed with five speakers for one low price, with each high quality speaker coming with removable grilles and featuring polypropylene cone woofers and soft cone tweeters, combining to create fantastic audio. These is a great speaker pack for those on a budget.
This Acoustic Audio R191 Speaker Set comes with five speakers for one low price, making it extremely attractive for the budget conscious consumer. They are easy to install, mounted with a screw and a clamp, featuring a light form factor (2 pounds each.) Each speaker comes with a removable grille, a polypropylene cone woofer and a soft cone tweeter, the latter two combining to create rich and natural sounding audio.
Though the install was effortless, the removable grilles are not intended to be painted, which could be an issue with those of you with colored walls. Additionally, the one year warranty is on the lower end, as our number two pick comes with a lifetime warranty. The best mini Bluetooth speakers are another option.
#6 Yamaha NSIW360C 2-Way In-Ceiling Speaker System – Easiest to Install
WHY WE LIKE IT: Comes with a cutout template, which really helps with the installation procedure, with a fully paintable grille and the option to purchase in multipack bundles. This is just a fantastic sounding speaker system that is easy to install.
The Yamaha NSIW360C 2-Way In-Ceiling Speaker System is available in pairs and multiunit bundles, which can save you a few bucks. These speakers sound fantastic, with the sound quality increasing dramatically after several hours of breaking in, and come with a fully paintable grille and rim. The installation process was extremely simple, thanks to the inclusion of a cutout template, which lets you know exactly how to cut into your drywall or other ceiling surface.
Though the multipacks are a great bargain, you cannot purchase single speakers, which could be an issue for some consumers. Additionally, the price is on the higher side, compared to other products on this list. The best satellite radio for home will sound amazing.
#7 Pyle 2-Way In-Wall In-Ceiling Speaker System – Best In Wall
WHY WE LIKE IT: Boasts an adjustable treble control switch (+3dB, 0, -3dB,) which helps personalize the sound, with pivoting tweeters, adding further customization, and poly cone full range mid-bass woofers, which sound fantastic. This is a great product for those looking to customize their treble response.
This Pyle 2-Way In-Wall In-Ceiling Speaker System sounds great, and boasts additional treble control, thanks to a switch that allows for simple decibel adjustments (+3dB, 0, -3dB.) The silk dome voice coil speakers can pivot, allowing users to aim the sound wherever they’d like, and the poly cone full range mid-bass woofers sound absolutely fantastic, delivering natural and robust bass response. We also liked that these are available in two sizes, 6.5” and 8”, adding to their customization abilities.
Though the included two year warranty is decent, and longer than some items on this list, it is still much shorter than the lifetime warranty that comes with our number two pick. Additionally, these are only available in pairs. It goes well with the best internet radio. You may even want to think about making them your new computer speakers.
How We Decided
To help you find the best in-ceiling speakers for your home theater setup, including those of you use prefer Dolby Atmos setups, we tested products for sound quality, first and foremost, preferring models with high quality woofers and tweeters, in addition to other audio-enhancing accoutrements. On the sound quality front, we also enjoyed products with tweeters that could be aimed in different directions, so you can decide where the audio sounds best.
We also tended to favor products that were relatively simple to install, with built-in mounts and coming with easy-to-follow templates, so you’ll know exactly where to make cuts into your ceiling. Removable, and often paintable, grilles were also a nice bonus, as they make it easy to adjust the aesthetics to suit your particular home decor choices.
We also liked a wide variety of sizes, to fit a variety of setups, and items that came in multipacks, helping you save a few bucks if you are outfitting an entire home. Finally, we made sure each of these products featured lengthy enough warranties, with a minimum of one year, with our number two pick coming with an astounding lifetime warranty.
In-ceiling Speaker Buying Guide
The Most Important Features to Consider
- Sound quality
These are speakers so, obviously, sound quality is of paramount importance. Look for products with high quality woofers and tweeters and, if bass response is important to your setup, perhaps invest in a stand alone subwoofer. Some of the above products also have tweeters that can be aimed in different directions, which can be helpful, as each space is different and has different audio needs.
- Installation Procedure
These can be difficult to install for those without experience. They require you to often cut a hole in your ceiling, after all. Look for products that make the installation procedure as painless as possible, with built-in mounting brackets and coming with cutting templates. These templates tell you exactly how to cut into your ceiling, which takes away a lot of frustrating guesswork. You may want to choose a product with a removable, and paintable grille, as these can fit the aesthetics of a wide variety of different rooms and help cover up any minor installation mistakes.
- Additional Features
Think about where you are going to install these speakers. If it is just your standard living room ceiling, then any of the above products will do. If you are going to install them in a moist location, such as a bathroom or sauna, you might want to look into speakers with a rubber seal, like our number two pick, which is designed to perform efficiently in moist conditions. Additionally, make sure you get a good warranty, as these are pretty expensive and filled with fragile components.
- Do ceiling speakers need power?
For the most part, yes. In-ceiling speakers are usually passive, meaning they require an external amplification and power source, which can usually be found via the hub of your home theater setup.
- What is an RMS speaker?
RMS stands for Root Mean Square, and it’s a mathematical term that is used in several forms of audio technology to represent the average power output over a prolonged period of time.The term is used to represent the average power output that speakers can handle, as well as the average power output that amplifiers can provide continuously, without any issues.
- How many do I need?
This is up to personal preference, though a larger-than-average living area would do well with more than just a pair of ceiling speakers. There is such a thing as too many speakers, however, so do your research.
- How far away from adjacent walls should these be placed?
We recommend installing in-wall and ceiling speakers at least 18-24 inches away from an adjacent wall or ceiling.
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