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Blog Post

Proficient Ceiling and Wall Speakers - Customer Q&A

Published on 02 Nov 2021 learn

The 15 Most Common Customer Questions on In-ceiling Speakers

In-ceiling speakers are often the “go-to” speaker choice for homes today because they are discrete and provide great sound. Proficient Audio offers an excellent range of speaker solutions for new homes, home extensions, renovations and rebuilds. 

In this blog post, Proficient provides the answers to the 15 most common questions that customers ask about ceiling speakers.

Q1: Why are ceiling speakers outselling free-standing speakers?

Unlike freestanding speaker products, in-wall and ceiling speakers do not require cabinet, counter or floor space, and are designed to provide long-lasting and aesthetically pleasing sound.

Q2: How many ceiling speakers are needed?

To achieve true stereo sound, ceiling speakers come in pairs with one playing the left channel of audio and one playing the right channel. To optimize sound quality, it’s generally recommended to use one pair of ceiling speakers for rooms larger than 9’x9’ and two for rooms bigger than 15’x15’.

Q3: When should stereo vs. single point speakers be used?

In rooms bigger than 10’x10’, pairs of standard mono ceiling speakers are recommended, however in bathrooms and small bedrooms where space is limited, a single stereo speaker is ideal.

Q4: Where do ceiling speakers need to be positioned?

When installing a single stereo speaker, place it in the center of the ceiling for the best distribution of sound. When installing two or more speakers, optimal placement is at an equal distance from each wall in the room and at least 6’ away from each other. For unconventional room layouts, speakers with angled or pivoting tweeters work best.

Q5: How much space is needed behind the speaker?

Standard depth ceiling speakers measure 3 5/8”. If the depth in the ceiling void is less than that, explore lower clearance speakers.

Q6: How are ceiling speakers powered and controlled?

Active speakers contain a built-in amplifier and simply require wall power. These can be controlled directly from your device via Bluetooth or WiFi. Passive speakers require an external amplifier to power them via speaker cable.

Q7: What speaker cable is needed?

The industry standard for speaker cable is 16/2 (16 gauge, 2 core, labeled A). It is perfectly suited for most installations. Single stereo speakers typically require a 16/4 (16 gauge, 4 core, labeled B) speaker cable. If a speaker requires over 75’ of cable because it is far away from the amplifier, then a thicker cable may be needed to prevent audio quality from deteriorating over the distance. Weather-resistant speaker cable is available for speakers in high moisture or outdoor zones.

Q8: Do ceiling speakers need pre-construction brackets?

Pre-construction brackets tell the dry-waller to cut a hole for the speaker (just like electrical outlets and fixtures) and are recommended as they take the guesswork out of finding the speaker location and wire after the drywall goes up. They also provide a stable and secure mount for the speakers.

Q9. Do ceiling speakers need back boxes?

Some countries legally require the installation of back boxes or fire hoods. However, even in places where it is not required, it is highly recommended to maintain the integrity of the ceiling, provide soundproofing for rooms above and for safety and insurance purposes.  

10. Can ceiling speakers be used in high humidity rooms like kitchens, bathrooms and saunas?

Most ceiling speakers will be fine in a kitchen. However, Ingress Protected (IP) ceiling speakers provide protection against dust and moisture, making them a great solution for high humidity rooms like bathrooms and saunas.

Q11: Can ceiling speakers be painted to match the room?

Yes, the grilles on ceiling speakers can be spray painted to match any room. Be sure not to spray the grilles while they are on the speaker.

Q12: Can ceiling speakers be used outdoors?

Yes, there are specific models designed to withstand the elements. While these should never be placed in locations where they are fully exposed to rain or snow, it makes them a great, discrete option for protected outdoor areas.

Q13: Can a TV be connected to ceiling speakers?

In general, TV audio can be played through ceiling speakers, but TVs and ceiling speakers cannot be connected directly because TVs do not have dedicated speaker outputs. Instead, the audio from the TV can be connected to an amplifier with the appropriate input via an optical digital audio output or HDMI using ARC to power passive ceiling speakers via standard speaker cable.

Q14: Can a subwoofer be used with ceiling speakers?

Yes, passive architectural subwoofers and powered subwoofers can be used with ceiling speakers.

Q15: Can voice control be used with ceiling speakers?

Yes, this is now possible with the help of Amazon Echo and Google Home devices. Simply plug in the device in the desired room and set it up to the control amplifier. 

If you have other questions about ceiling speakers or the Proficient Audio range, please phone us on 0800 333 553 or email anytime.