Top 10 Best In-Ceiling Speakers For The Money 2020 Reviews

Ceiling speakers are probably not something most people spend much time thinking about. But with a reduction in production and material costs, as well as the continual advancement of audio technology, ceiling speakers are no longer the preserve of the rich and famous. They are, in fact, a great way to free-up floor space without sacrificing the audio quality you’re used to getting from free-standing speakers.

Maybe you have a limited amount of floor space, or you want to declutter by losing messy wiring and bulky speakers from bookshelves? Maybe you want to extend the musical reach in your house to other rooms or covered outdoor areas? Or you may just want to add to your stand-alone speakers to create a fully encompassing sound.

If so, in-ceiling speakers could be the solution you’ve been looking for.

In this article, we’ll take a look at 10 of the best in-ceiling speakers currently available on the market and give you our take on where the best value for money can be found.

We’ll also let you in on the main factors you should consider when buying in-ceiling speakers in our handy buyer’s guide. But we’ll start by looking at our…

Best In-Ceiling Speakers Comparison Table

NameSizeSound QualitySingle or

Pair
PriceRating
Size
8-inch
Sound Quality
****
Single or

Pair
Pair
Price
***
4.6 out of 5 stars (4.6 / 5)
Size
6.5-inch
Sound Quality
**
Single or

Pair
Pair
Price
**
3.9 out of 5 stars (3.9 / 5)
Size
8-inch
Sound Quality
***
Single or

Pair
Single
Price
*
4.7 out of 5 stars (4.7 / 5)
Size
6.5-inch
Sound Quality
**
Single or

Pair
Pair
Price
**
4.7 out of 5 stars (4.7 / 5)
Size
6.5-inch
Sound Quality
**
Single or

Pair
Pair
Price
***
4.6 out of 5 stars (4.6 / 5)
Size
7-inch
Sound Quality
*****
Single or

Pair
Pair
Price
******
3.6 out of 5 stars (3.6 / 5)
Size
6.5-inch
Sound Quality
**
Single or

Pair
Pair
Price
**
4.4 out of 5 stars (4.4 / 5)
Size
7-inch
Sound Quality
****
Single or

Pair
Single
Price
***
5 out of 5 stars (5 / 5)
Size
6.5-inch
Sound Quality
*****
Single or

Pair
Single
Price
****
3.9 out of 5 stars (3.9 / 5)
Size
8-inch
Sound Quality
***
Single or

Pair
Pair
Price
**
4.4 out of 5 stars (4.4 / 5)

So, in no particular order, here are 10 of the best in-ceiling speakers out there right now starting with…

best in-ceiling speakers reviews

Top 10 Best In-Ceiling Speakers On The Market 2020 Reviews

1 Polk Audio RC80i

We’ll kick it off with this great set of ceiling speakers from Polk Audio. They boast an 8-inch dynamic balance cone woofer and a 1-inch dome tweeter that delivers a superbly balanced range of sound. A swivel mount allows you to angle the sound projection 15 degrees in any direction.

Whether you’re looking to enhance a home theater system or appreciate your favorite music, these versatile best ceiling mount speakers have got it covered.

Versatile use…

Constructed from durable materials with moisture resistance in mind, the RC80i’s can be used in bathrooms, kitchens, and saunas with no problems. Outdoor patio usage is also possible without any direct exposure to the elements, making them one of the best outdoor ceiling speakers available.

Polk Audio has created a refined and minimalist design that will complement the décor of any home nicely. About as unobtrusive as 8-inch ceiling speakers can get, with the right colored ceiling, you’ll barely notice their existence. And with a paintable grille, you can make them disappear altogether.

Easy install…

Installation is a simple enough process. All you have to do is cut a hole, connect the wiring, and secure the speaker in place. This is achieved by the rotating cams which lock the speaker in place securely. Nice and simple.

We were impressed by the sound quality of the Polk RC80i. High ranges sparkle with intense clarity and mid ranges are prominent. Vocal and instrumental music stands out very nicely, classical music in particular. Bass is punchy enough without blowing you away.

However…

If you’re a severe bass-head, you might want to pair these up with a sub-woofer for better results at the lower end. All in all, a well-rounded and grown up sound stage focusing on clarity rather than bass.

A definite challenger for the best in-ceiling speaker out there.

Polk Audio RC80i
Our rating:4.6 out of 5 stars (4.6 / 5)

Pros

  • Nice clear sound stage.
  • Sleek and unobtrusive design.
  • Excellent value for money.
  • Very simple to install.
  • Moisture resistant.

Cons

  • If bass is your thing, look elsewhere.

2 Pyle PWRC65-BT

These 6.5-inch ceiling speakers from Pyle, at half the price of the Polk, are a versatile and decent sounding pair that also offer Bluetooth streaming. This feature enables connection to any of your devices and makes for a nice touch in this highly connected world.

However, the sound quality is notable for its lack of bass response. They could well be the least muscular speakers on this list. But, what they lack in oomph, they make up for in the volume department pumping out an impressive 300W of power which stays relatively distortion free.

Directional control…

Treble and mid-range frequency ranges are nicely reproduced with fine replication of nuance and detail. Paired up with a more muscular woofer, these will do the job fine.

Installation of these best ceiling speakers should be a breeze. Once you’ve cut the correct sized hole and connected the wires, clamp mounts will hold the speakers in place. A magnetic grille is a really nice touch. This also allows easy access to the adjustable ½ inch tweeter for increased directional control of the sound.

Keep them dry…

The Pyle’s are designed to sit flush against your ceiling and should blend into the surroundings nicely, especially if you paint the detachable grille. However, you’ll have to use these in moisture free environments as they are not designed for humid or steamy rooms.

One of the cheapest pairs on our list, you’re getting the audio quality the price merits and no more.

Pyle PWRC65-BT
Our rating:3.9 out of 5 stars (3.9 / 5)

Pros

  • Low price point.
  • Ease of installation.
  • Bluetooth capabilities.
  • Subtle design.

Cons

  • Rather average sound quality.
  • Not moisture proof.
  • Lack of bass response.

3 Micca M-8C

The Micca M-8C is the lowest price speaker on our list, although it only comes as a single speaker. However, due to the low price, buying two will set you back the same amount as the Pyle’s. As it’s a single, it’s designed to produce a stereo sound from the one speaker. It’s part of Micca’s Media range and is best used in conjunction with other speakers to find the perfect tonal range.

However, that doesn’t mean that it can’t be used by itself or as a pair. The 8-inch woofer and the 1-inch tweeter produce a full bodied and vibrant sound. Subtle soundscapes and lower frequencies blend well together, providing frequency satisfaction across the ranges.

Good bass for the cost…

And a surprising amount of bass radiates from these low budget performers. Only heavy bass lovers will feel the need to augment these speakers with a subwoofer. Sound quality also stays pleasantly distortion free, even at higher volumes.

Design is minimalist with a detachable grille that can be painted the same color as the ceiling to blend in more naturally. The 1-inch tweeter can also be pivoted to project sound in the desired direction.

Installed in no time at all…

Installation is straightforward, requiring only a screwdriver to secure the mounting tabs once you’ve placed the speaker in the hole.

Whether bought as part of a 5.1 or 7.1 home theater system, singly or in a pair, these speakers offer an amazing soundscape at a rock bottom price and therefore have to be considered as one of the best in-ceiling speakers out there.

Micca M-8C
Our rating:4.7 out of 5 stars (4.7 / 5)

Pros

  • Superb value for money.
  • Sound quality worthy of a much higher price.
  • Low price point.
  • No installation woes.

Cons

  • Detachable grille can occasionally work itself loose.

4 Yamaha NS-IW280CWH

The Yamaha’s come in a pair and are the first 3-way speakers on our list. This means they have separate drivers for bass, mids, and treble frequencies. A 6.5-inch cone woofer provides an acceptably punchy bass that never becomes overbearing.

Mid-ranges and trebles are handled by separate ¾ inch tweeters with directional capabilities provided by a swivel mount. The woofer is angled at a permanent 12 degrees, so you’ll have to allow for this during placement.

Great sounding and durable…

Thanks to the mid-range tweeter, extra layers of subtlety in music are brought to the fore allowing individual instruments and vocal tracks to shine through. However, bass aficionados will once again be left a little disappointed, but this is easily fixed with a subwoofer.

Build quality appears to be durable, as you would expect from Yamaha. The detachable grille can be painted to aid with camouflage, and the design is stylish and unobtrusive enough to go unnoticed if you require. You’ll want to install this in less humid surroundings as it’s not built to handle excess moisture in the air.

Quick as a flash…

Installation is no harder or easier than any of the other models reviewed. Any semi-skilled DIY enthusiast should be able to handle the job comfortably

Slightly more expensive than the cost of two Micca M-8C’s, you’re still getting good value for money with the Yamaha’s, but perhaps not quite as impressive an overall soundscape. A worthy competitor, nonetheless.

Yamaha NS-IW280CWH
Our rating:4.7 out of 5 stars (4.7 / 5)

Pros

  • 3-way driver set up.
  • Decent value for money.
  • Impressive mid-range reproduction.
  • Good directional capabilities.

Cons

  • Bass enthusiasts may need more oomph.
  • Not moisture resistant.

5 Polk Audio RC60i

These speakers are the smaller brother to the Polk Audio RC80i and offer a very similar spec, just on a less bulky scale. A 6.5-inch dynamic balance woofer takes care of the lower frequencies, while the rest of the range is handled by a slightly larger than average, 1-inch directional dome tweeter.

The result is a nicely balanced frequency range, which doesn’t quite have the power of its older sibling. This is no surprise due to the smaller size. What it loses in terms of punch it makes up for in versatility of placement options.

Listen while you bathe…

These make excellent kitchen or bathroom speakers as the rubber backed components are moisture resistant. Smaller rooms will be served just fine with a pair of these.

As each speaker has its own stereo capabilities, single speaker placement is also an option for ultra-small spaces. However, the stereo design does mean that the separation of the soundstage is rather non-existent. Regular listeners may be ok with this, but for those seeking a more sophisticated level of audiophile quality, you’ll be a little disappointed.

Where are your speakers?

The simple look is very much designed to blend into the background. And the paintable grille can help achieve almost complete camouflage if desired.

With its middling price point, better value for money can definitely be found elsewhere on this list. However, if you need a smaller sized, moisture resistant set of speakers and are prepared to compromise on audio quality, then these could be a good purchase for you.

Polk Audio RC60i
Our rating:4.6 out of 5 stars (4.6 / 5)

Pros

  • Moisture resistant
  • Versatile location options.
  • Virtually invisible.

Cons

  • Stereo separation poor.
  • Better value for money found elsewhere.

6 Bose Virtually Invisible 791-II

At the very upper end of our price range and a full three times more expensive than anything on this list, comes the Bose Virtually Invisible 791-II. It is a pair rather than a single speaker, which mildly softens the beating your wallet just took. Bose are notorious for placing over-inflated price tags on their products; they are probably guilty of doing that here.

If we take pricing out of the equation, it’s hard to argue against the finished product. They are called Virtually Invisible because of the ultra-thin design. A mere 4.4-inches from front to back, you won’t need a big ceiling space to install these. A paintable and magnetically attached grille adds to the cloak of invisibility.

The sound quality is excellent…

A 7-inch woofer is complemented by two well positioned 1-inch tweeters that guarantee the sound to reach the furthest corners of your room. The signature Bose sound balance is present, displaying rich, refined tonality and clarity across the frequency range.

These best in ceiling surround speakers produce the most sophisticated sound of all the speakers featured here, as you should expect when splashing out this kind of dough. A pair of Virtually Invisibles complimented by a Bose centerpiece speaker and boom! You really have an amazing sound system.

And they are easily the best in ceiling speakers audiophile and the best in ceiling speakers for music currently on the market.

But are they worth the extra outlay?

The design quality, sound performance, and ease of installation are sure to please everyone, but better value for money is surely found elsewhere. If budget wasn’t a concern, then the Bose Virtually Invisible’s would easily win best in-ceiling speaker without a second thought. We’re just not convinced their worth such a hefty price-tag.

Bose Virtually Invisible 791-II
Our rating:3.6 out of 5 stars (3.6 / 5)

Pros

  • Unrivalled sound performance.
  • Slick ‘invisible’ design.
  • Great directional sound projection.
  • Less space needed to install.

Cons

  • Excessive pricing?
  • Questionable value for money.

7 AmazonBasics 6.5″ Ceiling Speakers

AmazonBasics are a straightforward set of speakers at the lower end of the price scale. Basic is a pretty good description. A 6.5-inch composite woofer and a 1-inch tweeter ring reproduce an unexciting but ok sound. Performance across the frequency range was a little underwhelming. Mid-ranges, especially, were on the muddier side.

Everything is present and correct here. It’s straightforward to install with a simple design that will mold into any décor well once the grill is painted. It’s just not fundamentally exciting in any way, but we guess that’s the point.

Basic and functional, but not a good option…

But if we’re talking about the best in-ceiling speakers, then the AmazonBasics fall down too far when it comes to audio performance. You don’t have to be an audiophile to appreciate the quality sound, but why settle for less when far superior sound is found elsewhere at the same low price. For this reason alone, we’d advise you look at other speakers on this list.

AmazonBasics 6.5
Our rating:4.4 out of 5 stars (4.4 / 5)

Pros

  • Low price
  • Easy to install.
  • Unobtrusive.

Cons

  • Unexciting sound.
  • Muddy mid-ranges.

8 Niles CM7SI FG01659

Niles has been making great speakers for over four decades now, and the CM7SI is a solid addition to their range. It’s a single speaker that produces its own stereo sound, and we have to say that it does this pretty well.

A 7-inch composite woofer delivers a surprisingly full and worthy bass. Two 1-inch dome tweeters at opposing angles, give the sound a wide projection throughout the intended space. Mids and highs are crisp and well separated. For bigger rooms, you’ll need more than one speaker for more comprehensive coverage.

Superb for a smaller bathroom…

The Niles is another moisture resistant speaker, which increases the range of potential locations substantially. This would make the perfect stand-alone speaker for a small bathroom. Installation should be made easy by the spring loaded mounting clamps and the included cutting templates.

The magnetically attached and paintable grille allow for stealthy placement that will barely be noticed if you want them to blend in.

Excellent value for money…

In the middle of the price range, the Niles are priced just about right. No-one likes to feel they’re paying over the odds for anything. You feel like you’re getting what you pay for with these. No price hikes here. Whether that’s enough to win Best In-Ceiling Speaker remains to be seen.

Niles CM7SI FG01659
Our rating:5 out of 5 stars (5 / 5)

Pros

  • Sophisticated and finely balanced sound.
  • Moisture resistance.
  • Slim design.
  • Correctly priced.

Cons

  • Better value for money can still be found elsewhere.

9 Klipsch CDT-5650-C II

Back up at the higher end of the price range is this single speaker offering from Klipsch. Yes, it is expensive, but it is certainly not overpriced. Packed with cutting edge audio technology and producing a wonderfully textured sound, it’s worth every cent of the extra cost.

The 6.5-inch ceramic and metal woofer provides a mature bass that punches above its weight. And you can get away without an external sub-woofer when using two 5650’s. It can also pivot 15 degrees in any direction. The 1-inch titanium tweeters are horn loaded and utilize Controlled Dispersion Technology, which elevates and spreads the music to all corners of your room.

Expansive soundstage…

The tweeter is also swivel mounted to further increase directional capabilities. The adjustability of the drivers really helps to create an expansive soundstage from a lone speaker. Treble and mid-bass can also be adjusted via attenuation switches. This is the only model to feature such an option.

Sound holds together well at high volume, and we really put this to the test. No distortion was experienced throughout the frequency range when playing music or loud action movies.

Built to last…

Sturdily constructed using high-quality materials, you can expect years of continuous use from a Klipsch 5650. Installation is a simple process with these top rated ceiling speakers, and the slim design ensures you will be able to place this in most locations without too much difficulty.

We really don’t have anything negative to say about the Klipsch CDT-5650-C II. Cheap it is not, but a sound this luxurious shouldn’t be either. Easily one of the best in ceiling speakers for surround sound on our list.

Klipsch CDT-5650-C II
Our rating:3.9 out of 5 stars (3.9 / 5)

Pros

  • Sound quality to rival the Bose.
  • Expansive soundstage.
  • Innovative audio technology.
  • Durable construction.
  • Cu
  • stomizable sound.

Cons

  • High price point.

10 Theater Solutions TS80C

The lowest priced set of speakers on our list, Theater Solutions have managed to put together a decent package for such a low cost. As the name suggests, they are primarily designed to be used as part of a 5.1 or 7.1 home theater set-up. As a stand-alone option, they are capable of producing a nicely balanced sound, but one that could do with some help in the bass department.

Swivel mounted tweeters can be adjusted up to 15 degrees to direct the sound where you want it. The 8-inch fiber woven cone pumps out an impressively loud and distortion free sound even if it does lack a muscular bass. Mids and trebles are represented well enough without the level of refinement you get at a higher price point. This is to be expected.

Installation is a breeze…

Moisture resistance adds a degree versatility to the package and is a nice feature you wouldn’t necessarily expect to see at this price. As with most in-ceiling speakers, the TS80C is a minimalistic design with a paintable grille for maximum anonymity. Full instructions and cut out templates make installation a breeze.

In summary, you’ll get good value for money with the Theater Solutions. That being said, for a fraction more, you can enjoy the superior sound performance of the Micca M-8C’s, and quite frankly, you’d be crazy not to.

Theater Solutions TS80C
Our rating:4.4 out of 5 stars (4.4 / 5)

Pros

  • Great value for money.
  • Best used as part of a home movie system.
  • Loud and distortion free.

Cons

  • Lack of bass response.
  • Micca M-8C have superior Audio performance at same price.

In-Ceiling Speakers Buyers Guide

There are quite a few things to take on board before buying in-ceiling speakers. They’re not nearly as straightforward as stand-alone speakers, with installation being the biggest difference.

Ceiling Speaker Installation

How easy will it be to install ceiling speakers in the desired locations?

You’ll have to make sure there is enough available space, and you’ll be able to wire everything up easily. It’s quite possible that you’ll need to get someone in to help with this. If that’s the case, don’t forget to factor that into your costing.

However, the best in-ceiling speakers have been designed with easy installation in mind. Armed with the knowledge of any wire and pipe locations in your ceiling space, many people will be able to install the models on this list. Manufacturers should provide cut out templates that will guide you in getting the perfect fit.

best in-ceiling speakers

Magnetic grills…

Some people might like the option of a paintable grille so that the speakers can match the color of the ceiling. Some designs come with an easily removable grille using only magnets to hold it in place. This is a really useful feature that allows you to easily alter the direction you want speakers to point.

A dogleg clamp is a good way of simplifying the installation process, and these are often supplied.

Speaker Usage

What are you going to mainly be using your in-ceiling speakers for? Are you a passionate audiophile or a dedicated movie buff? You can buy specific sets of ceiling speakers to compliment home-movie theaters. Then there are speakers solely dedicated to providing you with audio excellence. Some can do both.

Make sure you narrow down your criteria before you start looking and buy the speakers that are best tailored to those needs. This will save you a lot of time.

Directional Capabilities

Avoid buying any speakers that don’t have aimable tweeters. The ability to enhance the sound in the direction you want is integral to the eventual sound quality of in-ceiling speakers. This shouldn’t be at the expense of the sound elsewhere in the room.

Speaker Location

Will your speaker be located indoors or in a covered area outside?

You’ll need to buy speakers that can stand up to the extra humidity and moisture in the air if you want to place them outside. This also applies if you’re thinking of installing speakers in a bathroom or sauna environment. Specific models are made for this purpose. Make sure you check your speakers are capable of the job you want them to do before buying.

in-ceiling speakers

If you’re installing in a particularly small room, which can only take one speaker, then buy a speaker that can produce a stereo sound by itself. A lot of models now feature this, and the sound quality is getting better and better. And while on the subject, let’s move on to…

Sound Quality

So you’ve found the perfect in-ceiling speakers for your room, but how do they actually sound. This is not something that should be ignored. Great sound is what we’re all after here, right? Fortunately, some of the biggest names in the industry now make in-ceiling speakers with awesome sound quality.

If you’re installing only one speaker, then buy one that can produce stereo sound by itself. A lot of manufacturers now produce single, stereo speakers, and this will enhance your listening experience dramatically. Most speakers that come in pairs are mono, and if you have the space, and you set them up properly, this will provide you with the best stereo sound quality possible.

Number of Speakers Needed

As a general rule of thumb, if your room is under 3 by 3 meters, then one set of speakers should be enough. Anything larger than 5 by 5 meters would be better served by two sets of speakers for more dynamic coverage. Obviously, this will depend on your intended use of the speakers, but it works as a rough guide.

Positioning is something you will also have to plan very carefully. Incorrect placement can result in an unbalanced sound. Experiment and get it right the first time to avoid any extra installation work later.

Speaker Size

Speaker cone size usually varies from 4 – 8 inches. Generally, the larger the speaker, the higher the quality of sound you can expect, especially in the bass department. If you’re looking for speakers that are easy to hide in the ceiling, then the smaller, the better. But if you’re not concerned with aesthetics and want the best sound available, it’s large cones all the way.

Other Options

There are a number of excellent speaker options available at the moment. So, it’s worth checking out our reviews of the Best Powered Speakers, the Best Studio Monitor Speakers, and the Best Speaker Docks on the market.

Our review of the Polk Audio RTI A3 may also be of interest.

So, What Is The Best In-Ceiling Speaker?

That’s 10 of the Best In-Ceiling Speakers bagged, tagged, and reviewed. Two models really stood out from the crowd. Firstly, for those on a budget, look no further than the…

They are half of the price of our overall winner and have a vibrant sound worthy of something more expensive. If you have multiple units to buy and want to save some coin, then this is a great buy.

But the overall crown has to go to the…

The level of sound quality you’re getting for such a reasonable price is amazing value for money. That was what clinched it for us. Audiophiles can go and spend the extra on Bose or Klipsch, but these will put a smile on the face of any music fan all at a substantially friendlier price-tag. It’s a win-win situation.</span