In Ceiling Speakers -- how many & quality ??s

boltonfishSeptember 26, 2011

I am remodeling my kitchen/living room -- removing walls to make a 650 sq ft "great room" (kitchen on one side of the new island, living room on the other). I want to install in-ceiling speakers. I am considering Speakercraft ($200 ea) and Martin Logan (Helios10 w/ aimable tweeter $300 ea). Just getting a Bose system is also an option.

This is for AUDIO only and not for a TV surround sound system -- music, spoken word, radio. I have a few burning questions:

1) Can I get away with TWO speakers in this space, or do I need FOUR?

2) Is SONOS worth it, or should I just buy 2nd receiver instead of trying to set up wireless Zigby system?

3) Does anyone have experience with the Speakercraft product -- is the sound quality good (I realize that's a personal taste issue -- but is it robust & full range, even at low volume??)?

4) What about Bose in-ceiling vs the ML or Speakercraft? Anyone with a Bose sound system in a living space?

Any comments helpful!! Thanks!

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First off, thank you. It's refreshing to hear when somebody knows that television surround sound does not go into the ceiling - however music is right at home there.

I'm guessing this is somewhere around 20' x 30' split down the middle. To decide on the number of speakers you'll need to think about where you'll be in each area, and if the stereo sound and image will be correctly presented in that space. I think it will be 4 speakers, though.

Don't know if this is raised ceilings or not but plays a major factor in layout as well.

Speakercraft has been a good middle of the road installers brand and I'm surprised they now sell through retail online.

Martin Logan of course has a very good reputation with their electrostatic speakers but does that mean the standard in-walls are worth the price? I don't know.

What I do know is that the ceiling/wall, the acoustics of the room, and the placement, are now part of the equation. I've done speaker calibrations on high end speaker installations, average, and low end speaker installations and it's a toss up - there are just too many variables.

Going the Sonos route and Zigbee is fine but may create complexities you may just not want to deal with. What about a second zone from your main receiver? If not, another receiver may be a simple setup for this area - many have auto calibrate modes.

Bose can be great for a plug and play setup but tends to be a little too proprietary for my tastes.

Look around a little and see what else is out there.

    Bookmark   September 27, 2011 at 10:06PM
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I agree that you are looking at minimum of 4 speakers. I use 4 speakers in an area of 20' x28', in my kitchen/family room.

I also like the idea of a receiver in that area; you'll have more control and flexibility.

I would not purchase the Bose systems, too much hype for me, and I have a friend that has had nothing but problems with his new Bose system. It crapped out three times, and the in-store warranty only gave him another Bose system to replace it.
I have replaced only 2 (of 22 PSB's) that I own) of my ceiling speakers with Sonance 6", and they are giving me good value for the money.

Good luck.

    Bookmark   October 20, 2011 at 4:42PM
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