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Good Kitchen Speakers?

Posted by hatman52 (My Page) on
Mon, May 14, 07 at 12:25

We're in the process of redoing our kitchen, and since it's completely gutted, had originally planned on installing two in-ceiling Polk Audio speakers. However, upon further reflection, I'm considering going with regular bookshelf speakers. We live in a historic house, and -- while we're not creating a museum -- we do want to keep a period look as much as possible. Our cabinet layout has two tall corner cabinets which would allow us to easily set a small bookshelf speaker on top of each out of view (we have 9-foot ceilings). I realize the sound quality may be slightly better with the in-ceiling speakers, but, considering we'd mostly be using the kitchen speakers for background music, that seems to be a good tradeoff to me. So, the questions are: 1) Anyone see any problems with this path? 2) Anyone have suggestions for a good set of reasonably priced speakers for this application?

Thanks in adavnce.


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RE: Good Kitchen Speakers?

I can think of a couple of things you might want to consider. First is that kitchens are notoriously hostile locations for speakers, with the heat and grease and steam and all. I don't know what steps you've taken to get rid of stove/oven exhaust, but that could be a reason to not invest much money in kitchen speakers. That said, I had a pair of bookshelf speakers on the counter of my kitchen when I lived in an apartment a few years ago and the only damage they incurred were some grease spots on the fabric grille.

Second, and perhaps a bigger consideration, is that the speakers, being high up, will be considerably off-axis. On a shelf which likely will emphasize bass anyway, you could find these speakers will sound really tubby and unbalanced. You might consider inverting the speakers so the tweeters are on the bottom (assumed they're designed that way).

I've linked a thread in which good lower-priced bookshelf speakers are discussed. But I would think really hard about keeping the speaker budget to a minimum because you're not likely to have great sound quality for long -- or really considering the acoustical environment and choosing speakers which will be helped by bookshelf placement and have excellent tweeter dispersion to help ensure that there's something to hear 3-4 feet down from the ceiling.

Here is a link that might be useful: THS thread about bookshelf speakers


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