In-ceiling speakers offer businesses a discrete way to deliver great sound to their clientele. But there’s more to installing an in-ceiling speaker system than you would first think.
We’ve used our experience built from over a decade in the industry to put this helpful guide together to help you successfully plan your in-ceiling system.
In this guide:
What size of ceiling speaker do I need?
The size of in-ceiling speakers you need will depend on the size and intended use of your space. You can use a mix of sizes to fully optimise your sound experience in every space.
4” and smaller in-ceiling speakers
These small speakers are handy when you need audio in a space where discretion is a priority, as these speakers aren’t easily seen. But the compromise is quality of sound as the low to mid frequencies will be weaker than in larger speakers.
6” in-ceiling speakers
6” speakers are often considered the best bang for your buck. They are great all-rounders and can be used in a wide variety of applications. Perfect for background music, professional public announcements and surround sound in spaces with medium background noise levels.
8” in-ceiling speakers
If your spaces have high noise levels or you’re looking to create a high intensity sound experience, 8” speakers provide a better audio range and bass.
How many ceiling speakers do I need in a room?
Typically, ceiling speakers come in pairs with one playing the left channel of audio and one playing the right channel, resulting in true stereo sound.
As a rough guide, we generally recommend that for rooms larger than 3 metres x 3 metres you use one pair of ceiling speakers, and for rooms bigger than 5 metres x 5 metres two pairs of ceiling speakers will offer a more balanced sound.
How to best position ceiling speakers
Your in-ceiling speakers should be equally spaced in the room to ensure a balanced sound. In a small space, a single ceiling speaker may be sufficient. In this situation you should install the speaker as close to the centre of the room as possible for best sound distribution.
If installing more than one, ensure your speakers are positioned at least two meters from each other and equal distances from the walls.
For best results we always recommend consulting sound experts. At Evoson, our sound experts provide full sound maps for any space as standard, making speaker placement simple.
How much space do I need for ceiling speakers?
Always make sure you check your ceiling space and ceiling speaker dimensions before purchasing as they come in all sizes. The mounting depth and cut-outs required to properly mount ceiling speakers range from 36mm-160mm deep and 196mm-250mm in diameter.
Evoson ceiling speakers come from 80mm to 105mm deep with cut outs from 200mm to 244mm in diameter, giving a great flexibility depending on your ceiling space.
How to power and control your ceiling speakers
Ceiling speakers come in two varieties, ‘active’ and ‘passive’. Active speakers are great for home use, as they are usually ‘plug and play’, requiring only a simple connection to mains. These feature a built-in amplifier and are controlled via a device over Bluetooth or WiFi.
Most commercial spaces require more control, making passive speakers a better option. Passive speakers require an external amplifier which then powers the speakers through a speaker cable. Amplifiers provide lots of flexibility for further integration with automation software, connection over WiFi and Bluetooth and much more. For larger spaces multiple amplifiers can be used to create zoned sound, enabling you to deliver the best audio for every space in your facility.
What else will you need?
There are a few extras needed to properly run an in-ceiling speaker system. Always check with your audio specialist for recommendations on which specific items and models to use, as every system is different.
As mentioned above, an external amplifier is required to power and control passive speakers. Depending on the number of speakers, you may be able to use one amplifier only, or you might need multiple.
Your cabling requirements depend on the voltage of your system. All Evoson in-ceiling speakers are 100v line, and we recommend the Belden 8760 cable (or equivalent), the industry standard for 100v line systems.
Depending on how you want to use your space, you might want different volumes in each area. You can achieve this manually with wall-mounted volume controls. Or you can take it to the next level and integrate your sound system with a dedicated tablet for intuitive, centralised control of all your zones.
Ceiling speakers for high-humidity spaces
The most important thing to look for when selecting speakers for a high-humidity space is the IP rating - an international standard for defining different levels of sealing effectiveness. IP00 offers no special protection, and on the opposite end of the scale IP69 is totally dust tight and protected against extended deep water water immersion.
Many people prefer a mounted speaker in these types of spaces, like our IP Series cabinet speakers that are IP66 rated. There's no need to cut a hole into waterproof faces using mounted speakers, reducing risk of moisture ingress in your building.
Who will install your system?
Installing an in-ceiling speaker system should only be done by qualified professionals. At Evoson we offer an end-to-end service, from audio mapping to installation to dedicated aftercare. Get in touch today to find out how we can help you create a great sound experience with quality ceiling speakers.
Questions your system designer will ask you
To get the most out of your speaker specialist, be prepared to answer a few questions about your space and how your sound system will be used. Here are some questions we regularly ask our clients to help you prepare:
How large are the areas you want covered?
What are the shapes of the spaces and how are they used?
How many people will be using each space?
What will the system be used for? Is it for soft background music or public announcements?
Do you have an existing background music system that you would like integrated in to?
If yes, what mixer or amplifier does the existing system have?
Can the speakers be recessed into the ceiling?
What colour do you want your speakers to be?
We’d love to help
If you’re looking for great sound but don’t want speakers obviously on display, in-ceiling speakers offer an excellent solution. Getting an expert involved helps you choose the right speakers for your space and to design the perfect system. If you’re considering a new sound project let us know, our friendly and experienced team would love to help bring it to life.