If you're looking for ceiling speakers then you may be wondering how you power them and actually enjoy your music with room filling sound.
Well fear not, ceiling speakers are pretty easy to understand and to install.
It starts by understanding that there are two types of in ceiling speakers.
- Passive Ceiling Speakers
- Active Ceiling Speakers
1. PASSIVE CEILING SPEAKERS
Passive ceiling speakers are the most common and do need to be connected to a separate amplifier with speaker cable before you can enjoy your music.
The key benefits of passive ceiling speakers is that you are not restricted in any way.
You can opt for various sizes from 2” right up to 8” from many different brands at various price points and sound qualities.
It also means that you can pair it with various different amplifiers, again from many different brands at different price and quality points.
Note that passive ceiling speakers are connected to an amplifier, not mains electrical!
Generally when installing ceiling speakers you’re doing a kitchen extension or refurbishment of some kind so can easily get cables around your home.
With our support most electricians can easily wire for the speakers without problems.
Here's an example wiring diagram...
Once you’ve decided on your passive ceiling speakers you’ll next need to choose an amplifier.
There’s a more detailed guide to ceiling speaker amplifiers available here however we’ll cover the basics here.
Firstly you need to ensure that your ceiling speakers and amplifier are well matched.
Don’t put a 100W amplifier on a pair of ceiling speakers with a 30W power handling as you’ll risk blowing them up if you ramp the volume too high.
We’d really recommend choosing the right amplifier for the right speakers for multiple reasons. Let’s say for instance you settle on a pair of ceiling speakers from Monitor Audio at £499 a pair, they’re going to be pretty decent speakers so deciding on a £30 amplifier probably isn’t going to make the most of those speakers.
Likewise if you have a high power, high quality Denon amplifier there’s no point spending £60 on Adastra ceiling speakers as you won’t get the most out of the overall system and will probably blow them up.
Split your budget evenly between amplifier and speakers for optimum sound quality. Good speakers on a good amplifier will sound better than excellent speakers on a cheap amplifier.
2. ACTIVE CEILING SPEAKERS
If you’re looking for the easiest (and often the best!) route then look no further than an active ceiling speaker.
Active means that the speaker has a built in amplifier and Bluetooth receiver making it “plug & play” - just power it up and you can simply pair your phone and play music.
These are becoming very popular for kitchens, dining rooms, bedrooms, bathrooms etc. as they are so easy and cost effective to install.
Again, you get what you pay for so we’d recommend going in at the Lithe Audio price point of £279 for a pair as you’ll get amazing sound quality, excellent features and decent warranties.
These are plug & play, simply add a socket above your ceiling and plug it in or connect it directly into your lighting circuit/switched fused spur like so...
Another benefit is that you can run a single speaker, a pair of speakers or connect up to three pairs together for larger rooms!
However the upside of active ceiling speakers can also be the down side, as the amplifier and Bluetooth receivers are built into the speaker itself you are restricted to the only size they are available in which is 6.5”.
Most commonly this is absolutely fine, smaller rooms you can opt for one speaker, larger rooms a pair.
It also makes larger rooms more expensive, you can connect up to three pairs together however that does mean you need to buy multiple systems and link cables whereas if you’re using passive ceiling speakers you can usually connect two pairs to most amplifiers adequately.
Hopefully you now have a good idea of the difference between passive and active ceiling speakers and can determine whether or not you need an amplifier for your ceiling speakers.
Our audio experts are on hand to help you decide on the best ceiling speaker and amplifier combination for your project depending on your requirements & budgets.
Feel free to email, live chat or call 02393 190955.