The 6 Best Ceiling Speakers of 2022

Listen up: These are the top ceiling speakers for your house

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If you value sound quality in your home theater, you’ll want to invest in good speakers. Installing ceiling speakers can save you floor space and prevent you from having to hide wires - if you're prepared to put up with the extra hassle on installing them.

For most people, if you want decent ceiling speakers, we think you should just buy the Polk RC80i's.

The Rundown
They offer a lot of benefits in terms of design and sound quality but come at a much cheaper price point than higher-end speakers.
Easiest Installation:
Polk Audio 70-RT at Amazon
Installation is easy, thanks to a one-cut, drop-in feature that offers templates for finding the best fit.
Best Budget:
Pyle PDIC60 at Amazon
The Pyle PDIC60 speakers are about as cheap as you can go while still getting a decent ceiling speaker.
The audio is both crisp and accurate with a surprising amount of bass.
The Acoustic Audio CS-IC83 are a solid set of entry-level home theater ceiling speakers.
The easy installation pairs with an ultra-slim bezel that makes this Bose model drop right into the ceiling.

Best Overall: Polk Audio RC80i 2-way Premium In-Ceiling 8" Round Speakers

Polk Audio RC80i
What We Like
  • Moisture resistant

  • Come as a pair

  • Adjustable tweeter

What We Don't Like
  • Connection clips instead of cylinders

  • Non-magnetic grilles

Manufactured out of moisture-resistant, durable material, the Polk Audio RC80i can be used indoors or in a sauna or porch area (although they're not suitable for outdoors). We chose them as our top pick because they offer a lot of benefits in terms of design and sound quality, yet they come at a much cheaper price point than higher-end speakers. 

Our product tester Erika found the RC80i had exceptional sound comparable to speakers double their price. They produce a warm sound that fills an entire room, and are adjustable on a 15-degree swiveling mount, so it's easy to make the sound hit exactly where you want. Their white coloring helps them blend in and makes them hardly noticeable on a white ceiling, but you can paint the grilles to match your ceiling if it’s a different color (although the grilles are not magnetic). They also come as a pair.

Channels: L and R | Bluetooth: No | Physical Connection: Push-down spring clips | Paintable/Magnetic Grills: Paintable | Waterproof: Humidity resistant

Easiest Installation: Polk Audio 70-RT 3-Way in-Ceiling Speaker

Polk Audio 70RT
What We Like
  • Paintable grilles

  • Good mid tones and bass

  • Easy install

What We Don't Like
  • Pricier than some other Polk options

Known as 'the vanishing series', the Polk Audio 70-RT comes as a single speaker outfitted with a super-thin grille that magnetically secures the speaker together, while protruding a mere 7mm from the ceiling. This makes for a speaker that’s barely noticeable from a distance. 

It sounds good overall, with a powerful sound profile in spite of its small diameter.

Channels: L and R | Bluetooth: No | Physical Connection: Spring-loaded cylinders | Paintable/Magnetic Grills: Paintable and magnetic | Waterproof: No

What We Like
  • Very affordable

  • Reasonably good sound

  • Easy install

What We Don't Like
  • No magnetic grilles

Designed for wall or ceiling installation, the Pyle PDIC60 speakers are about as cheap as you can go while still getting a decent ceiling speaker. They come as a pair of 6.5-inch speakers, and while you won’t get upgrades such as magnetic grilles, and the sound isn’t as powerful as more expensive speakers, they will still serve as an upgrade over most regular TV speakers. They’re also a good choice for a kitchen or other areas in the home. However, we would not recommend these for someone who wants speakers for a premium home movie theater.

The bass that’s delivered from the Pyle isn’t bad, but it does tend to distort slightly when you crank the volume up to full blast, so it’s best to go with a separate, affordable subwoofer if you want full bass.

Channels: L and R | Bluetooth: No | Physical Connection: Push-down spring clips | Paintable/Magnetic Grills: Paintable | Waterproof: No

Best Sound: Klipsch CDT-5650-C

Klipsch CDT-5650-C
What We Like
  • Phenomenal sound

  • Gorgeous design

  • Quality build

What We Don't Like
  • Don't pair well with non-Klipsch speakers

This Klipsch series is a favorite among our reviewers, as the speakers sound so good. The CDT-5650-ii does, however, come at a steep price, and it's only a single speaker. 

The audio is both crisp and accurate, with the highlights being the mids and lows. There's also a surprising amount of bass, which is unexpected for in-ceiling speakers. 

Just keep in mind that you’ll need to buy at least two of them for stereo sound, as they don’t sound good paired with other non-Klipsch speakers.

Channels: L and R | Bluetooth: No | Physical Connection: Spring-loaded clips | Paintable/Magnetic Grills: Paintable and magnetic | Waterproof: No

Best Theater: Acoustic Audio CS-IC83

Acoustic Audio CS-IC83
What We Like
  • Come as a set of five

  • Thin, paintable grilles

  • Good value

What We Don't Like
  • Push-down clip connections

The Acoustic Audio CS-IC83 are a decent set of five solid entry-level home theater ceiling speakers.

As with most ceiling speakers, you’ll want to add a separate subwoofer if you want booming bass. 

The paintable frame and grille offer both easy installation and the flexibility to change up the look to match your home’s paint coloring.

Channels: L and R | Bluetooth: No | Physical Connection: Push-down spring clips | Paintable/Magnetic Grills: Paintable | Waterproof: No

Best Splurge: Bose Virtually Invisible 791

Bose Virtually Invisible 791
What We Like
  • Come as a pair

  • Blend well into ceiling

  • Magnetic grilles

What We Don't Like
  • Pricey

The Bose 791 speakers are 7 inches wide, and have Bose’s signature Stereo Everywhere technology for balancing the sound in an entire room. 

The easy installation pairs with an ultra-slim bezel that makes this Bose model drop right into the ceiling (via a precut hole) and is secured in its position with dogleg clamps. They have a detachable speaker grille that can be removed and painted to better fit your room's decor. As with the Bose 591, we appreciate the Bose 791's design and build quality.

Channels: L and R | Bluetooth: No | Physical Connection: Spring-loaded cylinders | Paintable/Magnetic Grills: Paintable and magnetic | Waterproof: No

Final Verdict

Polk’s RC80i (view at Amazon) offer a combination of sound quality and smart design, and the pair of speakers come at an affordable price. If you’re willing to spend more and you want pure and clean sound, Klipsch CDT-5650-C-II (view at Amazon) will not disappoint.

FAQ
  • Will the distance of your speakers from the audio source affect your sound quality?

    Yes—while it's not always possible, for the best audio quality, you'll want to keep the length of cable tethering your speakers to your receiver as short as possible. Although your sound quality won't suffer very much unless they're 25 feet or more from your receiver. For any wired speakers, you should use a 14-gauge cable, and potentially use a 12-gauge cable for any speakers extending past 25 feet from the receiver.

  • What are the best in-ceiling surround sound speakers?


    Most of the ceiling speakers on this list are good options for a surround sound setup, but we particularly like the Klipsch CDT-5650-C-ii. You’ll get phenomenal sound if you pair the ceiling speakers with a Klipsch woofer, but it’ll cost you quite a bit of cash. If you want a more affordable option, Polk and Pyle are typically good brands to look at.

  • Does Best Buy do in-ceiling speaker installation?

    Best Buy does offer wall and ceiling speaker installation through Geek Squad. You can consult with a Best Buy Home Expert for free to get an estimate of how much the installation will cost. Best Buy will do everything from mounting and securing the speaker, concealing the wire, organizing the cables, properly positioning the speakers, and showing you how to use them.

What to Look For in a Ceiling Speaker

Style

If you want your speakers to be as discreet as possible, it’s important to choose a style that matches the color of your room. Paintable grilles let you match the ceiling speaker’s color to that of your ceiling, while thin profile designs help the speaker blend into the ceiling.

"The size of the room where you want to install a ceiling speaker will determine the type you choose. Ceiling speakers tend to come in two different sizes; 6.5 inches and 8 inches. The smaller speakers typically work well in small to medium-sized rooms, while an 8-inch ceiling speaker is better suited to spacious rooms, as the bass volume is higher." — Sylvia James, Designer, HomeHow

Installation

This isn’t as big of an issue if you’re paying for professional installation, but if you’re putting these ceiling speakers in yourself, you want to choose a model that has simple instructions and provides for easy mounting, with dogleg clamps and a template for cutting a hole. The last thing you want to do is accidentally cut too large of a hole for your speakers, so make sure to pay attention to how easy (or difficult) installation is on the speakers you’re interested in.

Sound Quality

When you’re choosing ceiling speakers, you’re probably going to have to balance price and sound quality. The question is, how much are you willing to pay for a great sound? You can choose stereo sound and go with just a pair of speakers, or go with a full surround sound setup with five speakers and a woofer. Also, pay attention to metrics such as frequency response, which indicates the range of tones the speaker can produce.

"When watching a live performance of a musician, very rarely are they playing or singing above your head. Ceiling speakers are fine for background music but they can never really give you the feeling of realism." — Nick Fichte, Business Manager, L-Acoustics Creations

About Our Trusted Experts

Erika Rawes has been writing professionally for more than a decade, and she’s spent the last five years writing about consumer technology. Erika has reviewed roughly 150 gadgets, including computers, peripherals, A/V equipment, mobile devices, and smart home gadgets. Erika currently writes for Digital Trends and Lifewire.

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