The 10 Best In-Ceiling Speakers for Home Theater in 2022

Finding the best in-ceiling speakers for home theater can be a daunting task. I remember when in-ceiling speakers used to be something only a certain class of people could afford. It is not like that anymore, and we can all enjoy a spacious home theater unencumbered by bulky speakers.

If you have a functioning music system, you might think having in-ceiling speakers is unnecessary, but that is not true. They are more convenient than you think, and some can be quite affordable.

There are also different speakers to choose from, so you can pick one that works with your décor, although they will be out of your line of vision, so it doesn’t really matter.

In-ceiling speakers also have some of the best sound range and quality available, which is impressive for something so small. The power these speakers pack will make you feel like you are in a movie theater and cannot even see them.

Photo
Best Overall
Polk Audio RC80i 2-way Premium In-Ceiling 8" Round Speakers, Set of 2 Perfect for Damp and Humid Indoor/Outdoor Placement - Bath, Kitchen, Covered Porches (White, Paintable-Grille)
Premium Pick
Bose Virtually Invisible 791 In-Ceiling Speaker II - White
Best for Music
Klipsch CDT-5650-C II In-Ceiling Speaker - White (Each)
Best for Movies
Acoustic Audio by Goldwood CS-IC83 8” 3-Way In Ceiling Home Theater Speaker System (White, 5 Speakers)
Best Budget
6.5'' In-Wall/In-Ceiling Midbass Speakers (Pair) - 2-Way Woofer Speaker System Directable 1” Titanium Dome Tweeter Flush Mount Design w/ 65Hz - 22kHz Frequency Response 250 Watts Peak - Pyle PDIC60
Product
Polk Audio RC80i
Bose Invisible 791 Speakers
Klipsch CDT-5650-C II
Goldwood CS-IC83 Speakers
Pyle PDIC60 Midbass Speakers
Pros

Quality audio performance

Uses water and rust-resistant materials

Adjustable, swiveling tweeter

Customizable colors

Invisible, seamless design

Enviable sound performance

Magnetic grilles

Easily paintable

Adjustable to different directions

Blends with any decoration

Impressive sound performance

Great bass quality

Wide surround sound capability

Compatible with different audio systems

3-way sound system

Durable design

Removable grills

High-frequency response

Easy custom installation

Crisp and clear audio quality

Rating
Review

Read Full Review

Prime Status
Best Overall
Photo
Polk Audio RC80i 2-way Premium In-Ceiling 8" Round Speakers, Set of 2 Perfect for Damp and Humid Indoor/Outdoor Placement - Bath, Kitchen, Covered Porches (White, Paintable-Grille)
Product
Polk Audio RC80i
Pros

Quality audio performance

Uses water and rust-resistant materials

Adjustable, swiveling tweeter

Customizable colors

Rating
Prime Status
Premium Pick
Photo
Bose Virtually Invisible 791 In-Ceiling Speaker II - White
Product
Bose Invisible 791 Speakers
Pros

Invisible, seamless design

Enviable sound performance

Magnetic grilles

Easily paintable

Rating
Prime Status
Best for Music
Photo
Klipsch CDT-5650-C II In-Ceiling Speaker - White (Each)
Product
Klipsch CDT-5650-C II
Pros

Adjustable to different directions

Blends with any decoration

Impressive sound performance

Great bass quality

Rating
Prime Status
Best for Movies
Photo
Acoustic Audio by Goldwood CS-IC83 8” 3-Way In Ceiling Home Theater Speaker System (White, 5 Speakers)
Product
Goldwood CS-IC83 Speakers
Pros

Wide surround sound capability

Compatible with different audio systems

3-way sound system

Durable design

Rating
Prime Status
Best Budget
Photo
6.5'' In-Wall/In-Ceiling Midbass Speakers (Pair) - 2-Way Woofer Speaker System Directable 1” Titanium Dome Tweeter Flush Mount Design w/ 65Hz - 22kHz Frequency Response 250 Watts Peak - Pyle PDIC60
Product
Pyle PDIC60 Midbass Speakers
Pros

Removable grills

High-frequency response

Easy custom installation

Crisp and clear audio quality

Rating
Prime Status

 

Best In-Ceiling Speakers

Whether you want to change up your home theater or are looking to upgrade your normal speakers, this article is for you. We will look at the best in-ceiling speakers for home theater that you can afford and that give you the power you didn’t know you needed.

 

1. Best Overall: Polk Audio RC80i 2-Way Premium In-Ceiling Speakers

Polk Audio RC80i

If you have used in-ceiling speakers before, then you are familiar with Polk Audio speakers. The quality of the company’s speakers speaks for itself, and it shows just how much care was put into them.

The RC80i speakers have a low-profile design with the best quality packed into the 8-inch surround. They have a metallic 1-inch tweeter and a wide frequency range that can go up to 20,000Hz.

The RC80i speakers are also white and paintable, so you can customize them to your liking. The speakers go all out on the audio quality, shining through, especially when it comes to the detail.

They are moisture-resistant, making them some of the most durable speakers that you can use for years. They are also designed to be suitable for multiple environments, so you don’t have to worry about them messing up your décor.

Another impressive thing that is worth mentioning with the RC80i speakers is the tweeter’s swiveling ability. It has a 15-degree allowance that allows you to point the speakers to where want for the ultimate experience. The RC80i speakers are also quite affordable, which is definitely a plus.

Pros
  • Quality audio performance
  • Uses water and rust-resistant materials
  • Adjustable, swiveling tweeter
  • Customizable colors
Cons
  • Bass isn’t too powerful
  • Has an exposed back

 


2. Premium Pick: Bose Virtually Invisible 791 Speakers

Bose Virtually Invisible 791 Speakers

These are the next best speakers, and they come from the speaker giants, Bose. As the name suggests, they are virtually invisible, which makes them fit anywhere.

They have two 1-inch tweeters and one 7-inch woofer that don’t take up much space while still delivering great audio quality. The speaker’s performance covers every inch of your home theater, no matter how large it is.

They have a great balance with the Stereo Everywhere performance and don’t have sound dropoffs. Bose Virtually Invisible 791 speakers are also super easy to install, and you don’t even need a professional.

That is because they come with a magnetic attachment and templates that you can easily maneuver on your own. The audio quality is something that will impress you.

Bass enthusiasts might not be pleased, however, and you might need to complement the bass with a much stronger subwoofer. Another downside to these speakers is their price. However, if price is not an issue for you, these might be the right fit for you.

Pros
  • Invisible, seamless design
  • Enviable sound performance
  • Magnetic grilles
  • Easily paintable
Cons
  • Low bass quality
  • A bit on the expensive side

 


 

3. Best for Music: Klipsch CDT-5650-C II In-Ceiling Speaker

Klipsch CDT-5650-C II

This is the best in-ceiling speaker for home theater for music lovers. If you are like me and love blasting music that reaches every corner of the house, the Klipsch CDT-5650-C is just the speaker for you.

It is a two-way speaker with a 6.5-inch cerametallic woofer and a 1-inch titanium tweeter. One of the beauties of this speaker is its ability to swivel in any direction; you can have it follow your general direction for you to listen to your music wherever you are.

The quality is still there even when the speaker faces a specific direction, thanks to its Controlled Dispersion Technology. The speaker also gives you more control over your listening with its treble and mid-bass attenuation switches.

You will be able to listen to your music and hear every beat and note because of the detailed and crystal-clear sound performance. The speaker’s wide soundstage and impressive range only add to its allure.

Another beauty of the Klipsch CDT-5650-C II speakers is their versatile design. You can use the speakers on different sound applications, from surround sound to stereo design. It also has a minimal design that makes them unnoticeable once installed.

Pros
  • Adjustable to different directions
  • Blends with any decoration
  • Impressive sound performance
  • Great bass quality
Cons
  • Expensive
  • Not suited for movies

 


 

4. Best for Movies: Acoustic Audio by Goldwood CS-IC83 Speakers

Acoustic Audio by Goldwood CS-IC83

The Acoustic Audio CS-IC83 speakers are arguably the best for your home theater when it comes to movies. Their small size should not discourage you; the quality you will get from the CS-IC83 is like no other.

What’s even more impressive about these speakers is their five pieces that you can stick throughout your home theater. They are super easy to install because of the pressure lock mounting system.

It’s so easy even a child can stick them to drywall. The grills are paintable and removable, allowing you to make the speakers even more minimalistic.

The speakers have a 3-way sound that provides full range quality that will make even the smallest sounds in the movie pop out. They also provide a high frequency, with a frequency response of 40kHz-20kHz.

They are also versatile in their use and can be used with even the traditional speaker design. They can also integrate with your existing audio system; they will also work with the newer system if you are going for the full upgrade.

Whatever audio system you have will be amplified to give you the highest frequency and listening condition possible. They also have a wide dispersion system that will cover the whole area for the full movie experience.

Pros
  • Wide surround sound capability
  • Compatible with different audio systems
  • 3-way sound system
  • Durable design
Cons
  • Not enough mid-range bass
  • Hard to reinstall the grills

 


 

5. Best Budget: Pyle PDIC60 In-Ceiling Midbass Speakers

Pyle PDIC60 In-Ceiling Midbass Speakers

Now we come to the best in-ceiling speakers for home theaters for those who don’t have too much money to spend on them. First up is the Pyle PDIC60 speaker, and it is one for the books.

Not only is it very affordable, but it also gives a great sound performance. It has directable titanium tweeters and woofers that burst with sound.

The materials used on the speakers are also very durable, so you can get your money’s worth from them and even more. The speakers deliver clear and crisp sound performance that will have you enjoy the best of whatever you listen to.

Their frequency response ranges from 65Hz-22kHz with a 250 watts power capability. This ensures you can use them wherever you are, with no problem when it comes to their performance.

Installation is also a breeze with the Pyle PDIC60, and they come with removable grills and built-in terminals that allow you to install them yourself. The speakers mount on your ceiling and will not fall off regardless of how loud your music is.

Their bass capability is decent, with a 6.5-inch midbass speaker. Bass heads and enthusiasts might want to use another subwoofer to improve on the bass, but everything else is top-notch.

Pros
  • Removable grills
  • High-frequency response
  • Easy custom installation
  • Crisp and clear audio quality
Cons
  • Weak bass
  • Needs a subwoofer

 


 

6. Pyle 8 Inch Bluetooth in-ceiling PDICBT286 Speakers

Pyle 8 Inch Bluetooth in-ceiling PDICBT286

This is one of the most affordable and best in-ceiling speakers for home theater that is also wireless. The PICBT286 speakers have a built-in Bluetooth capability that covers a wide range.

They are mobile and perfect for any room with incredible stereo sound. Their design is also compact and small that you might not even see them.

The speakers are compatible with different sound systems, and they can seamlessly integrate with whatever you have. They also double as a 4-channel digital amplifier for sound processing.

Its visuals are also something worth noting, with a flush mount design that makes it easy to install. There are also two installation methods, in-wall and in-ceiling. You can choose whichever you feel comfortable with without worrying that they will stick out.

The audio quality is also strong and can be used in the office, for home or professional use, and for any custom audio applications.

The speaker’s maximum output power is 250 watts, producing enough output to fill the whole room. The sound quality is another of its best features, producing a clear and smooth sound.

Pros
  • Wireless Bluetooth connectivity
  • Durable polypropylene design
  • Compact and lightweight
  • 2-way stereo sound capability
Cons
  • Not great for large settings
  • Not long-lasting

 


 

7. Polk Audio 70-RT 3-Way In-Ceiling Speaker

Polk Audio 70-RT 3-Way In-Ceiling Speaker

Another masterpiece from Polk, the 70-RT, is a more affordable version of their speakers. It has a Hi-Fi sound surround that will elevate your sound quality.

It has broad coverage that can cover the whole room and more, making it suitable for playing in larger areas. The speakers also have a deep bass that shines through even when the frequencies are low, making it perfect for music lovers.

It is also long-lasting and is powered by Polk’s Power Port technology and Dynamic balance. This gives you great sound quality that lasts.

They are great for in-ceiling use, especially for those with neighbors, as they are largely vibration-free. The sound quality is impressive, offering high-quality sound output without sound distortion.

The speakers give you full-range performance that belies their small size. Speaking of size, the Polk 70-RT is great for those with smaller houses or lower ceilings.

The size allows it to disappear into the ceiling, making your house look free. It also has a thin grille that you can paint in different colors to make it blend with the rest of your house.

Pros
  • Clutter-free minimalistic design
  • Hi-Fi surround sound system
  • Full range performance
  • Easy to install
  • Vibration-free and clear sound quality
Cons
  • Installation needs more space
  • Exposed back that can accumulate dirt

 


 

8. Sonos In-Ceiling Speakers

Sonos In-Ceiling Speakers

If crystal clear sound with great ambiance to suit the mood is your goal, these Sonos speakers are the perfect match for you. The In-Ceiling speakers by Sonance are quite powerful, with a maximum output of 130 Watts.

They use a corded electric power source, but when properly installed, they won’t take up much of your sound. The speakers are also great for those looking to customize their home theater, as they come with perfectly round or square grilles.

You can choose the design that matches your home best. You can also paint them to match your home theater. The speakers can also connect via WiFi, so you can connect them in different rooms.

This means you can hear the sound wherever you are and connect the speakers to create the perfect home sound system. The Sonos In-Ceiling speakers work best when wired with the Sonos Amp, which includes their custom tuning, Trueplay.

This takes stock of the size and layout of the room to produce the best possible sound. Their design is also one of the best, which works to bring superior sound quality.

Pros
  • WiFi connectivity
  • Uses the powerful Trueplay tuning
  • Customizable grilles
  • Compact design
Cons
  • You have to buy the amplifier separately
  • Does not have separate speaker controls

 


 

9. Polk Audio RC65i 2-Way Premium Speakers

Polk Audio RC65i 2-Way Premium Speakers

Another versatile in-ceiling speaker from Polk that you can also install as an in-wall system. This is made possible by the speaker’s streamlined design.

The company uses laser measurement technology that ensures a seamless design that still gives the ultimate performance. The speakers are made using rustproof material, using non-corrosive stainless steel hardware.

They are also great for use in high-moisture areas because of their powder-coated aluminum and steel grills. This means you can install them in the bathroom or on your porch without fear that they will be ruined by moisture.

You should, however, be careful and not use them outdoors where they can be affected by water. The RC65i speaker’s minimal output power is 100 Watts, ensuring you get great audio quality even at its lowest setting.

They are also great for music and movie lovers because of their high-quality and crisp sound quality that lets you hear every bit of dialogue.

The speakers come with a 6.5-inch subwoofer and a 0.75 tweeter that can swivel to reach different directions. The sound dispersion is also great, made possible by the mineral-filled polymer cone and sturdy driver basket that ensure even sound distribution.

Pros
  • Great sound quality and sound reproduction
  • Seamless design
  • Moisture resistant build
  • Made using non-corrosive material
Cons
  • Can be hard to reinstall after removing
  • Installation tabs can be difficult to use

 


 

10. Definitive Technology Uewa/ DI 8R Round In-Ceiling Speaker

Definitive Technology Uewa/ DI 8R

Loud, clear, sound quality with space-saving qualities come together with the last of our best in-ceiling speakers for home theater, the Definitive Technology DI 8R In-Ceiling speaker.

They are virtually undetectable once installed because of their intelligent design, low grilles, and their small diameters that allow them to blend into the ceiling.

The speakers provide a wide-angle sound that covers the whole home theater. The speakers amplify sound to ensure it reaches every square inch of your room, giving you the theater experience right at home.

Definitive Technology went all out with its technology, ensuring they used the most advanced possible to give you the sharpest and clearest of sounds. The 1-inch aluminum dome tweeters enhance the audio performance, diffusing any distortions and diffractions to give you the best audio possible.

The speakers are also easy to install with magnetic grilles and their inbuilt fire-rated enclosures. They are a little on the expensive side, but the speakers are worth every penny.

Pros
  • Durable Cast PolyStone design
  • Crisp and sharp sound quality
  • Sound diffraction and distortion technology
  • Pivoting and durable tweeters
Cons
  • No woofer
  • Expensive

 


 

Things to Consider When Buying in-Ceiling Speakers for Home Theater

Before buying the best in-ceiling speakers for home theater, you need to have a list of things to consider. The list will ensure you get the best possible speakers without straining your budget. Some of the things you should consider include:

 

1. Audio Quality

The first thing you should look out for is the speaker’s audio quality. This may not be a big problem for some, but audiophiles need to pay extra attention to this.

You want crisp, sharp, and clear audio that does not disrupt your listening experience. Look for speakers that provide the best audio quality and let you enjoy your music or movies without distortion.

 

2. Quality of Materials

Some people might shy away from in-ceiling speakers because they don’t trust the quality of the materials. This should be on your list of considerations because you want a speaker that can last.

Both the interior and exterior of your in-ceiling speakers for home theater should use high-quality and durable materials for you to get the longest possible use out of them. Some speakers are even rust-free and water-resistant, so you can use them in different areas of the house.

 

3. Ease of Installation

In-ceiling speakers are not hard to install, although some are more than others. To make things easier for yourself, and so you don’t have to pay someone else to do this simple task for you, look for speakers optimized for self installations.

Some speakers have specialized systems and templates that you can easily install with simple tools. These are the ones you should look out for, especially if you are not handy.

Recommended: 7 Best Ported Subwoofer Box Design For Optimal Sound & Deep Bass.

 

4. The Design

One of the main attractive qualities of in-ceiling speakers is their ability to disappear into the ceiling. That is why most of them have paintable grilles and low-profile designs that do not clash with your décor.

This can be an important feature for some, especially those for whom space is a huge consideration. Look for a compact model that can blend into your ceiling and vanish.

 

5. Adjustable Positioning

Some of the in-ceiling speakers we have covered above can swivel to different areas. This is ideal because you can easily change the direction they face whenever you need to.

They can have either swiveling woofers or movable tweeters that you can align to the position you listen from.

 

6. Size of the Room

The in-ceiling speaker you choose should be powerful enough to cover the area where you will install them. Their volume output should be strong.

Otherwise, you might need to buy more speakers to cover the area. You might need to measure your room to help you determine the speakers you buy.

 

7. Your Budget

This can help you determine the speakers you want. The most expensive speaker does not immediately mean it is the best fit for you. You can find different and more affordable in-ceiling speakers for home theater with a great range and output. There are many items to choose from, so don’t compromise.

 

 

FAQs

Are in-ceiling speakers good for surround sound?

The answer to this largely depends on the speakers you get. Some might feel discouraged when they look at the speaker’s size, but this is not always the best judgment.

Some of the speakers we have covered above are powerful enough to provide surround sound, while others don’t make the cut. Look for the power output on the speakers you choose; those with a higher output tend to produce better sound quality and surround sound.

You should also look for the speaker’s range, checking for the highest and lowest. Even if your in-ceiling speakers for home theater don’t have surround sound, you can complement them with an amplifier to get the same effect.

 

Do I need a woofer with ceiling speakers?

You might need a woofer to go with your ceiling speakers, but this is not always necessary. Some speakers are powerful enough to produce high-quality sound with inbuilt amplifiers. If you have such speakers, using a woofer can be counterintuitive.

On the other hand, some ceiling speakers don’t come with a woofer, requiring you to buy a separate woofer. This is not always necessary and can be a bit expensive, especially considering that some are already powerful enough.

You can, however, get a woofer for those that can’t produce lower frequency or have a low bass capacity.

 

What is better: ceiling or wall speakers?

The answer depends on what you want out of your speakers. However, wall speakers tend to be more powerful and produce higher-quality sound than their counterparts.

This is because they are larger, giving them room for more features and better sound technologies. Ceiling speakers can still be as powerful as wall speakers, although they might not reach the same level (a few do).

They are also more minimalistic and don’t require a lot of storage space, which can be a plus. Ceiling speakers are also more customizable and might suit your décor better, and the sound quality difference is not too big for some.

 

Can I use in-ceiling speakers for Dolby Atmos?

Yes, you can. Dolby Atmos speakers are versatile and can work with both in-wall and in-ceiling speakers. They are great for home theater systems as they provide better sound coverage.

In-ceiling mounted speakers that use Dolby Atmos also provide a more immersive experience. Newer models of the Atmos speakers can work with any in-ceiling speaker.

However, make sure you confirm if they work with yours before buying. They are compatible with most speakers, and the newer models are equipped with surround sound applications.

Confirming that they work with your speakers before buying is important, so you don’t have to spend more money to find compatible ones.

Recommended: How to Connect a Subwoofer to An Old Amplifier?

 

Do I need a receiver for ceiling speakers?

You might need a receiver for your ceiling speakers if they are passive ones. Passive in-ceiling speakers have to be connected to an amp or a receiver for them to work.

This means you don’t have to connect them to a power source for them to work. Most in-ceiling speakers are passive and so will require you to have a receiver.

Connecting your receiver and in-ceiling speakers is also a good idea if you want a multi-channel sound with surround sound capabilities. You can also connect them to an amplifier to improve sound quality, especially if you are using them for music.

 

Conclusion

Finding the best in-ceiling speakers for home theater has just been made easy with this list. I have included 10 of the best in the market that will give you a great audio experience.

Your in-ceiling speakers should be working with you and not against you, so you want to check and make sure that they work great before purchasing.

Go through our buyer’s guide above to find the qualities you want in your speaker before making that decision. That will make sure you tick all the right boxes and give yourself a great listening experience.

Whether you are looking for value for money, great audio quality for music and movies, or an overall great in-ceiling speaker, you can find one of them on our list.

Go through them and find the best one for you; they are all high-quality and will change your home theater for the better.

 

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Is a musician and journalist with over 13 years of experience writing for some of the music world's biggest brands. Ray loves getting nerdy about everything from guitar gear and synths, to microphones and music production hardware.

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