In-ceiling Speakers Sizing Complete Guide
In-ceiling speakers are increasingly becoming popular in recent times among music lovers because they can easily be concealed in a wall or ceiling. This allows users to listen to music or watch movies without being distracted visually by the speakers around.
The speakers however come in different shapes and sizes, so not all in-ceiling speakers will be suitable for your particular home theatre system. If you are looking to include suitable-sized in-ceiling speakers in your home theatre system, you have come to the right place.
When it comes to choosing a perfect in-ceiling speaker for your home theatre system, the size of your room matters a lot. If your room area is smaller than 100 feet square, you should use in-ceiling speakers that are between 4″ to 6″ in size. For room areas that are around 220 feet square and beyond, using 6″ to 8″ in-ceiling speakers will be okay for your home theatre system.
Generally, a 6-inch in-ceiling should be able to do the trick if you want to blend aesthetics and sound quality. However, depending on your specific need, you may have to resort to other sizes. In this guide, I will discuss the different sizes of in-ceiling speakers out there and how you can choose the perfect one for your home. If you are ready to learn more, then read on for what I have for you.
How Do You Determine Speaker Size?
Before, I discuss the speaker sizes and which factors you should consider, let’s find out how you can measure the size of your speaker in the first place.
First of all, the manufacturer of the speaker will provide the speaker driver size in inches as part of the specs that will come along with the speaker.
So, a quick way to know the speaker size is to look it up in the speaker’s user manual. Typically, it should be between 4 inches to 8 inches.
If you want to determine the speaker size by yourself, you can do that as well.
However, in order to get the correct speaker size, you may have to remove the speaker from the speaker’s cabinet. This may be a bit challenging if you do not have the expertise.
So, to keep things safe, simply consult the speaker’s manual for its specs.
If you have the expertise to remove the speaker safely from its cabinet, you can measure the width or diameter of the speaker across the widest areas using a tape measure.
An easier approach will be to turn the speaker upside down on a flat surface, such that the cone faces down, and then mark the two widest points apart. After that measure, the two points using a tape measure, and the distance will be the size of the speaker.
What is the Standard Ceiling Speaker Size?
As I said earlier, not only do in-ceiling speakers vary in shape, they vary in size as well and different sizes will suit different home theatre systems.
Generally, the 6-inch in-ceiling speakers are considered the standard size.
This is because you can use these speakers in most home theatre systems without compromising on sound quality and aesthetics.
By aesthetics, I mean these speakers can be easily concealed in the walls or ceiling and perfectly blend with the external surroundings. The beauty of the speakers lies in how well they are able to blend with the ceilings and still produce powerful sounds for your hearing.
Besides the 6″ in-ceiling speakers, there are the 4-inch speakers and the 8 Inch in-ceiling speakers as well. So let’s take a look at them.
4″ In-ceiling Speakers
The 4-inch in-ceiling speakers are smaller in size than the 6-inch speakers.
This makes their installation quite simpler and not much work will be on them if you want to conceal them.
They are able to blend well with ceilings and walls, therefore you would not have to ever worry about them visually obstructing your viewing experience or listening experience.
The downside of these speakers is that they are not able to produce very powerful sounds like the bigger speakers because of their small drivers.
However, if you have a small room size, the sounds will be just fine and your needs will be met. Besides, they are not so expensive compared to the bigger sizes.
8″ In-ceiling Speakers
8 inches in-ceiling speakers are larger than the standard size 6″ speakers.
This gives them the advantage of producing very powerful sounds of various frequencies in your home theater system.
If you are fond of bass, you’ll love the low-tone sounds that these speakers are able to produce.
They are however not easy to conceal in the wall or ceilings and therefore may distract your viewing experience.
They are also more expensive than the 4″ and 6″ speakers for obvious reasons.
Which In-ceiling Speaker Size Should I Use?
When it comes to the size of the in-ceiling speaker that you should use for your home theatre system, there is no straightforward answer.
Your choice will depend on some factors which I’ll be discussing in detail soon.
Before deciding on the in-ceiling speaker size that you’ll use, you should consider these factors:
- The size of your room
- Shape of room
- Audio demands
- Mono or Stereo speakers
- Source of power
Let’s look at these factors in detail.
The Size Of Your Room
The size of your room will play a very important role in the sound output of your home theatre system.
If you have a smaller room, you should consider using smaller speakers, preferably a pair of 4-inch in-ceiling speakers.
So when I say smaller room, what exactly do I mean? Well, a smaller room in the context means room areas that are 100 feet square and below. With these kinds of rooms, the distortion in sound from the speakers will be almost unnoticeable and you’ll be good to go.
If your room area is somewhere between 100 feet square and 220 feet square, you should consider using a pair of 6 inch in-ceiling speakers. This will be able to provide some powerful sounds and the sound quality will be fine.
Another option is to use two pairs of 4 inch in-ceiling speakers. The addition of an extra pair of speakers to what you might have used in a 100 feet square room will make up for the loss in sound quality.
Now, if your room is large enough, say 220 feet square and above, you should use a pair of 8 inch in-ceiling speakers.
You can also decide to use a subwoofer for an optimal listening experience.
Shape of Room
The shape of your room will also affect the speaker size that you would in your ceilings.
If your room has a regular shape, you can install one pair of large in-ceiling speakers and that will be enough.
However, if the room has an irregular shape, large-size in-ceiling speakers will not fit well in the room. Therefore, you’ll have to use several smaller speakers like the 4 inch in-ceiling speakers, so that you can get the sound to all parts of the room.
Before you choose which in-ceiling speaker size you want to use, you should yourself what exactly you want to hear from your audio system.
Are you interested in the background music in your movies, surround sounds, dialogues etc.
These questions will play a role when you want to choose your speaker size.
Most smaller speakers can perfectly capture dialogue and background music in movies, so if that’s where your interest lies, using 4 inch in-ceiling speakers will be okay.
If you want to listen to a wider range of sound frequencies, 6 inches and 8 inches in-ceiling speakers will do the trick. The larger speakers can also meet your demand if you want to enjoy some bass tones.
Mono or Stereo Speakers
In-ceiling speakers can be mono or stereo depending on the number of tweeters that they have.
The mono in-ceiling speakers have only one tweeter in addition to their bass drivers. They are therefore only able to stream either the left or right sounds when you connect them to a receiver.
The stereo in-ceiling speakers have two tweeters besides the bass driver. So, a stereo can stream the left and right sounds at the same time when you connect to a receiver.
If you have a larger room, using a mono in-ceiling will be a better option. For smaller rooms, the stereo in-ceiling speakers are better.
Power Capacity of Amplifier or Receiver
The power capacity of your receiver or amplifier will also determine which speaker size you should use.
So, you need to give your amp and receiver some thoughts as well.
The larger the speaker, the more power it will demand from your amp or receiver. So if your amplifier or receiver is not powerful enough, you should not use larger speakers like the 8 inch in-ceiling speakers.
Doing so will result in poor sound quality or no sound output in some cases.
If you have a less powerful receiver or amp, you should use smaller speaker sizes like 4 inch to 6 inch in-ceiling speakers and that will do the job just right.
With several speakers out there, choosing suitable in-ceiling speakers for your home theatre system can be a daunting task for you if you are just getting introduced to home theatre systems.
If you do not take certain factors into consideration before buying the in-ceiling speakers, you will lose out on sound quality and aesthetics. The worst case is you will not be able to hear anything at even after installing them in your home.
In this article, I have explained the different sizes of in-ceiling speakers that are on the market and what factors you should consider before using the different speaker sizes.
Remember that the size of your room plays a very important role when deciding which speaker size you should use. If you are not so sure about your decisions, you can use a standard 6 inch in-ceiling speaker pair for your system, and hopefully everything should be alright.