In-Wall Or In-Ceiling Speakers For Your Home Theater: What You Need To Know

Creating a functional home theater audio system does not have to be a challenge anymore. With new trends and innovations being introduced constantly, you have options, even when space is limited. Gone are the days of towering, space-hog speakers that leave no room for anything else. With an in-wall or in-ceiling audio system (sometimes referred to as an architectural speaker system), you can save much-needed room for other accessories. The sleek appearance also blends well in modern homes.

What Is an In-Wall or In-Ceiling Speaker System and What Does It Involve?

As the name suggests, a home theater in-wall or in-ceiling speaker system is mounted flush into the wall or the ceiling. This procedure requires a minimal depth for mounting. (Typically a few inches.) However, if you choose the larger speakers, you may need to utilize several inches of mounting depth. 

While the in-ceiling stereo speakers will direct the sound downward toward the floor, the in-wall option offers ear-level audio. Although it's a matter of personal preference, some individuals claim the wall-mounted offers a more true-to-life sound quality than the ceiling-mounted option.

Installation of the architectural speaker systems typically involves drilling holes into the wall or ceiling. It is a good idea to hire a professional home theater installation technician to do the task for you, as wires will have to be snaked through the walls or ceiling as needed. Self-install kits for in-wall and in-ceiling speakers are also available. These kits often include a couple of speakers, removable steel mesh grills and mounting hardware.

You can choose pivoting speakers that allow you to position and aim the surround sound in nearly any direction you choose. You might also find in-wall or in-ceiling speakers that include paintable grills. This allows you the freedom to paint the grill in a color of your choice, to complement and match your existing home theater decor. Some individuals also choose to apply wallpaper to the speakers for a customized look. However, before doing so, you might want to check with the manufacturer to be sure you aren't voiding your warranty.

Why Choose This Configuration?

Architecturally designed speakers offer a clutter-free and aesthetically pleasing environment for your home theater. Because they are mounted into the ceiling or wall, they are inconspicuous. You and your home theater guests won't be distracted by obtrusive speakers that overtake your small space. Additionally, there will be no speaker cables to organize or to create an unsightly appearance.

What Should Be Considered When Purchasing Wall or Ceiling Mounted Speakers?

Before you set out buy your new speaker system, consider a few important aspects. Here's what to keep in mind:

  • Where to Mount Your Speakers: The first thing you should consider is placement. Consider this set-up as being permanent, because once you mount the speakers, you won't be able to freely change the location. If humidity is a concern, choose speakers made to resist moisture. If you are installing the speaker system outdoors, be sure you purchase those designed to be weather-resistant. Also, in order to achieve the highest sound quality, it is a good idea to have a professional, such as A Tech Security, assess your home theater environment to determine the best placement of your mounted speakers. Before drilling holes for placement, you need to be mindful of any plumbing fixtures or pipes that may obstruct the speakers. These structures, along with your HVAC system, must not interfere with the speaker wiring. In addition, avoid placing the mounted speakers near a heating source or in an area that receives direct sunlight.

  • Your Local Building Codes and Regulations: Some municipalities instill strict building and fire regulations and codes for home modifications. To be sure you are in compliance with these codes, check with your township.