Ceiling speakers are an essential part of any Audio / visual installation project, whether in a school, church environment, restaurant, medical centre, to name but a few. Their versatility and slick appearance makes them an extremely popular choice with AV installation companies and customers alike.
Things you need to know about Installing Ceiling Mounted Speakers
What is a Ceiling Speaker?
As its name suggests, it is an audio speaker that is installed into any type of ceiling taking up very little space and aesthetically looks extremely neat. They come in a variety of sizes, both physical and power handling (volume or loudness).
How many ceiling speakers will I need?
This really depends on the size of the installation. If it’s a small area such as a doctors reception, small shop or hairdressers then 2 speakers maybe enough. It also depends of course and the type of music that is being played, although most small ceiling speaker applications are for background use only. There are several ways to calculate how many speakers maybe required, every 3 metres for example, although these are only calculable if you have a plain square or oblong space. In our experience most installs will require a different result.
How are Ceiling Speakers Installed?
Generally by cutting a hole the same size as a template that will be supplied with the speaker. If the ceiling speakers are being fitted into a suspended ceiling, in an office or reception for example, it is relatively easy, as the required hole can be cut whilst the tile is at ground level, before installation. The other most common application is into a plasterboard ceiling. This application will take a little more time and care as you only get one chance to get it right! Care has to be taken to make sure that the required positioning of the speaker isn’t directly where a ceiling support may be. There needs to be a reasonable cavity depth also that not only takes the speaker, but possibly if a fire dome is required also. Care is also needed to make sure that the cutting, usually with a specific plasterboard handsaw, is clear of any cables that maybe close by.
Can Ceiling Speakers run in stereo?
Yes they can. If they are purely for a listening experience, in a home cinema for example, it would be important to have the speakers wired in stereo to fully experience the sound recording or the film soundtrack and dialogue. However most commercial applications tend to have a chain or line of speakers that are ran in mono. It is the amplifier and not the speaker that determines whether the speakers are run in mono or stereo.
How many ceiling speakers can be installed?
As many as the installation requires, whether this is 2 or a 102! Think of a large supermarket or factory that may have 50 or 60 ceiling speakers playing background music and possibly making announcements. As long as the amplifier output power (wattage) is sufficient enough to handle the total wattage of the speakers as many as required can be installed.
All ceiling speaker stock comes with full manufacturer warranty for that extra peace of mind. We are approved UK stockists for all the leading brands we supply.
Can I vary the ceiling speaker volume?
Yes you can. Most ceiling speakers are wired in what is called 100 volt line. This is where each ceiling speaker has its own step down or tapping transformer. These often come in steps of 5 watts, up to a maximum of say 40 or 50 watts. Sometimes smaller speakers may only have settings of 2, 5, 10 and 20 watts maximum. If you need different volume levels from the same line of speakers, the tapping settings can be adjusted accordingly. Quiet speakers maybe required closer to a bar, but louder speakers maybe required in a busier part of the bar where there is more ambient noise. It is then a simple calculation of how many watts are being used and making sure that an amplifier with sufficient power is installed.
What are the best brands of Ceiling Speakers?
Most manufacturers of conventional wall mount speakers will usually manufacture a range of ceiling speakers also. Popular brands are Electrovoice, Bosch, Apart, RCF, Bose, JBL, to name but a few. These are all market leaders in this field. However there are many brands at lower price points that offer excellent value for money, such as Adastra, Clever Acoustics, Pulse Audio. Again the quality and cost of the Ceiling speaker needs to be considered depending on the application (does quiet, background music need a top quality speaker?) and the budget that has been set aside for the install.
What is a Ceiling Speaker used for?
Ceiling speakers are mainly used for background music. Because ceiling speakers are generally quite small they are usually not high output in terms of wattage. Ceiling Speakers tend to range from 4” to 8” and generally do not produce much in the way of bass frequencies. If more full range or louder music is required, in a louder bar for example, bass sub ceiling speakers can be added to enhance the bass response.
Are Ceiling speakers always circular?
Ceiling speakers generally come in round enclosures. Obviously all speakers are round so this makes them look aesthetically pleasing. However square ceiling speakers are also available but are much less common.
How much do ceiling speakers cost?
Ceiling speakers can be a really cost effective solution to getting sound into a variety of applications. Like anything else, some brands can be very expensive but if the installation is mainly for background purposes, the installation can be done easily on a budget. A starting price of around £20 – £30 will buy you a reasonable speaker. We have put together some recommended packages to suit the small to medium application, from 2 speakers up to 8. These examples on our direct sales website are supply only. We do of course have a full Installation service as well as a design and commission service also.
Are Ceiling Speakers better than wall mounted speakers?
More often than not, ceiling speakers are chosen for their appearance, which are always free from any visible wiring and require no brackets to install them. They are on a par performance wise to an equivalent value wall speaker. Sometimes Ceiling Speakers cannot be used due to lack of space above the ceiling, so in this instance, wall speakers would be considered the better option.
Do Ceiling Speakers need Plugging in?
The only cable that is connected to a Ceiling speaker is the speaker (audio feed) wire, or speaker wire. This usually comes in rolls of 100 metres and is of various thicknesses, depending on the power that it is being fed into it. Most runs of 100 volt line Ceiling speakers require cable with a fairly low size core of between 24 and 42 strands. The speakers receive their power from an amplifier or amplifiers which are generally stored behind a bar or office.