Thiel Power Points?
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Thiel also makes flush mounted power points, but I'd imagine that the slanted ones would perform better in most applications. Just as a suggestion, rather than opening a thread with "Best" here on Audiogon, you might want to mention your budget. As many of the flush mounted speakers can be painted or other wise easily modified to fit your decor, used in wall/ceiling speakes may be an even better bargain than typical speakers. You just might be able to afford the Thiels that way.
Many brands but be sure to get ones that the tweeter assembly is adjustable to fire in the direction of the seating. Makes a big difference.
If you are going to have a grid ceiling there is a flat panel 2 x2 speaker that is sold made by Armstrong, the ceiling people. The technology on that unit comes from another firm. I got a sample years ago and was amazed. I use it as a center channel speaker sometimes.
Instead of putting the L-C-Rs in the ceiling (which I think would create onscreen localization problems), how about the very unobtrusive Mirage Unitheater? It would only need about 6" between the bottom of your Sony and the top of the fireplace mantel. At 4.6" deep it's as shallow as a flat panel TV. You could then get ceiling speakers for the surrounds, or just get a second Unitheater to mount at the junction of the rear wall and ceiling. It's illustrated in the brochure.
I have some Mirage Omnisat satellites that use the same drivers, and they are fantastic at creating a seamless soundfield while maintaining excellent linearity and clarity. Their matching subs integrate very well with their sats, and perform really well at their size and price. I think list price for two Unitheaters and a matching sub come in right at your budget.
I just went through an audition process for in ceiling speakers for my surrounds (B&W 805s for the mains, Velodyne DD12 sub, Bryston 9b SST amp, Onkyo 805 being used as a pre/pro) Listened to both the Thiel PowerPoints as well as the Triad Omni series.
For audition purposes, I focused on 2 channel performance (I was considering going all in ceiling).
When you were in the sweet spot, both had wonderful sound stages. Alas, the sweet spot was a very band of distance away from the speakers.
I thought the Thiels had slightly better imaging, but that could have been demo room dependant (different dealers, couldn't directly A/B the set ups). I thought the Triads had slightly tighter/more accurate mids and highs (Thiels were a little more sloppy to my ear).
I ended up going with the Triad InCeiling 6/Gold Omni's for my surrounds. Waiting on install, so can't speak to performance in my space.
Both units are a compromise in performance vs floor standing models. They are both extremely impressive for in ceiling speakers, and are relatively unobtrusive (the Triads much less so...they are flush with the ceiling surface rather than jutting down).
Both obviously lack meaningful bass performance and need sub support.
In the end, the price advantage and lower profile of the Triads won me over, as well as the tighter mids/highs (I'm a big fan of the B&W sound). Looking forward to getting them installed.
For this type of system, I am going to commit herasey on this board, and say the Definitive Technology Ceiling speakers are great. So are the Niles HD ceiling speakers. The Def Tech 63 or 84's are a great choice, and put out a surprising amount of bass without building resonance boxes around them. I have helped a couple of friends build systems almost exactly as you describe yours with these speakers and usually a Denon 2808 (or similar) reciever. Very nice set up.
If you add the Def Tech sub, the sound matches extremely well. Also, for the center channel, a couple of times we have omitted the center channel all together, and programmed the processor to put the center channel sound through the Front R & L speakers. Simple, but very nice set up. good luck.