I guess if you don't really care about sound quality and just want some sound, ceiling speakers would be okay. If you want really good sound quality, you'll need to drop the ceiling speakers idea and go with more conventional speakers.
You might want to look at the Gallo Reference and Strada lines - They are designed to be wall-mounted and sound fabulous...www.roundsound.com
There are many good choices depending on budget and level of sound quality, there are models which direct the sound down to the listener and these particularly tend to sound quite good.
Please feel free to contact me for more info.
I agree there are some incredibly good manufacturers of "in wall" speakers and if it were me I would go in that direction of even more traditional speaker lay outs.
Assuming you want aesthetics and sound quality and you cannot go with free standing, then in-wall and in-ceiling are your next best choice. In terms of "issues" I would avoid intersections between the walls and ceiling as much as possible. If that is impossible, then some brands (like Revel) have boundary compensation switches in their speakers. You also want to think about where you want the audio to go. Most ceiling speakers point straight down. Others offer a 15 degree angle so that you can direct the tweeter. Some of these directional speakers specifically state that they can be used as the front two channels of an audiophile system or three together to form the front three of a home theater.
Thus, that goes to the next point besides boundaries, etc. and that is how deep the speakers go. You want to carefully look at the crossover point of the speakers and figure out what (if anything) you will do with a sub. If you will do a sub, will it be free-standing or in-wall? Some speakers will go down into the 40hz range. So, I would tend to be more particular about adding some extra insulation. When I did my second, smaller theater/tv area with all in-walls and in-ceiling we used heavier (3/4") sheetrock and soundboard. That has created an incredible dampened wall. My ceiling is an open cavity with insulation and is less of an issue. If you do decide to go with an in-wall or in-ceiling sub, you need to be very careful about the sheetrock used in the wall for vibrations. Some companies (like Paradigm and others) offer in-wall subs that don't vibrate.
However, and this goes to the next point, if you ever think that there is even the most remote chance of the ceiling getting water, then tie the ceiling speakers with a small piece of wire to a nearby joint or hook that you install. Thus, even if the ceiling gets wet, you don't want the speaker falling down and potentially onto someone. I personally did this with all my ceiling speakers as a precaution.
Additionally, if you are concerned about the insulation in the cavity, you can likewise purchase in-ceiling and even in-wall speakers that have their own enclosures so that you don't need to worry about the acoustics of the cavity.
And finally, with ceiling speakers, because you cannot fool around with placement, you may want to have a receiver with room correction and multi-zones. If you are only using the speakers for background, then I wouldn't fool around with any room correction.
Those are some of the "big" issues that you should think about.
For ceiling speakers, I suggest the Revel C760L as being the ideal with both boundary compensation, an angled tweeter design so that you can use with home theater and two-channel, and also a closed back for accurate voicing. You can see it here: http://revelspeakers.com/Products/Details/69. This is a great speaker and I have personal experience with the model this one replaced. The Revels have magnetic grilles and square or round covers.
This particular model only goes down to 80hz and ideally you want to mate it with a subwoofer.
I also recommend Atlantic Technology speakers. They too offer closed back design. I personally prefer the Revels to the Atlantic Technology products if it is a more audio-critical installation. I find the Revels to have a much cleaner midrange. If you are looking for other "audiophile" architectural speakers, there are certainly many to choose from as the previous posts have indicated. Paradigm and B&W likewise offer architectural speakers. Paradigm especially has put some heavy emphasis with architectural subs.
Thank you for your responses. Here is more information:
This basically going to be new system, nothing has been purchased.
Sound quality is important to me.
I do not often watch TV or movies; I am listening to music via my ipod. When I do watch TV or movies I do appreciate a good sound. All this will be in one room. I also have a patio that I would like to have outdoor speakers set up through same system. Again, good sound quality is important. The floor is marble and behind the front speakers is all glass. Not a great room acoustically.
I was looking at ceiling speakers for aesthetics only. Front speakers
I could go with, floor or shelf speakers. The back speakers (if necessary) must be wall mounted speakers.
I hope this helps; thanks again for all your comments!
Your setup, then, is almost identical to mine. I have free-standing Revel fronts and all in ceiling for surrounds and rears. From personal experience I can tell you that this setup is spectacular in my house. Revel has done an amazing job with matching the in-ceiling and free standing speakers. So my recommendation would be to look at the Revel Performa line for fronts and then they have a variety of in-ceiling options. So that is your speaker setup.
You've repeatedly said several red flags: marble, glass, etc. that's going to have a significant acoustical impact. No other way around it. So I also suggest you seriously look at some room correction. It will help but without you doing some basic carpeting and drapery it won't do miracles. Not sure of your budget but there are lots of options. The Marantz Pre-pro with an additional power amp is a great value choice for things under 3k as is the Integra 80.3. Going up the quality level is the anthem AVM50v. All have room correction.
Finally, not sure how you are listening to your iPod but hopefully you have a quality DAC to give you all the best out of the music you have.
Hope that helps. I can tell you from experience that it will work out great. And finally don't skimp on the side speakers if at all possible. Making the ideal match with fronts to surrounds is important. You could go down a model or two or three for the rears with little impact. Just try to keep all the speakers from the same family and line. In my setup I have all the Performa line except the rears which are concerta. Because of the physics of psychoacoustics there is no timbre or other issues with this setup.
If you are looking for in ceiling speakers at a steal, HiFi Buys in Nashville has some models of the Revel in ceiling speakers left that they close out with the launch of the new line. It's a steal of they have any left. Highly recommended and great, knowledgeable staff.
How much are you willing to spend? If you use free standing front mains that opens up the whole question.
My budget is $7K this would include 2-channel amp, pre-amp, speakers.
I am now looking at FS speakers for the front.
Confused. You said 2 channel amp but earlier you mentioned home theater. So do you want a multichannel amp or a multichannel plus 2 channel amp?
My off the cuff suggestion is to go 2.5k front speakers with 2.5k for electronics plus 1k for sub and 1k for surrounds. You can move a few hubs red here and there.
Sorry for the confusion on this. To clear things up:
I listen to music more than I watch TV or movies. I do not need a surround type system. A great stereo system is all that I want. If I can get movies or TV to sound better through the system.. even better. This is why I was thinking of a 2-channel system.. is my thinking correct for this?
Still confused. Are you then not going for any in ceiling speakers?
If that is a yes then spend 4-5k on full range fronts and the rest on electronics. You can get away with a 2 channel Emotiva amp to give your speakers plenty of juice and get a nice 2 channel preamp.
If you are only doing 2 channel then I would suggest a Simaudio Moon integrated and then spend the rest on speakers. That would be an utterly incredible setup with great sound and great amp muscle too. The Simaudio integrateds are phenomenal.
Correct, no ceiling speakers. I decided not to compromise the sound quality.
I had planned to add outdoor speakers to this set up. It is a small patio. Will this set up work for that?
Will it work? Yes. But you will need a speaker selector for that. If you are going to be absolutely hard-core audiophile and do serious critical listening dont get a speaker selector and instead spend $219 and get an Emotiva A-100 it's a perfect solution for a second zone and you can take a loop out from the integrated to feed the second zone. You don't get trigger-level automation, that's the only thing. The Emotiva can turn on and off when it senses an audio signal so it may be ideal for you.
If you are going for a higher end integrated like the Simaudio pieces then you will have a sweet setup.
It just sounds to me from your posts that you are trying to fly through this. Forgive me if I misunderstand your posts as its just text without inflection. But if you have no control at all of your acoustics or speaker placement, it will seriously impair your system's potential. Speaker placement and room acoustics are absolutely critical. And it constantly amazes me how mediocre speakers can sound great and fantastic speakers can sound mediocre depending on the room, acoustics, and placement. So, I think it's fantastic that you have a sizeable budget; but I'd hate for you to spend $$$ and not get the enjoyment and quality you could if the system were setup properly. Again, if you have all that under control and planned out that's great and don't mean to be insulting.
No offense taken at all.
I am now researching things that can be done to make the room better acoustically. If you have a website for this i would appreciate if you could pass that along. I believe this must be worked out 1st. Which Simaudio pieces do you recommend?
The simaudio integrated at 100wpc. I think it is the 3.3. It's on sale now as they came out with a new model. Fantastic sound and build. Will be about 3k. That is great because you support local dealers and get full warranty. Recent issues of stereophile have highlighted some dealers, if I recall, advertising the sale.
In terms of acoustics I think you need to decide if it is a dedicated listening space or living space. You would be amazed how much carpeting and drapery can do. Heavy drapery is better. Acoustic treatment is an art as much as a science. Go to. Gikacoustics.com and auralex.com. Great sites and they will do a remote room analysis. They have artistic panels that will look more like pictures than ugly panels. Start there. Also hometheater.com or soundandVisionmag.com have lots of good intro articles on the subject.
This is the Simaudio unit. It was previously the i3.3. I've heard this unit in person for an extended listening session driving Dynaudio speakers. I really, really liked it--a lot. Amazing control of the speakers--especially the mid and lower bass. http://www.simaudio.com/moon340i.htm