If you do not have an attic to maneuver in and install your ceiling speakers, one may think that it would be difficult when, in fact, it is not. However, this would also depend on the type of ceiling you have and what material it is made from. Furthermore, there are other questions you need to ask about ceiling speakers before your installation, and this article covers it all.
For installing ceiling speakers into a conventional ceiling with no attic, all you would need to do is cut a hole in the ceiling and fasten the speakers within it. Then, considering your speaker type (active or passive), run the correct cables accordingly. If you do not have a conventional ceiling, then you should consult a professional.
This article will detail everything you need to know for installing ceiling speakers, which will include all the various ceiling types you get and all the materials they can be made from.
Then you will be able to compare that to the ceiling you have and make an informed decision whether you will install your ceiling speakers DIY or with a professional.
Then we will look at ceiling speaker features and detail all the aspects you would need to consider, including what types of speakers you get, what size you get, what size room you should have, where to install them, a speakers IP rating, and more.
Finally, we will take you through a step-by-step tutorial of installing ceiling speakers in a ceiling made from drywall that has no attic.
Factors to consider when installing a ceiling speaker with no attic
The mounting system that comes designed and fitted to the ceiling speakers are usually easy and quick to install, requiring little effort. Even an individual with no experience will be hard-pressed not to understand and be able to fit the speaker to the ceiling with a screwdriver.
Clamps are another design aspect related to how the speaker is mounted into the ceiling. Once the brackets and mounting system has been fitted and secured, sometimes speakers will come equipped with a clamp that you will rotate outwards, causing additional safety and reliability.
If you plan to install your ceiling speakers in a bathroom or an outdoor area, then you need to consider the speaker’s IP rating.
The IP rating considers how resistant the speaker is to certain elements such as steam, moisture, humidity, hot and cold temperatures, and water. The higher the rating, the better the speaker is designed to handle all the elements, and an IP rating of 65 is the highest a speaker can get.
How many speakers do I need?
This solely depends on the size of the room. If the speakers are less than 6,5 feet apart, then it would be optimal to install a single stereo speaker.
If you have a large open plan living room or extension, you could install two mono speakers or multiple pairs of mono speakers at different vital points of the room.
Check out this single stereo ceiling speaker from Amazon here
Check out these dual-mono ceiling speakers on Amazon here
What size speakers should I get?
The standard size of ceiling speakers is 6.5-inches. However, you do get larger and smaller sizes. 8-inch speakers will give you a better bass response, especially if you have a pair of two mono ceiling speakers.
Smaller speakers will offer the benefit of versatility in terms of being able to place them in more positions. In addition to that, you also have the option of placing more in your ceiling.
Furthermore, larger speakers will offer better quality sound and will be able to handle more power, whether they are active or passive ceiling speakers.
Check out these 6.5-inch ceiling speakers from Amazon here
Check out these 8-inch ceiling speakers from Amazon here
Check out these 3-inch ceiling speakers from Amazon here
Where to position the speakers
This is entirely up to the individual, but the best way to determine where you should place your speakers is usually around critical points. This could be situated around seated areas or areas that your entertainment
Due to the fact that you don’t have an attic and you will most probably be installing your ceiling speakers in your ceiling that is made of drywall, you need to make sure that you have sufficient space.
Make sure you have a depth of about four inches in your ceiling, so you are able to fit the speakers in there. You do get speakers that have a shallower depth; however, you will have to pay a premium price because of the design.
The design is based on the fact that the manufacturer has to build the same quality speaker in a more compact space.
Check out these shallow depth ceiling speakers from Amazon here
How To Install Ceiling Speakers With No Attic
Here is a step by step guide detailing how you would go about installing ceiling speakers yourself if you had a standard ceiling made from drywall (Sheetrock).
Tools required for ceiling speakers
- Phillips screwdriver
- Sheetrock saw (hole saw)
- Step ladder
- Cutout template
The process is pretty simple; however, the main part of this DIY operation would be considering what speakers you have.
Are they active or passive speakers?
With this in mind, you would have to run cables and power extensions either through the plenum space (top part of your ceiling) or on the ceiling itself and either attach them to the roof and hide them with a cable cover.
Check out this cable cover on Amazon here
- The first thing you would do is decide where you would like to place your speaker or speakers and then stick the roof’s cutout template.
- Next, you would outline the template with the pencil and then detach the template from the roof to see the shape that you need to cut out of the ceiling (your ceiling speakers will come with a template).
- You would then use the Sheetrock saw to puncture the roof and continue to cut out the dimensions that you stenciled with your pencil.
- Next, you would attach the cables if any, to the ceiling speakers taking note of the terminals indicated by the colors red and black if you are using passive ceiling speakers. Furthermore, if you are using active speakers, you would have to connect your power source to them.
- Following that, you would insert the ceiling speakers into the rook and use the Philips screwdriver to turn and fasten the mounting system that comes attached to your ceiling speakers. (do not use power tools and screwdrivers because they could cause unnecessary problems if you secure the speakers too tight.
- Next, if your ceiling speakers come with clamps, adjust and turn them accordingly so that your ceiling speakers are now secure in your roof.
- Lastly, fit the grill to your ceiling speakers, and you should be good to go.
What types of ceilings are there?
There are many different types of ceilings, and even if you have an attic, some of these ceilings may prove challenging to install a ceiling speaker into them.
For the most part, it would be easiest to install ceiling speakers into the first two options. If your ceiling is somewhat decorative and fancy, then it would be best if you hire a professional to install your ceiling speakers for you.
Easiest ceilings for installation of ceiling speakers
Typically seen in offices and some homes, a suspended ceiling is generally lower than the main part of the ceiling hiding its inner workings and sectioned off by beams or metal pieces. This type of ceiling is constructed using typical materials such as Sheetrock, and the space that It covers is termed the plenum space.
Regular ceiling (conventional ceiling)
The typical home ceiling will range from 8 to 10 feet. These types of ceilings are readily accessible and are constructed from standard materials (wood or Sheetrock).
One thing to consider is that if you are having a ceiling installed, you should leave at least 6,5 inches of depth between the very top part of the roof and the ceiling in order to be able to install ceiling speakers.
This type of ceiling and a suspended ceiling would be the easiest to install ceiling speakers and would not need you to hire a professional.
Exposed ceilings are ceilings that have their inner workings are shown (you can see gas pipes and air vents). For the most part, this ceiling will be professionally done, and there will be sections that are covered to give the ceiling a specific characteristic or design.
Depending on the material used for particular areas of this ceiling, you may need to hire a professional to install ceiling speakers here.
Cove ceilings have many different designs, and the concept that a cove ceiling utilizes is that the ceiling elevates towards the center gradually.
Depending on how the rises are installed and the material used (wood or Sheetrock), you will be able to cut away sections of the top to install ceiling speakers without having to hire a professional.
These ceilings are typically made with a slant where one point of the ceiling is lower than the other. The slant can either be gradual or sharp, depending on the design. Furthermore, the materials used in the construction of these ceilings are standard material such as wood and Sheetrock (drywall)
Most difficult ceilings for installation of ceiling speakers
There are a few sub-categories of vaulted ceilings as there are many of these ceiling types, but to detail, all of them is beyond this article’s scope.
Vaulted ceilings are designed with a V shape in mind and can be constructed with a shallow, gradual slope or a deep, sharp slope. The materials used to create this type of ceiling varies, and you should only attempt to install ceiling speakers into them yourself if you know DIY.
These are ceilings that expose the beams of the roof. There might be panels that will be fitted alongside the beams, and there may not be.
It would be best if you did not try to install ceiling speakers in the shafts of your house for any reason (beams are there for structural support, and any tampering with them could be detrimental to your home).
However, if your ceiling does have panels or other types of fixtures made from standard material, you would have the option of installing ceiling speakers into that section of the roof.
Barrel vault ceilings
As you would have guessed, these ceilings shape a barrel (round in profile). Typically made from stone or brick, it would be better if you choose to mount the ceiling speakers on your wall rather than installing ceiling speakers into them even by hiring a professional.
Tall ceilings can be much higher than 10 feet, and it would be unwise to try to install ceiling speakers into them without a professional’s aid. Also, tall ceilings are not usually made with standard materials, so it would probably be best to mount them to the wall.
Coffered ceilings are made from various materials and can incorporate different styles bringing some elegance and beauty to your home. However, these ceilings would prove problematic when trying to install ceiling speakers, and a professional should be consulted to see if it can be done.
These ceilings are similar in design to both vault and cove ceilings offering aspects of both. The materials used can vary, and you would have to consult a professional if you would like to install ceiling speakers into them.
What are the materials used for ceilings?
The different types of materials used to create and ceilings are tiles, tin, wood, wood panels, wood sheets, drywall (Sheetrock is a brand of drywall), brick, concrete, stenciled plaster, and stone.
All ceilings will be designed differently, but typical inexpensive ceilings will probably use drywall as their material as it Is the standard that is used.
Whatever you decided to do with your ceiling speakers, first make sure that you know what ceiling and ceiling material you are dealing with and consult a professional before you jump ahead, start trying to cut out holes and destroy parts of your home.
What types of ceiling speakers are there?
Ceiling speakers in most aspects are identical to standard home entertainment HiFi speakers with one or two exceptions. Furthermore, they are almost similar to a car stereo speaker.
They are not housed in a container, and the most common type of ceiling speakers are passive (more on that under the next headings); however, you are able to purchase enclosures to put them in, and they function the same way as any other speaker, including these two ways;
Active ceiling speakers
Active ceiling speakers are speakers the fit into your ceiling that has a built-in amplifier. This means they do not need to connect to an external powered stereo amplifier or an AV receiver to be driven.
It will also mean that your ceiling speakers do not need to have speaker wire connected to them, running to an external source for amplification.
Passive ceiling speakers
Passive ceiling speakers do not have an amplifier built into them. They have to have speaker wire connected to them, and then that wire has to run to a form of external amplification such as a powered stereo amplifier or an AV receiver.
Mono vs. single stereo speaker
Before we dive into this sub-heading, it is essential to note that you get both active and passive speakers for both mono and single stereo ceiling speakers. That means that both the types of speakers we are about to cover come with a built-in amplifier, or they do not.
Mono ceiling speakers are dedicated left, and right speakers and are suitable for rooms larger than 4m by 4m. These speakers are great because, just like regular speakers, they provide better and more accurate stereo separation.
If your room is smaller than 4m by 4m, then you may want to consider getting a single stereo speaker. A single stereo speaker has two tweeters built into it; hence you do not lose out on the stereo separation.
However, keep in mind that you do get more stereo separation when you have dedicated left and right mono ceiling speakers rather than a single stereo speaker.
Furthermore, if you only intend to install one speaker in your ceiling, then it would be in your best interest to install one stereo speaker. Otherwise, you will only receive a mono signal (either the left or right signal) when installing one mono ceiling speaker.
What features do ceiling speakers have
Some ceiling speakers have wireless capability, including Bluetooth. This is fantastic because you do not have to worry about running wires through your ceiling. You would need to run wires to connect your passive speakers to a powered stereo amplifier or an AV receiver.
One thing to note is that you would still need to run a power connection of sorts to get them to switch on. Otherwise, these would be a great option and easy to install.
You would also be able to connect to them with any device that has Bluetooth capability, like your smartphone, tablet, computer, projector, and more.
Depending on the style of your room and taste, some ceiling speaker grills come in different shapes. The two most common are round and square; however, you do get oval-shaped ones.
Back box (enclosure)
Most ceiling speakers do not come with an enclosure as regular speakers do. You may want to consider purchasing a pair for your ceiling speakers for reasons that include if you have a room above the ceiling (a bedroom or a room that receives a lot of traffic), and a ceiling speaker back box helps direct and keep the sound pointed towards the direction of the speaker actually improving the quality of the sound.
Check out this pair of ceiling speaker backboxes from Amazon here
The process of installing ceiling speakers is pretty simple, and if you have a standard ceiling made from drywall (Sheetrock), this quick DIY tutorial is all you need.
However, we learned that you get various types of ceilings made from different materials, and some of them could be problematic if you intend to install ceiling speakers.
In cases where you have a non-standard ceiling or a ceiling made from other materials rather than drywall, it would be best to consider consulting a professional or attaching them to your wall rather than your ceiling.
Besides learning how to install ceiling speakers if you have no attic, we learned that there are various types of ceiling speakers. They can have Bluetooth features, be different sizes, be mono or stereo, and have multiple shapes.
We also covered all the essential questions you would need to ask if you intend to install ceiling speakers yourself. At this point, you should be able to install your ceiling speakers with relative confidence without the need to hire a professional.
Jason is a home theater expert with over 10 years of experience in setting up home cinema rooms and systems. What started out as a hobby soon transformed him into an authority in the audio-visual field. He is passionate about providing readers with accurate and up-to-date information on the latest audiovisual technologies and their applications for home theaters. Read more about Jason.