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In-Ceiling & In-Wall Speaker Buyers Guide

What Is An In-Wall Speaker?
In-wall speakers can be mounted on a variety of flat wall surfaces and provide excellent sound for home theater applications, as well as whole house audio. Typically rectangular in shape (although OSD does offer square models), in-wall speakers take up far less space than traditional box speakers and wires are neatly concealed behind the wall. Wall speakers can even be painted to match a room décor—a favorite feature among interior decorators. Most in-wall speakers use the wall cavity as their enclosure or cabinet; however, boxes can be purchased for new home construction projects that create a solid, resonant-free enclosure. In-wall speakers come with special screws (called dog ears) that flip out and secure to the drywall (or other wall surfaces), a nearby stud, or a special frame attached to the studs. Custom installation frames (brackets) can also be purchased for a more secure fit or for lighter wall materials that require more support. In wall speakers are often categorized by the size of the woofer, not the size of the speaker itself, so a 6½” in-wall speaker has a 6½ woofer.
What Is An In-Ceiling Speaker?
In-ceiling speakers are very similar to in-wall speakers in form and function except that they are round in shape and slightly smaller in size. In-ceiling speakers are usually a little lighter and less noticeable than in-wall speakers, and like in-wall speakers, come with dog ears and can be mounted in either a ceiling or a wall. In-ceiling speakers can also be placed in custom installation frames (brackets) or boxes for new home construction projects. Just like in-walls, in-ceiling speakers are often categorized by the size of the woofer, not the size of the speaker itself. In-ceiling speakers are more commonly used for whole-house audio; however, customers also use ceiling speakers for 5.1 and 7.1 home theater systems and media room as well.
What Are the Advantage of LCR (Left-Center-Right) Speakers?
Many of our customers choose LCR right in-wall speakers for their home theaters. LCR in-walls are very effective when room layout isn’t optimized for a 5.1 surround sound system. Say, for example, your video screen is in the corner of your room. This position would make is difficult for ordinary speakers to track across the sound stage because the left, center, and right speakers should be on the same plane as the picture. With the video display in a corner, it takes away the flat surface you need when trying to couple audio with video. LCR speakers allow you to get imaging and staging that would be lost with regular, down-firing ceiling speakers because their woofers are set at a 15° angle. The critical high and midrange frequencies are pointed toward the listener, not the floor. So, when your video tracks left to right, the sound tracks right along with the video. You can even use them for rear and side surrounds in a 5.1 or 7.1 systems.
Do I Need Dual Voice Coil Speakers?
Dual Voice Coil speakers are another clever option created by audio engineers that allow both the left and right channel to be played from a single speaker by placing two angled tweeters in one speaker. Dual voice Coil speakers are ideal for small or oddly shaped spaces where balanced left and right sound would be difficult to achieve with two speakers. Dual Voice Coil speakers offer excellent sound quality and great flexibility because you don't need to worry about placing two speakers for balanced sound. Dual Voice Coil speakers use regular speaker wire except, instead of connecting one wire to the left and one to the right, you connect both wires to their respective connectors in the speaker.
What Does the Center Channel Speaker Do?
The center channel speaker supplies the dialog and many of the surround effects in a surround sound system. Center channel speakers use only tweeters and mid-range to mid-bass drivers to create voices and sound effects in a home theater setting. Center channels leave the low frequency information to subwoofers or left and right speakers. Center channel speakers are also, in most cases, magnetically shielded so they do not interfere with the video display.
What Is A 70V Ceiling Speaker?
Custom installers will often use 70V speakers for commercial background music applications. These speakers are useful when many speakers are being connected in series, for example in a restaurant or office for background music or short announcement applications. The 70V commercial speaker allows the installer to connect a few speakers together in series before running the line back to the amplifier. Regular speakers run each speaker directly back to the amplifier. 70V speakers are designed for commercial applications where powerful amplifiers are used to supply sound in large spaces. High-quality surround sound is not the purpose of 70V speakers and they are not recommended for home use.
What Are Back Boxes and New Construction Brackets Used For?
Pre-Construction Brackets are used for new home construction or remodeling before sheet rock is hung. Brackets allow you to precisely position where speakers will be installed. The aluminum bracket wings can be stapled, nailed or screwed to studs or joists. Back boxes are designed specifically to enhance the speaker's performance; they utilize the ideal air volume for the speaker and act as a sound chamber, directing the critical sound to the sweet spot. Back boxes can also reduce the sound going to other rooms/floors up to 10dB and provides one hour fire break protection.