Are Ceilings Speakers Good For Surround Sound? (A Complete Guide)

Last Updated on October 9, 2022 by Barry Gray

ceiling speaker

Surround sound is designed to provide people with a sound field in front of them, to their sides, and behind them. Of course, there are many types of speakers that can be used in this type of setup. If you’re wondering whether ceiling speakers are suitable for surround sound, this is what you need to know! 

Ceiling speakers are ideal for surround sound, whether used exclusively or with other speakers. Due to the compact design of ceiling speakers, the speakers are affordable and easy to place. These features allow homeowners to tailor these overhead speakers to their space for the best sound field. 

If you want to use ceiling speakers for surround sound, I’m going to explain everything you need to know. First, we’re going to look at why ceiling speakers are ideal for surround sound before looking at buying considerations and the best ceiling speakers on the market today. 

Are Ceiling Speakers Good For Surround Sound? 

As any audiophile can tell you, surround sound systems are about immersion! For those looking to create an immersive home theatre experience, the sound is of the utmost quality. With the vast number of speaker types and models available today, many consumers struggle to choose the right surround sound speakers for their needs. 

After all, there are many considerations to keep in mind. One primary consideration is the size of your space. For the best sound, you need to tailor your surround sound speakers to your environment. Ceiling speakers are one of the best ways to do this! 

In-ceiling speakers can be used to craft a great surround sound system, especially if you add a subwoofer. Ceiling speakers can even be used in conjunction with other types of speakers to truly create the best sound setup for your home. 

It’s important to note that ceiling speakers are embedded within the ceiling. Of course, this leads to many fantastic benefits, which will look at in the following section. However, the installation process of ceiling speakers has an important implication. 

If you’re living in a rented property, you may not be able to carry out the work that will be required to install them. If you’re looking to purchase ceiling speakers, you need to ensure that you’ll be able to install the speakers on your roof. 

Once you’ve determined this, there are a few other factors to consider when choosing the perfect ceiling speakers for your surround sound system. However, before I explain these considerations, let’s look at the advantages of using ceiling speakers for surround sound. 

The 5 Advantages Of Buying Ceiling Speakers For Surround Sound 

ceiling speaker

While there are many different speaker types available today, ceiling speakers remain highly popular with homeowners. After all, there are many significant advantages of investing in these speakers for your home. Let’s look at the benefits ceiling speakers can provide you with! 

1. Ceiling Speakers Are Space Savers 

Many speakers are known to take up a great deal of space, which can make rooms feel smaller or clash with the décor. Luckily, ceiling speakers are the perfect solution to this. As their name suggests, these speakers are installed on your roof. This allows you to save space without compromising your sound. 

It’s important to note that ceiling speakers are typically smaller than other types. Of course, this only adds to this benefit! In addition to saving space, these speakers are ideal for those homeowners looking for a clean aesthetic. With the speakers positioned above you, you’ll forget they’re even there! 

2. Ceiling Speakers Have Simple Installations 

When it comes to installing ceiling speakers, there are two factors to consider: placing the speakers and installing them. Ceiling speakers are far easier to place than other types. Essentially, your ceiling functions as a blank canvas for you to work with. This allows for more freedom when placing speakers. 

Once you’ve found the optimal locations for your ceiling speakers, you’ll need to install them. Of course, these are installed within your ceiling. Due to the relatively small size of these speakers, the installation process is a simple one. Ceiling speakers are also easy to relocate if needed. 

3. Ceiling Speakers Are Affordable 

When it comes down to the different speakers available for homes, ceiling speakers are favored due to their affordability. For instance, when ceiling speakers are compared to in-wall speakers, there will be a noticeable difference in their price tags. The cheaper price tag of these speakers is attributed to their more compact sizes. 

Of course, it’s also possible to purchase high-end ceiling speakers that will cost more than entry-level wall-mounted speakers. For those buyers with a relatively tight surround sound budget, ceiling speakers are the perfect way to get fantastic audio at affordable rates. 

4. Ceiling Speakers Are Easier To Upgrade

It’s crucial that the long term is considered when investing in an audio system. Of course, one of these longer-term considerations is being able to upgrade your sound system. Due to the compact design of ceiling speakers, ceiling sound systems will be easier to upgrade later. 

When upgrading ceiling speakers, the wiring can remain intact. Due to this, the only factor you really need to think about for upgrades is whether the replacement speakers can fit in the existing ceiling holes. If not, these holes can be enlarged to accommodate the upgraded sound system. 

5. Ceiling Speakers Can Be Used For Surround Sound 

When you collectively consider all of these advantages, it becomes clear why ceiling speakers are ideal for surround sound. Due to their compact size, you can use as many as you need to craft the perfect sound. It also doesn’t hurt that ceiling speakers are more affordable than other types!

For homeowners looking to create an immersive sound experience, overhead speakers are perfect. There are countless ways these speakers can be used throughout homes, both indoors and outdoors. 

Are Ceiling Speakers Better Than Wall Speakers? 

wall speaker

In-wall speakers are very similar to ceiling speakers. Of course, both types are installed on a flat surface so that the speaker sits flush with the wall or ceiling. However, are ceiling speakers better than wall speakers? Well, it depends on your needs! 

Wall speakers tend to be bigger than ceiling speakers, which means they are also more expensive. However, those bigger wall speakers typically also contain more technology, making them more powerful speakers. In turn, this extra power means fewer speakers can be used to create a surround sound system. 

However, it is possible to use a combination of ceiling and wall speakers together in your setup. With many of these speakers, it’s possible to use ceiling and wall speakers interchangeably. Ultimately, this means homeowners can opt for bigger speakers for their ceilings while still retaining the advantages we discussed above. 

Factors To Consider Before Buying Ceiling Speakers 

If you want to purchase a set of ceiling speakers for your home, there are a couple of factors you need to consider. By taking note of these considerations, you’ll be able to make the best purchasing decision for your surround sound needs! 

1. Sound Quality 

As I explained earlier, in-ceiling speakers can produce exceptional sound. However, there’s a simple trick that can be used to ensure optimal performance from your surround sound system. To create the best sound quality, you need to look at the speaker cables you’re using in your setup. 

The best speaker cables are those that have thicker wires and are shorter in length. By using a cable that fits this description, you will ensure that your ceiling surround sound system has excellent sound quality. Thinner wires and longer cables can negatively impact sound quality. 

2. Size

As discussed earlier, in-ceiling speakers are easy to place due to their more compact size. In this way, a ceiling becomes a blank canvas for innovation. The size and placement of your speakers play a critical role in the quality of your sound. The smallest ceiling speakers will likely distort sounds. 

When purchasing ceiling speakers, you need to consider the size of the space where the sound system will be installed. For the best quality sound, the size of your ceiling speakers needs to be proportional to the size of your room. This balance makes for the best surround sound systems! 

3. Location 

When it comes down to the different ceiling speakers available today, you’ll notice speakers are rated for certain uses. While a vast majority of ceiling speakers are intended for use indoors, there are also outdoor speakers that can effectively deal with issues like moisture. Due to this, homeowners need to consider their desired ceiling speaker location. 

If this is indoors, a regular set of ceiling speakers will be ideal. Indoor speakers should not be used outdoors, as they can be damaged by weather-related conditions. For outdoor uses, appropriately rated speakers should be used to prevent the sound system from getting damaged. 

4. Subwoofer

Subwoofers differ greatly from surround sound systems. However, while surround sound systems do not require subwoofers, there are many ways these woofers can drastically improve a surround sound system. Luckily, many of the best ceiling speakers today have fully compatible subwoofers. 

With your subwoofers are perfectly matched to your sound, the overall quality of sound is greatly improved. Essentially, subwoofers allow listeners to hear even the lowest frequency sounds, adding new audio dimensions to surround sound setups.

5. Installation 

When installing speakers within your ceiling, safety is an important concern. While these speakers are more compact than wall-mounted variants, they can be somewhat trickier to install due to their placement. 

Furthermore, when installing your ceiling surround sound system, you want to ensure that you use the appropriate speaker wires. The speaker cables used for in-ceiling sound systems need to meet fire and building regulations

The Best Surround Sound Ceiling Speakers Available Today 

Now that I’ve explained the factors you need to consider when purchasing ceiling speakers for a surround sound system, it’s time to look at some of the very best options available today. From MartinLogan to Klipsch, there are our picks for the best ceiling speakers! 

#1: MartinLogan Motion XT CI XTC8 Ceiling Speakers

MartinLogan’s Motion XT Cl speakers are a perfect choice for those seeking only the best quality sound. These ceiling speakers allow sound dispersion to be better controlled. With these ceiling speakers, MartinLogan has prioritized output, clarity, and efficiency. 

The stronger speaker chassis further helps provide more clear, well-balanced sounds. Of course, for a surround sound system, this is ideal! The Folded Motion Tweeter from MartinLogan only bolsters the capabilities of these in-ceiling speakers, making this one of the most versatile ceiling speakers available today. 

#2: Bowers & Wilkins Reference Series CCM7.3 S2

While Bowers & Wilkins are well known for their floor-standing loudspeakers, the manufacturer also specializes in-ceiling speakers. These speakers are designed to skillfully direct sound both down and forward to your listening position. A three-way design is used to accomplish this. 

If you’re looking for a surround sound system that is lifelike and engages you, then these Bowers & Wilkins ceiling speakers may be the ideal choice for your overhead sound needs! 

#3: Klipsch Outdoor/Surround In-Ceiling Speakers CDT-5800-C II

This ceiling speaker from Klipsch is great value for money. Not only can this speaker be used in a surround sound setup, but they’re rated for indoor and outdoor use. The Controlled Dispersion Technology allows sound to be directed to your main listening area. 

What’s fantastic about Klipsch is that their elegant speakers are all compatible with one another. Ceiling speakers can easily connect to wall speakers, allowing you to craft the perfect sound. Klipsch’s 8-inch subwoofer can even rotate a full 360-degrees and then some, making them easy to position. 


For homeowners looking to craft an immersive soundscape in their home, in-ceiling speakers are ideal. From their compact design to their versatility, there’s much to love about these speakers. Whether you use ceiling speakers as your main surround sound system or a small part of it, these affordable speakers will pack a punch! 

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Barry Gray

Hi, I’m Barry. I’ve loved woodworking and bringing things back to life for more years than I care to remember. I hope my passion for tools comes across loud and clear in everything you read here on The Tool Square.