Ceiling or wall speakers for bedroom


Active Member
OK ... another pre-wire (sort of) question: for the bedrooms I have a choice of speakers in the insulated ceiling or mounted on interior walls. The exterior walls are SIP panels and I'm not cutting them open to mount speakers in ...

So is there a preferred location? At this stage running the wire to an interior wall is easiest. If I want them in the ceiling then I presumably need to build some kind of box and make sure it gets vapour barriered, etc. However, I'm concerned about sound leaking from one from to one. Would adding some fibreglass insulation around an in wall speaker mitigate this sufficiently?

Choices ... choices ...
Speaking from personal experience:

1) Anytime you cut a hole in your ceiling, unless you take appropriate measures, you're flushing energy down the drain.
2) Fiberglass will definitely not dampen the sound enough so that the other room can't hear in-wall speakers. This is true even without a speaker.
3) In-Wall speakers are "visible", in ceiling speakers tend to be "invisible"

I only installed in-wall speakers in my 2nd story bedrooms, but luckily all of the locations back up into closets, which help dampen the sound. I did so to cut down on energy-loss through the ceiling, and because I didn't really have the time to build speaker boxes.

If you must install into the ceiling, then yes, I'd build an air-tight speaker box around them (foam all the corners), add a vapor barrier, and then make sure your insulation contractor installs enough insulation over them. The speaker boxes will also probably help reflect some bass back into the room. If you're really into sound quality, you should take that into account -- although most individuals really into sound quality wouldn't install in-wall OR in-ceiling speakers! ;)
We would typically say to use in-ceiling if you have the choice as they are a lot less likey to get the "I want to put a picutre there but can't since YOU put a speaker there." response from the spouse.
Thanks for the advice.

I agree ceiling would definitely be better ... but pragmatism and lack of time mean that it is going to have to be wall mounted. At least I could change it later if I wanted when there are 100 other things that need doing before the insulation goes in! In the mean time I'll console myself we the thought that we lose less energy this way!
I am not an audiophile by any stretch but I guess if you are and you have the opportunity to do things from scratch, you can knock yourself out with building boxes, vapor barriers, etc. I am in Florida in a 1 story ranch and my attic is blown in insulation only. I put speakers in the ceiling then covered them with these covers then put a strip of regular insulation over it. I did not go crazy with building boxes, etc. In fact some of the things I read said making boxes yourself could make things worse, so I decided it was not worth the hassle. In any case I have ZERO issue with bleeding sound, etc. I can turn up 1 room pretty loud and I hear it coming from room to room in the house way before it bleeds through the ceiling. Plus if they are for background music, it will sound fine. I use a Nuvo Grand Concerto and Proficient Audio speakers and am very happy with the way it sounds and works. If its pre-construction I think you can get speaker brackets to install up front then already have the holes there when you move in instead of you having to cut your own holes.
I think you've done yourself a favor by installing in the wall. Yes, there are certainly times when in ceiling is the "proper" install. For example, if the homeowner just wants ambiance, back ground music and could care less about critical listening, then the inceiling option typically rates a higher WAF. On the other hand, I push for in wall installs for anyone who really LISTENS. The soundstage is so much more natural when you can place the speakers on plane with your ears and create a true, accurate LR stage. If the speakers are in ceiling, most rooms make left and right channels a bit vague. If I face "this" wall L and R are opposite of facing "that" wall. Make sense?