Active surround ceiling speakers / monitors


Mar 10, 2016

I am looking for some nice pair of active surround speakers to put in the rear ceiling, was hoping for some recommendations. I want to go 5.1 or 7.1 surround sound on my pc, money should be no object.
If you are looking for actual in-ceiling speakers, as in mounted inside the drywall I don't know of any good active solutions. The in-wall active speakers out there tend to be real big ones designed for front speakers in studios, too large and heavy for sticking in your ceiling for surrounds. If you are looking for something you can mount on the wall near the ceiling, there are options. Do note though that most installed surround speakers are passive just to keep the wiring more manageable. Cinemas would rather run a single pair of wires to the speaker than power and balanced audio.

If you want in-ceiling speakers and are ok with passives then have a look at Bowers and Wilkins. Pricey shit, but very good. Their CCM products are designed to by put in ceiling and still angle the sound to you. However note they really are getting in the "money is no object" range. The CCM7.3s are $1500 per speaker, even the "cheap" CCM665 is $400/pair. You need amps on top of that, of course. However their stuff is really good.

If you need something a bit more economical, look at JBL. They makes a ton of installed sound speakers and they are quite good for they money. They are normally what we put in class and conference rooms at work. You can get them open or closed back, with or without transformers and so on. Their Control line and their 8100 series are what you are looking at. Their smallest, cheapest ones can be had for $130/pair maybe less and going up to around $400/pair for the highest end ones.

If you are ok with mounting speakers on the surface of the walls, then you get a ton of options, active and passive, ranging from things as little as $50/pair up to speakers in the realm of $10,000 each in all kinds of sizes so a little more information about what you want would be needed.
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Dayton audio ( has a couple of cheap in-walls. I have no clue on how good or bad they sound but Dayton audio can surprise sometimes with price/quality.

If you live in the US I would give these a try. Do remember that these kind of speakers are designed to be wall mounted and they will _not_ play correctly unless they're literally mounted to the wall. This makes testing them a bit tricky naturally.
Well if price is no object, I would look at the Genelec AIW26s. They are about $2,000 each, and can hit 120db at 1m.

It will run you about $14,000 for 7 of them, not including the subwoofer for your system ;)