TechNotes: Speaker Types and Applications, Part II

TechNotesNote: This is the second part of a two-part series on Speaker Types and Applications. To read Part I, click here.On Friday, I went over three basic types of speakers that provide great sound, but are fairly difficult to incorporate into a room without making a relatively large impact on the room’s decor. If a large floor-standing speaker isn’t what you had in mind for your media system or whole-house audio system, then these options are for you! Best of all, these speakers virtually disappear into their surroundings without sacrificing the one thing that’s important to us all: outstanding sound quality.KlipschInWallIn-wall speakersMuch like the wall-mounted speakers we talked about in Part I on Friday, in-wall speakers typically have a very similar two-driver array: a tweeter for high frequencies and a combination mid/woofer for low frequencies. The main difference between in-wall speakers and their on-wall or bookshelf counterparts is that the internal form factor has been slightly modified for mounting in the wall. Additionally, these speakers also typically incorporate technology to minimize the impact of boundary effects on their acoustic output. Adding a subwoofer is an excellent way to get the most out of in-wall speakers.Another great feature of in-wall speakers is the ability to paint the speaker grille to match the color of the room’s walls, allowing the speaker to nearly disappear.Advantages

  • Allows speakers to be mounted in walls to provide proper placement and height relative to a TV installation
  • Can be painted to match wall color to minimize visual impact
  • Can be integrated into many living spaces without a major negative impact on the room’s existing decor


  • Performance is inferior to tower, bookshelf and on-wall speakers due to placement, boundary effects, lack of full-spectrum driver array and uncontrolled back-boxes
  • May conflict with artwork and furniture placement

KlipschInCeilingIn-ceiling speakersPerfect for both surround sound and whole-house distributed audio applications, in-ceiling speakers are engineered much like in-wall speakers with the same two-driver array. However, their distribution pattern and form factor have both been modified to work better with a ceiling mounting application. The same technological enhancements found in in-wall speakers (boundary effect compensation, etc.) are also found in these speakers as well.Advantages

  • Speakers can be mounted in ceilings for minimal visual impact
  • Some models allow drivers to be aimed directly at the listening area
  • Grilles can be painted to match ceiling color


  • Inferior performance as compared to tower, bookshelf, on-wall and in-wall models due to placement, boundary effects, lack of full spectrum driver array and uncontrolled back boxes
  • Not always able to mount speakers at the prime location relative to the listening area

SonanceInvisibleInvisible speakersUsually membrane based, invisible speakers turn a finished surface into a driver that transmits sound into a living space. They can be textured, painted or wallpapered to completely disappear into a wall. However, since a wall or ceiling surface is not the ideal medium to transmit sound, invisible speakers include tuning circuitry to help mitigate the problems posed with the mountain application. Like all speakers, the addition of a subwoofer will improve overall sound quality.Advantages

  • Allows complete concealment of speakers to eliminate visual impact
  • Can be integrated into virtually all living spaces without any impact on the room’s decor and style


  • Inferior performance as compared to all other speaker due to placement, boundary effects, lack of full spectrum driver array, uncontrolled driver surfaces
  • Not always able to place speakers in the ideal location relative to listening area
  • Difficult and high cost of installation
  • Access for service is challenging and costly

With all of these options, SoundVision is bound to have a speaker solution that fits perfectly into your home. For more information, contact us today!

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