Have you ever wondered why our in-home sound systems use speakers in the ceiling instead of the walls? It doesn’t make sense at first. After all, our ears are to the sides of our heads, not on top! So why do we put speakers in the ceiling? It turns out that in-ceiling speakers have several benefits over wall-mounted speakers. We’ll be sharing a few of the most significant reasons.
Hard To Determine The Source Location
Our brains utilize azimuthal localization to discern the origin of sounds. In essence, our minds can detect the delay in the time it takes for sound to reach one ear compared to the other. Then, our brains use this information to accurately estimate the direction from which a sound originates. Since our ears excel at comparing time delays in the left to right (horizontal plane), we are particularly efficient at determining sound sources in this direction.
Unfortunately for us, it’s hard to determine sound location up and down because there’s little to no time delay between each ear. You can probably pinpoint where a sound came from: behind or in front, left or right. However, you’ll struggle to understand the height of that sound.
Although in-ceiling speakers bring excellent uniformity throughout your home, they are not to be confused with a dedicated active listening system. While in-ceiling speakers will sound phenomenal for passive listening, any self-proclaimed audiophile will yearn for something that can only be achieved with a dedicated two-channel listening room.
Speakers in the ceiling take advantage of our difficulty in figuring out sound sources above or below us. This makes the audio feel like it’s just part of the space, similar to light, rather than coming from a specific direction. We prefer the sound to feel like it merely exists in your home. Being able to detect the source of the music can take away the joy of listening to music at home.
Less Visually Impactful
Our eyes naturally focus on what’s at eye level. That’s why we like to decorate vertical spaces with artwork, beautiful cabinetry or windows looking out to gorgeous views. However, no one wants to see a bunch of speaker grills on their walls. In-ceiling speakers keep your home audio system out of common sight lines and make them easily disappear. You can also adjust the style of speakers to minimize their visual impact or make them disappear entirely.
More Uniform Sound
As you get closer to a sound source, it will sound louder. If we put speakers on the wall, the volume will drastically fluctuate as you walk around the room. However, when your speakers are in the ceiling, your distance to the speaker stays more uniform, keeping the audio volume more consistent. This effect gets stronger when you have more in-ceiling speakers.
Modern home designs leave little room for speakers on the wall. Large windows looking out to views, artwork and cabinetry are a few of the main things that cover the walls, making in-wall speaker placements difficult. They demand a more versatile sound system like in-ceiling speakers. Additionally, open floor plans would leave far too much variance in sound quality throughout a space. In-ceiling speakers allow for versatility to be installed in any home, regardless of the artwork, windows, or floor plan. In-ceiling speakers can be installed in both flat and vaulted ceilings, making them significantly more diverse than in-wall speakers while reaping all the previously mentioned benefits.
Getting Your In-Ceiling Speaker System
Are you ready to fill your home with the energy only music can bring? You’ll end up with a home that brings uniform sound without a speaker grill in sight! If you’re ready to enjoy your favorite music throughout your home, give us a call at 415-456-7000.