Wall vs. ceiling speakers for surround sound

Written by lissabeth ross
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Wall vs. ceiling speakers for surround sound
When you're setting up a surround system, you will need to make a few decisions about speaker placement. (Interior with home cinema image by Nikolay Okhitin from Fotolia.com)

When you are setting up your surround system, placement of the speakers will depend on how many speakers you will be installing. While the optimal speaker locations are determined by the room set-up and the number of speakers, you will have to decide if you will be mounting your speakers in your walls or in your ceiling.

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Speaker Shape

In general, wall-mounted speakers are rectangular and ceiling-mounted speakers are circular, but you may install a circular speaker in a wall or a rectangular speaker in a ceiling if you choose. Most speakers have grills that can be painted so they are less noticeable.


Before installing either inwall or in-ceiling speakers, you will need to check for obstructions that can include studs and pipes. With in-ceiling speakers, you may also run into difficulties with insulation in the ceiling.

Speaker Placement and Noise

The loudest speaker in your set-up will be your subwoofer, which as a standalone speaker will not be mounted in either your wall or ceiling. However inwall speakers and in-ceiling speakers can still be noisy. If you live in an apartment or other dwelling with shared walls, you may wish to avoid installing inwall speakers if you wish to stay on good terms with your neighbours.

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