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Blue tooth ceiling speakers for kitchen

Discussion in 'Audio Visual' started by markymark2406, 13 Oct 2020.

  1. markymark2406

    markymark2406

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    Anyone else’s had experiences with Bluetooth ceiling speakers?
    I’m shortly to be refitting a kitchen and wonder about what sort to get
     
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  3. Sureitsoff?

    Sureitsoff?

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    if you mean speakers that are recessed into the ceiling be careful as if they go wrong you might not be able to get ones the same size to replace
     
  4. Lucid

    Lucid

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    The results depend on your budget. There are three things to remember:

    1) You can't break the laws of physics. Speakers with small drivers might look cute, but no matter what the advert promises, they won't do bass. When you put speakers in to a ceiling then the sound travels up in to the room above as well as down in to the kitchen.

    2) If you cut corners then it'll cost more than you think, either in the short term or the long term.

    i) Folk always forget fire safety. Your plasterboard ceiling provides a minimum 30 minute fire break to slow down the progress of a house fire to the living space above. When you cut holes in that fire break then you wreck that protection. Filling them with plastic speakers - especially ones from some unknown Far Eastern factory where you've no idea whether it'll melt if you just hold a candle to it - won't restore that rating. You'll need fire hoods, and fire hoods cost money.

    Richer Sounds sells inexpensive but decent fire hoods. The Hoody 1 will fit a 5" to 7" speaker. Each one costs £55. You'll need two. If, God forbid, there is a kitchen fire, then your insurance company will have a field day with you when they find out you didn't fit fire hoods.

    ii) Electrical safety is important too (see point i). The speakers are going to need power, and that means a transformer to pull down 220 Volt AC and make it low voltage DC to drive the amplifier and Bluetooth receiver. This transformer and the amp it will power are most likely going to live in the ceiling... unseen... on... all the time... 24/7... when you're at home... when your family is in bed... when you're away on holiday. Now ask yourself how reliable and safe that power supply and amp has to be to live in the dusty and possibly warm cuddly insulated space that electronics just love (right? ;)).

    'Ah, but it has a CE mark' you might say, 'I've seen it in the advert'
    - 'Oh, you mean the CE mark that stands for China Export?.. The mark that coincidentally looks very much like the CE safety mark of something that has been tested to European safety standard but in no way is intended to convey the same meaning. Is that the mark you've seen? So too did the Apple iPhone chargers sold by some dodgy resellers. Those chargers that burst in to flames and caused house fires. That CE mark?'​


    3) You get what you pay for. Sounds kind of glib, but it's true.

    As a seller and installer of home AV gear I need to keep abreast of what's happening in the market; new tech, new products etc. I want my customers to get the best deal, and I define that as good value reliable kit, correctly specified to do the job, and with performance that keeps them delighted.

    When something new comes on the market at lower prices I'm keen to investigate whether it meets the promise of performance. I find stuff too; home cinema projectors that can be tweaked to beat the competition but at half the price; in-ceiling speakers that sound and perform as good as bigger brands such as Bose and B&W, but cost 1/3rd of the price.

    With this in mind I bought some of the cheaper 6" in-ceiling speakers at around £40/pr to compare against my (budget) contract speakers which have a 4" driver and run at £60/pr. I use these in less important areas such as utility rooms and corridors where main speakers at £200-£300 would be OTT.

    I did a listening test. Oh dear. Not good. They worked, but the sound was poor. The promise of extra bass due to the bigger driver just didn't happen. It was still lightweight like someone had turned down the bass control. Worse though was the poor coherence of the sound. It was jumbled and messy, a bit like hearing something in a really echoey room. This made the sound fatiguing to listen to for more than a few minutes at a time.

    These speakers and I parted company when a kitchen fitter friend asked if I had anything cheap to chuck in to the ceiling of his own kitchen he was just fitting. I told him I had, but wouldn't recommend them. He lasted a year with them before coming back to me for something better. He's had my standard 6.5" speakers in for 3-4 years and is chuffed to bits with the sound.



    Conclusion

    If you're on a budget, buy a smart speaker.

    When you add up the cost of fire hoods, and the hassle of installation, and the worry about reliability/safety and then top it off with the unknown sound quality of some random online purchase, it makes a smart speaker such as the amazon Echo Studio (currently £139 for Prime Day rather than £189) seem like a bargain. And it is.

    As long as you have space for this tubby tube then just plonk it down, plug it in, and download the control app for Android or iOS. The speaker does more than a Bluetooth-only solution. It will connect to the house Wi-Fi so you can have it playing Spotify or amazon Music or iTunes or Internet radio as well as doing Bluetooth. In fact, with voice control you don't even need the phone. Sounds good too.
     
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  5. markymark2406

    markymark2406

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    Your reply reads like a CV, after the first 5 lines it gets boring !
     
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  7. MMarve

    MMarve

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    What an incredible reply considering it was you who asked the question!

    I found the post informative, engaging and very interesting. I read it all and I am not even in the market for in ceiling speakers.
     
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  8. Lucid

    Lucid

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    Well I'll tell you what, just ask me for a refund of what you paid for the advice... Oh, wait. That's right. You paid nothing.

    You asked for some help from people with experience, and since I've fitted more speakers of various brands than I care to remember then maybe I actually know what I'm talking about. But hey, I'm sure you know best, so just go ahead with whatever you plan. Tat-tah.
     
    Last edited: 15 Oct 2020
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  9. Bilabong007

    Bilabong007

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    I had similar issues to lucid alluded to. I have recently installed 8 speakers in my upstairs extension im building. Bt speakers didnt do what i wanted, were not fire reg compliant, didnt auto power down. Long story short i did this

    Adastra fire dome 6.5 inch speakers, replaced driver with better coaxial driver, wired them to an arylic (not acrylic) up2stream amp. Sorted

    I can now bt direct or stream off it, fire compliant and auto off. Can also link them all together to have the whole house bouncing! Missus thinks im mad, but its like sonos at a fraction of the price.

    The boards have lots of functions and they recently added a 2.1 board for a sub, i went down line out route to my bedroom and an active sub. Fills in the sound nicely.

    I have some of the mini boards spare if anyone wants to test them, shame to put them in the bin as they messed up my order and i got them for cheap. I have done quite a bit of searching and reading in this area, but im by no means an expert

    Graeme
     
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  10. Lucid

    Lucid

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    Those Arylic boards look interesting. I can think of a few applications. Wouldn't mind a tinker with a couple.
     
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