Using Speaker Ceiling Mounts
There are a number of reasons you might want to mount speakers to your ceiling. While we don’t recommend this for your primary speakers, it’s a great way to get surround speakers out of the way that may be part of a small, bookshelf or microsystem. And, yes, you can certainly mount a full 5.0 system on the ceiling if each speaker weighs under 12 pounds or so… But what kind of speaker ceiling mounts are available? As it turns out, there are only a few options—but each of them has a particular strength that makes them perfect for certain applications. It all depends on what type of speaker you intend to use—and you want to really make sure the mount can hold the weight of the speaker you intend to put in the air.
What Kind of Speakers Can I Ceiling Mount?
First of all, it’s good to not get your hopes up. I’m certain you can mount 50-pound speakers on the wall given the right mounting system—but why would you want to? The big breakpoints seem to be 8 pounds and 12-15 pounds. Anything larger than that really doesn’t belong on the ceiling. The way most ceiling mounts work is that they tie into a standard electrical-style box that secures to the ceiling. That means you’re hopefully connected to a joist, but in many cases, you’re relying on the support of the drywall to hold everything in place. Spreading that kind of weight around a piece of drywall is actually very safe—but not when you get much above 15 pounds. Speakers that big also begin to attract attention and you end up losing any aesthetic gains you may have had from ceiling-mounting in the first place. Here are some examples of speakers you could ceiling mount:
Using Speaker Ceiling Mounts Successfully
The idea behind the ceiling mount is that you are anchoring the speaker securely, using a method that is both familiar and quite stable: a single-gang electrical box. This also has the added benefit of giving you a place to run your cables to and you can pre-wire a home for ceiling mounted speakers by placing these boxes in the location from which you want to mount your speakers. Some of these systems are very plain and look like mounts emanating from a single gang metal electrical plate:
This next model is a slight step up:
Finally, Sanus makes a more decorative mount that is versatile enough to work for wall or ceiling mount installations:
This is, of course, just the beginning. There are a whole host of ceiling mount options for speakers. Just make sure you can support the speaker fully from the mount. The last thing you want is a loudspeaker to come crashing down on you while you’re in the middle of a great film!
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