Computers & Electronics

Audio solution for in-ceiling speakers

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  • May 30th, 2021 4:45 am
[OP]
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Dec 30, 2013
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Mississauga

Audio solution for in-ceiling speakers

Hi everyone with more audio/home av experience than me (probably most ppl!) - we are moving to house that has 2 passive? in ceiling speakers in our main living area that are wired through our ceilings to a utility room in the basement where our modem/hub is as well. The speakers are wired using L/R audio wiring(?) - not aux or RCA.

I'm wondering what solutions exist? I think we just want to be able to play music through them either using Google assistant or some sort of other cloud service (Sonos? But that looks expensive and we don't have anything else Sonos).

From my limited research, it seems we need an amp or receiver with Google Chromecast audio built in - or to find one of the discontinued Google Chromecast audio devices themselves and attach that to a receiver.
Also I've noticed that many smaller receivers and amps only have RCA or aux jacks in them.

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!
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Feb 20, 2015
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You'll need an amplifier or receiver to power them. Most likely the wiring is already run to attach to your amp's connections. Buy a quality receiver with all those cloud based functions and wire them up. Spend the money and you can go total Home Theater experience, if that's in your plans.
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I've never heard in ceiling speakers sound that great (most people don't install them properly) so, I personally would be ripping them out and patching the ceiling. They could be there and not work (or be cheap junk speakers) as well.
[OP]
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Dec 30, 2013
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Mississauga
Thanks for the advice!
I don't have a clue if they're good yet - but they are new, so probably want to give it a shot first and see if it's worth it to find a solution.
I saw suggestions for home theatre setups but that would definitely be doing something we hadn't budgeted for, haha.

But yeah, I did read that if we might eventually do a home theatre solution thing, not to cheap out because there's a big difference between good/bad receivers.

If I can come up with a ~$100 solution just to play music through them, I'd probably try that first though!
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endlight wrote: Thanks for the advice!
I don't have a clue if they're good yet - but they are new, so probably want to give it a shot first and see if it's worth it to find a solution.
I saw suggestions for home theatre setups but that would definitely be doing something we hadn't budgeted for, haha.

But yeah, I did read that if we might eventually do a home theatre solution thing, not to cheap out because there's a big difference between good/bad receivers.

If I can come up with a ~$100 solution just to play music through them, I'd probably try that first though!
Skimping with Audio stuff usually doesn't turn out well. If you go to a used receiver you might get away with a non-cloud based audio setup.
[OP]
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Dec 30, 2013
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Mississauga
Gibsons wrote: Skimping with Audio stuff usually doesn't turn out well. If you go to a used receiver you might get away with a non-cloud based audio setup.
Thanks - I'll take a look at some used stuff maybe. Any suggestions for stores/places for used/new receivers and amps that are reasonably priced (so I don't have to go price check everywhere, hah)
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If you are going to go cheap, get something like this? Just make sure to ask to hear it, every channel being driven properly with no crackles or humming. This looks a little dated, no HDMI switching but it'll get you running for $60 plus Coaxial/Digital Toslink Audio as well. There's not much available under $100 other than the basics, then you'll need some fronts + a sub. Lots of cheap second hand stuff out there. Make sure they have a remote or you'll probably not want it.

https://www.kijiji.ca/v-stereo-systems- ... 1529276946

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One digital Toslink cable from your TV to your receiver should have you linked up.
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endlight wrote: Thanks - I'll take a look at some used stuff maybe. Any suggestions for stores/places for used/new receivers and amps that are reasonably priced (so I don't have to go price check everywhere, hah)
There is no such thing as reasonably priced - if you want to save money, wait for Black Friday and pickup something at that time, this will give you more than enough time to do your research like what you want to connect to it? how many devices support HDMI? do you currently have a 4K TV? do you need airplay support?

Any if you only have just the in-ceiling speakers than what are you doing for a front and centre channels? how about a sub? All of these things will need to be determined so you spend your money properly, no it won't be cheap but you also won't regret it in the end.
[OP]
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Dec 30, 2013
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Mississauga
markopas wrote: There is no such thing as reasonably priced - if you want to save money, wait for Black Friday and pickup something at that time, this will give you more than enough time to do your research like what you want to connect to it? how many devices support HDMI? do you currently have a 4K TV? do you need airplay support?

Any if you only have just the in-ceiling speakers than what are you doing for a front and centre channels? how about a sub? All of these things will need to be determined so you spend your money properly, no it won't be cheap but you also won't regret it in the end.
Thank you! I'm really just looking for audio right now (ie Google assistant/Spotify comparability) but yeah, won't cheap out if we go for a fuller home theatre setup
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endlight wrote: Thank you! I'm really just looking for audio right now (ie Google assistant/Spotify comparability) but yeah, won't cheap out if we go for a fuller home theatre setup
Sounds like the wiring is already in place so keeping up with the previous owners could get expensive depending on how their layout was setup. I don’t think I’ve ever heard anyone hookup their home system a home theatre system. That would require leaving your system to stay on that dedicated input the whole time if you don’t plan on using it for anything else. A stand-alone audio receiver for multi-zone feature but with out knowing the full setup it’s hard to tell what wioll work best in your situation.
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Apr 17, 2008
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No audio specialist, but for my in-ceiling speakers, i have a small stereo t-amp (similar to https://tinyurl.com/j27pm4aj) and a chromecast audio.

For the Chromecast Audio disponibility problem, but you could probably still use a regular chromecast with a HDMI audio splitter.

All depend on your setup and how much money you are willing to spend i guess.
[OP]
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Dec 30, 2013
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Mississauga
markopas wrote: Sounds like the wiring is already in place so keeping up with the previous owners could get expensive depending on how their layout was setup. I don’t think I’ve ever heard anyone hookup their home system a home theatre system. That would require leaving your system to stay on that dedicated input the whole time if you don’t plan on using it for anything else. A stand-alone audio receiver for multi-zone feature but with out knowing the full setup it’s hard to tell what wioll work best in your situation.
Yeah part of the problem is we don't know what the previous owner had in mind when they wired their setup. And they haven't been very helpful in answering these types of questions.
Appreciate the thoughts though!
[OP]
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Dec 30, 2013
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Mississauga
Griim wrote: No audio specialist, but for my in-ceiling speakers, i have a small stereo t-amp (similar to https://tinyurl.com/j27pm4aj) and a chromecast audio.

For the Chromecast Audio disponibility problem, but you could probably still use a regular chromecast with a HDMI audio splitter.

All depend on your setup and how much money you are willing to spend i guess.
Oh wow thanks! Hadn't found something like this yet and didn't think to split a chromecast into just audio. I'll look into that!
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endlight wrote: Oh wow thanks! Hadn't found something like this yet and didn't think to split a chromecast into just audio. I'll look into that!
Don't get too excited, that tiny amp he quoted is only a 2 channel, 20x2 so there's no expansion possible. You weren't thinking about having only a 2 channel stereo system with 2 speakers above you in the ceiling, were you?

Spend $300 for the real deal (Bluetooth and Streaming) and get the possibility to expand to 5 speakers and 1 subwoofer to make a full system, when you choose. Don't think you'll get much cheaper than this with the cloud features you need. Then get a pair of bookshelf speakers (or towers) for the front and you have the start of a real system.

https://www.visions.ca/catalogue/catego ... MrEALw_wcB

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I just set the ones in our house recently. Used an old Onkyo amp I had bought used off an auction some time back. Works great.

Have it connected to an rPi running Volumio - https://volumio.org. Could even use an old phone running Spotify, as it allows remote control

Also, if you only have L/R wires, then no need to go for 5.1 or whatever systems. Just get a cheap 2-channel amp. Even AliExpress should have something decent for ~$20
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[OP]
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Dec 30, 2013
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Mississauga
Gibsons wrote: Don't get too excited, that tiny amp he quoted is only a 2 channel, 20x2 so there's no expansion possible. You weren't thinking about having only a 2 channel stereo system with 2 speakers above you in the ceiling, were you?

Spend $300 for the real deal (Bluetooth and Streaming) and get the possibility to expand to 5 speakers and 1 subwoofer to make a full system, when you choose. Don't think you'll get much cheaper than this with the cloud features you need. Then get a pair of bookshelf speakers (or towers) for the front and you have the start of a real system.

https://www.visions.ca/catalogue/catego ... MrEALw_wcB

Image

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If I were to just use it for music then I would consider it! Haha. But thanks for those listings - I'll take my time evaluating the options
[OP]
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Dec 30, 2013
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kramer1 wrote: I just set the ones in our house recently. Used an old Onkyo amp I had bought used off an auction some time back. Works great.

Have it connected to an rPi running Volumio - https://volumio.org. Could even use an old phone running Spotify, as it allows remote control

Also, if you only have L/R wires, then no need to go for 5.1 or whatever systems. Just get a cheap 2-channel amp. Even AliExpress should have something decent for ~$20
Thanks! I have looked to see if there are some used Onkyo amps I can get as well. Hadn't heard of volumio but definitely have some old phones lying around.
Will check it out!
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endlight wrote: Thanks! I have looked to see if there are some used Onkyo amps I can get as well. Hadn't heard of volumio but definitely have some old phones lying around.
Will check it out!
Oh no, please avoid Onkyo. Mine is hobbling along over here in Analog mode. Just search for Onkyo No Sound. Buy a cheap amp from Amazon. The quality difference imo would not be noticeable.
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endlight wrote: If I were to just use it for music then I would consider it! Haha. But thanks for those listings - I'll take my time evaluating the options
I don't understand some of your replies. You do realize that if you buy that receiver you will have AM/FM radio (with a wire antenna), Bluetooth/Web based audio and with one connection to your Smart TV, everything will be amplified through your speakers. Also, any apps available through your TV will also be amplified with your receiver as well.

I figure that any room with ceiling speakers was at one time a Home Theater setup, but I'm not sure what you actually want to setup in that room.
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Gibsons wrote: I figure that any room with ceiling speakers was at one time a Home Theater setup, but I'm not sure what you actually want to setup in that room.
Mines are in the kitchen and dining room... so all depend on the previous owner. So for my setup, my small Stereo T-amp is all i need.
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Griim wrote: Mines are in the kitchen and dining room... so all depend on the previous owner. So for my setup, my small Stereo T-amp is all i need.
You most likely have a multi-room setup then. OP hasn't stated that, unsure on the direction they are taking. Setting up a nice Home Theater room can cost a few bucks... it helps to know what they actually want.
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Some people just go with a TV and soundbar or just an audio system, others will go for more.
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