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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi folks,
Has anyone used monoprice in-ceiling speakers in an atmos configuration. I have a klipsch reference 5.2 setup, and was thinking of getting a pair of the monoprice 8" Kevlar 2-Way In-Ceiling Speakers. I'd love to hear your feedback.

Thanks
 

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The problem with the Monoprice speakers (and frankly, most in-wall and in-ceiling speakers) is their dispersion isn't specified. Dolby's Atmos installation guide says that if your ceiling speakers have a wide dispersion angle of 45 degrees from 100Hz to 10KHz, you can mount them pointing straight down. If their dispersion is more narrow, you'll want to angle them or use models with adjustable angle tweeters.

45 degrees at 10KHz is pretty rare, almost unheard of, in a ceiling speaker.

The frustration is dispersion is almost never specified, and if it is, it's specified at 1KHz, which is useless. There are wider dispersion speakers, but most conventional in-ceiling speakers have a more narrow angle, like 30 degrees or less, and it narrows even more as frequency goes up. This makes aiming them a pain, and also means that a lot of your listening area will be off-axis.

The Monoprice units might be fine, they might not, but there's no way to know without getting one to test. Of course, you're no better off with most others either. Even some of the better speaker manufacturers don't spec dispersion, though they must certainly have the data. For example, the folks at Speakercraft have models with adjustable angle tweeters, but don't say how adjustable they are, or what the result is. Mostly, the coverage of a ceiling speaker is very similar to that of a can light, if that helps visualize.

Sorry, wish I could help more, this has been a frustration for years, well before Atmos. When I spec them for a job, I test them first so I know what to specify. And then they're installed, discontinued, and I have to do it all over again next time. It's one area where pro audio products are easier to deal with because they're spec'ed and have a longer product life.
 

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And then you have to contend with the speakers frequency responce compared to the rest of your speakers. Do the timber match? Do they look the same (may not be as important). Preformance is what you are after.

Jon (Chane Music & Cinema--one of our sponsors) said he could build ceiling speakers for an Atmos arrangement fairly easily that would match his Arx line. He hasn't done it yet, but if there proves to be an interest...well, I'm sure he wouldn't mind a few more $'s also. I for one hopes he does it. Atmos has certainly tweeked my interest.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
The problem with the Monoprice speakers (and frankly, most in-wall and in-ceiling speakers) is their dispersion isn't specified. Dolby's Atmos installation guide says that if your ceiling speakers have a wide dispersion angle of 45 degrees from 100Hz to 10KHz, you can mount them pointing straight down. If their dispersion is more narrow, you'll want to angle them or use models with adjustable angle tweeters. 45 degrees at 10KHz is pretty rare, almost unheard of, in a ceiling speaker. The frustration is dispersion is almost never specified, and if it is, it's specified at 1KHz, which is useless. There are wider dispersion speakers, but most conventional in-ceiling speakers have a more narrow angle, like 30 degrees or less, and it narrows even more as frequency goes up. This makes aiming them a pain, and also means that a lot of your listening area will be off-axis. The Monoprice units might be fine, they might not, but there's no way to know without getting one to test. Of course, you're no better off with most others either. Even some of the better speaker manufacturers don't spec dispersion, though they must certainly have the data. For example, the folks at Speakercraft have models with adjustable angle tweeters, but don't say how adjustable they are, or what the result is. Mostly, the coverage of a ceiling speaker is very similar to that of a can light, if that helps visualize. Sorry, wish I could help more, this has been a frustration for years, well before Atmos. When I spec them for a job, I test them first so I know what to specify. And then they're installed, discontinued, and I have to do it all over again next time. It's one area where pro audio products are easier to deal with because they're spec'ed and have a longer product life.
This is great information, thanks. Last night I was searching for cheap in ceiling speakers on Amazon and found the Micca M-8C 8-Inch in ceiling speaker with pivoting 1-inch silk dome tweeter. This product had very good reviews, but no one was using them in an atmos config. Has anyone used the micca line of speakers?
 

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I have a set of MP-R80 in-ceiling speakers from Home Theater Direct sitting in my equipment closet for this specific application. I've just been waiting for some cool weather and free time to install them and run the wiring through the attic. Although I'm not sure of the dispersion specs, they are very reasonably priced and they do have a pivoting tweeter. Once I get them installed I'll try to post my initial impressions and maybe some measurements in the forum.
 

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This is great information, thanks. Last night I was searching for cheap in ceiling speakers on Amazon and found the Micca M-8C 8-Inch in ceiling speaker with pivoting 1-inch silk dome tweeter. This product had very good reviews, but no one was using them in an atmos config. Has anyone used the micca line of speakers?
I have a set of MP-R80 in-ceiling speakers from Home Theater Direct sitting in my equipment closet for this specific application. I've just been waiting for some cool weather and free time to install them and run the wiring through the attic. Although I'm not sure of the dispersion specs, they are very reasonably priced and they do have a pivoting tweeter. Once I get them installed I'll try to post my initial impressions and maybe some measurements in the forum.
I'd be surprised if any non-Atmos specific speaker has been tried for Atmos much yet. The whole thing is so new, there haven't been Atmos AVRs around very long.

It might be nice to build an Atmos speaker database here somehow that includes measured dispersion vs frequency. It's not that simple to measure, especially for in-ceiling speakers, but that's the one big missing piece we'd need.
 

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And then you have to contend with the speakers frequency responce compared to the rest of your speakers. Do the timber match? Do they look the same (may not be as important). Preformance is what you are after.
This is my concern as well, though if you have one of the Denon AVRs with Audyssey XT32 at least most of the response issues can be taken care of.
Jon (Chane Music & Cinema--one of our sponsors) said he could build ceiling speakers for an Atmos arrangement fairly easily that would match his Arx line. He hasn't done it yet, but if there proves to be an interest...well, I'm sure he wouldn't mind a few more $'s also. I for one hopes he does it. Atmos has certainly tweeked my interest.
Be interesting to see what he comes up with. My somewhat casual search for wide dispersion tweeters has shown there are precious few that come even sort of close to 45 degrees from on-axis with any degree of match to on-axis response. But I'm not really in the speaker design world either.

There's also been a little confusion in the way Dolby has specified dispersion. In their August 2014 white paper states "Dolby Atmos for Home Theater", there's this: "If you use ceiling speakers with narrow dispersion (less than 90 degrees x 90 degrees) or those with aimable drivers, angle the drivers slightly toward your listening position." Then, in their September 2014 white paper, "Dolby Atmos Home Theater Installation Guidelines" they state, "If the chosen overhead speakers have a wide dispersion pattern (approximately 45 degrees from the acoustical reference axis over the audio band from 100 Hz to 10 kHz or wider), then speakers may be mounted facing directly downward. For speakers with narrower dispersion patterns, those with aimable or angled elements should be angled toward the primary listening position." Note that the two dispersion specifications - 90 x 90 and 45 from the acoustic reference axis - are the same, but stated differently, and only the September paper makes reference to frequency, though not to tolerances. Typically the -6dB point is used for dispersion figures.

From my very limited investigation (designers are welcome to put me straight here) a total 90 degree dispersion that goes up to 10KHz and beyond is almost impossible with anything but a ribbon or horn, and most of those are physically too large. Aim-able tweeters may be a partial solution, but their dispersion is NEVER specified, so we don't know, but might suspect that because they are aim-able, it's likely they are fairly narrow to begin with. This makes low-profile ceiling speakers a real challenge. And lower ceilings make wide dispersion even more critical.

Sorry, just a Sunday morning core dump....
 

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Gazoink wrote:

a total 90 degree dispersion that goes up to 10KHz and beyond is almost impossible with anything but a ribbon or horn
That's exactly why I posed the speakers to Jon. I a real fan of what he has done with the Arx line with the planar-magnetic tweeters. His A1rxc is roughly 7X13X10 whick is not too big in itself. I'm asuming his atmos speaker would use a smaller (like a 3" or 4") split gap woofer and the same tweeter, which would work great.
 

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interesting Wayne, I have to agree with it. People with rooms under 3000cf are going to be severely compromising channel separation because of all the speakers in that small space. I dont see how adding more is going to be better.
 

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Some good points...still, I would love to have it in my room! I think it would help a lot to have an affordable, quality speaker (like something Jon would put his name on) hit the market early & make a name for itself. That's why I mentioned it to him. But I also realize that his business model may have limitaitons that I have no idea about. It can often seem simpler to find success than what plays out in real time!

That said, I do expect Atmos to be around for at least 3 years.
 

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Before you dive into Atmos you might want to check out this article from Audioholics. They thrash it pretty severely.

Regards,
Wayne
That's a very old article now, and written well before anyone had a chance to actually hear Atmos in the home.

I'll agree at the beginning that 5.1 has the majority of the market, but only if you don't consider the actual majority is 2.0! To make any sense of this, you'd have to qualify what market you're looking at. For the dedicated HT market, 7.1 or better would be the current installed norm. For the casual multi-purpose, 5.1. So I guess I'd have to agree with the "who will adopt" concept, except perhaps for the statistical distribution. It's not going to be for everyone, but what is?

The section about the add-on reflecting speakers is painfully uninformed. Probably worth ignoring at this point, we have so much more information now, actual Dolby Enabled speakers and demos. They aren't getting bad reviews, quite the opposite.

The 'graph about human spacial hearing being hard-wired to a horizontal plane is just wrong, it's not true at all. Not even sure why he'd say that. Human hearing is spacial, not planar, and already pretty well characterized in terms of localization acuity vs angle of incidence. Height information comes at us all the time, and is useful.

The 'graph about in-ceiling speakers does express legitimate concerns, we've talked about them here. They need very wide dispersion to 10KHz, and the ceiling must be high enough to avoid a hot proximity spot, but thats' where the reflected units work well. It's something that is still being addressed.

I could go on trashing his trashing in specific, but lets just leave it alone. It's generally uniformed, reflects a lack of personal experience, and frankly is anything but a balanced review.

Atmos is not for everyone, will require careful installation, and won't be cheap. So what? You can say the same about 5.1, 7.1 11.2, Hi-res audio, 3D video, projectors vs displays...sports cars vs economy...beer vs wine.

I think it's sad that a reviewer has to publish something like that without access to the facts, and having no personal experience. That makes it uninformed opinion. Salt to taste.
 

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That article was written before home Atmos was available by someone who had not actually experienced an Atmos presentation. It's "sour grapes" and is one of several articles which were severely damaging to Audioholics' reputation.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
That article was written before home Atmos was available by someone who had not actually experienced an Atmos presentation. It's "sour grapes" and is one of several articles which were severely damaging to Audioholics' reputation.
Agreed, audioholics was overly pessimistic about atmos even before they experienced it. While I do have some skepticism about the ceiling firing speakers, I think the in-celiling speakers should definitely enhance the 5.1 experience.

Also, I found the Micca M-8C 8" in ceiling speakers with pivoting 1" silk dome tweeter (40 Hz - 20kHz, 100watts, 8ohms) on amazon. It has great reviews, due to its pivoting tweeter I'm leaning towards them instead of the monoprice speakers.
 

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Regardless of ceiling speakers, I have the latest Transformers 4 blu-ray and a Marantz SR-7009 and can tell there was some huge improvements in the audio mix. Surround sounds are more powerful and distinct for some reason, therefore more exciting and realistic, but mostly, subwoofer output is cleaner. On the previous ones voices got into the subs easily, especially Optimus. This latest one, I don't know if Atmos helps this or not but I can have my subs cranked up without the voices bleeding through nearly as bad. Once again I don't know if it's Atmos but something got a lot better.
 

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As for channel separation, what exactly would the superior alternative be when a helicopter flies over you? How would a traditional 7.1 setup be better than having ceiling speakers? I've yet to hear a single person listen to it and hate it, they always say it's a huge improvement.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
As for channel separation, what exactly would the superior alternative be when a helicopter flies over you? How would a traditional 7.1 setup be better than having ceiling speakers? I've yet to hear a single person listen to it and hate it, they always say it's a huge improvement.
What ceiling speakers are you using?
 

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Also if you already have a Klipsch system, why not look at some Klipsch ceiling speakers? The THX surrounds ought to be super nice but they have several that are significantly cheaper.
 
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