Our recent office expansion here at Digital Trends included the addition of a large entertaining room featuring a 110-inch Da-Lite drop down projection screen. In an effort to match some big sound up to the big screen, we were faced with a dilemma. We wanted to keep the floor in this multi-purpose space open, so freestanding loudspeakers were out. The best option was to hide the speakers in the ceiling, and a pair of Golden Ear Invisa HTR 7000 home theater reference speakers promised to deliver enough crisp, clear sound to fill our large room. Here’s how we installed them.
Before cutting into drywall and placing the speakers we did a bit of planning.
1. When it comes to speaker placement it’s all about symmetry and geometry. These speakers are going in the front of the room so we oriented them on either side of the projection screen, and they’re about as far apart from each other as thy are from the optimum center viewing location. In other words, they form an equilateral triangle between the speakers and the listener. For ceiling surround speakers, they should be placed just outside of and behind the listener.
2. Our low-voltage installers ran speaker wire up to the speaker locations, and terminated them in a wall panel behind our receiver. You could try this step yourself, but depending on your room configuration this could be a major undertaking.
3. Gather the necessary tools: stud finder, pencil, tape measure, drywall saw, screwdriver or power driver, and a wire clothes hanger.
4. Paint the speaker grills if necessary.
The process of installing the speakers is fairly easy and straight forward:
1. Use a stud finder to make sure there are no ceiling joists where you are locating the speaker.
2. Use the included cutting template and a pencil to draw the outline of where you will cut the speaker opening.
3. Check and see if there’s anything behind the drywall that will obstruct the speaker. Take a metal clothes hanger, the kind you get from a dry cleaner, straighten it out and then bend it into an L shape with the bent end matching the radius of your speaker. Poke that up in the center of your circle, through the drywall, and spin the bent part around to check for obstructions. If you don’t bump into anything, then you’re good to go.
4. Push the drywall saw up into the ceiling and cut along the marked circle. Remember, you can always trim off more if needed, but you can’t add anything back.
5. Test fit the speaker. Fit it up in the hole and make sure it fits.
6. Pull the speaker back out and attach the speaker wires. Make sure to match the polarity of the wire to the speaker terminals.
7. Place the speaker back into the ceiling and orient it. With our directional drivers we want to aim them toward the center of the listening area.
8. Tighten the screws. This will extend the “dog ears” and clamp the speaker to the drywall.
9. Attach the cover. Ours is magnetic, so it just pops right into place.
Now connect the other end of the speaker wire to your receiver and enjoy!