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Bathroom Speakers

InitialPineapple

Novice Member
I am in the process of renovating my house, and I was planning on installing speakers in the bathrooms while the soffit is being done. From what I’ve researched, it’s quite clear that bathrooms are not the ideal location for audio quality, and as such I wouldn’t like to spend too much on such a setup. My expectations aren't too high either; I've used the portable JBL Flip before and something that can match that sound for the bathroom would be more than satisfactory. The planned setup is to have a Chromecast Audio hooked up to an amplifier (TDA7498E) in the rooms adjacent to the bathrooms, and then fishing the speaker wires to the bathroom ceiling.

One issue I’m facing is whether to get stereo/mono speakers. The bathrooms are relatively small (3mx2m), and as such I thought that a single speaker would be enough, not to mention that positioning the stereo speakers would be a bit of a pain since you’ll be moving around in the bathroom. While I did find stereo single speakers such as the Polk RC6S, they’re quite expensive and would add up to a total of EUR200.

Instead, I’m considering getting a pair of speakers, and breaking it up to use one speaker in the first bathroom, and the other in the second bathroom. This would obviously mean that I’m limited to mono, and from what I understand there is no clean way to mix both channels into a single channel so as to not miss out on audio playing on only one of the channels. However, this would cut the cost by half. There are three speaker pairs I’m considering at the moment:

  1. Amazon Basics 8” - these are very cheap and seem to be of a better quality that the even cheaper Pyle speakers. Unfortunately, I can't find a lot of reviews other than on Amazon: https://www.amazon.co.uk/AmazonBasics-Round-Ceiling-Wall-Speakers/dp/B07H87LS8D
  2. Polk RC60i 6” - these cost almost twice as much as the AmazonBasics are even smaller, which is not ideal given that I’ll only be using ones. However brand wise, I obviously trust Polk more, not to mention that despite being smaller the speaker specs are better: https://www.amazon.de/POLK-AUDIO-rc60i-2-Wege-Decken-Lautsprecher/dp/B00005T3BD
  3. Yamaha NSIC600 6” - Seem to be similar to the Polk but slightly more expensive: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Yamaha-NSIC600-Ceiling-wall-Speaker/dp/B004L4D4EA
  4. Q Acoustics QI65C - Similar to the two above, but more attractive since I will be using Q Acoustics in my home theatre build: https://www.amazon.co.uk/ACOUSTICS-Install-Professional-Ceiling-Speakers/dp/B00KHIFETM
I’m quite new to this, so any suggestions would be appreciated. Is it a bad idea to break up a pair of speakers into two rooms and only rely on mono audio? Or is the stereo version of the Polk (RC6S) worth the jump in price? Is the AmazonBasics likely to sound similar to the Polk and Yamaha despite the low price?

I should also mention that parallel to the bathrooms, I will also be building a basic home theatre setup with Atmos. For the Atmos speakers, I was also planning on using one of these three pairs of speakers, but obviously using both speakers of the chosen pair. Again, any feedback would also be appreciated.

Thanks.
 

Mark.Yudkin

Distinguished Member
Since bathrooms are small, a single ceiling speaker should be sufficient, but it could be a "stereo" ceiling speaker.

Since you're in a bathroom, which gets moist, you should ensure your speaker satisfies at least the IP44 norm and IMHO preferably IP55 (the second digit is the relevant one). An explanation can be found here. Such speakers are generally called "bathroom speakers", and will state their ingress protection rating.

The Q Install QI 65CW ST IPX4 Weatherproof Stereo In Ceiling Speaker, for example, would seem to meet all of your requirements and implied budget.

Your home theatre speakers should likely be mono speakers and their ingress protection rating is not important. I suggest you consider both applications completely separately.
 

InitialPineapple

Novice Member
Since bathrooms are small, a single ceiling speaker should be sufficient, but it could be a "stereo" ceiling speaker.

Since you're in a bathroom, which gets moist, you should ensure your speaker satisfies at least the IP44 norm and IMHO preferably IP55. An explanation can be found here. Such speakers are generally called "bathroom speakers", and will state their ingress protection rating.

The Q Install QI 65CW ST IPX4 Weatherproof Stereo In Ceiling Speaker, for example, would seem to meet all of your requirements and implied budget.

Thanks for the quick reply. That's a very good suggestion, as I thought that the moisture wouldn't damage a speaker so much.

Would you say that buying the pair instead of the single stereo and running one in each bathroom in mono be a drastic decrease in quality? I'm asking since that would cost almost half as much as the single stereo version, especially when you consider that the Polk RC60i are moisture resistant and a pair costs less than the single stereo Q Acoustics.
 
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Mark.Yudkin

Distinguished Member
The problem with having only one mono speaker in a room is if you have a stereo source, which is likely to be case using you old Pioneer hifi. If you run the left channel in one bathroom and the right in another, it might sound really weird (all the violins on one room, all the cellos in the other!). OTOH, you can't connect a mono speaker to both the left and right channels without blowing the amplifier. This means you have to buy a stereo to mono speaker transformer for each speaker, which also adds to the cost.

My post with the Q Acoustics was meant to be an example of something I knew. Obviously if it's over your budget you should look around at your local suppliers, or for sale items in your country of residence (your profile sys you're in Malta, I'm in Switzerland).

I cannot find a clear statement of suitability for bathroom usage for the Polk RC60i in the manual. I have only seen the claim on a retailer's web site. Perhaps it's just me being suspicious, but if a company doesn't indicate suitability for purpose, I would not consider it as suitable just because a reseller makes the claim. Interestingly the Polk RC6s stereo in-ceiling speaker does mention moisture resistance under "features", albeit without an IP specification.
 

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