Question Budget system

Pete G

Novice Member
Hi guys
Hope I have got the right place to be posting this
We are having a single-story extension added to our dining room which will be the kitchen once the work is done. The extension will be the dining / sitting room with bi folding doors into the garden.
With ceilings and floor boards up I wanted to fit a music system with wires and speakers hidden. I have been reading ‘the internet’ and found very little advice around how to do this without spending thousands. My max spend is around £500 for the equipment.
The system will be used for streaming music from our phones, mp3’s on a usb stick and I am considering connecting it to a flat screen for occasional films. I like bass heavy music, rap, new metal and the Mrs likes indie. We hope to listen to music in the extension and the garden, we want loud and solid, but it isn’t party level use.
After a lot of reading, I don’t feel confident on what I have chosen, here is what I have planned.
Tangent Ampster BT II HiFi Amplifier
Polk Audio RC80i 2-Way In-Ceiling/In-Wall Speakers (Pair, White)
Polk PSW10E Active Subwoofer
I would really value any input on any better ways to accomplish what I am trying to achieve. Some specific questions I have are.
  1. I have seen amps for £50 that get good reviews, but they don’t seem to have outputs for a subwoofer, are there any alternatives I should consider?
  1. Will the amp I have chosen be powerful enough to power the speakers?
  1. I like the idea of having the amp being just a panel on the wall, are there any comparable options to do this?
  1. How much difference will a subwoofer make? Is it needed?
  1. Do you have any suggestions how to hide the subwoofer? I have found examples of ceiling subwoofer speakers but can’t find a reliable review of how they compare to the type above (there is a wharfdale that gets good reviews for £150, but it looks no easier to hide)
Thanks for taking the time to read and any comments / suggestions.


Distinguished Member
Hi Pete,

I was in a similar boat and with a little careful shopping came in at a similar budget to yourself. The difference was I bought a second hand Denon AVR-X2400H of these forums and put it in a large cupboard in the kitchen, with all of the cabling fed into the back.
The advantage with an AVR is it can run 2 separate zones (ceiling speaker and outdoor) it has all of the connectivity, Airplay, Bluetooth, Wifi and it has all of the streaming service available - Spotify, Amazon Music etc. Plus it is connected to my TV and it has a small Gemini II subwoofer connected as well.

It isnt built into the wall, but it is controllable from a phone or tablet both inside and out.

Pete G

Novice Member
Thanks Mushii
I haven't looked at 2nd hand at all, it is certainly an option to keep the price down but up the quality a little. I will have a shop around and see what is out there.


First point sir, is that I’d totally, and utterly ignore the very possibility of buying ceiling speakers.

They are, to be polite, sh*te, unless you can spend about £500 each on them, and even then the 500 quid would be much better spent on real speakers.


Distinguished Member
It depends what the use case is. Critical listening - I agree. Background music and Partyroom filler, the £500 I spent on my in-ceilings, amp and sub sounds 20x better than my neighbours pair of Apple Homepods in his kitchen, which cost £100 more. I really didn’t want bookshelves or floorstanders in my kitchen so in ceilings were my choice.
I disagree on the cost as well. Nearly all ceiling speakers suck no matter what their price. They are a lifestyle choice and as such SQ is a compromise. I use mine daily and the family love them.

Pete G

Novice Member
I appreciate the response, Mushii sounds like we are on the same page and it is a relief to hear you are satisfied with the outcome. But it is useful to hear the other opinions on ceiling speakers.
I wonder if anyone has any experience with any of these components they could share?
If it is anything like building a pc there is no point buying 1 amazing component but bottlenecking on a cheap item. I guess that is what I really need a bit of insider knowledge about if this a reasonably balanced setup for the cash?
I already feel to have learned tons reading through old posts.


I think that @mushii has played it pretty well for you. Ceiling speakers can have their place and uses, certainly somewhere that the music is just going to be background. In the kitchen where you slave over the cooker, garage even as you pamper the car.

In the main listening room it should really be properly placed speakers and in that room ceiling speakers are nothing more than a lifestyle choice.


Active Member
x4 matching speakers for the ampster much better than ceiling speakers with matching wall brackets
also matching Subwoofer

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