ceiling centre or phantom set up? focal 300ICLCR5 / dynaudio S4-C80


Active Member
Hi, another ceiling speaker debate!

I'm moving home & leaving behind my room which was fully configured for the home cinema - all wiring in place before plastering, etc. to a lounge which I have no option any time soon to do any major work to fit the AV kit.

The room is an awkward layout which means the only location for the TV is above the fireplace. I need to decide what to do about a centre speaker & decided the only option is a ceiling fitted unit, or go with phantom config - neither of which is ideal but the only option.

I'm running a Marantz 7704 processor, AudioLab 8000x7, with Kef Q350 fronts, B&W M1 rears, + BK monolith sub.

I'm looking for something which can minimise sounds leakage to the room above the lounge, so ideally a speaker with an enclosure, or I will build an MDF box & add some wadding to help absorb.

Does anyone have any recommendations or experience on what I realistically can expect in terms of audio quality of having to compromise with a ceiling install? I'm going only by reviews often by the manufacturers, based on those, it seems the directional speakers are better, so the speaker can be pointed to the seating area. I've narrowed my list down to the Focal 300ICLCR5 which is in an enclosure, a dynaudio S4-C80 which is not, or an Atlantic Technology IC-6HT which is a bit of a wildcard.

If anyone's tried this type of config - do you believe it's better than going with phantom only config? Are the directional speakers an acceptable compromise in terms of how the dialog sounds? As the TV will be above the fireplace, the ceiling speaker will be around 4 ft. above the base of the TV.

thanks in advance!


Well-known Member
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The first thing to do would be to try the system in phantom mode and see what happens. If you are happy with the sound, then its job done. However as you know that mounting a centre into the ceiling will stop true directional flow of the sound and you will have speakers above and in front. So in order to try and bring some of that back, you could look at motorised speakers like the Kef Ci3-80QT. The speaker is enclosed as you can see here in the manual which would enable you to plan the enclosure and extra sound proofing (if required)

Now I know it might not the the best solution, but if you find its a little lacking in depth, there is no reason why you couldn't add a compact woofer which uses a high-level input and integrate this with the centre to create a much larger sounding speaker than what is installed

It's just an alternative option available if you do not find any of the others working out just right for you

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