Question Which bathroom speakers and cable

milleniumaire

Active Member
I'm in the process of refurbishing my bathroom and plan to install some ceiling speakers, mainly for use while showering. I realise it's a bit extravagant having speakers in a bathroom, but my teenage boys gave me the idea as they position my old Sonos Play:5 outside the bathroom door whenever they shower, and they seem to spend a lot of time in the shower!

Anyway, I already have a Sonos Connect Amp (the old style - 55W), which will be positioned at the bottom of a wardrobe in the adjoining bedroom. I've done some research and was about to purchase two KEF Ci160QR's but just couldn't bring myself to spend £350 (and that is much cheaper than the retailed price of £440). I'm now considering the Ci130QR's, which I can get for £135 each, £270 total. I will also probably get some acoustic fire hoods as there is a living space above the bathroom. I've attached a diagram showing the bathroom layout. The red X's are the new downlights and the yellow objects are the speakers and amp.

Some questions I have:

1. Are the KEF Ci130QR's a good choice? Obviously, the Ci160QR's are bigger and better, but do I really need bigger for a bathroom? I had considered getting a single stereo ceiling speaker, but feel that two would be better for the size of the room. Any alternative suggestions?

2. The speaker cable will be run in the ceiling space alongside a lot of 240V power cables. Do I need to consider getting shielded speaker cable? (I suspect not).

3. Should I run a single 4 core speaker cable and split it so that 2 cores go to each speaker or is it better to run 2 x 2 core speaker cables i.e. one to each speaker. I suspect this is partially dependant on how close together the speakers will be?

4. Any recommendations for makes of speaker cable to use in this setup?

5. Positioning? As these are mono speakers, I assume positioning is quite important to get a stereo affect, however, this is not going to be possible to achieve from all areas of the bathroom. Assuming showering will result in the main use of the speakers, have I selected the best position for them?

Thanks in advance for any guidance you might provide.
 

Attachments

  • House Bathroom Speakers.jpg
    House Bathroom Speakers.jpg
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Mark.Yudkin

Distinguished Member
Since you are installing in a bathroom, I recommend using only speakers specifically designed and certified to be suitable for bathroom use. Neither of the KEFs you listed are suitable for this purpose.

Take a look at Bathroom Speakers for a list of suitable speakers. You could also give them a call.
 

milleniumaire

Active Member
Hi Mark, thanks for posting, but I'm a little confused about why you think they aren't suitable for bathrooms.

According to the KEF literature on these speakers (I've attached a copy for your reference):

"Weather Resistant – Manufactured using a proprietary plating and powder coating process, the KEF Ci160QR is UV protected and designed to withstand the harshest operating environments."

"IP64 Certification – The speaker passed official IEC testing to ensure that splashing water would have no harmful effects on assembly components."

IP64 indicates they are dust resistance and splash resistant. Most speakers I've seen recommended for bathrooms show an IP rating of 44 (as described in the article you linked to). It is likely to be steam that would cause more of an issue than splashing water, however I plan to install a TD SILENT 500 in-line extractor fan that should ensure the bathroom is kept clear of steam.

Am I missing something?
 

Attachments

  • Ci160QR-EDIT-NO-CROPS.pdf
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xmb

Well-known Member
I am not sure I would spend so much on speakers to listen to music while in the shower, as you are never going to hear detail over the sound of water! So I would go for the cheaper option.

I would also try and run the speaker cables away from the mains cables, both for safety and to prevent hum and noise becoming an issue. To be on the safe side of the wiring regulations, I would position the speakers 0.6 metres away from any bath or shower basin (outside zone 2).
 

xmb

Well-known Member
I think I would put the Sonos to good use elsewhere and if some "noise" is required in the bathroom just use a battery powered Bluetooth speaker. (E.g. Ultimate Ears Wonderboom 2 or Boom 3.)
 

milleniumaire

Active Member
I appreciate what you are saying about speakers in a bathroom, but my mind is made up and they are going in!

I agree it probably isn't worth paying too much for the speakers, I got the sonos amp connect at a £100 discount earlier this year, so it was a good price.

I will probably go for the KEF Ci130QR's as they are a compromise on price, although I was looking at the Monitor Audio C165-T2's as they are a similar price. However, these are stereo speakers, so not sure if getting two would be better than possibly getting only one of a larger version, possibly the C180-T2.

Still not had a reply from Mark as to why he thinks the KEF Ci130QR's are not suitable for a bathroom when I have provided evidence that suggests they are more than suitable.

I'm not going to worry too much about the effect of power cables on the speaker cable, so won't be looking for shielded speaker cable. While I can't avoid the power cables I can run it away from them as much as possible. As the cables are being run in a tight loft space above the bathroom, they are well out of zone 2 range.

More of an issue is deciding the position of the speakers and whether to buy 4 core cable or 2 x 2 core cables. I'll probably go for 2 x 2 core cables even though this will be slightly more expensive. Each cable will probably be no more than 6 metres in length.

Also undecided about the make, but looking at the QED QX16/2, which is fire resistant, so this may be a reason to choose it. Will probably nip to my local Sevenoaks and have a chat and buy it from them if they stock it and sell it by the meter.

Also looking at a couple of acoustic fire hoods for the speakers (assuming I get two).
 

password1

Well-known Member
alternatively look for speakers designed to be used outdoors where they can withstand the wet (as well as the dry)

canton do some nice compact speakers.
 

deanrsvr

Standard Member
I put some speakers in my bathroom I tried a bose bluetooth speaker first, experimented with some desktop speakers, but ended up with a dedicated bluetooth set up, I tried a cheap as chips eaudio 4 speaker set up thinking I could upgrade the amp and speakers if it was just ok, 4 years later it's still there works perfectly and sounds great in the bathroom, anything more would be a waste due to the accoustics. I think it was around £60, it all fits in the roof space with a 240 socket wired in.
 

daniel peterson

Active Member
It sounds like you have got everything figured out, so do not worry and go your own way. If I were to pay attention to anything in your case that would be safety. Probably best not to install the speakers really close to the shower cabin, as the steam may reach them. It says they are weather resistant, but probably better not to take chances. I am happy with my UE Megaboom 3. It serves me well in the bathroom as well as on a beach.
 

Mark.Yudkin

Distinguished Member
Sorry for the delay. I would have expected IPX5 to be the minimum standard for use with a shower. In general though, IPX4 is normally considered adequate for use in a bathroom.

For outdoor usage (post #8, not yours), IP65 would be a requirement.

(I'm sure you've already seen IP Code - Wikipedia, but for others here, I'll give the link anyway)
 

milleniumaire

Active Member
Just to update this forum.

I installed the KEF Ci130QR's, which are connected to a Sonos amp (old style). Unfortunately I'm disappointed with the sound quality as they are lacking in bass and therefore sound a little tinny.

I haven't yet got any fire hoods, which are required as there's a living space above. Instead I'm considering making some fireproof back boxes in the hope this may help improve the sound, giving it more body, but to also isolate the upstairs (loft) room from them.
 

Howard0000

Active Member
I hear you. I fitted ceiling speakers in our bathroom and I love it.

I went for a pair of 8-inch Pyle speakers from Amazon. They sound a lot better than they have any right to, for their price. The sound is excited by the hard furnishings of the bathroom, and since they're 8-inch drivers they have a decent bass thud.

Moisture-wise, they're not paper cones so I'm sure they'll be fine in the bathroom setting for many years.
 

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