Imagine listening to music or watching a movie, but with no speakers in sight and nothing that can hide them at all. Sounds like a sci-fi story, doesn’t it? Well, in fact, it is a very realistic scenario. Invisible architectural speakers are an excellent way to avoid the physical inconveniences and visual annoyances of floor standing, bookshelf or regular architecture speakers inside the walls or ceilings of your house.
Compared to bookshelf and floor standing speaker models, architectural speakers blend in and practically disappear offering a much cleaner look. But a much cleaner look is not equal to invisible. Regular in-ceiling speakers still have visible grilles, which some clients would prefer not to see due to many reasons including the ceiling layout that doesn’t allow symmetrical speaker placement. This is when invisible speakers might become the only viable solution.
Currently, quite a lot of companies such as Amina, Stealth Acoustics, Sonance, JBL, Monitor Audio and others offer exceptional invisible speaker solutions. These solutions might have some design differences but share one fundamental concept. Instead of using conventional cone- or dome-shaped transducers, they utilize an independent vibrating flat panel installed flush with the wall or the ceiling and then covered by thin layer of compound, paint, or wallpaper over it to completely blend it in with surrounding surface.
Besides being invisible, one other significant advantage of invisible speakers is that their construction allows them to provide a much wider dispersion angle compared to regular architectural speakers. Whereas a typical in-room or in-wall speaker might have a relatively uniform high-frequency dispersion of around 30 to 45 degrees off-axis, invisible architectural speakers are often rated in the 80 to 90 degrees off-axis range. This is especially helpful in expanding the sweet spot as well as increasing the sound range in large spaces. To compensate for the lower amount of bass output provided by invisible speakers (and most architectural speakers in general), invisible subwoofers are also available for high-performance home theater or dedicated music system setups.
There are, of course, some trade-offs. The main two things that are worth keeping in mind when designing an audio system with invisible speakers are as follows:
First, invisible speakers are usually more expensive in comparison to regular in-wall speaker models, and the installation process is more complicated.
Second, it is very important to pay attention to the build quality and overall reliability of the speaker model you are choosing. If an invisible speaker needs to be removed to get repaired or replaced, the entire install process must be repeated when the unit goes back in, which can become costly. It is worth mentioning that manufacturers are aware of that, and they take measures to make their products as trouble free as possible. Among other things, the manufacturers incorporate built-in self-resetting circuits along with high-pass filters to minimize the risk of overloading the drivers to the point of failure and to avoid any unnecessary repair expenses for the end users.
With that being said, once the invisible speakers are installed and the paint or wallpaper is applied, they are out of sight and out of mind until the system is turned on... And this is exactly why so many homeowners and interior designers choose them and not anything else.
To learn more about available invisible speaker options, please send us a message using “Contact Us” section of our website or give us a call at (215) 515 6108 and our team members will gladly assist you.