How To Connect Ceiling Speakers To An Amplifier

Norvan Martin
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Ceiling speakers are an excellent way to fill your room with surround music without worrying about crowding your floor space. Besides, adding an amplifier makes the experience even more thrilling with that extra boost. In this article, we will discuss how to connect ceiling speakers to an amplifier. 

How Do Ceiling Speakers Connect To An Amp?

Ceiling speakers have been traditionally designed to work with amps that take up left or right channels only. It is, therefore, more common to buy a pair of ceiling speakers and hook them to the amplifier as a stereo pair. 

However, wiring a pair of ceiling speakers may not be practical in all cases, especially where you need to install a ceiling speaker in a small room. In such cases, therefore, single stereo speakers are the most ideal. To wire a single stereo ceiling speaker to an amp, you will need two cables. 

Which Speaker Cable Should I Use With My Ceiling Speakers?

Choosing the right speaker cable is essential when wiring your speakers to the amplifier. This is because different wires operate differently due to the different impedance levels. 

16-gauge 2-core speaker cables are commonly used as industry standard speaker installations. This is, however, more efficient if the cable run needed is about 35 meters. It is essential to consider better quality cable for longer runs as the audio signal quickly degenerates if the cable travels too far. 

Do Ceiling Speakers Need An Amplifier?

Ceiling speakers are normally passive (learn more about passive vs active speakers). That means they will require a connection to an amplifier. On the other hand, active ceiling speakers do not need an amplifier because one is already built in.

However, suppose you intend to route a multi-channel surround sound system to the available ceiling speakers.

In that case, you will need an amplifier to output the sound in a much better way.

If you want to learn more, check out our article on do you need an amplifier for in-ceiling speakers.

You will, however, need to consider a few factors before having the connection done. Here are the three key factors:

1.      Position Of The Speakers 

Wiring your ceiling speakers will be much easier if they have been installed in the living room. Also, the distance from the ceiling speakers to the position of the amplifier will be determined by the position where the speakers have been installed in the ceiling. 

2.      Mono Or Single Stereo Ceiling Speakers? 

Ceiling speakers are traditionally designed to work with stereo receivers. However, if you have limited space and cannot wire a pair of speakers, you will use mono amps. 

3.      Speaker Ratings 

The other factor to consider is the speaker ratings. These include impedance and power ratings. The speaker impedance is very crucial for proper matching with the amplifier.

How To Connect Ceiling Speakers To An Amplifier – Step By Step

Step 1: Assemble The Materials

Connecting ceiling speakers to an amplifier can be seamlessly easy. To achieve this connection, however, you need to assemble the right tools. Here’s a list of what you need: 

  • An amplifier
  • Fish tape or coat hunger
  • Flat bit 
  • Gloves 
  • Level
  • Keyhole or drywall saw
  • Philips screwdriver 
  • Wire strippers 

You can have your ceiling speakers wired to an amplifier by sound professionals. However, you can still have the connection through the DIY procedure. If you intend a DIY, take preventive measures such as turning off all mains powers and wearing protective gear for the hands, eye, and legs.  ceiling speakers and amplifier

Before routing the amplifier, you should plan the location to ensure it is well-placed, stable, and secure. The location of the amplifier should be strategic for ease of control. Also, if you have a modern amplifier with remote control features such as Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, or Alexa, stationing the amplifier in proximity for ease of navigation by remote or voice is very important. 

You should also measure the distance to the amp to establish the length of wire needed to connect the amp to the ceiling speakers. Remember, two runs of speaker wires will be required for stereo installation. 

Step 2: Run The Wires

Once the distance and length of speaker wires are established, you can run the UL2 wire from the location of the amplifier to the area of the ceiling speakers. 

Running the wires to the ceiling is much easier in new constructions. However, if you are dealing with an old building, you may need to drill holes through support beams to pass the wire to your preferred locations. 

Once the wire is connected, leave behind an extra coil of wire at the point where the speakers are located. 

Step 3: Prepare The Ceiling Speaker For Connection

Begin by cutting the drywall behind the point where you intend to connect the amp. Pull out the ceiling speakers from their brackets.

Locate the color-coded terminals and connect the red and black wires. Ensure that the colors on the cables are appropriately matched with the speaker terminals. Also, it would help if you secured the connections to avoid the wires coming out during the speaker operation.

Once the connection is secure, return the speakers safely and securely and seal the brackets back again. Ensure that the cables are firmly fixed. Once this is successful, seal the drywall and fill it in place. 

Step 4: Run The Wires To The Amplifier

Once the red and black speaker wires are connected to the ceiling speakers, run them through the wall into the terminals of the amplifier. Considering the distance between the devices, you can choose to run the wires along the wall through the floor. Safely pass them under the carpet to ensure they remain safe on the floor. 

Also, ensure that the colors are correctly matched. 

Step 5: Test The Connection

Once all the devices are correctly connected, test that the amplifier can play music and output it through the ceiling speakers. If the speakers cannot produce sound, it is essential to troubleshoot the connection before sealing back the speakers. 

Step 6: Seal And Paint 

Once the ceiling speakers are appropriately wired to the amplifier, seal the spaces around them with tape. Additionally, you can paint the area to add more finishing touches for extra style. Besides, for additional glamor and blending with room décor, you paint the ceiling speakers so that they can seamlessly integrate with the wall and ceiling again. 

Amplifier For Ceiling Speakers

Finding the right amplifier for ceiling speakers is quite a similar process to finding the right amp for a passive speaker. You will be looking for similar features but considering highly the impedance compatibility and power output.

Here are some of the top bets for your ceiling speakers.

1.      Best Budget: Sony STR-DH790

  • Compact
  • 4 HDMI inputs and one HDMI ARC output
  • 4k/60 Hz pass-through support
  • Compatible with 6-16 ohm speakers


  • Affordable
  • 7 speaker terminals
  • FM tuner
  • Bluetooth connectivity


  • Lacks Wi-Fi
  • Only 4 HDMI inputs
  • No preamp outputs

2.      Best Under $1000: Marantz SR5014


  • Comes with a calibration mic and a setup assistant
  • Multiple digital/analog audio inputs
  • 7 speaker terminals
  • 2 subwoofer pre-outs
  • Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity


  • All the ports are still HDMI 2.0

What Do You Plug Ceiling Speakers Into?

An external amplifier should power all the ceiling speakers. Standard speaker cables make the connection.

Amplifier For Ceiling Speakers

  1. Best Budget: Sony STR-DH790

It is versatile, clean design, and is compact. The Sony STR-DH790 is classified as 7.2 and supports Dolby Atmos and DTS:X. You can therefore use it in the 5.1.2 configuration for two ceiling speakers.


  • Affordable
  • Fully-featured remote and mic available
  • All HDMI inputs support 4K/60Hz pass-through
  • Seven speaker terminals and two subwoofer pre-outs
  • Minimum RMS output – 90W per channel
  • Compatible with 6-16 ohm speakers.
  • Bluetooth supported


  • Lacks Wi-Fi
  • Only 4 HDMI inputs
  • Not compatible with 4ohm speakers
  • No preamp outputs.

Other amplifiers for ceiling speakers you can choose from include:

  1. Marantz SR5014
  2. Pyle PDA6BU.5
  3. Rockville RCS80-1
  4. Pyle Model: PWA15BT
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Norvan Martin is the founder of He is a professional Electronics Engineer and is passionate about home theater systems and AV electronics. BoomSpeaker was created as an online hub to share his knowledge and experiences as it relates to home theaters and home audio electronics. My email: [email protected]  Connect on Pinterest and Linkedin