What About Height/Ceiling Speakers?
Let’s put it this way: we all want height speakers. But most of us don’t need them.
For starters, the more speakers you add onto a system, the narrower the range of entertainment that can actually provide dedicated channels to those speakers. Almost all Blu-rays these days are capable of high level surround sound mixes, so if that’s what you listen to, then you should absolutely invest in them. But if your entertainment diet consists of cable news, or Netflix, or even most videogames, then chances are height speakers will be wasted on you. Not in the sense that you want appreciate them, but in the sense that they won’t be performing to nearly their full potential.
Oh, they’ll still make noise. In some cases, beautiful noise. The problem is, it won’t be noise specifically designed for height systems. It won’t sound off, or wrong, but it won’t be nearly as good as it could be.
Then there’s placement, which for height speakers, can be a pain. You’ve either got to bolt them to the wall, or position them on a high bookshelf. Depending on whether you own or rent, the former may be unachievable. If you are thinking of checking out height speakers, you could do worse than invest in the absolutely superlative SVS Prime Elevations (full review here). They not only do the job of height speakers, but their angled body and multi-placement options mean you can use them in a number of situations.
Ceiling speakers - as in, ones actually installed into your ceiling - are a little bit trickier. The principals are the same but the actual installation process and oodles of speaker wire are not, and you'll need to be really convinced they'll help before you embark on knocking holes in your roof. By all means, go for it, but be aware that it's tricky.