Ceiling Speakers Mounted Into Faux Speaker Boxes.




Introduction: Ceiling Speakers Mounted Into Faux Speaker Boxes.

The idea here is to use a high grade ceiling speaker, purchased at a discount price off of an auction site, re-package it for surround sound duty. Here I used an EV C8.2. These go retail for about 350$ a pair. I have bought them on Ebay for as little as 20$ used. The EV (Electro-Voice) C8.2 is a solid, well built speaker. It has a 8 inch mid with a 1 inch titanium tweeter, it puts out a full sound with sparkling detail. But, it is made for recessed placement in a ceiling.

Most surround speakers are small, tinny devices. And over-priced. Sure, you can buy great speakers but hey , it's your money. My route is to re-purpose these for surround sound, aimed forward, not down, fill the room with sound.

Step 1: Build the Boxes

The steps to build the faux speaker box are pretty straight forward.

My first plan was to build a six sided box. Fully enclosing the speaker. But this ended up being a huge 16x13 box, way to big to mount on a wall or put on a shelf. This led to the idea of a Hungarian slot shelf type thing. The speakers are kind of angled into the corner at 45* and I only have to cover up the speaker to mate it to the wall.

First build a box. I used  3/4 inch MDF. Screwed together and with wood glue too. Next , I found some Honduran Mahogany veneer sheets. I used contact cement brushed on the MDF and the veneer. Wait 20 minutes then press them together.

Step 2: More MDF

Here are some pics of the box build. I just tried to make the facade as small as possible to fit on the quarter circle shelf. The facade slips on to the shelf and the speaker can kind of rests on the shelf. It appears stable under heavy bass , doesn't seem to be likely to fall off the shelf, also as said before there is a steel cable attached to the speaker box to the wall stud.
I just used 2.5 inch screws with pilot holes and glue, the box is tight.

Step 3: Veneering the Boxes

This page show the boxes after the veneers were put on. I found a seller on Ebay that sold me 75 square feet  of Honduran Mahogany  for 35$. I use contact cement , foam brushed on the MDF and the veneer, and cut off the excess with a scalpel. Afterward, I stained the veneers with red mahogany stain and then a few coats of helmsmen polyurethane. 

Step 4: Staining and Mounting

Here are the pics of the boxes stained , the speakers put in and slid on to the shelves. I am happy with results and the money I saved. Speakers-60$ for the pair, 15$ for the MDF, 5$ worth of screws , glue and stain and eye bolts.  The shelves were installed last year and were holding smaller BIC adagio speakers.

The sound is an improvement over the BIC speakers, much more noticeable surround sound details and great 7 channel audio for music.

As a note about the EV C8.2 speakers, I bought 4 off of Ebay, it appears EV has been making these type for some time, as there were different versions . All 4 were labeled slightly different. The ones here in the living room are the newest version. The earlier speakers had 70watt to 300 peak watt handleing ratings, the new version was rated at 100 to 400 watts peak.

Anyway , I thought I would post this Instructable to show a inexpensive way to improve a mutt surround sound system.

Step 5: Two More for the Patio..

Here are some photos of the two I made for the patio area. Again it's a MDF cube, 2x4 legs, screwed and glued. They sound very good.

Step 6: Update to Speaker Boxes

These boxes were located on a patio lanai which occasionally got wet from rain . over the years since these boxes were made, the MDF expanded and warped the boxes. Also, the paint job faded to a yellow and the boxes were sooty from air pollution.

So  it was time to re-hab the boxes. I ended up totally redoing one box and partially redoing another. I used 3/4" finished plywood to rebuild the boxes. I just re-cut the panels  and made biscuit joints with glue , then screwed the panels in for extra  a measure of strength. Then resanded, primed  and painted. As you can see , I went with a Thing 1/2 theme due to having extra red paint from a plyobox project I did.  

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    6 Discussions

    johnny pops
    johnny pops

    9 months ago

    It's really interesting to be able to make a Ceiling Speakers like this yourself. At home I equip a lot of Ceiling Speakers, because I love listening to music. Usually I would buy them at my favorite store. This time I will try out a Ceiling Speakers by hand


    2 years ago

    Just got on eBay in wall speakers for fraction of regular price. Those speakers are high end quality. Regular price is $1199 for the pair, got it for $47.21 !!!

    My idea is to build boxes and my question is what kind of difference is gonna be in sound quality? I have very same speakers in manufacturer boxes and they are sound fantastic!!!


    Reply 2 years ago

    The surround enclosure box you make won't affect sound quality. If there are bass ports, of course make sure the port has ability to access air flow.
    I still have these speakers as part of my home theater/ music room.
    Also , two in enclosures on my patio..They sound fine..

    Hope you have a fun build and it works out well..


    This is certainly practical.  Ceiling speakers can make rather effective surrounds.  If you had them around, and did the above, I applaud you.

    However, these speakers are designed for being mounted in a ceiling (ie, in an infinite baffle) configuration, not in a box. As such, they may not sound as they are supposed to. If the engineers that designed those speakers saw this, they might face-palm.  Why not just get a full-range driver that's supposed to be mounted in a box by design?

    That said, if it works for you, do it.  :)


    Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

    I don't think you have seen these speakers first hand. The EV 8.2c's are a closed system speaker, the part of the unit that extends into the ceiling is a metal box. The only port is on the front speaker side, a small bass reflex hole and the speaker is filled with BAF. I don't think the speaker is a infinite baffle type. These speakers are good enough to be aimed forward as well as downward from a ceiling. The EV 8.2c has a 8" mid and a 1" titanium tweeter, so it kind of qualifies as a full range speaker. My home theater employs a SVS cylinder sub-woofer for the low end.

    When I saw this speaker first hand, I came to the conclusion it is a metal speaker box that happens to be designed to fit in a ceiling hole for aiming down. I am just aiming it forward into the room, making its appearance better and making it fit efficiently better into a corner space. Also, this approach is acceptable to someone who doesn't want to or can't  cut two ,one foot holes in a ceiling.

    Did you see the speakers on the last page? These box speakers together are truly great sounding, Also, the frugality of the project paid off. I picked up one pair for 40$ on Ebay.   

    Trust me , the set up works very well for surround sound or stereo music listening.


    Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

    After examining the slides more closely, your'e probably right.  Didn't know you put that much design thought into the speaker, it isn't terribly clear from the instructions.  Most of the DIY speaker Instructables on this site consist of "I put a speaker in a box and it roxors soxors!" with very little thought put into the design.  I only ran into one that tried applying traditional box speaker design theory. 

    I'm glad you took box-design (or the fact that it was done for you :) ) into account.