Aesthetics drives the decision to put invisible speakers
throughout the home.
Grilled speakers add an unwelcome blemish to the room, with
their gray mesh centers, yellowing bezels, and shadow-casting protrusion.
There are a number of acoustic benefits to a Live-Wall
invisible speaker — namely broader dispersion and no phase anomalies off-axis —
but aesthetics should be your primary decision maker.
Acoustically, Live-Wall speakers outperform most mid-priced
(around $750/pair) architectural speakers. So let’s compare Live-Wall speakers
to high-end architectural competitors priced above $1,000/pair.
Comparing a Live-Wall vs. a high-end architectural speaker
Few high-end speakers play louder and with more
transient-edge impact than a Live-Wall speaker. These specialty products are quite large and intrusive, and yet could provide more inner
detail, particularly on difficult musical passages. Some high-end speakers
may not require as powerful an amplifier as a Live-Wall speaker for best
performance. We like the
Revel architectural speakers for impact, smooth tonal
balance, and controlled extension.
Acoustic upside of a Live-Wall speaker
For equivalent coverage, you will need to use perhaps twice
as many high-end ceiling speakers to match the broad dispersion of Live-Wall,
and only the largest, most intrusive architectural speakers (with a minimum 10”
bass unit) will have the bass extension of a Live-Wall LW1220 Al.
There's no direct comparison
Comparing invisible and traditional speakers is somewhat like comparing sedans to SUVs. They both get you there — yet their functionality is markedly different. Invisible speakers are the best choice for clients who value the appearance of their rooms, and want to avoid cluttering the ceiling with obtrusive hardware. Traditional speakers are the best choice for clients who care less about aesthetics, and more about budget or a very particular sonic performance.