To the casual observer, the home theater world probably looks relatively homogenous. After all, home theater isn't big enough, established enough, or varied enough to break itself into endless sub-categories yet, is it? The truth is, categorization has been a part of home theater from the beginning, and the gap between its two main sub-categories—let's call them conventional products and custom-install products—is wide. When it comes to speakers, the gap is only getting wider.
You can run wires, but you can't hide from the fact that today's in-walls sound better than ever.
If only Sheetrock dust were an aphrodisiac. After hacking and ripping my way through the installation of eight pairs of in-wall and in-ceiling speakers and one monumental pair of in-wall subwoofers, I'd be damn near the sexiest man alive. As it is, after the White Sands National Monument, my lungs are now the biggest repository of gypsum dust on the planet. Once again, I've risked life and limb to survey the state of the custom-install speaker industry and give you a feel for what your money can buy in terms of ease of installation, aesthetics, and—most importantly—sound quality.
A tasty sampler of in-wall speakers that let you enjoy intoxicating performance without any of the headaches.
I love chocolate. No, I lust for chocolate. I'm incapable of walking down a candy aisle without lingering to look at the tight foil wrappings and the seductively enticing labels with their bold promises of the sinfully rich pleasure within. Sometimes, I stop, unable to control myself, and furtively fondle a bar of this darkly ambrosial substance that the Aztecs quite correctly considered the food of the gods. Certain no one is looking, I'll even bring a wrapped bar, more precious than its weight in gold, to my nostrils for a fleeting, stolen whiff of its wondrous scent. My mouth begins to water. My body shudders with excitement—an embarrassing moment of weakness in my struggle to remain pure.
Installing a multiroom in-ceiling speaker system. Let's face it, gang: Many of us spend our lives swinging through the work week like modern-day Jedi Knights, slicing through red tape and stupidity only to languish for 45 minutes inching through vicious gridlock to get home. The only thing keeping yours truly from eating the business end of a Browning pistol is knowing that, when I get home to my suburban stucco castle, I can slip into a nice sixer of Harp lager and listen to the soothing melodies of classic Dead Kennedys.