POE in ceiling speakers for non essential zones?

I have been using Roon with a Spectral hi-fi system as main zone for a while now and quite happy with it. I also use it with my google home minis (I know, I know…) etc in many rooms, and cast it via bluetooth to my other stereo in basement, when I am just sitting around am too lazy to go up to the listening room.

I have a Ubiquiti system for router and wireless point.

I am currently doing some renovation have the opportunity to draw Cat-6 to my ceiling in multiple places, and was wondering if it’s worth to think about PoE in ceiling speaker options just to have them thrown around the first floor of the house. Solves the power and wi-fi bandwidth issues if there are four people streaming video at the same time as well etc etc.

I saw quite a few threads on wifi options and on several companies that make in-wall speakers with “proper” (RCA) inputs, but could not find anything on POE/ethernet wired self-amplified options.

Any thoughts/recommendations?

Thanks much!

I’ve never seen PoE speakers suitable for audio. The ones I’m aware of are in the security/PA announcement enterprise/industrial space, and sound terrible playing music.

You’d probably be better off just pulling speaker wire for passive ceiling speakers back to some central location where you can place a zone distribution amplifier.

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The little power going thru PoE will never be able to drive any kind of serious speakers.

If you want just abit of scratching noise behind your neck, it may be fine. :slight_smile:

:slight_smile: Thank you both. Ok I’ll give up on that idea. I read a few threads on the NAD CI 580 setup which seems to be a good option.

Now I’ll have to look at speakers and how much wire I would need.

Thanks again.

Could be done with a small, power efficient Class D amp / speaker combo maybe but agree there is nothing currently on the market. Would make an interesting DIY project though…

What I would do if I’d have my ceiling open anyway, is to put both Ethernet and a power cable to the spot where I want to place a speaker. Even put “classic” speaker cable in if you like as a third option. Cable is cheap. What’s expensive or even impossible is opening the ceiling again later because you “forgot” to put something in…

When we renovated our place 12 years ago, we put ceiling speakers in all minor rooms, powered by Linn Sneakys hidden in cabinets etc… They are still running today to our great pleasure and satisfaction. Incredibly good investment over time compared to alternatives available back then!

There are of course many cheaper alternatives today.

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Well, all my walls/ceilings are not open and my equipment rack is upstairs in a storage room. So I do have constraints (even just simply being able to pull some of the cable through openings in terms of volume). That’s why I was thinking Ethernet and Daisy chaining would be great.

Having said that I do have Ethernet already pulled to multiple other places in my house. So now my head is spinning in terms of options. :slight_smile:

I’m assuming there are no options of getting passive speakers (say 2 -4) per zone that can feed from one pair of speaker wires?

I think I may go with power and Ethernet and get IP active speakers. Probably easiest in terms of execution.

I‘d think so. If you google there quite a few in-wall solutions coming up.

It seems I spoke too soon. I can’t actually find anything made for audio that is Roon compatible and is not super expensive (like the meridians)…

If anyone has some suggestions would appreciate it.
Otherwise back to thinking about speaker wires…

You might want to browse through the Tinkering category of the forum - there are suggestions there…

Maybe a raspberry pi with a dac/amp hat driving speakers…not a Poe solution but works as an Ethernet endpoint, would need to be places where power is available or at least the pi can be accessed if needed.

I thought, but might be mistaken, that there was a POE hat for the RPi…

Thanks all…

After spending a lot of time reading and thinking about this, I gave up on the in-ceiling idea. I will draw bunch more ethernet cables and put in a few blusounds hard-wired around on shelves or just on tables etc. I have a few natural places for them, and I will have a few outdoors spots under eaves as well.

Thanks for all the input.

Yes but barely enough power to run the rpi so can forget about any amp hats…maybe a dac hat if it could sit on top with the Poe in situ

Fair enough, although I see some PoE solutions can supply up to 30W. A RPi takes 10-15W, so you might be able to run an efficient amp at background listening levels (typically < 1W). But yeah, it won’t go too loud, nor be good for music with significant dynamic range. Using only 1 channel might help, but would double hardware costs.