If you have in-ceiling speakers throughout your home or are considering getting them installed, you need to understand the limitations to this type of speaker. These speakers are made for “easy listening.” When I say “easy listening” I mean, they are not made to crank up the volume on the receiver or your room’s volume controls to the max. If you want really loud music, you need to have floor or bookshelf style speakers that are created for “cranking it up” as my kids would say.
There are multiple dangers in playing in-ceiling speakers too loud. One; you can blow out the speakers in either one zone or multiple zones. Two; you can blow out your amplifier. Worse case, you can do both.
So how do you know if your turning up your amp or volume controls too much? In one word. Distortion. When playing your in-ceiling speakers you should be able to clearly hear the vocals and instruments. If the bass sounds “muddy” than you are possibly overdriving one or more components of the system. If the vocals pop or sound scratchy, the same thing applies.
So, to get the most out of your in-ceiling speaker system, you need to have a balance between your amplifier and your speakers. For example: a 100 watt amplifier driving a 50 watt speaker will work fine at low listening levels. But, if you turn it up, you will now damage the speaker because the amplifier overpowers the speaker.