Profound Sound: Cmple 6.5” Surround-Sound Two-Way In-Ceiling Speakers
There’s no shortage of surround-sound speakers that promise premium sound, and many of them deliver. Unfortunately, when they do deliver it’s usually at a premium price.
Cmple’s 6.5” in-ceiling/in-wall speakers are different. They also provide an outstanding audio experience, but at the more-affordable price point where the company specializes. It’s difficult to manufacture high-quality speakers that can shine in a large room for a bargain price, but Cmple pulls it off.
When you look inside one of these two-way speakers (they’re sold in pairs for well under $100) you’d expect the price tag to be much higher. There is a 6.5” woven Kevlar cone woofer; the material is light and flexible but also rigid, ensuring both detail and precision while consistently dispersing sound throughout the frequency range. The tweeter is a titanium dome able to swivel a full 35° to either side, so the high frequencies can be directed right at your preferred listening position without having to move the speaker. That’s a real plus, of course, for units which are going to be mounted in the wall or ceiling.
The crossover has a 12dB slope for optimal blending of highs and lows. One other feature unusual for speakers offered at lower prices: a three-way switch to adjust the tweeter tone +/- 2dB so it matches the room‘s acoustics and your own preferences.
The small details are also impressive, like an oversized woofer magnet and rigid steel basket, a butyl rubber surround, a strong, sound-deadening UV-coated ABS frame, and a weather-resistant aluminum grill that allows use in moist areas like bathrooms. There are self-gripping clamps that don’t vibrate to allow easy installation in drop ceilings, and gold-plated anti-corrosion terminals for perfect connectivity.
For the price, it’s an amazing package.
It’s even more amazing when you listen to these babies. The lows are strong and distinct without that annoying booming issue you often notice with inexpensive speakers; the highs are crisp and clean, and the mids are clear, precise and pleasing with vocals standing out without being overwhelmed. Obviously, the well-constructed crossover does its job quite well.
The audio delivered by the Cmple speakers is well-dispersed through a medium-sized room with no noticeable hot spots or delays, and their performance is almost as good in a very large room, thanks in large part to the “swivel-ability” of the tweeters. When used in a complete home-theater setup and mounted in the wall or ceiling, they’re outstanding either as surround or rear speakers. They’re also suitable for use in other rooms for complete home audio.
Mounting is simple and frustration-free thanks to the built-in clamps.
For specs geeks, these are eight-ohm speakers nominally rated at 60-120 watts (RMS/MAX) and 90dB at one watt, with a frequency response range of 50-20,000 Hz.
We’ve used words like amazing and impressive in this review, and we don’t throw them around lightly. But when you consider the great performance delivered by these Cmple 6.5” speakers – and their low price – the adjectives fit perfectly.