The guys over at TECH4 sent us this Lithe Audio Bluetooth ceiling speaker to check out. We’ve got a ceiling for it in mind, but won’t be able to install it for a while yet, so we set it up on the bench in the meantime to complete our review of this interesting device.
What Is It?
This is an all-in-one unit that combines an amplifier, Bluetooth receiver and a speaker. It’s 230mm wide by 97mm deep and comes with a quality 6.5″ Kevlar / Polypropylene woven cone woofer with a 0.75″ Titanium cone tweeter.
The onboard Bluetooth is v5 (up to 30 metres range) and uses the aptX low latency chipset. This means, unlike some cheaper options, you can use it for watching videos without the picture and sound being way out of sync. It can remember 2 devices but the first must disconnect before the second one can connect.
There’s a paper pattern included in the box, helping you to mark out the required 210mm cut out in your ceiling. The 4 dog leg grips then swing round and tighten down with a screw driver to hold it in place.
If you’ve got a mains socket somewhere in your loft you can plug its included power supply (DC24V / 2.5A) straight in. If not then you should be able to wire it into a lighting circuit, ceiling rose or other junction box instead (always consult an electrician / a fire hood may be required).
There’s also a connector to attach an additional passive slave speaker and a mono / stereo switch to select one or 2 speaker setup. The volume switch allows you to select between full and 50% power, useful if you’re installing in your teenager’s bedroom 🙂
Finally the paintable, low profile (3mm) grill snaps onto the speaker magnetically, that’s a nice touch. If you want a speaker for your bathroom then make sure to choose the upgraded IP44 model (around £30 more).
In my experience lots of ceiling speakers have a tendency to sound tinny and weak.
But the on-board amp provides ample power to drive this speaker loud. And even without the advantage of being in its ceiling enclosure (and while it’s impossible to convey accurately like this), hopefully the little video clip below gives an impression of the great bass…
The pleasing sound smacks of a more expensive setup and is even better than the Sonos setup we had in the bathroom of our last house.
The small blue power and status LED is visible through the grill and there’s even a little sticker included in the box to block this light if that annoys you. Removing the grill also gives access to the reset button, should you need to clear the Bluetooth unit down.
The amplifier autodetects an input on the RCA connection, so if you have a bathroom TV wired to it for example, it will work without any further action from the user.
Another great option is to connect the speaker to Amazon Echo Dot or Google, either via the RCAs or Bluetooth, to give your voice assistant a new deeper voice and make their music sound a lot better.
The system is expandable too and the pink and green connections above the RCAs are for the Lithe-Link which can be used to wire several speakers together…
For larger or open plan rooms the Lithe-link feature will allow you to connect up to 3 master speakers and their passive/slaves and play audio from all the speakers at once.
The all-in-one convenience coupled with the quality audio means you can’t get much better than this Lithe Audio setup for a retro-fit situation. I’ve recently seen this very unit recommended by more than one professional custom installer in online forums too which is also a good sign.
So whether you want Spotify in the kitchen, audio books in the kids bedroom or you use your laptop to watch movies with great bass in the bath, then checkout the feature packed, expandable Lithe Audio All-In-One 6.5″ Bluetooth Ceiling Speaker available now.
- RMS Power: 50W RMS
- Impedance: 8 Ohms
- Sound Quality THD+N 0.009%, 55Hz-20kHZ
- Sensitivity (1W/1m): 90dB
- Audio Sample Rate: 8Khz
- Digital Class D Amplifier