Paradigm CS-60R-30 In-Ceiling Loudspeaker Reviewed


In-wall speakers are hotter than ever these days. However, there are those who still don’t like to see a rectangular outline of a speaker on the wall, hidden as it might be, which has given rise to in-ceiling loudspeakers. In-ceiling loudspeakers work well for whole-house audio systems or for rear channels in a home theater, but when it comes to front speakers, they leave little to be desired, until now. Paradigm, makers of some of the finest affordable loudspeakers on the planet, have created an in-ceiling speaker that, get this, sounds and performs like a traditional in-wall main.

Additional Resources
• Read dozens more in-wall and in-ceiling speaker reviews
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Retailing for $249 each, the CS-60R-30 is unique for an in-ceiling speaker in that it features a 30-degree tilt to the drivers, allowing them to fire more precisely at the listening position for proper imaging and focus, rather than firing straight down, the way most in-ceiling speakers do. The CS-60R-30 has a two-way design, featuring a one-inch dome tweeter mated to a six-and-a-half-inch bass/midrange driver. The CS-60R-30 has a reported frequency response of 70Hz to 20kHz and a stated sensitivity of 89dB into an eight-ohm load.

Due to the CS-60R-30’s 30-degree rake, it’s a bit larger than some in-ceiling speakers, requiring a bit more space between your ceilings joists at 10-and-a-half inches. However, if you have the space needed, the installation and painting is easy enough for the DIY’er, not unlike other in-wall or in-ceiling speakers in its class.

Read about the high points and the low points of the CS-60R-30 on Page 2.

Paradigm_CS60-30_image.gifHigh Points
• While some in-ceilings have attempted to achieve the effect the CS-60R-30 does by having movable tweeters, none have come closer to traditional floor-standing and/or in-wall sound than this speaker.

• The CS-60R-30 features Paradigm’s signature smooth high-frequency response and delectable midrange. The sonic character of the CS-60R-30 overall is inviting, non-fatiguing and highly musical, which is a feat in itself, considering its in-ceiling pedigree. 
• Dynamically, the CS-60R-30 is rather surprising, proving to be quite agile and explosive, even when driven by budget electronics.
• While in-walls are largely unobtrusive, they don’t have anything on in-ceiling speakers when it comes to being truly stealthy, for how often do we look up at our or our friend’s ceilings?

Low Points
• Unlike some of Paradigm’s other two-way speaker offerings, be they in-wall or freestanding, the CS-60R-30s absolutely need a sub to bring full-range soundtracks and music to life. 
• Because of its somewhat larger diameter, not everyone will be able to enjoy the CS-60R-30, which is a shame.
• The 30-degree rake of the CS-60R-30s make positioning a bit more challenging, for you’ll want to mount them in your ceiling so that the sound hits your listening position just right. Install them too far away and the sound will fire at your knees or feet; too close and it’ll be over your head.

The CS-60R-30s from Paradigm are a great marriage between traditional in-walls and in-ceiling speakers, for they radiate and produce sound in the vein of forward-firing loudspeakers, yet can be installed in a ceiling practically out of view. While the downward rake helps with center imaging, it’s not perfect and careful attention needs to be paid when installing for the effect to work its magic. If you’re a purist or a stickler for tradition, you’ll probably be better suited by traditional in-walls. However, if your speakers must go in the ceiling but you don’t want in-ceiling sound, then the Paradigm CS-60R-30s are for you.

Additional Resources
• Read dozens more in-wall and in-ceiling speaker reviews 
from this resource page from