The guys from TECH4 sent us this Lithe Audio Bluetooth ceiling speaker to check out. We have an upper limit in mind, but we can't install it for a while. So in the meantime, we put them on the bench to complete our review of this interesting device.
What is it?
This is an all-in-one device that combines an amplifier, a Bluetooth receiver and a speaker. It is 230 mm wide and 97 mm deep and comes with a high-quality 6.5-inch Kevlar / polypropylene cone woofer with a 0.75-inch titanium cone tweeter.
The integrated Bluetooth is v5 (up to 30 meters range) and uses the aptX chipset with low latency. This means that unlike some cheaper video viewing options, you can use it without the picture and sound out of sync. It can remember 2 devices, but the first must be disconnected before the second can connect.
In the packaging there is a paper sample with which you can cut out the necessary 210 mm in your blanket. The 4 dog engagements then swing around and tighten them with a screwdriver to hold them in place.
If you have a power socket somewhere in your loft, you can connect the included power adapter (DC24V / 2.5A) directly. If not, you should be able to connect it to a lighting circuit, ceiling rose, or other outlet instead (always consult an electrician. A fire hood may be required.)
There is also a connector for connecting an additional passive slave speaker and a mono / stereo switch for selecting one or two speakers. With the volume switch you can choose between full and 50% power. This is useful if you are installing in your teen's bedroom
Finally, the paintable, flat (3 mm) grill magnetically snaps onto the speaker, which is a nice touch. If you want a speaker for your bathroom, be sure to choose the updated IP44 model (around £ 30 more).
In my experience, many ceiling speakers tend to sound thin and weak.
However, the integrated amplifier offers enough power to operate this speaker loudly. And even without the advantage of being in the ceiling paneling (and although it's impossible to convey exactly like that), the little video clip below hopefully gives an impression of the great bass…
The pleasant sound smells 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 is even a small sticker in the box to block this light if that bothers you. Removing the grill also gives you access to the reset button in case you need to turn off the Bluetooth unit.
The amplifier automatically recognizes an input on the cinch connection. For example, if you have connected a bathroom television, it will work without any further action from the user.
Another great option is to connect the speaker to Amazon Echo Dot or Google via RCAs or Bluetooth to give your voice assistant a new, deeper voice and make their music sound much better.
The system is also expandable and the pink and green connections via the cinch are intended for the Lithe link, which can be used to connect several speakers.
For larger or open rooms, you can use the Lithe Link function to connect up to 3 master speakers and their passive / slaves and play audio from all speakers at the same time.
The all-in-one convenience combined with the audio quality means you can't get much better than this Lithe audio setup for a retrofit situation. I recently saw this very device that has been recommended by more than one professional custom installer on online forums, which is also a good sign.
Whether you want to use Spotify in the kitchen, audiobooks in the nursery or your laptop to watch movies with great bass in the bathroom, check out the feature-rich, expandable 6.5-inch Bluetooth ceiling speaker with smooth audio now.
litheaudio.com: Available from TECH4
- RMS power: 50 W RMS
- Impedance: 8 ohms
- Sound quality THD + N 0.009%, 55 Hz – 20 kHz
- Sensitivity (1 W / 1 m): 90 dB
- Audio sampling rate: 8 kHz
- Digital Class D amplifier