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Niles DS8HD

In-ceiling home theater speaker

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  • Niles DS8HD

    Front (Grille included, not shown)

  • Niles DS8HD

    Back

  • Niles DS8HD

  • Niles DS8HD

    Side view

 

Our take on the Niles DS8HD

by Marshall Chase
Niles

High definition sound from an in-ceiling speaker

High-performance home theater or stereo music no longer needs to mean sacrificing lots of space to bulky speakers. Niles designed their impressive DS8HD 8" in-ceiling speaker to deliver satisfying performance. Install one each for your left, right and center channels in a custom-installed surround sound system, or use a pair for a music system that has low visual impact, but big sonic impact.

Niles' Directed Soundfield™ technology lets you pivot and aim both the woofer and the tweeter/midrange array for more precise localization of movie sound effects. A new patent pending pivot mechanism adjusts smoothly and holds the drivers securely in position. There's also a "dialogue" switch that enhances vocal presence when using the DS8HD as your center-channel speaker. And there's another switch that lets you tone down the tweeter if you prefer.

Three-way design featuring IMPACT driver technology

The DS8HD employs a large 8" IMPACT (Improved Aluminum Ceramic Technology) wooferfor rich, full bass. A 1-1/2"dome midrange provides enhanced detail, great for movie dialogue and vocals. The 1" IMPACT dome tweeter hasa vapor-deposited ceramic nano-coating to move unwanted resonances outside of the audible range, for better clarity. Its zero-diffraction assembly pivots up to 15° (30° when the woofer is also pivoted to the maximum). Top it off with the included magnetic snap-on grille and you're good to go. And with its weather-resistant design, this speaker can safely be installed in humid or moist environments. It's even covered by Niles' lifetime warranty.

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Highlights:

  • frequency response 48-21,000 Hz (±3dB)
  • 1" IMPACT (improved aluminum ceramic technology) pivoting dome tweeter
  • 1-1/2"IMPACT dome midrange
  • 8" IMPACT woofer
  • handles up to 160 watts
  • 8-ohm impedance
  • tri-mount clips for simpler installation
  • weather-resistant design
  • paintable white magnetic grille
  • cutout diameter: 9-3/4"
  • mounting depth: 6-1/8"
  • warranty: lifetime
  • Our 60-day money-back guarantee

Hands-on research from the Crutchfield Labs (what are the Labs?)

Features and Specs
Enclosure Type In-ceiling
Video Shielded No
Tweeter Dome
Midrange Size 1.5
Woofer Size 8
Woofer Composition Aluminum Ceramic
Woofer Surround Rubber
Power Range (Watts) 10-160
Sensitivity 115 dB
Impedance (Ohms) 8
Frequency Response 48-21kHz
Connector Type Spring post
Bi-Amp Inputs No
Parts Warranty Lifetime
Labor Warranty Lifetime
Product Research
What's in the box?

Download owner's manual

  • Three-way ceiling-mount speaker
  • White grille
  • Template
  • Installation Guide
  • Attention card
  • Caution card

Our Product Research Team

At Crutchfield, you'll get detailed, accurate information that's hard to find elsewhere. That's because we have our own in-house Product Research team — they open the box, verify contents, check the owner's manual, and record dimensions, features and specs. We stay on top of new products and technologies to help people make informed choices.

Features

Overview: The Niles Audio DS8HD Directed Soundfield ceiling-mount speaker is designed for advanced home theaters and primary listening rooms. Niles' patented Directed Soundfield technology uses a patent-pending pivot mechanism to direct the sound to the listening area for optimum sound quality. This 3-way speaker can be used as a left or right speaker in stereo configurations, or as the left, right, or center speaker in a home theater application. The DS8HD comes with a magnetically-attached paintable metal grille.

Note: The DS8HD is packaged as a single speaker.

IMPACT Drivers: The DS8HD features an 8" cone woofer, 1-1/2" dome midrange, and 1" dome tweeter made of nano-coated Improved Aluminum Ceramic Technology (IMPACT) for superior sound quality. The integrated woofer/baffle design increases the cone area, which enhances the low frequency response. The zero-diffraction tweeter assembly pivots up to 15° (30° when the woofer is in its maximum position) to let you aim the high frequencies to the listening area.

Grille: The DS8HD includes a 11-5/16" diameter MicroThin metal grille, which attaches magnetically to the speaker. The 1/4" thick grille is easy to install, and blends with the room's aesthetics. It is rust-resistant, and paintable to match any décor. An optional SG8C square grille is also available, if desired.

Treble Switch: The DS8HD has a 3-position switch that allows you to adjust the output of the tweeter to compensate for room acoustics. For acoustically bright rooms with wood or tile floors, you should move the switch to the minus (-) position to reduce the tweeter output by 3dB. For rooms with carpet, drapery, and plush furniture--surfaces that absorb high frequencies, you should move the switch to the plus (+) position to increase the tweeter output by 3dB. The center position (0) does not affect the tweeter's output.

Dialog Compensation Switch: The speaker has a two-way switch that provides additional definition in the critical midrange frequencies where the human voice is reproduced. For normal listening, the switch should be in the Zero (0) position. If the speaker is used as a center channel speaker in a home theater application, you should slide the switch to the plus (+) position to enhance the dialog.

Weather-Resistant: The frame, speaker, and grille are weather-resistant, so you can install the speaker in moist environments, including bathrooms and outdoors under eaves.

Speaker Terminals: The DS8HD is equipped with a pair of spring-loaded post terminals, which can accept up to 12-gauge speaker wire. For wire runs of less than 80 feet, 16-gauge wire is recommended. You should use 14-gauge wire for runs of 80-200 feet, and 12-gauge wire for runs over 200 feet.

Note: When running speaker wire inside walls or ceilings, special jacketed cable (CL-2 or CL-3) should be used to protect the wire and for fire prevention. If unsure, you should consult your local building inspectors about code compliance requirements.

Installation: Installing the speaker requires a 9-3/4" cutout. The speaker requires a depth of 5-5/16" behind standard 5/8" drywall. There are three spring-loaded mounting clamps with screws that tighten from the front.

Optional Enclosure: The optional RWE8C rear wave enclosure can be added to eliminate unwanted sound from bleeding into adjacent rooms or spaces. The enclosure is precisely shaped for predictable sound performance.

Note: If you add the optional rear wave enclosure, you will need an additional 2" of depth and 10" clearance to one side of the loudspeaker opening.
 
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For a more in-depth review and enhanced detailed information on the Niles DS8HD, please visit the Crutchfield website product page (/ISEO-rccbcspd/p_190DS8HD/Niles-DS8HD.html ).

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