THIEL HigherPlane 1.2

In-ceiling speaker

  • THIEL HigherPlane 1.2



Our take on the THIEL HigherPlane 1.2

by Amanda P.

For the past 30 years, THIEL has been designing and producing some of the finest loudspeakers available. The HigherPlane 1.2 in-ceiling speaker boasts the high-end build and performance THIEL's known for, delivering dynamic, accurate sound with your favorite music and movies. Plus, it installs neatly in your ceiling, with a paintable aluminum grille that blends with your décor.

High-end cabinet and driver design
The 1.2's rigid aluminum cabinet combats unwanted resonance for better sonic accuracy. A 6-1/2" aluminum woofer delivers full-bodied lows and mids, while a 1" aluminum tweeter produces crystalline highs. The drivers feature short voice coils inside a long magnetic gap, eliminating distortion caused by variances in magnetic strength. Plus, the drivers are coaxially mounted, allowing the sound from both to reach your ear at the same time. The result is noticeably more open, realistic sonic imaging.

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A sophisticated crossover for spacious, lifelike sound
The "unsung hero" of any speaker is the crossover — it directs the right frequencies to the right drivers so you won't have a tweeter trying to reproduce bass and a woofer trying to reproduce highs. THIEL meticulously engineered their first-order crossover to achieve tonal neutrality, for sound that's pure, uncolored, and faithful to the original signal.

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  • 1" aluminum tweeter
  • 6-1/2" aluminum midrange
  • Coherent Source® technology
    • drivers coaxially mounted for time coherence
    • first-order crossover for phase coherence
  • built-in aluminum cabinet
  • short coil/long gap driver design eliminates distortion caused by variances in magnetic strength
  • handles up to 200 watts
  • frequency response 75-20,000 Hz (±3dB)
  • sensitivity 89 dB
  • 4-ohm impedance — suited for high-current amplifiers
  • paintable aluminum speaker grilles
  • cutout dimensions: 11-1/4"W x 1"D
  • mounting depth: 6-5/8"
  • warranty: 10 years
  • Our 60-day money-back guarantee
  • sold individually

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

Features and Specs
Enclosure Type In-ceiling
Video Shielded Yes
Tweeter Dome
Midrange Size ---
Woofer Size 6.5
Woofer Composition Aluminum
Woofer Surround Rubber
Power Range (Watts) up to 200
Sensitivity 89 dB
Impedance (Ohms) 4
Frequency Response 75-20kHz
Connector Type Binding post
Bi-Amp Inputs No
Parts Warranty 10 Years
Labor Warranty 10 Years
Product Research
What's in the box?

Download owner's manual

  • In-ceiling speaker
  • Magnetic grille
  • Paper painting mask
  • Owner's Manual

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.

Overview: The THIEL HigherPlane 1.2 is a high performance, in-ceiling loudspeaker which offers a much higher level of resolution and realism than found in conventional in-ceiling speakers. The HigherPlane's 11-inch diameter, paintable, aluminum baffle and grille disappear into the ceiling, leaving only excellent sound reproduction from your favorite music or movies.

Mounting Options


High Output, Low Distortion Drivers: The HigherPlane uses a very low distortion, short coil/long gap, high output, metal diaphragm 6.5-inch woofer that is coaxially mounted with a special 1-inch, high output, low distortion metal dome tweeter.

Time And Phase Coherent: As with all THIEL loudspeakers, the HigherPlane is completely time and phase coherent for much greater sonic realism. THIEL's Coherent Source technology achieves the elimination of both time and phase distortions that cause alterations in the reproduced musical waveforms of most loudspeakers. Eliminating these distortions results in enhanced realism, clarity, transparency and immediacy as well as improved imaging and soundstaging in both the lateral and depth perspectives. Phase coherence in the HigherPlane is achieved by utilizing a sophisticated first-order electrical crossover system in conjunction with unusually wide bandwidth drivers. Time coherence is achieved by coaxially mounting the tweeter and woofer to cause the sound energy from each to reach the listener at the same time.

Enclosure: The 1.2 version uses a rigid aluminum enclosure to reduce unwanted vibration for greater clarity and detail.

Grille: The HigherPlane 1.2's grille is magnetically attached to the cabinet and can be removed by gently prying the grille forward.

Connections: The HigherPlane 1.2's input terminals are located on the bottom of the speaker cabinet. The HigherPlane 1.2 uses binding posts that accept several types of wire connections (will not accept dual banana plug connectors but single banana plugs can be used). The input terminals are designed to be easily tightened by hand or a 1/2 inch nut driver can be used. The speaker's input terminals are color coded to facilitate that both speakers in a stereo system are wired in the same polarity for maximum speaker performance. The speakers should be connected to the amplifier with high quality cable to ensure minimal loss of power and proper control by the amplifier.

Note: The HigherPlane 1.2 is a very high quality sound reproducer and will benefit from use with the best associated equipment. Since it is extremely accurate, it will reveal sources of distortion generated elsewhere in the system. For example, distortion resulting from poor recordings or inferior electronics will be reproduced accurately. Also, the quality of the interconnect cables and speaker cables will significantly effect the performance of the system

Power Requirements: It is important to have enough power to play at the level you desire without distortion. If high sound levels are desired, the HigherPlane 1.2's are designed to be used with amplifiers rated up to 200 watts per channel (into 8 ohms). Since the HigherPlane 1.2 provides a 4 ohm load to the amplifier, it is important that the amplifier be rated to deliver at least 50 percent more power into a 4 ohm load than it does into an 8 ohm load. The HigherPlane is of above average efficiency (89 dB) and therefore requires less than an average amount of power for average volume levels

Break-In Period: The HigherPlane 1.2's, like most speakers, require a period of playing before they perform optimally. The amount of time depends on how loudly the speakers are played; more time is required if played softly, less if played loudly. At least 50 hours at moderately loud levels are required before the speaker is performing near optimum. You should notice even more improvement after 100 hours of playing.

10 Year Warranty: THIEL warrants every THIEL model HigherPlane 1.2 loudspeaker against defects in materials and workmanship to the original owner for a period of ten years from the date of purchase. THIEL will, at no charge, replace any defective part and make any repairs necessary to ensure its proper performance when the defective unit is returned to us postpaid. This warranty does not cover damage due to accident or abuse and is void if the unit has been tampered with. This warranty is automatic and no registration is required.

Mounting Options

Speaker Placement: The HigherPlane 1.2 is designed for in-ceiling placement. Because of its wide dispersion and coaxial/coplanar driver mounting, the HigherPlane 1.2 offers excellent results for a variety of ceiling locations and listener positions. For optimum performance, the HigherPlane should not be placed within two feet of the room's walls.

Paintable: The HigherPlane 1.2 features an off-white finish. The speaker can be painted any desired color. To paint the speaker, first remove the grille and insert the included painting mask to protect the driver. For the tightest seal, you can slightly loosen the driver screws to tuck the rim of the mask between the white rubber woofer surround and the plastic rim of the cabinet's driver opening. Also, peel the cloth scrim from the back of the grille before painting its front surface. After the paint is dry, reinstall the grille's scrim and the grille onto the cabinet.


Speaker Diameter: 11.25"

Speaker Depth: 6.625"

Ceiling Cutout Opening: 10.125"

Rough Opening Without Preconstruction Bracket: 10.25"

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THIEL HigherPlane 1.2 Reviews

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5 out of 5

Top quality in-ceiling speaker

Written By Rob, Albuquerque on Monday, April 28, 2014
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
These are undeniably expensive as in-ceiling speakers go, but especially at the current discounted price, they offer good value for the money. I bought 2 pair, one set to use as a Zone 2 setup in my kitchen, and the second set as surround speakers for a 5.1 channel bedroom system.

If you are familiar with Thiel speakers, you know they are known for their phase-coherent designs which produce excellent imaging. It's harder to judge that in a ceiling speaker, but they certainly produce the ultra-smooth and natural midrange that is the "Thiel sound."

As surround channels installed directly above the listening position (a bed against the rear wall of the room), these do a nice job of creating a sense of envelopment. I had my doubts about how well they would perform in that setup, but am very satisfied with the results. (Front channels are Thiel 1.5s for L/R, and a Thiel Powerplane for the center.)

These are 4 ohm speakers, so you will need an amp or receiver with a fairly stout power supply to drive these to high volumes.
Build quality, natural sounding mid-range
1 out of 1 people found this helpful
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For a more in-depth review and enhanced detailed information on the THIEL HigherPlane 1.2, please visit the Crutchfield website product page (/ISEO-rccbcspd/p_684HPL12/THIEL-HigherPlane-1-2.html ).