This is a We Own it review of the Lithe Audio Bluetooth Ceiling Speaker specifically the IP44 rated speaker.
There are many different types of Bluetooth speakers on the market however Lithe Audio seem to have found a gap in the market! Wireless Bluetooth speaker that are ceiling mounted and can come IP44 rated. All other examples we found require separate amplifiers or multiple units for the Bluetooth controller and speaker – with these everything is contained in one compact unit.
Lithe Audio was founded in 2014 manufacturing these speakers as well as TV mounts.
The team are tech experts having designed and created the successful Retrotouch brand since 2008. This is also good to know as a lot of the companies in this space just import the ‘latest tech’ cheaply from overseas and sell via their website or partner (eBay/Amazon) with no actual interest in product development or customers.
What does Lithe Audio Bluetooth ceiling speaker do?
The speaker sits in the ceiling, connecting to any Bluetooth 4.0 device or via the RCA line in.
You can choose either pin protected or pin free. Pin free works with Amazon Echo Dot and other tech – however will allow anyone to connect to the speaker and play from it so if in a flat or somewhere ‘high traffic’ we advise going for Pin.
We connected it to our iPhone and then Spotify – however it will play anything playing on the device.
As we chose the pin free option the phone connects then disconnects to the speaker it does not pair, meaning it will not auto connect and you must select it to connect to it.
Not an issue for us but if you are looking for a totally seamless option your better choosing the pin configuration.
The sound quality is impressive! We have 4 Sonos in our house and this little beauty gives them a run for their money.
The speakers come in a few different versions, we choose the IP44 rated model so we could install it in the bathroom. Unlike our friend Sonos where currently the best solution for a bathroom Sonos requires an expensive Amp, separate IP rated speaker as well as cable and space to install the separate tech.
How does it work and What is the tech?
The speaker connects to Bluetooth it has 2 power solutions:
- Power Cable with plug
- Wire into lighting circuit (by an electrician)
This is a great feature and allows flexibility on install, we went for the hard-wired option as fitted it into our ceiling.
The speaker also has an RCA input for connecting to a TV, as well as a connecting point to allow you to connect it to another speaker to create a pair.
It has a built in Woofer and Tweeter – as we said it really is a all in one unit.
Our speaker only worked in mono however Lithe Audio informed us a feature enhancement is coming in the next edition of the IP44 speaker that makes them stereo. Another great feature coming it is the ability to hard limit sound, great for kids bedrooms or preventing accidentally blasting music in the bathroom.
How easy is it to set up?
Ridiculously easy! From opening the box to playing music was under 3 minutes, using the plug provided.
Once turned on you search for the Bluetooth device, Lithe Audio BT, or for a small programming fee they can rename them – useful if installing more than one or just want it named, we choose Bathroom. Note this must be requested when ordering as is done at firmware level.
Once connected it plays whatever the device is playing – simple as that.
Our electrician also commented how easy it was to install – there is a helpful template for cutting the hole in the ceiling.
What’s the connectivity?
The speaker connects via Bluetooth 4.0 – the range is impressive, the spec states up to 10 meters, and covers nearly the entire upstairs of our house.
How much does it cost?
The IP44 rated Bluetooth ceiling Speaker model costs – £229
Standard Bluetooth ceiling speaker costs – £199
What’s it like living with it?
Brilliant, this is one of our favourite bits of kit. We left our phone connected to it for a full 8 hours and didn’t experience any drops, lag or issues. One nice touch is the removable, magnetic, grill that you can paint to make it match you ceiling.
What are our final thoughts?
This is an impressive bit of kit – you can really tell they have thought about the features and developed it accordingly. The only thing we can think of as a negative is it is quite deep, so make sure their is space to install it.
To find out more have a look at http://www.litheaudio.com/