Sound plays a major role in the way people perceive restaurants. It’s a critical component of the overall atmosphere, and what we hear must match what we see and taste for the restaurateur to provide the perfect guest experience. All senses must fire at the same rate.

This type of auditory experience can’t be provided with a smartphone and the Bluetooth speaker you use at the beach. It takes some time and effort, and a solid sound system to get it right. And at the heart of any great restaurant music system is a great set of restaurant speakers.

Why restaurant speakers are so important

If you’re wondering why you likely can’t get by with the equipment you already have, there’s a very simple explanation. A restaurant’s speakers must be powerful enough to fill the entire space with crisp, clear audio without overpowering guests. Balance is key.

Guests visit their favorite spots time and again because they know what to expect. The food is consistently prepared to perfection and the look and sound of the room is consistent with the fare. When something doesn’t match the vibe, guests take notice.

A great audio system for restaurants can help drown out unwanted noise, enhance social interactions, and improve the customer experience you provide. This can all lead to longer dwell times and increased sales, if properly designed. Crafting a great sound system can set your establishment apart, and it all revolves around the speakers.

What restaurant speakers are right for your restaurant?

Picking out the perfect set of restaurant speakers requires a realistic assessment of both the physical space you’re operating in and the type of vibe you’re trying to project. Each of these factors plays an important role in determining which restaurant speakers will best suit your particular needs.

The space

The first consideration is always the size and shape of the space. This dictates where people will be seated, and how many speakers will be required to provide full coverage. If you have multiple, defined spaces within your restaurant, this is an important feature to figure into your speaker mapping in the design phase as well.

The size and shape of the space, combined with the type of materials used in your decor, will also affect the acoustics in the room. A very squared room with large drywall surfaces will act much differently than an irregularly shaped room with wood walls will when it comes to sound reflections. An assessment of the space will provide the information you need in regards to how many speakers you need, as well as their ideal placement.

It’s also helpful to utilize some acoustical treatments to reduce excess noise that could interfere with the soundscape you are trying to create. Treatments like acoustic panels can help take care of conversational noise in the room and help prevent acoustical issues like echo and reverberation. This will allow your restaurant speakers to deliver the sound you want without the sound issues that are frequent in spaces with a lot of hard, reflective surfaces.

What are your needs?

You’ve also got to define what it is you want out of your speakers. Different restaurants have different needs. Some feature ambient jazz in moody rooms, while others may want sports commentary to accompany the game that’s being broadcast on 10 of its 15 widescreens. Each of these establishments would benefit from different kinds of speakers, so a solid understanding of where you want to go is the perfect starting point. 

Ambient supporting sounds

If your main music goal is to subtly influence the mood in the room, the best restaurant speakers for you might be a recessed set that sinks into your ceilings. You won’t need large speakers here, so something small and inconspicuous fits the bill nicely.

Crisp and clear

If the sound is a focal point in your establishment, you’ll want to go with something more substantial. In this situation, you’ll want speakers with some decent size and weight to them. This will give you solid performance in all frequency ranges and will help prevent any possible vibrational noise.

Mixed use

If your restaurant has multiple areas devoted to different pursuits, a system with multi-zone control will allow you to create a unique scene in each space. Want it quieter in the front and louder on the patio? You can set that up. Just make sure to select speakers that work together to provide the sound you want in each zone.

Choosing among restaurant speaker models

There are a lot of great choices out there when it comes to restaurant speakers, and each has its own set of benefits and downfalls. Let’s take a look at some popular styles and how they can help you create the ambiance you’re after.

Ceiling speakers

One wonderful way we can bring subtle sounds to the entire establishment is through the use of ceiling speakers. They should be planned and spaced to provide ample coverage, as each speaker delivers sound to a specific radius. Ceiling speakers for restaurants are great for creating that subtle sound and masking conversations to provide guests with more privacy.

In-ceiling speakers

Ceiling speakers that are recessed into the surface deliver solid ambient sound without being visually obtrusive. If your goal is to provide an ever present, subtle soundtrack to round out the dining experience, this is a fantastic option. 

In-ceiling speakers are more difficult to install than many other options, making them more expensive if you don’t have the skills to install them yourself. Each speaker must be precisely placed to deliver effective coverage over the entire room. Plan your placement with the help of a professional if you have limited or no experience with proper speaker placement.

Pendant speakers

A very interesting choice for restaurant speakers, pendant style speakers are mounted to the ceiling with a cable to drop music into the dining area and create visual interest at the same time. Pendant speakers provide clear sound reproduction, and are great for sound masking and background music. Pendant speakers are also likely the least labor intensive option you have to choose from, which can help to bring the cost down.

best wall speakers for restaurant

Wall speakers

When speakers are closer to the tables, we can get by with turning the volume down considerably. This allows guests to chat without raising their voices or straining to be heard, and this keeps the overall volume at a more relaxing level. You’ve got some options on making this happen. 

In-wall speakers

In-wall speakers are best used when we want more than simple background music. They produce enough power to be heard clearly, but hide in plain sight and don’t overwhelm the interior design. These are a great choice for when you want well-rounded music reproduction that isn’t too loud or soft.

Again, in-wall speakers do require a higher level of construction know-how to install, so this is something you’ll want to figure into your budget if you go this route with your restaurant sound system

Wall-mounted speakers

Wall-mounted speakers are mounted to the walls with a bracket, leaving the speaker exposed in the room. These versatile restaurant speakers provide the possibility of rearranging your setup as needs change, something that can’t be easily done with recessed speakers. Their design makes angling your restaurant speakers easy, meaning you can customize the setup to accommodate different events. They are also easier to install, since they may be simply mounted to the wall and don’t require cutting or running any electrical wires inside walls if you don’t want or need that. 

Outdoor speakers

If you’ve got a patio, it’s important to use outdoor speakers here. They are built to handle the elements and are designed to spread sound far and wide. They are typically mounted to exterior walls or other structures with a bracket, making them easy to reposition if needed.


If your playlists contain a lot of bass heavy selections, a subwoofer may be a great addition to your audio arsenal. It allows you to faithfully represent those really deep tones without overpowering the room or crackling. Proper placement is key to getting the biggest benefit.

Installation and maintenance

Depending on what type of system you choose, you will incur different labor costs when it comes to installation. This is something to keep in mind. Additionally, some speaker systems require more maintenance than others, so choosing a low-maintenance model now may save you money down the line.


The best speakers for restaurants are the ones that effectively serve their purpose, and do it on budget. You want something that provides the sound you need, but you don’t want to go broke buying it. Set a budget for yourself and work within it. If you have questions on how to get what you want within your budget, contact the pros for help.


How loud should a restaurant be?

Ideally, a restaurant has enough ambient sound to feel lively and inviting, but not so loud that guests have to yell and strain to communicate with one another. Turning the volume up too loud on your restaurant speakers can contribute to this, so identify a comfortable level and stick with it.

How do you position speakers in a restaurant?

The layout of your room has a huge influence on placement of speakers in a restaurant. You want to make sure you provide enough coverage so your music can be heard in each and every seat, but you don’t want to overwhelm tables with sound. A good rule of thumb is to space out enough speakers to fill the whole room with sound and angle them so they point between tables.

How many speakers do I need for my restaurant?

The number of speakers needed will always depend on the space. Live music venues can crank out enough amps to cover the space with a few large speakers, but for coverage involving more subtle sounds, a greater number of speakers may be necessary.

How do I set up a sound system in a restaurant?

Sound system design is a somewhat involved process that involves assessing your space, identifying your needs, and building a setup that provides the sound you need at a budget you can afford. If you don’t have enough experience with this to complete each step comfortably, it’s best to work with professionals. We can help you determine which restaurant speakers are right for you, as well as help with all other aspects of building the best sound system for your restaurant.