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Best Overall: Polk Audio RC85i at Amazon
"Nearly everything...makes it a top-notch choice, including the audio clarity that is second-to-none in the in-wall speaker space."
Runner-Up, Best Overall: Yamaha NS-IW660 at Amazon
"Offers big sound in a not-so-big-package."
Best Splurge: Bose Virtually Invisible 891 at Amazon
"Offers a full range of performance that’s unmatched by other in-wall speakers."
Best Sound: Polk Audio 265-RT at Amazon
"Will produce a natural midrange sound that’s just music to your ears."
Best Budget: Pyle PDIC60 at Amazon
"With a sound that far exceeds its price tag, [these] in-wall circular speakers make for an incredible value."
Best Installation: Polk Audio 265-LS at Amazon
"One of the best combinations of easy installation and audio performance on the market today."
Best Design: Polk Audio 255C-RT at Amazon
"Easily pairs great design with great sound while protruding just 7mm from the wall."
Best Sealed: Yamaha NSIC800WH at Amazon
"Whether it’s movie or television dialogue, the sound is crystal clear and musical audio is spectacular."
Courtesy of Amazon
Polk Audio’s hitting a grand slam with the RC85i two-way in-wall speaker. It has a one-inch dynamic-balanced soft dome tweeter and eight-inch woofer, and the 15-inch swivel mount on the tweeter can be directed toward or aimed in the direction of any listening area in a room for the best possible sound. The design is just as good as the audio (although that's not saying much for the in-wall ceiling category; it's just a white grille exterior and rectangular shape). The included template makes cutting a hole in the wall super easy even for weekend warriors who don’t install speakers for a living. The moisture-resistant construction of the RC85i makes it ideal for use both indoors and outdoors, including bathrooms or saunas where moisture can easily make its way through the speaker’s grille. Fortunately, nearly everything about the RC85i makes it a top-notch choice, including the audio clarity that is second-to-none in the in-wall speaker space. Available for both 5.1 and 7.1 sound systems, we're confident saying that once you have these Polk speakers installed, you’ll never want to leave home.
Providing easy installation courtesy of a precut template, Yamaha’s NS-IW660 offers big sound in a not-so-big-package. Inside each speaker are three main drivers, a 6.5-inch Kevlar cone woofer for lower frequencies, a 1.6-inch aluminum mid-range frequency driver and a one-inch titanium tweeter to handle all the high frequencies. The combination of all three parts lends itself to a crisp, full sound that’s ideal for smaller rooms. The tweeter and midrange drivers are built on an adjustable swivel allowing homeowners to “point” the highe-frequency sounds in the right direction or listening position. With each speaker packing between 50-150 watts of power, there’s little question that they pack a punch that’ll delight enhance every Netflix binging session. The white mesh cover is painted to already match existing white walls, but it's removable for easy painting to match any color in your home.
If the price tag doesn’t scare you off, the Bose Virtually Invisible 891 in-wall speakers will reward you with some incredible high-quality audio. Courtesy of a seven-inch subwoofer and two strategically positioned one-inch tweeters, the Bose offers a full range of performance that’s unmatched by other in-wall speakers. The addition of unique audio enhancements such as Bose’s exclusive Stereo Everywhere allows for the stereo sound to be pushed over a wider area than competitive in-wall speakers. The result is a sound that can fill up every inch of a medium-sized room. Beyond the sound, the design is equally impressive by blending into walls with a bezel that’s almost not there. While the Bose comes out of the box in white, you can easily paint the grilles to match any decor or color of your choosing. Fortunately, the impressive sound and excellent design are rounded out by an easy installation process with standard dogleg clamps that help the 891 fit neatly into the wall.
Powered by a 1.75-inch silk dome tweeter and two 6.5-inch polymer drivers, the Polk Audio 265-RT has a frequency response between 35Hz to 25kHz. The installation process is straightforward even for amateur installers who wants to give it a go without the help of a professional. Once installed, the 265-RT will produce a natural midrange sound that’s just music to your ears. Surprisingly dynamic for the price, the 265-RT is far more versatile than its cost would give away with one speaker more than enough to fill a small to medium-sized room with powerful audio.
With a sound that far exceeds its price tag, the Pyle PDIC60 in-wall circular speakers make for an incredible value. Aided by a 6.5-inch driver and a one-inch tweeter, the titanium dome tweeter can be angled or rotated to point in any direction to direct the sound exactly where you want it to go. This allows listeners to get the full effect of both the mid and high frequencies which, suffice to say, are quite good. The peak power of 250 watts offers very loud volume and ultimately blurs the line between what separates budget speakers from more expensive options. Installation is handled easily with a wall cutout sized to the specific dimensions for each individual PDIC speaker. Mounting flush on both ceilings and walls, the Pyle model remains incredibly versatile whether you’re watching a movie, listening to music or just binging Netflix releases.
Polk’s Audio 265-LS three-way speaker is one of the best combinations of easy installation and audio performance on the market today. Offering full-range dynamic audio, the simplified installation of the Polk helps the speaker box nearly disappear into the wall and effortlessly match your decor. Powered by a 6.5-inch bass driver and 6.5-inch woofer, the bass won’t knock you out of your chair or off your sofa, but you’ll still enjoy the terrific audio quality and, if you pair it with a larger subwoofer, it’ll become something truly magical. The installation is just as good and many online reviews point to the 265-LS as being one of the easiest to install. Just cut the hole in the wall for the speaker via the included template, slide the speaker in and tighten the screws. There’s no mount required and no extra work.
If you value design over all else when it comes to in-wall speakers, look no further than the Polk Audio 255C-RT. The design nearly vanishes when you install them into the wall and, with paintable grilles, you can easily match the speaker to the room. The internal components are all away from the edges of the speaker, so they can fit in between wall studs easier than ever. Capable of being used with both a 5.1 or 7.1 stereo system, the dual 5.25-inch woofer-mid drivers match with the one-inch tweeter creating a more powerful bass response than expected. While not as loud as a dedicated subwoofer, the 255C-RT easily pairs great design with great sound while protruding just 7mm from the wall. The bass ports and angled woofer all help lower frequencies, while the highs and mids create a dynamic sound that makes for fantastic detail whether it’s music or movies.
Featuring a sealed back cover that protects against dust and moisture, the Yamaha NSIC800WH is made provide long lasting sound. The two-channel speaker offers an eight-inch polypropylene mica cone woofer and a one-inch fluid-coiled soft dome tweeter that swivels in the appropriate direction, so the sound is best directed toward the listener. The audio may be great, but it’s the Yamaha design that’s really noteworthy as the grain-finished acoustic baffle aids sound in naturally dispersing throughout a room. Once placed into a wall after a very easy installation process, the fringe grille is nearly invisible to the eye and appears almost flush against the wall. Capable of 140 watts of power, the design does hide the raw power of the Yamaha speaker with excellent mid to low range frequency response and highs that are equally powerful. Whether it’s movie or television dialogue, the sound is crystal clear and musical audio is spectacular.
Moisture resistance - If you plan on installing in-wall speakers throughout your house, choose moisture-resistant speakers for the bathroom and kitchen. If you live in a humid area, and you want to install in-wall speakers in any rooms that aren’t air-conditioned, choose moisture-resistant speakers for those rooms as well.
Enclosed speakers - Most in-wall speakers lack enclosures since they’re meant to be installed inside walls. In-wall speakers that do have enclosures offer a superior bass response, but make sure that there’s actually space inside the wall to install them without poking through into the next room.
Surround sound tweeters - When buying in-wall speakers for a home theater, look for side and rear speakers that include multiple tweeters that fire in different directions. This enhances the surround sound effect, and it’s especially great for larger rooms that have multiple rows of seating.