7 Best In-wall Speakers For Home Theater (Reviewed)

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In-wall speakers are the best to give that adorable look to any home theater and yet make it the most immersive. You can read the FAQs section to know the reason behind the immersiveness quality of these speakers.

These speakers give a wireless home theatre experience with robust sound and can save more space for other equipment to accommodate.

Almost every speaker comes with a cutout template by following that the speaker can fit very easily in the wall. The wires can be fished within the walls to other speakers in the room.

This is why many people are now choosing these speakers for the clean and professional look of their theatre room.

Our Top Tested & Reviewed Products At A Glance

Speaker

Amplifier Power Required (RMS)

Sensitivity

Channel

Editor's Ratings

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Polk Audio 255c-RT

N/A

Up to 150 Watts

90dB

Best For Center Channel

4.9

Polk Audio 265-RT

N/A

Up to 50 Watts

91dB

Best For Front Left & Right Channels

4.9

Polk Audio RC85i

N/A

Up to 50 Watts

90dB

Best For Surround Sides & Rear

4.9

I have categorized this review according to each channel of the speakers in the theatre room. The speakers are categorized into 3 categories. Each speaker competes with their rival in the same category.
Read the article below to know in detail

Infect my friend has installed these speakers just to wow friends and guests. Lol! It’s a weird reason to install these speakers but everyone has their own goals.

The best thing I like about these speakers is that I feel the sound coming actually from my surroundings and not from the giant speakers placed out there.

But every great thing comes with challenges. The sound from these speakers can easily bleed into the attached room and for that you need insulation. Read the FAQs at the end and you will get the idea.

I have bought many in-wall speakers for my business, installed them for clients, and tested them out in my friends’ houses. That’s why I am the best person to educate you about it.

Note
This guide is crafted in a way that can provide the best speaker option for each position/channel in the theater room.

Let’s start discussing each one.

All Products At A Glance – Review Of Each Product Is Below This Table

SpeakerAmplifier Power Required (RMS)SensitivityFrequency ResponseDriver TypeSuitable For Which Surround Channel Position In Your Home Theater?Editor’s Ratings
Polk Audio 255c-RTUp To 150 Watts90dB50Hz to 25kHz2-way speakerCenter Channel4.9
Micca M-CSUp To 120 Watts90dB60Hz to 20kHz2-way speakerCenter Channel4.6
Polk Audio 265-RTUp to 50 Watts91dB45Hz to 25kHz3-way speakerFront Left & Right Channels4.9
Klipsch R-5650-S IIUp to 50 Watts92dB60Hz to 23kHz2-way speakerFront Left & Right Channels4.8
Polk Audio RC85iUp to 50 Watts90dB50Hz to 20kHz2-way speakerSurround Sides Channels4.9
Kpipsch R-3650-W IIUp to 50 Watts92dB92dB60Hz to 23kHz2-way speakerSurround Sides Channels4.7
Micca M-6SUp to 50 Watts90dB40Hz to 20kHz2-way speakerSurround Rear Channels4.9
The speakers are categorized into 3 categories. Each speaker competes with their rival in the same category. A category like a center channel.

In-Wall Center Channel Speakers Reviews & Ranking

1. Polk Audio 255c-RT – Best in wall center channel speaker

Specifications

Driver Type: 2-Way | Paintable Grill: Yes

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4.9Expert Score

Specifications
10
Build Quality
9.8
Installation Process
10
Sound Quality
10
Pros
  • The dialogue and lyrics are clear, punchy, and deep
  • The build quality is one of the best
  • The grill can cover the whole speaker
  • All levels of the sound were present in the sound
Cons
  • The grill sometimes doesn’t attach to it firmly

Is It For You?

For those who want the best in-wall center speaker for their home theater room. It gave a nice professional look to my client’s room.

Build Quality

The build quality is firm and designed for convenience. The grill can cover the whole speaker and is also paintable.

The grill is magnetically secured and doesn’t interfere with the quality of the sound.

Installation Process

The installation process was swift because of the convenience provided by Polk. It took me 47 mins.

  1. The cutout template was precise.
  2. The dog legs were strong, it held it firmly. I nearly broke the wall due to overpowering the screwdriver, so be patient when installing it.

Sound Quality

The sound was immersive and everything felt real. The dialogues were deep and the lyrics stood out and were easy to understand.

The vanishing of the speaker created an immersive sound.

Unique Features

  1. The grill can cover the whole speaker.
  2. The dialogue and lyrics were punchy and tight.
  3. All levels of the sound were well-defined
Detail Review Of Polk Audio 255c-RT

This is a 2-way speaker and the best in-wall center channel speaker.

It consists of two 5.25-inch woofers and a 1-inch Tweeter. The grill is fully paintable. It is magnetically secured so the audience can get the pure and unfiltered sound of the speaker.

Another thing I like about the grill is that it can cover the whole speaker. That’s why you don’t need to paint the edges of the speaker.

I installed this in my client’s theatre room. I chose this one because my client doesn’t care about the budget, he cares a lot about the sound experience.

The installation was easy and I was able to install it within 48 minutes after unboxing it.

The cutout template was convenient and precise in size. I did not paint the grill because my client wanted It that Way.

After installation, I tested it out with movies and music. The highs of sound were crisp and well-defined, the mids were punchy, and the lows were deep.

The dialogues were crisp and I easily understood them. My client also praised the dialogue quality. He told me that, “I understand the dialogue better than before”.

The lyrics of the songs were also clear and stand out from the rest of the music. The tones of the music were defined and deep.

For a cleaner look, you can choose in-ceiling speakers for Dolby Atmos to go with it. Read my review about it.

Review Video


2. Micca M-CS – Best Budget In-wall Center Channel Speaker

Specifications

Driver Type: 2-Way | Paintable Grill: Yes

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4.8Expert Score

Specifications
10
Build Quality
9.6
Installation Process
9.8
Sound Quality
10
Pros
  • The price is good
  • The dialogues are clear and deep
  • The lyrics’ clarity is good but the best on a budget
Cons
  • Painting is a hustle
  • The grill installation can’t be firm and perfect all the time

Is It For You?

For those who want to have the best center channel speaker on a budget. This speaker is the best for under $70. Isn’t it very budget-friendly?

Build Quality

The build quality is sturdy and good. The grill is not designed to cover the whole speaker and it creates a hustle later in painting the speaker.

The installation tabs are not of the best quality. 

The grill can fit in perfectly and firmly.

Installation Process

The installation by itself was easy due to the cutout templates. 

The painting is a little difficult. You have to paint the grill and then the edges of the speaker too.

Sound Quality

I enjoyed the movie experience and I liked it a lot but it was lacking in the music quality. 

I didn’t enjoy the music but my client was ok with it.

Unique Features

  • The lower price
  • The beautiful-looking woofers
Detail Review Of Micca M-CS

It is the second-best in-wall Centre channel on this list but the best budget one. There is no better speaker than this under $70.

It has two 5.25-inch woofers and a 1-inch tweeter.

Mica has made it very easy for those who want the complete home theatre experience on a budget. With their speaker set, anyone can set up whole-home theatre audio for $250.

This speaker is well balanced in all levels of the sound. The highs are tight, the mid is punchy, and a deep low end is present. The low end is not robust and thumping and can’t replace a subwoofer.  The low end is fit and enough for a good center channel experience.

My client wanted the best budget Centre channel speaker. I chose this one to install in his theatre room.

The installation process was easy and Swift but the painting was a little bit of a hustle.

I tested it out with movies and music. The movie experience was amazing and everything felt real.

The dialogues were clear, tight, and deep. The movie experience was immersive and I and my client enjoyed it a lot. The experience was the best under the $100 budget but can’t beat the hi-fi speakers’ quality.

The music experience was good but not the best for me but my client had no issue with it. That’s why I will recommend this speaker for music for those who are not audiophiles.

The lyrics’ clarity was good and the best in this price range.

Review Video


In-Wall Front Channels Speakers Reviews & Ranking

3. Polk Audio 265-RT – Best For Front Left & Right Channel. It’s A High-end speaker

Specifications

Driver Type: 3-Way | Paintable Grill: Yes

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4.9Expert Score

Specifications
10
Build Quality
10
Installation Process
10
Sound Quality
10
Pros
  • Very well synchronizations among the left and right speakers
  • Each level of the sound was present
  • Nice build quality with a port to remove distortion from the sound
  • Deep dialogues and sound effects
  • The grill is paintable and can cover the whole speaker
Cons
  • The bass is only good for front speakers but can’t replace a subwoofer
  • The grill is not of the best quality

Is It For You?

For those who want the best speakers for the front left and right. It Can Be Used For all other Channels Other Than the Center.

Build Quality

The speaker is of good build quality and the woofers and a tweeter itself give it a nice sound signature.

The wire terminals are gold plated and we need them nowadays.

Installation Process

The installation process was very easy. I was able to install them within 40 minutes after unboxing them.

The cutout template was precise and the dog feet were strong. The speakers fit in properly and there were no vibration effects due to the high volume.

Sound Quality

The sound was fantastic. The sound effects and the dialogues were deep and the movie’s experience was impressive due to their contribution to the sound. The lyrics were deep and the tones were rich.

I and my client both were impressed by their sound quality.

You must calibrate sound with an SPL meter if you have one row in your theater room. The sound will hit you right. Read my review about it.

Unique Features

The 3-way composition for the front channels. Love it.

Detail Review Of Polk Audio 265-RT

The front left and right channel speakers are the second most important after the center channel. 

Because when the character is on the left or right of the screen then these speakers will be used for the dialogues. Also, many sound effects of the moving objects from left to right will come out of these speakers. Like center speakers, these speakers too should have all the levels of sound.

That’s why you should always try to pick powerful speakers from a reputable brand for the front.

This is a 3-way speaker with two 6.5-inch woofers and a 1-inch tweeter with a port. 

The port alone is very beneficial for the sound signature of this speaker. Because the speaker was able to throw sound at a very high volume without any distortion.

I installed the speakers in my client’s theatre room for the front left and right. I and my client were both blown away by the sound quality of it.  Both the speakers were synchronized very well with each other.

The movie experience was amazing Because the sound of moving objects behind the characters on the screen really transitioned from left to right in the theater room.

I Loved The Way It contributed to the overall 3D audio bubble of the movies and music.

These speakers can be used in the front, in the side, and in the rear left and right positions.

But I will recommend this only for the front because on the side and in the rear, speakers don’t have that much work to do. For that little work, you need a low profile of speakers and those will save you a lot of energy and money in the long run.

To have the best audio you must pair these speakers with the best receiver. Click to read my review about it.

Review Video


4. Klipsch R-5650-S II – 2nd Best For Front Speakers

Specifications

Driver Type: 2-Way | Paintable Grill: Yes

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4.7Expert Score

Specifications
9.7
Build Quality
9.9
Installation Process
9.7
Sound Quality
9.5
Pros
  • Dual tweeters
  • Fantastic room-filling Highs
  • Punchy and tight Mids
  • Innovative design
Cons
  • Expensive than the quality it provides for front channels

Is It For You?

Those who want to buy a little cheaper than the Polk Audio 265-RT for front channels.

Build Quality

The build quality is innovative and those dual tweeters are truly delivering room-filling sound.

Installation Process

My friend told me that the installation was easy and the cutout template was on the point and it made everything convenient.

Sound Quality

The sound quality can be enjoyed by non-audiophiles in the front left and right. Audiophiles can’t enjoy it well in the front because it is lacking in the lows.

You must have the best subwoofer for the theater system, to have the most out of it. Read my review about it.

Unique Features

The angled dual tweeters.

Detail Review Of Klipsch R-5650-S II

This speaker is the second-best for the front left and right. This speaker is equipped with 1-inch dual tweeters and one 6.5-inch woofer.

The tweeters are angled opposite to each other and that’s why it is throwing more room-filling sound.

The woofer has a cerametallic cone and it looks amazing without the grill. The grill can be attached to the speaker magnetically. It can be painted to match the surroundings.

My friend has this in his theatre room and I tested it out with movies and music.

The vocals were Deep and clear both in the movies and music. The tones were just hitting right.

The Mids were punchy and deep and the highs were tight and clear but it was lacking in the lows. The lows were there but the effect was not impressive enough to make them the best front left and right speakers. That’s why they are the second.

My friend is using them in the rear position too. But again I will not recommend these speakers for the rear position. Because they are high profile as compared to the rear channel.


In-wall Surround Sound Sides Speakers Reviews & Ranking

5. Polk Audio RC85i – Best For Surround Sides Channels

Specifications

Driver Type: 2-Way | Paintable Grill: Yes

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4.9Expert Score

Specifications
10
Build Quality
10
Installation Process
8.9
Sound Quality
10
Pros
  • 8-inch woofer
  • Noticeable lows
  • The Mids and highs are well-defined
Cons
  • You have to paint twice
  • The Installation tabs are weak and can break easily when tightened with an electric screwdriver

Is It For You?

For those who want the best sound effects for their theater rooms on the surrounding sides.

Build Quality

The build quality is good but the material looks cheap. The 8-inch woofer is capable of delivering good Mids and lows and the tweeter is firing good highs.

Installation Process

The installation process is a hustle. You have to do the painting job twice. You have to paint the grille and bezels of the speakers.

My friend told me that I broke one installation tab of the speaker and that the speaker is now installed loosely on the wall. He said the tabs can be easily broken by applying a little heavy force.

Sound Quality

The sound effects were amazing and it made the scary scenes scarier and the thrilling ones more thrilling.

Unique Features

The 8-inch woofer for surrounding sides. You can’t go wrong with that.

Detail Review Of Polk Audio RC85i

This is a 2-way speaker and comes in pairs. They are the best for surrounding sides because they are throwing the best sound effects I have ever experienced.

It consists of a 1-inch tweeter and an 8-inch woofer. 

The grill is paintable but can’t cover the whole speaker. 

That’s why the installation is a little harder than the rest of the speakers on this list. Because you have to paint the bezels of the speaker as well after painting the grill.

A plastic cover is provided to cover the speaker when painting the bezels but still it is extra work to be done.

My friend has installed these speakers in all of the positions of the 7.1 surround sound system except the center channel position.

I like their performance in each position but I love them in the surrounding left and right sides. 

Because it was delivering clean and immersive sound effects from the left and right. I was literally feeling like there was someone on the left and right of my couch.

I watched war movies and they were more thrilling than before. I just played a few scenes of The Conjuring movie and it was scarier than before. Because the sound effects were immersive.

I like them for each position but I will recommend them only for the surrounding sides.

Review Video


6. Klipsch R-3650-W II – 2nd Best For Surround Sides

Specifications

Driver Type: 2-Way | Paintable Grill: Yes

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Check Price & Reviews On Amazon

4.7Expert Score

Specifications
9.9
Build Quality
10
Installation Process
9.9
Sound Quality
9.5
Pros
  • The Mids and Highs are the best and most refined
  • Nice sounding effects
  • The grill can cover the whole speaker
  • 2nd best for the surrounding sides
Cons
  • The copper color woofer cone can be seen even after the grills are on
  • The lows are not deep enough

Is It For You?

For those who are fans of Klipsch and want their speaker in the surrounding sides.

Build Quality

The build quality is impressive. The tweeter angles can be tweaked and the woofer cone looks amazing. 

The grill is thin and can blend into the wall environment flawlessly. They can attach to the speaker firmly.

Installation Process

The installation process was easy. The provided tools such as the cutout template were precise. 

I will recommend using a manual screwdriver for any in-wall speaker. You should be in control of the force that you apply to the installation tabs. 

They can break by themselves or break the wall.

Sound Quality

A normal person can enjoy these speakers but audiophiles can catch failings in the lows.

You must read my 13 tips to improve the video and sound experience of home theater. You will have more fun than before.

Unique Features

There is nothing significantly more than the Polk Audio RC85i. That’s why I can’t tell any features that can stand out.

Detail Review Of Klipsch R-3650-W II

This is a 2-way speaker and the second-best for surrounding sides. It has a 1-inch Twitter and a 6.5-inch woofer.

The grill is paintable and can attach magnetically.  The best part of the grill is that it covers the whole speaker front. The grill is paintable and can blend into any wall flawlessly.

The grill attaches to the speaker very strongly and I have never experienced any wobbling of the grill on high volume.

But if you don’t want a clean look but a fancy one for a theatre room. Then these speakers can look fancy without the grills.

I installed these speakers in my client’s theatre room because I was unaware of the PolkAudio RC85i at that time. Sorry, Charles if you are reading this now.

The movie and music experience were good. I enjoyed the sound effects in the movie and the tones in the music were refined and full.

The whole experience for a normal person can be top-notch but audiophiles can pick some failings in the sound levels. 

The lower end was not impressive enough to deliver the sound effects perfectly.  But mids and highs were punchy and tight. 

We don’t expect a huge bass out of surrounding side speakers. But a little amount of low end combined with Punchy and tight Mids and highs can deliver sound effects with a natural feel.


7. Micca M-6S – Best For Rear Left And Right

Specifications

Driver Type: 2-Way | Paintable Grill: Yes

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4.9Expert Score

Specifications
10
Build Quality
10
Installation Process
10
Sound Quality
10
Pros
  • Clean and natural Mids and Highs
  • Nice design
  • Very affordable
  • The best fit for rear channels
Cons
  • The grill is so transparent, I can see there is a speaker in the wall
  • The plastic feels cheap

Is It For You?

For those who want the best speakers for their rear left and right channels.

Build Quality

The design looks amazing but cheap plastic is used. The tweeter and woofer are very well integrated throughout the sound flow.

Installation Process

The installation process was easy because the cutout templates were precise. 

The installation tabs are strong and hold the speakers firmly to the wall.

Sound Quality

The mids and highs were clean and natural. There were no significant lows but we don’t need lows at the rear. 

The mids and highs were able to throw an immersive sound.

I loved it in the rear position because they are very affordable and have natural Mids and Highs.

Unique Features

The clean and natural Mids and Highs are at such an affordable price.

Detail Review Of Micca M-6S

This is a 2-way speaker with a 1-inch tweeter and a 6.5-inch woofer. 

I recommended these speakers for the rear channel because they are very cheap and the best in the mids and highs in this price range. 

You can get a pair for under $100. You don’t need robust, high-priced, and power-hungry speakers at the rear. 

You just need low-profile and low-price speakers that are good in the mids and highs levels of sound.  

Because all the heavy lifting is carried out by the front and Centre channel speakers. Apart from sound effects, rear channels don’t have that much job to do. The low end is always carried out by the subwoofer.

At the rear, with good mids and highs, speakers are needed but this speaker has the best. 

I installed this in my client’s theatre room and we tested it out with movies.

In the huge battlefield scenes, I felt like there were soldiers behind me. The experience was immersive and lifelike. 

I watched live football games and felt like I was in the middle of the game chasing the ball.

The in-wall speakers are good for hiding wires. Read more of my 15 tips to hide wires in a theater room. You will love the cleaner look.

(FAQs) Your Questions Are Answered Here

You can ask similar questions in the comment box below. They will be answered within 1-2 days.

Do in-wall speakers sound worse or better ?

The in-wall speakers have a lot of space at the back and that’s why they can have more bass and less distortion in general. That’s why the sound will be good, not worse.

But if there is insulation or any other material in the wall, it can drastically affect the bass and sound.

You can create a wooden (Baltic Birch Plywood) DIY box to fit at the back of the speaker to resolve this issue. It will make the whole sound signature better.

How can I improve the sound of my in-wall speakers?

You should choose a speaker with a pivoting tweeter. You can then point this tweeter at the seating area for the optimal experience.

You can try the DIY back boxes for the speakers as well. Just create a wooden box by taking the measurements according to the cutout template provided with speakers in the box.

You should build it sleek so you can tuck the insulation material around the backbox of the speaker. This will prevent the bleeding of the sound to the adjacent room and the box will make the overall sound natural and flawless.

Should I put insulation behind in-wall speakers?

If your theater room shares the same wall with another room then you should put insulation behind the speakers to prevent the bleeding of the sound to another room.

But insulation material can affect the sound. To keep the sound pure and clean you should consider building a back box for each speaker. Follow my method in the above answer for that.

Are in-wall speakers good for surround sound?

The in-wall speaker is one of the best options for surround sound especially If you want 5.1 surround sound.

The reason they are the best is because you feel like the sound is coming from your surroundings and not from a speaker on the floor. This feeling is very important if you want an immersive experience.

What are the cons of in-wall speakers?

The cons of the in-wall speakers are here.

  1. They need good maintenance efforts and knowledge
  2. You need to make sure the wall insulation is not touching the speaker
  3. You need to prevent the fire hazards that might occur due to bare speaker wires. You need to cover them well
  4. You need to drill holes for the speakers in the wall precisely without damaging or scratching the drywall. I mean you need to take care of its aesthetics
  5. You need to fish the wires correctly to the speakers inside the wall to keep the aesthetics of the room clean

What speakers are better in-wall or floor standing?

If you want 5.1 surround sound then the in-wall speakers are the best and I will say to consider only them for the 5.1 because in this layout they give you feelings of like the sound is coming from your surroundings and not from the speakers,

But if you want 7.1 or higher surround sound then the floor-standing speakers are the best because you need the wide surround sound channels to surround you better. They need to be placed in a way that they create a curved edge around you and you can’t create a curved edge with in-wall speakers.

But if your room is oval-shaped then I will recommend in-wall speakers for the 7.1 too but if you have a square or rectangle room then go for floor-standing speakers for 7.1.

Which home theater speakers are better in-wall or in-ceiling?

For the surround sound the in-wall speakers are the best and you should use only them for the surround sound when it comes to choosing between in-wall and in-ceiling speakers.

But if you want a Dolby Atmos setup then you should use in-ceiling speakers for the Atmos effects and the in-wall speakers for the surround sound speakers on the ground.

I mean you need to use both in-ceiling and in-wall speakers for the Dolby Atmos layout. In this way, you will have the best experience.

Bottom line: In-wall speakers are the best for the surround sound layout and the in-wall and in-ceiling speakers combination is a must for a Dolby Atmos setup.

How long do in-wall speakers last?

If the electronics at the back of each speaker are taken care of quite well and the amount of needed power is delivered then it can last from 6 to 8 years or for decades if taken care of well.

Is it easy to install in-wall speakers?

It will be easy for you if you are a little used to hardware tools and have done a few DIY projects around your house. But if you are not used to hardware tools or are uncomfortable with them then it can be difficult for you.

These Tools Will Be Used:

  • Stud finder
  • Pencil or any other marker pen
  • Level
  • Sheet Rock saw

Helpful Resources For The FAQs To Read More

  1. This was my opinion, read more on LifeWire. (Resource for the first answer)
  2. This was my opinion, read more on how to install in-wall speakers from the Yamaha Blog (Resource for the last answer)
This article was first posted on Homelytainment.com.
Ayaan Khan
Ayaan Khan

Ayaan khan is a freelancer and a Computer Science degree holder from P.E.S. College. After his degree, he started an internship with his father in his home theater showroom. After working for a month he realized that this is the best job in the world for him and it could be turned into a passion. Fast forward to when his internship ended, he joined his father as a full-time home theater equipment tester. He tests new equipment and approves it before it can be installed in the customer's house. He loves to test equipment and sometimes loves to install it by himself in the customer's theater room. Ayyan has the right experience and knowledge to learn from his articles. In my Free time I write & answer questions here on AVSFORUM. Every Article on Homelytainment is curated according to Homelytainment's Editorial Policy and Sponsorship Policy.

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