10 Best In-Wall Home Theater Speakers

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What Are In-Wall Speakers?

In-wall speakers are exactly what their name tells you they are – speakers that go inside the wall. Basically, the entire speaker is installed within the wall in a way that its front surface is leveled with the wall’s surface.

Why You Might Want In-Wall Speakers

There are many potential advantages of in-wall speakers, which we will cover in detail later on, however, two main reasons why you might want in-wall speakers are neat and space-saving looks. Since the in-wall speaker’s body is inside the wall, it completely blends with the wall, which can look really good.

Moreover, you don’t have speakers taking up space in your leaving room. You don’t need any stands for the speakers, as the wall will hold them in place.

NOTE: If you are not sure whether or not in-wall speakers are something you might be interested in, make sure to read the “Advantages & Disadvantages of In-Wall Speakers” section below. It will help you make an informed decision.

Are In-Wall Speakers Good For Surround Sound Systems?

Let’s get something straight and clear right away – quality speakers are quality speakers, whether they are self-standing, wall-mounted, in-ceiling, or in-wall speakers. Of course, each of these has its own advantages and disadvantages but in general, an average person wouldn’t hear much of a difference. So as long as the speakers are of good quality their type does not matter all that much.

That said, in-wall speakers in combination with in-ceiling speakers are one of the most popular speakers arrangement for good surround sound system.

Now, whether you can attain the best surround sound system with in-wall speakers or with regular ones is a topic that is open for discussion. Even the greatest sound experts are not unanimous on that decision. Many factors determine the quality of the sound, including your room size, shape, surrounding materials and so one.

The bottom line is that if you want a quality surround sound system and your speakers to be nicely installed in the wall, the in-wall speakers are what you need.

10 Best In-Wall Home Theater Speakers

In this section, we will take a closer look at 10 best in-wall Home Theater speakers. That way you will be able to simply pick one of the presented models and make a purchase fast and pain-free.

NOTE: If you want to explore the in-wall speakers related options even deeper, we have a detailed in-wall speaker buyer’s guide coming later on.

Monoprice Caliber In-Wall Home Theater Speakers

Sound & Technical Features:

DuPont Kevlar fiber cone drivers deliver solid bass reproduction. A natural sound with significantly less distortion than conventional drivers is a trademark of these in-wall speakers.

Speaker offers a maximum output power of 200 Watts. Its woofer diameter is 8 inches and weighs 17.61 pounds.

Monoprice Caliber

Design:

The Monoprice Caliber offers an extremely high level of concealability; there is no logo on the grills and you can even pain the grills over to match your carpet, drapes, or any other furniture.

Installation:

Monopirce caliber speakers require a pretty standard installation process as is usual for the in-wall speakers. It can be performed by every individual with decent technical skills and the right tools.

Why should buy:

  • These speakers are a great budget option since they fall in the ‘under $60’ category.
  • They are highly conceivable and can match perfectly with your design.
  • Affordable in-wall home theater speaker
PROS

  • Clean bass reproduction
  • Well defined vocals
  • No logo on the removable (and paintable) grills – fully conceivable
CONS

  • Great choice for home theater use, not very impressive for music listening

JBL SP6II In-Wall Speakers

Sound & Technical Features:

JBL SP6II speakers check all of the must-have features. They are a high-quality, budget-friendly option. They pack both an adjustable titanium laminate tweeter and titanium laminate cone woofer, which is outfitted with rubber surrounds to lessen distortion. Described components create a sound that even audiophiles will be more than pleased with.

JBL SP6II recommended maximum power is 80 Watts, they have a sensitivity of 2.83V/1m), and weight only 4.5lbs per speaker.

JBL SP6II

Design:

They are very sturdy and completely concealable as they come with a grill that can be painted to match your design.

Installation:

JBL SP6II speakers require a pretty standard installation process as is usually for the in-wall speakers. However, they make the process very simplified with extremely detailed instructions that come with the speakers.

Why should buy:

  • One of the best budget-friendly in-wall speakers
  • They offer high-frequency sound
PROS

  • High-frequency sound
  • Rubber surrounds reduce distortion
  • Includes dog-ear brackets for retrofitting
  • Paintable grills
  • Optional rough-in frames for new construction
CONS

  • For this price, there are no noticeable cons

Micca M-8S In-Wall Home Theater Speakers

Sound & Technical Features:

The Micca M-8S speaker packs an 8″ poly woofer and a soft dome tweeter, which produce a rich and warm sound. Though, we must admit that the highs can be a bit sharp – especially if you are an individual with a picky ear. The sensitivity range is wide enough, well above the recommended figure, and the quality components will please every casual listener.

Micca M-8S

Design:

The Micca M-8S speakers look pretty great. However, if you do not like their original color, you can paint over the grill to better match your interior.

Installation:

The Micca M-8S speakers are easy to install. You’ll want to ensure that your wall is at least 4 inches deep to avoid speaker sticking out of the wall. If you’re handy, consider crafting your own enclosure for the speakers before installing. This move will greatly improve the bass output and take the experience to the next level.

Why should buy:

  • This is the best budget-friendly in-wall speaker.
  • Highly durable for such an affordable price.
  • Very good sound quality
PROS

  • 12dB crossover network for good integration
  • Natural & smooth sound signature
  • High-quality bass output
  • Paintable grill
CONS

  • High-end can be a little sharp

Polk Audio 265-RT In-Wall Speakers

Sound & Technical Features:

The Polk Audio 265-RT is a great mid-range (price-wise) speaker. It is powered by Polk’s Dynamic Balance, packs Distance Toggle, and Power Port technology. The speaker comes with two 6.5″ woofers and a 1″ dome tweeter. It can be used for left, and right channels but the Polk Audio 265-RT shines the brightest when positioned for rear surrounds.

Polk Audio 265-RT

Design:

As the in-wall speakers, they are built to be concealed. Moreover, the outer grill can also be painted to match your interior perfectly.

Installation:

The Polk Audio 265-RTspeakers require a pretty standard installation process for the in-wall speakers. It can be performed by every individual with decent technical skills and the right tools.

Why should buy:

  • Polk is one of the highly reputable brands
  • These are a fantastic speaker in all points of view
  • One of the best options for rear surrounds
PROS

  • Clear sound
  • Deeper bass
  • Features Polk’s patented Power Port Technology
  • Designed to offset reflective surfaces with no sound distortions
  • 3-way speaker
CONS

  • Frequency range could be higher

Polk Audio RC85i In-Wall Speakers

Sound & Technical Features:

The Polk Audio RC85i is the best in-wall mid-price range speaker. The speaker is outfitted with an 8-inch dynamic-balance polymer composite cone, which is filled with minerals and then connected to rubber surrounds. The mid and high sounds are delivered to your ears as crisply and accurately as you can imagine. The rubber surrounds also last much longer than foam surrounds so that’s another advantage.

Polk Audio RC85i

The RC85i also packs a swivel-mounted tweeter that enables you to further influence where the sound is heading.

A single speaker weighs pounds and produces 100 Watts.

Design:

The Polk Audio RC85i speakers are resistant to moisture, which makes them also suitable for bathrooms and kitchens. It is a rectangular in-wall speaker, which means it is hidden within the wall and all that is visible is its white cover, which of course may be removed if you prefer the naked speaker looks.

Installation:

As with all in-wall speakers, some technical skills are required. You also need proper tools. To be honest, the Polk Audio RC85i installation process is slightly more complicated.

Why should buy:

  • The best mid-price range speaker.
  • Moisture resistant – great for saunas.
  • Impressive bass.
  • Great sound quality.
  • Great for surround sound systems.
PROS

  • Timbre-matched recessed speaker
  • Full bass reproduction
  • Low profile design
  • High-quality sound
  • Evenly dispersed sound
CONS

  • Bass can be slightly overpowering
  • Installation trickier than usually

Klipsch R-5650-W II In-Wall Speakers

Sound & Technical Features:

The Klipsch R-5650-W II is a high-end speaker. This speaker has a 1″ titanium dome tweeter. It stands out thanks to the fact that it is coupled to a 4-inch Tractrix horn, which delivers superior sound quality making it one of the best in-wall speakers.

Klipsch R-5650-W II

The Klipsch R-5650-W weighs 7 pounds and outputs 100 Watts of power.

Design:

The Klipsch R-5650-W has their trademark gold cones, which show through even if the grill is painted. As such they are not as concealable as some other in-wall speakers. If you don’t mind your speakers to be a bit of a show-off, then you will like them a lot.

Installation:

The Klipsch R-5650-W speakers require a pretty standard installation process for the in-wall speakers. It can be performed by every individual with decent technical skills and the right tools.

Why should buy:

  • One of the best in-wall speakers.
  • Great sound quality.
  • Coupled to a 4″ Tractrix horn for delivering superior sound quality.
PROS

  • Rich and detailed sound
  • Horn-loaded technology
  • Treble and mid-bass attenuation switches
  • IR receiver knock out
CONS

  • Not the most discrete – gold cones show through the grill even after painting (may be an issue for certain interior style)

Bose Virtually Invisible 891

Sound & Technical Features:

The Bose Virtually Invisible 891 is another great high-end speaker. A 7-inch woofer and two angled tweeters above it, project crystal clear, high-frequency sound across any room.

Bose Virtually Invisible 891

It is suggested to pair these speakers with an amplifier if you want to push them to their limits, though it doesn’t need to be anything big or extravagant as they are already powerful on their own. A single Bose Virtually Invisible 891 is designed to provide you with the sound of a stereo.

A single speaker weighs 13.5 pounds and delivers 100 Watts output power.

Design:

These speakers are one of the most invisible in-wall speakers on the market. As such they can blend in completely with any room.

Installation:

The Bose Virtually Invisible 891speakers require a pretty standard installation process for the in-wall speakers. It can be performed by every individual with decent technical skills and the right tools.

Minimal bezels, a paintable grill, and a properly installed speaker contribute to making the perfect incognito home audio setup.

Why should buy:

  • If you want your speakers to be as invisible as possible
  • Amazing sound quality
PROS

  • Superior sound quality
  • Properly installed, this speaker will do its name justice by becoming nearly invisible
  • Paintable grill
  • Minimal bezels
CONS

  • No templates included for installation

Klipsch R-5502-W II

Sound & Technical Features:

The R-5502-W II by Klipsch is one of the best in-wall Home Theater speakers available in the market. A 1-inch titanium diaphragm compression driver coupled with a Tractrix horn enables for these speakers to provide your ears with crisp and clear tones across all high and low frequencies. It comes with Dual Cerametallic woofers and horn-loaded technology to increase the acoustic output and at the same time reduce distortion to an all-time low.

Klipsch R-5502-W II

The Klipsch R-5502-W II works perfectly for right, left, and center channel use and can be mounted both vertically and horizontally to best suit your needs.

Design:

The Klipsch R-5502-W II in-wall speaker is not as discrete as you may like. It packs two gold cones which are seen even through the covers. However, if you like for your speakers to be seen, then this makes them a perfect choice for you.

Installation:

The Klipsch R-5502-W II speakers require a pretty standard installation process for the in-wall speakers. It can be performed by every individual with decent technical skills and the right tools.

Why should buy:

  • One of the best in-wall Home Theater speakers
  • Great sound – amazing detailed speech
  • Increased acoustic power
  • Reduced distortion
  • Can be used horizontally or vertically
PROS

  • Dual Cerametallic woofers
  • Can be easily mounted both vertically and horizontally
  • Horn-loaded technology
CONS

  • Not very discreet

Yamaha NS-IW760

Sound & Technical Features:

The Yamaha NS-IW760 offers 130 watts of output power, which is quite impressive. It is one of the best in-wall speakers for central channel use. It packs two 6.5-inch poly woofers made of polypropylene and rubber that work to reduce distortion. In addition, it has one soft dome tweeter that rests between the two woofers. The sound quality is well-balanced, rich, and detailed.

Yamaha NS-IW760

Design:

The Yamaha NS-IW760 has a quite unique look, so may decide to skip covering it with the grill. However, the grill is paintable if you want to go down the conceivable route.

Installation:

The Yamaha NS-IW760 is one of the shallowest in-wall speakers, which makes it easily fit even thinner walls. That fact also helps with the installation process.

Why should buy:

  • To use as a center channel speaker
  • For its output power
  • Attractive look
PROS

  • Strong wattage
  • Clear sound
  • Attractive look
CONS

  • Large in size

Polk Audio 255C-RT

Sound & Technical Features:

The Polk Audio 255C-RT is the best central channel speaker you can get. The bass ports have a dual-band design, which directs low frequencies to the woofer with no distortion. The frequency response is simply outstanding and it has a higher sensitivity than most other speakers. All that makes it a great option for users looking to get the most out of a center channel speaker.

Polk Audio 255C-RT

Design:

The Polk Audio 255C-RT also looks great. Though, it can be almost hidden into your walls after painting the grill, if you want to keep it concealed. This speaker is built to last you for years.

Installation:

The Polk Audio 255C-RT is very easy to install. However, you do need to purchase some attachments separately.

Why should buy:

  • The best option for central channel use
  • Extremely durable
  • Great design and high-quality sound
  • Easy installation
PROS

  • Part of the Vanishing Series
  • High-quality sound output
  • Bass ports are effective in small spaces
CONS

  • Attachments needed for install have to be purchased separately

Advantages & Disadvantages of In-Wall Speakers

If you are still undecided about whether in-wall speakers are something you should consider for your home, then this section will help you enormously.

Advantages of In-Wall Speakers:

  • Extremely concealable– in-wall speakers are the best option for those who want to blend their speakers with the wall.
  • Match your design – Many models come with a grill that can be painted over to match the color of your drapes, carpet, or other furniture.
  • Clean looks – the in-wall speakers offer a very clean solution. This is great for people that do not like speakers to be taking up space on their shelves or on the floor. Especially the female population tends to not like large speakers taking up the living space. That is why they are often referred to as “Wife approved” speakers.
  • Audio Quality & More Gain– audio quality can be even better as the wall serves as a special sound effect speaker cabinet. This enhances bass and treble if installed properly.
  • Eliminate wall sound reflection – freestanding speakers interact with walls noticeably, which can cause a certain amount of sound distortion. Installing the speaker into the wall eliminates the reflection from the wall, and helps to avoid unwanted peaks and dips in response.
  • Great Surround Speakers – if installed properly, an in-wall home theater speaker kit will be the best surround sound system you’ve ever had. Of course, to get the best results, the installation must be done properly.
  • More space for other objects – in-wall speakers do not take up space on shelves nor on the floor. As such you can go with a cleaner look or use that space for other objects.

Disadvantage of In-Wall Speakers:

  • Difficult to upgrade – when you decide to upgrade your speakers you will be either limited by the size of the existing wall hole or you will need to cut a new hole, which is not a problem if you go to a larger speaker. However, it can cause a lot of problems if you decide to go to smaller speakers.
  • Difficult to relocate – if you have speakers on the shelves or on the floor, you can simply move them around, but with in-wall speakers, you don’t have that flexibility.
  • Further away from the listener – since they are leveled with the wall’s surface, they are automatically further away from the listener.
  • No toeing-in – you can make certain sound adjustments by slightly changing the angle or position of the speaker. However, this is not possible with the in-wall speakers.
  • Invasive and trickier installation – a self-standing speaker is much simpler to install. With the in-wall speakers, you will need to make a hole in the wall and install the cables within the wall. The installation requires some preplanning to make sure they will offer the best sound experience according to your seating arrangement.
  • Not suitable for the hard walls
  • Add-on may be required for best results – swiveling tweeters are one of such examples. Bass and treble tone controls are another common add-on.

Is It Easy to Install In-Wall Speakers?

If you compare the installation process of the in-wall speakers with the freestanding speakers, then the installation is much trickier. Aside from cutting a perfect hole, you need to account for all the sound quality in advance since you cannot (unless you have adjustable in-wall speakers) make any speaker position adjustments once installed.

All-in-all the installation can be performed by an average person with proper tools and installation instructions. However, if you want to avoid the hustle, it may be better to call the professionals.

Things to Consider When Buying In-Wall Speakers

This is the section that was promised to all of you who want to do some deeper research on your own. This is your ultimate in-wall speaker buyer’s guide.

What do you need In-Wall Speakers for?

What is your main way of using the speakers? Do you want to listen to music? Do you want to watch movies? Do you want a surround system? Everything that is possible with freestanding speakers may also be achieved with in-wall speakers. However, since they are a fixed solution, you need to think things over in more detail in advance.

Room requirements/Space Availability

With any speakers, you need to consider your room size. The overall number of speakers, the size of each speaker, and the power of the speakers must always match the room size. A single speaker can be enough for a bathroom, while you may want 5 or even 7 speakers for your large living room surround system.

Connectivity & Compatibility

Make sure to account for your existing sound and TV equipment. You want to make sure that things are fully compatible. Also, double-check that you will have the connectivity options that you want and need. Do not focus only on your existing equipment but also consider the future. In-wall speakers are not that simple to upgrade, thus it makes sense to go with the future-proof ones.

Size

The size matters, however, it is not as important as you may think. These days, there are smaller speakers that produce fabulous sound. However, if you are looking for a perfect central channel speaker, you will need to consider slightly larger speakers.

Moreover, make sure to account for the depth of an in-wall speaker and your wall’s thickness. The speaker must be able to fit into your wall.

Durability

The last thing you want is for your in-wall speakers to fail soon. You need to pick the ones that are built to last. Sticking to reputable brands can be a deal saver here. Reputable brands build speakers that should last for a very long time.

Power handling

Some speakers have adjustment buttons directly on their front. Since an in-wall speaker cannot be moved around to make any adjustments, it can be handy to have those commands. If possible, go with the speakers that have some power handling options.

Easy Installation

If you are looking for the most simple installation speakers, then in-wall speakers may not be the right choice for you. However, keep in mind that not all in-wall speakers are equally difficult to install. Shallower in-wall speaker models are often easier to install.

Safety

You must make sure that the installation is performed properly. The speaker must be positioned properly and firmly so it does not fall. Moreover, the wiring should be done flawlessly. In addition, make sure to use water/moisture resistant speakers in bathrooms, kitchens, saunas, and other environmentally challenging areas.

Color

When it comes to in-wall speakers, most come with white grills. However, the majority of in-wall speakers have grills that can easily be painted to match your needs.

Most people prefer to have the grills in the same color as the wall, however, you can be creative and go with other combinations. You can take the paintable grill to an artist and have it create something unique and special.

Your budget

In-wall speakers come in various budget ranges. We did our best to include all (entry, mid, and high) price ranges in the list of in-wall speakers presented above. When it comes to speakers, normally ‘the more you pay, the more you get’ applies. However, there are some great budget in-wall speakers available, which can serve all your needs.

Check out the product’s review

In this information era, it is easier than ever before to check for reviews. If you take 10 minutes of your time, you can find many reviews of the speaker that you are interested in, which will help you determine whether it is a good choice. Star ratings are typically in a range of 1 – 5; aim for the speaker to not have a rating below 4.0.

How do you mount in-wall speakers in your living room?

The installation requires proper preparation and installation instructions, which will help you determine the distance between the speakers. There are no general instructions since it all depends on the size, power, and type of the speaker, the overall number of the in-wall speakers (and other speakers in the same room), room shape and size, and more.

Once you determine where exactly will you install the speakers, make sure to use a proper tool to make the holes, then set the wiring in place, and finally insert the speakers and secure them to the wall. The proper mounts may be provided with the speaker or you will need to purchase them separately.

If you are not confident and experienced enough to pull the installation off on your own, consider hiring professionals.

In-Wall Home Theater Speakers vs Ceiling Speakers

Both in-wall and ceiling speakers follow the same concept. Moreover, there are quite many speakers that may be used as in-wall and ceiling speakers. However, there are also many larger in-wall speakers that are not suitable for ceiling use.

Moreover, the best surround systems usually consist of an in-wall frontal set of speakers and rear ceiling speakers.

Since in-wall speakers can be installed in the level of ears they provide quite different sound experiences compared to a down-firing sound that ceiling speakers offer. It is best to visit a professional speaker’s center to test both and determine which one you prefer.

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FAQs

Do you need an amplifier for in-wall Home Theater speakers?

An amplifier is not a must for most in-wall Home Theater speakers. However, there are many in-wall speakers that will enable you to get the best out of them when used with an amplifier.

How can I play music in an in-wall Home Theater speaker through my computer?

This will depend on the connectivity options of your speakers. If you have the speakers connected to your TV system, consider connecting your computer to the TV via HDMI cable. That way you will be able to play the computer sound with ease.

Do I need subwoofers for wall Home Theater speakers?

You do not need a subwoofer. However, if you want an advanced bass experience and your in-wall Home Theater speakers do not pack decent bass power, you may want to consider combining them with a subwoofer.

Can in-wall speakers be used in bathrooms/kitchens/other areas where there’s condensation?

Yes, but not all models. For areas with condensation or in outdoor walls, you need to use speakers that are moist/water-resistant.

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