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Best In-Wall Speakers

You’re looking for the best in-wall speakers and you don’t know where to start. The quality of in-wall speakers can vary massively. Often they’re over-priced, too difficult to install or have a really low output volume. That’s why we’ve compiled a list of the best in-wall speakers from the world’s biggest brands. In this article, you’ll find a step-by-step guide on how to install them, expert tips on what makes a great speaker, and a comprehensive range of the best in-wall speakers available.

Meet the Winners!

Best for Home TheaterKlipsch R-5502-W II
Best Bass ResponseJBL Arena 8IW
Best Sound QualityMonoprice Caliber Series 6816
Best Sound ClarityKlipsch R-5502-W II In-Wall Speaker
Best High-End In-Wall SpeakerKlipsch R-5502-W II In-Wall Speaker
Best Mid-Tier In-Wall SpeakerMicca M-8S 8-Inch 2-Way In-Wall Speaker
Best Value for MoneyYamaha NS-IW760 2-Way In-Wall Speaker System
Best Budget In-Wall SpeakerSilver Ticket 652W In-Wall Speaker
Best 3-Way In-Wall SpeakerPolk Audio 265-RT 3-Way In-Wall Speaker
Best In-Wall Speaker (Best Overall)Polk Audio RC85i 2-way In-Wall Speakers

Features to Look For When Purchasing In-Wall Speakers

Speakers are a great way to add additional sound to your home. They can be used to create a surround-sound experience, or they can simply provide extra volume for your music. However, it’s important that you find the right speakers that will fit your needs and your budget. Below are some of the most important features to consider when purchasing in-wall speakers.

Choosing In-Wall Speakers for Surround Sound

An in-wall surround system provides a true theater experience. For a 7.1 surround sound setup, you’ll need two front speakers, a center channel, two surround speakers, two rear speakers, and a subwoofer. Whereas for a 5.1 surround sound setup, you’ll only need two front speakers, a center channel, two surround speakers, as well as a subwoofer. Just like with ceiling speakers, there is a range of sizes and designs to choose from. However, your speaker selection will be based on your specific room layout and performance goals.

Channel Position

When setting up your channel position, you’ll place the left and right channels vertically on either side of your TV. The center channel will be installed horizontally below your TV. For the best dialogue performance, select a center channel that features a tweeter in the middle of the speaker. When selecting rear speakers, look for tweeters that fire in different directions. This gives you that immersive, wrap-around sound experience.

Voice Matching

For the best sound experience, you should use the same brand of speakers throughout your room. This is because every brand has its own tonal qualities, or “voice”. By sticking to the same brand, you’ll ensure a fluid sound that matches. 

Add Bass

A subwoofer is usually just the first step in creating a surround sound system, and it is a great way to add a little oomph to your video game. For a completely invisible installation, install a subwoofer in the wall or floor of your home theater. These discreet subs are usually powered by an external amplifier.

Our Selection of the 10 Best In-Wall Speakers

If you’re looking for the best in-wall speakers, then you’ve come to the right place! Whether you’re a home theater enthusiast or a professional audio engineer, there are many great in-wall speakers out there that will give you hours of quality entertainment. Below we have put together a list of the best in-wall speakers on the market today.

1. Polk Audio RC85i 2-way In-Wall Speakers

Speakers Reviewed Score 5.0

Specs & Features

  • Power Handling: 20W RMS/ 100W Peak
  • Drivers: 1 x 8” woofer & 1 x 1” tweeter
  • Frequency Response: 30Hz – 20KHz
  • Sensitivity: 90dB
  • Recommended Amplification: 100W @ 8 Ohms
  • Wire Gauge: 18 ga
  • Speaker Dimensions: 10.16 x 15.31 x 3.43″
  • Cutout Dimensions: 8.6 x 12.8″
  • Mounting Depth: 2.97″ 
  • Speaker Weight: 5.8 lbs 

Polk Audio is an American manufacturer of high-quality audio equipment. Their range of products includes in-wall speakers, home theater systems, headphones, and more. The RC85i is the perfect speaker for an entire house. It’s a powerful outdoor speaker with an in-wall mounting system. It makes a great addition to a family listening space as well as for entertaining.

Sound & Technical Features

The RC85i is one of Polk Audio’s flagship models. It sports an 8-inch woofer that puts out 100 Watts of continuous power and a 1-inch tweeter. The combination of those two drivers can provide you with a total output of 200 Watts. At high volumes, the RC85i’s 8-inch driver will let you feel the bass as much as the 1-inch tweeter will let you hear it.

To avoid any movement or vibration in the wall itself, the 8-inch driver is mounted in a rubber surround. The swivel mount tweeter allows you to focus the high-frequency driver towards your listening area. This ensures you experience the best listening experience and clarity, especially for home theater applications.

Speaker Installation

While the RC85i can be used as a home theater system, the best application for it is as a general-purpose sound system, one that can provide a good level of output for both indoor and outdoor environments. If you plan on installing the speaker in an outdoor location that gets a lot of rain, you will need to cover the speaker with some sort of enclosure or cover to prevent it from getting damaged. These speakers are moisture-resistant but aren’t waterproof so you want to ensure they are protected from direct rain.

The RC85i is a vertical mount speaker and forms part of the Polk Audio Architectural Range.  Polk Audio does supply a cutout template to make installation easier. Additionally, the speaker grilles are paintable, allowing you to blend the speakers into your room design. 

Amp Recommendations & Cabling

For a home theater installation, we recommend the Yamaha RX-V385 5.1-Channel Receiver with Bluetooth. For a stereo sound system, we recommend the Yamaha R-S202BL. It has 4 x RCA inputs and Bluetooth, allowing you to connect several devices. Additionally, the R-S202BL has two 100W outputs at 8 ohms which match the power handling of the RC85i In-Wall Speakers. For cabling, Polk Audio recommends using no less than 18-gauge wire when installing these speakers.

What’s in the box?

  • 2 x Polk Audio RC85i in-wall speakers
  • 2 x Speaker grilles 
  • Speaker cutout template
  • User Manual

Polk Audio RC85i 2-way In-Wall Speakers Conclusion

The Polk Audio RC85i is a great pair of speakers for a general sound system or for your front left/right in a home theater system. The RC85i is ideal for small rooms and spaces like living rooms and dens. The compact design makes for easy placement while the included carrying case is designed for portability. For its price, the RC85i is an excellent deal!

2. Klipsch R-5502-W II In-Wall Speaker

Speakers Reviewed Score 5.0

Specs & Features

  • Power Handling: 75W RMS/ 300W Peak
  • Drivers: 2 x 5.25” woofers & 1 x 1” tweeter
  • Frequency Response: 46Hz – 20KHz
  • Sensitivity: 92dB
  • Recommended Amplification: 130W @ 8 Ohms
  • Wire Gauge: 12 ga
  • Speaker Dimensions: 17.75″ x 8.0″
  • Cutout Dimensions: 16.5″  x 6.5″ 
  • Mounting Depth: 3.5″ 
  • Speaker Weight: 6.5 lbs 

Klipsch is a major player in the high-end consumer audio market. Their wide range of products, including bookshelf, floor-standing and in-wall and in-ceiling speakers, makes them a major player in the industry. The R-5502-W II is part of Klipsch’s architectural line and provides a variety of in-wall speakers in several sizes and shapes.

Sound & Technical Features

The Klipsch R-5502-W II features dual 5¼” low-frequency drivers top and bottom with a single 1” tweeter in the center. Its power handling is between 75W to 300W, which is pretty high. That being said, using the R-5502-W II for your left, right, and center speakers will be a great way to get your listening experience just right.

This system is a very powerful one, with a low-end response that will easily give you deep and powerful bass with no need for a subwoofer. However, if you want an immersive audio experience, a subwoofer is necessary. The detail and clarity from the 1″ tweeter make this speaker the perfect choice for a home theater setup.

Speaker Installation

The Klipsch R-5502-W II is a versatile speaker. These speakers are designed to provide full-range sound with a great tonal balance. The fact that these speakers are designed to be mounted both horizontally or vertically means that you could effectively buy five of these speakers for your entire 5.1 home theater system.

The R-5502-W II comes with a cardboard template, allowing you to trace the correct measurement of the speaker before cutting. Klipsch provides detailed installation instructions in the user manual, along with a Youtube video as well. For drywall installations, the R-5502-W II features dog legs that slide into place as you tighten the screws. This means you won’t have to drill additional holes for the screws.

Amp Recommendations & Cabling

Klipsch recommends pairing the R-5502-W II with a receiver/amp output of 130W @ 8 ohms. We recommend the Sony STRDH550 Receiver or the Denon AVR-S548BT Receiver. Both of these receivers will be able to drive your speakers efficiently. Additionally, the Klipsch R-10SWi subwoofer is an excellent add-on for the sub-bass. It delivers 300W of power and can be installed via cable or used wirelessly. For speaker cabling, Klipscg recommends a 12 cable gauge. However, if you’re running less than 20 feet of cabling, we’d suggest using cabling no less than 18-gauge.

What’s in the box?

  • Klipsch R-5502-W II In-Wall Speaker
  • Magnetic front grille
  • Mounting template 
  • User manual

Klipsch R-5502-W II In-Wall Speaker Conclusion

Klipsch makes some of the best in-wall and in-ceiling speakers in the market and these should certainly be on your radar if you are looking for the very best in-wall speakers. R-5502-W II is part of a wide range of Klipsch Architectural in-wall and in-ceiling speakers which means you can find the right speaker for every position in the room.

The Klipsch Reference R-5502-W II is an excellent in-wall loudspeaker. The sound quality is excellent and is capable of producing a rich, full-range sound. If you’re looking for the best in-wall loudspeakers at a low price, this is a great option.

3. Micca M-8S 8-Inch 2-Way In-Wall Speaker

Speakers Reviewed Score 4.8

Specs & Features

  • Power Handling: 100W RMS
  • Drivers: 1 x 8” woofer & 1 x 1” tweeter
  • Frequency Response: 40Hz – 20KHz
  • Sensitivity: 90dB
  • Recommended Amplification: 100W @ 8 Ohms
  • Wire Gauge: 16 ga
  • Speaker Dimensions: 10.0″ x 14.1″
  • Cutout Dimensions: 8.7″ x 12.7″
  • Mounting Depth: 3.4″
  • Speaker Weight: 5.5 lbs 

Micca is a brand that has been around for many years now. They are a well-known brand in the world of audio speakers. Their speakers have a reputation for being great and high quality. The Micca M-8S is one of their best-selling in-wall speakers. It is a two-way speaker system that can be used for both music and movies.

Sound & Technical Features

The Micca M-8S offers a power handling of 100W RMS. It features an 8-inch woofer with a single 1″ tweeter. The 8″ woofer is mounted in rubber surrounds and produces a decent amount of bass so you won’t need to buy an additional subwoofer for home theater installations. The tweeter is mounted on a pivoting mechanism, allowing you to customize the listening position of the high frequencies.

Speaker Installation

The Micca M-8S should be mounted vertically and can be used for both the front left/right and the rear left/right speaker positions. To create a 5.1 surround sound setup, you can add the Micca M-CS 5.25” horizontal center speaker. Additionally, you can switch out the Micca M-8S for the Micca M-6S, if you prefer a smaller 6.5″ speaker rather than 8″.  While Micca doesn’t have its own subwoofer available, we’d recommend the Polk Audio PSW10 Powered Subwoofer for an excellent bass experience. 

Amp Recommendations & Cabling

The Yamaha’s RX-V385 is the most versatile option on the market for surround sound installations. It provides 4 x HDMI inputs, various analog inputs, and Bluetooth, making it ideal for home entertainment. At 100W per channel, it can handle all the power requirements of your speakers too. For stereo installations, the Yamaha R-S202BL is a solid receiver with great sound quality, as well as being quite affordable.

In terms of cabling, Micca provides specific guidelines on gable gauge depending on the length of the cable run. For installations less than 50ft, use a 16 gauge cable. For 50-80ft installs, use a 14 gauge cable. A 12 gauge cable should be used for 80-120ft installations and for 120-200ft, use a 10 gauge cable.

What’s in the box?

  • Micca M-8S In-Wall Speaker
  • Speaker grille
  • Mounting template
  • User manual

Micca M-8S 8-Inch 2-Way In-Wall Speaker Conclusion

If you’re looking for an in-wall speaker that won’t break the bank, the Micca M-8S is the one to consider. For under $230, you can get a full 5.1 in-wall surround sound system. At this price, you expect poor sound quality but that’s certainly not the case! While the Micca M-8S may be budget speakers, they don’t sound cheap at all.

4. Polk Audio 265-RT 3-Way In-Wall Speaker

Speakers Reviewed Score 4.8

Specs & Features

  • Power Handling: 200W Peak
  • Drivers: 2 x 6.5” woofers & 1 x 1” tweeter
  • Frequency Response: 30Hz – 27KHz
  • Sensitivity: 91dB
  • Recommended Amplification: 10W – 200W
  • Wire Gauge: 18 ga
  • Speaker Dimensions: 20.87″ x 8.87″
  • Cutout Dimensions: 19.19″ x 7.25″
  • Mounting Depth: 3.25″
  • Speaker Weight: 8.1 lbs 

The Polk Audio 265-RT 3-Way In-Wall Speaker is a great choice for home theater enthusiasts who want to enjoy the best in-wall speakers with the best sound quality. It’s an affordable in-wall speaker at an attractive price.

Sound & Technical Features

The Polk Audio 265-RT is a powered speaker with dual 6.5” woofers and a 1” tweeter. The woofers are designed to provide a very deep bass sound while the tweeter sounds much clearer and crisper than most other speakers. The 265-RT also features a bass port to help increase the bass response of the speaker. The power handling of the 265-RT is 10-200W which means this speaker can be pretty powerful if paired with a good amplifier or receiver.

There are two acoustic settings for the Polk Audio 265-RT. The first is the ‘Tweeter’ switch which, when set to ‘Filter’, attenuates the tweeter. This setting works best if you have hard surfaces in the room (like hardwood or tile floors) that can reflect high frequencies, making them sound harsh. The second switch is ‘Wall Dist.’ which helps with low-end acoustic interference. In-wall speakers often sound “boomy” and this switch can help to compensate for this.

Speaker Installation

The Polk Audio 265-RT can only be mounted in a vertical position. This means it’s not suitable for use as a center channel speaker. The 265-RT is part of Polk Audio’s architectural range, which has the 255C-RT Center Channel Speaker.

Polk Audio includes a speaker cutout mounting template so you can be sure you’re cutting the appropriate size. Polk Audio now includes a bass port plug for installations where the speaker is positioned in a space that is larger than a normal open stud bay. This will ensure that the 265RT maintains its excellent bass response.

The 265RT’s speaker grille may be painted to match your wall or decor. Spray paint, not a brush or roller, must be used to paint. 

Amp Recommendations & Cabling

The Polk Audio 265RT can handle between 10-200W of power. To get the most out of this in-wall speaker, we recommend a receiver with a power output of 100-200W. The Denon AVR-S548BT Receiver would be an excellent complement for the 265RT in a surround sound system. The 255C-RT center channel speaker can also be driven with this receiver.

In terms of cabling, Polk Audio provides specific guidelines on gable gauge depending on the length of the cable run. For installations less than 25ft, use either 18 or 16 gauge cable. For 25-50 ft installs, use a 16 or 14 gauge cable. A 14 or 12 gauge cable should be used for 50-75 ft installations and for lengths greater than 75ft, use a 12 gauge cable.

What’s in the box?

  • Polk Audio 265RT 3-Way In-Wall Speaker
  • Speaker grille
  • Speaker mounting template
  • Bass port plug
  • User manual

Polk Audio 265RT 3-Way In-Wall Speaker Conclusion

The Polk Audio 265RT is a wonderful option to consider if you’re searching for an economical yet high-quality in-wall speaker. The 265RT is a strong speaker with a wide frequency response for a deep, rich sound. Polk Audio has a large Architectural Range of speakers, so you’ll be able to locate speakers for the center, surrounds, and even in-ceiling speakers if needed. The Architectural Range speakers can also be used with the Polk Audio RTiA Range of speakers, which includes floor standing, bookshelf, and home theater speakers. The 265RT is only available as a single speaker, so get two if you need a pair.

5. Silver Ticket 652W In-Wall Speaker

Speakers Reviewed Score 4.7

Specs & Features

  • Power Handling: 40W RMS/ 80W Peak
  • Drivers: 2 x 6.5” woofer & 1 x 1” tweeter
  • Frequency Response: 60Hz – 20KHz
  • Sensitivity: 88dB
  • Recommended Amplification: 80W @ 8 Ohms
  • Wire Gauge: 14 – 18 ga
  • Speaker Dimensions: 12.0″ x 8.6″
  • Cutout Dimensions: 7.25″ x 10.63″
  • Mounting Depth: 3.5″
  • Speaker Weight: 8.1 lbs 

If the Micca speakers are still out of your price range, look at the Silver Ticket in-wall/in-ceiling speaker line. The Silver Ticket line offers a few more speaker options than the Micca line, but at a lower cost per speaker of $5-$10. Don’t be deceived by the low price; these speakers sound far better than their pricing suggests. The 652W Silver Ticket is a versatile 6.5″ in-wall speaker that may be utilized as a stereo pair for entertainment areas or in a surround sound system.

Sound & Technical Features

The 652W has a single 1″ tweeter and a 6.5″ low-frequency driver. To reduce any vibrations within the wall, the low-frequency motor is installed in a rubber casing. The tweeter is set on a swivel, just like the premium in-wall speakers, so you may orient the audio picture towards your listening position.

Speaker Installation

A single vertical mounting location is available with the 652W. Great for surround positions on the left and right sides, as well as the back. The 5252W in-wall speaker for a center position in a 5.1 system is also available from Silver Ticket. Additionally, if you want more power in your front left/right speakers, the 82W Silver Ticket is an 8-inch in-wall speaker with an improved bass response and more power. You may add the Polk Audio PSW10 Powered Subwoofer for extra bass. In addition to home theater installations, the Silver Ticket 652W is ideal for leisure spaces and distributed sound systems. 

Amp Recommendations & Cabling

The Yamaha RX-V485BL 5.1 Receiver is the ideal choice for driving the 652W for home theater installations. The RX-V485BL is also compatible with the rest of Silver Ticket’s in-wall speakers. The Pyle Dual Channel Audio Amplifier is a good inexpensive alternative if you only want to use the 652W as a stereo pair. The Pyle receiver has one RCA input and two 75W speaker outputs for about $50. Silver Ticket doesn’t specify a specific speaker wire gauge to length range, although it does suggest 14-18 gauge cable.

What’s in the box?

  • 652W Silver Ticket In-Wall Speaker
  • Speaker grille
  • Mounting template
  • User manual

Silver Ticket 652W In-Wall Speaker Conclusion

When it comes to the most affordable in-wall speaker, the 652W Silver Ticket is without a doubt the best option. This well-liked speaker is not only reasonably priced, but it also sounds shockingly well for the price. If I had to choose between the Micca and the Silver Ticket, I’d prefer the Micca. However, if you’re on a tight budget, the Silver Ticket is unquestionably the better option. The Silver Ticket in-wall setup will cost less than $180 for a full 5.1 home theater setup. This is done with two 8″ 82W Silver Ticket front left/right surrounds and a 652W rear surround. Unbelievable value and less expensive than a single Polk Audio 265RT in-wall speaker, which is also considered a bargain option.

6. Monoprice Caliber Series 6816

Speakers Reviewed Score 4.6

Specs & Features

  • Power Handling: 100W RMS/ 200W Peak
  • Drivers: 1 x 8” woofer & 1 x 4″ midrange & 1 x 1” tweeter
  • Frequency Response: 50Hz – 20KHz
  • Sensitivity: 90dB
  • Recommended Amplification: 100W @ 8 Ohms
  • Wire Gauge: 16 ga
  • Speaker Dimensions: 14.1″ x 10.0″ x 3.9″
  • Cutout Dimensions: 12.76″ x 8.74″
  • Mounting Depth: 3.58″
  • Speaker Weight: 7.82 lbs 

Sometimes we aren’t quite ready to invest in really high-quality speakers, but we want something a little nicer than what is available in the budget range. That’s where the Monoprice 3-Way Fiber In-Wall Speakers come in. This three-way setup provides an incredible diversity of sound options.

Sound & Technical Features

The Monoprice Caliber Series 6816 features an 8” low-frequency driver, 4″,mid-range driver, and a 1” tweeter with a power handling of 100W – 200W. The 6816 has an excellent low-frequency response with a defined bass sound. The detail and clarity in the mid-range and highs are exceptional. Watching movies or playing games through the 6816 is especially exciting.

Speaker Installation

The Yamaha RX-V385 Surround Sound Receiver is the most versatile choice on the market. It has four HDMI ports, as well as analog and digital inputs and Bluetooth, making it excellent for home entertainment. It can also manage all of the power requirements of your speakers with 100W per channel. For stereo systems, the Yamaha R-S202BL is a good receiver for stereo systems, with good sound quality and a reasonable price. In terms of cabling, 16-gauge is suitable for installations over 20 ft. For under 20-ft lengths, opt for an 18-gauge cable isntead.

Amp Recommendations & Cabling

The Yamaha RX-V485BL 5.1 Receiver is the ideal choice for driving the 652W for home theater installations. The RX-V485BL is also compatible with the rest of Silver Ticket’s in-wall speakers. The Pyle Dual Channel Audio Amplifier is a good inexpensive alternative if you only want to use the 652W as a stereo pair. The Pyle receiver has one RCA input and two 75W speaker outputs for about $50. Silver Ticket doesn’t specify a specific speaker wire gauge to length range, although it does suggest 14-18 gauge cable.

What’s in the box?

  • 2 x Monoprice Caliber Series 6816 In-Wall Speakers
  • 2 x Speaker grilles
  • Mounting template
  • User manual

Monoprice Caliber Series 6816 In-Wall Speaker Conclusion

The Monoprice Caliber Series 6816 are an affordably priced pair of in-wall speakers. The aramid fiber cone driver and titanium silk dome tweeters deliver great sound quality, making them ideal for home audio systems or as surround speakers for an immersive listening experience. The Caliber Series 6816 are sonically matched to the rest of the Caliber Series of speakers, to create a consistent sound stage across your whole listening area.

7. Yamaha NS-IW760 2-Way In-Wall Speaker System

Speakers Reviewed Score 4.7

Specs & Features

  • Power Handling: 40W RMS/ 130W Peak
  • Drivers: 2 x 6.5” woofers & 1 x 1” tweeter
  • Frequency Response: 50Hz – 24KHz
  • Sensitivity: 88dB
  • Recommended Amplification: 130W @ 6 Ohms
  • Wire Gauge: 16 ga
  • Speaker Dimensions: 23.4″ x 7.6″ x 3.5″
  • Cutout Dimensions: 22.4″ x 6.7″
  • Mounting Depth: 3.5″
  • Speaker Weight: 5.1 lbs 

The Yamaha NS Series includes bookshelf, wall mount, floor standing, in-ceiling, in-wall, and subwoofer speakers. This obviously allows you to fill your home with a variety of suitable speakers from a single brand for any application. If you want a home theater system with a distributed home speaker system and entertainment system, this is an excellent option.

Sound & Technical Features

The Yamaha NS-IW760 has dual 6.5″ low-frequency drivers in the front and a single 1″ tweeter in the back. The speaker can handle 40-130W of power, with a pair providing a peak of 260W, which is enough to fill most rooms.

The NS-IW760 can reach incredibly loud while retaining low distortion. The NS-intelligibility IW760’s is good, making it ideal for both home theater and music applications.

The tweeter of the NS-IW760 is swivel-mounted, allowing you to direct the high-frequency driver to your preferred listening position. This is particularly beneficial for directing your back surrounds toward your ears.

Speaker Installation

The NS-IW760 may be mounted vertically or horizontally, allowing for a full 5.1 surround sound system to be created with just this speaker. To complete your 5.1 system, add a subwoofer like the Yamaha NS-SW100BL 10′′ 100W powered subwoofer. If you want to paint your speaker mount to match your wall or decor, the NS-IW760 comes with paintable grilles and paint protectors.

Amp Recommendations & Cabling

What’s great about buying Yamaha equipment is that you can get every component of your sound system from the same company. If you want to install the NS-IW760 as a stereo pair, the Yamaha R-S202BL stereo receiver is the ideal choice.

The Yamaha RX-V385 is an excellent match for the NS-IW760 in home theater installations, especially if you plan to use the NS-IW760 for each speaker in the system. The RX-V385 has a 130W output at 6 ohms, matching the NS-IW760 precisely. You’ll get the most out of your NS-IW760 speakers if you do this. For a comprehensive Yamaha surround sound system, there is a subwoofer-out that may be connected to your Yamaha NS-SW100BL powered subwoofer.

While Yamaha doesn’t include specific cable gauge recommendations, I would recommend using an 18-gauge wire for up to 20ft long installations. For 20-30ft, use a 16-gauge and for 30-50ft, use 14-gauge. For more than 50ft installations, you can use 12 gauge cabling. 

What’s in the box?

  • 2 x Yamaha NS-IW760 In-Wall Speakers
  • 2 x Speaker grilles
  • 2 x Paint protective covers
  • Cut out template
  • 2 x Glue strips
  • User manual

Yamaha NS-IW760 2-Way In-Wall Speaker System Conclusion

If you’re searching for a single speaker for a full surround sound setup, the Yamaha NS-IW760 is a great option. The NS-IW760 provides great sound quality and intelligibility, making it ideal for a variety of listening situations. Because a Yamaha subwoofer and receiver can be mixed and matched, you may obtain everything you need from a single manufacturer.

8. JBL SP6II In-Wall Home Theater Surround Sound Loudspeaker

Speakers Reviewed Score 4.7

Specs & Features

  • Power Handling: 80W
  • Drivers: 1 x 6.5” woofer & 1 x 1” tweeter
  • Frequency Response: 38Hz – 20KHz
  • Sensitivity: 88dB
  • Recommended Amplification: 80W @ 8 Ohms
  • Wire Gauge: 16 ga
  • Speaker Dimensions: 8.5″ x 11.0″
  • Cutout Dimensions: 7.13″ x 9.69″
  • Mounting Depth: 3.88″
  • Speaker Weight: 4.5 lbs 

The JBL SP6II In-Wall Speaker forms part of JBL’s SP Series, an affordable range of in-wall and in-ceiling speakers. The SP6II lets you enjoy premium-grade speakers at a relatively low price. Additionally, they can be mounted both in-wall or in-ceiling – allowing you to complete your entire surround sound home theater system.

Sound & Technical Features

The JBL SP6II In-Wall Loudspeaker has a single tweeter and a 6.5″ low-frequency driver. The tweeter is mounted on a swivel bracket, allowing you to adjust the sound picture to your preferred listening position. To prevent vibration from penetrating the walls, the low-frequency motor is installed in rubber surrounds.

The SP6II delivers great audio quality, as one would expect from JBL. The 6.5″ low-frequency driver delivers powerful, punchy bass, while the tweeter provides good high-end intelligibility. These speakers are suitable for home theater systems, but a distributed or entertainment sound system would be better.

Speaker Installation

The JBL SP6II has a speaker template for determining the proper hole size. This template can also be used as a paint shield when painting around the speaker. If you want to match the wall or decor, you can paint the speaker frame and grille.

The SP6II is suitable for both in-ceiling and in-wall installations, so you only need one speaker for both. If you want spherical speakers in the ceiling, JBL offers the SP6CII, which is a round version of the same speaker. The SP6II and other SP series speakers could be used in a home theater setup, but they’re better suited for a distributed or entertainment in-wall sound system. For home theater systems, the JBL Arena series is best suited.

Additionally, JBL offers an 8″ version, the JBL SP8II, if you want a bit more punch. It has a slightly higher power output and better bass response than the SP6II.

 

Amp Recommendations & Cabling

The Yamaha A-S301BL is the optimal choice for audio installations with the JBL SP6II In-Wall Loudspeaker. At 8 ohms, the A-S301BL has two 60W outputs. This is ideal for the SP6II’s 80W power handling capability. For home theater setups, we recommend the Yamaha RX-V485BL Receiver.

JBL recommends using only a 16-gauge cable for installation lengths of up to 20 feet. For 20-30 ft installs, use a 12 gauge cable. For lengths greater than 30 feet, you should opt for a 10 gauge cable.

What’s in the box?

  • 2 x JBL SP6II in-Wall Speakers
  • 2 x Speaker grilles
  • 2 x Mounting templates/ paint shields
  • User manual

JBL SP6II In-Wall Loudspeaker Conclusion

The JBL SP6II is a fantastic choice if you’re searching for a multipurpose in-wall speaker for your entertainment room or a distributed speaker installation. The speaker’s small size implies it will take up a small amount of space while still delivering enough power. While the SP6II can be used for home theater systems, the JBL Arena 5.25″ In-Wall Speaker is better for this purpose. The SP6II is not only inexpensive but also comes with JBL level sound and craftsmanship at an affordable price.

9. Bose Virtually Invisible 891 In-Wall Speaker

Speakers Reviewed Score 4.7

Specs & Features

  • Power Handling: 100W
  • Drivers: 1 x 7” woofer & 2 x 1” tweeters
  • Recommended Amplification: 100W @ 8 Ohms
  • Wire Gauge: 18 ga
  • Speaker Dimensions: 11.4″ x 7.75″
  • Cutout Dimensions:11.6″ x 7.9″
  • Mounting Depth: 3.55″
  • Speaker Weight: 5.22 lbs 

The Bose 891 in-wall speakers are virtually invisible because they are designed to sit practically flush against the wall. In terms of audio quality and power, the Virtually Invisible 891 In-Wall Speaker is a step forward. The Virtually Invisible 891 is a little more expensive than comparable in-wall speakers, but you’re getting a quality audio experience.

Sound & Technical Features

A 7″ low-frequency driver and two 1″ tweeters are arranged in an array in the Bose Virtually Invisible 891. The array offers the Virtually Invisible 891 a greater horizontal dispersion, so no matter where you are in the room, you’ll hear the same audio image. The Virtually Invisible 891 has a power handling range of 10-100W per speaker, which is more than enough to fill most living rooms.

Speaker Installation

Only one vertical mounting position is available for the Virtually Invisible 891. The speaker is best used in living or entertainment rooms for general sound system applications. The Virtually Invisible 891 would make a fine back surround speaker due to its wide dispersion, but I wouldn’t use them as my front/left right speakers in a home theater system.

Paint the speaker grilles to match the walls or decor. The grilles are magnetically attached to the Virtually Invisible 891, making it simple to remove and replace for painting. A cutout template is included by Bose to check that the hole measurements are proper before cutting.

Amp Recommendations & Cabling

The Bose SoundTouch SA-5 Amplifier works best with the Bose Virtually Invisible 891. To make it easier, you do have the option to bundle them and the Virtually Invisible 891 and the SoundTouch SA-5 can be purchased together. The SoundTouch SA-5 uses WiFi to connect to the internet, allowing you to listen to music from your favorite streaming services. There are also two RCA audio inputs and one 18-inch audio input, as well as Bluetooth. A single Virtually Invisible 891 per channel or two Virtually Invisible 891 per channel can be used with the SoundTouch SA-5.

Bose recommends using only an 18-gauge cable for installation lengths of up to 20 feet. For 20-30 ft installs, use a 16 gauge cable while a 14-gauge can be used for lengths between 30-50ft. For lengths greater than 50 feet, you should opt for a 12-gauge cable.

What’s in the box?

  • 2 x Bose Virtually Invisible 891 In-Wall Speakers
  • 2 x Speaker grilles
  • 2 x Mounting templates
  • User manual

Bose Virtually Invisible 891 In-Wall Speaker Conclusion

If you’re looking for a high-quality in-wall speaker that’s both acoustically and visually appealing, the Virtually Invisible 891 is a great option. Over and above home theater installations, this high-end in-wall speaker is suited for entertainment and living rooms too. Expect to pay extra for the Virtually Invisible 891 since premium quality comes at a greater price. 

10. MartinLogan ML65i In-Wall Speaker

Speakers Reviewed Score 4.7

Specs & Features

  • Power Handling: 90W
  • Drivers: 2 x 6.5” woofers & 1 x 1” tweeter
  • Frequency Response: 70Hz – 20KHz
  • Sensitivity: 89dB
  • Recommended Amplification: 90W @ 8 Ohms
  • Wire Gauge: 18 ga
  • Speaker Dimensions: 11.5″ x 8.3″
  • Cutout Dimensions: 10.125″ x 7.125″
  • Mounting Depth: 3.3″
  • Speaker Weight: 3.5 lbs 

If you’re wanting audiophile quality, look no further than MartinLogan’s Installer Series. These in-wall speakers are made with high-quality components and engineered to deliver great sound quality. The ML65i is the smallest of the MartinLogan Installer series’ three in-wall speakers.

Sound & Technical Features

The MartinLogan ML65i has a 6.5″ low-frequency driver and a 1″ tweeter with a 15 – 80W power handling range. The ML65i has a well-defined bass tone and a good low-frequency response. The mid-range and highs have remarkable detail and clarity. It’s very thrilling to watch movies or play games on the ML65i. Keep in mind that MartinLogan Installer Series speakers need to be broken in for 72 hours at 90 dB before they settle and take on their true characteristics.

Speaker Installation

While the MartinLogan ML65i can be utilized for stereo or entertainment sound systems, these in-wall speakers are best employed in home theater installations. The ML65i is ideal for front left/right and rear left/right speaker placements, while the MartinLogan ML66i is tailored to the center speaker position. You can choose between the MartinLogan Dynamo 600 (10-inch 240W) or the Dynamo 400 (8-inch 150W) powered subwoofers for the low end.

MartinLogan includes step-by-step installation instructions as well as scenarios for various room sizes and speaker placements. The speaker grille entirely covers the speaker chassis, leaving only the grille exposed. The distance between the wall and the ML65i grille is less than 5mm, resulting in a sleek, low-profile look. You can paint the speaker grille to match your wall or decor.

Amp Recommendations & Cabling

To get the most out of your MartinLogan in-wall speakers, you’ll need to pair them with a receiver. A high-end receiver is required for high-end speakers. The Marantz NR1609-50W AV Receiver is recommended for home theater applications. This high-performance slimline home theater amplifier comes with a slew of premium features, the most notable of which is that it can drive both the MartinLogan ML65i and ML66i in-wall speakers. The Marantz Hi-Fi Integrated Amplifier is a good complement for the MartinLogan ML65i in stereo systems.

Although MartinLogan does not have specific guidelines for cable gauge, we recommend using an 18-gauge cable for installation lengths of up to 25 feet. For 25-50 ft installs, use a 16 gauge cable while a 14-gauge can be used for lengths between 50-75ft. For lengths greater than 75 feet, you should opt for a 12-gauge cable.

What’s in the box?

  • 2 x MartinLogan ML65i In-wall Speaker
  • 2 x Speaker grille
  • 2 x Mounting template
  • User manual

MartinLogan ML65i In-wall Speaker Conclusion

If you’re looking for the best in-wall speakers and are ready to invest some dollars, the MartinLogan ML65i is the best option. Keep in mind that the Installer Series is MartinLogan’s “budget” line, although it still outperforms any other brand on the market. When purchasing an in-wall speaker like the MartinLogan ML65i, it’s critical to match the speaker to an appropriate receiver or amplifier. You won’t get the best efficiency or performance out of your ML65i if you use a budget receiver. With a cheap amplifier, you also risk harming the speakers.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What are the benefits of in-wall speakers?

In-wall speakers are great for providing a high-quality, immersive surround sound experience in a smaller footprint. Since the speakers can be mounted at different heights, they allow you to set up a “wraparound” sound environment where each wall offers a unique, high-quality surround experience. This can be achieved with floor-standing speakers that can also blend in with your decor, but in-wall speakers allow you to set up a smaller, more discreet setup that can look just as great.

How many in-wall speakers do I need in a room?

The number of speakers you need is determined by the quality of sound you want to achieve. In general, five speakers should be sufficient for most purposes. Most people prefer to have two center channels and one pair of side speakers, as well as a surround speaker for ambiance or to create a wider stereo image. It’s also possible to use just a single center channel and a subwoofer. Regardless, what matters most is that you get quality sound where you need it. 

Are there different in-wall speakers for home entertainment vs for music?

There are two common types of speakers that are used in the home. The first is used for music, and are called stereo speakers. These speakers can reproduce two channels of sound, a left and a right channel. You can use them to listen to music or play video games. The second type of speaker is for movies and television. These speakers are known as home theater speakers, and they have much higher performance than stereo speakers.

Do I need a specific amplifier for my in-wall speakers?

Most in-wall speakers require an amplifier. Each speaker will indicate the maximum power it can handle (in watts) and you will want to match the speaker’s power to your receiver’s power output. The speaker’s volume output will depend on the power sent by the amplifier.

Can I mount in-wall speakers outdoors?

Some speakers are made to mount outdoors (such as the Polk Audio RC65i described above) although you will want to check each model before purchasing and installing. The other way to ensure a good fit is to use a professional installer. Many speakers include a rubber gasket or seal, which means that they are better suited to outdoor or high-humidity environments, such as a bathroom.

Do I need specific wires for in-wall speakers?

When it comes to installing in-wall speakers, using high quality speaker wire is important. Wiring your speakers into your wall is a great way to get the best sound possible. It doesn’t have to be expensive, but should be UL-rated, and labeled CL2 or CL3. It’s also important that the light source is in compliance with the applicable UL Standards.

How to Install In-Wall Speakers

The first step in an in-wall speaker installation is to ensure that you have the required materials for the job. If you plan on making your own in-wall speakers, be sure to stock up on these items before starting the project.

Tools Required

  • Drywall saw
  • Stud finder
  • Wire snake or push rods
  • Tape measure
  • Dill
  • Screwdriver (usually #2 Phillips)
  • Carpenter’s pencil
  • Wire coat hanger
  • Spirit level

Step 1: Determine Speaker Placement

In order to ensure you get the best sound, your speakers should be placed no closer than six to ten feet apart. The ideal distance between them should be sitting at eye level and angled slightly toward the listening room walls to ensure optimal sound. The center of a room usually sits below a flat-screen TV. The speaker should be placed at least three feet from the screen.

In order to maximize the performance of your speakers, you need to make sure they’re mounted to the wall properly. A good place to start is where the wall meets the ceiling. This is called the “sweet spot”. If you’re using bookshelves, you might also want to get some bookshelves brackets so that you can secure the speakers in place.

To find the center of a stud bay you first have to identify the center of your wall (i.e. the location of the studs). From there, you want to measure from that point to both edges of your wall (this is known as the ‘bay’). With the stud finder in hand, you then simply move back and forth and check to see which side of the wall the studs are on. Once you’ve found the studs that you want, they’re usually located near the middle of the stud bay.

It’s always important to make sure that you have enough clearance around your speakers so that the mounting plate doesn’t crack under the stress of the weight of the speakers. This is especially important if you’re installing your speakers in unusual places where a wall or ceiling isn’t providing sufficient support.

Step 2: Identify the Wire Paths

Before you take the saw to drywall, plan out your wire runs. If you’re mounting in a first-floor room and the basement ceiling is unfinished, or in a second-floor room with attic access, you might be able to see any ductwork, pipes, or electrical cables that could potentially interfere with your mount location.

You can usually remove the electrical boxes that hold your circuit breakers, switches, and fixtures by removing a few screws and then pulling it free. Once the box is removed, you can access the breaker or fixture that requires power, and then run the cable between the box and the fixture or the breaker. Once the ceiling joists are installed, you can begin your mounting of the speakers. As long as you know where the speakers will be mounted, they can be installed at their most convenient locations within a given room.

Step 3: Check for Obstructions

Once you’ve identified your speaker locations using your stud finder, make sure you can get your wire to them, and look for obstructions in the walls. It’s often possible to get a direct signal to your speakers by drilling a small hole in the wall, and moving a coat hanger around will tell you if there are obstructions you need to consider. If you find any, it’s easy to patch the small hole. If everything looks cool, you can start carving the full speaker cutout. Use the template that came with the speaker, align and mark the cutout lightly with a pencil.

Step 4: Cut the Drywall

Start by using a small, rectangular hole that’s big enough to get your hand in. If you find anything in the hole while looking in your mirror or feeling around with your hands, stop and fix it before moving on. You can also use this opportunity to send a fiberglass push rod or snake down (or up) to make sure your wires will make it all the way to the top or bottom plate without running into blocking or other obstructions.

Step 5: Run the Speaker Wires

There are four choices for installing speaker wires. You can run them overhead through an attic space or under the floor if you have a basement or crawl space. You can remove the baseboard trim and install a new one, which is easier than removing and replacing it. To replace the baseboards, you would first cut out an opening in the wall for the speaker wire to enter, then cut a channel in the wall with a utility knife. Once the channel is made, you would run the wires through and then replace the baseboard trim.

If you’re running wires laterally across the wall and can’t get access from above or below, it may be time to cut small holes in the drywall to expose the studs. The drywall holes only need to be 1 inch high and wide enough to expose the stud. They’re easily patched later. Typically, 14- or 16-gauge wire will work well for most installations up to 100 feet, but beyond that, use 10- or 12-gauge wire, which is larger in diameter. Use a cable that’s rated for in-wall use because it’s less expensive than using those that can only be used in-wall, and it’s not really a problem if you want to add additional devices to your system later.

Step 6: Installing the Speakers into the Wall

If you want to paint the speaker grilles to match your walls, be sure to do this before installing them. For best results, use spray paint or a paint sprayer. Be sure not to clog the holes of the grille by applying light coats. Additionally, consider installing insulation in the wall cavity behind the speakers to improve sound quality.

Most in-wall speakers use clamps to attach the speaker frame to the wall. The speaker is then secured to the frame by fastening it with screws. Before screwing the speaker to the frame, ensure that you have attached the speaker wires to the binding posts. Test your speakers to ensure they are working correctly. Adjust any EQ settings, if needed. Then attach the grille and enjoy your new setup!

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