Whether you’re trying to create a home theater room with surround sound or just looking to improve the sound quality for your TV or speaker system, you may be considering purchasing in-wall speakers. Since in-wall speakers are installed on the walls or in ceilings, they offer reduced sound reflection, resulting in clear sounds that are less distorted than what you’d hear with a wireless surround sound system or other speakers that are placed in the room where the sound waves would bounce around the room more.
In-wall speakers increase the speaker’s bass by creating a baffle, which can further decrease sound distortion. They also offer a slim profile that blends in with the walls for a less obtrusive look and allows for greater placement customization with their flexible placement options. Continue reading to discover some of the best in-wall speakers on the market and identify key features to consider as you shop.
- BEST OVERALL: Polk Audio 265-RT 3-way In-Wall Speaker
- BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK: 652W Silver Ticket in-Wall in-Ceiling Speaker
- BEST FOR HOME THEATERS: Monoprice 3-Way Fiber In-Wall Speakers – 8 Inch
- BEST HIGH-PERFORMANCE: Yamaha NSIC800WH 140-Watts 2-Way RMS Speaker — White
- BEST FULL RANGE: Pyle Ceiling Wall Mount Enclosed Speaker – 400 Watt
- BEST DESIGN: Pyle 6.5” In-Wall/In-Ceiling Midbass Speakers (Pair)
- BEST CEILING: Polk Audio RC60i 2-way Premium In-Ceiling 6.5″ Round
Before You Buy In-Wall Speakers
Before purchasing in-wall speakers, determine whether you would like to place the speakers in the walls or in the ceiling. Each mounting option has its pros and cons and may be best suited to your specific needs and desires.
In-wall speakers are often a better choice when trying to achieve surround sound. With the speakers placed around ear level, they can offer greater dimension and a better stereo effect that can’t be achieved with ceiling speakers. This type of installation offers an ideal solution for home theaters or other spaces that will primarily be used for entertainment purposes since they have a more obtrusive design.
In-ceiling speakers, on the other hand, don’t take up wall space or draw attention when they aren’t in use. They are available in a variety of sizes to match the sound needs of different spaces. In-ceiling speakers still offer high-quality sound and can be more easily positioned without needing to worry about the location of furniture or other items in the room.
What to Consider When Choosing the Best In-Wall Speakers
There are a number of features to consider while shopping for the best in-wall speakers, such as their size, placement, installation options, and how many speakers you’d like to add to your space. Identifying which features are most important to you can help focus your search.
Size and Weight
First, consider the size and weight of each speaker and determine whether it will offer an appropriate fit for your space. Check the measurements of the speakers and measure the space where you would like to place them. Check with the specifications for each speaker to confirm that the sound it produces will be a good fit based on the size of your room. If you use the space for anything other than entertainment, consider whether the size of the speaker will be too large or obtrusive and have a negative impact on the room’s visual appeal.
Also consider how heavy each speaker is. Think about whether you’ll be mounting the speaker by yourself or you’ll have assistance.
Number of Speakers
The number of in-wall speakers you desire should also be considered. Many in-wall speakers are sold as a single item, but some options are sold in pairs. If you want more than one in-wall speaker, consider purchasing a set with multiple speakers.
The size of your space and your purposes for looking for in-wall speakers should help determine the appropriate number of speakers. For example, if you’re looking for a speaker to play background music in a room, one or two ceiling speakers may be the best option. If you’re looking to set up a home theater room, five or more in-wall speakers will deliver optimal sound quality.
Speaker placement really goes hand in hand with determining the number of speakers you’ll need. Just as with planning out placement for a wireless surround sound system, you’ll also want to plan out where you wish to place your in-wall speakers before purchasing them. The desired placement could affect the size, style, or number of speakers you decide to purchase.
Here are a few possible placement scenarios to consider:
- Mixed-use entertainment room: Place in-wall speakers on the front and rear walls with one speaker on either side of the TV and two on the back wall equally spaced from the speakers on the TV wall.
- Dedicated home theater: The setup for a dedicated home theater room will be similar to a mixed-use room; however, you can place the speakers at ear level since the room will be used solely for entertainment. Adding a speaker to each of the side walls in a dedicated home theater is another option.
- Dedicated music listening: If you’re choosing in-wall speakers for listening to music, place two speakers at ear level the same distance from each other as they are from the main seating area in the space.
You don’t want to spend money on speakers and mount them on the walls only to be disappointed with the sound they produce. Sound quality is a very important detail to consider when choosing the best in-wall speakers. Consider and compare the following features for each in-wall speaker you’re looking at:
- Voice-matching: Voice matching refers to whether two speakers will offer the same timbre. Timbre is the tonal quality of a sound and can vary between speakers from different manufacturers or series. It’s best to stick to one manufacturer and product line when selecting in-wall speakers (or other speakers) for a space.
- Tweeters: Tweeters are the part of the speaker that creates the treble, or upper sound range. In-wall speakers without tweeters will lack the detail that speakers with tweeters can produce.
- Subwoofers: Consider purchasing a subwoofer to further enhance the sound quality of your in-wall speakers. Subwoofers are better able to produce lower frequencies and bass than standard speakers, which can improve the experience of listening to music or audio through the speakers.
Volume and Sensitivity
Be sure to assess the volume capabilities of each model. Consult information from the manufacturer to determine the efficiency rating and maximum decibel level for each speaker you’re considering to decide if it will be a good fit for your needs.
Speaker sensitivity is also related to how loud the volume will be on each model. Sensitivity refers to how well speakers are able to convert the power from an amplifier into acoustic energy. Manufacturers or independent consultants measure the sensitivity of each speaker from a distance of 1 meter using 1 watt of power. Speakers with a lower sensitivity measurement may require a more powerful amplifier to increase their volume sufficiently to match the demands of your entertainment room.
One of the benefits of in-wall speakers is that you don’t need to worry about loose cables, as you do with floor speakers. However, the cables will need to be run within the wall or ceiling for a proper installation. Before purchasing cables for your in-wall speakers, consider how long a cable you’ll need. Measure the distance from the speaker to the amplifier or receiver it will connect with, and take into account the path it will need to take to get there. For instance, will it be a straight shot, or will the cable need to go around anything?
Choose a UL-listed cable. CL2 or CL3 speaker wires should be sufficient for in-wall speakers. CL2 cables accept a maximum voltage of 150 volts, and CL3 cables accept a maximum voltage of 300 volts.
Finally, make sure you have everything you will need to install your new in-wall speakers. If the speakers you choose don’t come with mounting brackets, purchase a set before you plan to install them. The tools you’ll need to install in-wall speakers include screwdrivers, a drywall cutter, a drill, a carpenter’s pencil, and a level.
If you are not comfortable installing and wiring your new in-wall speakers yourself, consider hiring a professional to complete the installation for you. Try reaching out to a few individuals or companies for an estimate before you purchase the speakers, and budget accordingly.
Our Top Picks
The features outlined above guided the selection of the following products. Each of these options represents a quality choice from a trusted manufacturer. Read on to find the best in-wall speaker for an entertainment room.
Polk Audio’s three-way in-wall speaker is designed to provide a high-quality sound experience with a deep bass. It features two 6.5-inch midwoofers with a central 1-inch silk dome tweeter. The speaker doesn’t distort sounds and offsets reflective surfaces for optimal listening. Purchase multiple speakers to use as left and right speakers and/or rear surround speakers with 3.1, 6.1, or 7.1 channel system layouts.
In addition to the high-quality sound, this 200-watt speaker offers an unobtrusive design that blends into the walls. Installation is simple using the included templates and flange. Preconstruction brackets are also available for separate purchase. This model features a patented rotating CAM system for a vibration-free and secure install.
Despite being an economically priced pick, this in-wall speaker from Silver Ticket Products can still transform the sound quality in an entertainment room. The two-way speaker includes a 6.5-inch mica polypropylene cone woofer with a 16.5-ounce magnet and rubber edge to ensure clear and undistorted sound fills the space. It also features a 20-millimeter pivoting silk dome tweeter to offer perfectly placed sound. Even when the volume is turned up all the way, this speaker is able to offer clear sounds that aren’t harsh or difficult to understand.
Durable, moisture-resistant construction makes this speaker suitable for use in outdoor eaves, bathrooms, saunas, or other areas where moisture may be present. It can be used with 5.1, 6.1, and 7.1 channel systems. An accent trim allows for a seamless vertical or horizontal installation.
Those with a dedicated home theater should consider this pair of three-way in-wall speakers from Monoprice. Each speaker features a DuPont Kevlar fiber cone driver that ensures clean bass reproduction. Unlike other drivers, this fiber cone offers clear sound that isn’t distorted. The oversize magnets on the speakers deliver a more powerful bass, while pivoting silk dome tweeters deliver crisp, clear dialogue and vocals.
A neutral white exterior grill complements a variety of decors, though the grill can be removed and painted, allowing for seamless blending with walls. Each purchase includes installation instructions, a cutout template for easy installation, a paint mask, a grill removal tool, and grill putty.
Yamaha’s 140-watt two-way speaker set includes 2 two-way 8-inch round speakers that can be installed either in-wall or in-ceiling. Each speaker offers a polypropylene mica cone woofer that delivers high-quality mid- to low-range sounds. A 1-inch swivel soft-dome tweeter offers quality high-frequency sounds to complement the mid- to low-range sounds of the woofer, while an acoustic baffle with a spiral design ensures natural dispersion of sound throughout the space.
Featuring a slim and compact design that allows for flush mounting, these speakers also have paintable grills that offer the ability for further coordination with a living space. A sealed cover prevents dust or moisture from penetrating the unit.
This pair of 400-watt 8-inch speakers from Pyle is designed to bring full-range audio to upgrade a listening experience. Each speaker offers a 50- to 20-hertz frequency response with their 8-inch long-throw woofer and 1-inch titanium dome tweeter. A 4-8 ohm impedance and a 1-inch high-temperature voice coil allow for quality low-volume background music or loud and rich sound quality for movie watching, while a vented design allows for a deep bass sound, making them ideal for a home surround sound system. These speakers are compatible with home audio receivers and amps.
Featuring a flush-mount design that makes them easy to install, the speakers in this set also have a neutral white grill cover to complement a variety of decor styles.
Individuals who want to upgrade the sound quality in a home entertainment room without creating an eyesore with large or boxy speakers may want to consider this in-wall speaker set from Pyle. The set includes two 6.5-inch round, white speakers that offer a flush-mount design for a classy, unobtrusive look. In-wall and in-ceiling mount options are available to match the style and sound preferences of each user.
However, this pair of two-way speakers will do more than just look good in a space. The speakers feature a 1-inch titanium dome tweeter, a 250-watt handling capability, and a 4-8 ohm impedance rating, delivering clear and responsive sound with a wide range performance.
Polk Audio’s timbre-matched 6.5-inch round in-ceiling speakers offer an ideal solution for improving sound quality in an entertainment room. The speakers offer a 6.5-inch dynamic balance woofer paired with a 0.75-inch tweeter that work together to deliver audio and music that are rich in both detail and depth. Their mineral-filled polymer cone provides even sound distribution within a space.
These speakers feature a rubber seal to prevent moisture from accessing the interior of the speaker, allowing for installation in saunas, kitchens, bathrooms, and other moisture-prone spaces. A white aluminum grill allows for coordinating with a variety of decors, although it can also be removed and painted to match the color of the walls or ceiling.
FAQs About In-Wall Speakers
There are a lot of in-wall speakers on the market, which can make it more challenging to find the best fit for your home entertainment room. Read through the frequently asked questions below to gain additional information that may help you narrow down your options.
Q. Do I need to insulate my in-wall speakers?
While it isn’t required to insulate in-wall speakers, doing so can help improve their sound quality.
Q. How do you wire in-wall speakers?
You can wire in-wall speakers using one of three main methods:
- Wiring them through an attic or crawl space access
- Running the wires through the baseboards
- Running the wires through the crown molding
If you are not comfortable wiring your in-wall speakers on your own, contact a qualified electrician.
Q. How long will my in-wall speakers last?
The lifespan of in-wall speakers can vary greatly depending on their quality as well as other factors. In some cases, it may be possible for a speaker to last decades, while other lower-quality products may last for only a few years.