Best InWall Speakers - AudioStance

The 10 Best In-Wall Speakers

If you’re looking to install new speakers in your home, office, restaurant, or another place of business, you may be considering in-wall speakers. In-wall speakers offer a discreet and, more importantly, clutter-free solution to traditional speakers.

We’ve put to We’ve put together our choices for the best in-wall speakers currently on the market. We’ve carefully selected in-wall speakers to make sure you can find one that fits your needs and budget, with careful attention paid to how each speaker performs, their durability, price point, and more.

Our Pick!

Klipsch R-5502-W II In-Wall Speaker

Klipsch R-5502-W II In-Wall Speaker

If you want the best in-wall speakers with exceptional sound quality, the R-5502-W II is as good as it gets.

Our Recommendations

Top Overall Pick

If you want the best in-wall speakers, then the Klipsch R-5502-W II is hard to beat. Klipsch is arguably the best speaker manufacturer in higher-end consumer audio products, and the R-5502-W leads the field in its category. The R-5502-W offers excellent sound quality that is well balanced while still having a personality. With a 300W maximum output, you know that these speakers are going to get loud. These are fairly large speakers, so if space is a concern, there may be better compact options, but otherwise, the R-5502-W II excels.

The Budget Choice

Now, not everyone can afford MartinLogan and Klipsch prices, so for the lower end of the price range, I would go for the Yamaha NS-IW760. Like the Klipsch R-5502-W, the NS-IW760 can be mounted vertically or horizontally, so you can purchase one speaker for every 5.1 speaker position. The Yamaha NS-SW100BL 10″ 100W powered subwoofer is an excellent addition to complete your 5.1 in-wall surround sound system.

Best Bass In-Wall Speaker

Again, the Klipsch R-5502-W shows why it’s our top pick with some excellent deep bass performance. You’ll get the low rumbles that make action movies immersive while also giving a punchy and distinct response when listening to music, thanks to the 5 1/2″ drivers.

Best In-Wall Speaker for Home Theater

For home theater, the Klipsch R-5502-W outperforms other contenders in this category. This versatile in-wall speaker can be mounted horizontally and vertically, making it possible to use a single speaker for every 5.1 surround position. Pairing the R-5502-W with the Klipsch R-10SWi 10″ Wireless Subwoofer completes your 5.1 system with a powerful, clean subwoofer for the low end.

Best For Bathrooms or Patios

The Polk Audio RC85i is a firm favorite in-wall speaker across the board, but where it stands out is in its versatility. The moisture protection allows for installation in bathrooms and other moist environments. That’s not all the RC85i has to offer, though, with a beefy 8″ driver in combination with the 1″ tweeter creating an expansive sound that is clear and capable of more than sufficient volume.

In-wall speakers are speakers without an enclosure that can be mounted inside the wall. The speakers sound like regular speakers but are tuned to operate inside the wall.

The low-frequency driver in an in-wall speaker is typically mounted in a rubber surround. This rubber surround prevents bass vibrations from entering your walls, negatively affecting your audio experience. Most in-wall speakers’ tweeter is mounted on a swivel so you can angle the “sweet spot” to your desired position in the room.

Read Also: The Best In-Ceiling Speakers

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

Klipsch R-5502-W II In-Wall Speaker

Speaker Drivers:2 x 5¼” driver with 1 x 1” tweeter
Power Handling:75W RMS – 300W Peak
Recommended Amplification:130W @ 8 Ohms
Size:17.75” x 8”
Mounting Depth:3.5”
Weight:6.5 lbs

Klipsch is arguably the best speaker manufacturer when it comes to high-end consumer audio products. They have an extensive range of products with everything from bookshelf speakers, floor-standing speakers as well as in-wall and in-ceiling speakers. The R-5502-W II in-wall speaker is part of the Klipsch architectural range which includes in-wall and in-ceiling speakers in a variety of 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. The speaker’s power handling is between 75W to 300W. This is a significant amount of power, especially if you use the R-5502-W II for your left, right, and center speakers. You’re looking at a really powerful system.

The dual 5¼” speaker drivers have an exceptional low-end response which means you can get a significant amount of bass without the use of a subwoofer. Having said that, you will still want a subwoofer for a fully immersive audio experience. The detail and clarity from the 1” tweeter makes this speaker perfect for everything from movies to games or even watching the news.

Installing The Klipsch R-5502-W II In-Wall Speaker

The Klipsch R-5502-W II is a versatile speaker with the ability to be mounted horizontally or vertically. This means you could effectively purchase five of these speakers for your entire 5.1 home theater system. This is, of course, assuming you have walls front, left, and right of your viewing area.

The R-5502-W II comes with a cardboard stencil so you can trace the correct measurement of the speaker before cutting. Klipsch provides full written instructions for this in the user manual as well as a video guide on their YouTube channel. A magnetic paint protector is also provided so you can paint around the speaker, even if the R-5502-W II is already installed.

For drywall installation, the speaker enclosure includes dog legs that slide into place when you tighten the screws. So no need to drill holes for screw placement.

Cabling & Amplification

For the R-5502-W II Klipsch recommends a receiver or amplifier with an output of 130W @ 8 ohms. If you intend to install the R-5502-W II for a 5.1 surround sound system, then a good option to go with is the Sony STRDH550 or Denon AVR-S540BT. Both of these quality receivers will drive the R-5502-W II effectively and efficiently.

For your sub-bass, include the Klipsch R-10SWi. This powered subwoofer delivers 300W of power with the option of running it via a cable or wirelessly via the supplied transmitter.

For speaker cable, don’t go lower than 18-gauge for runs less than 20 feet, with 16 or 14-gauge recommended for longer cable runs.

What’s in the Box?

  • R-5502-W II In-Wall Speaker
  • Paint protector
  • Speaker stencil

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

If you’re looking for the very best in-wall speakers, then Klipsch should always be one of the top options on your list of considerations. The 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 sound quality is exceptional, with the R-5502-W II capable of producing a rich, full-range sound. As Klipsch in-wall speakers are the best, expect the prices to be more expensive. The R-5502-W II retails for upwards of $300 for a single speaker, but there are often sales on Amazon.

What We Like

  • Excellent sound quality
  • Loads of volume
  • Great bass response

What We Dislike

  • Fairly expensive
  • Large

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

Polk Audio RC85i 2-way In-Wall Speakers

Speaker Drivers:1 x 8” driver with 1 x 1” tweeter
Power Handling:20W – 100W RMS
Recommended Amplification:100W @ 8 Ohms
Size:12.75″ x 8.68”
Mounting Depth:2.87”
Weight:5.25 lbs

Also from Polk Audio, the RC85i is more of a party in-wall speaker as opposed to a home theater in-wall speaker like many featured in this article. The RC85i is an indoor/outdoor in-wall speaker making it perfect for installation in any room in the house or outside.

Sound & Technical Features

The Polk Audio RC85i features an 8” low-frequency driver with a 1” tweeter capable of producing 100W RMS. The RC85i is sold as a pair so effectively you’ll be buying a 200W RMS in-wall sound system.

The 8-inch driver produces an exceptional bass which results in a lot of speaker cone movement, especially at high volumes. 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.

Installing The Polk Audio RC85i 2-way In-Wall Speakers

The RC85i is a vertical mount speaker which can only be mounted in one upright position. Like the 265RT mentioned above, the RC85i is part of the Polk Audio architectural range which includes the horizontal speaker 255C-RT. The 255C-RT can be used with the RC85i for a center speaker placement if needed.

While the RC85i can be used as a home theater system, the best application would be for a general sound system indoors or outdoors. The RC85i has some serious power and throw with the 8” driver capable of producing a decent amount of bass. Perfect as a party speaker in the bar or out on the deck. If you do install these speakers outside, make sure the RC85i is fully covered by the roof where no direct rain or water can reach them. These speakers are resistant to moisture but not protected against direct contact with water.

Polk Audio supplies a template to measure the correct hole size before cutting. The speaker grilles are paintable, so you can match paint or decor.

Cabling & Amplification

If you plan to install the RC85i as a stereo sound system, then the best receiver to power these speakers is the Yamaha R-S202BL. The receiver has 4 x RCA inputs and Bluetooth so you’re able to connect several devices. The R-S202BL has two 100W outputs at 8 ohms which match the power handling of the RC85i. For home theater installations, the Yamaha RX-V385 5.1-Channel Receiver with Bluetooth is better suited.

For speaker cables, Polk Audio recommends using nothing less than 18-gauge wire. We recommend following the Polk Audio 265RT cable lengths:

Gauge vs Length

Lengths up to 25ft18 or 16 gauge cable
Lengths greater than 25ft but less than 50ft16 or 14 gauge cable
Lengths greater than 50ft but less than 75ft14 or 12 gauge cable
Lengths greater than 75ft12 gauge cable

What’s in the Box?

  • 2 x Polk Audio RC85i
  • 2 x Paintable speaker grilles
  • 1 x Cardboard cutout template

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. Having said that, I would prefer the 265RT over the RC85i for home theater installations. The RC85i is better suited for entertainment areas, covered patios, or even damp installations like bathrooms or the sauna. At under $150, the RC85i offers exceptional value for a pair of in-wall speakers.

What We Like

  • Affordable
  • Moisture protection
  • Balanced sound

What We Dislike

  • None that we could find

3. MartinLogan ML65i In-wall Speaker

MartinLogan ML65i In-wall Speaker

Speaker Drivers:2 x 6.5” driver with 1 x 1” tweeter
Power Handling:15W – 90W
Recommended Amplification:60W @ 8 Ohms
Size:11.2” x 8.2”
Mounting Depth:3.4”
Weight:4.85 lbs

If you’re looking for audiophile quality, then you’ll want to check out the Installer Series from MartinLogan. These in-wall and in-ceiling speakers are manufactured using premium-grade parts and designed to produce exceptional audio quality. The ML65i is the smallest of three in-wall speakers from the MartinLogan Installer series.

Sound & Technical Features

The MartinLogan ML65i features a 6.5” low-frequency driver and 1” tweeter with a power handling of 15 – 80W. The ML65i has an excellent low-frequency response with a defined bass sound. The detail and clarity in the midrange and highs are exceptional. Watching movies or playing games through the ML65i is especially exciting.

Keep in mind MartinLogan Installer Series speakers require a 72-hour break-in at 90dB before they settle and take on the speaker’s true characteristics.

Installing The MartinLogan ML65i In-wall Speaker

While the MartinLogan ML65i can be used for stereo or entertainment sound systems, home theater installations are where you’ll get the most out of these in-wall speakers. The ML65i is great for the front left/right and rear left/right positions, while the ML66i is designed specifically for the center speaker position. For the bottom end, you can go with either the MartinLogan Dynamo 600 (10-inch 240W) or Dynamo 40(8-inch 150W) powered subwoofer.

MartinLogan provides detailed installation instructions with scenarios for different room sizes and speaker positions. The speaker grille fits over the speaker frame completely so nothing but the grille is exposed. The space between the wall and the ML65i grille is less than 5mm giving an exceptional low-profile, clean aesthetic. The speaker grille is paintable so you can match your wall or decor.

Cabling & Amplification

Pairing a receiver with your MartinLogan in-wall speakers is critical to maximizing performance and efficiency. High-end speakers require a high-end receiver. For home theater installations, we recommend the Marantz NR1609-50W AV Receiver. This high-performance slimline home theater amplifier has many premium features but most importantly, will drive both the ML65i and ML66i MartinLogan in-wall speakers. For stereo installations, the Marantz Hi-Fi Integrated Amplifier is an excellent match MartinLogan ML65i.

MartinLogan doesn’t specify any cable gauge vs length recommendation but based on the specs we recommend as follows:

Gauge vs Length

Lengths up to 25ft18 or 16 gauge cable
Lengths greater than 25ft but less than 50ft16 or 14 gauge cable
Lengths greater than 50ft but less than 75ft14 or 12 gauge cable
Lengths greater than 75ft12 gauge cable

What’s in the Box?

  • MartinLogan ML65i In-wall Speaker
  • Speaker grille
  • Cut out template

MartinLogan ML65i In-wall Speaker Conclusion

If you want the best in-wall speakers and are willing to spend some money, then the MartinLogan ML65i is as good as it gets. Keep in mind the Installer Series is the “budget” range from MartinLogan and still outclasses any other brand on the market. One thing that’s very important when purchasing an in-wall speaker like the MartinLogan ML65i, is matching the speaker to an appropriate receiver or amplifier. With a budget receiver, you won’t get the optimum efficiency or performance out of your ML65i. You also run the risk of damaging the speakers with a cheap amplifier.

What We Like

  • Affordable
  • Highly trusted brand
  • Excellent sound signature

What We Dislike

  • It takes a little while to break in

4. CT Sounds Bio 8” 2-Way In-Wall Speakers

CT-Sounds-Bio-8

Speaker Drivers:8in Woofer, 25mm Tweeter
Power Handling:160W
Recommended Amplification:This speaker is powered/active, so no external amplification is necessary.
Size:16.34” x 12.28”
Mounting Depth:4..8”
Weight:6.19 lbs

The 8 inches 2-way weatherproof in-wall speaker by CT Sounds is another highly versatile and impressive unit. The speaker operates at a power handling output of 160W and can perform 2.0 surround sound calibrated audio.

Sound & Technical Features

The speakers have been designed to provide a zero-fatigue listening experience, which is possible due to an 8-inch injection-molded woofer that accurately replicates a wide frequency range with warm tonal characteristics. This allows for the elimination of harsh high-end, which is highly beneficial to your hearing health. These speakers can operate for hours on end without causing any form of auditory discomfort as minimal distortion can be detected – this allows for a lengthy listening session at any volume.

When looking at the sound quality, the CT Sounds Bio speakers reproduce a wide frequency range of 40Hz to 20kHz. While a small chunk of the low end is missing here, the subsonic frequencies in question simply won’t sound good on a small speaker such as this. It is also important to remember how the acoustic properties of your wall will affect the low-end response and the overall soundstage here. The 8-inch woofer does a great job considering its size, and it works in conjunction with a 2.5mm silk dome tweeter to deliver an immersive listening experience perfect for music, film gaming, and more.

As for the construction of these CT Sounds speakers, a polypropylene cone is utilized rather than a flimsy, moisture-absorbing paper speaker cone. This specification permits use of the speakers in all environments including in the kitchen, bathroom, or even outdoors in rainy or high humidity circumstances. The internal speaker components used are of absolute quality and will last for countless listening hours to come. 

Installing the CT Sounds Bio 8” 2-Way In-Wall Speaker

The CT sounds Bio 8” Speaker can be easily installed within minutes without any speaker installation experience. The speakers are aesthetically pleasing and don’t occupy too much space. The grille can be painted to match the color scheme of whatever room or area you plan on installing them within. 

Once you’ve marked the area on your wall, you’d like to situate the speakers and ensure they are level with one another. You’ll then carefully make a cut-out on your drywall to allow for space for the speakers. Once you have all your open spaces, run the relevant cables through and connect to your TV, Cable Box, or Media System. 

The in-wall speakers can then be mounted within your drywall and secured using the supplied screws. The optional grille can then be placed over the speakers if that suits your intended aesthetic. You can now connect any loose cables and, at the click of a button-enjoy the immersive listening experience.

Cabling & Amplification

Regarding cable construction, it is clear that cable management efforts have gone into producing these speakers as a clean and sterile aesthetic can be easily achieved here. As mentioned in the technical specifications,  no external amplification is required because the CT Sounds Bio 8” is a powered/ active speaker.   

Gauge vs. Length

Lengths up to 25ft: 12 gauge cable
Lengths greater than 25ft but less than 50ft: 13 gauge cable
Lengths greater than 50ft but less than 75ft: 16 gauge cable
Lengths greater than 75ft: 18 gauge cable

What’s in the Box?

  • CT Sounds Bio 8” in-wall speaker
  • ABS rectangular speaker grille/ protection panel

CT Sounds Bio 8” 2-Way In-Wall Speaker Conclusion

The CT Sounds In-Wall Bio speakers aren’t the cheapest pair on the market, but if you have the budget to match, I would highly recommend grabbing a pair of these high-performance, versatile, and professional-looking speakers.

The versatility of these speakers is truly incredible – they work beautifully for any and all applications and promise to interact well with any other speakers you may have in your home theater system if you plan on using more than a stereo pair, such as a surround sound configuration.

What We Like

  • Wide and warm tones
  • Versatile
  • Lots of volume

What We Dislike

  • Slightly on the heavier side

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

Polk Audio 265RT 3-Way In-Wall Speaker

Speaker Drivers:2 x 6.5” driver with 1 x 1” tweeter
Power Handling:10W – 200W
Recommended Amplification:10W – 200W @ 8 Ohms
Size:20.87″ x 8.87”
Mounting Depth:3.75”
Weight:8.1 lbs

Polk Audio is the industry leader when it comes to budget home audio equipment. They offer a massive range of audio products, including in-ceiling and in-wall speakers. The Polk Audio 265RT is a high-quality in-wall speaker at an affordable price. This in-wall speaker delivers excellent sound quality, which is not far off the likes of JBL, Bose, and other high-end premium brands.

Sound & Technical Features

Polk Audio 265RT features dual 6.5” low-frequency drivers with a single 1” tweeter mounted in the middle. At the bottom of the 265RT is a bass port which adds to the low-end response of the speaker. The power handling of the 265RT is 10-200W which means this speaker can be really powerful if paired with the correct amplifier or receiver.

The low-frequency drivers are mounted using rubber surrounds to ensure minimal vibration and reverberance through the wall when operated at high volumes. Furthermore, there are two acoustic settings for the 265RT.

The first is the ‘Tweeter’ switch which, when set to Filter, attenuation is applied to the tweeter. Engaging this setting is best if you have loads of hard surfaces in the room (glass, hardwood, tile floors, etc) which can reflect high frequencies causing the sound to appear harsh.

The second switch is ‘Wall Dist.’ which helps with low-end acoustic interference. Often in-wall speakers can become “boomy” depending on the distance between the back of the speaker and the wall. The Wall Distance switch allows you to compensate for the interference.

Installing The Polk Audio 265RT 3-Way In-Wall Speaker

The 265RT can only be mounted in one vertical position. This means you cannot use the 265RT as a center speaker. The 265RT is part of the Polk Audio architectural range which includes the horizontal speaker 255C-RT.

Polk Audio includes a speaker cutout mounting template so you can measure the right size hole before cutting. Polk Audio also provides a port plug for the bass port which is to be used for installations where the speaker is mounted in an area larger than a standard open stud bay. This will ensure the 265RT still produces a good bass response.

The speaker grille for the 265RT is paintable to match your wall or decor. Painting must be done using spray paint and not a brush or roller. The speaker grille is magnetic, so moving and removing is easy and does not require any tools.

Cabling & Amplification

The Polk Audio 265RT has a power handling of between 10-200W. We recommend a receiver between 100-200W to get the most out of this in-wall speaker. For a surround sound setup, the Denon AVR-S540BT would be a great match for the 265RT. This receiver is also good for driving the 255C-RT center speaker.

When it comes to speaker wire selection, Polk Audio includes specific instructions for the length of cable runs vs gauge of cable required. These are as follows:

Gauge vs Length

Lengths up to 25ft18 or 16 gauge cable
Lengths greater than 25ft but less than 50ft16 or 14 gauge cable
Lengths greater than 50ft but less than 75ft14 or 12 gauge cable
Lengths greater than 75ft12 gauge cable

What’s in the Box?

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

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

If you’re looking for an affordable but high-quality in-wall speaker, then the Polk Audio 265RT will be a good option to consider. The 265RT is powerful with an excellent frequency response for a full, rich audio experience. The architectural range is pretty extensive, so you’re sure to find other Polk Audio speakers for the center, surrounds, and even in-ceiling speakers if necessary. You can also pair the architectural speakers with the Polk Audio RTiA range, which includes floor standing, bookshelf, and home theater, speakers. The 265RT is sold as a single speaker so if you require a pair, make sure you purchase two.

What We Like

  • Reasonably priced
  • Excellent frequency response
  • Powerful sound

What We Dislike

  • Not very versatile

6. Bose Virtually Invisible 891 In-Wall Speaker

Bose Virtually Invisible 891 In-Wall Speaker

Speaker Drivers:1 x 7” driver with 2 x 1” tweeter
Power Handling:10W – 100W RMS
Recommended Amplification:100W @ 8 Ohms
Size:11.4″ (H) x 7.75” (W)
Mounting Depth:3.55”
Weight:5.25 lbs

The Bose Virtually Invisible series features in-wall and in-ceiling speakers for a range of installation applications. The speakers are designed to sit almost flush with the wall, hence the name -Virtually Invisible. The Virtually Invisible 891 In-Wall Speaker takes things up a notch in terms of audio quality and power. The Virtually Invisible 891 is a little more expensive than other in-wall speakers, but, like the Klipsch, you’re paying for a premium audio experience.

Sound & Technical Features

The Bose Virtually Invisible 891 features a 7” low-frequency driver with two 1” tweeters positioned in an array. The array gives the Virtually Invisible 891 a wider horizontal dispersion which means you’ll experience the same audio image no matter where you are in the room.

The Virtually Invisible 891 has a 10-100W power handling per speaker, which is more than enough power to fill most living spaces.

Installing The Bose Virtually Invisible 891 In-Wall Speakers

The Virtually Invisible 891 is designed for only one vertical mounting position. The speaker is best for general sound system applications in living or entertainment areas. With its wide dispersion, the Virtually Invisible 891 would make a good rear surround speaker, but I wouldn’t install these as my front/left-right for a home theater system.

The speaker grilles are paintable to match the walls or decor. The grilles fix to the Virtually Invisible 891 using magnets, making it easy to remove and replace for painting.

Bose includes a cutout template to ensure you get the correct hole dimensions before cutting.

Cabling & Amplification

The Bose Virtually Invisible 891 is best paired with the Bose SoundTouch SA-5 Amplifier. You can actually purchase Virtually Invisible 891 with the SoundTouch SA-5 together. The SoundTouch SA-5 connects to the internet via WiFi, allowing you to stream music from your favorite music streaming services. There are also 2 x RCA, 1 x ⅛-inch audio inputs, and Bluetooth. The SoundTouch SA-5 can run a single Virtually Invisible 891 per channel or a pair of Virtually Invisible 891 per channel.

Bose recommends using nothing smaller than 18-gauge cable for the Virtually Invisible 891. Additional guidelines for specific cable runs are as follows:

Gauge vs Length

Lengths up to 20ft18 gauge cable
Lengths greater than 20ft but less than 30ft16 gauge cable
Lengths greater than 30ft but less than 50ft14 gauge cable
Lengths greater than 50ft12 gauge cable

What’s in the Box?

  • 2 x Bose Virtually Invisible 891
  • 2 x Magnetic speaker grilles
  • 2 x Cut out templates

Bose Virtually Invisible 891 In-Wall Speaker Conclusion

If you’re looking for a high-quality in-wall speaker, both in audio and aesthetics, then the Virtually Invisible 891 is definitely one to consider. This high-end in-wall speaker is best suited for entertainment and living areas over a home theater installation. With premium quality comes a higher price so expect to pay more for the Virtually Invisible 891. Sold as a pair for just under $600 or with the SoundTouch SA-5 amplifier as a combo for just over $1000.

What We Like

  • Extremely flush profile
  • Clear, quality sound

What We Dislike

  • A little pricy
  • Not very versatile

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

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

Speaker Drivers:2 x 6.5” driver with 1 x 1” tweeter
Power Handling:40W – 130W
Recommended Amplification:130W @ 6 Ohms
Size:11.4″ x 7.68”
Mounting Depth:3.0”
Weight:5.1 lbs

The Yamaha NS Series is a massive range of consumer audio speakers, including bookshelf, wall mount, floor standing, in-ceiling, in-wall speakers, and subwoofers. This obviously allows you to fill your home with a range of compatible speakers for every application from just one brand. This is great if you want a home theater system integrated with a distributed home speaker and entertainment system.

Sound & Technical Features

The Yamaha NS-IW760 features dual 6.5” low-frequency drivers with a single 1” tweeter mounted in the center. The speaker has a power handling of 40-130W with a pair going you a peak of 260W, which is powerful enough to fill most rooms.

The NS-IW760 has the ability to get really loud with minimal distortion. The speaker’s intelligibility is excellent, making the NS-IW760 great for home theater applications as well as music.

The NS-IW760 tweeter is swivel-mounted, which means you can direct the high-frequency driver to your listening position. This is especially useful for aiming your rear surrounds towards your ears.

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

The NS-IW760 can be mounted vertically or horizontally, making it possible to have a full 5.1 surround sound system with just this speaker alone. For a subwoofer, you can include the Yamaha NS-SW100BL 10″ 100W powered subwoofer to complete your 5.1 system.

The NS-IW760 come with paintable grilles and a paint protector should you wish to paint your speaker bracket to match your wall or decor.

Cabling & Amplification

What’s nice about purchasing Yamaha products is you have the option to purchase every component of your sound system from one manufacturer. If you’re planning to install the NS-IW760 as a stereo pair, then the best option is the Yamaha R-S202BL stereo receiver.

For home theater installs, the Yamaha RX-V385 is perfectly suited for the NS-IW760, especially if you decide to use the NS-IW760 for each speaker in the system. The RX-V385 has a 130W output at 6 ohms which perfectly matches the NS-IW760. This will ensure you get the most out of your NS-IW760 speakers. There is a subwoofer-out that can go to your Yamaha NS-SW100BL powered subwoofer for a complete Yamaha surround sound system.

While Yamaha doesn’t include specifications for cable gauge, I would recommend sticking to the same specs as the Bose Virtually Invisible 891. These are as follows:

Gauge vs Length

Lengths up to 20ft18 gauge cable
Lengths greater than 20ft but less than 30ft16 gauge cable
Lengths greater than 30ft but less than 50ft14 gauge cable
Lengths greater than 50ft12 gauge cable

What’s in the Box?

  • Yamaha NS-IW760
  • Speaker grille
  • Cut out template
  • Paint protector
  • Glue strip for template

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

If you’re looking for one speaker for a full surround system installation, then the Yamaha NS-IW760 is definitely one to consider. The NS-IW760 delivers excellent sound quality and intelligibility, making them perfect for all listening applications. The ability to match a Yamaha subwoofer and receiver means you can get everything you need from one brand. At under $100 per speaker, the NS-IW760 is one of the most affordable premium in-wall speaker options.

What We Like

  • Very Affordable
  • Easy to install
  • Powerful sound

What We Dislike

  • Not as much low-end response as other models

8. JBL SP6II In-Wall Loudspeaker

JBL SP6II In-Wall Loudspeaker

Speaker Drivers:1 x 6.5” driver with 1 x 1” tweeter
Power Handling:10W – 80W
Recommended Amplification:80W @ 8 Ohms
Size:9.68″ x 7.12”
Mounting Depth:3.87”
Weight:5 lbs

The JBL SP6II In-Wall Loudspeaker is part of the SP series, an affordable range of in-wall and in-ceiling speakers from JBL. At under $120, you’re getting premium-grade speakers at an affordable price.

Sound & Technical Features

The JBL SP6II In-Wall Loudspeaker features a 6.5” low-frequency driver with a single tweeter. The tweeter is a swivel mount that enables you to angle the sound image to your desired listening area. The low-frequency driver is mounted in rubber surrounds to prevent any vibration from entering the walls.

As to be expected from JBL, the SP6II delivers exceptional audio quality. The 6.5” low-frequency driver produces rich, punchy bass, with the tweeter delivering good intelligibility in the high end. These speakers are good for home theater systems but would be best suited for a distributed or entertainment sound system.

Installing The JBL SP6II In-Wall Loudspeaker

The SP6II is great for in-ceiling or in-wall installations which means you can purchase one speaker for both positions. JBL has the SP6CII, which is the circular version of the same speaker should you prefer round speakers in the ceiling.

While you could use the SP6II or other SP series speakers in a home theater installation, they’re better suited for a distributed or entertainment in-wall/in-ceiling sound system. If you want a JBL in-wall/in-ceiling home theater system, consider the JBL Arena range, which we also feature in this article. If you want more power, consider the 8” JBL SP8II, which delivers a little more power output and improved bass response over the SP6II.

The SP6II comes with a speaker template for measuring the correct hole size. This template also doubles as the paint protector for painting around the speaker. Both the speaker frame and grille are paintable should you wish to match the wall or decor.

Cabling & Amplification

For stereo installations, the Yamaha A-S301BL is best for the JBL SP6II In-Wall Loudspeaker. The A-S301BL has two 60W outputs at 8 ohms. This is perfect for the SP6II 80W power handling. For home theater surround installations, consider the Yamaha RX-V485BL Receiver.

When it comes to cabling, JBL recommends nothing smaller than 16-gauge cable for the SP6II. The exact specifications are as follows:

Gauge vs Length

Lengths up to 20ft16 gauge cable
Lengths up to 30ft12 gauge cable
Greater than 30ft10 gauge cable

What’s in the Box?

  • 2 x JBL SP6II
  • Cut out template

JBL SP6II In-Wall Loudspeaker Conclusion

If you’re looking for a versatile in-wall/in-ceiling speaker for your entertainment area or a distributed speaker installation, then the JBL SP6II is an excellent choice. The compact size means the speaker will take up a minimal footprint while still delivering enough power. While the SP6II can be used for home theater systems, rather stick to the JBL Arena range for this application. At under $120 for a pair, the SP6II is not only affordable but also comes with JBL quality sound and craftsmanship.

What We Like

  • Small size makes it versatile
  • Easy to install
  • Affordable

What We Dislike

  • Not as loud as some competitors

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

JBL SP6II In-Wall Loudspeaker

Speaker Drivers:1 x 8” driver with 1 x 1” tweeter
Power Handling:100W
Recommended Amplification:100W @ 8 Ohms
Size:14.12″ x 10”
Mounting Depth:3.6”
Weight:5.5 lbs

Micca design and manufacture a range of affordable consumer audio products. Most popular is their range of bookshelf and in-wall/in-ceiling speakers. The M-8S is one of five in-wall/in-ceiling speakers available from Micca. The entire range is well priced, making a full surround sound installation affordable for those on a budget.

Sound & Technical Features

The Micca M-8S features an 8-inch low-frequency driver with a single 1” tweeter with a power handling of 100W. The 8” low-frequency driver is mounted in rubber surrounds and produces a decent amount of bass, so you can get away with not purchasing an external subwoofer for home theater installs. The tweeter is mounted on a pivoting mechanism, allowing you to aim the high frequencies to your desired listening position.

Installing The Micca M-8S 8-Inch 2-Way In-Wall Speaker

The Micca M-8S is designed to be mounted in a single vertical position. These can be used for the front left/right and rear left/right speaker positions. The Micca M-CS is a 5.25” horizontal center speaker allowing you to complete a 5.1 surround sound setup with a single brand. If you feel an 8” speaker is a bit overkill for the rear surrounds, you have the option of the Micca M-6S, which is a 6.5” version of the M-8S. Unfortunately, Micca doesn’t manufacture a subwoofer, but you could include the Polk Audio PSW10 10-Inch powered subwoofer to fill up the bottom end.

The Micca M8S is great for music-only applications too, perfect for entertainment areas or installs around the house.

Both the frame and speaker grille on the M-8S is paintable so you can match the walls and decor.

Cabling & Amplification

For surround sound installations, the Yamaha RX-V385 is going to be the best option. The RX-V385 allows for 4 x HDMI inputs, as well as various analog inputs and Bluetooth. The receiver delivers 100W per channel at 8 ohms which is perfect for powering all the Micca in-wall/in-ceiling speakers. For stereo installations, the trusty Yamaha R-S202BL Stereo Receiver will be your best option.

Micca provides exact specifications when for the cable gauge versus the length of the cable run. These are as follows:

Gauge vs Length

Lengths 50ft or less16 gauge cable
Lengths 50ft – 80ft14 gauge cable
Lengths 80ft – 120ft12 gauge cable
Lengths 120ft – 200ft10 gauge cable

What’s in the Box?

  • Micca M-8S
  • Speaker grille
  • Cut out template

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

If you’re looking for an affordable in-wall speaker, then the Micca M-8S is going to be your best option. For under $230 you can install a full 5.1 in-wall surround sound system. This excludes the subwoofer and receiver, of course. At this price, you would expect less than average sound quality. However, the Micca range sounds really good. These might be cheap speakers, but they certainly don’t sound cheap.

What We Like

  • Affordable
  • Easy to install
  • Vibrant sound

What We Dislike

  • Nothing really

10. Silver Ticket 652W In-Wall Speaker

652W Silver Ticket In-Wall Speaker

Speaker Drivers:1 x 6.5” driver with 1 x 1” tweeter
Power Handling:40 – 80W
Recommended Amplification:80W @ 8 Ohms
Size:12″ x 8.6”
Mounting Depth:3.5″
Weight:4 lbs

If the Micca range is still out of your budget, consider the Silver Ticket range of in-wall/in-ceiling speakers. The Silver Ticket range includes a few more speaker options than the Micca range but at between $5-$10 cheaper per speaker. Don’t be fooled by the price, these speakers sound better than you’d think. The 652W Silver Ticket is a versatile 6.5” in-wall speaker used in a surround sound system or as a stereo pair for entertainment areas.

Sound & Technical Features

The 652W features a 6.5” low-frequency driver with a single 1” tweeter. The low-frequency driver is mounted in a rubber surround to dampen any vibration within the wall. Like the premium in-wall speakers, the tweeter is mounted on a swivel so you can angle the audio image towards your listening position.

Installing The 652W Silver Ticket In-Wall Speaker

The 652W allows for a single vertical mounting position. Great for left/right and rear surround positions. Also in the Silver Ticket range is the 5252W in-wall speaker for a center position in a 5.1 setup. If you’re looking for more power in your front left/right speakers, the 82W Silver Ticket is an 8-inch in-wall speaker with a better bass response and more power. You can include the Polk Audio PSW10 10-Inch Powered Subwoofer for more bottom end.

As well as home theater installs, the 652W will be great for entertainment areas and distributed sound systems too.

Cabling & Amplification

The Yamaha RX-V485BL 5.1 Receiver is best for home theater installations to drive the 652W. The RX-V485BL will be good for the rest of the Silver Ticket in-wall speakers too. If you just want to run the 652W as a stereo pair, then the Pyle Dual Channel Audio Amplifier is an excellent budget option. The Pyle receiver costs under $50 and features one RCA input with two 75W speaker outputs.

Silver Ticket doesn’t specify the exact speaker wire gauge to long range but does recommend using a 14-18 gauge cable. We recommend sticking to these guidelines:

Gauge vs Length

Lengths 30ft or less18 gauge cable
Lengths 30ft – 50ft16 gauge cable
Lengths 50ft – 100ft14 gauge cable
Lengths greater than 100ft12 gauge cable

What’s in the box?

  • 652W Silver Ticket
  • Speaker grille
  • Cut out template/paint protector

652W Silver Ticket In-Wall Speaker Conclusion

Regarding the cheapest in-wall speaker, the 652W Silver Ticket is certainly the way to go. This hugely popular speaker is not only well priced but sounds surprisingly good for the money. If I had to choose between the Micca and the Silver Ticket, I’d probably go for the Micca however, if your budget is tight, then going with the Silver Ticket is the better option. For a full 5.1 home theater install, the Silver Ticket in-wall setup will cost less than $180. This is with two 8” 82W Silver Ticket as your front left/right and 652W as rear surrounds. Unbelievable value and cheaper than a single Polk Audio 265RT, which is also considered a budget in-wall speaker.

What We Like

  • Affordable
  • Easy to install
  • Powerful sound

What We Dislike

  • Nothing really

Buyer’s Guide – Everything You Need To Know Before Buying In-Wall Speakers

We recommend giving our buyer’s guide a read if you aren’t sure what to look for with in-wall speakers. Below we’ll talk about points to consider when buying in-wall speakers, from sound quality to installment.

In-Wall Speaker Amplifiers

While portable Bluetooth speakers can get away without a separate amp to power them, in-wall speakers require an amplifier to drive them. One needs to work these costs into their budget early on, as in many cases, the amplifier costs can be greater than that of the speakers they are driving.

It’s a common habit for home audio buyers to focus on the speakers themselves without thinking about the costs of the amplifiers. Amps range in price from around $150 to $1000 on average, and the cost of the amplifier you need will depend on the speakers you buy as well as the efficiency of the amp.

In-wall speakers are often used in conjunction with 2-channel or 4-channel amplifiers, meaning they’re capable of powering 4 and 8 speakers, respectively (2 speakers per channel). If you’re installing speakers into multiple rooms, you will likely need multiple amplifiers to power them.

Buying amplifiers can be a little tricky, especially for buyers who don’t have a deep understanding of audio and aren’t sure what ohms are or how they relate to the amp they need to buy. To make it easy, we’ve included amplifier recommendations for each product.

Looking At Sound

As with all speakers, the audio quality will be a primary consideration. We’ve selected speakers that only offer quality that we’d be happy to have in our homes. But generally, there are still considerations around sound when buying in-wall speakers.

If you’re not planning to run a dedicated sub-woofer for your low end, ensure that you’re going with an in-wall speaker with sufficient lower-end response. In the cases of those planning to run a sub-woofer, the deep low-end response of your in-wall speakers is still beneficial but won’t impact your listening experience too heavily.

For ambient audio in a workplace, you’re not going to have to worry about the low-end response in the same way as pair of in-wall speakers for home theater use.

Likewise, ambient audio is forgiving in how it expresses the frequency response of the speakers – if you’re setting up in-wall speakers to play louder music or as home theater speakers, you’re going to want speakers with good frequency response without excessive peaks that can cause bad audio.

Volume also plays a part, and the volume of your speakers should be selected based on what you intend to use them for. Again, ambient music or lower volumes allow one to opt for cheaper variations of speaker that don’t offer as much loudness and also become cheaper in terms of amplification.

For home theater systems or party environments, you should look at speakers with higher volume limits. While not a rule, typically, you’ll find that speakers with higher power will offer more volume. The efficiency of the construction will also play a role in determining your actual dB output.

Budget

If you’re not constrained by budget, the buying process is fairly easy compared to working with a tight spending range. Remember to consider all costs involved and not just the speakers themselves.

As discussed above, in-wall speakers are most commonly passive speakers and need to be driven by an amplifier. This adds expense to your buying process that can become quite steep, depending on the number of speakers you are looking to install. Also, consider the installation costs; installing in-wall speakers is not as easy as ceiling speakers, and you may want to consider hiring a professional for this process. We do discuss installation a bit more below.

Thankfully, in-wall speakers are relatively affordable in the audio-sphere, and you won’t need thousands of dollars to bring in-wall audio into your home or business.

Installing In-Wall Speakers

The easiest way to install in-wall speakers is to do so when building the room, but the process remains relatively easy with dry-walling. One of the times when in-wall speaker installation may get quite challenging is when you’re attempting to mount them in the wrong location (such as directly in front of infrastructural support, wiring, or plumbing).

If you want to install in-wall speakers into a brick wall, that’s quite a different process, and for that, we highly recommend speaking to a professional installer who can assist you.

Tools Required

Installing in-wall speakers can be done with minimal tools required. Here is a list of the tools you should have on hand:

Drywall Cutter

Just about every home has a drywall cutter lying around somewhere. This is an essential tool for in-wall speaker installations as you need to cut a hole to mount your speaker.

Screwdriver

As screw-heads can vary, it’s best to have a screwdriver multi-tool, so you’re covered. This is another essential tool for screwing the speaker in place.

Carpenter’s Pencil

You’ll need a pencil to mark out your speaker hole before cutting. The correct pencil is a Carpenter’s Pencil, but you can use any pencil for this job. Make sure it’s a pencil that can be erased if you decide to move the hole. A Sharpie or pen is harder to remove if you make a mistake.

Drill

To use your drywall cutter, you’ll need a drill to make a pilot hole. A drill will also come in handy if you have to drill through studs in the wall to run the cable. Make sure you have a long drill bit if the stud is out of reach for a regular drill bit.

Spirit Level

Even though in-wall speakers come with a template, you still need to ensure your speaker is level. For this, a spirit level is essential.

Wire Coat Hanger or Stud Detector

A wire hanger can be used to feel inside for studs or obstructions, but ideally having a stud detector on hand is still the best for finding any existing metal. Together these two tools can give you a pretty good idea of what’s going on behind your dry-wall.

Before You Cut Into the Drywall

Do not make the mistake, so many people make when cutting drywall. Cutting before fully inspecting the speaker position. While you can get expensive stud finders, there is an easy, much cheaper option – using a wire coat hanger. You can also use a 14 gauge solid piece of wire which won’t bend easily. Here’s what you do:

  1. Find your ideal speaker placement, and then use a stud detector to ensure the area is clear from existing studs or other obstructions.
  2. Straighten your wire hanger and bend one end so that it’s 2 inches longer than half the dimension of the speaker. This will either be the height or the width.
  3. Now use your template to measure out your desired position for the speaker.
  4. Once measured, use a drill bit that’s slightly thicker than your wire hanger and make a hole in the center of the speaker position. Obviously, if you hit a stud here, you know to move straight away.
  5. Put your bent hanger into the hole and poke holes in all directions to see if you hit a stud or other obstruction. If you do hit something, then you know not to place your speaker in this position.

Our Pick!

Klipsch R-5502-W II In-Wall Speaker

Klipsch R-5502-W II In-Wall Speaker

If you want the best in-wall speakers with exceptional sound quality, the R-5502-W II is as good as it gets.


Audiostance Author - Matt Hallowes
Written by
Matt

Matt is a sound engineer and self-confessed vinyl-junkie! His work as a sound engineer includes both live production and venue installations. While traveling the world, Matt shares his knowledge and expertise with us!

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2 comments
    • Thanks for reaching out. The ML65i is a little more versatile than the ML66i as the ML66i is a single dedicated center-channel speaker (left and right woofer and a centered tweeter). If you’re looking for a center channel option, the ML66i is the way to go, but if you’re looking to place them as individual stereo speakers, the ML65i will be what you’re after.