1. Polk Audio RC85i In-Wall Speakers
Polk Audio produces the best speakers of any category.
To be on top of any speaker list means that speaker has a rich dynamic sound.
Let's dive deeper as to why this is. A rich sounding experience should start with the composition of the speaker.
The size of its cone is 8 inches. What's more important is what surrounds it. A lot of speaker's material have foam composition.
This one has a rubber surround system.
The composition matters because it's all about sound dispersion. Having foam composition won't have balanced sound dispersion.
Rubber composition works because once the sound waves reflect off it, it doesn't bounce back. The sound waves disperse.
In addition, its rubber composites also are contained in stiff blue polymer cones. This helps with bass and damping.
Another component which makes it stand out is its tweeter. What's unique about its tweeter is you can face it in any direction giving new meaning to surround sound.
You know how speakers are worse at either high or low volume?
Well, the Polk Audio RC85i doesn't budge. It keeps quality at both ends of the spectrum.
Not all speakers are like this. An example of this are small Bluetooth speakers.
The reason why the RC85i pulls it off is because "Klippel motor optimization." This technology allows a smooth path for volume.
Now let's talk about its durability.
Another aspect which makes this speaker unique is the places you can put it. Since it can handle high moisture areas, you can place it in bathrooms and other compact areas.
On top of all of this is its versatility. You can blend it in with your home theater system or build around it.
And we can't forget about the outdoors. Its durability alongside its laser targeting tweeter make this a great outdoor speaker.
It also comes with pre-construction brackets so you already know what the deal is. Polk wanted to make this a smooth customer experience.
2. Yamaha NS-IW660
Coming with a 1-inch titanium dome tweeter is the Yamaha NS-IW660.
Dome tweeters are a must for great speakers. They're great for durability and don't interfere with sound waves.
What's impressive even though there's a tradeoff between durability and sound, is the sound quality being pristine.
The Yamaha also has a 6.5-inch kevlar cone woofer. Kevlar in itself is durable and is sometimes used as a shield for officers.
The Yamaha NS-IW660 comes with 88 decibels and 150 watts of power.
Both numbers are great for the average listener.
Similar to the Polk Audio speaker above, this in-wall speaker has a 1-inch swivel titanium dome tweeter. Being able to point your speaker wherever is a superpower.
The only catch is, how can you point it in a 360 motion if it's on a wall?
That is for you to figure out. But speakers don't have to target everything. As long as it hits your desired zone, you'll be good.
What makes this one of the best in-wall speakers is the 3 drivers. This allows it to produce lower frequencies, excellent for outdoor areas where sound waves need to be strong.
Another nice addition is the installation. There are easy-to-install mounts making it easy on the user to install the speakers.
If that wasn't enough for you, there's also some nice details contained in the manuals for audiophiles to read.
To minimize distortion, this speaker contains a crossover network (3.5 and 7 kHz). Not only does it lower distortion (if any), but it also lowers the deterioration rate for transients.
This speaker could also be part of the "best budget speaker" due to its price point. With its crisp sound and deep bass, you're getting a full package on this one.
3. Micca M-8S 2-Way In-Wall Speaker
Similar to the Yamaha, you also get easy installation with this one.
It doesn't come with easy-to-install mounts, but all you need are regular tools. A hammer and nails will do.
The standout feature of this speaker is its aesthetics. It doesn't blow you away, but it's made for modern designs.
It comes in a 3 colorway package so you can't be exquisite by default. But if you're looking to make this in-wall speaker stand out more, you can paint on the white parts.
Now let's get into the sound features.
Differing from the first 2 speakers on this list, the Micca M-8S comes with a soft dome tweeter. Soft dome tweeters aren't great for durability but it does work well for sound dispersion.
To have quality sound, a big part worth measuring is the frequency range. It goes from 40Hz to 20,000Hz which is a wide range, but even more surprising is how crisp the sound is.
To achieve quality sound, another factor to consider is the speaker's dimensions.
This speaker is 10 inches by 14.5 inches. Small speakers don't have crisp sound due to their dimensions. How can it? There's no room for extra components.
Extra components like the 12dB crossover is a huge influence for crisp sound. Combine a soft dome tweeter with a poly woofer and you'll be playing every type of genre possible.
A modern design combined with quality sound are the foundations of a great speaker. Coming in at a price point that's hard to beat with a durability that's hard to beat down - now you know why this speaker is on the list.
4. Polk Audio 265-RT
We've talked about a Polk Audio speaker before, but we didn't mention its patented Polk technology.
The Polk technology offers dynamic audio by a number of features.
A patented feature of Polk is its "Power Port bass venting system." This allows your speaker to sound loud wherever it is.
Sometimes you hear subwoofers where their bass is muffled. This happens due to the venting system.
The 265-RT has a venting system which allows it to filter air out efficiently. This minimizes distortions and other technical disruptions regarding bass.
One you rarely hear about is timbre-matching. This provides seamless blending between built-in and traditional speaker systems.
Regardless, if you connect this to a speaker system or leave it to itself, you'll get a crisp speaker.
Another aspect of speakers we rarely mention when we talk about speakers are grilles.
The 265-RT's grilles are designed to let sound waves transfer effortlessly. It's a small grille magnetically connected.
Compared to other speakers on this list, it's average on the dB meter. It goes to 91 dB and its frequency response goes to 30 Hz to 27,000 Hz.
For speaker noobies who don't know how to install speakers, don't worry, the manual is straight-forward.
An average price point brings this speaker down to number 4. Everything else we tried on this speaker passes the quality test.
5. 5252W Silver Ticket In-Wall Speaker with Pivoting Tweeter
This is the cheapest speaker on the list. It costs less than $50 which is equivalent to some small Bluetooth speakers.
The 5252W is a versatile speaker. It can be used for the whole house, theater systems, or outdoor areas. Equipped with 2 woofer cones, you're guaranteed quality sound. But that's not the only internal reason, you also get a silk dome tweeter.
This silk dome tweeter adjusts on the fly. In other words, it keeps tuning on sound placement even when it's playing. A fine-tuner like this creates smooth sounds. In addition, you can direct the sound in any direction.
An advantage of a "soft dome" tweeter is they're better at damping. What they're not good at is breaking up sound waves.
The battle between different types of tweeters comes down to what trade-offs you're willing to accept.
If you're looking for a modern design similar to the speaker above, this is another option.
Some say it's a basic combination, but the short trim combined with the 3-way color way provides a "clean" look.
And if you don't like the look of the speaker, you can always paint over it. Not much to lose.
Besides its looks, you don't have to worry about its durability. The 5252W has a hard external structure with moisture-resistant speakers.
All of these speakers are easy to install. And this one is no different. It only weighs 4 pounds so you'll be able to hold it while fixing it on the wall.
You also have the option of installing it horizontally or vertically. Useful for awkward areas.