92 of 98 people found the following review helpful
on June 6, 2007
These speakers are great. Installation was much easier because the large, 8" opening you cut into the wall/ceiling makes it much easier to fish speaker wire. The mounting brackets securely fasten to the wall so there is no shaking or rattling. The tweeter can easily pivot to aim at your listening position. These are voice matched to the Polk "Monitor" series speakers, so match with any other RC series in-wall speaker, CS1 or CS2 center channel speaker, and PSW10 or PSW12 subwoofer.
My only 2 complaints, which were not enough to drop the rating, are:
1) The speaker cutout template turned out to be a tad small, and I had to go around with a keyhole saw again to make it 1/8" larger to fit the speaker all the way. That made it a little messier, but it ended up fine.
2) The speaker grill is pretty hard to remove, but you only have to do that once, and you want it to fit snugly anyways.
203 of 227 people found the following review helpful
on March 25, 2008
I purchased 4 of the RC80i for surround sound in my living room, lefts and rights for both front and back speakers. My rationale in purchasing in-ceiling speakers was the desire not to have a room filled with visible speakers. The mounting was very easy. Just cut the holes via the template and slide them in. The grilles fit snug and I'm sure will be a challenge if I ever have to remove them. The directional tweeter design is great and a must with in-ceiling speakers. Unfortunately, I was hoping for a little better fidelity. The speakers lack the high frequencies. They're good when listening to movies but you can hear the difference when listening to music. I set my expectations too high and have to remind myself of the price.
81 of 88 people found the following review helpful
on February 11, 2010
I recently installed three different ceiling speakers at three very different price points in three different rooms connected to my "b" output on my Denon amp. I use all of these at moderate volume levels to listen to TV or music.
Monoprice 8" Kevlars in my carpeted master bedroom - $59/pair!
Polk RC80i in my tiled bathroom - $129/pair
Speakercraft AIM 7 three in my small tiled kitchen - $299/pair! (by far the lowest price I saw on these)
I installed all of these in my attic. I placed plywood across the studs directly above the Monoprice and Polks but did not enclose along the sides (so there is not a complete box enclosing the speakers - although there is insulation enclosing those open sides). I did this to ensure that the sound wasn't getting lost in the attic. The speakercrafts are already enclosed.
I purchased a cheap speaker switch through which I can turn on or off the speakers in each room. I also tried to install in wall volume controls in each room. I purchased 4 Pyle impedance switches which was nightmarish. Very frustrating. Almost impossible to connect any wire thicker than 20 gauge to the tiny connectors. These switches were very poorly built. Even if the volume controls were good it still added a lot of work getting the speaker cable down the wall and then back up into the attic. I bailed on that part of the project.
Monoprice is a website that sells av wiring, cables, connections, HD wall mounts, etc at SUPER LOW prices. I've bought a bunch of stuff and have never been disappointed. The speakers are great for the price, but if budget is not an issue I wouldn't recommend these speakers. Just a bit muffled and not quite as responsive as the other speakers. No sign of distortion at high volumes.
Polks sound alive. Maybe lacking a bit of bass to be used as primary speakers, but that is expected. I'm very happy with the sound of these for music in a secondary room. It's great having music in the bathroom!
Speakercraft sound good. At the levels and for my purposes, though, they are pretty much equal to the Polks. They do have an enclosure behind them so the bass response is better than the Polks but not a huge difference. I guess if you need speakers to crank up as primary's these would be the best, but for the much higher price than the polks, I would not spend the money on these.
If I had to do it again and I would get the Polks for each room. For the price these were overall the best value.
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
For the last 8 years I've been using a set of Polk RM6700 surround speakers and a Polk PWS303 sub to power my home theater setup. This has worked OK, but I recently got the itch to make some upgrades; and it seemed like a good idea to get in-ceiling speakers for surrounds instead of having speakers suspended from the ceiling like I had before.
Originally, I was going to buy a pair of the TC60i speakers as surrounds; but, when I saw the price of these RC60i's on Amazon, I just couldn't resist.
Once the speakers arrived, I waited until my wife took the kids to swimming lessons so I could get these installed while she was gone to surprise her (she is really happy about getting rid of the hanging speakers). Since I had already run wires when I installed the previous speakers, putting these up couldn't have been easier. I traced the included template with a pencil and then cut out the hole using a jig saw. After packing the area above the speaker with insulation, I just popped them in and screwed them down.
As a side note, I didn't have any problems with tight grills that many users have reported. They popped right off both speakers using a safety pin and went on just as easily.
Anyway, I had completely installed both speakers and cleaned up my mess before the wife and kids showed back up from swimming lessons. It was about 30 minutes before anyone realized I had even done anything:).
Unfortunately, after listening to them for a couple of days against my previous smaller RM3250 satellites - I decided that they just weren't cutting it. Honestly, these speakers don't even hold there own vs. the sats with 3.25" drivers in tiny enclosures. They sound kind of hollow with the empty space behind them. (They were installed on the first floor of a 2-story house, so they don't have empty attic above them; but there is a lot of hollow ceiling between the floors.)
Lucky for me, the uninstall went just as smoothly as the original install. I replaced these with the TC60i surrounds that I had originally been looking at and the difference is amazing. The new TC60i's are the best sounding speakers in my setup right now - although I'm not done upgrading the other speakers yet. They also balance perfectly after running through the setup on my receiver.
Overall, I would only recommend these speakers as satellites if you are using really small speakers for your center/right/left. If you ever plan to listen to music, then skip these - and I wouldn't ever use them in the front of a home theater setup. The LC60i speakers do cost more (although I found a great price on sale), but I think they are worth it when it comes to sound quality - especially for something that will be installed in the ceiling.
52 of 65 people found the following review helpful
on January 1, 2008
Bought as ceiling surround-rear drivers for a 7.1 home theater. Very good timbre for such a price point. Good match for Polks RTi series. Be careful removing the steel grilles. DO NOT do what Polk suggests by using a paper clip. I did and spent time with a body-buck and hammer flattening out the distortion the paper clip caused. You might as well use an axe! There are four clamp-screws that need to be accessed from the front. Use these four screws to gently push the grill out from behind. Once you get the grill out a quarter-inch, you can peel it out the rest of the way from the front. Hope this prevents the a little aggravation. Buy these speakers.
46 of 58 people found the following review helpful
on January 2, 2008
I installed a pair of these in the kitchen, after which my wife and I both had one of those mouth-open, "wow" experiences. They flood the room with deep, rich sound: crips highs and full, round lows. You can angle the tweeters to "aim" them better, but I didn't want one particular sweet spot in the kitchen, so I left them pointing directly downwards. Awesome.
The installation is quite easy as well. I found that with a carefully cut hole I had no problems at all with speaker insertion. As with the other reviews, I had a devil of a time getting the speaker grilles off, and was afraid I might pull out one of the tiny holes with the paperclip. Polk would do better to package these with the grilles off so that the installer can skip that step. However, I found that putting them back on was easy - you just have to make sure you put them back on with an even insertion on all edges and then work your way around little by little...you can't fully insert them on one end and make the rest fit, they are that tight.
Bottom line: I love these and highly recommend them.
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on April 9, 2012
This review relates to Polk RC80i speakers installed in a ceiling with an overlying attic. Most of the comments also pertain to most other in-wall and in-ceiling speakers on the market.
Installation of the speakers was not a problem.
As my wife said, the audio quality is "good but not great" compared to hi fidelity speakers in the next room. Not only are the lows mediocre, but mid-and high-range sounds are not exactly crisp. But the sound is good enough for surround sound or background music.
My main comment, however, relates to whether the sound (especially the bass) would be better if these speakers had some sort of enclosure (i.e. a box or at least insulation to reflect the sound). It is surprising that this issue is so seldom addressed by those reviewing as well as by those selling in-wall and in-ceiling speakers. I spent a couple of days googling for reviews (including reviews on audiophile sites) which discussed this issue. Here is what I learned:
1. Hi fidelity speaker drivers are engineered to perform well with speaker enclosures of specific size and other characteristics (e.g. insulation);
2. The majority of in-wall and in-ceiling speakers on the market are, like these speakers, sold without enclosures;
3. This is not to say that in-wall and in-ceiling speakers are necessarily designed to be completely "open baffle". They might perform best without any enclosure at all (e.g. when placed in a ceiling that has an attic above without any insulation covering the speakers). Or they might be designed to perform best when placed in a compartment of a specific size (e.g. the space in an 8 foot tall wall cavity created by 2x4 studs 16 inches apart). Remarkably, the speaker manufacturers do not, that I am aware of, specify the type of space in which they perform best;
4. Some manufacturers market in-wall or in-ceiling speaker enclosures (e.g. Dynamat, SpeakerCraft). Remarkably, some of these manufacturers (i.e. Dynamat) also do not seem to specify the types of speakers for which these enclosures perform well. That is, there is no assurance that the size of the enclosure matches the engineering of particular speaker drivers;
5. This muddled situation persists because most people are happy with what audiophiles would call medium to low audio quality;
6. It is probably overkill to build proper speaker cabinets for such mid-to-low quality speakers. Moreover, any speaker cabinets that you make may not even be the right size for such speakers;
7. There is still the possibility, however, that the performance of a typical, inexpensive in-wall or in-ceiling speaker might be optimized by using simple techniques such as a) surrounding them with sound suppressing material (the same sort used in acoustic panels); or b) placing a sheet of plywood over the ceiling joists when the speakers are placed beneath an open attic; or (who knows?) c) creating a large enclosure for less than $15 by placing a styrofoam cooler over them. The goal of such modifications would be to optimize performance of affordable speakers at minimal cost and with minimal effort. Another goal might be to limit the leakage of sound into adjacent rooms. The goal would NOT be to transform them into hi-fidelity speakers. Optimizing the performance of typical, non-hi-fi in-wall and in-ceiling speakers is still an important goal, however, given the very large numbers of such speakers that are sold including for expensive home theater and whole house audio systems.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on January 4, 2012
We got these speakers because we wanted a better sound experience when watching TV. We find that we have to crank up our TV volume in order to hear the show. With 4 of these installed in our basement rec room, we find we don't have to have the volume turned up. It's connected to a pioneer VSX-1121K. And we are very happy with them. We paid $124 and now they are up to $147. We didn't want to have speakers filling up the room. I was afraid that with the lack of a center or front channels facing us would be an issue in terms of lack of sound. But it works just fine for our purpose. I know some folks have complained about sound. We are not audiophiles and our requirements are more for cosmetics and looks and sound second. And it exceeded those requirements. They are nice and sleek in the ceiling. The sound is great for our purposes. Installation was a breeze and solid. I was also concerned about how to remove the grill to install, but a paperclip works great. I love the fact that I can aim the tweeter dome. So they are all aimed at the sofa that will be across from the TV, under the two rears. I have the rears (left in the photo) connected to the rear surrounds on the receiver and the right (closer to the TV in front of the bulkhead) connected to the front mains. I made sure the ceiling was soundproofed when I installed them so there wouldn't be sound transfer to the floor above.
23 of 28 people found the following review helpful
on September 5, 2005
We installed these in our master bedroom and bath; sound is awesome. We also painted the speakers to match the walls - the blend right in.
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on December 19, 2007
My buddy told me these were very easy to install. He kept telling me what a smart design the locking mechanism is. They sound great. The Omni directional tweeters make up for any problems that might arise from less than ideal speaker placement due to shape of your A/V room. My ceiling is textured white, so these speakers almost disappear until you turn them on.