Home Theater Review


Sonance Architectural Z8F In-wall Speakers Reviewed

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sonance_z8f.jpgIn-wall speakers are supposed to be heard not seen, yet far too often, when you actually look at an installed in-wall speaker, whether it's in the ceiling or in a side wall, they are just plain ugly. Yes, you can paint the grilles, but in order for an in-wall to sound good, it needs to have more perforations on the grilles than actual metal to paint. Therefore, a painted grille doesn't really look like the actual wall. It's always clear that there is a speaker installed. That is, until the Sonance Architectural series came along. 

Additional Resources
Learn more about Sonance speakers here.
• Read a review of Sonance Cinema Ultra II LCR speakers.

The Sonance Architectural series speakers are highly engineered in-wall loudspeakers without baffles, which means that they don't stick out from the wall. The internal mounting kit is pretty complex and installers actually have to take a course in how to install the speaker system using templates and a new outlook on installing in-wall speakers. What you get for your money and the effort are speakers that look like they belong in an expensive, modern home. Gone are the lines from the frame or baffle of the speaker. These speakers sit flush with the wall and the visual effect is groundbreaking.

The Sonance Architectural Series Z8F is only one of many speaker options in the Architectural line, which also has smaller driver speakers, round speakers and other application specific products. The Z8F comes with a finished front speaker, which can be hidden by a cloth grille or a more traditional metal grille. The driver complement includes an eight-inch woofer, a four-inch midrange and a one-inch tweeter mounted along with the mid. The mids and the tweeter can be pivoted to help improve imaging in the installation. The speakers are very efficient at 91 dB and can be run by the second zone of an AV receiver, as well as any modest home automation or distributed audio system.

The Sonance sound is clean and dynamic. The highs are smooth and soft, with no etching or glare. The bass that comes from these speakers might surprise some who haven't heard top-performing in-wall speakers in a while. The enclosure gets you down pretty low in terms of bass, but to get a full-frequency sound, you need a subwoofer, which can also be in-wall if you like, but the best performers are still floor-standing subs - if your design can handle it.

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