Definitive Technology UIW RLS II Reference In-wall Loudspeakers Reviewed

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definitive_uiwrlsii.jpgDefinitive Technology has been at the forefront of designing speakers that perform at true reference levels that can be "had" by the Everyman. While more known for their large tower speakers with built-in SuperCube subwoofers, their latest batch of very successful in-wall speakers are in line with the lofty Definitive tradition.

Additional Resources
• Read dozens of in-wall speaker reviews from Home Theater Review.

Take the Reference Line Source in-wall, the UIW RLS II's reviewed here, at $799 apiece. They are as good on paper as they are to the ears. As far as reference in-walls go, the RLS IIs are fairly compact, measuring in at a little over eight inches wide by 30 inches tall and just under four inches deep, so they'll fit between standard wall studs and in most, if not all, wall cavities. They are relatively light-weight, 19 pounds each, which means they won't be taxing the structural integrity of your wall when you decide to crank it to 11. The RLS IIs are a sealed enclosure design, which keeps wall debris from entering your speaker and sound from escaping them, two qualities I particularly value. The RLS IIs feature two six-and-a-half-inch bass/midrange drivers, mated to two six-and-a-half-inch bass radiators, with a single one-inch aluminum dome tweeter mounted dead center. Definitive Technology is one of maybe two manufacturers who make an aluminum tweeter that doesn't sound like an ice pick to the head. In fact, their aluminum tweeters rival the sound of tweeters made out of more costly materials like beryllium and diamond.

High Points
• The RLS IIs possess an even, rich sound that is equally suited for music and movies.

Read more highs and lows on Page 2.

HTR Product Rating for Definitive Technology UIW RLS II Reference In-wall Loudspeakers

Criteria Rating

Performance

4

Value

4

Overall

4

Disagree with our product rating? Email us and tell us why you think this product should receive a higher rating.


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Definitive_Technology_UIW_RLS_II_In-Wall_speaker_review_single.gif• The RLS IIs image terrifically with strong soundstage definition, as well as sounding superb when mated with other Definitive in-walls for multi-channel source material.
• The RLS IIs can be powered by even the most modest of gear to concert levels and still sound good.
• The RLS IIs can be driven hard without distortion or glare, which is rare among in-walls within the RLS II's price bracket.
• The RLS II's slim cabinet and outer flange make for a sleek, unobtrusive and easy to camouflage design.

Low Points
• The binding posts on the RLS IIs are a bit of a nuisance that require a little finesse for the fitting of large-gauge wire.
• Despite the appearance of four bass/midrange drivers, you'll want to mate them with a subwoofer to reach the lowest octaves, unless your room is small.
• The RLS II's mounting "ears" aren't the greatest in the business, but they are effective.

Conclusion
Definitive Technology's RLS II Reference in-walls are, like most of Definitive's speakers, utterly fantastic. They are among the best-sounding in-walls I've encountered and, unlike some of the other best in-walls in the business, the RLS IIs are truly affordable. Let me put it to you this way: my reference system consists of in-walls costing as much as a mid-sized sedan. Had I known about the RLS IIs prior to my reference in-walls' installation, I'd have the RLS IIs in my walls and a luxury sedan in my driveway.

Additional Resources
• Read dozens of in-wall speaker reviews from Home Theater Review.

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