It's hard to imagine in-wall loudspeakers becoming less intrusive for they take up zero floor space and yet that's exactly what they're doing, for the hot new trend among in-wall speakers is to be more hidden. How can an in-wall speaker be any more hidden? Easy, lose the bezel. For years in-wall loudspeakers have been "plagued" with chunky white bezels that might as well have been big white bulls-eyes screaming, "Look at me!" Of course I'm exaggerating but just like HDTV thickness, why can't in-wall speaker bezels be thinner? The answer is - they can. Not only are in-wall speaker bezels becoming a thing of the past, they're also more affordable than ever. Case in point: the 625-RT in-wall loudspeaker from Polk Audio.
Retailing for $149.95 each the 625-RT in-wall loudspeaker is part of Polk Audio's new Vanishing Series of in-wall and architectural loudspeakers. The 625-RT is a two-way in-wall loudspeaker that measures 14 inches tall by nearly nine inches wide with an overall depth of three and a half inches and a weight of four pounds. The 625-RT uses a one and three quarter inch silk dome tweeter sitting atop a six and a half inch polymer mid/bass driver. The 625-RT has a reported frequency response of 35Hz to 25kHz with an efficiency rating of 89dB into a nominal eight-Ohm load. Polk Audio states the 625-RT can be driven to satisfying levels on as few as 20-Watts, which seems about right. Nevertheless any modern AV receiver should do the trick nicely.
Installation of the 625-RT appears to be straightforward and easy enough for even the most novice of weekend warrior, yet if doubt abounds you can always have them installed by your local Polk Audio dealer. In terms of sound, the 625-RT are quite good, possessing natural though slightly warm midrange with a smooth, airy top end that is polite at the extremes. The 625-RT has surprising dynamics and the ability to create a convincing center image. All of this makes for a heck of a versatile yet affordable in-wall loudspeaker, one equally suited for music or movies but one that is also ideally suited for small to medium sized rooms.
Read about the high points and low points of the 625-RT in-walls on Page 2.
• The 625-RT's build quality is top notch and its minimal bezel gives it a decidedly upscale and high-end look.
• The 625-RT should be easy enough for even the most green of greenhorns to install on their own, though Polk does have an extensive dealer network to lend a hand if you're too timid to go it alone.
• You can paint the 625-RT to match any décor which, coupled with its narrow bezel, should make them practically disappear.
• Fans of Polk Audio's trademark sound will like what they hear from the 625-RT for it retains all the classic Polk Audio traits while taking up zero floor space in the process.
• Despite sounding larger than they really are, the 625-RT are in-walls designed to be used in a smaller environment or as rear channels (even effects channels) in a home theater setup. Those wanting a bit more oomph should venture up the Polk Audio in-wall food chain.
• The 625-RT need to be mated to a subwoofer for full-range playback, which does add to their overall cost.
Competition and Comparison
Taking their price, build quality and bezel-less design into account, the 625-RT face some stiff competition from the likes of Boston Acoustic's HSi 255 in-wall loudspeaker, Definitive Technology's DI 5.5S in-wall loudspeaker and Sonance's Architectural Z8F in-wall loudspeaker. For more information on in-wall loudspeakers including the latest news and reviews please visit Home Theater Review's In-Wall Loudspeaker page.
It's hard to argue with a $149.95 in-wall loudspeaker from a manufacturer as well-known and as widespread as Polk Audio. The 625-RT manages to pack high performance and high style into one affordable package, a feat few competitors have managed to do. While there are one or two drawbacks to the 625-RT's performance, mainly its need for a subwoofer and ability to only fill small to medium rooms properly, that shouldn't distract from all the things it does oh so right, which is be enjoyable track after track, film after film, for at the end of the day that's what being an audiophile or home theater enthusiast is all about.