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Polk Audio 255C-RT

In-wall center channel speaker

24 Reviews | 6 questions - 16 answers

Item #: 107255CRT

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Polk Audio 255C-RT

Overview

Our take on the Polk Audio 255C-RT

You finally replaced that mammoth tube TV with a flat-panel that hangs on the wall. You created the home theater you've always dreamed of with the wires tucked neatly away. The old center channel speaker that your significant other refers to as "the beast" has no place to go but out. Let the Polk 255C-RT show it the way.

You finally replaced that mammoth tube TV with a flat-panel that hangs on the wall. You created the home theater you've always dreamed of with the wires tucked neatly away. The old center channel speaker that your significant other refers to as "the beast" has no place to go but out. Let the Polk 255C-RT show it the way.

Leaves a big impression on your ears, not on your eyes
This in-wall center channel speaker is built to perform. Potent drivers work with the PowerPort® bass technology to deliver punchy lows. Polk's silk tweeter conveys every breath of dialogue. And it's swivel mounted so you can aim the sound toward your listening position, for better performance. All of this from a center channel speaker that's out of sight, in more ways than one.

Plays well with others
The Polk 255C-RT is voice-matched to Polk's free-standing RTi speakers. It can mingle with matching towers or bookshelves. Or it can join in harmony with other members of the "Vanishing" RT speaker family.

An optional in-wall bracket is recommended for installing the 255C-RT in-wall center channel speaker in a home with new construction.

Got wire?
Most speakers don't include any. Learn more about in-wall wiring at the Crutchfield Learning Center.
Shop our selection of in-wall speaker wire.

I bought this as part of a complete system for my new home. The speakers disappear on the wall especially if you take the time to paint them. They do take a little tweaking to get them to lay flat, just gently work the edge of the frame till they lay flat.

Chris, North Carolina

What's in the Box:

  • In-wall center-channel loudspeaker
  • White metal grille
  • Mounting template
  • Owner's Manual
  • Sheer-Grille Painting instructions
  • Online Registration Card
  • Polk Audio product brochure

Product Highlights:

  • frequency response 50-25,000 Hz (-3dB)
  • 1" swivel-mount silk/polymer dome tweeter
  • dual 5-1/4" Dynamic Balance® woofers
  • handles up to 150 watts
  • sensitivity 90 dB
  • 8-ohm impedance
  • timbre matched to Polk RTi series speakers
  • PowerPort® technology for punchier bass
  • tweeter level switch for custom sound
  • paintable Sheer-Grille™ for stealth installation
  • cutout: 13-1/8"W x 7-5/8"H
  • mounting depth: 3-3/8"
  • lifetime warranty
Reviews

Polk Audio 255C-RT Reviews

Average Customer Review:

24 Reviews

Great center channel!

Written by: Chris from North Carolina on December 28, 2015

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

I bought this as part of a complete system for my new home. The speakers disappear on the wall especially if you take the time to paint them. They do take a little tweaking to get them to lay flat, just gently work the edge of the frame till they lay flat.

Pros:

Cons:

Easy to install and good sound

Written by: Harsha from Texas on December 26, 2015

Easy to install and good quality

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Polk Audio 255C-RT

Written by: Glenn D from Florida on November 19, 2015

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

install was easy and after hook up this center channel lived up to my expectations

Pros: easy install

Cons: none

Great system on a budget!

Written by: Anonymous from North Carolina on November 17, 2015

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

I have the (255C-RT) and in walls (RC55i's) and 2 Polk Subs (PSW 108 and 111) for a 7.2 effect. It's a great combo for the size of room I have!

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Awesome center speaker....

Written by: Dave from Las Vegas ,nv on May 8, 2015

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Night and day diffference from my old center speaker,clear and precise dialogue...

Pros: Accurate sound,easy to install ...

Cons: None...

255C-RT

Written by: doug from new york on April 26, 2015

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

a perfect center channel match to my ceiling mounted 70-RT rear surrounds (rounded out with a spare PSW-120 subwoofer) and a great compliment to pair of vintage SDA-2Bs up front ... kudos to Polk for their advice on the RT speaker purchases, and on the Marantz pre- and power amps that drive them.

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Polk Audio 255C-RT

Written by: Anonymous from grand rapids, mi on March 27, 2015

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Great product for the discounted price I paid.

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Polk Audio 255C-RT

Written by: Anonymous from Milwaukee, WI on March 17, 2015

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Sounds great! Extremely easy to install. Very satisfied.

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Clear

Written by: clear from Philadelphia on March 16, 2015

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Clear, warm and detailed sound. Worth the money

Pros: Easy to install

Cons:

Great Center Channel

Written by: Dan from Ohio on February 27, 2015

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Purchased this to use as a center channel for our soon-to-be 7.1ch system. Impressively clear, full, and vibrant sound. Very noticeable upgrade from the old Sony speaker it replaced. Highly recommended.

Pros: Easy to install, strong and sturdy frame, magnetic cover, high quality sound.

Cons: Not much wiggle room to center in between 16" studs, but that would be expected for an in-wall speaker of this size. Use a really good stud finder and carefully measure before cutting!

Great speaker

Written by: KarlD from Ohio on February 11, 2015

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Great speaker for a wall mounted speaker setup. Easily fits in an existing stud bay - just make sure your TV is centered over an open stud bay if you want the speaker to be centered underneath the TV. Haven't put it though all the paces yet, but so far it sounds great, and it definitely looks great. The magnetic cover is a nice touch.

Pros: Size, looks

Cons:

Good sound from samm speaker

Written by: Alan M. from New York on January 31, 2015

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Bought these speakers based on my knowledge of the company, the Crutchfield advisor's recommendation, and pricing. We paired the speakers with the Onkyo TX-NR828. Great center speaker at a good price and size. They are truly wonderful speakers and I can see how couch potatoes are created.

Pros: sound, size, price

Cons: none yet

Polk Audio 255C-RT

Written by: Rich from Washington on January 25, 2015

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Easy installation and they sound great. It was installed with 625-RT's in the front driven by a Yamaha RX-V377. I love how all the speakers "disappear" into the wall, and I haven't even painted them yet. Blake was great in answering all my questions.

Pros: Easy install, "disappear" into wall.

Cons: None yet!

Polk Audio 255C-RT

Written by: Anonymous from Illinois on January 7, 2015

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Great sound

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excellent product

Written by: suzy from Pennsylvania on December 14, 2014

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

This product has great sound quality and is a wonderful addition to our newly installed Home theater system. We love the quality, easy install, and price for the product.

Pros: price, quality, sound

Cons:

Polk Audio 255C-RT

Written by: Mark from Mesa, Az on July 19, 2014

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Great center channel speaker

Pros: Easy to install great sound

Cons: None yet

Polk Audio 255C-RT

Written by: Anonymous from Lakeway, TX on June 24, 2014

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Excellent speakers for the money!

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Powerfully Crisp Center Speaker

Written by: BrandonB from Cedar Rapids, IA on March 17, 2014

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

This center speaker is fantastic - I'm not an audiophile and I haven't listened to lots and lots of speakers, but when it comes to center speaker clarity, from sports announcers to zombies to music listening, this speaker delivers. I personally don't understand what makes an expensive center speaker an expensive center speaker, but I'm satisfied that I didn't skimp on this speaker.

Pros: Crisp and clear Easy to install Sleek design

Cons: Pricy

Great center channel speaker

Written by: Utennessee from Memphis, TN on December 26, 2013

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Great center channel speaker. Super easy to install and looks great. The grill was very easy to paint. Sounds awesome with my Denon 7.1 receiver.

Pros: Easy to install, looks and sounds great

Cons: None come to mind

Polk Audio 255C-RT

Written by: DougB from St. George, Utah on December 18, 2013

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

As usual, Polk has another great product. The sound is incredible, I can hear stuff I never heard before. TV sounded like it was getting louder in the background and quieter in the talking making it hard to hear what they say sometimes. Now I can here everything they say. Having a speaker hooked up through a Marantz 7003 receiver I can add just a little more gain to it or less to others for the perfect match. Love it!

Pros: Great sound, price, and easy installation

Cons: As with any in wall or ceiling speaker, I always worry about breaking the tabs when tightening them. I wish they beefed up the housing and the tabs. I didn't have trouble with this speaker, but I tightened it just slightly beyond when it grabbed, not sure it's really tight enough yet.

Nice quality sound, easy install

Written by: SK from Honolulu, HI on November 16, 2013

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

I have bought two of these and the sound is great for small to mid-size rooms. Nice clean look and easy install. I have installed these both with and without the optional mounting brackets. The brackets are really only needed to show your drywall guys where to cut the holes, they do not help much for actual installation.

Pros: Great sound quality for the price Easy install Clean look

Cons: None

Excellent

Written by: JEH from Denver, CO on May 17, 2013

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

It's a little pricey but well worth it. Installation was a snap and it sounds fantastic.

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Polk Audio 255C-RT

Written by: Steve from Buda, Texas on January 19, 2013

Sounds great, looks fantastic, and Installation was a breeze!

Pros: Sound, installation, appearance

Cons: None

Polk Audio 255C-RT

Written by: EdP from Alpharetta, GA on June 6, 2011

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Installation was easy and the template was accurate. Because of the double woofers, I am using this speaker as the center channel in a 5.1 application, and although the specs (and price) are impressive, listening is not a "revelation". The speaker is good - no complaints, its doing what I ask of it; but I haven't experienced anything that "stands out" from this speaker, which makes me wonder if another, less expensive speaker would have done the same job. As usual, Crutchfield is great with their customer support, sales staff, and quick shipping!

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Details

Hands-on research

What's in the box?

Download the Polk Audio 255C-RT manual

  • In-wall center-channel loudspeaker
  • White metal grille
  • Mounting template
  • Owner's Manual
  • Sheer-Grille Painting instructions
  • Online Registration Card
  • Polk Audio product brochure

Features and Specs

Enclosure Type In-wall
Video Shielded No
Tweeter Dome
Midrange Size ---
Woofer Size 5.25
Woofer Composition Polymer Composite
Woofer Surround Rubber
Power Range (Watts) 10-150
Sensitivity 90 dB
Impedance (Ohms) 8
Frequency Response 50-25kHz
Connector Type Spring post
Bi-Amp Inputs No
Parts Warranty Lifetime
Labor Warranty Lifetime

Product Research

Vanishing Series In-Wall Center-Channel Speaker: The Polk Audio Vanishing Series in-wall center-channel loudspeaker (255c-RT) features a precision-engineered minimally flanged design and Polk's exclusive Sheer-Grille, which protrudes only 7mm from its surroundings. Installing virtually-flush in your wall, the Polk Audio Vanishing Series in-wall center-channel loudspeaker offers a one-cut, drop-in installation and rotating cam stabilizing system. The Polk Audio Vanishing Series in-wall center-channel loudspeaker provides superior high-performance sound from its dual 5.25" woofers and aimable 1" tweeter, with Reflective Room (Tweeter) Compensation control.

Driver Technology
Infinite Enclosure Design
Connections
Mounting Options

Driver Technology

Dynamic Balance Technology: Laser imaging technology allows Polk Audio engineers to see the entire vibrating surface of a driver and tweeter; they can actually see the resonance develop on the speaker cones-resonance that is the root cause of loudspeaker distortion. Being able to see the resonance develop, they then determine the Dynamic Balance of high-tech materials, geometry and construction that together effectively tune out the offending resonance. Exclusive Dynamic Balance Composite Material Technology delivers sound that is effortlessly clean and clear, even at lifelike volume levels.

Klippel Optimized Motor Structures: The Klippel Distortion Analyzer allows Polk engineers to optimize each driver's motor structure, voice coil alignment and suspension to insure smooth, unimpeded movement even at extreme listening levels. This is especially important in the shallow depth area afforded an in-wall built-in loudspeaker.

Dual Midranges: The Polk Audio Vanishing Series in-wall center-channel loudspeaker employs two 5.25" Dynamic Balance mineral composite polypropylene cone midrange drivers with rubber surrounds for a smooth, consistent frequency response. Each midrange driver features a lightweight, strong composite basket that work in conjunction with Klippel Optimization to keep moving parts in rigid alignment while further damping performance-robbing resonances.

Silk Dome Tweeter: The Vanishing Series in-wall center-channel loudspeaker employs a 1" Dynamic Balance silk polymer composite dome tweeter for crisp, clear imaging. The high-performance silk dome tweeter in the Vanishing Series in-wall center-channel loudspeaker features a 15° swivel housing, for more direct high frequency control, excellent off-axis imaging and more placement flexibility.

Reflective Room (Tweeter) Compensation Control: An easily accessible Reflective Room (Tweeter) Compensation switch allows you to make advanced audio tweaks to optimize the sound for any installation. Use the Reflective Room (Tweeter) Compensation switch to digitally compensate for harsh reflective surfaces. It doesn't merely reduce high frequencies; it actually allows you to "notch-out" a specific area of the spectrum (3500-6000Hz) where room acoustics most often interfere with performance.

  • Filter Setting: If your listening room is very reflective, with smooth sheetrock walls, hardwood floors, and non-cushioned furniture, the sound will be overly "bright" and unnatural. Selecting the "Filter" setting compensates for the effect of reflectivity in a hard room. Tweeter attenuation flattens room response, without hindering higher frequency response, for warmer, more realistic sound and more accurate imaging.
  • Normal Setting: If your room is not reflective, with curtains, artwork, lots of cushioned furniture and carpeting, sound will be absorbed by the room, resulting in more realistic reproduction and more accurate imaging. In this case, select the Normal setting.

Timbre Matched: The Polk Audio Vanishing Series in-wall center-channel loudspeaker is timbre-matched to Polk Audio's high-performance RTi bookshelf and floor-standing loudspeakers. This allows you to match them to an existing Polk Audio home theater speaker system and enjoy seamless blending from speaker to speaker. Timbre-matched speaker components will insure the same true response throughout your system.

Frequency Response: The overall frequency response of the in-wall center-channel loudspeaker is 30Hz to 27kHz, and the -3dB frequency response is 50 to 25kHz.

Infinite Enclosure Design

Infinite Baffle Tuning: Infinite Baffle Tuning uses the virtual enclosure of the in-wall space for deep bass response and superior overall sound.

Wafer-Thin Sheer-Grille: The Polk Audio Vanishing Series in-wall center-channel loudspeaker features Polk's exclusive wafer-thin Sheer-Grille, a magnetically-secured grille that protrudes only 7mm from its surroundings. The Sheer-Grille can be painted to match your décor, making it virtually indistinguishable from its surroundings. The Sheer-Grille has nearly transparent, ultra-small perfs, and are acoustically inert, for dynamic, unimpeded sound and more uniform coverage, even in larger rooms.

Note: We highly recommend you use a can of spray paint matched to the wall color you want the Sheer-Grille to blend with. Never use a brush or roller to paint the grille, as this will clog the perf holes.

Connections

Gold-Plated Spring-Loaded Posts: The in-wall center-channel loudspeaker has a gold-plated pair of spring-loaded binding posts that can accept up to 12-gauge wire, single banana plugs, or pin connectors.

Mounting Options

Applications: You can use the Polk Audio Vanishing Series in-wall center-channel loudspeaker to complete a system of traditional loudspeakers or in-wall speakers, by adding an inconspicuous center-channel speaker.

Placement: The in-wall center-channel loudspeaker is designed to be installed above or below your flat-panel television. Install the in-wall center-channel loudspeaker as close to ear level as possible. If the speaker needs to be installed lower or high than ear level, then aim the tweeter accordingly.

Note: Do not block the in-wall center-channel speaker with your TV or furniture, as this will disrupt and muffle the sound.

Rotating Cam System: The Polk Audio in-wall center-channel loudspeaker utilizes a rotating cam system to ensure a secure, vibration-free installation.

Installation: The Polk Audio Vanishing Series in-wall center-channel loudspeaker (255c-RT) can be installed in new or existing construction.

  • Existing Construction: In existing walls, use the included cardboard template for one-cut, drop-in simplicity. Achieve secure, vibration-free efficiency with a simple turn of Polk's Rotating Cam system (5 rotating cams).
  • New Construction: Pre-construction brackets (sold separately) are available for new-build or open-wall retro-fitting.

Dimensions: Crutchfield Measurements.

In-Wall Center-Channel Dimensions Model # 255c-RT
Overall Dimensions (with grille) Width = 14.8125"
Height = 9.3125"
Cutout Dimensions Width = 13.0625"
Height = 7.5625"
Product Depth (including grille & wiring) Depth = 4.125"
Mounting Depth (using 1/2" drywall) Depth = 3.75"

Our Product Research Team

At Crutchfield, you'll get detailed, accurate information that's hard to find elsewhere. That's because we have our own in-house Product Research team. They verify what’s in the box, check the owner's manual, and record dimensions, features and specs. We stay on top of new products and technologies to help people make informed choices.

Accessories
Q & A

Customer Q&A

Crutchfield asked  
Why did you buy this?

Hard choice. Couldn't determine if this center speaker matched front & ceiling speakers chosen. Wanted in wall center so this was the only on I could find. I'll let you know the outcome. [ David  Jun 27, 2016 ]
Great reviews & Polk's reputation, along with a recommendation from a young tech that sounded very knowledgeable a couple of months ago. [ J. Paul  May 30, 2016 ]
Most important speaker is the Center. This is powerful and going to be awesome sounding with 150 watts RMS.... [ J  May 17, 2016 ]
price and previous polk experience [ Susan L.  Feb 14, 2016 ]
Morgan Recommend Morgan's Bio: http://www.crutchfield.com/Support/Bio.aspx?bio=181 [ Robert  Jan 12, 2016 ]
POLK BRAND AND SOUND QUALITY [ RAFI  Jan 07, 2016 ]
Heard a all good things about it, yet to experience [ SREENIVAS  Jan 04, 2016 ]
Polk Audio quality [ DAVID  Dec 25, 2015 ]
I purchased these speakers based on the specifications, reviews and reputation of Polk. They installed easily and I'm very happy with the sound they produce. [ Larry  Dec 18, 2015 ]

6 questions already asked

Sorry, i wouldn't know for sure. I purchased a Boston Acoustics center speaker and it's worked fine with my Polk wall speakers. Great sound all around. [ Jim  Apr 11, 2016 ]
Yes. I built a custom media room and did 4 rc85's in side walls and the polk center under the 120" screen....combined w polk self powered 12" sub Good stuff and good price [ CHRISTOPHER  Apr 06, 2016 ]
Thanks for the feedback! Bringing a musician, the sound quality is important! However the vocal articulation and clarity is just as important, as the speaking/dialog can get lost for in some TV/movies due to slight hearing loss from my live performance days. I have been thinking of using the Polk MC80's in another room for streaming music, since the 8" woofer 'should' produce a bit more bass, but still retain the same musical voice matching, throughout the home. This is my first experience with ceiling mounted speakers so I welcome all comments. If there are other choices, feel free to post those too. Thanks! [ Mosie  Sep 30, 2015 ]
I have had no problem with this speaker matching to two other series speakers in the same room. I have always had to tweak the receiver for the center channel speaker even when all the speakers are the same series. Even with auto setup of the speakers, the center channel always seemed to quiet no matter the manufacturer. This speaker should work well for you. [ DOUGLAS  Sep 30, 2015 ]
I think you will be just fine. I also have mc60's in a 9' ceiling with a Yamaha center channel. It all sounds great. [ JAMES  Sep 30, 2015 ]
I have the same speakers in my vacation home. I have a pioneer elite receiver and 10 foot ceilings. Speakers sound great. [ JAMES  Sep 30, 2015 ]
You could. I dont think that this would affect the sound in any noticeable way. [ RYAN  Jun 21, 2015 ]
This is a single, center speaker for a home theater. If you are looking for "speakers" then this is not for you. If you are looking for a single center speaker, it is great. I would, however, mount it horizontal as shown. It will be better balanced and give better dispersion. Remember, it is a mid-frequency speaker made specifically for voice reproduction. [ Richard  Jun 21, 2015 ]
Yes, they can be mounted any way as long as you have enough room between your framing. [ DOUGLAS  Jun 20, 2015 ]
Thanks. Would I need to try and angle the speaker in the ceiling or just place it straight down and aim the tweeter towards the couch? I've got 9 ft ceilings. Also, what speaker craft speaker would you recommend instead of the polk? [ Ryan  Nov 18, 2014 ]
I have done this before, install the center channel in the ceiling, not with Polk Audio, but with speaker craft, and it sounded the same as my Polk Audio that are mounted below my TV. [ JAMES  Nov 18, 2014 ]
Yes.. [ Tim  Nov 18, 2014 ]
The speaker has got great range and should sound fine as long as the room isn't too large. I'd be more concerned about the sound carrying I n the room above the speaker. [ CHAD E  Nov 18, 2014 ]
I have been watching all types of movies and listening to all types of music and so far I am satisfied with the system they picked out for me, based on what I told them what my needs were. Awesome speakers. Jim [ JAMES  Aug 03, 2014 ]
Jamie...I purchased this center channel speaker along with 2 265RT's for my front speakers and 2 65RT's for my rear surrounds. It is my understanding that this set-up would be voice matched. I've had this set-up for about a year along with a Polk subwoofer and it sounds awesome! [ RUSSELL P  Aug 02, 2014 ]
Library

Looking for more? Check out the next model in this lineup.

Polk Audio 255C LS Each

Advanced driver design for even better frequency response

The Polk Audio 255c-LS offers these features:

1" Dynamic Balance® ring radiator tweeter for extended and accurate high-frequency response

dual 5-1/4" Dynamic Balance® woofers

frequency response 44-29,000 Hz (-3dB)