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Polk Audio 255C-RT

In-wall center channel speaker

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Our take on the Polk Audio 255C-RT

by Marshall Chase
Polk Audio

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?
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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

Hands-on research from the Crutchfield Labs (what are the Labs?)

Features and Specs
Enclosure Type
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In-wall
Video Shielded
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No
Tweeter
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Dome
Midrange Size
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---
Woofer Size
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5.25
Woofer Composition
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Polymer Composite
Woofer Surround
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Rubber
Power Range (Watts)
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10-150
Sensitivity
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90 dB
Impedance (Ohms)
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8
Frequency Response
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50-25kHz
Connector Type
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Spring post
Bi-Amp Inputs
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No
Parts Warranty
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Lifetime
Labor Warranty
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Lifetime
Product Research
What's in the box?

Download owner's 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

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 open the box, verify contents, 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.

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"
 
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Polk Audio 255C-RT Reviews

Average Customer Review:

9 people say:

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Filter by rating:
5 out of 5

Polk Audio 255C-RT

Written By Mark, Mesa, Az on Saturday, July 19, 2014
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
Great center channel speaker
Pros:
Easy to install great sound
Cons:
None yet
Was this review helpful?    Yes | No
 
4 out of 5

Polk Audio 255C-RT

Written By Anonymous, Lakeway, TX on Tuesday, June 24, 2014
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
Excellent speakers for the money!
Was this review helpful?    Yes | No
 
5 out of 5

Powerfully Crisp Center Speaker

Written By BrandonB, Cedar Rapids, IA on Monday, 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
Was this review helpful?    Yes | No
 
5 out of 5

Great center channel speaker

Written By Utennessee, Memphis, TN on Thursday, 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
Was this review helpful?    Yes | No
 
5 out of 5

Polk Audio 255C-RT

Written By DougB, St. George, Utah on Wednesday, 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.
Was this review helpful?    Yes | No
 
5 out of 5

Nice quality sound, easy install

Written By SK, Honolulu, HI on Saturday, 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
Was this review helpful?    Yes | No
 
5 out of 5

Excellent

Written By JEH, Denver, CO on Friday, 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.
1 out of 1 people found this helpful
Was this review helpful?    Yes | No
 
5 out of 5

Polk Audio 255C-RT

Written By Steve, Buda, Texas on Saturday, January 19, 2013
 
Sounds great, looks fantastic, and Installation was a breeze!
Pros:
Sound, installation, appearance
Cons:
None
Was this review helpful?    Yes | No
 
3 out of 5

Polk Audio 255C-RT

Written By EdP, Alpharetta, GA on Monday, June 06, 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!

33 out of 36 people found this helpful
Was this review helpful?    Yes | No
 

1 question already asked

would this timber or voice match with polk 65rt in wall speaker ? [ jamie  Aug 02, 2014 ]
2 answers
  • 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 ]

Add accessories for the Polk Audio 255C-RT

UL-listed speaker wire is designed to be run through walls and is building code compliant. See all categories & accessories

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For a more in-depth review and enhanced detailed information on the Polk Audio 255C-RT, please visit the Crutchfield website product page (/ISEO-rccbcspd/p_107255CRT/Polk-Audio-255C-RT.html ).

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