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Crutchfield

Polk Audio 90-RT

in-ceiling speaker

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  • Polk Audio 90-RT

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  • Polk Audio 90-RT

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  • Polk Audio 90-RT

    Grille included (not pictured)

 

Our take on the Polk Audio 90-RT

by Marshall Chase
Polk Audio

You may never see your speakers again...
... but you'll know they're up there the moment you fire up tunes from your favorite artist. Polk's Vanishing Series 90-RT speakers stand out audibly — not visually. Your favorite rooms don't have to remain silent, just because you can't or don't want to put free-standing speakers there.

Polk's clever design yields big bass from a smaller space
Polk ingenuity fills their Vanishing Series speakers to overflowing with clear, full-range sound. Each model has three drivers — a tweeter, a midrange and a woofer — packed into a smaller than average space. Dual port bandpass technology ensures that you'll get deeper sound with a compact speaker. Their paintable, seamless-profile magnetic grilles make it simple for these speakers to fit perfectly into your surroundings.

Might as well invite the whole speaker family over
Get two 90-RTs to listen to music in the den, or add more for a great sounding home theater. They're also a pretty close sonic match to Polk's renowned free-standing RTi speakers. Any way you choose, you'll get harmonious results.

An optional in-ceiling bracket is recommended for installing the 90-RT 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.

Highlights:

  • sold individually
  • frequency response 43-25,000 Hz (-3dB)
  • three-way speaker design includes:
    • 3/4"silk/polymer dome tweeter
    • 3-1/4" midrange speaker
    • 6" x 9" Dynamic Balance® woofer
  • dual-port bandpass enclosure for better bass response
  • handles up to 125 watts RMS
  • sensitivity 90 dB
  • 8-ohm impedance
  • paintable Sheer-Grille™ for stealth installation
  • cutout: 8-3/16" diameter
  • mounting depth: 9-1/2"
  • lifetime warranty
 

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

Features and Specs
Enclosure Type
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In-ceiling
Video Shielded
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No
Tweeter
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Dome
Midrange Size
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3.25
Woofer Size
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6 x 9
Woofer Composition
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Polypropylene
Woofer Surround
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Rubber
Power Range (Watts)
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10-125
Sensitivity
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90 dB
Impedance (Ohms)
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8
Frequency Response
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43-25kHz
Connector Type
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Spring posts
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-ceiling speaker
  • 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-Ceiling Loudspeakers: The Polk Audio Vanishing Series 90-RT is a high performance in-ceiling loudspeaker designed to bring high-quality music to any room or transitional space in your home. It's Polk Audio's smallest, most "invisible" full-range in-ceiling speaker. The Polk Audio 90-RT's lightweight polypropylene cone & sensitive silk dome tweeter can be angled for superior off-axis performance. The innovative addition of the woofer driver behind the main speaker adds depth & dynamics to this compact in-ceiling speaker. The in-ceiling speaker's Reflective Room Compensation Switch digitally compensates for "reflective" rooms, giving you placement flexibility.

Driver Technology
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. This allows the engineers to actually see performance-robbing distortion develop on the speaker cone. Using this data, they can determine the Dynamic Balance of their high-tech materials, and alter the geometry and construction of the speaker to 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-ceiling loudspeaker.

Full-Range 3-Way Driver Array: The Vanishing Series 90-RT in-ceiling loudspeaker employs a new innovative patent-pending design from Polk that's like having a full-range, full-size speaker in a small inset lighting fixture. To do this, Polk designed a deep well and mounted a 'Cassini Oval' woofer above & behind the main driver array. By adding a woofer for low frequency response, the midrange & tweeter is freed up to provide more efficient detail. This innovative deep diagonal positioning allows the 90-RT cutout to be just 9" in diameter. This full-range 3-way driver array results in the kind of broad coverage and big performance usually achieved only with bigger box speakers. The 90-RT in-ceiling loudspeaker features the following three drivers.

  • Tweeter: One 0.75" Dynamic Balance silk/polymer dome tweeter
  • Midrange: One 3.25" Dynamic Balance mineral filled polypropylene cone.
  • Woofer: One 6"x9" Dynamic Balance 'Cassini Oval' mineral filled polypropylene woofer.

Reflective Room (Tweeter) Compensation Control: An easily accessible Reflective Room (Tweeter) Compensation switch allows you to make detailed adjustments to optimize the sound for any installation. The switch can be used to digitally compensate for harsh reflective surfaces. The switch doesn't merely reduce high frequencies, it actually allows you to "notch-out" a specific area of the spectrum (3,500-6,000Hz) where room acoustics most often interfere with performance. The switch has two settings:

  • Reflective 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 "Reflective" 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 RT in-ceiling loudspeakers have been timbre-matched with Polk's RTi Series loudspeakers. Timbre-matching with the same internal components, and the same lightweight polymer composite cone material, insures utterly 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-ceiling speaker is 30Hz to 27kHz, and the -3dB frequency response is 43 to 25kHz.

Enclosure Design

Dual Bandpass Ports: Bandpass Ports are the way to go when you want high efficiency in small enclosures. The Vanishing Series in-ceiling speaker employs dual Bandpass Bass Ports, smoothly funneling the angled woofer's detailed low-frequencies down around the midrange and tweeter array. The port design eliminates "chuffing", so the small, practically invisible in-ceiling speakers achieve superior full-range blending and broad coverage with surprisingly deep bass.

15° Angled Baffle: A 15° angled baffle allows you to direct the mids & highs for the particular application; simply by rotate the speaker in the desired directions and tighten down the rotating cams.

Wafer-Thin Sheer-Grille: The Polk Audio Vanishing Series in-ceiling speakers feature 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: When painting the grille, it is highly recommend that you use a can of spray paint matched to the color of the surrounding ceiling. Brushes or rollers should not be used to paint the grille, as this will clog the perf holes.

Connections

Gold-Plated Spring-Loaded Posts: The 90-RT 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-ceiling loudspeaker as in-ceiling rear surrounds to complete an RTi Series speaker system, or for superior dynamics in practically invisible multi-zone music systems.

Rotating Cam System: The speaker utilizes a rotating cam system to ensure a secure, vibration-free installation. There are four rotating cams to hold the speaker securely to the ceiling.

Note: There is an eyebolt on the back of the speaker that can be used for an extra measure of installations security.

Installation: The 90-RT can be installed in new or existing construction:

  • Existing Construction: In existing ceilings, use the included cardboard template for one-cut, drop-in simplicity.
  • New Construction: Pre-construction brackets (107PBLTC60, sold separately) are available for new-build or open-ceiling retro-fitting.

Dimensions:

In-Ceiling Dimensions Model # 90-RT
Overall Dimensions (with grille) Diameter = 9.625"
Depth = 9.625"
Cutout Dimensions Diameter = 8.1875"
Total Mounting Depth Depth = 9.5"
Mounting Depth (using 1/2 drywall) Depth = 9.375"
 
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Polk Audio 90-RT Reviews

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5 out of 5

Polk Audio 90-rt

Written By JP, Chula Vista, CA on Monday, December 23, 2013
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
I installed this speaker as my center channel. Very easy to install when using the template, just got to get thru cutting the hole in the ceiling. Speaker sounds great! Very clear sounding, loud and I have not heard any distortion when cranking it up.
Pros:
Price, easy to install, sounds great and works well as a center channel.
Cons:
I installed this speaker as an in ceiling speaker. If I were going to get very technical, I would have installed in the wall to have the audio coming right at me. Either way, it sounds great!
1 out of 1 people found this helpful
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UL-listed speaker wire is designed to be run through walls and is building code compliant. Most speakers don't include speaker wire. See all categories & accessories

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