Polk Audio MC85

In-wall speaker

  • Polk Audio MC85

    Grille included, not pictured

  • Polk Audio MC85


  • Polk Audio MC85


  • Polk Audio MC85

    Speaker grille


Our take on the Polk Audio MC85

by Amanda P.
Polk Audio

Fill your room with great sound, without sacrificing an inch of floor space. Polk's MC85 speakers, sold separately, install flush in your wall for a sleek, attractive look. Pivot the 3/4" tweeter to aim the high-frequencies where you like, so you can fine-tune your system's sound. The 8" woofer provides rich, warm lows. And this speaker's moisture-resistant design means you can use it in your kitchen, bathroom, sauna, or even outdoors, under the eaves.

Building a system
Install a pair of the MC85s for stereo music listening. These speakers can also work as the fronts, center, and surrounds in a surround sound system. The MC85s are voice-matched with the other MC in-wall and in-ceiling speakers, so you can mix and match.

Read more

An optional in-wall bracket is recommended for installing the MC-85 in a new home under 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.


  • sold individually
  • frequency response 50-20,000 Hz (-3dB)
  • 3/4" aimable silk dome tweeter
  • 8" Dynamic Balance® woofer
  • handles up to 100 watts
  • sensitivity 90 dB
  • 8-ohm impedance
  • paintable white matte grilles
  • durable, moisture-resistant construction
  • cutout: 8-3/4"W x 12-3/4"H
  • mounting depth: 3-7/16"
  • lifetime warranty

Priced each

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

Features and Specs
Enclosure Type In-wall
Video Shielded No
Tweeter Dome
Midrange Size ---
Woofer Size 8
Woofer Composition Composite
Woofer Surround Rubber
Power Range (Watts) 20-100
Sensitivity 92 dB
Impedance (Ohms) 8
Frequency Response 50-20kHz
Connector Type Spring clip
Bi-Amp Inputs No
Parts Warranty Lifetime
Labor Warranty Lifetime
Product Research
What's in the box?

Download owner's manual

  • White in-wall speaker
  • White grille
  • Cardboard template
  • Plastic paint shield
  • Owner's Manual (Eng/Fre/Spa)
  • Online registration card

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.

Mounting Options


MC Series: The Polk Audio MC Series in-wall/in-ceiling loudspeakers offer great built-in sound for multi-room listening. The MC Series features Dynamic Balance driver technology, an aimable tweeter, and polymer cone woofers, which ensures your music always sounds crisp and clear. The MC Series also uses infinite baffle tuning for excellent bass response, so you can install them in virtually any kind of wall.

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.

Woofer: The Polk Audio MC85 in-wall speaker features a 8.0" Dynamic Balance Polymer Composite Cone for smooth wide-range response with low distortion. The polymer composite cone provides excellent damping and bass response while resisting deterioration. For a smoother response and improved durability, each woofer uses a rubber surround.

Tweeter: The MC85 in-wall speaker uses a 3/4" aimable silk dome tweeter with neodymium magnet for clear, detailed highs and excellent imaging even for off-axis listening positions. Aiming the tweeter toward your listening position improves imaging and detail.

Infinite Baffle Tuning: Infinite Baffle Tuning uses the virtual enclosure of in-wall/in-ceiling space for superior bass response.

Moisture-resistant: Durable, moisture-resistant materials allow you to install the speakers in bathrooms, kitchens, saunas, even under outdoor eaves.

Timbre-matched: The MC Series speakers are timbre matched to Polk Audio's freestanding speakers, such as the Polk Monitor, TSi, and OWM series; just in case you need in-wall/in-ceiling surround speakers to match your freestanding fronts.

Mounting Options

Installation: Each speaker requires a cutout of 8.75" (W) x 12.75" (H), with a depth of 3.3125" behind the drywall. Each speaker frame has a width of 10" and a height of 14.3125". Once the holes are cut, each speaker is placed in the opening and the Rotating Cams are tightened, allowing you to secure each speaker to the drywall without any extra assembly. The cam extends 1.25" deep from the mounting surface of the speaker and will accommodate a drywall thickness up to 1.25". When the cams are rotated, each extends 0.8125" beyond the 8.75" cutout width. If you will not be mounting these speakers in drywall, make sure the wall or ceiling material can safely support the weight of the speakers before installation; each speaker weighs approximately 3.6 pounds.

Paintable: The grille and flange can be painted, allowing these speakers to match any decor.

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Polk Audio MC85 Reviews

Average Customer Review:

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4 out of 5

Good Speaker Hard to paint

Written By Ryan, Kansas on Monday, December 23, 2013
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
These sound great but with the plastic frame they have to be painted before installation. I would have preferred a speaker that only the grilll needs to be painted.
good sound
plastic frame
2 out of 2 people found this helpful
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1 out of 5

Do Not Buy This Plastic Framed Speaker

Written By Chuck T, Sacramento CA on Wednesday, October 09, 2013
I made a big mistake buying these speakers. I had two very nice Boston 380 in-wall speakers that had deteriorated due to age and needed to be replaced. I called Crutchfield to ask for help finding me replacement speakers of the same size that would fit in the cut-outs. These were the closest in size. I enlarged the cut outs to accommodate the new speakers and went to install them only to realize that they are mounted on plastic, not metal. Plastic will of course deteriorate over time unlike the metal framed speakers that I am replacing. They do not have a backing plate but six prongs that hold each speaker in place, which is much less secure. Finally, the snap-in grills do not snap into the plastic, so both are partially sticking out of the frame. Sound is fine, but overall I am very disappointed in the quality of the speakers. I expected better from Polk.
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4 out of 5

Great Speakers

Written By Mallard27, St. Louis, MO on Wednesday, June 05, 2013
I was looking for speakers for my workshop that would offer a good level of base as I enjoy my music. These may have been overkill for the room but I got them at a great price. Overall, I am very pleased with the product except for the fact that they really shake my wall. I wish this would have been talked about somewhere as I don't think I would have purchased these speakers had I known this. I have in ceiling polk speakers, the RC series, and I don't have problems with this as far as I know. All in all, great speakers. I am rating as 5 star because of the severe wall shaking that is occurring. I am considering returning the speakers given the amount of wall vibration. I used 1" foam insulation in my walls and cut this away behind the speakers. I also put fiberglass insulation above and below the speakers in hope this would help and it did a little but not as much as I hoped. I did some browsing on some forums and it seems like this is a somewhat common issue with in wall speakers.
Great base, great overall sound
Shake the walls a lot. I am concerned that my drop ceiling is going to shake and that it could be bad to mount a TV on the wall given the rather severe vibration at times. An advisor recommended I use Russound Flexbox, but this is way to expensive for what I am doing. The wall vibrates across the whole wall and onto adjacent walls so this isn't just around the speakers themselves.
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5 out of 5

Wall speaker

Written By Honeid, Crystal Lake Illinois on Wednesday, May 29, 2013
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
excellent speakers for the cost
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5 out of 5


Written By Eric, Celebration, Fl on Tuesday, January 05, 2010
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
These installed great, were clean and tight to the wall and had no issues. Once the system was going these speakers really shined. The bass response was fantastic, the pitch was clear and tight and and the overall sound reproduction was amazing. The more these speakers were used the better they sounded (short break in period but wow).

Highly recommend in all regards.
25 out of 26 people found this helpful
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1 question already asked

Can these speakers be mounted against the insulation in an outside wall or do boxes need to be built for them so they don't contact the insulation? [ Sam  Apr 17, 2014 ]
6 answers
  • I have insulation close to mine on an exterior wall. [ JASON   Apr 18, 2014 ]
  • They can be however it may affect the sound some. I would recommend spray foam in the area where the speaker is. A 1" layer is equivilant to an R-13 insulation. This will allow some air space for the speaker and provide a good seal from the outside. If your outside wall is not insulated where the speaker is it could lead to moisture problems due to condensation and air infiltration [ RYAN   Apr 18, 2014 ]
  • Heat insulation doesn't have much to do with sound insulation, so a little contact won't hurt anything. However, mounting the speaker in a sealed box should improve the sound. I believe Polk makes a mounting box that can be incorporated if this is going into new construction. All that said, in-wall speakers are meant to be very forgiving, sound pretty good while taking up no floor space an blending into the decor. Do what you can, but don't sweat it too much. [ DAVID   Apr 17, 2014 ]
  • What type of insulation do you have? There shouldn't be an issue with heat, just space. If its bat insulation you can just press the speaker into it. If it's blown in or spray foam i would put a box in with a piece of underlayment on the back. [ BRYAN J   Apr 17, 2014 ]
  • I don't know what the experts recommend, but I mounted these speakers in an outside wall several months ago. Mounted them against the insulation with no surrounding box. Have had great performance and no problems. [ Randall   Apr 17, 2014 ]
  • Since the speakers really don't produce heat, It's my opinion that they can be. I would only consider boxes if their was a water or mildew possibility. An unrelated tip: these speakers really make the difference with the sub-woofer., small or larger model depending on the size of the room. My speakers are installed in the ceiling of the kitchen and the smaller one worked fine and fit beneath a desk. Cheers! WMS [ WEAKS   Apr 17, 2014 ]

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For a more in-depth review and enhanced detailed information on the Polk Audio MC85, please visit the Crutchfield website product page (/ISEO-rccbcspd/p_107MC85/Polk-Audio-MC85.html ).