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Polk Audio RC85i

In-wall speakers

Item #: 107RC85I

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80 Reviews


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The mightiest member of Polk's RCi in-wall speaker series, the RC85i delivers powerful, engrossing sound without taking up an inch of floor space. This speaker pairs a 1" soft dome Dynamic Balance tweeter and a 8" Dynamic Balance woofer to ensure spacious imaging, amazing clarity, and well-balanced sound throughout the listening area.

The swivel-mounted tweeters let you direct the high frequencies to fine-tune the best possible sound for your favorite listening positions. And Polk's Infinite Baffle Tuning takes advantage of the virtual enclosure of in-wall space for superior bass response. The RC85i is voice-matched to other Polk speakers, so you can use a pair as your surround speakers in a home theater system that includes more traditional freestanding speakers for the front channels.

The rotating-cam design makes installation easy — once you've prepared the opening in your drywall and run UL-rated wiring from your receiver, you can secure this flush-mount speaker with a few turns of a screwdriver. And you can paint the white matte grilles to match any décor.

An optional in-wall bracket is recommended for installing the RC85i in-wall 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.

Priced per pair

Product Highlights:

  • frequency response 50-20,000 Hz (-3dB)
  • 8-ohm impedance
  • sensitivity 90 dB
  • handles up to 100 watts
  • moisture-resistant materials allow safe use in bathrooms, kitchens, saunas, and under outdoor eaves
  • paintable white matte grilles
  • maximum outside frame dimensions: 14-1/8"H x 10-1/16W"
  • wall cutout: 12-3/4"H x 8-11/16"W
  • mounting depth: 3-1/2"
  • lifetime warranty

Polk Audio RC85i Reviews

Average Customer Review:

80 reviews
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Great Enough

Written By JimM, Oregon on Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Installed a pair of Polk Audio RC85i as front L&R speakers for my mid-range home theater. Excellent value for the money, no regrets.

Pros: sound quality, especially for the money

Cons: take some care tightening the tabs - use a manual screwdriver

polk audio rc85i

Written By DT, Washington on Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Easy to install and sound great

Pros: price and quality

Cons: none

Needed wall speakers with bass

Written By Gary S, Cincinnati on Monday, October 26, 2015

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

I needed to replace a pair of bookshelf speakers with wall units. I was able to talk with Paul who helped me decide between two speakers. They do not have the bass that the bookshelf pair did but I knew this going in that they would not. They look good and my wife likes them better since they do not have the real deep bass sound that she said was overbearing so they are now considered the right speakers. Thanks Paul

Pros: Easy to install has a good look sounds good and does have enough bass and movable tweeter to make my surround system sound just as good as before.

Cons: none

Good build quality and sound

Written By KenG, Georgia on Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Bought these to replace older Sonance 8 inch wall speakers. So they were easy to install since I already had run wires and had the holes. The old Sonace speakers were experiencing crossover board issues. Surprise, when I removed the Sonance they had the exact same mounting bezel! The crossover and drivers on the Polks do appear to be better quality.

Polk Delivers Again

Written By DB, Texas on Monday, June 29, 2015

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

I installed MC80 Ceiling speakers in my last house and thought they were great. When we purchased our current home, the builder had wiring for wall mounts, so I purchased RC85i's for 3 rooms of install. Install was super easy, hookup a cinch, and sound is great, again. These speakers are very affordable, especially when compared to the some of their competitors and the sound quality is comparable.

As always, Crutchfield came through with great information to make my decision and an added freebie! Polk PSW111 power sub was added in the center room and compliments all 3 with good lower response.

Pros: Price Ease of installation Sound quality for money

Cons: Not great lower end response, but what in wall's do

Very impressed

Written By Dan, Nevada on Monday, June 29, 2015

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Very satisfied. Great midrange sound and the tweeters are clear. I have 4 of these (2 fronts in the wall, 2 surrounds in ceiling) with my 5.1 system hooked to an Onkyo receiver and the sound really fills the room.

Pros: Easy to install Sound is awesome They blend in well

Cons: None

RC85i review

Written By Anonymous, the Washington, DC Area on Monday, May 18, 2015

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Easy to install with speaker cables already previously run behind the walls. Used a stud finder to center between wall studs and used template provided and traced around it to mark the area to be cut. It took about 1 hr per speaker to make all the connections and mount.

Pros: Pretty clear directions on how to install and speakers sound fantastic installed very focused sound and creates a great main speaker set up in lieu of using towers or large bookshelf speakers. Installed they look clean and sleek.

Cons: If you are not confident in your handyman abilities you may want to have professionally installed.

Great speakers at a great value

Written By mchicago, Beaver Creek, CO on Saturday, April 11, 2015

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Excellent speakers with great sound for the price.

Polk Audio RC85i

Written By Ken, California on Sunday, April 05, 2015

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

First, let me say something about the retainer clips... Don't over tighten the clips! It says so right on the package. If Polk made a mistake here, it was providing an illustration of an electric screwdriver for use with tightening the screws. The screws require some feel to know when they have been sufficiently tightened and an electric screwdriver does not provide the necessary feel. Tighten the screws by hand and stop when the screws get 'just a bit' harder to turn. So far, no broken clips for me and I have had to remove a speaker and put it back in and no broken clips.

As for the speakers, they are OK but I can't really tell how good they can be. I put them into a small room of poor audio quality. My purpose in buying these speakers was to free up some space in this small room. As for a comparison, the Polk speakers replaced a pair of Bose 301 series III speakers and I can't tell the difference.

Pros: They give me more space in my room

Cons: None, not even the plastic retainer clips.

Sweet Speakers

Written By Anonymous, Texas on Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Very well engineered. Clean fit and great sound.

Pros: No bracket or special mounting frame required to install. Cut hole and tighten tabs, very simple


Great purchase

Written By GC from texas, Canyon Lake, TX on Saturday, September 27, 2014

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Great speakers

Pros: Look great

Cons: None


Written By Baron, St George, Utah on Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Best speakers you can buy for the money!

The Polk Audio RC85i Speakers

Written By CecilC, Russellville, Arkansas on Tuesday, August 05, 2014

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

The Polk Audio RC85i Speakers are phenomenol!! Crisp highs and dramatic midrange and base response for the dollar gives the audiophiler more "Bang for the Buck" Truly an amazing pair of speakers for the indoor or outdoor music lover since these are also weatherproof under a patio!

Pros: Indoor or out on the patio wall or ceiling mountable!

Cons: None

Great value

Written By Samburch, The woodlands, tx on Saturday, May 31, 2014

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

These speakers are easy to install and exactly what we needed!

Pros: Easy to install; great sound

Cons: Only available in white; must be painted to match media room.

Polk Audio RC85i

Written By Anonymous, Boston, MA on Monday, March 24, 2014

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Great sound for the money. The pair I purchased are part of a whole home audio system and they are perfect in that application. These are not "critical listening" quality speakers but they are great for listening to your favorite tunes ate low to moderate volume.

Solid In-Wall Speakers

Written By BrandonB, Cedar Rapids, IA on Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Solid in wall speakers - can really delivery lots of range. The pivotable tweeters also allow you to direct your sound even more directly.

Pros: Good value Easy to install LOUD (with clarity)!

Cons: I didn't have them sooner.

Review of Polk RC85i

Written By SK, Minneapolis on Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Product arrived on time and in excellent condition. Bought these speakers for the media room in my basement which is being finished. Only reason for the 4 star is because I have not hooked this up yet.

Polk RC85i

Written By Taro, Yosemite, CA on Sunday, February 16, 2014

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Good sound for the money. Add a subwoofer and center speaker to round out the package. Easy install for either new construction or retrofit. Crutchfield had the best price and lightning quick shipping and their service is second to none.

Pros: Value, ease of install, decent sound

Cons: None

Great Speakers!

Written By Dave, CT on Saturday, December 28, 2013

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Awesome! I took these out of the box, followed the directions, and had them installed and working in no time. I also found spray paint to match and they blended into my wall and look great. I highly recommend them.

Pros: Easy to install Sound great

Cons: None

Very good sound

Written By Sam S, Maryland on Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Very nice range of sound!

Pros: Good range of sound with bass. very clear.

Cons: Paiting grille will not be an easy task. have to use a toothpick to make holes after grille was painted.

Polk Audio RC85i

Written By J, Philly on Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Good sound quality, average bass, clean looking grille

Polk Audio RC85i

Written By BrianP, Marietta, Ga on Friday, November 08, 2013

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Great Speaker for the price, I installed these in wall speakers in my living room to provide sound for my 50" samsung tv, I am powering them with a denon 1912 avr they were a breeze to install and give a very nice finished look compared to a home theater in a box. My wife was happy, I am happy. I only gave it a four star rating because I have heard better sound but the speakers would easily cost twice as much. Great speaker for the value.

Pros: Ease of installation, price, appearance, clear sound

Cons: none

Polk Audio RC85i

Written By Anonymous, deptford nj 08096 on Monday, November 04, 2013

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Great in wall speaker

Amazing sound.

Written By JDW, Tejas on Sunday, November 03, 2013

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

I am a budget audiophile. Long story short, these speakers provide a sonic experience that is _unbelievable_ for the price. I got two pair, mainly for stereo listening. I've only taken the time to install one pair. After dialing them in with my Denon receiver (and tight but small pioneer 8" sub).... they sound amazing. The imaging.... spectacular. I installed one with polyfill and the other without. Not much discernible difference. And I'm not sure the stuffed one is the better one. Anyway: I just zeroed in on speaker distance/crossover point on the receiver, and I am being blown away with just two of these plus the small sub in a 20x15 room. Can't wait to get the other two installed (though they're probably overkill--- which is not a bad thing).

Warm sound. Big sound stage. _Precise_ imaging if you want it.

These blow away the (entry level) tower speakers I bought and returned.

Pros: Warm, expansive sound, *especially* for an in-wall.

Cons: Nope. What do you want? Them to come with like chocolate bars and vodka?

good ceiling speaker for the price.

Written By sammag, Lake St Louis on Monday, October 14, 2013

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Speaker works very well for HT ceiling Speaker. Good highs.

Pros: Good highs. Great price

Cons: RMS

Awesome Polk Audio Wall Speakers RC85i

Written By Motobman, Tucson, AZ on Sunday, October 06, 2013

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

I bought these in wall speakers because of Polk's reputation AND they fit exactly in the holes I had already cut. I purchased them because my Emotiva in wall, 8" speakers sounded like I had TONE controls and like AM Radio... YUCK. These Polk's were less expensive, easy to install and sound amazing. I plan to buy more. Thank you Crutchfield !!!

Pros: Clean highs and lows. Simple install. Great Looks. Awesome product!

Cons: None.

Polk Audio RC85i

Written By John S, Asheville, NC on Friday, September 06, 2013

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Another great Polk product - easy installation, full rich sound. Very nice addition to the bedroom!!


Written By Anonymous, Texas on Sunday, August 11, 2013

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

I'm an audiophile and these speakers are amazing! I have installed them with and without insulation and they sound great both ways but if u want some bass out of them insulate them. I have them installed in wall and In ceiling... Install is easy, and Sound is amazing!!!!! Buy these now!

Polk Audio RC85i

Written By GregS, Hendersonville,NC on Monday, June 03, 2013

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

I have 4 of the Polk RD85i speakers in the walls of the bonus room along with 2 Polk RC80i speakers in the ceiling and a Polk TSI CS10 hooked up to a Onkyo TX-NR515. The sound is amazing and would like to thank the Crutchfield customer service for their help getting this all together.

looks ok

Written By DH, sioux falls, sd on Saturday, May 25, 2013

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

looks like decent quality, haven't installed the speakers yet only the brackets.

Pros: quality

Cons: none noted yet

Great for a beginner

Written By Chase, Arizona on Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Great price and they sound much better than what I was using before (Home theater in a box). Haven't tested much more expensive models. Also, I have installed and uninstalled them about 10 times and have not had one clip break. I guess just realize that you are in fact dealing with plastic and be realistic when tightening it.

Polk Audio RC85i's

Written By Danny, Boone, NC on Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

I up-graded my old stereo receiver from 5.1 to a new Denon 7.1 for a complete surround system. I purchased Polk Audio speakers for the 5.1 system years ago and they still sound as good today as they did the day I bought them years ago. I purchased the Polk Audio RC85i in wall speakers to complete the 7.1 package and I'm not disapointed! 7.1 surround has the sound bouncing all over the walls!

Pros: Two day delivery and no shipping.

Cons: None so far.

Really happy

Written By MM, Grand Haven, Michigan on Monday, March 11, 2013

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

I'm very happy with my pair of speakers. It was a little difficult fishing the wire up the wall and somehow I battled with a stud and waterpipe issue but it all worked out in the end. luckily it was an exterior wall. Make sure you do your stud finding first. The speakers themselves seem very well built and sound great in my theater room. I will certainly be adding more of these this year.

Pros: Built well Look very professional Very clean sound

Cons: None, other than running wire up a wall can be problematic.

Sound great, but...

Written By Jon, Omaha, NE on Sunday, March 03, 2013

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

These speakers sound pretty good. I would describe them as a neutral sounding speaker. I have them installed in my bathroom so it's hard to determine how they would sound in a normal listening environment. The sound echos a lot in the bathroom but that was to be expected. However, I did not expect the speaker grill to start rusting after 2 years. The description says, "moisture-resistant materials allow safe use in bathrooms, kitchens, saunas, and under outdoor eaves". While it is "safe" and the sound has not been affected, this is seriously misleading. Why they would use metal grills rather than aluminum is beyond me but I am not too happy about it.

This review does not reflect the service I have received from Crutchfield over the past 10 years. Amazing would be an understatement.

Pros: Great sounding set of speakers.

Cons: Speaker grills are not rust proof.

As promised

Written By CSW, Frisco, TX on Sunday, January 20, 2013

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Due to an engineered beam in our house making our living and kitchen area one, we were very limited on our surround capabilities in the family room (22x21 with open kitchen behind). Since I have rti12's for the front channel I wanted something with some size to not sound too different. These work GREAT. We mounted them above the structural beam which made them high so we inverted them, placed them about 2 feet from the side walls and angled the tweeter a few different times until we got what we wanted. It turns out that angling the tweeter downward slightly and toward the reflecting wall was best for several reasons: it helped disperse the sound to not sound so high or directional and it helped with time alignment from tweeter to woofer since they were upside down. Couple of other tricks that helped tremendously: Since the hole is so big get some R13 insulation and just keep shoving up or down as far as you can leaving it about 8-12 inches from your hole. Then take polyfill and apply generously in the remaining area to create your "box". This helps with sound waves in the wall, any rattle issues, resonant frequency bumps, and hearing too much from the other side of the wall. These are well worth the money for those that need a larger in-wall speaker.

Pros: Pivoting tweeter Ease of installation Polk's timbre-matching Woofer size with shallow depth

Cons: plastic tabs can be tricky if you over crank them

Polk RC85i

Written By MPG21, NYC on Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Excellent sound & quality for the money. Well worth it!!!

Pros: Love the in-wall speakers. Excellent for the bedroom - it gives our bedroom a sleek modern look without bulky speakers.

Cons: A bit larger than I expected. But they are awesome!!!

Great in-wall speakers

Written By BrianD, Shelton, CT on Sunday, January 13, 2013

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

I researched these a lot and am very pleased. I installed in a finished basement. Install was simple. Took ~10 minues per speaker (walls were pre-wired). These speakers sound great in both the insulated exterior walls as well as the open-back walls to the utility room. Highly recommended.

Polk Audio RC85i

Written By Chris, Mesa, AZ on Wednesday, January 09, 2013

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Awesome set of speakers. The install was very easy and the sound is superb. For the price and the quality, I'd highly recommend these to anyone on a budget. I read some reviews on here and other sites and some had mentioned the clasps/mounts were cheap and they would break easily...I found this not to be true, but be sure to hand tighten them with a screw driver, not a drill as that could have been their issue with them.

Pros: Great Speaker, Great Price, AWESOME sound!

Cons: None


Written By Tony 7.1, San Antonio Texas on Monday, December 31, 2012

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Awesome Speakers especially for the price! I bought this along with the RC 55, 65, and 265RT Center Channel Speaker in wall speakers for my 7.1 system and it sounds amazing! My suggestion though would be to get a great receiver to get the maximum sound you are looking for. I lucked out as i have a friend who upgraded to an 11.2 system and sold me his $1500 Pioneer receiver for $400! God is Good and my system sounds Great! The installation was easy as i had my room pre-wired for a 7.1 system so all i had to do was cut out the holes in the walls and install. Once installed I painted the grill as the instructions said with spray paint and my Theater Room looks amazing! I'm not one to pay somebody to do what I can do myself and I'm no professional but the installation was a breeze and my room looks professional grade! Also, they sent me the Polk PSW111 for free with my purchase and OMG! My room is booming! Thanks Crutchfield! My wife told me to upgrade to 7.1 and I'm so glad she did! I'm one Happy Customer!

Pros: Easy installation...just follow the directions.

Cons: none so far

Polk Audio RC85i

Written By bigdrive5, Kauai, Hawaii on Sunday, December 16, 2012

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Purchased a pair of these speakers for my 12x18 covered deck. My living room stereo would have to be turned up real loud to get adequate volume out on the deck. Planned to install them about 2 ft. up on a double wall railing pointing back toward the living room to give us sound all around us. Before installing, I did some testing. I set the speakers on deck chairs to test positioning for the final installation. They sounded very good and had good bass for an 8" woofer. Then I tested them by placing the up high on the beam that supports the exposed rafters and pointing them down at a 45 degree angle. Wow! They really sounded good up there once I found the placement that gave us a balanced sound. There was quite a sound difference between having the speakers 2 ft. up and 8 ft. up. At 2 ft., the sound is right about at sitting head height. The speakers kind of compete with conversation and need to be played at lower volume. Up high, the sound seems like it is above us and kind of envelopes the room with sound and does not occupy the avenues for conversing. The bass is also enhanced from the high up position----probably getting reflected off the open beam roof.

Anyway, I could not install these in-wall speakers up where they sounded best. So I have returned them and ordered a pair of PSB CS1000's that can be mounted on the beam. I encourage you guys to do a lot of testing with speaker placement before you install them---it really makes a difference.

Pros: Strong balanced sound. Good bass for an 8" woofer. Appears to be quality construction.

Great speakers, reasonable price.

Written By Anonymous, Colorado on Sunday, December 09, 2012

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Have four in-wall. Awesome sound. Bought these two to replace same model Polk Direct refurbished that failed and I returned. 200 square foot room sounds better than a movie theater. Matched with Polk center and sub.

Pros: Great sound, compact, easy install, great price.

Polk Audio RC85i

Written By Steven, Phoenix, AZ on Saturday, November 24, 2012

The worst and cheapest mounting system ever! No matter how careful you are with the mounting tabs, they will break off with the slightest bit of pressure on the screwdriver. I even bought the overpriced mounting brackets in the hope they would make the installation easier. The tabs should be metal. Poor product design by Polk Audio. Don't ruin Crutchfield's reputation by carrying this junk.

One for the money...

Written By CHillinSA, San Antonio on Saturday, August 25, 2012

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Similar to another reviewer, we purchased these speakers for a covered patio. We installed them in the ceiling, which bugs the interior designers but is perfectly legite from a technical standpoint. They look good even being adjacent to round recessed lighting. The speakers have great sound and can play very loud when driven hard. We enclosed the attic side of the speaker in a 0.6 cubic foot box in hopes of maximizing bass response. Although that is a small volume, we were afraid too much sound would be dispersed into the open attic space (uninsulated area). They sound so much better than the shoe-box speakers we replaced (which were an entry level Sonance product that died after about six years). We are very happy with these Polk's so far, just hope they can endure the heat and humidity of South Texas...

Pros: Excellent sound quality for the price.

Good sound

Written By Gary D, Charlotte, NC on Thursday, July 19, 2012

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

I love the speakers. I love the ease of instillation. I love that I could paint them to match my wall.

Cons: None

Great speakers for the $$

Written By Ethan, Eau Claire, Wi on Monday, June 25, 2012

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Great speakers for the money !!!

Pros: Easy installation,cut out plate in the box..

Cons: none..

great standard in-wall speaker

Written By Duane D, Apex, NC on Monday, June 11, 2012

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

I bought this pair to use for one zone of a distributed audio system at my church. 2 of the other zones use ceiling tile speakers, and the third has some 6.5" in-walls by Moderno. I went with the Polk 8" for the fourth zone because I have one firing into the kitchen and the other to the serving area. These spaces are bigger than the other zones and I was concerned about getting as much sound out of one pair of speakers as possible. Bigger is not always better in this regard, but this particular model is built with a VERY lightweight woofer and surround, so it is very efficient. I am using a Xantech Digi-5 system which has 30W per channel digital amplifiers built into the keypads. This is not a ton of power, but the speakers sound quite good, even before adjusting the tone controls. I would have liked the newer-style mounting and grilles, but aesthetics in this area were not a priority. And really, to get a pair of decent-sounding in-walls at this price it's hard to complain about looks. If you're looking to use these for your 5.1 or 7.1 home theater system and have a beefy receiver I would spend a few more dollars and get one of the nicer (more expensive) 6.5" models. While the 8" would give you more bass response, a well-powered 8" in-wall will produce more (unwanted) resonance in the sheetrock and you can avoid some of that with the smaller 6.5", leaving the bass to your sub.

Pros: GREAT value in terms of sound quality and volume per dollar spent very efficient speakers, great for distributed audio or a second/third zone off your main A/V receiver. also a good choice for low-wattage surround speakers

Cons: old-style mounting/grilles don't blend in or "disappear" as nicely as newer thin magnetic grilles.

Best Price/Performance Combination Available

Written By Joe P, Nesconset, NY on Sunday, June 10, 2012

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

You just can't beat these speakers if you are looking for solid performance at a great price. I'm sure there are better speakers out there but I suspect I couldn't tell the difference between RC85i speaker and some high end speaker that 5x the price. Love these speakers! I have them in the billiard room, masterbedroom, workout room and garage. Great match with my Sonos system.

Pros: Great sound. Affordable. Crazy easy to install. Directional tweeter. Crutchfield! Aren't these people the best?

Cons: I guess it would more impressive if the grill said "Bose" on the outside. Base is acceptable but sub does help when your in the mood to feel the thump

Amazing sound and easy install

Written By Eric R, Salt Lake City on Friday, May 25, 2012

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Truly amazing sound. Will need a sub, but definitly fill the room with full, clean and crisp sound. Cannot believe how simple these were to install. Just follow the template. Highly recommended. Thanks Crutchfield

Pros: Mid range and highs, installation

Cons: None

Polk RC85i

Written By JimD, North Hampton, NH on Monday, April 02, 2012

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

I was very impressed with the overal quality of the product and the installation was a breeze. You can't do better for the price and having listened to some more expensive options I could not justify the added cost. I have a combination 8 of Polk in wall and in ceiling speakers (and growing) and a couple of Boston Acoustics Voyager6 outdoor speakers matched to a Yamaha RXA2000 all purchased through Crutchfield. I am very pleased with the system and the advice I have recieved as I continue improve on my home audio experience.

Polk Audio RC85i-Awesome Speakers

Written By Scott T., Medford, OR on Sunday, February 19, 2012

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

I bought one pair of these speakers, got them installed and i was quickly hooked. One week later, I bought another set to complete my room. The installation is very easy, except the exterior wall wall fish, and the literature that comes with the speakers is very clear and easy to understand. I have no complaints with this product, as I have had none with any of my other POLK products. Just make sure when you purchase these, that you get UL rated in-wall wire too.

Pros: Easy installation with plenty of manufacturer literature. Extremely clear, full sound.

Cons: None

Polk Audio RC85i

Written By Jlee, Baltimore MD on Monday, February 06, 2012

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Great sound quality and an affordable price

Pros: Easy mounting installaytion

Polk Audio RC85I

Written By Darrell, Aberdeen wa on Monday, January 23, 2012

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

They are great.Easy to put in,sound great.

Easy Purchase

Written By MartyC, Elmira, NY on Saturday, September 10, 2011

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

A no brainer. I needed a pair of in ceiling speakers for my outdoor patio area. My Crutchfield online advisor was able to quickly recommend these Polk Audio speakers that were designed for outdoor use. After watching Crutchfield's video on these speakers I was sold. They arrived at my doorstep within a few days and now that they are installed, my whole family loves them. Crutchfield made the purchase for these speakers very easy....and they sound great. Thanks Crutchfield.

Polk Audio RC85i

Written By David, San Diego, CA on Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

This is an early review. (Just installed yesterday). I put for of these in a weight
room that is approximately 1000sqft at work. they are hooked up to a
Harman/kardon HK3390 stereo reciever. the room is a large rectangle so
there are two on one long wall and 1 on each of the two short walls. the sound
quality in the room is great. they need to be loud as it is a loud room and the
sound is still clear. there are two massive (loud) industrial blade fans in the
wieght room and even with those on the volume only needed to be turned up a
couple db's to compensate. completely happy with these so far.

Polk Audio RC85i

Written By Peter, New Hampshire on Sunday, April 24, 2011

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

These speakers are great . Plenty of bass , some people said not enough bass . I
have no idea what they are talking about . Maybe their reciever doesn't have
enough power . What a major pain to install , snaking wires in a home with
insulated interior walls . Then end result was worth it.

Polk RC85i

Written By EricB, Greenville, SC on Friday, April 15, 2011

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

I have enjoyed these speakers so far, and it's great not to have speakers in the
way all around the room. We have two pairs of these in the wall (for front left
and right and rear surround speakers). I saved a little more money ($17/pair)
purchasing Open Box versions, and each speaker was still sealed in plastic.

The installation instructions were clear, templates were provided for the holes,
and the speakers were easy to install. I had seen some criticism of the clips
that hold the speakers to the wall, but as long as you know they are plastic you
can treat them carefully with good results (no need to tighten the installation
screws too tight). I also later removed one speaker from the wall to ensure I
had made proper connections (when I actually had an audio cord issue
somewhere else that was the true cause), and that was pretty easy, too.

My kids have all commented on how cool the sound is in the new room where
these are installed, and we've had a similar 5.1 setup (with free standing froont
and rear Paradigm speakers that sound great in the other room for the past 13
years) that they've grown up with.

For the best effect, we should install a subwoofer to accent the sound
someday. Pulling speaker wire is also a pain (and much more trouble than
the speaker install), but it's well worth the trouble in the end.

Polk Audio RC85i

Written By Steve, Elizabethton, TN on Thursday, March 24, 2011

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Not really a techy, but installed 4 of these with my Onkyo receiver and Polk
PSW125 sub and the sound is really great. Install on these was easy enough and
they look great in the walls. I would highly recommend these to anyone looking
for great sound and great aesthetics as well. Look and sound great!

Polk Audio RC85i

Written By Jim Phillpott, College Point ,Fl. on Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Good speakers. No better sound than the 20 year old 8" Bose boxes they
replaced ,but at least they're in the wall .

Polk Audio RC85i

Written By GAB24, Reading, Pa. on Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

These speakers are just great. These replaced a pair of Polk bookshelf
speakers. When I added a flat panel on the wall, I needed in the wall speakers
to complete the look. The not only look good, but sound great. I insulated the
walls first to enhance the bass. You still should have a sub for the best surrond
sound. I plan on adding the wireless surrond sound speakers next. Then I'll
have a clean look and great sound. I've paired these with a Sony STR-DH810
which is 110W x 7 which is plenty for my 14' x 16' living room. Alony with my
KDL55NX55 TV and BDP470 BluRay all from Crutchfield, it's just grand. Love it

Polk Audio RC85i

Written By DJS, Pittsburgh, PA on Monday, February 28, 2011

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Great product! I put these in a large "common" room and they easily fill the space. They
don't offer as much low-end as I had hoped, but an extra powered subwoofer in the
corner solved that problem. I used it in conjunction with a Niles EVC-100 volume control.
Great buy and sound for the price. Piece of cake to install too.

Polk Audio RC85i

Written By Michael, Cocoa Beach, FL on Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Well you get what you pay for. The reason I got these was to clear floor space from larger speakers. Of course these aren't going to be the best speakers in the world at this price. I am a firm believer in you get what you pay for. The have good enough bass but I would definitely pair them with a sub. as far as stand alone speakers I wouldn't recommend these but in a multiple speaker environment they are just fine.

Polk Audio RC85i

Written By A. Holland, Nashville, TN on Monday, February 07, 2011

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Great speakers. Very good sound. Can't beat the price. I suggest insulating them.
They sound soooo good that they can be heard through out the house from the

Polk RC-85i Review

Written By Sparky, Troy, VA on Sunday, November 28, 2010

These Polks are extremely easy to install, and sound wonderful. The build quality appears
quite high, I just wish they were made in the USA (like my Polk 10Bs...), and not in the
People's Republic of China. Couple of tips: use an electronic stud finder to ensure there is
proper clearance behind the wall, but also cut a viewing hole near the center of your
intended space. This way you can "shift" the cut out a few inches either way in case there
are cross braces between the studs, which I encountered. These braces were only about
1/2 the depth of the stud, and not against the sheet rock, so they didn't show up using my
stud finder. Also, you need about 3/4" clearance past the template cutout for the
mounting "fingers" to swing out properly before they are seated against the sheet rock. I
found one of my two template patterns was too close to a stud. So, for these reasons, and
those particular to your situation I can't anticipate, it pays to scope it out before cutting the
template patterns.
One of my speakers has opposing sheet rock, i.e. an enclosed box, while the other is open,
i.e. infinite baffle, however they both sound fine, haven't perceived any loss of bass with
the "open" side.
All said, I was impressed with the build quality and engineering that went into these Polks.

Decent Base Response

Written By Richard, Eldersburg, MD on Friday, November 26, 2010

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

I was looking for a wall speaker that could stand alone and not require a sub-woofer.
We were not using these as part of a surround package, so there was no sub-woofer in
the room. Many of the other speaker reviews for other speakers seemed to indicate a
lack of base response, but it wasn't an issue since many people use their wall
speakers as part of their surround system which includes a sub. With the 8" woofer,
these speakers deliver a decent base. Not really super deep, but certainly not bad.
Some people have recommended insullating to give a deeper base. Even without that,
they are good. I'm still going to insulate to see if I can get a little more of of them, but in
general, a good value.

Polk Audio RC85i

Written By Kevin, Jax,FL on Sunday, October 03, 2010

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Just what I was looking for. Looks and Sounds Great. Even the wife agrees! Cutting a
12 by 7 inch hole in the wall can be alittle intimidating, but follow the pattern an find your
studs and it will turn out great.

Great Product from Polk

Written By Anonymous, San Jose, CA on Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

I purchased these speakers for an in-wall application in a "music room" in my house. This is a room that is a bit narrow with a high vaulted ceiling. They are powered by a low end Sony stereo receiver, and they replace a couple of Bose bookshelf speakers that were hanging high up on the wall. The Bose speakers sounded decent, but the Polk RC85i speakers perform much better. No "home theatre" application here, just straight music listening. Installation was very easy; my son was up in the attic to ensure the clips rotated behind the drywall as I secured them in place. Because they are mounted up on the wall where the attic space is behind them, I was thinking I would have to enclose the backs of them, but there's no need. I was also thinking that I would have to add a powered sub-woofer to the set up, but these Polks put out plenty of low end bass.

The only knock I have on them is that the mid-range is a little bit weak. But at this price, they are an excellent buy. So, 4-stars just for the mid-range weakness. I would not hesitate to buy these again. I am now seriously planning to purchase the RC55i or RC65i for my home theatre set up in the family room.

Great job, Polk. And great service from Crutchfield.

Impressive Speakers!

Written By T. Allen, Prescott, AZ on Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Bought these in-wall speakers to replace a pair of old, smaller in-wall
speakers high up in our great room which are paired to an older "shelf"
stereo system.
Installation was easy, once I enlarged the wall openings.
We only use these speakers for music (our TV is in another room), and
they sound great! WOW! Plenty of crisp highs, and solid bass--and a huge
improvement over the old speakers.
Since these speakers are up high, I couldn't really aim the tweeters down
enough to point at our listening area, so I aimed them up at the ceiling
instead (to bounce down to the listening area), and they sound awesome!
One other note: These speakers are in a wall which backs onto a small
"attic" area, not in a smaller wall cavity between 2 studs. I was
worried that the area was too large to be an effective speaker "cabinet," but
was pleasantly surprised to find out that this issue doesn't seem to effect
the sound at all. (Can't wait to see how they sound once i can afford a new

Simple and clean

Written By Chris, Twin Cities, MN on Thursday, October 29, 2009

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Have a very low key home theater. My wife did not want speakers all over our basement. These installed very easy and once the grills were painted, they basically disappeared. I accompanied these with the RC65i. Nothing earth shattering but it sounds very clean which is what I wanted. For the price it's a great buy.

I also have to say that the templates Polk provides were very nice, not flimsy or cheap like another brand I used for my center channel.

FYI Grill painting tip: I hosed one of my grills trying to paint it using a dry brush technique. (which I read online) I probably was moving to fast, or used to much paint, and the paint just did not lay right (first time ever doing it so)..I finally just went and found a spray paint color that closely matched our wall color and this worked a lot better, looked like they were done from the factory. Or they have those spray cans than you can put your wall paint into that will spray, but I heard mix reviews on those so.

Great Speaker for the price

Written By Anonymous, Ohio on Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Speakers were very easy to install and sound great with my Denon receiver.

Some say these may not sound good do to the fact they use the wall as the speaker
box. If your wall is insulated like mine the wall makes the perfect cavity. I simply
removed the insulation from behind the speaker then the cavity made the perfect
speaker box.

Polk Audio RC85i

Written By pham, cherry hill, nj on Friday, September 25, 2009

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

excellent speaker for the bathroom. great sound and nice bass. didnt
know it would sound this good. shape goes well with the shower shape
and skylight. very easy install.

Great speakers, cheap mounts

Written By Todd, Portland, OR on Sunday, August 16, 2009

I purchased these speakers for a remodel and they do sound great for the price. However installing them was a bit of a challenge. I also purchased the RC80's and an RC6s that installed easily. The RC85i's went into a wall cavity where I left the insulation in place for added bass response. I also boxed in the back of the enclosures with thick plywood- that's what saved me. When turning the plastic mounting brackets from the front they started snapping off inside the wall. No matter how many times I tried to make sure the clips were aligned as soon as I put pressure on the screws they went crooked and then snapped off. The only fix was to run 5" screws through the front screw holes to connect to the plywood backing. If the backing wasn't there I would have been completely stuck. I'm removing two stars for the cheap quality of the mounting clips.

Polk Audio RC85i

Written By Dan, Baltimore, MD on Sunday, July 26, 2009

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

I installed these in the ceiling of my master bath. I found them more asthetic because I have rectangular skylights, vs. using round ceiling speakers. Yes, you can use inwall speakers in your ceiling. I am truly sold on Polk speakers. These are prob. overkill for my usage, but they were "scratch and dent." (Love the scratch and dent. Never, ever found a scratch or a dent!!!) The rotating cam locking feature is fabulous. 6 cams hold the speaker firmly to the ceiling. Speakers are powered by a Sonos ZP120, rated at max 55 watts. MORE than enough power.

Great Speakers

Written By Travis, Orlando, FL on Friday, May 22, 2009

These speakers sound great and are easy to install. Lots of bass and highs are clear.

Definitely Recommended!

Fantastic Speakers

Written By Michael, Mesa, AZ on Friday, April 17, 2009

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

The sound from these speakers is incredible. Highs are crystal clear, and bass is very good considering the size. The install was a breeze. I highly recommend these speakers.

Great Speakers!

Written By Jonathan, Milford, CT on Friday, August 01, 2008

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Purchased the RC-85 as my front speakers and the RC-65 as the rear
surround. Very happy with the sound quality and performance. They
sound great for being a small speaker. Were a breeze to install. If you like
a lot of bass, pair them up with a good sub...but this should be obvious
given their size and purpose.

Very satisfied!

Written By Tim, Novi, MI on Monday, February 18, 2008

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

I was very pleased with the entire experience. The speakers arrived very quickly from Crutchfield to my front door. The RC85i speakers were a breeze to install and they sound great! I almost had purchased a smaller pair of the 55i's, but then decided to upgrade in order to enjoy deeper bass and a broader sound spectrum. It was the right decision. High quality sound and design at an affordable price.

Polk Audio RC85i

Written By Ryan, Florida on Saturday, February 16, 2008

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Ok first off I have to say that these speakers sound simply phenomenal! I use them as rear surrounds in my home theater. I am running them off of an Onkyo TX-SR504 receiver in a pretty good size living room with very high ceilings. Simply put, these speakers are more than adequate to fill up the space with sound! I had to knock off a star, however, as one of them had a shoddy mounting mechanism. I still got it in there, but it took a little longer than the other one. That said, I will probably buy 4 more to go in my bedroom when I get around to upgrading my system in there!

Not to Be Overlooked

Written By Frederick, North Texas on Friday, April 06, 2007

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Really impressive sound at a great price, and a great overall value. I imagine a lot of people pass them up because they look too small. Don't! I have a 1960s ranch house with a small living room (15 x 13ft) and needed more space: in-wall and in-ceiling speakers to the rescue. These modest speakers turn the entire wall cavity (typically 16-24" wide) into 8-foot speakers. I use two of these with a modest-looking but powerful Polk RM6902 Center speaker mounted below my Panasonic 42" plasma TV, a Polk PSW10 subwoofer, and two Boston Acoustics DSI255 ceiling speakers for surround. If you have a similar sized room, you could spend more than I did and do a lot worse. I did a lot of research online and the results exceeded my expectations. We use our setup for all types of music and home theater uses, and it always comes through. Yes, you can spend thousands more for "better" speakers, but as an audiophile who's been to hundreds of concerts, I think that somewhere along the way the differences are lost to the human ear and you're just paying for bragging rights, brand names, and speakers handcrafted from exotic wood.

Great speakers!

Written By Mark, Laytonsville, MD on Thursday, July 07, 2005

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Great sound and look, and VERY easy to install. I also have an "acoustically-challenged" family room with a 17' vaulted ceiling and an ONKYO 110 WPC 6.1 receiver is enough to drive a pair of these speakers as surround backs and do a really good job.

Polk Audio RC85i

Written By Michael, Arizona on Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Great in-wall option. I use them in a fairly large family room with tile floors and a tall ceiling. These speakers make the room into a home theater despite the questionable acoustics. I'd love to see what they could do in a smaller (home theater sized) room. I drive them with a Harmon Kardon AVR 725 and they take almost all of the clean power it can deliver. A lot of speaker for a very reasonable price. Excellent mounting design too!

Hands-on research

What's in the box?

Download owner's manual

  • 2 White in-wall speakers
  • 2 White grilles
  • 1 Cardboard Mounting Template
  • Owner's Manual
  • Online registration sheet
  • Product Registration Card

Product Research

Mounting Options


Dynamic Balance Technology: Dynamic Balance drivers are used for wide, smooth response and low distortion.

Woofers: Each speaker features an 8" Dynamic Balance, mineral-filled polypropylene woofer for clean midrange and deep, accurate bass. For a smoother response and improved durability, each woofer uses a rubber surround.

Tweeters: Each speaker uses a 1" Dynamic Balance, metalized soft dome tweeter in a ball-and-socket swivel mount. The aimable tweeters give you direct high-frequency control, resulting in excellent imaging even for off-axis listening positions.

Infinite Baffle Tuning: Infinite Baffle Tuning uses the virtual enclosure of in-wall 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.

Mounting Options

Installation: Each speaker requires a cutout 8.6875" wide and 12.75" high with a mounting depth of 3.5". Once the holes are cut, each speaker can be dropped in and the Rotating Cams can be tightened, allowing you to secure each speaker to the drywall without any extra assembly. 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 5.5 pounds.

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


Frequency Response:

  • Overall: 30 Hz-20 kHz
  • -3 dB Limit: 50 Hz-20 kHz

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.

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