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Polk Audio 90-RT

in-ceiling speaker

9 Reviews | 3 questions - 7 answers

Item # 10790RT

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Was: $349.99

Price break: -$100.00

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Our take on the Polk Audio 90-RT

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.

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.
Shop our selection of in-wall speaker wire.

Product 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

What's in the Box:

  • In-ceiling speaker
  • White metal grille
  • Mounting template
  • Owner's Manual
  • Sheer-Grille Painting instructions
  • Online Registration Card
  • Polk Audio product brochure

They are larger than I thought but fit Perfectly in the ceiling Easy install. Took about 2 hours to put up 4 Sounds great. Did buy a sub woofer to help out as I'm using them for music Great compliments from anybody that listens as they play pool!

Jim, Palos Park, IL


Polk Audio 90-RT Reviews

Average Customer Review(s):

(9 Reviews)

Great sound

Jim from Palos Park, IL on 12/25/2017

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

They are larger than I thought but fit Perfectly in the ceiling Easy install. Took about 2 hours to put up 4 Sounds great. Did buy a sub woofer to help out as I'm using them for music Great compliments from anybody that listens as they play pool!

Pros: Great value

Cons: None

Polk Audio 90-RT

Mark from El Dorado Hls , CA on 12/12/2017

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Speakers were easy to install being that I had pre-wire 3RT-90s Are for the front speakers in my surround and 4-RT70s side and rear

Pros: They were very easy to install saved me hundreds from paying someone else to install

Cons: None

Polk Audio 90-RT

Jen from Burlington, KY on 11/19/2017

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

The speakers installed in minutes. They are flush to the ceiling. The sound fills the room and sounds full. Less intrusive than the four speaker plus floor base.

Pros: The Sound! Easy installation.

Cons: The size.

Good speaker

Roberto from Roswell, GA on 8/13/2017

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Relatively good for the price. Wanted B&W but could not afford them. The finished installation is a minimal look. I think there are better speakers out there but for a lot more money so for me this is a good fit. Will probably buy two more for another zone; this is cheaper than buying two Sonos to get stereo : ) Did not give them a 5 'cause the installation instructions are not very good, but this was my first ceiling installation. Had to guess on the best orientation in relation to the listening location. I may have to adjust them....

Pros: Relatively good sound for ceiling speakers. They are now my rear channel; fronts are Polk TRi 12's. They combine well together. Look very nice (my ceilings are white) great for a modern look...

Cons: Installation instructions not good. No specification on best orientation of speakers. Locking cams were extremely hard to screw on one of the speakers. Had to search online for the best way to insert wires into connectors. Had to call support for explanation on the use of the eyebolt (not required for sheetrock ceilings)

Polk Audio 90-RT

Spencer from West Orange, NJ on 6/5/2017

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Very nice speaker with rich sound and impressive bass. Looking to purchase more for the rest of the house.



Polk Audio 90-RT

Crutchfield customer from Jackson, OH on 4/10/2017

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

I have not had long enough to rate the sonics of this speaker, however, it was very easy to install. I installed it in the drop ceiling of my dedicated home theatre as part of the new Atmos upgrade.



Great sound...hidden speakers!

Joe from Germantown, MD on 3/10/2017

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

I was a little skeptical of using in-ceiling speakers. After numerous calls to the fabulous Crutchfield team, I landed on 3 of these for the L-C-R i used the 70-RT's for the rear. I haven't had too long to enjoy them for movies. But, for music, they do a really nice job. And they aren't taking up valuable floor space where my wife can put Haven't added the sub yet. Probably in the next few weeks. I'll copy this review into the 70-RT field as well. Thanks Team Crutchfield! great advice as always!!

Pros: Really nice sound without giving up any floor space.

Cons: None yet.

Excellent sound and quality

Pete from Herriman, UT on 6/5/2016

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Installed these speakers to set-up Dolby atmos/DTS. Easy to install and have excellent sound quality. The three way design for these speakers makes a big difference.

Pros: Easy to install. Excellent sound quality and three way design.

Cons: None

Polk Audio 90-rt

JP from Chula Vista, CA on 12/23/2013

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!


Hands-on research

Features and Specs

Quantity in Package Single
Tweeter Dome
Midrange Size 3.25
Woofer Size 6 x 9
Cutout Size 8.1875
Woofer Composition Polypropylene
Woofer Surround Rubber
Power Range (Watts) 10-125
Sensitivity 90 dB
Impedance (Ohms) 8
Frequency Response 43-25kHz
Connector Type Spring posts
Bi-Amp Inputs No
Built-in Back-box No
Parts Warranty Lifetime
Labor Warranty Lifetime

Product Research

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
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.


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.


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"

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.

Q & A

Customer Q&A

Crutchfield asked  
Why did you buy this?

recommendation [ Richard  Dec 14, 2018 ]
fit my needs [ william  Nov 19, 2017 ]
I am completing the upgrade of my movie room to add Atmos capability and these will fit perfectly with the rest of my Polk RTi speakers. I chose these over the 80F/X speakers because Atmos is intended to precisely locate sounds within the room. The F/X speakers are better for rear or side surrounds where general sound diffusion is desired. [ Chris  Nov 10, 2017 ]
looking for rear ceiling speakers for music, already had Polk Rti12's for fronts so decided to match with the ceiling speakers [ Roberto  Jul 29, 2017 ]
The rest of my surround sound system consists of Polk speakers. [ Timothy  Jul 09, 2017 ]
I bought the onkyo Tx-nr 838 receiver awhile back and have polk audio tsx-550's for the front and a cs-350 for the center channel. I was going to buy the fxi-a6 dipole speakers today but saw these were on sale and couldn't resist getting them and put in the ceiling so me and my twin boys (12) can start hearing what Atmos is all about . Polk audio great speakers and quality products for the people who like to hear the beast in their systems. [ MIKE  Nov 23, 2016 ]

3 questions already asked

Maybe too powerful for a bathroom and I guess a porch roof would be OK as long as there is no exposure to the elements. [ John  May 19, 2018 ]
They are great speakers, but not sure how well they would work in a high moisture area like a bathroom or out on the porch. I would check with Polk or consider using outdoor speakers. [ Timothy  May 12, 2018 ]
I installed these speakers in my ceiling prior to having additional insulation blown into the attic, as a precaution I used the box that the speaker came in, cutting out one side of the box then sat it down over the speaker before the additional insulation was blown in, it worked great & has not had been any issue with the performance of the speaker. I am quite impressed with the excellent sound that is delivered from these speakers, I would highly recommend them [ JIM  Aug 07, 2016 ]
I used the box the speaker came in to put over the speaker once I installed it, then put the blown in insulation back on top of it. [ WALTER  Aug 07, 2016 ]
No, you don't need a covering for the back of the speaker. You need to make sure you have at least 9-inches of depth opening in the ceilings for installation. I installed four RT-90 speakers in a blown in insulation with vaulted ceilings and it worked well. Just make sure when you cut the hole in the ceilings, push the insulation away with a hand. Good luck! [ Gurpreet  Aug 07, 2016 ]
I highly recommend it my attic insolation it's blown type as well I bought some dust covers for my 90rts and 80fxrt to keep them from dust getting on the components [ EDGAR  Aug 07, 2016 ]
Thanks for your question. For information on comparing two or more models I would recommend reaching out to an Advisor by phone (1-800-324-9695) or online chat. They will be able to help determine the differences and help you make the best choice for your system and your budget. [ Krissy  Oct 30, 2015 ]  Staff