Polk Audio 255C-RT
In-wall center channel speaker
Our take on the Polk Audio 255C-RT by Crutchfield's Marshall Chase
You finally replaced that mammoth tube TV with a flat-panel that hangs on the wall. You created the home theater you've always dreamed of with the wires tucked neatly away. The old center channel speaker that your significant other refers to as "the beast" has no place to go but out. Let the Polk 255C-RT show it the way.
Leaves a big impression on your ears, not on your eyes
This in-wall center channel speaker is built to perform. Potent drivers work with the PowerPort® bass technology to deliver punchy lows. Polk's silk tweeter conveys every breath of dialogue. And it's swivel mounted so you can aim the sound toward your listening position, for better performance. All of this from a center channel speaker that's out of sight, in more ways than one.
Plays well with others
The Polk 255C-RT is voice-matched to Polk's free-standing RTi speakers. It can mingle with matching towers or bookshelves. Or it can join in harmony with other members of the "Vanishing" RT speaker family.
An optional in-wall bracket is recommended for installing the 255C-RT in-wall center channel speaker in a home with new construction.
- frequency response 50-25,000 Hz (-3dB)
- 1" swivel-mount silk/polymer dome tweeter
- dual 5-1/4" Dynamic Balance® woofers
- handles up to 150 watts
- sensitivity 90 dB
- 8-ohm impedance
- timbre matched to Polk RTi series speakers
- PowerPort® technology for punchier bass
- tweeter level switch for custom sound
- paintable Sheer-Grille for stealth installation
- cutout: 13-1/8"W x 7-5/8"H
- mounting depth: 3-3/8"
- lifetime warranty
What's in the Box:
- In-wall center-channel loudspeaker
- White metal grille
- Mounting template
- Owner's Manual
- Sheer-Grille Painting instructions
- Online Registration Card
- Polk Audio product brochure
Great sound and finished appearance. Grille was painted to match the wall surface and looks great.
Jared, Wylie, TX
Polk Audio 255C-RT Reviews
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Features and Specs
|Quantity in Package||Single|
|Cutout Size||13.0625 x 7.5625|
|Woofer Composition||Polymer Composite|
|Power Range (Watts)||10-150|
|Connector Type||Spring post|
Vanishing Series In-Wall Center-Channel Speaker: The Polk Audio Vanishing Series in-wall center-channel loudspeaker (255c-RT) features a precision-engineered minimally flanged design and Polk's exclusive Sheer-Grille, which protrudes only 7mm from its surroundings. Installing virtually-flush in your wall, the Polk Audio Vanishing Series in-wall center-channel loudspeaker offers a one-cut, drop-in installation and rotating cam stabilizing system. The Polk Audio Vanishing Series in-wall center-channel loudspeaker provides superior high-performance sound from its dual 5.25" woofers and aimable 1" tweeter, with Reflective Room (Tweeter) Compensation control.
Dynamic Balance Technology: Laser imaging technology allows Polk Audio engineers to see the entire vibrating surface of a driver and tweeter; they can actually see the resonance develop on the speaker cones-resonance that is the root cause of loudspeaker distortion. Being able to see the resonance develop, they then determine the Dynamic Balance of high-tech materials, geometry and construction that together effectively tune out the offending resonance. Exclusive Dynamic Balance Composite Material Technology delivers sound that is effortlessly clean and clear, even at lifelike volume levels.
Klippel Optimized Motor Structures: The Klippel Distortion Analyzer allows Polk engineers to optimize each driver's motor structure, voice coil alignment and suspension to insure smooth, unimpeded movement even at extreme listening levels. This is especially important in the shallow depth area afforded an in-wall built-in loudspeaker.
Dual Midranges: The Polk Audio Vanishing Series in-wall center-channel loudspeaker employs two 5.25" Dynamic Balance mineral composite polypropylene cone midrange drivers with rubber surrounds for a smooth, consistent frequency response. Each midrange driver features a lightweight, strong composite basket that work in conjunction with Klippel Optimization to keep moving parts in rigid alignment while further damping performance-robbing resonances.
Silk Dome Tweeter: The Vanishing Series in-wall center-channel loudspeaker employs a 1" Dynamic Balance silk polymer composite dome tweeter for crisp, clear imaging. The high-performance silk dome tweeter in the Vanishing Series in-wall center-channel loudspeaker features a 15° swivel housing, for more direct high frequency control, excellent off-axis imaging and more placement flexibility.
Reflective Room (Tweeter) Compensation Control: An easily accessible Reflective Room (Tweeter) Compensation switch allows you to make advanced audio tweaks to optimize the sound for any installation. Use the Reflective Room (Tweeter) Compensation switch to digitally compensate for harsh reflective surfaces. It doesn't merely reduce high frequencies; it actually allows you to "notch-out" a specific area of the spectrum (3500-6000Hz) where room acoustics most often interfere with performance.
- Filter Setting: If your listening room is very reflective, with smooth sheetrock walls, hardwood floors, and non-cushioned furniture, the sound will be overly "bright" and unnatural. Selecting the "Filter" setting compensates for the effect of reflectivity in a hard room. Tweeter attenuation flattens room response, without hindering higher frequency response, for warmer, more realistic sound and more accurate imaging.
- Normal Setting: If your room is not reflective, with curtains, artwork, lots of cushioned furniture and carpeting, sound will be absorbed by the room, resulting in more realistic reproduction and more accurate imaging. In this case, select the Normal setting.
Timbre Matched: The Polk Audio Vanishing Series in-wall center-channel loudspeaker is timbre-matched to Polk Audio's high-performance RTi bookshelf and floor-standing loudspeakers. This allows you to match them to an existing Polk Audio home theater speaker system and enjoy seamless blending from speaker to speaker. Timbre-matched speaker components will insure the same true response throughout your system.
Frequency Response: The overall frequency response of the in-wall center-channel loudspeaker is 30Hz to 27kHz, and the -3dB frequency response is 50 to 25kHz.
Infinite Baffle Tuning: Infinite Baffle Tuning uses the virtual enclosure of the in-wall space for deep bass response and superior overall sound.
Wafer-Thin Sheer-Grille: The Polk Audio Vanishing Series in-wall center-channel loudspeaker features Polk's exclusive wafer-thin Sheer-Grille, a magnetically-secured grille that protrudes only 7mm from its surroundings. The Sheer-Grille can be painted to match your décor, making it virtually indistinguishable from its surroundings. The Sheer-Grille has nearly transparent, ultra-small perfs, and are acoustically inert, for dynamic, unimpeded sound and more uniform coverage, even in larger rooms.
Note: We highly recommend you use a can of spray paint matched to the wall color you want the Sheer-Grille to blend with. Never use a brush or roller to paint the grille, as this will clog the perf holes.
Gold-Plated Spring-Loaded Posts: The in-wall center-channel loudspeaker has a gold-plated pair of spring-loaded binding posts that can accept up to 12-gauge wire, single banana plugs, or pin connectors.
Applications: You can use the Polk Audio Vanishing Series in-wall center-channel loudspeaker to complete a system of traditional loudspeakers or in-wall speakers, by adding an inconspicuous center-channel speaker.
Placement: The in-wall center-channel loudspeaker is designed to be installed above or below your flat-panel television. Install the in-wall center-channel loudspeaker as close to ear level as possible. If the speaker needs to be installed lower or high than ear level, then aim the tweeter accordingly.
Note: Do not block the in-wall center-channel speaker with your TV or furniture, as this will disrupt and muffle the sound.
Rotating Cam System: The Polk Audio in-wall center-channel loudspeaker utilizes a rotating cam system to ensure a secure, vibration-free installation.
Installation: The Polk Audio Vanishing Series in-wall center-channel loudspeaker (255c-RT) can be installed in new or existing construction.
- Existing Construction: In existing walls, use the included cardboard template for one-cut, drop-in simplicity. Achieve secure, vibration-free efficiency with a simple turn of Polk's Rotating Cam system (5 rotating cams).
- New Construction: Pre-construction brackets (sold separately) are available for new-build or open-wall retro-fitting.
Dimensions: Crutchfield Measurements.
|In-Wall Center-Channel Dimensions||Model # 255c-RT|
|Overall Dimensions (with grille)||Width = 14.8125" |
Height = 9.3125"
|Cutout Dimensions||Width = 13.0625" |
Height = 7.5625"
|Product Depth (including grille & wiring)||Depth = 4.125"|
|Mounting Depth (using 1/2" drywall)||Depth = 3.75"|
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Why did you buy this?
I wanted something a little more than a sound bar to carry the center channel. [ JEREMY Aug 27, 2018 ]
cheaper price, great reviews [ Shawn Jun 06, 2018 ]
Great value for the money, and quality and rating are fabulous!! [ jeff May 20, 2018 ]
Recommendation and prior use of Polk products [ Mike May 16, 2018 ]
I liked the reviews and it will fit properly. [ Rob Apr 02, 2018 ]
cant beat the price or the reviews [ craig Mar 31, 2018 ]
I have friends that have them and love them [ Jeffery Jan 22, 2018 ]
The speakers I ordered are quality speakers at a good price. [ Lee Dec 19, 2017 ]
Matching center channel speaker to the front left/right I already have. Good quality in-wall speaker at a reasonable price. [ Kyle Dec 14, 2017 ]
Limited options for in wall center channels. Priced well. [ Luke Nov 13, 2017 ]
Sales reps recommendation [ jonathan Nov 04, 2017 ]
Lucy said I should BUY this speaker! Just kidding. She did recommend this and several others. Bought them ALL, 'cuz she said I should ! :) [ Ken Sep 14, 2017 ]
Price, and high level of quality reviews. [ Chris Jul 26, 2017 ]
Designing a new basement home theature, had Polk speakers in the past and really like the product [ Richard Apr 10, 2017 ]
Home theater in the basement; couldn't afford the Klipsch or Speakercraft and my Polk Monitor 5jr's from College (20+ years ago) still sound great... [ Pieter Mar 06, 2017 ]
looking for a perfect balance to my system. This speaker completes my dream audio setup. [ Everardo Jan 12, 2017 ]
Great value [ JACK Jan 06, 2017 ]
Best quality and sound range for the price. Other higher prices speakers may have more freq range but the human ear does not appreciably discern the difference and my dog doesn't watch TV. He's more in to reading (boring). [ Ralph Nov 14, 2016 ]
Always love Polk price and quality. They always come through for me and sound is awesome in my theater room [ Scott Nov 03, 2016 ]
I have fallen in love with Polk audio, started out with my boat stereo.... could not find a speaker that was not too tinny or heavy at both low volume and still sound great when cranked. Polk fits that bill! The center speaker is the most critical since the dialogue comes from this speaker. This speaker added punch to my tv watching experience and is an excellent choice. [ DAVID R Oct 29, 2016 ]
Polk Audio's reputation. [ David Oct 18, 2016 ]
Because I want high quality Polk sound from my center channel that doesnt't take up space on my console. I like the clean look of in-wall installation with good quality sound at a value and price in my budget. [ Eric Oct 06, 2016 ]
top rated [ chris Sep 25, 2016 ]
For my home entertainment in the living room [ Constance Sep 19, 2016 ]
Hard choice. Couldn't determine if this center speaker matched front & ceiling speakers chosen. Wanted in wall center so this was the only on I could find. I'll let you know the outcome. [ David Jun 27, 2016 ]
Great reviews & Polk's reputation, along with a recommendation from a young tech that sounded very knowledgeable a couple of months ago. [ J. Paul May 30, 2016 ]
Most important speaker is the Center. This is powerful and going to be awesome sounding with 150 watts RMS.... [ J May 17, 2016 ]
price and previous polk experience [ Susan L. Feb 14, 2016 ]
Morgan Recommend Morgan's Bio: http://www.crutchfield.com/Support/Bio.aspx?bio=181 [ Robert Jan 12, 2016 ]
POLK BRAND AND SOUND QUALITY [ RAFI Jan 07, 2016 ]
Heard a all good things about it, yet to experience [ SREENIVAS Jan 04, 2016 ]
Polk Audio quality [ DAVID Dec 25, 2015 ]
I purchased these speakers based on the specifications, reviews and reputation of Polk. They installed easily and I'm very happy with the sound they produce. [ Larry Dec 18, 2015 ]
9 questions already asked
3 answers New construction home being built, but the home builder won't allow me to run wires, or hang brackets before they finish the home and we take final possession. Can this center channel be installed after the drywall is already finished, with no support bracket behind? [ Dustin Jul 08, 2017 ]
I installed this speaker at my clothing store. It was installed into a wall built from barn wood, so it's much more sturdy than drywall, however, i think it would be OK for install without additional support. [ jonathan Jul 10, 2017 ]
Yes, they have templates to cut the dry wall and the speaker holds to the drywall and doesn't need any bracket or internal support. I ran wires before the construction and did cut outs and connected them after. Make sure you have way to run the wires if they are not letting you do prior and your speaker placement is between studs. [ Jeffrey Jul 09, 2017 ]
Yes it can. It is only mounted from the front. Speaker is awesome. I would defiantly recommend. Stan [ Stanley Jul 09, 2017 ]
1 answer I'm installing this in a newly built wall and I'm confused about how to go about where and how much it is okay for the batt insulation to touch the back of this speaker. Should I stuff it everywhere surrounding it expect the hole itself, or have it everywhere even where the speaker will come in contact with some of it? [ Brandon Jun 06, 2017 ]
I don't believe the insulation would hurt the speaker. I would leave some separation between the two. Mine have about an inch of separation. [ Christopher Jun 06, 2017 ]
You probably could, but it is a center channel and it's designed to throw sounds at couch eating level. They do make round and square surround channel speakers that would be better for ceiling.Enter [ Jeremy Jun 01, 2017 ]
Yes. In my set up the center speaker is in the ceiling above the TV that is above the fire place. It has a directional tweeter that I turned towards the seating positions. Perfect sound [ Kevin May 31, 2017 ]
Sorry, i wouldn't know for sure. I purchased a Boston Acoustics center speaker and it's worked fine with my Polk wall speakers. Great sound all around. [ Jim Apr 11, 2016 ]
Yes. I built a custom media room and did 4 rc85's in side walls and the polk center under the 120" screen....combined w polk self powered 12" sub Good stuff and good price [ CHRISTOPHER Apr 06, 2016 ]
4 answers It has been recommended to me to use the Polk Audio MC60 In-ceiling speakers as my L, R, and 2 surround speakers in my 5.1 set up. I am looking at this as a center channel speaker, but concerned if it will voice match the MC series. They are all going into a 9' ceiling, as there is no option for an ear level placement in my new build. Thoughs? [ Mosie Sep 29, 2015 ]
Thanks for the feedback! Bringing a musician, the sound quality is important! However the vocal articulation and clarity is just as important, as the speaking/dialog can get lost for in some TV/movies due to slight hearing loss from my live performance days. I have been thinking of using the Polk MC80's in another room for streaming music, since the 8" woofer 'should' produce a bit more bass, but still retain the same musical voice matching, throughout the home. This is my first experience with ceiling mounted speakers so I welcome all comments. If there are other choices, feel free to post those too. Thanks! [ Mosie Sep 30, 2015 ]
I have had no problem with this speaker matching to two other series speakers in the same room. I have always had to tweak the receiver for the center channel speaker even when all the speakers are the same series. Even with auto setup of the speakers, the center channel always seemed to quiet no matter the manufacturer. This speaker should work well for you. [ DOUGLAS Sep 30, 2015 ]
I think you will be just fine. I also have mc60's in a 9' ceiling with a Yamaha center channel. It all sounds great. [ JAMES Sep 30, 2015 ]
I have the same speakers in my vacation home. I have a pioneer elite receiver and 10 foot ceilings. Speakers sound great. [ JAMES Sep 30, 2015 ]
You could. I dont think that this would affect the sound in any noticeable way. [ electrician Jun 21, 2015 ]
This is a single, center speaker for a home theater. If you are looking for "speakers" then this is not for you. If you are looking for a single center speaker, it is great. I would, however, mount it horizontal as shown. It will be better balanced and give better dispersion. Remember, it is a mid-frequency speaker made specifically for voice reproduction. [ Richard Jun 21, 2015 ]
Yes, they can be mounted any way as long as you have enough room between your framing. [ DOUGLAS Jun 20, 2015 ]
No these need to be connected to an amplifier of some sort, typically an AV receiver. [ Ron Jun 25, 2018 ]
No [ JOE Apr 13, 2015 ]
Thanks. Would I need to try and angle the speaker in the ceiling or just place it straight down and aim the tweeter towards the couch? I've got 9 ft ceilings. Also, what speaker craft speaker would you recommend instead of the polk? [ Ryan Nov 18, 2014 ]
I have done this before, install the center channel in the ceiling, not with Polk Audio, but with speaker craft, and it sounded the same as my Polk Audio that are mounted below my TV. [ JAMES Nov 18, 2014 ]
Yes.. [ Tim Nov 18, 2014 ]
The speaker has got great range and should sound fine as long as the room isn't too large. I'd be more concerned about the sound carrying I n the room above the speaker. [ CHAD E Nov 18, 2014 ]
I have been watching all types of movies and listening to all types of music and so far I am satisfied with the system they picked out for me, based on what I told them what my needs were. Awesome speakers. Jim [ JAMES Aug 03, 2014 ]
Jamie...I purchased this center channel speaker along with 2 265RT's for my front speakers and 2 65RT's for my rear surrounds. It is my understanding that this set-up would be voice matched. I've had this set-up for about a year along with a Polk subwoofer and it sounds awesome! [ RUSSELL P Aug 02, 2014 ]
Looking for more? Check out the next model in this lineup.
Advanced driver design for even better frequency response
The Polk Audio 255c-LS offers these features:
1" Dynamic Balance® ring radiator tweeter for extended and accurate high-frequency response
dual 5-1/4" Dynamic Balance® woofers
frequency response 44-29,000 Hz (-3dB)
Frequently Compared With
Polk Audio 255C-RT
In-wall center channel speaker
Polk Audio RC85i
Polk Audio 265 RT
Polk Audio 255c-LS
In-wall center channel speaker