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Polk Audio RC85i

In-wall speakers

112 Reviews | 13 questions - 32 answers

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Item # 107RC85I

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Our take on the Polk Audio RC85i

When I bought my house I knew I wanted a surround sound system that didn't take up much space. So before we even moved in, I installed the RC85i in-wall speakers in my living room. Talk about a win for my family! We enjoy amazing home theater without wires running along the floor, or big speakers near our couch. The lifelike sound effects delight us every time we watch a movie or sporting event.

My experience with these awesome speakers

When I bought my house I knew I wanted a surround sound system that didn't take up much space. So before we even moved in, I installed the RC85i in-wall speakers in my living room. Talk about a win for my family! We enjoy amazing home theater without wires running along the floor, or big speakers near our couch. The lifelike sound effects delight us every time we watch a movie or sporting event.

Versatile performance for music and movies

The value-packed RC85is are ideal for the left, right, and surround channels of an in-wall home theater. They're also great for a music system without any visual clutter. Each RC85i is equipped with an 8" woofer and a swiveling 1" tweeter. Together they deliver full, clear sound for movies, music, sports, and video games. 

DIY installation 

Here's a tip I learned when installing my own speakers. If you're placing the RC85is six feet or higher on your wall, turn them upside down so that the tweeter is at the bottom. Then, aim the tweeter towards your seat. You'll get better high-frequency detail since the tweeter is closer to ear level. 

If this is a do-it-yourself installation, check out our guide to installing in-ceiling speakers, along with our selection of in-wall speaker wire. Optional pre-construction brackets are recommended for new construction. Free lifetime technical support is provided with every Crutchfield purchase.

Product Highlights:

  • ideal for stereo music or the left and right front or surround channels of a home theater
  • 8" woofer and 1" swivel-mount tweeter
  • frequency response: 50-20,000 Hz
  • impedance: 8 ohms
  • sensitivity: 90 dB
  • recommended amplification: 20 to 100 watts
  • outside dimensions: 10-1/16W" x 14-1/8"H
  • cutout dimensions: 8-11/16"W x 12-3/4"H
  • mounting depth: 3-1/2"
  • includes paintable white matte grilles
  • warranty: lifetime
  • Our 60-day money-back guarantee

What's in the Box:

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

Featured Video

Overall very nice sound. Primary use is music throughout house. These are installed downstairs with separate volume control and work very nice.

Brady, Spokane, WA


Polk Audio RC85i Reviews

Average Customer Review(s):

(112 Reviews)
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Hands-on research

Features and Specs

Quantity in Package Pair
Tweeter Dome
Midrange Size N/A
Woofer Size 8
Cutout Size 8.6875 x 12.75
Woofer Composition Polypropylene
Woofer Surround Rubber
Power Range (Watts) 20-100
Sensitivity 90 dB
Impedance (Ohms) 8
Frequency Response 50-20kHz
Connector Type Spring clip
Bi-Amp Inputs No
Built-in Back-box No
Parts Warranty Lifetime
Labor Warranty Lifetime

Product Research


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, even under the eaves of an enclosed porch. (The speaker is not recommended for exposed outdoor use.)

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 (the Rotating Cams protrude out 0.625" from the cutout opening). 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.

Q & A

Customer Q&A

Crutchfield asked  
Why did you buy this?

Price and sound. Can't beat either with another product. [ Ben  Sep 17, 2018 ]
Great value for the money, and quality and rating are fabulous!! [ jeff  May 20, 2018 ]
I purchased a set of these speakers for my 7.1 surround sound theater room set up. Love them in this application wanted a second set for my game room. [ Alan  May 20, 2018 ]
Sales person reccome ded [ Niurka  May 05, 2018 ]
I have been using Polk Audio and like there product, I like there 8" speaker and 1" tweeter [ Harry  May 03, 2018 ]
Been reviewing rating for some time. [ Brady  Apr 06, 2018 ]
I have a set in my family room and the sound great. [ David  Apr 05, 2018 ]
Highly rated online [ Roy  Apr 04, 2018 ]
brand [ Justin ray  Apr 03, 2018 ]
Love Polk audio [ CHRISTOPHER W  Mar 17, 2018 ]
Had really good reviews [ Haley  Feb 06, 2018 ]
The speakers had excellent reviews and the thorough description from my crutchfield adviser allowed for a confident purchase. [ Corey  Dec 16, 2017 ]
I already own a pair [ T  Dec 16, 2017 ]
Recommended by tech support. [ Marilyn  Dec 07, 2017 ]
Good price and good ratings. [ Bryant  Nov 25, 2017 ]
Looking for a quality in wall speaker work with other Polk speakers [ David  Nov 24, 2017 ]
Great sounding speaker for the price [ DAVID SCOTT  Oct 11, 2017 ]
I am replacing two in wall speakers Ihave had for 20 some years , and I have other Polk speakers which I like very much. These will fit the space, and will be much better then what I had so it took very little time to make this decision. Looking forward to regaining some great sound from the rear speakers. [ Dan  Oct 05, 2017 ]
recommended by electrician. will fit holes in wall. [ Carolyn  Oct 03, 2017 ]
These speakers were recommended to me by a Crutchfield advisor. I needed speakers that were moisture resistant for an indoor pool room, I'm using 4 of them in a 5.1 setup along with a Polk Audio Atrium 8 SDI for the center channel, and 2 JL Audio MX10IB3-CG-TB subwoofers. I'm very pleased with the results I highly recommend these Polks for anyone needing speakers that are moisture resistant for applications such as bathrooms, saunas, indoor pools, etc... [ David  Sep 24, 2017 ]
These speakers are part of my sound system downstairs and sound like more expensive speakers. You can certainly get better speakers but you pay a premium price as well. For the money, you can't go wrong. [ Paul  Aug 07, 2017 ]
Polk Audio rocks and like the way they looked [ kenneth  Jul 31, 2017 ]
Polk coupled with the solid quality of Marantz is something I have always wanted to try--- many friends have shown me this combination and it always delivered. Specs look solid and support from Crutchfield looks well respected by customers. [ David  Jun 08, 2017 ]
Awesome in-walls! [ Brian  Jun 01, 2017 ]
My other speakers are POLK and I have enjoyed them since purchasing. I love the sound! I needed a surround sound rear speaker that would mount at the recommended 1-2' above the ear and wall mounts would be cumbersome at that height. In-wall speakers seemed like the perfect choice and like I said you can never go wrong with POLK! [ MARK E  May 21, 2017 ]
Quality, price [ Tom  May 09, 2017 ]
Price [ Reynaldo  Mar 23, 2017 ]
cost and quality [ Patti  Feb 28, 2017 ]
Because I want to rock steady in my house and I love Polk Audio. Supreme sound for the price. [ Jennifer  Feb 27, 2017 ]
Price and positive comments [ Peter  Feb 23, 2017 ]
Have the RC65i and love them in the basement. Putting these in the workout room [ JUSTIN  Feb 12, 2017 ]
Past history, good quality in wall speakers for the price [ Dennis  Feb 07, 2017 ]
Received good reviews [ Keith  Jan 17, 2017 ]
I chose these speakers for their value, specifications and for the high marks they received from previous purchasers. [ H  Dec 06, 2016 ]
The reviews were good for the price point. [ Paul  Nov 30, 2016 ]
recommended by advisor [ MARY E  Nov 28, 2016 ]
This item fits existing holes in my wall. [ Roscoe  Nov 26, 2016 ]
Needed an updated model and these fit the previous cut outs [ Rich  Nov 19, 2016 ]
Price, feedback and I have some Polk speakers on my boat that are nice. [ KEN  Nov 18, 2016 ]
Second pair for home theater, have the ceiling version as well. [ DAVID SCOTT  Nov 15, 2016 ]
Always love Polk for the price and quality [ Scott  Nov 03, 2016 ]
Quality and cost plus ease of installation. [ Jeff  Nov 02, 2016 ]
Because I want quality sound in the wall to maximize space in my home theater room. [ Eric  Oct 06, 2016 ]
Same reason as the RC80 [ MATTHEW  Oct 04, 2016 ]
good reviews [ Eric  Aug 23, 2016 ]
rating and value [ Guest  Aug 21, 2016 ]
Quality and price - good value. Good application for outdoor patio at lakehouse. Customer reviews were very positive on this product. Chat Advisor recommended this product. [ mel713  Jul 04, 2016 ]
I have purchased polk audio products before, and the install process was easy, [ Dorian  Jun 28, 2016 ]
Trusted customer reviews & wanted to match ceiling speakers [ David  Jun 27, 2016 ]
Good price and a good recommendation from an advisor (young man, I emailed a couple of months ago during construction phase of my basement "home theater". [ J. Paul  May 30, 2016 ]
Good Reviews [ Andre  May 26, 2016 ]
Wanted a little more power for the front speakers. Left and Right.... [ J  May 17, 2016 ]
Crutchfield price and quality of Polk Audio products. Very pleased with purchase. [ Rick  May 11, 2016 ]
Great reviews and product price [ Juan  Apr 02, 2016 ]
Great speakers, huge difference in sound quality from standard speakers. [ William  Mar 06, 2016 ]
Remodeling, looked like a really clean installation choice for our room. [ Alicia  Mar 06, 2016 ]
Surround Sound Speakers [ Steven  Feb 28, 2016 ]
Solid brand choice that's not cheap or over the top expensive. [ ALEJANDRO  Jan 21, 2016 ]
MC80s not available [ Benjamin  Jan 14, 2016 ]
Morgan recommend Morgan's Bio: [ Robert  Jan 12, 2016 ]
Perfect surround sound behind my sofa. [ MICHAEL  Jan 10, 2016 ]
Wanted to add music to my garage and these in wall speakers fit nicely in between the wall studs and with the flush mounting are out of the way. [ James  Jan 09, 2016 ]
These were installed as part of a surround sound system in a large ballroom installation [ THOMAS  Dec 22, 2015 ]
Recommended by Frank Uebersax, Baltimore MD. The Audio guru, and he was right about these speakers. [ Joseph  Dec 08, 2015 ]

13 questions already asked

I used these for just that purpose ... installed and operational in 20 minutes. For the price point they deliver great performance. In full disclosure these were added to an existing surround sound system. [ Jesse  Jun 19, 2017 ]
I would not mount these outside, they are made to be mounted in an interior wall or ceiling. [ James  May 29, 2017 ]
I use a number of these as my front channel connected to my Sonos Connect Amps, they work great. Added a Polk Sub to a couple of the rooms and they work good as well. Good product for the price. [ Dan  May 16, 2017 ]
I am using six RC85i and one 255C-RT for my 7.1 system and they are fantastic. [ Nicholas  May 16, 2017 ]
I have six of these in my 7.1 system (2 front, 2 surround, 2 rear surround). They sound fantastic. [ Chad  May 16, 2017 ]
I don't see why not. I actually thought of doing this with my two pair, as I mounted them a bit too high in the wall. [ Christopher  Feb 26, 2017 ]
Yes. There's a template that you use to cut the hole, you can place them any direction you want. We have 2 vertical and 2 horizontal. They sound great! Hope that helps. [ Terry  Feb 25, 2017 ]
I don't see anything that would prevent you from mounting them in any orientation. [ Scott  Feb 25, 2017 ]
I believe they can be mounted in any direction. I mounted mine vertically and they work great. [ Tom  Feb 25, 2017 ]
I'm pretty sure. They are held in place by pivoting flange tabs, a bit like on screen window frames, and assuming your studs are 16" on center, the drywall should take the weight. We mounted ours in the ceiling with the caveat that they are in a sloped portion. If you get into the physics then a bit of the weight is distributed differently but even so, you should be fine. Really nice speakers btw. [ Erik  Nov 05, 2016 ]
I have these mounted in my ceiling and they sound great. They are amazing speakers for the price. [ JESSE  Nov 05, 2016 ]
Excellent sound very happy with them, however because of the woofer keep in mind Vibration... i had to be sure the speaker was securely installed(i have drywall) if your panel is thin it may vibrate causing poor sound. if panel is secured well so as not to rattle when speaker is on(woofer fully working). it should be OK. I did put Spray-on insulation on the wall behind the speaker, that seemed to help sound as well. "Speaker Vibration/Rattling" may or may-not be a concern in your installation. Hope you enjoy them i sure do :-) Aloha [ Mark  Oct 28, 2016 ]
I have in wall and in ceiling speakers (Frt, Sur, SR) 3 besides my center and subwoofers. Still Polk, 10" sub by TV, 12" sub in rear of room. I have a CSi A6 on the built in shelf above my TV. Had it for 4 years and always sounded great. [ Lawrence  Nov 12, 2015 ]
In my application, I placed them in the wall. I see no reason why they wouldn't work as long as the ceiling is finished. They do have some weight to them. [ JUSTIN  Sep 09, 2015 ]
Yes, I have two pairs in my house, one pair is wall mounted and the other is ceiling mounted. both pairs sound great!!! [ Lawrence  Sep 08, 2015 ]
It's pretty large and I think it would look awkward. I would stick with round speakers for ceilings myself. [ MATTHEW M  Sep 08, 2015 ]
Yes, that's what I did. And, they sound great. [ JAMES N  Sep 08, 2015 ]
Yes, I use these for my ceiling install. Pretty simple installation. [ LAURANCE  Sep 08, 2015 ]
The bezel/trim is a part of the speaker and covers the rough opening in the wall when the speaker is installed. I don't think the bezel can be removed as it's all a one-piece design. You may be better off getting on-wall speakers which would allow you to angle them. [ KNICK TRAN,  Mar 18, 2015 ]
No such bezel is included with the speakers. I am not aware of anything like that being available. However, it would be easy to fashion such a bezel with a jigsaw or table saw. [ GARY  Mar 18, 2015 ]
Sorry, I really do not know. I am very pleased with the speakers as left and right front channel, but I have a different front channel speaker. Gary [ GARY  Jan 27, 2015 ]
I am not using this for the center channel. I am using MC85 [ RAVI  Jan 27, 2015 ]
You could. I think it is a little heavy on the woofer. You might want more mid and tweeter focused. It is a great sounding speaker though. [ STEVEN R  Jan 27, 2015 ]
Thanks Knick, that was what I needed to know. [ Gilbert  Oct 18, 2014 ]
They just have the typical red & black connectors to connect a speaker wire, so no you cannot get stereo sound from one speaker. [ KNICK TRAN,  Oct 04, 2014 ]
They have standard positive and negative (red and black) terminals for inputs. I'm not sure what you're hoping for. They do not have a built in option to add two audio sources. [ CASEY  Oct 03, 2014 ]
I suppose if you had the wall completely open to expose studs, you could make custom brackets to mount speakers to studs. However, you run the risk of damaging the speaker housing as they are not very thick. But why would you go thru all this trouble when the built in mounting brackets work great and are very strong and secure. [ KNICK TRAN,  Jul 18, 2014 ]
The plastic brackets are more for placement than anything I think. The screws on the speakers that latch to the back of drywall are enough. I have another pair of speakers that go in the ceiling, much heavier too; they only clamp to the drywall. Which is similar to these wall speakers. You shouldn't need support from the wall studs. I think the weight distribution is assuming your studs are 16" apart though. The closer the studs are together the stronger the drywall will to support weight. The standard 16" spacing for the studs is plenty strong. [ STEVEN R  Jul 14, 2014 ]
I used the plastic brackets and mounted the directly to the drywall and not to the wall studs. They have been in place since being installed and we've had no issues. [ GREGORY  Jul 14, 2014 ]
These are made to attach to drywall. You'd have to rig them up to attach to studs. They're plenty secure and don't rattle when attacked to drywall with clips. They're highly rated when attached as prescribed to drywall. Be sure to put some insulation behind them to improve sound quality. [ CASEY  Jul 13, 2014 ]
The plastic tabs are plenty to firmly secure the speakers to drywall. I do not know of any way to secure them to wall studs. [ GARY  Jul 13, 2014 ]
They attached in Sheetrock .. Not studs [ Tim  Jul 13, 2014 ]

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