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Polk Launches THX In-Ceiling Speaker

Polk focused on both ends of the price and performance spectrum at the CEDIA Expo, where the company expanded its architectural speaker presence to more than 35 models topped by the industry’s first THX-certified in-ceiling speaker.

At the lower end, the company showed an opening-price series of architectural speakers destined only for installing dealers.

The THX Ultra2-certified in-ceiling speaker, the $1,200-each RTS100, joins Polk’s current Ultra2-certified in-walls. The 100, which shipped in late August, features dual 5.25-inch woofers and 1-inch tweeter on an angled baffle said to deliver an image “that seems to hover in front of the listener.” The speaker uses an integrated enclosure to deliver predictable response, and it secures to a metal frame screwed to joists or studs to deliver a sturdier mounting platform. A wall-distance switch engages a low-Q pass-band filter to attenuate boominess when placed near walls without sacrificing deep bass output. A tweeter attenuation switch also engages a pass-band filter to compensate for overly reflective rooms.

“It’s a real engineering challenge to develop an in-ceiling speaker that meets all THX requirements when measured at a 45-degree angle from the front of the speaker,” a THX spokesman said. “We had to ensure that home audiences would experience the same accuracy of response at every seating position, as they do with other Ultra2 speakers. One of the most important items was having a speaker driver with the right positioning and enough power to deliver Ultra2 performance.”

The new SCi series of architectural speakers is priced from $99 to $214 each, priced under the step-up TCi and LCi series of in-ceiling and in-wall speakers. The new series is priced similarly to the DIY RCi series sold over the counter. Four models are round two-way in-ceiling units, including one coaxial model and one single-speaker stereo model. Two are two-way rectangular in-wall speakers. They shipped in August. All use rust-proof grilles and hardware.