When it comes to setting up home theatre sound, a lot comes into play. The aesthetics are always as important as the sonic performance. It is important that it looks awesome as much as it sounds awesome, too.
That being said, although built-in home theatre speakers have their sonic and acoustic advantages, they also have spatial and esthetic advantages, too.
If saving space is as important to you as superb audio is, then you might want to consider built-in speakers.
When talking about built-in home theatre speakers, three options always come to play. These options are, on-wall, in-wall, and in-ceiling speakers.
On-wall speakers are not so different from in-wall speakers. There are just minor differences in design and performance.
The most obvious and significant advantage of on-wall speakers is that they occupy very little space—way less space than their in-wall counterparts—and are, therefore, the perfect choice if you have space limitations in your home or wherever you wish to use them.
Because of its efficacy in space management and general aesthetic advantages, it has become a pretty much sought-after appliance in the hi-fi audio world.
Its popularity doesn’t just reign among audiophiles, it also attracts casual and less-sophisticated listeners, too. In this article, we will discuss in-depth, 10 amazing on-wall home theatre speakers we feel every audiophile and audio enthusiast should know about.
If you are in the market searching for the best on-wall home theatre speakers, then this article is for you. It doesn’t matter if you are a beginner in the hi-fi audio world or an experienced audiophile, all you have to do is read on!
Table of Contents
10 Best On-Wall Home Theatre Speakers
- Polk Audio Signature Series
- KEF T-Series
- Klipsch Reference Theater Pack
- Definitive Technology ProCinema 600
- SVS Prime Satellite 5.1
- Paradigm MilleniaOne CT
- MartinLogan Motion SLM-XL
- Monitor Audio Silver C350
- GoldenEar SuperCinema 3D Array
- Sonos Beam
Review of 10 Best On-Wall Home Theatre Speakers
In this section, we take a deep dive into the different on-wall speaker systems and uncover what features make each system special.
Polk Audio is a very well-known speaker manufacturer and caters to a very wide audio market. Whether you are looking for car audio, commercial speaker systems or high-end home audio solutions, Polk Audio will have something to offer.
The Signature Series is the company’s response to creating high-fidelity on-wall speakers designed for the home audio enthusiast who wants something high-quality.
One of the things that really sets Polk Audio apart from the competition is its dedication to technical performance and how much they invest in developing innovative solutions that help to take its products to new heights.
With the on-wall speakers in the Signature Series such as the ES10 and ES35, Polk has introduced a Dynamic Balance technology. This technology helps to minimize distortion, especially at higher volumes to keep sound quality as smooth as possible.
When listening to music in a high-volume scenario like playing a movie in a home theatre, this feature makes a big difference to the overall clarity of the sound and drastically improves the experience.
All Polk Audio products are very well built but with the Signature Series, you will notice an even higher level of craftsmanship. The company has chosen only the finest materials for this top-of-the-line speaker series.
Whether you look at the construction of the speaker itself or look at the finish and design of the entire speaker unit, the quality is easy to see.
With the Signature Series, you also get a lot of connectivity and mounting options which is great for modern media stations that often need various different connections.
Here you will get Bluetooth, various wired connections, Wi-Fi and Optical. Moreover, these speakers can be mounted on the wall simply with a couple of bolts or you can get a proper mounting bracket to securely attach these speakers to the wall.
Here is a good video covering the Signature Series from Polk Audio.
|Excellent build quality
|Quite pricey compared to its competition
|Large selection of connection and mounting options
|Fantastic sound quality through Dynamic Balance technology
KEF has gone all out with the on-wall speakers in the T-series. The T-series is a broad range of speakers which are designed for the most demanding audio applications.
Whether you need something for a theatre or for a hi-fi listening experience, there is something in the T-Series range that will fit the bill. This series consists of various speaker types including on-wall satellites, on-wall centre consoles, bookshelf speakers and floor-standing speakers.
The slim profile of these speakers means that even the large floor-standing speakers can be mounted on a wall to give a flush look with a large LED TV or even a projector. Just make sure you have the right brackets to mount these speakers on a wall.
KEF has gone above and beyond in the development of the T-series. In terms of the quality of components used in the build as well as the technology used to improve sound quality, everything is top-notch.
One of the key features of this speaker system is the Uni-Q Driver technology. This technology uses a single-point source driver to create a 3D soundstage. With the Uni-Q driver, the T-Series is able to create an extremely rich sound that takes stereo audio to the next level.
Not only is the quality of the sound improved but the tonal characteristics of the audio are enhanced leading to a more natural-sounding playback.
The stereo performance of the speakers makes them ideal for watching movies or playing games where sound direction plays a big role.
Here is a great video covering the KEF T-Series on-wall speakers.
|Excellent sound quality with 3D soundstage
|May need an additional subwoofer in some applications to keep the bass balanced
|Very natural sound through the Uni-Q driver
|Excellent build quality
|Low profile makes them discreet and able to blend into any room
If you are looking for a premade solution from a top-tier brand for your home theatre needs, then you can’t go wrong with a Klipsch speaker set. In particular, the Theater Pack from the Klipsch Reference product line-up is a fantastic system that can add new life to a home theatre setup.
Some would argue that the audio experience of a theatre is more important than the visual appeal of the system. The Theater Pack from Klipsch caters to both audio and visual demands.
There are a few key things in this speaker system that make it an excellent choice for home theatre applications.
The small on-wall-mounted satellites pack a punch even with their small footprint. This is thanks to the technology that Klipsch have developed for these on-wall speakers.
These speakers feature the Tractrix Horn technology in their tweeters which has been an iconic technology powering all of the best speakers from Klipsch. These horns deliver amazingly clear and pronounced highs while the powerful subwoofers help create deep and rich bass.
The theatre pack consists of five on-wall speakers and a subwoofer in a sealed enclosure. The system already has its own amplification and can quickly be connected to your projector, TV, media station or any other device you want to use as the source.
This way, you don’t have to set anything up and you already have everything you need for a full surround system.
Moreover, the on-wall configuration of the speakers means you don’t have to make any major changes to the walls or the layout of the room to get the sound you want.
On the contrary, you can strategically place the speakers on the appropriate walls to get the best audio experience in your space.
Here is a great video covering the Theater Pack from the Klipsch Reference series.
|High-quality audio that has clarity and depth through the Tractrix Horns
|Small speaker size can make this system inadequate for larger rooms
|The system comes with a subwoofer that helps give you a complete audio experience
|This is not a wireless system which may be a deal breaker for some users
|Small speaker size gives you plenty of placement options to best match your room
|The excellent finish makes the speakers an elegant addition to any space.
Another great option for a plug-and-play home theatre sound system is the ProCinema 600. This is a 5.1 surround sound speaker system with on-wall speakers that has a few interesting things operating in the background that make this product hit above its weight class.
The ProCinema 600 is a well-built system that will be a worthy upgrade for a wide range of users. One of the features that makes audio from this speaker system so good is the 3-driver midrange arrangement.
This is a unique feature that you will not find on other speaker systems and it allows the speakers to deliver very crisp audio.
Moreover, this hardware setup also allows for more overall cone movement, better heat dissipation, higher sensitivity and a more efficiently distributed spectrum of sound across the different drivers in the on-wall speakers.
The on-wall speakers in this system are rather compact and can be used in many different configurations. Depending on the size and the shape of your room you can customize the speaker setup to give you the best surround sound experience.
These on-wall speakers come in a smooth black finish that not only looks great on the speakers individually but also makes it a breeze to match this system with interiors. If you are looking for a discrete look these speakers will easily blend into the environment.
Here is a great video covering the ProCinema 600.
|3-driver midrange configurations improve sound clarity significantly
|These small speakers may not be suitable for larger rooms
|The simple black design makes these great for any kind of interior styling
|This is a wired system and will not suit people looking for a wireless system
|Small and compact speakers are easy to place and can be customized for your particular layout needs
|Plenty of connectivity options so you can use this system with all kinds of sources
The SVS Prime Satellite 5.1 system offers a full surround sound experience and amazing audio quality as well, thanks to the advanced on-wall speaker design.
If you are looking for a slim and sleek speaker system that will easily blend into your decor yet still provide excellent sound quality, this is a good candidate to consider.
If you look at any high-end speaker system you will notice that they all use high-quality components and the 5.1 model from SVS Prime is no different. The on-wall speakers feature tweeters with an aluminium dome which makes them extremely responsive to high frequencies.
The midbass and subwoofers use polypropylene cones that deliver impressive excursion and result in deep, hard-hitting bass. However, the quality of the components goes much deeper than what meets the eye.
Everything from the top cover to the suspension to the voice coils and even the enclosure are built with excellent quality materials that all play a role in the sound quality.
To make the system even more appealing to audiophiles, SVS has also added a lot of customization and personalization options.
The system features a 3-way crossover that allows you to map out frequencies across the different speakers and get the best sound for your particular environment.
Moreover, this system also comes with some tuning discs that will help you get the best speaker response for the acoustics of your room.
This way once you have the on-wall speakers mounted and the sub placed in the room you can further optimize their output by individually changing the sound characteristics of each speaker.
Here is a nice video covering the 5.1 system by SVS.
|Highly customizable through the 3-way crossover and tuning discs
|Only supports wired connections
|Small compact speakers are great for small spaces
|Tuning may be challenging for people who aren’t very familiar with audio equipment
|High-quality components and quality build ensure high-quality sound
If you are looking for something smaller, maybe for a small TV lounge, or even for a desktop system, then the MilleniaOne CT system will be perfect. This is a 2.1 speaker system that comes with a quality subwoofer and some high-quality on-wall satellite speakers.
The small footprint of this system means you can easily have it on your desk or even on a small table near your TV or projector.
Being on-wall speakers, you can also very easily mount them to a wall behind your workstation or on the wall next to your TV to get them at a better height for improved audio performance.
This is also a more economical option as compared to a 5.1 system (though it is a pricey option in the 2.1 categories). If you are looking for something budget-friendly and you just want to get started in the world of hi-fi, this is a great starting point.
Just because it is a 2.1 configuration speaker doesn’t mean it can’t produce some very high-quality audio. The tweeters on this system are 1-inch S-PAL dome tweeters and they are accompanied by 4-inch S-PAL midbass drivers.
For the subwoofer, you get an 8-inch driver with patented ART Surround technology. Moreover, this on-wall speaker system also has some unique features for audiophiles looking to get the highest quality output.
It features a full DSP along with a healthy EQ system that you can use to tweak the output of each speaker according to your requirements and the size and shape of your room.
Here is a nice video covering the MilleniaOne CT system.
|Excellent customization through the in-built DSP and EQ settings
|Only supports wired connections
|High-quality construction and great-quality sound
MartinLogan is well known for producing electrostatic speakers that deliver amazing sound quality and also have a very unique look. If you want high-end audio, then, MartinLogan offers the Motion SLM series for home theatre systems.
These speakers have regular cones and voice coils but they do hide a bit of creative engineering underneath them which creates the amazing audio experience that MartinLogan is known for.
Currently, the Motion SLM series is available in the standard ‘SLM’ size as well as the ‘SLM-XL’ size. The regular size features 4 cones while the XL features 6 speaker cones on each on-wall speaker.
The most important feature of the Motion series is the Folded Motion Tweeter system. This creates a wider soundstage and allows the tweeter to produce amazing quality audio for the higher frequencies.
Along the soundbar, you will also notice two cones which are the midbass drivers and four 4-inch low-profile subwoofers which generate amazing low-frequency bass for such a low-profile on-wall speaker.
While all the cones don’t have a lot of excursion due to the shallow mount style, they are able to reproduce excellent sound quality.
The soundbar also features a comprehensive in-built EQ system that allows you to customize the speakers on the soundbar itself and also makes it a lot easier to use multiple soundbars in tandem if you’d like to have SLM speakers on different walls throughout the room.
Here is a good video covering the on-wall SLM speakers from MartinLogan.
|The slim profile of the soundbar means it can be installed in different ways on different surfaces depending on your room design
|This system might not be the best for people who prefer bass-heavy styles of music
|Advanced EQ options allow a great level of speaker adjustability
|Folded Tweeter system enhances sound output significantly
|Connectivity is limited to wired connections
If you need an on-wall centre channel for your home theatre system, then, the C350 from Monitor Audio is one of the best options you can go for. Monitor Audio produces several high-quality home theatre speakers.
However, the C350 is designed specifically for systems that may be lacking in the centre channel department and unlike the C300, this is an on-wall speaker.
Moreover, you can also pair the C350 with other Monitor Audio products to create a customized high-end home theatre system.
There are a few technologies that make the C350 superior to other speakers. The most apparent are the drivers used in this centre channel. Here you get two bass drivers, a midrange and a tweeter.
The bass drivers are two 6-inch speakers and the midrange is a 4-inch speaker. Both of these speakers come with C-CAM RST technology and produce extremely accurate and detailed sound.
To cover the high frequencies, it features a very high-quality tweeter. This entire package of drivers gives you plenty of power to boost every audio frequency and deliver sound in an accurate and detailed fashion.
Overall, it produces a very natural and immersive experience. All of these things are packaged in a very well-built enclosure with high-quality materials used throughout its construction.
The C350 has a rather large enclosure (and drivers) for an on-wall speaker. But this helps improve the sound quality of this speaker exponentially.
The C350 is available in a few different colours and the Silver C350 is one of the most popular options. Of course, you can select whichever colour best suits your environment.
This video demonstrates the 300 series from Monitor Audio.
|Extremely well-balanced and detailed sound production
|May require additional equipment to get the best sound output
|Advanced driver technology helps to keep sound quality accurate and refined
|Its larger size makes this suitable only for larger setups
|A very flexible centre channel that can be integrated with many different kinds of hardware
Another very amazingly crafted on-wall centre channel is the SuperCinema 3D Array by GoldenEar. This is a very popular speaker among audiophiles for its advanced technology and sound management features which come together to deliver an outstanding audio experience.
This is a solidly built centre channel that will easily be up to the task even in the most demanding situations. One of the standout features of this speaker system is the driver technology that it employs.
For the tweeter, it has a high-velocity folded ribbon system while the subwoofers use a dual 4.5-inch spider leg cast basket. This allows exceptional reproduction of sound with clarity and creates a wide soundstage for the speaker to maximize its performance.
Whether you are listening to music or watching a movie, you will be able to not only hear but also experience every little detail in the audio. When mounted at the right height and at the right distance from the listener it creates a truly immersive experience.
This centre channel is designed for audio enthusiasts; it also brings a few other technologies that make it a great addition to any kind of sound system. It features support for Dolby Atmos as well as DTS:X so you can really optimize sound output.
Moreover, this centre channel can be mounted vertically or horizontally on a wall and the output can be adjusted to suit each mounting position. Overall, the build quality is very solid and it is available in a number of different aesthetic options.
If you need a centre channel that will work with different types of amps and speakers, and also have different connection and mounting options and also be equipped to deliver amazing sound, this is a great option to explore.
Here is a nice video covering the specs and performance of the soundbar from GoldenEar.
|A large soundstage combined with quality speaker technology creates excellent sound performance
|Its large size makes it suitable only for larger systems
|Highly versatile connection options and configuration options make this a flexible product for any home theatre application
|Dolby Atmos and DTS:X support add to the versatility of this platform
|Managing audio controls can be a little tricky for new hi-fi enthusiasts
Slowly and steadily, hi-fi soundbars are becoming extremely popular in the home theatre space. They offer tons of versatility in terms of on-wall mounting and they have a very low profile which creates a fantastic look.
This Sonos on-wall Beam features some cutting-edge technology that allows the system to create exceptional quality sound and also features a number of features that will make them a favourite among audiophiles who love tweaking and tinkering with their systems.
In terms of speaker design and performance, the Beam on-wall soundbar features five drivers which include a mix of tweeters and subwoofers. Moreover, the soundbar design itself creates a long and rather large soundstage for these expertly designed speakers to reach their full potential.
Even without a lot of external amplification, these speakers can produce just enough sound pressure. Also, the overall sound is very clean and detailed.
These on-wall soundbars are meant to be all-rounders. Whether you need something to improve your gaming setup, something for casually enjoying high-fidelity music or a sound system to take your home theatre to the next level, the Beam will deliver.
Moreover, the Beam also supports Dolby Atmos which makes it exceptionally well-suited to home theatre applications.
To take this setup to the next level, you can add additional Sonos Beam speakers on other walls in the room to create a true surround sound experience and also get a richer audio output.
The Sonos Beam also incorporates modern features such as support for a wide variety of audio formats and can also link to services such as Spotify, Apple Music, Google Assistant, Alexa, and many others. In a way, this is a ‘smart’ soundbar.
One of the most important features is its support for both FLAC and ALAC audio files. For people who enjoy high-quality music and want the clearest and most detailed sound performance possible, this will be a game changer.
Here is a nice video covering the Sonos Beam soundbar.
|Supports a wide variety of audio formats
|Bass can be limited as there is no dedicated subwoofer
|Supports several modern audio services and also integrates with virtual assistants and voice control services
|Connections, especially HDMI connections are limited so it can be a problem who want to use this as a one-speaker solution for all their sources
|Has an excellent array of speakers that are more than capable of delivering high-fidelity output
|Can be hard to configure for those looking to get multiple soundbars
Difference Between In-Wall, On-Wall, or In-Ceiling Speakers
People shopping for speakers can get confused with all the different options. Here is a quick breakdown of the three main overarching categories that you can choose from.
These speakers are designed to be installed into the wall itself and are flush-mounted speakers. What this means is that once they are installed, they do not protrude from the wall.
The cover of the speaker may bulge out of the wall by an inch or an inch and a half, but, generally, they will not bulge out more than what a picture on a wall would.
For some of these speakers, you may need to carve a cavity into the wall where the magnets and voice coils of the speakers can rest, essentially making the wall the enclosure for the speaker. Other models are designed to be ultra-thin as they are and can be installed directly onto the surface of the wall.
On-wall speakers come with an enclosure much like standard tabletop speakers; however, the enclosure also has a mounting bracket attached to it. This is so you can mount the speaker onto the wall using the bracket.
These speakers can be mounted on the ceiling as well if there is no space on the walls. These speakers are great if space is not an issue and you don’t mind having the speaker protruding several inches from the wall.
These speakers are good because they come in enclosures that are designed to extract maximum performance from them.
Moreover, the larger enclosures also mean the systems can have larger more powerful speakers as well as in-built electronics such as amplifiers, EQs and/or DSPs.
These speakers can be without an enclosure (like in-wall speakers) or they can be with enclosures that can be installed into a cavity in the ceiling.
These are popular choices in home theatre systems as they help to evenly distribute the sound across the room and they also play a pivotal role in creating an immersive experience.
The speaker is physically mounted in a position where it can create a better surround sound experience. These can be small speakers or rather large units depending on the kind you get and what that particular speaker is designed for.
What are the Advantages and Disadvantages of Using On-Wall Speakers?
On-wall speakers can be a great option if you know they are right for your situation and you know which kind of speaker to get. Here are a few things you should know about on-wall speakers.
- They are great if you want a directional sound experience. These speakers can be installed on the wall exactly according to the listener’s position creating a very unique experience.
- On-wall speakers that are mounted directly on the wall are great if you don’t want to make major modifications to the walls or ceilings as you can just place them on the wall to use them and take them off when you like.
- They are usually quite easy to use and most models don’t have any complicated electronics that you need to tinker with.
- Most models are stand-alone units so you will not need many accessories or additional equipment to get the most out of them.
- They are more visible than in-ceiling or in-wall speakers and this can be a major problem for some users.
- The wiring is completely open so it will require more cable management to get a clean look.
- While the sound quality is good the experience may not be as immersive since the sound is still coming from a stand-alone speaker.
On-Wall Vs. In-Wall
On-wall are easier to use but they don’t provide the same audio experience that in-wall speakers can. They are also typically less powerful as they have a shallow mount design.
In particular, on-wall speakers usually lack in the bass department and this can be a major problem for home theatre applications or for people who enjoy listening to bass-heavy genres.
On-Wall Vs. In-Ceiling
In-ceiling speakers are far less directional and they create a more balanced sound experience across the entire room. Moreover, in-ceiling speakers are far less visible and there is a bigger variety of in-ceiling speakers that you can choose from to get the exact kind of sound you want.
However, in-ceiling speakers require a lot more planning, work and management to get them installed correctly and to sound how they should.
On-wall speakers come in many different forms, at many different prices and with many different speakers. Within the on-wall category, it is important that you know what kinds of features you want and what kind of sound you enjoy so you can choose the right product.
Moreover, you also need to consider factors like connectivity options, external amplification capabilities and external speaker support if you are looking to get some on-wall speakers to add to your existing setup.
Overall, on-wall can add a lot of value to your audio system without much hassle and can be a worthy upgrade to a home theatre environment.