PMC Speakers are changing the reputation of in-wall hi-fi units through their groundbreaking work with the Wafer1 and Wafer2. Designed for the home theater or audiophile system, the Wafer lineup delivers exceptional sound quality with a completely unobtrusive footprint.
Can a Compact, Stealthy In-Wall Speaker Sound Good?
The consensus, until recently, was uncertainty surrounding the viability of “compact” in-wall speakers. For a long time, in-wall home speakers suffered from lackluster design that heavily compromised overall fidelity. PMC figured out a way to resolve those problems thanks to some inspiration taken directly from their professional studio line.
One of the Wafer-IW’s biggest achievements is use of PMC’s Advanced Transmission Line (ATL) technology. Because of the cabinet being quite shallow, the interior is divided into a long, acoustically treated chamber. Low-end information from the woofer directs down this chamber and out through a port in the bottom of the cabinet. The result is louder, cleaner bass from small cabinet.
Another achievement and feature unique to PMC Wafer speakers is Twin Tweeter (TT) technology. TT makes speaker placement almost a non-issue. You can install them vertically, horizontally, and above or below the listener without sacrificing sound quality. Just flip a switch on the front panel indicating orientation, and you’re good to go.
Finally, PMC in-wall speakers make use of what they call a StealthBaffle. It’s an absorbent surface which prevents reflections from the front baffle and the surrounding wall or ceiling. The listener receives direct, unreflected audio straight from the speakers.
PMC Wafer Review – How Does It Stack Up?
The Wafer1 is the smaller speaker, while the Wafter2 is the larger one. Both are sufficiently “stealthy” as far as size goes. The Wafer1 sports a 5.5″ low frequency driver; the Wafer2 has a 6.5″ driver.
- Wafer1: 20″ H x 9.3″ W x 3.9″ D
- Wafer2: 22.6″ H x 14″ W x 3.9″ D
The units themselves are solidly constructed, weighing in at around 12 and 16 pounds respectively. They come in both white satin and black satin finishes, and the slim grille/frame can be painted to blend right into the wall. These are sleekly and elegantly designed speakers, made from high-quality parts both internally and externally.
In terms of mounting, each speaker contains multiple spring lugs that snap into place once the unit is inside the wall. They’re relatively quick and safe to install, which PMC Speakers intended.
Sound quality is excellent with both models. On the Wafer2 you get slightly lower bass extension down to 40 Hz compared to the Wafer1’s 50 Hz, yet both deliver rich, full low-end that feels substantial from a small cabinet speaker (thanks to ATL tech). We will say that the overall impression isn’t that these speakers are entirely neutral, but they color the sound in a way that works well for both home theater and music.
What these in-wall speakers do especially well is spread sound evenly throughout a listening space. That’s no small feat, and a lot of it has to do with the Twin Twitter design as well as the absorbing baffle that minimizes reflections. You manage to get a direct sound from virtually anywhere.
There’s also exceptional detail in the sound at low volumes, which is perfect for late-night streaming binges. PMC Speakers put of a ton of intelligent design into the Wafer to make it one of the best-in-class in-wall units.
Our Take: PMC Wafer In-Wall Speakers Offer Massive Sound Without the Massive Footprint
The Wafer-IW series dispels any preconceptions that in-wall home theater speakers suffer from unflattering coloration. PMC have also proven that they don’t have to be huge to project powerful sound. For a sleek and discrete home audio solution, the Wafer series by PMC Speakers should not be overlooked.