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Revel W553L Measurements (In-wall Speaker)

Rate this speaker:

  • 1. Poor (headless panther)

    Votes: 2 1.6%
  • 2. Not terrible (postman panther)

    Votes: 9 7.4%
  • 3. Fine (happy panther)

    Votes: 78 63.9%
  • 4. Great (golfing panther)

    Votes: 33 27.0%

  • Total voters
    122

amirm

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This is a detailed measurements of Revel W553L in-wall speaker. It is on kind loan from a member and costs US $495 (each). You can see it on the measurement stand:
Revel W553L Review in-wall speaker.jpg


As an aside, this speaker was used in double blind test by the owner.

NOTE: our company, Madrona Digital, is a dealer for Harman and hence Revel line. While we don't do any retail business, I thought I let you know about that. Of course the measurements are not subject to bias that way but you are welcome to read such in the rest of my commentary.

I tested it as you see without the grill and with the tonality setting to 0. Special "baffle" measurement was used in Klippel NFS which discards edge diffraction from the sides of the MDF baffle. It also mathematically subtracts the back reflection, simulating what you get when you mount it on a larger wall than baffle I used. As usual room reflections are removed as well.

Revel W553L Measurements
I was impressed by how clean the response was:

Revel W553L Measurements Frequency Response in-wall speaker.png


Sensitivity is also quite high at nearly 90 dBSPL which should help a lot with dynamics of home theater application. Overall response matches Harman data very closely which is good.

Early window response is very good and only dragged down a bit vertically:
Revel W553L Measurements Early Window Frequency Response in-wall speaker.png


This results in very good predicted in-room response:

Revel W553L Measurements Predicted-in-room Frequency Response in-wall speaker.png


Near-field response doesn't show anything of concern:
Revel W553L Measurements Near-field Frequency Response in-wall speaker.png


Beamwidth is naturally quite large in lower frequencies (due to infinite baffle) and controlled in higher frequencies:
Revel W553L Measurements Horizontal Beam width Response in-wall speaker.png


Directivity shows the same (ignore anything ± 90 degrees):
Revel W553L Measurements Horizontal Directivity in-wall speaker.png


Vertically we have the two holes due to MTM configuration so try to place/aim the speaker if you can for listener ears:

Revel W553L Measurements Vertical Directivity in-wall speaker.png


Power handling is excellent for class:

Revel W553L Measurements THD Percentage Response in-wall speaker.png



Revel W553L Measurements Relative THD Percentage Response in-wall speaker.png


Impedance dips pretty low:
Revel W553L Measurements Impedance and phase Response in-wall speaker.png


Above is with baffle open. In a wall it may change some.

Finally here are the timing charts for those of you into them:
Revel W553L Measurements CSD Waterfall in-wall speaker.png



Revel W553L Measurements Impulse Response in-wall speaker.png




Revel W553L Measurements Step Response in-wall speaker.png


Conclusions
I am not in a position to listen to this speaker since I have no wall to mount it in. Going by the measurements, they look quite good. Keep in mind that in-wall speakers are predominantly sold on the basis of how they look (with grill on) and how much margin they provide for the custom installer! As such, a lot of terrible in-wall speakers are out there. Revel however puts real engineering in them including double blind testing. Measurements back careful attention to design with a speaker that would be at home competing with boxed speakers let alone other in-walls.

Since I can't listen to the speaker I won't provide a recommendation.

Edit: video review posted as well:

-----------
As always, questions, comments, recommendations, etc. are welcome.

Any donations are much appreciated using: https://www.audiosciencereview.com/forum/index.php?threads/how-to-support-audio-science-review.8150/
 

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CrustyToad

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Thanks for another great review @amirm! Interesting application with the in-walls

Sometimes I wonder how far back in time does this good consistency in revel speakers go. Do we see as good results in revel speakers 20 years old?
 
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amirm

amirm

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Sometimes I wonder how far back in time does this good consistency in revel speakers go. Do we see as good results in revel speakers 20 years old?
I know it goes back at least 15 years. Whether it goes back to 20, I don't know. We would have to look up when Dr. Olive and Toole joined the company.
 

azzy_mazzy

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Good sensitivity for a revel.
i wonder if I'm missing something but this looks better than their significantly more expensive option the Revel W990
 
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MatthewS

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MatthewS

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Good sensitivity for a revel.
i wonder if I'm missing something but this looks better than their significantly more expensive option the Revel W990

The W990 has basically flat response down to 40hz. These start rolling off at 100hz. But I'd agree--I'd rather have these and a subwoofer.

I use them in a room with multiple sub-woofers to address room modes. I'm quite happy with them.

Here is in room response vs predicted (subwoofers going):
Spinpredictvsmeasured.jpg


The room is about 11x11 so the room modes are gnarly and reach up to 300hz.
 
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DWPress

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I've always wondered about the best way of mounting in-wall speakers in regards to the cavity space behind them. I've got some Sonace in-wall speakers in my press room but the wall backs up to the bindery and at higher SPL the distortion is fine in the press room but the resonances in the bindery are unbearable.

These look like a definite step up of course SQ wise.
 

sam_adams

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Nicely done, @amirm. Now we can get a better sense of how this type of device performs in its intended installation environment.
 

Newman

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Thanks Amir. Could you add a few comments alongside the graphs (or link to where you have done it before) to explain what we should be expecting to see differently for an in-wall compared to a free-standing speaker, please?

eg the PIR graph - should it look any different for in-wall, maybe a different slope? The comb-like output on the Horizontal Beamwidth plot, is that a function of the test's mounting board? Does being in-wall change the expectations for sound power and DI plots?
 

Blumlein 88

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Thanks for another great review @amirm! Interesting application with the in-walls

Sometimes I wonder how far back in time does this good consistency in revel speakers go. Do we see as good results in revel speakers 20 years old?
I have some Revel F12's. They were a design based upon the criteria they use now, and were made starting in 2005. I know some of the Infinity speakers built on the research at Harman preceded it by at least a couple years. The Ultima Salons were out by 1998.

I don't know how long until most or many of the JBL, Infinity, Revel offerings were designed this way. Floyd Toole started with Harman in 1991 after leaving the NRC in Canada.
 

Blumlein 88

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These might make really good overhead speakers for Atmos use. As long as you don't mind the somewhat larger ceiling print.
 

beagleman

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Normally I spout my BS about lack of value, but these are quite good and a good price!
 

gbrnole

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i recommended a pair of these for my dad to use as surrounds where space was at a premium. they sound very good for in-walls.
 
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