Floor-standing speakers are a versatile addition to your home sound system. They have complete stereo output and can give you a full surround-sound experience. They cover the bass and trebles from high to low and handle everything in between without skipping a beat. If you’re serious about your music or home theater, floor-standing speakers are an investment worth making.
The kind of music you listen to, the entertainment setup in the space, and your personal preferences all factor into the floor standing speakers that will work best. We’ve put together a list of the best floor-standing speakers, from a set that shines in small spaces to a pair that makes you feel like you’re in the front row of the symphony.
— Best Overall: SVS Prime Pinnacle
— Best for Small Rooms: Dayton Audio T652
— Best for Home Theater: Klipsch R-26A Dolby Atmos Speaker
— Best for Music: Focal Chora 826
— Best Budget: Elac Debut 2.0 F5.2 Floorstanding Speaker
How We Picked the Best Floor-Standing Speakers
Many factors influenced the models we included on our list. The acoustic range of floor-standing speakers outperforms bookshelf speakers or Bluetooth speakers, and they take a relatively small footprint (though they do gobble up vertical space). Audio quality was a given, but we also considered the characteristics of the audio like transparency and fullness of the presentation. The design, driver type and materials, and wattage all played a role in our choices. We couldn’t ignore the sensitivity either, as that can affect clarity and sound quality.
Driver Type and Material: Drivers are the “engine” of the speaker. They’re the part that converts the audio signal into audible sounds. Drivers are not nearly as powerful individually as they are collectively. For that reason, manufacturers try to pack in multiple drivers to provide rich detailed sound. We considered the number, type, size, and design of the drivers to determine which models produce better audio quality. That included taking a look at the materials. Stiffer materials, for example, improve the detail.— Wattage: Wattage is the measurement of the power that can be pushed through the speaker. The watts per channel measure how much oomph in the individual drivers. It can get a little technical, but we considered both peak wattage and continuous wattage, along with the impedance to make sure the speakers performed well throughout the audio spectrum.
Wattage: Wattage is the measurement of the power that can be pushed through the speaker. The watts per channel measure how much oomph in the individual drivers. It can get a little technical, but we considered both peak wattage and continuous wattage, along with the impedance to make sure the speakers performed well throughout the audio spectrum.
Sensitivity and Frequency Response: Sensitivity is basically how loud the speakers can get. It’s also known as efficiency. Frequency response is related to but different from the sensitivity in that it tells you the range of audible sounds the speaker can produce, but also the power of those sounds within that range.
Best Floor-Standing Speakers: Reviews and Recommendations
Best Overall: SVS Prime Pinnacle
Why They Made The Cut: This speaker’s dynamic range, impressive sensitivity, and bass performance make it the best overall floor standing speaker.
— Sensitivity: 88 dB (decibels)
— Frequency Response: 29 Hz to 25,000 Hz
— Dimensions: 41 inches high x 8 inches wide x 13 15/16 inches deep
— Individual ported compartments provided detailed, customizable bass
— Placement of the tweeter keeps highest frequencies within the audible zone
— Clarity of sound at high volume
— Requires a high-quality amp
The SVS Prime Pinnacle has an industrial look and feel that hints back at vintage floor-standing speakers, but you won’t mistake this for an outdated model. What makes it special is that it can handle the loud and heavy sounds of rock just as well as it handles the delicate, articulate tones of classical or folk music. A glass fiber mid-range cone gives it better clarity through a larger range of frequencies. The cone is wider than most mid-range cones, which adds dynamic range, too. SVS then puts the tweeter under the mid-range cone, placing it closer to ear level and balancing out the sound.
However, most people fall in love with the bass drivers. Each one (there are three) has its own ported compartment to give the listener more control over the shape of the bass. Bass is something that floor-standing speakers can struggle with, but the Pinnacle definitely doesn’t have a problem with it. This speaker is sturdy and durable and offers solid sound for a wide range of music from acoustic guitar to soundtracks.
Here’s the downside of the Pinnacle. It’s a powerful speaker that can suffer if you’ve got a subpar amp. It needs an amp that’s on equal footing, which most people who are willing to spend this much for a speaker are likely to have.
Best for Small Rooms: Dayton Audio T652
Why They Made The Cut: These speakers lose clarity at higher volumes, but if you’re in a smaller space, you can take full advantage of the detail and richness they offer.
— Sensitivity: 88 dB
— Frequency Response: 45 Hz to 20,000 Hz
— Dimensions: 30 inches high x 7.1 inches wide x 9.5 inches deep
— Dual 6.5-inch woofers bring good bass
— Front-mounted bass port
— Size works well in a small room
— Affordable price
— Spring clip speaker wire connectors
The Dayton Audio T652 could qualify as cheap floor-standing speakers, but that’s not why it made this list. This speaker’s strengths and weaknesses make it an ideal speaker for small spaces, especially if you’re obsessed with bass. Dual 6.5-inch woofers with a front-mounted bass port provide low frequencies with clarity and depth that go well beyond this speaker’s price range.
However, you lose some of the clarity of the woofers at higher volumes, which makes these speakers perfect for small spaces. In a small space, you’ll still have plenty of volume. They’re small enough that they won’t make the room feel crowded either. However, this speaker comes with spring clip speaker wire connectors that simply don’t do as good of a job as binding posts.
Best for Home Theater: Klipsch R-26A Dolby Atmos Speaker
Why They Made The Cut: The Klipsch is specifically designed for Dolby Atmos for an immersive surround-sound experience.
— Sensitivity: 97 dB
— Frequency Response: 38 Hz to 24,000 Hz
— Dimensions: 39 inches high x 7.8 inches wide x 16.25 inches deep
— Ceiling-firing woofer and tweeter bounce sound off the ceiling
— Depth and detail from different positions in the room
— Front port allows it to be closer to the wall
— Brushed vinyl wrap
The Klipsch R-26A Dolby Atmos Speaker comes at an entry-level price and transforms your home setup into Dolby Atmos. Dolby Atmos bounces sound off the ceiling for a more immersive surround listening experience. The Klipsch floor standing speaker has a ceiling-firing woofer and tweeter to take advantage of and add clarity to Dolby Atmos. It’s comparable to similar Pioneer floor standing speakers but at a more affordable price.
Those extra ceiling-firing drivers add detail, volume, and richness to the overall listening experience. This model’s front port allows for unobtrusive placement closer to the wall. We also like that the Klipsch isn’t too picky about amplification, which means it’s more likely to fit within an existing system. The price is also nice for a speaker that can transform your home theater. Our only real complaint is the brushed vinyl wrap, which we don’t find as attractive or durable as wood-finished vinyl.
Best for Music: Focal Chora 826
Why It Made The Cut: Bright brilliant sound combines with a sleek, attractive exterior that only adds to the look and feel of the space.
— Sensitivity: 91 dB
— Frequency Response: 48 Hz to 28,000 Hz
— Dimensions: 41.5 inches high x 11.87 inches wide x 15.25 inches deep
— Durable but lightweight slate fiber cabinet
— Detailed sound and transparency
— Beautiful treble
The Focal Chora 826 is a high-end floor-standing speaker and comes from a brand well-known for producing out-of-this-world sound at prices that skyrocket just as fast the volume. While the Chora 826 is expensive, it’s relatively affordable for a Focal speaker. But these speakers are pricey for a reason. First, the cabinet and some of the cones are made of a material called slate fiber that’s made of thermoplastic polymer and carbon fibers. The mix gives the cabinet and cones stiffness for more detailed sounds and durability, yet it’s the speaker surprisingly lightweight. Usually, lightweight speakers produce less than ideal sounds, but not with the Chora 826.
The treble stands out for the detail and precision even when the volumes get low. There’s a transparency to the resulting sound so you can hear the individual instruments, but they’re balanced, open, and powerful. The result is a big, full sound from high-quality, sleek-looking speakers. However, if they have a downfall, it’s that they need precise positioning or you can lose all that gorgeous clarity.
Best Budget: Elac Debut 2.0 F5.2 Floorstanding Speaker
Why It Made The Cut: The Elac can pick up detail and texture, giving the sound transparency that’s hard to find elsewhere at this price point.
— Sensitivity: 86 dB
— Frequency Response: 42 Hz to 35,000 Hz
— Dimensions: 40 inches high x 7.1 inches wide x 9.3 inches deep
— Detail offered by the main drivers
— Heavy, clear bass
— Good dynamics for the price
— Thinner presentation that some similar speakers
The Elac Debut 2.0 F5.2 Floorstanding Speaker stays true to the music with transparency and detail. It might not have the full presentation of more expensive speakers, but the clarity feels much more expensive than this speaker’s price tag. Much of that is thanks to the Aramid fiber used in the main drivers. It adds stiffness that allows the speaker to pick up subtle tones and nuances that are easy to miss with low-quality models.
This speaker is definitely more about those subtle details than brute power. They also come equipped to handle different types of flooring, with spikes for use on carpet so you don’t need to buy stands separately. We also love that this speaker isn’t too finicky about placement, making it easier to integrate into your setup.
Things to Consider Before Buying a Floor Standing Speaker
Room Size and Existing Setup
The size and layout of the room in which you’ll use the speakers make a difference in the pair that will work best for you. Floor-standing speakers can fill a large space with impressive audio. However, the wrong pair can easily overpower a small space. In general, the larger the speakers, the bigger their sound.
Many floor-standing speakers also have a sweet spot, an area where the balance of the speakers is nearly perfect. Some are picky with a small sweet spot, requiring precise placement. Others are more forgiving, which gives you more freedom in the layout and placement within the room.
Frequency Response and Sensitivity
Frequency response is the range of sounds in the audible range the speaker can produce. A wider frequency response will give you access to a broader range of audible sounds. However, some speakers lose clarity at the low end of the range, while others may get fuzzy in the middle or at the high end. It all depends on the design and drivers. So don’t go by frequency response alone. Consider the material of the cones, where stiffer materials can produce more detail.
You also have to think about the sensitivity, which is basically the volume. How loud do you like your music? Keep in mind that you may lose some clarity on some drivers the louder or softer you play the music. You’ll pay more for a speaker with higher sensitivity, especially if it can keep the sounds clear and bright on high volume.
Sound Quality and Sound Preferences
Crystal-clear tones filled with detail can make you feel like you’re sitting in front of the instrumentalist or vocalist. Audiophiles may want to pay extra for top-of-the-line speakers that make it feel like you’re sitting in the concert. Others may have enough volume to make your heart thump.
Some speakers perform better for instrumental or vocals while others are designed for specific home theater audio like Dolby Atmos and shine when it comes to soundtracks, sound effects, and the relatively quieter human voice. Look for a speaker that can handle the range of demands you’ll put on it.
Q. How much does a floor-standing speaker cost?
Floor-standing speakers start around $200 but can sore to over $4,000. Lower-priced models tend to be smaller with fewer drivers. Those drivers will also be made of less expensive materials, which can affect the clarity. The more expensive models are larger and have more drivers made of premium materials to bring out more detail and clarity.
Q. Do floor speakers sound better on stands?
Floor speakers can sound better on stands if the stands help balance speaker placement. Floor-standing speakers perform better on a level surface and off of an absorptive surface like carpet. If the stand can help the speaker maintain better placement, you’ll get better sound. If you have any other speakers in the setup, their placement can influence whether your speakers need stands or not, too, by influencing your perception of the sound.
Q. How far should I sit from floor-standing speakers?
The optimum distance to sit from the speakers depends on the speakers' size, power, and the size of the room. However, in many cases, anywhere from 8 to 12 feet is enough space for the sounds to mix and for you to hear the best clarity. If you’re too close, the sounds may not mix correctly and will sound distorted. If you’re too far, you’ll hear more of the room and less detail.
Q. How do you use floor-standing speakers?
Follow the manufacturer’s instructions to make sure you correctly connect the speakers. In general, floor-standing speakers connect to your TV or audio system with a 1mm to 3.3mm speaker cable. The further the speaker is from the source, the thicker the cable should be to prevent a degraded signal. From there, you’ll need to strip the cable and attach it to the posts. The manufacturer will also offer suggestions on placement. For example, you’ll need to adjust the speakers so they are completely level to avoid any shaking or wobbling. They also need to be placed a certain distance from the wall for optimal performance.
Q. Where should floor-standing speakers be placed?
Each speaker's make and model is a little different. Manufacturers include recommendations that include the distance from the music source, wall, and placement relative to the listener.
Q. Can I use floor standing speakers as surround speakers?
Floor-standing speakers can function as a part of an excellent surround-sound system. Their size, height, compatibility with other speakers, and the number of drivers make them an excellent option for the front or back portion of the surround sound. However, most people choose to use them in the front.
Q. Do floor-standing speakers need a subwoofer?
Floor-standing speakers don’t technically need a subwoofer. However, they can be weak or fuzzy on the bass. If you love powerful bass, an external subwoofer can help. Some full-range floor standing speakers have built-in subwoofers, which can save you some floor space.
A sound system can transform your listening experience, whether you’re putting on the latest release of your favorite artist or catching the newest film in your home theater. When it comes to overall performance, the SVS Prime Pinnacle is hard to beat. It provides clarity at volume but doesn’t skip on the subtlety of mellow tones either. If your budget is a bit smaller, you can still get detail and transparency without breaking your budget with the more affordable Elac Debut 2.0 F5.2 Floorstanding Speaker. This model isn’t as full as the Pinnacle, but you’ll still get deep, clear bass and responsive treble.
This post was created by a non-news editorial team at Recurrent Media, Futurism’s owner. Futurism may receive a portion of sales on products linked within this post.