RS Recommends: The Best Floor Standing Speakers for Home Theaters
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Creating an impressive sound system at home can seem intimidating. There are dozens of setups, from surround sound systems to WiFi speakers, not to mention plenty of debate around the best speaker brands. Luckily, there’s a streamlined solution: a pair of the best floor standing speakers.
The beauty of the best floor standing speakers — also known as tower speakers — is that they create high-end sound quality with just two speakers (you’ll also need a stereo receiver to power them). You don’t need to be an audiophile to set them up, and the best floor standing speakers work great for home theaters or high fidelity music setups.
Whether you’re building your first home sound system or upgrading your current setup, read on. We’ve rounded up some of the best floor standing speakers to be used for a 2.0 system, or as part of a 5.1, 7.1, or Dolby Atmos surround sound setup.
Are Floor Standing Speakers Worth It?
The size and price point of floor standing speakers can cause some (understandable) reservations in perspective buyers. But, the truth is, floor standing speakers are worth it.
Firstly, the size of floor standing speakers allows them to house multiple drivers (individual speakers) within the frame. That means you get subwoofers (which produce bass) and tweeters (for treble) all wrapped into one synergistic setup. The result is premium audio quality right out of the box, whether you’re using the speakers for movies or music.
Secondly, thanks to their vertical setup, floor standing speakers can actually take up less space than traditional systems of the same caliber. With their sculptural designs, we would even argue that the best floor standing speakers elevate the look of your living room or den.
What Are the Best Floor Standing Speakers?
There are many factors to consider when choosing the right tall floor standing speakers for your setup. Below are some of the most important specs to look at while shopping the best floor standing speakers.
Size: Our speaker recommendations are around three feet tall, which is big enough to create room-filling sound without requiring a huge space.
Wired: All of the speakers in this guide are wired; wireless speakers are great, but they’re not appropriate in this case.
Driver Size: Drivers are the part of a speaker responsible for producing sound. Generally speaking, the larger the driver, the louder and clearer the sound (materials and placement matter a lot, too). Every speaker we’ve chosen has big drivers for this reason.
Number of Drivers: There are two main types of speaker drivers: woofers, which handle bass and midrange frequencies, and tweeters, which are better at handling treble frequencies. Our tall floor standing speaker picks have at least three drivers to deliver balanced sound at any volume level.
1. Definitive Technology BP9060 Bipolar Tower Speakers
They’re on the expensive side, but these Definitive Technology BP9060 tower speakers are well worth the price.
Each tower houses eight drivers, including a 10-inch powered subwoofer and two bass radiators. Together, these elements yield ground-shaking low-end for immersive media viewing or music. High notes are equally good thanks to three BDSS drivers (two on the front and one on the back) and one-inch tweeters on both sides.
Geared towards home theater use, the BP9060’s driver setup is part of the speaker’s bipolar technology. This means the speaker projects sound in two directions (using the front- and rear-mounted drivers), which creates that room-filling sound without the need for extra speakers in all corners of the room. For even better audio, you can upgrade the speaker with an A90 Atmos-enabled module (this requires a separate Dolby Atmos setup).
Incredible sound quality aside, we think the BP9060 speaker looks great too. It’s sleek and elegant in any room, especially with the included aluminum base plate. Be aware, however, that the BP9060 is sold as a single speaker; two are required for stereo sound.
Buy Definitive Technology Tower Speakers
2. Klipsch R-26FA
If you care deeply about surround sound, Klipsch’s R-26FAs will offer a far better experience than traditional floor standing speakers.
This speaker pair is 39 inches tall and has six drivers, which is the most out of any floor standers we recommend. Three of the drivers, including a pair of 6.5-inch woofers and an inch tweeter, are located on the front. The other three, including a pair of 5.25-inch woofers and an inch tweeter, are located on top of the speaker, and face upward.
The speaker placement may seem a little odd at first, but they’re designed to work with Dolby Atmos, a new surround sound technology that offers a way more immersive experience than traditional 5.1 and 7.1 systems. In a Dolby Atmos mix, sound is directed toward you and your ceiling, where it bounces off the top of your room and back down at you. The result is a surround sound experience where you can hear each element of your music, TV shows and movies in vertical space.
This technology is just starting to roll out, but getting these speakers (or Klipsch’s full Dolby Atmos speaker bundle) will prepare you. If you don’t care about Atmos (yet), the R-26FA will still work extremely well in a stereo or traditional surround sound setup.
Klipsch’s R-26FAs are among the first speakers designed with the next level of surround sound in mind, and if you’re building a cutting-edge home theater system, they’re the pair to get.
3. Q Acoustics 3050i
We’ve tried several Q Acoustics speakers (including the bookshelf counterpart to these floor standers), and have always come away impressed.
The company has gone the extra mile to pack its 3050i floor standing speakers with technology and a physical design that work together to improve sound quality. At 40.2 inches, the 3050is are the tallest speakers in our guide, and they feature a pair of 6.5-inch woofers, and a .87-inch tweeter.
Starting at the bottom, each speaker is balanced on four metal posts instead of a stand, which is done to reduce distortion from vibrations. When you’re listening to a song at high volumes, or a track with heavy bass, the speakers won’t rattle, which can impact sound quality.
The inside of each cabinet has been designed with a Helmoltz Pressure Equalizer, a technology developed by Q Acoustics to reduce unwanted frequency spikes that can occur when listening to music at higher volumes.
The cabinet enclosures (the areas around the drivers) use another Q Acoustics technology called PTP (Point To Point) to ensure they stay rigid. This allows the drivers to focus their audio directly toward you for a more accurate sound stage. The result of using both of these technologies is improving the speaker’s sound using physics.
Each of the speaker’s drivers are made out of nine or more individual pieces using materials like steel, silicon, heat-resistant aramid fiber and fabric. Again, the attention to detail here will lead to better sound in a pair of speakers with the standard amount of drivers, and a normal size.
Finally, Q Acoustics made sure its speakers looked really good. Their minimalist style and different colorways (the wood-like walnut is shown above, but they’re also available in white, black and slate) mean you’ll find a pair that fit into any environment. If you’re sweating all the details while building your stereo system, you should consider getting speakers from a company that did just that designing them.
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