As modern technology has shrunk speakers further and further down and more minimalist design schemes begin to dominate the current culture, floorstanding speakers aren’t as popular as they used to be. But that doesn’t mean that they still can’t serve a valuable purpose in your home. If you want truly top of the line speakers that will produce high-quality music even at high volumes, floorstanding speakers are the best way to go. They can serve on their own or as a great anchor for a larger home theater system.
But we want to help you shop smarter. If you’re looking for the best floor standing speakers in 2020, keep reading. We highlight 10 of the best models and also provide shopping advice you can take to heart.
- Best Floor Standing Speakers
- 1. Pioneer SP-FS52 Floor Loudspeaker
- 2. Fluance XL7F High Performance 3-Way Floorstanding Loudspeakers
- 3. Polk Audio T50 150W Floor Standing Tower Speaker
- 4. Sony SSCS3 3-Way Floor-Floorstanding Speaker
- 5. Onkyo SKF-4800 2-Way Bass Reflex Floorstanding Speaker
- 6. BIC America Venturi DV64 2-Way Tower Speaker
- 7. Cerwin-Vega SL-12 12″ 3-Way Tower Floor Speaker
- 8. ELAC Uni-fi UF5 Floorstanding Speaker
- 9. Klipsch RF-82 II Reference Series Floorstanding Loudspeaker
- 10. Yamaha NS-F210BL 2-Way Bass-Reflex Floorstanding Speaker
- Floorstanding Speakers Buyer’s Guide
Best Floor Standing Speakers
1. Pioneer SP-FS52 Floor Loudspeaker
These speakers are named after their designer: famed engineer Andrew Jones. And while their sleek and modernist design looks great, it also accommodates some pretty stellar performance, and it manages to do so for a very meager price tag. These budget speakers are one of the best choices if you want to begin setting up a more advanced sound system but don't have a whole lot of money to work with. And if you do decide to expand it, the Andrew Jones collection comes with a matching subwoofer along with bookshelf speakers. But they'll stand well enough on their own right. The 1" soft dome tweeter provides clear highs, but these speakers really excel with their bass performance.
2. Fluance XL7F High Performance 3-Way Floorstanding Loudspeakers
In terms of pricing, the Fluance Signature Series is a far cry from the Andrew Jones collection. A pair of these speakers will set you back a cool $500, but they're also some of the best equipment available at this price range. The drivers extend from one inch for the tweeter to 8.5 inches for the woofer, producing an excellent frequency response range along with an exceptional sound stage. The cabinet here looks really good as well, but the MDF woof is about more than just aesthetics. Its solid audio-grade design reduces the unwanted resonance created from vibrations while listening to music.
3. Polk Audio T50 150W Floor Standing Tower Speaker
In the world of HiFi speakers, no name commands as much respect as Polk Audio. This particular model is entry level with a tantalizing price tag of about $150, but it definitely stands up to scrutiny. The Dolby and DTS surround sound means these speakers will be an especially great choice when paired with a soundbar, subwoofer, or additional speakers, with the ability to use them as the centerpiece for a 5.1 channel setup. In addition to the tweeter and extended throw driver, two sub-bass radiators are built in for more meaningful lows. And the sturdy composite wood from which the cabinet is built will ensure less vibration and distortion.
4. Sony SSCS3 3-Way Floor-Floorstanding Speaker
With a price of $200 per speaker on Amazon, the Sony SSCS3 is a bit more expensive than the Polk model, but it's still one of the best speakers in its range. These Hi Fi speakers provide crisp sound throughout and manage to achieve a great balance between the highs and lows. While the bass is a little thin comparatively, these Hi-Fi speakers will sound absolutely stunning when paired with a subwoofer. They're a great basis for a surround system you can use for everything from video gaming to movie watching to music listening, and the design is both sturdy and attractive, ensuring that these speakers can last a good long time.
5. Onkyo SKF-4800 2-Way Bass Reflex Floorstanding Speaker
You can get a pair of Onkyo SKF-4800 tower speakers for the same price you'd pay for a pair of Sony's models. The dome tweeter here really stands out. It's expertly designed to provide precision highs that aren't too brassy, but that doesn't mean that the bass is a slouch. If you're looking for a way to listen to your favorite music the way it was meant to be heard, these are the speakers for you. Just keep in mind that their sound engineering isn't exactly catered towards the movie watching experience, so they're less suited for a home theater setup than some of our other featured speakers.
6. BIC America Venturi DV64 2-Way Tower Speaker
Are you looking for a quality listening experience that won't cost you a fortune? The BIC America Venturi DV64 has you covered. While the two way design of this system means that the midrange frequencies might not pop as well as they will in some other models, they offer some top tier sound quality for a very reasonable price. The HiFi speaker system here is strongly shielded to prevent the risk of interference from other devices in your home theater or stereo setup, and passive radiators help keep the bass extended. These may be budget speakers, but less discerning listeners will likely not notice the difference between them and more expensive alternatives.
7. Cerwin-Vega SL-12 12″ 3-Way Tower Floor Speaker
If the Venturi represents the quality of speakers you can find when working on a budget, the Cerwin-Vega SL-12 is the exact opposite. A single one of these speakers will cost you more than two Venturis, but this is a case here you absolutely get what you pay for. The colorful red and black design is more modern than the generally stately aesthetic favored by floorstanding speakers, and the three dedicated drivers provide some of the best sound performance we've had the honor to experience. The power handling here is through the roof, and that means that you'll get clear and crisp performance even when trying to fill a theater with immersive sound.
8. ELAC Uni-fi UF5 Floorstanding Speaker
Moving even further into the realm of luxury design is the ELAC Uni-fi UF5. A single speaker will run you somewhere between $400 and $500, but you won't find a speaker that's a better anchor for a larger surround sound system. In fact, a pair of these speakers will offer fully capable surround sound on their own. Designed by engineering impresario Andrew Jones, the UF5 concentric to provide you with a rich and meaningful sound stage regardless of where you happen to be sitting. And the bass drivers are neatly segregated from the tweeters to ensure a nice delineation between the primary frequencies. If you need more power, they work great with the ELAC debut sub.
9. Klipsch RF-82 II Reference Series Floorstanding Loudspeaker
The Klipsch RF-82 II are more than just good loudspeakers. They're good, loud speakers. Their maximum wattage of 600 and average wattage of a quarter that is capable of filling any home theater system comfortably, but they're equally tethered to a very high price tag. These are great speakers for professional performances and for outdoor speaker systems, but they'll probably be a bit much for most casual consumers. That said, if you do decide to invest, you won't be disappointed. There's a nice and clean level of clarity to the highs here, but this speaker really shines in the lows thanks to the inclusion of dual 8" high output woofers.
10. Yamaha NS-F210BL 2-Way Bass-Reflex Floorstanding Speaker
Yamaha has produced some of the slimmest floor-standing speakers we have yet to encounter. If you're not looking to build out your system and instead are just looking for some capable sound performance for your standard TV, this is the model for you. It's cheap enough to appeal to most customers but also expensive enough to confidently deliver high-quality music and movie audio reproduction. The design here is impeccable. The lightweight aluminum cones used in the construction of the woofers allow for more responsive bass that can really dig deep into the lows. And despite the smaller size and weight of this model, it comes with a sturdy base that will keep it consistently balanced.
Floorstanding Speakers Buyer’s Guide
When first introducing readers to the value of floor-standing speakers, we think most of their concerns can be framed in two questions. What’s so great about these types of speakers, and what makes them good? In other words, what is their functionality, and what traits should you look for when shopping. Our guide is here to help you navigate the sound technology of floor-standing speakers and determine how you can be a savvier shopper. It’s the perfect complement to our review list, and we follow it with direct answers to the questions we hear most frequently.
Floorstanding vs. Bookshelf Speakers
When you’re first setting up a home theater setup or a new stereo system, the biggest question you need to be asking yourself is whether you should look at floorstanding speakers which sit on the floor and look like imposing towers or bookshelf speakers which, aptly enough, can fit on a bookshelf.
The comparatively massive height of a floorstanding speaker is both its best asset and its greatest liability. Out of the box, that larger size allows more powerful drivers to be packed into each speaker, and that comparatively allows you not to just get a lot more juice out of them but also to achieve a richness that even high-end bookshelf speakers often can’t hit. By and large, floorstanding speakers are the best options you’ll find if you want to create an authentic sound stage. That makes them one of the best options as a core for a surround system.
On the flip side, tower speakers are going to take up a lot of space, and unlike smaller models, they’re more intrusive. Even the smallest of floorstanding speakers are going to stick out like a sore thumb in a way that smaller models just won’t. And while they’re great for creating a sound stage that properly replicates a concert listening experience, you really need a significant amount of floor space to make that work. If you’re on the search for speakers for a cramped apartment living room, you might be better off with book shelf speakers. But if you want to create the perfect home theater and have the space to accommodate it, floorstanding speakers would be the products we recommend.
Floor-standing models come in two varieties: two way and three way. This refers to how many drivers are packed into the speaker. A two way speaker will segregate the sound into mid-range/highs and bass by including a dome tweeter for the higher frequencies and a bass woofer for the lows. This is pretty standard in audio tech, and the size of a floorstanding speaker means that even a two way model will perform better than its smaller contemporaries.
While three way speakers are more expensive, they really take things to the next level. While the woofers and tweeters continue to perform largely the same functionality, a mid-range driver is included. That creates a richer sense of space, better overall sound performance, and a higher level of sensitivity. Three way performance is one of the best features you’ll find in these types of speakers, and they’re what we’d recommend if you eventually plan on building out your stereo or home theater system.
The power that flows into a speaker is measured in watts, and most manufacturers keep track of both the average wattage a model can support as well as the maximum wattage. Maximum power will tell you roughly how loud a speaker can go, but it does a lot more than that. It also determines the quality of the sound of your drivers at different volume levels. A higher peak power speaker will make sure that you can’t just hear music loudly, but you can hear it clearly at the same time.
Each speaker we reviewed comes with a peak power rating listed, but sensitivity can be a bit spottier time, and whether or not it’s listed depends on the brand you’re looking at. Sensitivity is measured in decibels, and unlike the peak wattage, it’s a raw measurement of the maximum amount of decibels a speaker can pump out. 120 decibels is the level that humans start to feel serious discomfort, and most models offer a max sensitivity of about 90 or 95. It likely won’t be a concern for most of our readers, but if you are concerned about sensitivity, a little extra research can usually help you find at least an estimate of the sensitivity level.
The frequency response range is a measurement (valued in hertz and kilohertz) that (naturally) tells you the range of frequencies that a speaker can reproduce. The frequencies that humans can hear fall in the range of 20 to 20,000 hertz. And while headphones tend to cover the whole frequency response range, the need to project music more loudly means that the frequency range for a floorstanding speaker tends to be a bit more muted. You want as much coverage as possible, but looking for models that go outside the range of human hearing can also be useful. They tend to provide cleaner and more dynamic sound than speakers that fall in the more traditional range.
All you have to do is glance at a pair of floorstanding speakers to recognize that these are some big electronics, but they can range in size considerably. If you’ve decided you want your home updated with better speakers, you’ll want to think about the logistics. First off, how much space do you have? You don’t need to just consider whether they’ll fit but whether they’ll fit in a way that allow you a meaningful sound stage. An ideal pair of speakers triangulate so that the sound they’re projecting meets in the middle. If you’re working in a more cramped space, you may want to carefully measure it to make sure that the models you’re looking at can fit comfortably.
Also keep an eye towards the future. While a floorstanding speaker or two can be a great addition to a stereo in its own right, they’re largely used as a jumping off point for a more dedicated 5.1 or even 7.1 sound system. If you do decide to expand your setup with more updated equipment like an amp, you’ll want to make sure there’s the space for expansion. You can slowly build up your perfect sound system if you just take the time to think ahead.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the Best Hi-Fi Floor Standing Speaker?
Hi-Fi is a phrase that’s tossed around a lot, a convenience capable because there’s no standard definition for what “high fidelity” is. But it would be hard to argue that the sound produced by the ELAC Uni-fi UF5 isn’t Hi-Fi. Each driver is phenomenally tuned to provide optimal performance, and it can achieve high volumes without having to worry about distortions or loss in quality.
Do I Need Floor Standing Speakers?
That really depends on what you’re trying to do. If you’re aiming to put together a home theater system, floorstanding models are practically a necessity. If you’re just looking to get some more performance for your gaming rig, maybe not so much. Floorstanding models require a lot of space, and they perform best with other equipment, so you should consider those two factors carefully before deciding to make a purchase.
How Do I Choose a Floor Standing Speaker?
Picking out a great model is about finding a balance between the wattage, decibels, and response range that’s right for you. These are ultimately powerful pieces of technology that can vary significantly in price, so be sure to look over our guide above so that you can stay abreast of each feature and spec you should consider when perusing our reviews.
What is the Best Sounding Speaker in the World?
That’s an impossible answer to question simply because that everyone has their own unique listening preferences. The flat but sterile sound of a monitor speaker is going to be perfect for work in the studio but not all that exciting for watching movies, while a bass heavy model may be great for the dancefloor but ill suited for music production. But if you need a recommendation, the ELAC Uni-fi UF5 delivers some of the best sound available.
A floor-standing speaker set can add a whole lot of strength and versatility to your existing home stereo system, and it’s the best place to start when trying to build a system from scratch. But if you decide to expand your collection, be sure to check out our best book shelf speaker guide. And keep checking the HotRate main page regular, as our reviews are regularly updated to better provide for the needs of our readers.If you liked our article on floor standing speakers, please share and comment below what your favorite product is.