A good set of speakers is necessary for any turntable setup. Vinyl enthusiasts have a variety of opinions on what’s best. A lot of that has to do with specific needs and wants out of a listening area. One thing that is not contentious is the amount of power and sound quality a set of floor speakers can give a turntable.
In this article, we’ll take a look at the role of floor speakers, what they can do, and the five best floor speakers for vinyl that sound amazing. And to better help you, please take a moment to view some of the more popular speakers on the market today (both bookshelf and floor speakers) and see how well they stack up to the speakers we’ll be discussing in depth throughout this article:
|Audioengine HD3||$||aptX Bluetooth connectivity|
|Edifier R1280DB||$||Powered Bookshelf Speakers w/Bluetooth|
|Kanto TUK||$$$||Built-in USB DAC + headphone amp|
|Edifier R1700BT||$||Bluetooth Powered Speakers|
|Kanto YU2||$||Built-in USB DAC|
|Kanto YU4||$$||Integrated Bluetooth w/aptX Technology|
|Pioneer DM-40||$||Dual Inputs - RCA + AUX minijack|
First, let’s begin with what is so important about floor speakers as opposed to other models.
Understanding the Importance of Floor Speakers
The primary function of any loudspeaker is to convert the electrical signal from the amplifier into a realistic audio experience. That means each and every groove in the record you are listening to comes alive thanks to the amplifier pushing sound into a speaker Any distortion or coloration of the original signal by drivers or enclosures degrades the sound.
Clarity in an audio signal is obtained by low loss of information in combination with creating a smooth, seamless reproduction in both the time and frequency domain.
With the right drivers, the need for frequency correction in the crossover is eliminated, meaning a smoother sound and signal. When built with the right configuration in a large cabinet, a set of floor speakers can put out some amazing sound, far outperforming bookshelf models or desktop speakers.
This enables the design of an exact crossover out of quality components that ensures the signal loss remains close to zero. Another fundamental component of floor speakers is the lowering of mechanical distortion to make sure the connected amplifier will not be exposed to a larger-than-necessary challenge, causing loss of detail in the signal even before it has the chance to reach the loudspeaker. Through very low mechanical loss, the most fragile sound details, even at low listening levels, are preserved.
These specific makeups of floor speakers vary from brand to brand, but when shopping for a new set of floor speakers, customers need to ask themselves these five key questions:
- How much sound do you want?
- What do you have to spend?
- What hookups do you need for the speakers?
- Will you use the speakers for more than just a turntable?
- What color, style, or design are you looking for?
|Best Selling Turntables|
|1) Pro-Ject Debut Carbon EVO|
|2) Audio-Technica AT-LP60XBT|
|3) Pro-Ject Debut Carbon Esprit SB|
|4) Pro-Ject Debut Carbon DC|
|5) Audio-Technica LPW50 with Sonos Speakers Bundle|
Let’s get into the 5 best options moving forward for vinyl veterans and newcomers looking to
Klipsch Reference R-620F
The Klipsch R-620F delivers lots of what we’ve come to expect from the home audio innovator: energetic, room-filling sound that brings your music and movie soundtracks to life. Use a pair of these towers for your home theater’s front left and right speakers to give your system presence and authority. They’ll also deliver plenty of detail and deep, rich bass in a two-channel music system.
Over the years, Klipsch has become famous for their Tractrix horn-loaded tweeter. This design produces clear, accurate high frequencies. The R-620F uses this tweeter along with two 6-1/2″ copper spun woofers to create natural, full-range sound with solid bass response. It’s also very efficient, so you won’t need a lot of power to drive it.
That being said, the lack of power needed to crank up the R-620F does not mean these are soft sounding speakers. They’ll fill up a large room quite nicely, keep fidelity all the way through. At the end of the day, Klipsch is the name in home audio, and buying a set of floor speakers for your vinyl setup not only looks great, but sounds great too.
The Polk Audio T50 Floor Speakers are a great option for those looking to save a bit of money and not spend their entire budget on something that costs more, but does what Polk branded products do.
Built with Polk’s proprietary Dynamic Balance technology, the T50’s highs send sound soaring, its mids are made to shred, and the bass you crave gets a massive boost even at the lowest frequencies. No matter the genre you are spinning, these are speakers that can handle it all.
With one 1” silk dome tweeter, one 6.25” extended throw composite driver, and two performance tuned front-firing sub bass radiators—all engineered with Polk’s proprietary Dynamic Balance technology—highs soar, mids glide uncolored, and the bass you crave gets a massive boost even at the lowest frequencies.
The acoustically-inert, furniture-grade MDF cabinet construction also reduces resonance and distortion, so you get rich, detailed audio the way it’s meant to be heard—minus the muffled noise and rattled disruption inherent in low-quality, lesser-than audio equipment.
With 100 watts per channel, these Polk speakers are not going to be the loudest option you can find, but for the price, they are perfect for any modest home setup.
Attention to detail and high-performance value combine in harmonious fashion in the Dali Zensor 5 tower loudspeakers. Loaded with technology and elements directly drawn from the Danish company’s higher-priced models, Zensor 5 comes ready to energize medium-to-large rooms with immersive performance – whether it’s employed in a stereo or home-theater configuration.
Dali’s signature focus on wide dispersion for excellent room integration and enlarged sweet spots, linear impedance for matching with practically any amplifier, and low-mechanical loss construction to eradicate any need for frequency correction in the crossover allow Zensor 5 to shine in ways approached by few other speakers in its class.
Zensor Series tweeters render high frequencies with high accuracy. This means very short excursions, but at high speed – or rathe, with high acceleration. In other words, it features a low moving mass and a strong motor. The tweeter is based on an ultra-lightweight weaved fabric.
Compared to most soft-dome tweeters on the market, the material is less than half the weight. It can play even the lowest parts of the high-frequency range without any breakups. This is crucial when handling the all important hand-over from the woofer to the tweeter.
Not having to push either the woofer or tweeter beyond what they do best results in a seamless transition and preservation of detail in the midrange frequencies. These are impressive speakers from a brand you may or may not know, but you absolutely need to add them to your shortlist for vinyl floor speakers.
With high-end features and a fan favorite level of sound reproduction, the Pioneer SP-FS52 Andrew Jones designed floorstanding loudspeaker from Pioneer makes even high end turntables sound a notch better. Featuring three 5.3″ woofers and a 1″ soft-dome tweeter, the range of the SP-FS52s is impressive for its reasonable price point.
In addition, this speaker offers 130W, of power, a full range of audio frequencies, and gold 5-way binding posts to keep the listening experience as smooth as possible. Visually, these are some of the best looking speakers on the market, and it is not all about the looks. The design of the SP-FS52 floor standing speaker is aesthetically more pleasing than a straightforward, rectangle cabinet.
This is due in part to its curved cabinet design that takes advantage of a stiffer design to reduce standing sound waves inside the cabinet. This means that whether you crank these up to fill an entire floor of the house, or just a bedroom, these Pioneer speakers crank out the perfect amount of noise for any setting.
Three woofers might sound like overkill, but the sound is worth it. By including so many, not only is rigidity improved, but so is bass accuracy. That leaves out the fuzziness of some finer details of recordings out of your ears. Engineers have also vented the pole piece, again improving bass response from the same size woofers in previous models by Pioneer.
The brand is known for quality sound, and along with Klipsch, is known for some great products over the years. When you shop Pioneer, you get the best, and the SP-FS52 floor speakers are a great example of that craftsmanship.
Vinyl fans who shop ELAC often enjoy dynamic sound from this popular amplifier brand. The main perk of an ELAC spair of speakers is the unique configuration of the tweeters and woofers, including the addition of a mid-woofer and fiber cones to project and protect each part. Often seen as a bit of a lower brand than some of its more well known competition, this brand is no joke, and the ELAC Debut 2.0 F5.2 are all the proof you need.
The ELAC Debut 2.0 F5.2 feature a three-way design with a 1″ cloth dome tweeter, a 5.25″ woven aramid-fiber cone mid-woofer, and two 5.25″ woven aramid-fiber cone woofers. With a mid-woofer, mids that make up much of the sound of an album are supported with their own speaker, leaving the woofers and tweeter their own room to focus on a larger range.
The shape of the aramid fiber cones found in each woofers is designed to offer augmented stiffness and damping characteristics over the more commonly used polypropylene or paper cones. This is intended to help achieve a smoother, extended low-frequency response, making it much more sonic at lower levels in smaller rooms like offices or bedrooms.
The woofers and mid-woofer also feature an oversized magnet and a vented pole piece, increasing stability and providing a reliable sound every time, no matter the record. The ELACs accept up to 140W of power from your amplifier and produces a 42 Hz to 35 kHz frequency response.
The cabinet is made from MDF, and the speaker as a whole was designed by Andrew Jones, who you’ll note helped design the Pioneer option above. For something that moves away from the pack and offers a unique configuration to its design, these sleek floor speakers are a great option for smaller rooms.
Making the choice to go with floor speakers over another type of sound is an option many who listen to vinyl records make. The large, standing silhouette looks great in any setting, and can pack a really great sound in the larger cabinet that bookshelf speakers cannot match. It’s not to say that any one speaker is better, especially considering the different ways vinyl fans like to listen to music.
For an office setup, a set of floor speakers may not be best. In a small living room, the output of floor speakers might be overkill. But rest assured, the quality of sound and range of highs and lows that comes in a floor speaker often runs circles around what a pair of bookshelf speakers have to offer. For that reason, many buy floor speakers for their vinyl setup, and the five highlighted in this article are sure to please everyone who has the pleasure of listening.
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