Some beginning their vinyl collection want a quality setup from the get go. Likewise, long time collectors are always looking for improvements, as are the most seasoned, serious vinyl fans. For an improved vinyl listening area, floor speakers are the best way to improve listening quality while also making the area look sleek and stylish. The fear for many is that good floor speakers cost a fortune.
Luckily, this guide to the best floor speakers under $1000 is sure to make that notion a myth. And to better help you find the right speakers for your needs, we’ve included a table below which will allow you to compare some of the top bookshelf and floor speakers on the market:
|Audioengine HD3||$||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|
Why Floor Speakers?
The answer to this question is simple: more space means more power. Floor speakers, or tower speakers as they used to be more well known, can pack multiple woofers and tweeters into the cabinet for a broader range of sound.
The following 10 tower speaker options all offer peak pitch ranges and great power for any sized room, so let’s start with a brand many know and love for its high end sound quality products.
The first speakers up for inspection look straight out of 2001: A Space Odyssey. It’s fitting too, because the ELAC Uni-Fi Slim FS U5 speakers are a good testament to the quality of new speakers and the subsequent leaps forward since even a decade ago. The ELACs feature a three-way design with a 1″ soft-dome tweeter concentrically mounted to a 4″ aluminum cone midrange, plus three 5.25″ aluminum cone woofers.
The extra woofers and tweeters provide a fuller range of sound, and while a magnetic grill can keep them away, they look killer out and projecting sound. The Uni-Fi Slims accept 40 to 140W of power from a turntable amplifier and produce a 42 Hz to 25 kHz frequency response. This is pretty impressive considering how compact they are. While floor standing, they do carry themselves in a slim design.
Highs and lows are great, but mids are important too. Essentially, a good speaker should hit five points of pitch in music:
- Highs (In the Sky Pitches)
- Low (In the Dirt Pitches)
Positioning the 1″ soft-dome tweeter and aluminum 4″ midrange cone concentrically helps achieve a uniform directivity pattern for flat frequency response and enhanced imaging for both on- and off-axis listening positions.
No sound goes missing in the fray. By assigning dedicated drivers to high, midrange, and bass frequencies, each is optimized for the frequency range for which its design and composition is engineered. They work on any surface too.
Molded knobs dial-in precise leveling of the four corners, which are supplied with metal spikes and spike stands, used according to whether the loudspeaker is placed on a soft or hard floor surface. ELAC knows speakers, and they knock it out of the park here.
The Monitor Audio Silver 300 speakers are a bit underwhelming at first sight. Confined in a relatively moderate sized cabinet, this beautiful speaker set creates larger than life sound. For vinylheads looking to pack a punch in a bedroom or other space with limited floor real estate, the Monitor Audio Silver 300 speakers are a great way to go.
The Silver 300 is part of Monitor Audio’s Silver “6G” Series. The silver series is a middle point in terms of quality and price, which falls between their Bronze and Gold Series speakers. The 300 is a step-up from the Silver 200, sporting an additional woofer and a three-way design. That additional woofer allows these slightly smaller than normal floor speakers to hit with a purpose.
Looking for a classic piano black floor speaker? Enjoy that classic look and great sound with the SVS Ultra speaker. It has a 28 Hz to 32 kHz frequency range for enhanced highs, bass, and mids from its 1″ tweeter, two 6.5″ midrange, and two horizontally opposed 8″ woofers. The horizontal nature of the woofers lets the bottom pitches come out strong and leveled.
The 3.5-way crossover allows each midrange driver to output a different frequency for a more detailed frequency response, and its 3.5″ bass port is designed to further enhance the bass. It needs a bit of power, so make sure to use only if your turntable is equipped with 20 to 300W amplifiers.
The dual-woofer configuration in the SVS speakers helps to provide mechanical force cancellation and cleaner responses. By eliminating cabinet vibration, which could otherwise modulate the mid/high frequencies, sound stays clear from record drop to the end of the album.
There is a ton going on in the Definitive Technology BP9040’s. Leading the charge is a built-in 8″ powered woofer for enhanced bass, plus a rear 4.5″ midrange driver to provide a broader field of sound than would normally be produced by the two forward-facing 4.5″ midrange drivers, 1″ aluminum dome tweeter, and two 8″ bass radiators. That’s a ton of power, and that’s why the minimum wattage for an amplifier is 50, peaking up at 300 like most high end speakers.
The speakers literally do more than we could even hear. The tweeters in the Definitive Technology BP9040 speakers are designed to play higher in frequency than what is heard by the human ear, helping to create an authentic reproduction of sound as the artist intends in the studio or concert hall. It allows for a truer experience without having to hear the music live. Although put these in your turntable setup, and you’ll feel like you’re at the show every time.
The outline of the Focal Chorus 726 speakers are the only thing that may be better than their sound. All Chorus speakers feature thick MDF cabinets with heavy internal bracing and non-parallel inner wall structure to resist performance-robbing vibrations.
The cabinets have a traditional look that’s softened by slightly curved front panels. While that may look great, they actually work to deliver sound more precisely. An attractive wood grain vinyl or textured high-gloss black finish allows the Chorus speakers to easily integrate into just about any room.
In terms of sound, the Focal Chorus speakers feature two Focal 6-1/2″ Polyglass woofers and a 6-1/2″ midrange. For those high pitches, a 1″ aluminum/magnesium inverted dome tweeter hits every note perfectly.
The Klipsch Reference R-625FA speaker offer a power that can only come from the world’s leading name in audio. It has a two-channel design featuring a top-firing 5.25″ IMG woofer and a 1″ LTS tweeter which work together for a really impressive level of balance between lows and highs. The front channel has dual 6.5″ IMG woofers and a 1″ LTS tweeter and accepts up to 100W RMS, while the Atmos channel keeps things smooth from start to finish.
Injection Molded Graphite (IMG) parts in the speakers are engineered to be light, yet rigid, to help provide enhanced low frequency response with minimal cone breakup and distortion. This kind of innovation only comes from a brand on top of their game for decades now.
PSB Imagine X2T
A little less known than Klipsch, PSB is a brand well accustomed to the high end speaker market. The Imagine X2T borrows from driver technologies developed for PSB’s top-tier Synchrony speakers, providing high class playback at a better price that leaves you more money to buy records. The Imagine X2T also features clean lines and a sleek cabinet design that won’t clutter up your listening room. Their output, however, is far from limited.
The Imagine X2T features a 1″ titanium dome tweeter that effortlessly dishes out smooth, uncolored highs. Just above the tweeter in its own tuned sub-enclosure is a 5-1/4″ poly-filled carbon fiber midrange. The tower’s dual 6-1/2″ woofers use an advanced clay/ceramic-filled polypropylene cone design to balance out the low frequencies. All together, these speakers feel too good to be true for the price when you hear their output.
I’m personally a big fan of the small but very impressive PSB Imagine Mini speakers, which are bookshelf speakers. So if you’re looking for something a bit bigger and provides you with much more robust sound (and far more bass), the Imagine X2T is likely something you should strongly consider.
The MartinLogan Motion name may call to another sort of speaker – electrostatic. Those innovative speakers are a great choice for some, but a more traditional experience is found in the 40s. These speakers make the mark by offering sublime high-end detail, smooth mid range accuracy, and deep bass extension. These beautiful speakers offer wide-open sound that seems to breathe with clarity and depth.
Glorious sounds ring out loud enough for an entire dinner party. The 5-1/2″ woofer keeps those crucial midrange frequencies warm and neutral, boosting vocals and mid range instruments. Two 6-1/2″ woofers ensure the Motion 40 goes plenty low too. MartinLogan’s innovative Folded Motion tweeter makes sure to cover highs in these amazing speakers, rounding out one impressive listening experience.
I’m a fan of the Martin Logan brand, as one of my first bookshelf speakers were the very elegant looking MartinLogan Motion 4’s. It’s all a matter of taste, but from my experience, MartinLogan tends to lean on the brighter side of the spectrum when it comes to speaker sound. I suppose the extra sharpness or clarity of the music, especially in the treble, might bother people with extremely sensitive ears.
And I suppose if you match this brand with, say, the Ortofon 2M Blue or Ortofon 2M Bronze cartridge (which tend to be brighter in sound than the Ortofon 2M Red), you might feel it’s a bit…much. Perhaps even bordering on a bit harsh.
But again, this is all a matter of personal taste (we all hear a bit differently). Overall, I think if you want the perfect mix of beauty and clarity when it comes to your sound, the MartinLogan Motion 40’s are very much worth a closer look.
Some other speakers in this piece have mentioned higher end options, but for the KLH brand, this is it. The Kendall Floor Standing Speaker is the flagship tower speaker in KLH’s new line of audio options. This handsome tower dishes out rich sound thanks to its 3-way design accompanied by a great looking high-quality, wood veneer finish. This incredibly efficient floor-standing speaker doesn’t require a ton of power to produce big sound, making it perfect for starters or intermediate vinyl collectors.
The Kendall’s three-way design matches a 1″ anodized aluminum tweeter with a 5-1/4″ woven Kevlar midrange, and two 6-1/2″ Kevlar woofers for textured sounds whether it’s jazz, hip hop, or heavy metal.
A custom-designed, high-quality crossover ensures smooth blending of frequencies between the four of drivers, allowing the KLHs to play music back to the listener smooth and sweet.
Remove the outer protection over the tweeter and woofer, and the Cerwin-Vega XLS 15 speakers offer a pop of red that brings color to a serious vinyl setup. The XLS speakers feature a 15″ cast-frame woofer, a 6.5″ fiber-impregnated cone mid-woofer with a waveguide, and a 1″ soft-dome tweeter, which also sports a waveguide. Extra mods to the speaker allow it the ability to hit a top notch power handling of 400W.
With mids and highs meant for the biggest audiophile around, the Cerwin-Vega XLS 15 15″ 3-Way Floorstanding Speakers are sure to please any shopper.
Buying floor standing speakers can be tricky, but with a $1000 budget, you can pick up some serious sound from these 10 brands. A great set of floor speakers for vinyl isn’t hard to come by, but there are options. Take time to reflect on these write-ups, and get going on the vinyl setup of your dreams. Happy spinning!
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