10 Best Floor Standing Speakers under $500 – Provide High Fidelity Acoustic Coverage

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Last updatedLast updated: October 13, 2020
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A hi-fi system without floor standing speakers is not a real system. Some hi-fi friends would agree with this statement. But what exactly is a floor-standing speaker? Floor standing speakers are also referred to as column or tower speakers. They are made in a large, standing, wooden frame, without the need of support. They are designed to provide high fidelity acoustic coverage in the living room or entertainment room. They use huge woofers and speakers which dissipate noise and sound distortions to naturally improve the sound.

Floor standing loudspeakers with their depth graduation are particularly recommended for music lovers. But they also cut an extremely fine figure as part of a home theater system and provide a lot of sounds and good bass. They deliver unmatched quality, with high durability that beats other audio equipment. This is why they can be expensive. However, you can still get a hi-fidelity set of speakers at a good price. In this article, we will see the best floor standing speakers under 500. In the process of selecting our top picks, we considered factors such as the number of speakers, power, overall frequency, speaker type, sensitivity, impedance, mid/bass driver, the tweeter, among others. Before seeing the reviews, we’ll see a comparison table of our selected models.

Top 10 Floor Standing Speakers under 500 Review 2022


Polk Audio T50Editor’s Choice

  • Number of speakers: single
  • Type: 4-way, Bass Reflex
  • Power: 150W
  • Overall frequency: 38Hz-24kHz
  • Sensitivity: 90dB
  • Impedance: 6 ohm
  • Mid/bass driver: 6.5″ driver and (2) 6.5″ bass radiators
  • Tweeter: 1”
  • Dimensions: 36.25 x 7.75 x 9.25 inch
  • Warranty: 5-year limited

Our best tower speaker under 500 is the Polk Audio T50, a 4-way floor-standing speaker. The tower speakers have a response time of 38-24kHz. You can connect it to both a stereo and television to create surround sound in the room. The truth is that there is nothing that stands out in the Polk Audio T50 from an aesthetic point of view. But nothing is missing either. The T50 loudspeaker is a box that is almost one meter high. Its weight is just over 9 kilos, which can be considered light compared to the models of other brands. With such a compact and lightweight, it is very easy to place it in rooms, even those that lack space.

The Polk Audio T50 seems like one of those models that are going to burst the ceiling of your room due to the number of drivers it has. But if you look at two of those drivers, they are not electronically controlled. They are passive radiators. The function of these is to improve the low range of the frequency but without supplying more power.

The active drivers consist of a small one with a silk cover for the highs and another with a paper cone for the midrange. This combination of all, including passive radiators, makes the Polk Audio T50 capable of reproducing frequencies of 38-24,000Hz. It has a sensitivity of 90 decibels and a nominal impedance of 6 ohms.

The speaker cabinet is made of a fairly thin chipboard. Although it appears to be well made and does not give the impression of being brittle. In general terms, it can be said that the Polk Audio T50 behaves in an adequate way throughout the dynamic range. But selecting a high volume is when things begin to fail. However, for a normal-sized room, it is not necessary to raise the volume to these levels.

Why did it make our list?   We like the sound and the bass of the speaker. The T50 speaker still does a good job at moderate volume levels. The tower speakers have a response time of 38-24kHz, more than enough for the most demanding when buying one of these speakers.

What could be better: The speaker is missing a subwoofer. When you turn up the volume on the Polk Audio T50, you’ll start to notice how the balance of the sound begins to fall apart.


Cerwin-Vega SL-8Best Value

  • Number of speakers: single
  • Type: 2-way, Bass Reflex
  • Power: 150W
  • Overall frequency: 32Hz-26kHz
  • Sensitivity: 89dB
  • Impedance: 8 ohm
  • Mid/bass driver:8” driver
  • Tweeter: 1”
  • Dimensions: 30 x 10.07 x 9.79 inch
  • Warranty: 1-year limited

Cerwin-Vega (an excellent American brand) has created for decades products with a really high sound quality/price ratio that belongs to the basic series of the brand. Often snubbed by those who “believe to understand” because it’s mistakenly considered “carousel boxes,” the SL8 is among the most balanced on the market in terms of frequency reproduction.

The Cerwin-Vega SL-8 Hi-Fi monitor speaker is a 150W, 8-ohm, 2-way ground speaker. With its 10-inch wide driver and 8-inch driver, this column delivers powerful and deep bass. Based on the new design of the dome tweeter and with a Bass-Reflex system, you will discover all the capacity of Cerwin-Vega. If you are looking for a good sound but have little space to enjoy it, the SL-8 will fit in perfectly!

The frequency response of this figure is between 32 and 26 kilohertz. With a peak sensitivity of 89dB, it can be run at the peak of 150 watts. The speaker has a weight of just 29 pounds with a 10-inch square footprint.

The Cerwin-Vega model has a bass reflex for extended bass, classic styling with removable grill. There are woofers for punchy bass. The drivers allow an excellent subdivision and relative reproduction of all frequencies.

The driver dedicated to bass thanks to its diameter is great but not intrusive. The “cannonades” they emit are difficult to find not only in products of equal range but also of higher costs. The bass is impressive, dry, deep, and precise. We’re not saying you could do without a bass unit, but almost.

The single speaker is good for rock, and wherever real bass is required. It’s also suitable for playing “softer” musical genres.

The satisfaction of listening that you will get from it can only make you recommend them.

What we liked: The Cerwin-Vega has guaranteed durability and is relatively inexpensive. It comes at a cost of even a portable speaker. Also, we like the crisp highs the speaker produces. It sounds good with movies, games, and rock. In fact, you may not need a subwoofer.

What could be better: The sound isn’t as clear as you may want. The bass outweighs the sound, even if you back off the bass negatively on the preamp.


Dayton Audio T652Budget Pick

  • Number of speakers: pair
  • Type: 2-way, Bass Reflex
  • Power: 150W
  • Overall frequency: 45Hz-20kHz
  • Sensitivity: 88dB/ 1W/1m
  • Impedance: 4 ohm
  • Mid/bass driver:2 x 6.5” drivers
  • Tweeter: 5/8”
  • Dimensions: 9.5 x 30 x 7.1 inch
  • Warranty: 5-year limited

This pair of tower speakers are built to give you the best value for money. The Dayton Pair is a two-way floor-standing speaker system that’s made to reproduce great audio clarity level and detail. With Dayton speakers, you can enjoy deeper bass thanks to the two woofers built into its design. These woofers work tirelessly to deliver superb punch and intense bass power for your favorite songs and movies. The dome tweeter of this unit is developed from polycarbonate and is cooled using a ferrofluid.

The bass depth offered by this device can reach 45Hz, an extension delivered only by Dayton’s ported bass-reflex design. The two woofers of this unit have been housed in a compact bass-reflex cabinet. This is a feature that is both aesthetic and very functional. The small size of this device is well suited for people interested in the premises of a floor speaker, but who are not looking for extremely tall structures.

The Dayton audio system sits at a height of 30 inches. The size of this device differs greatly from its performance. It’s the definition of “small things come in big packages.”

Excellent performance, minimal distortion, and incredible sound are some of the many benefits the Dayton tower speaker pair offers. These devices are tall for your nightly cinema sessions or for listening to your favorite music. They are large enough to be used in spaces such as your bedroom and living room. The speakers feature a pleasing aesthetic design with removable grilles. These allow you to see your speakers differently when and how you want.

The speakers have a bass-reflex lift design and weigh 28.3 lbs.

What we liked: We like the small size of the speakers. Despite the size, they produce big sound and bass that goes up to 45 Hz.

What could be better: You need to change how it is set so you can get a good sound. There is also no 5-way binding posts. Overall, they are affordable speakers, don’t forget that.


Yamaha NS-F210BLBest Slim Design

  • Number of speakers: single
  • Type: 2-way, Bass Reflex
  • Power: 120W
  • Overall frequency: 50Hz-45kHz
  • Sensitivity: 86dB/2.83 V/1 m
  • Impedance: 6 ohm
  • Mid/bass driver:dual 3 1/8” aluminum-cone drivers
  • Tweeter: 7/8”
  • Dimensions: 9.31 x 41.31 x 9.31 inch
  • Warranty: 1-year limited

Yamaha’s NSF210 consists of two slim two-way speakers, the matching two-way center, rear speakers, and a perfectly integrated active woofer. All have a high-gloss finish, of course. The Yamaha ensemble is chic, well made, and, despite great stereo reproduction, clearly has its strengths in multi-channel film sound reproduction. Thanks to the excellent price-performance ratio, these units are the perfect solution for hi-fi and home cinema beginners!

The fact that Yamaha has a long tradition in the development of high-quality home theater products is evident in all pieces that make up this system. These are equipped with identical low-midrange drivers with a diameter of 80 millimeters and a 19 mm fabric dome each for high-frequency reproduction. The subwoofer, which is just under 17 centimeters wide, was also specially designed for use in living spaces. This has a side-mounted 160-millimeter bass unit, which is driven to maximum performance by the 100-watt power amplifier.

Yamaha provided the system with a great stage reproduction, its natural and consistent sound image, and a crisp basic tone. But they could offer a little more resolution in the stereo production. The Japanese system quickly makes up for this small drawback with its display of effects, good coordination, and balanced sound in multi-channel operation. Even at high volumes, the well-coordinated Yamaha set shines with its spatial and dynamic presentation.

What are its best features?  The speaker produces full and dynamic sound from HD sources. We also like the aluminum cones. They reduce the weight of the speaker to just 16.09 lb.

What could be improved? The speakers have a too-high sensitivity. There’s also a limitation of the frequency range.


Sony SSCS3Best Sony Model

  • Number of speakers: single
  • Type: 3-way, Bass Reflex
  • Power: 145W
  • Overall frequency: 45Hz-50kHz
  • Sensitivity: 88dB/2.83 V/1 m
  • Impedance: 6 ohm
  • Mid/bass driver: 0.75”, 1”, 2 x 5.12” drivers
  • Tweeter: 0.98”
  • Dimensions: 9.1 x 36.3 x 10.2 inch
  • Warranty: 2-year limited

The Yamaha series of the best tower speakers is closely followed by another magnificent model from Sony. Sony strives to create in this single speaker a soundstage that is so expansive. You can feel in this speaker the passion and energy of its performance. Its engineering manages to synchronize the sound with your living space. So, you don’t need a particular setup or a special listening room to install it in. For consistent sound, Sony speakers use very high precision tweeters which also help expand your soundstage.

This speaker system is versatile and will deliver an unprecedented, real audio feeling. It produces a high-resolution and uncompromising sound that can take the rendering from your digital media items to a different level. The hi-res speaker works by capturing audio at a form which is higher than the CD. This increases the bitrate accuracy of the audio samples. The high-resolution reproduction of audio therefore offers the capture of the exact music of the artist’s audio or musical creation.

The cone is Mica reinforced. The woofers are made of rigid fibers that hold the shape of the speakers. There’s also a high-precision tweeter which, according to the manufacturer, ensures faithful sound. The 1-inch soft-dome tweeter is covered by a polyester fiber that offers even more authentic and faithful sound rendering.

A woofer with a 5.12-inch size boosts low sound frequencies for deeper and stable bass. Thanks to the diaphragm which is reinforced by Mica, it will be able to produce finer details needed for clear analog and vocals.  The tapered and faceplate edges help eliminate unwanted noise originating from the baffle board so you can have a natural and clear soundstage.

What we liked: The speaker has new super tweeters for expanding the soundstage. So, you can listen to your favorite stars in the room with the best possible balance and precision.

What cons did we find? It lacks some sound details, the amp is too strong (although manageable). The speaker requires the use of subwoofers.


Pioneer SP-FS52Best Pioneer Model

  • Number of speakers: single
  • Type: 3-way, Bass Reflex
  • Power: 130W
  • Overall frequency: 40Hz-20kHz
  • Sensitivity: 87dB
  • Impedance: 6 ohm
  • Mid/bass driver: 3 x 5.25” drivers
  • Tweeter: 1”
  • Dimensions: 8.87 x 35.18 x 10.62 inch
  • Warranty: 1-year limited

In today’s market, there are tons of Pioneer speakers out there. But these are the best tower speakers to use in your home with your favorite home theater system. Pioneer, for the last 70 years, has remained a leader when it comes to designing audio equipment with pioneering innovations. The SP-FS52, designed by industry renowned audio engineer, Andrew Jones, fully embodies the passion, skills, and expertise of the designer’s audio reproducing perfectionism.

Ordinarily, audio enthusiasts and audiophiles often pay up to $80,000 for Andrew’s high-end designs. However, you can buy these speakers at a relatively affordable price.

The innovative floor standing speakers were designed by professionals who care about detail. Pioneer knows what customers are looking for in tower speakers. It designed the SP-FS52 to be 3 inches taller than regular speakers, a decision that translates into better sound quality.

The speakers have specially structured surfaces. They increase the bass accuracy and rigidity thanks to their oversized magnets. Widening the speakers’ sweet spots, there is a tweeter soft dome high-efficiency tweeter. The complex crossover helps blend the audio output from the tweeter and the woofer for better accuracy.

Pioneer speakers are designed for maximum functionality, no matter how good they look. The grilles placed on these speakers serve both aesthetics and protection functions.

With more than seven decades of manufacture, Pioneer is recognized internationally as the premier audio design company. They also have high-level expertise and skills of fantastic engineering to provide their customers with timeless listening experiences.

What we liked: We like the incredible bass these speakers produce. They have been designed with 5-1/4″ woofers that use oversized magnets.

What could be better: The Pioneer SP-SF52 has a disappointing sound quality. There’s no dedicated midrange speaker and the subwoofer is ineffective.


JBL Stage 190Best Warranty

  • Number of speakers: single
  • Type: 2.5-way, Bass Reflex
  • Power: 225W
  • Overall frequency: 36Hz-40kHz
  • Sensitivity: 91dB/2.83 V/1 m
  • Impedance: 6 ohm
  • Mid/bass driver:2 x 8” drivers
  • Tweeter: 1”
  • Dimensions: 10.23 x 14.56 x 42.12 inch
  • Warranty: 5-year limited

With the JBL Stage 190, you can enjoy all your movies and music with rich and realistic audio. The highlight of the single speaker is the JBL engineering, the high definition waveguide design as well as the 1-inch tweeters with an aluminum dome. It ensures a sound quality that is rich, vivid, and accurate for a fault.

The long-throw subwoofer provides powerful, quality bass. The sound is of good rendering with special effects.

At first glance, the JBL Arena 190 floor loudspeakers are characterized by a style that is extremely conventional.

Designed in black and white, these JBL floor-standing loudspeakers have side panels with rounded edges. The tower’s manufacturing boasts good attention to detail. If you are looking for rock music speakers, the JBL Arena 190 speakers will surely not disappoint you.

Frontally, the drivers can be covered with a fabric grille, supplied by JBL. Included are two mid-range woofers. The woofers are made of polycellulose. The expected frequency range for the Arena 190 is 36 Hz to 40 kHz, with an impedance of 6 Ohms and a sensitivity of 91 dB.

Anyone who listens to music with the JBL Arena 190 will immediately notice that they are wide-ranging and very entertaining speakers. These speakers are perfect for listening to metal, rock but also blues, which are all energetic and strong musical genres. In particular, the very deep and well-marked bass stand out. It lets you have the thrill of a live concert in the comfort of your home.

What we liked: We like the unique two-tone design of the speaker. It is aesthetic and yet functional. With the single speaker, you can enjoy your movies and music with rich and realistic audio.

What could be better: It cannot be used for musical styles such as jazz or classical music. In this case, the Arena 190 lacks a bit of finesse and precision in restoring details.


BIC AMERICA RTR-1530 Best Woofer

  • Number of speakers: single
  • Type: 3-way, Bass Reflex
  • Power: 325W
  • Overall frequency: 33Hz-19kHz
  • Sensitivity: 90dB
  • Impedance: 8 ohm
  • Mid/bass driver:4”, 15” drivers
  • Tweeter: 2.5”
  • Dimensions: 39 x 17 x 11 inch
  • Warranty: 5-year limited

The single tower speaker is almost an audiophile-level speaker that is sold for a ridiculous price. You have around 10W to 325W per channel. The delivery package has a 15 inches woofer and a 4 inches mid-range. The speaker unit has medium density fiberboard construction (although the real type of material used is still in question.)

It includes voice coils for controlling high temperatures. The RTR 1530 has really exceptional value and it is perfect for surround sound and music.

The tower speaker delivers unmatched audio quality. It is designed to produce great sound quality in your entertainment rooms, living rooms, or even in the bedroom. It uses huge woofers and speakers which dissipate noise and sound distortions to naturally improve the sound.

What are our favorite features? First, the cabinet has an attractive design and will add a touch of aesthetics to your home. Despite the price, it produces a decent sound and high sensitivity of up to 90dB.

What could be better? The bass of the speakers isn’t sufficient. They find it hard producing bass level below 50Hz. Also, contrary to what is advertised, the speaker is made of particleboards that are then covered in veneer. So, they aren’t actually 3/5 medium density board as is advertised.


Klipsch Synergy Black Label F-300Best Impedance

  • Number of speakers: single
  • Type: 2-way
  • Power: 600W
  • Overall frequency: 35Hz-23kHz
  • Sensitivity: 97.5dB/2.83 V/1 m
  • Impedance: 8 ohm
  • Mid/bass driver: 2 x 8” drivers
  • Tweeter: 1”
  • Dimensions: 42 x 9.5 x 16 inch
  • Warranty: 5-year limited

The most powerful product you’ll find in this review, the Klipsch is such a powerhouse. What you have is a floor-standing speaker with a lot of differentials. It was designed and manufactured by Klipsch to be more than just a home speaker. This high loudspeaker is very compact and does not consume much space. They are equipped with a built-in amplifier which means you wouldn’t need a receiver. After a few minutes of unpacking, you can connect it to any media equipment you want.

Klipsch loudspeakers are equipped with two woofers and an aluminum dome tweeter with tractrix horn. The speakers deliver wideband sound through a built-in amplifier. This ensures flat frequency, high performance, and low distortional rate, regardless of what you plug in the speakers. It can be a TV, cell phones, computers, or even turntables, speakers from Klipsch are always ready to connect them through the Bluetooth connectivity, the built-in preamplifier, their USB outputs, analog RCA, and digital optical. It is a 42lb heavy-duty speaker unit with up to 5 years warranty.

What are its best features? We consider the tower speaker to be one of the most versatile tower speakers made and distributed in recent years.

What could be improved? It’s just a 2-way speaker and nothing more. With the power it wields, you’d expect it to produce stronger sound, but the difference isn’t really evident.


Elac Debut 2.0 F5.2Best Basic Model

  • Number of speakers: single
  • Type: 3-way, Bass Reflex
  • Power: 140W
  • Overall frequency: 42Hz-35kHz
  • Sensitivity: 86dB/2.83 V/1 m
  • Impedance: 6 ohm
  • Mid/bass driver:3 x 5.25” drivers
  • Tweeter: 1”
  • Dimensions: 7.09 x 40 x 9.21 inch
  • Warranty: 3-year limited

The last on our list of floor standing speakers under 500 is the Elac 2.0 F5.2. ELAC, surprisingly to some, introduced version 2.0 of the award-winning ELAC Debut loudspeaker series in mid-2018. We say surprisingly, because, at first, it might seem that a truly successful series like Debut did not need any modification to remain one of the leaders in its category.

The 2.0 series is much more than a restyling of its predecessor. The first detail of the changes we have is the drivers of the F5.2. Each one contains three versions of 13 cm in a three-way configuration. They use aramid fiber, instead of polypropylene or paper. This gives it better stiffening qualities. The new tweeter element configuration allows the treble response to extend up to 35kHz.

The cabinets are MDF wrapped in black vinyl and in the case of the Debut F5.2, they are larger and more robust than their predecessors. The F5.2 incorporates specially designed internal clamps to improve rigidity and overall strength. There is also a trio of bass-reflex ports evenly spaced along the spine of each speaker.

The Debut 5.2 are multipurpose floor speakers since they can be used in a stereo system, as the front two of a home theater system. You can complement them by another series of center, surround and Atmos speakers also included in the Debut 2.0 series.

Contrary to what might seem at first, having three rear bass-reflex ports, the ELAC Debut F5.2 works very well close to the wall. This helps to increase the body and volume of the low-frequency range.

Most impressive is the bass response of the F5.2. Thanks to their multiple bass-reflex ports and a three-way driver setup, these Elacs present bass clarity that is beyond the reach of most floor standing speakers at the same price range.

What we liked: There may be many models from which you can add to your home theater or stereo audio system. But with the price of the F5.2, Elac looks like the only brand that can do it with as much aplomb. It’s not only affordable but our best basic model.

What could be improved? The warranty might’ve been longer.

Things to Consider

Below, we will discuss extensively what freestanding speakers are, why you should buy them, and how to buy them.

What are floor speakers and what do they consist of?

10 Best Floor Standing Speakers under $500 - Provide High Fidelity Acoustic Coverage

Floor-standing loudspeakers are not only a visual highlight, but they also offer the proud owner a wide range of sounds. With their volume, mass, and the increased membrane diaphragm, the floor-standing loudspeakers rank particularly high in the bass range.

What floor-standing speakers also offer is the broader sound spectrum already mentioned. After all, most floor-standing speakers have three chassis, i.e. a woofer, mid-range speaker, and a tweeter. That is why it is also called the 3-way system.

But there are also 2-way systems for floor standing speakers. And, of course, hi-fi boxes with 4 chassis are not uncommon.

Floor-standing loudspeakers are particularly good to set up in large rooms; if they are too close to a wall, they lose much of their potential. In rooms under 30 square meters, we would advise you to use bookshelf speakers.

Tower speakers, as they are sometimes called, simply need space to breathe and work. Because of their size, they are placed on the floor and decoupled with spikes.

Floor speakers – pros and cons

Floor standing speakers are the epitome of great sound, but are they really that good? Like all technical devices in the hi-fi sector, floor standing loudspeakers also have their own advantages and, of course, disadvantages. And that’s exactly what we want to look at, at least briefly.


  • Floor standing speakers are almost always the first choice for music lovers. The large enclosures can accommodate larger drivers, i.e. tweeters, mid-range speakers, and woofers, and thus offer more sonic depth.
  • 3-way systems are particularly common, and the three different chassis means that the signals can be better distributed and allow for better depth grading.
  • Another advantage is in the area of ​​the low notes. Thanks to the built-in woofers, floor-standing speakers can produce better bass and usually do not require an additional subwoofer.
  • Another benefit that is often overlooked is the effectiveness of the floor-standing speakers. For the same amount of energy used, you get significantly more volume with floor-standing loudspeakers. This is because the larger drivers move significantly more air than the smaller chassis of bookshelf speakers.
  • A final and relatively non-technical advantage is their aesthetics. Floor-standing loudspeakers simply have a great look and make the entire home theater system look really good.


Despite all the advantages, floor-standing speakers naturally have a few disadvantages. A disadvantage would clearly be the high purchase price. Due to the higher costs for the larger housings and the larger chassis, you have to dig a little deeper into your pocket for good floor standing speakers. Thankfully, we have dug down deep into the market and brought out the cheapest 10 models, all of which cost below $500. Some relatively inexpensive models are the Polk Audio T50 and the Sony SSCS3.

Bookshelf speakers of the same price are usually a bit better technically, at least in terms of the quality of the components.

Another disadvantage is that floor standing speakers are simply space hogs. They need significantly more space in a room than smaller compact speakers. So you need a correspondingly large room to really benefit fully from the large speakers. Also, you should keep certain distances between the speakers and the walls when setting up.

Features to consider before you buy a floor standing speakers under $500

What should you look out for when buying your floor standing speakers? With all the good offers today, it’s not that easy to keep track of things – especially if you don’t know exactly what to look out for. That’s why we will explain the most important factors that helped us in our decision. There are numerous different models of floor-standing loudspeakers. These vary greatly in terms of size, design, and functionality. You should keep an eye on the following functions:

Number of speakers

Tower speakers oftentimes do come in various numbers. Some products are sold in pairs while others are sold in single forms.

Of course, two items will be better than one, but you have to consider the space you have before choosing a pair of speakers like the Dayton Audio T652 instead of a single one. Also, be prepared to pay more for a pair of tower speakers. Besides, the number doesn’t necessarily mean quality. There are some single speakers which have higher resilience, sensitivity, and frequency response than some dual speakers.

Speaker type – 2-way vs 3-way

The most common configurations for floor standing speakers are 2-way, 3-way, or 4-way systems.

  • 2-way system: A 2-way system like the Klipsch F-300 includes a woofer and a tweeter. The problem with this is that these two converters, in addition to their tasks, also have to split up the middle areas.
  • 3-way system: A 3-way system has a woofer, midrange, and tweeter. Thus, each converter can devote himself to his area.
  • 4-way system: The 4-way system also offers either a super tweeter or a subwoofer for the bass.

Active or passive speaker?

There is a clear difference between these two variants of floor standing speakers. An active speaker is an independent instrument that can also be called automatic. It has numerous customizations with a built-in amplifier.

On the contrary, passive speakers necessarily require an external amplifier. However, besides the clear difference between active and passive speakers, there are many other aspects you need to know about active and passive speakers. For example, you need to learn when to use a certain type and when it is appropriate to use another. So here’s the difference in detail between active and passive speakers.

By following the comparative analyses below, you will also be able to understand what are the strengths and possible disadvantages of these products. You will grasp one hundred percent which type is right for you.

What are active speakers?

Active speakers are everywhere and various sound professionals select these speakers for personal or professional use. You must start from the active speakers first if you want to venture into the world of sonic equipment and find out everything you need to know about them. You have to understand that active speakers are independent so to speak. This means that they can perform optimally without being in contact with other acoustic instruments. This aspect also refers to the amplifier, an essential element for the other type of speakers, namely the passive one. The amplifier in the active speakers is implemented in the same structure as the product.

So, how can you easily recognize the active type crates? Easy, just pay attention to the details. Sometimes through the observation of the speaker, you can easily identify this. The active speakers almost always have a direct connection to the electricity grid and you can connect them to power sockets even at home or in any other place that has an energy supply.

Furthermore, there are active speaker models that also feature so-called cross-over filters. By adjusting these filters, it is easy to modify the sound that the speakers have to reproduce, perhaps also adapting it to the melodies and sensations to be transmitted.

Ultimately, active models are more complete and at the same time autonomous products. Although sometimes, they have a high cost, active speakers are able to offer you different variations of sound.

What are passive speakers?

This type of speaker, as you may have already guessed, has totally different characteristics compared to active speakers. First of all, you have to consider that in order to function properly, passive speakers must absolutely rely on an external amplifier.

Only after you have correctly connected the amplifier to the passive speakers will you be able to use the speaker without any problem.

When to use active speakers

As discussed earlier, it’s good to start with the active speakers. Using these speakers is really easy, even if you are a beginner with these instruments and you don’t know much about the world of speakers and acoustics.

The active speakers reproduce an excellent sound. It’s ideal for both professional and private situations where you may not need high sound quality. So, ultimately, you can really rely on active speakers in any situation, knowing that it will rarely disappoint you or respond in a poor and mediocre way.

When to use passive speakers

10 Best Floor Standing Speakers under $500 - Provide High Fidelity Acoustic Coverage

As you have seen, it is not really easy to use these speakers, especially if you are not an expert in this area. if you are not familiar with this world and do not have basic notions of acoustics, then avoid buying passive speakers.

If you already have experience and want to try the vintage taste of the speakers, then you have to rely on the passive ones. In addition, it is good that you buy and use passive speakers even if you have a specific place to place them.

Passive speakers offer better performance if they are stable and steady over time, not undergoing transfers or transport. Despite the settings to be changed, in the end, even the passive speakers prove to be a valid and efficient product from a musical point of view.

Advantages and disadvantages of active speakers:

The sound they reproduce is excellent and is customizable.

Through the various settings, the knobs, and the internal amplifier, the active speakers can be considered a real jewel from an acoustic point of view.

Furthermore, this particular type is ideal if you don’t have much experience with products such as speakers and the like.

Active speakers also have the advantage of being lighter. You can easily move them

At the same time, however, active speakers are not a perfect product. They have some flaws or disadvantages.

Firstly, these speakers are particularly expensive. Buying a good model that can offer you different sound options is no easy feat.

Then, you must always pay the utmost attention to speakers of this type. These speakers are in fact very fragile and impacts or violent contacts with other surfaces could damage the internal circuits.

Finally, you must also consider buying these speakers only if you really feel the need.

If you decide to buy them without exploiting them properly. Then you are making an unnecessary waste of money, which you would do well to save.

Advantages and disadvantages of passive speakers

First of all, the passive speakers are cheap and their purchase does not weigh on personal financial resources. Again, once the optimal sound settings are programmed, the melodies will be reproduced in a crystal clear way. Another important criterion that influences the choice of a speaker is the power. The power of a speaker is often rated or expressed in watts. You must put into account the space the sound tower will be installed. The larger the power is, the larger the room, will be and give versa. As a benchmark, use a space similar to that of a bedroom for power less than about 120 Watts. In large living rooms, the power has no real limits asides areas which are essential with the possible presence of neighbors.

However, those who point to the watts rating as the only yardstick are often mistaken. Sensitivity and frequency response are much more important values. More watts does not mean more power.

Impedance, sensitivity, frequency response, and resilience

In order to determine the quality of a loudspeaker, there are various markings that you should know about. These include frequency response, impedance, resilience, and sensitivity.

  • Frequency Response

The frequency response is usually measured in Hertz (Hz). This value shows which frequency range a loudspeaker can produce. The human ear has the ability to recognize a range of 20 Hz to 20 kHz. So it’s best to have a speaker that can reproduce as much of this range as possible. One which comes close to this range is the Pioneer SP-FS52, a speaker with a frequency range of 40Hz-20 kHz.

  • Impedance

Speaker impedance is measured in ohms (Ω). Impedance (or AC resistance) is how much electrical resistance an amplifier is exposed to when driving the speaker. Many loudspeakers are equipped with 8 ohms impedance. These include models such as Cerwin-Vega SL-8 and Klipsch F-300. So they work with almost all audio devices without any problems.

Caution: To ensure consistent playback, all speakers should have the same impedance!

  • Resilience

The resilience is measured in watts. The resilience of a speaker tells us how much power the device can withstand. If a box is loaded with more watts than it can handle, this can lead to damage. Loudspeakers with a high load capacity need a powerful amplifier to sound as good as possible.

Our advice is that you choose speakers that can handle roughly the maximum output of the amplifier.

  • Sensitivity/efficiency: This is measured in decibels per watt. The sensitivity or efficiency shows how loud a speaker can play music per watt of power. The higher the efficiency, the less power the loudspeaker needs to achieve a high volume. High values ​​are 100 decibels per watt. Meanwhile, low sensitivity is rated at 80 decibels per watt. In this regard, the Klipsch F-300 has the highest sensitivity in our review with 97.5dB. Meanwhile, others that come close with 90dB or more are JBL Stage 190, BIC AMERICA RTR-1530, and the Cerwin-Vega SL-8.


Now we come to a very interesting debate: Because many are still skeptical about the wireless version. When it comes to how your speaker is connected to your media devices, you have three options: Bluetooth, WLAN or wired.

A direct-wired connection still offers the best quality – and these speakers are often a lot cheaper!

Here is a brief overview of the wireless alternatives:

For a long time, Wi-Fi was considered a better option, as it can transfer more data at a higher speed than Bluetooth. This results in better audio quality.

But the development of Bluetooth has not stopped. The newly developed aptX format makes a big difference: It reduces the bit rate of a Bluetooth signal without affecting the quality.

Bluetooth 5.0 can even transmit up to 2 MB per second with a greatly increased range. All in all, the type of broadcast doesn’t make too much of a difference at the moment! The most important question here: How is your situation so far? How strong is your Wi-Fi connection and how many devices are already in the same Wi-Fi network?

Advice: If you want to remain flexible and maybe at some point expand your system into a multiroom system, you should definitely opt for Wi-Fi.


In a multi-way loudspeaker, the tweeter reproduces the highest frequencies. These high frequencies have the shortest wavelengths, therefore a short oscillation path and only require a low level of power. The technical design can take the form of a dome (as in Klipsch F-300), cone, ribbon, or piezo tweeter or a horn. The membrane, usually made of metal or hardened fabric, is very small, thin and light, yet very stiff. This helps it to be able to follow the fast high-frequency impulses well. The tweeter is the most vulnerable component in a loudspeaker and can be easily damaged. So, ensure they are well-made. The size of the tweeter will also determine the sound quality.

Dimensions and weight

Usually, larger speakers also provide more power. However, keep the size of the room in which the floor-standing speakers should be located in the back of your mind. If the room is too small, loudspeakers that are too large – both optically and sonically – do not look good.

Bookshelf speakers are the right choice for small to medium-sized rooms. Floor standing speakers work best in larger rooms and with a lot of free space.


Although the price category of the products we’re focusing on is in the lower and middle-end. Extra features such as warranty is a requirement even for under $500 tower speakers. Ensure the model you’re choosing has a minimum of two years warranty covering the parts, the speaker, and the labor. Five of the products in our review have warranty coverage of five years. These include Polk Audio T50, Dayton Audio T652, JBL Stage 190, and others.


A brand should be more known by the services it provides, than on its name. Many brands have gained loyalty thanks to their product quality. When it comes to audio equipment, many popular manufacturers have been existing in the field for decades. Some of these brands are on our list of recommendations because they are the source of the current standard for tower speaker design. Sony, Yamaha, and Polk are examples of well-known brands that we love.

Installation and placement tips

Setting up your floor-standing speaker correctly is a must. This is because only speakers that are properly set up sound really good. There are a few things you should consider when setting up floor standing speakers correctly.

The correct distance to the wall is particularly important. Even the best floor standing loudspeakers should not be placed directly on the wall. 80 cm to about 1.5 meters is ideal.

However, even from a distance of 70 cm to the wall, good sound results can be achieved.

The distance is particularly important for three reasons. On the one hand, you get a better depth staggering if you place the speakers further away from the wall. Furthermore, with the distance, you can avoid too strong reflections with the wall. The bass can develop better this way.

Tip: If the bass feels a bit weak when you set it up, then try to place the speakers a little closer to the wall and thus give the bass more pressure.

Loudspeakers are ideally positioned when they and the listener form an isosceles triangle, the so-called stereo triangle. All in all, that’s a good starting position.

You can still move and vary the loudspeakers and the seating position until you find the optimal sound experience. Even small changes in individual distances can have a big effect. So feel free to play with them.

The minimum distance from your listening position should be at least 1.75 meters. This ensures that the sound fields have added up correctly.

Are you missing the details and the vibrancy in the music? Then check the room or facility. Heavy upholstered furniture or drawn curtains can dampen the room very much and eat up the highs of the reproduction. Echoes, on the other hand, can be eliminated with curtains or pillows in the corners.

For important installation details, always take a look at the instruction manual for the floor-standing loudspeaker. Possible special features are pointed out here.


You will need a subwoofer for a floor-standing speaker. If not built-in, you’ll need to get one.

Most musical styles cover a wide bandwidth, from sub-bass to the highest frequencies. A speaker should cover at best 20 Hz to 20,000 Hz. These speakers are rare, and above all very bulky, whatever their format. With speakers of reasonable dimensions, we have therefore long gotten used to ignoring low frequencies. The resurgence of headphones reminded us that sub-bass existed. It is easier to reproduce this with transducers a few centimeters from the ears, or even in the ear canal. It is therefore possible that you realize this lack more easily nowadays. The floor-standing/column speakers are not spared, even if their internal volume is high. But it’s all about compromise. When a column “only” goes down to 50 Hz, you are missing something at the bottom. This is where the subwoofer comes in. Rather than asking the impossible from the tower speakers, it is preferable to entrust the lowest frequencies to a subwoofer.

Tower speakers are best used for listening to stereo sounds. However, if your tower speaker set has a receiver or a center speaker, you can get surround by connecting the wires of the speakers into the left and right channels of the receiver. Surround sound effects are best achieved in 5.1 or 7.1 speakers.

Many floor standing speakers are made of medium-density fiberboard (MDF) in different thicknesses. The chassis of a high-quality loudspeaker often consists of several layers of wood. What makes MDF so special? An MDF board absorbs vibrations and converts energy into heat. It’s a dead material that doesn’t sound. Other manufacturers rely on exotic materials such as real wood, stone, or even glass.

Our Verdict

Do you have the right room, the budget, and you will like to invest in a home sound system? Then a floor-standing speaker system is one of the best HiFi audio equipment your money can buy. Having made a comparison and reviews of the best inexpensive models, here is our final verdict.

Without a doubt, our overall best model and the Editor’s Choice is the Polk Audio T50. This is a 4-way floor standing speaker. The tower speakers have a response time of 38-24kHz. You can connect it to both a stereo and television to create surround sound in the room.

As the best value for money product, the Cerwin-Vega SL-8 is the runner-up. The Hi-Fi monitor speaker is a 150W, 8-ohm, 2-way ground speaker. With its 10-inch wide driver and 8-inch driver, this column delivers powerful and deep bass.

Finally, choose our budget pick, the Dayton Audio T652 if you want the best floor standing speakers under 500. This is a two-way tower speaker. It is built with an exceptional level of clarity and detail for floor standing speakers in its price category.

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