A solid set of floorstanders may rapidly boost your hi-fi system’s performance and offer room-filling sound. Floorstanders, which have larger cabinets than bookshelf speakers, produce more scale, authority, and bass. However, a larger cabinet does not always imply better sound. You must still choose cautiously and get the best floorstanding speakers for your budget. Whether you have hundreds or thousands of dollars to spend, we’re confident there’s a pair of speakers for you.
If you’re shopping for your first pair, we have plenty of possibilities. Perhaps you’re constructing a hi-fi system from the ground up, or you’re upgrading from a bookshelf pair to a larger model. Alternatively, if you simply want to splurge on a serious high-end pair, we can assist.
Continue reading for a list of the top floorstanding speakers we’ve tested in recent months.
Best Floorstanding Speakers 2021
1. Wharfedale Diamond 12.3
Wharfedale’s Diamond series is a strong budget stand mounter bet, but the company has yet to produce a truly remarkable cost floorstander. That is, until now.
Because the Diamond 12.3 sounds even better than the well-known 12.1. And, given that the 12.1 are five-star speakers, that’s high praise.
The 12.3 aren’t large speakers at 98cm height, but they benefit from having some breathing room. They benefit from some inward angling as well, but because of their vast sound dispersion, you don’t have to be millimeters exact.
They’re smooth, even-handed, and surprisingly sophisticated for the price. If you feed them a bad signal, they are adept at revealing flaws without yelling about them. They’ll smooth out rough edges and tone down undesired aggression without sounding like they’re suffocating the music. If you want to pair your turntable with a floorstander without breaking the bank, this is the way to go.
Fyne Audio may be a new brand, but it was founded by a group of industry veterans with over 200 years of combined expertise. Clearly, they’re doing something right: the F302 was named Best Hi-Fi Receiver at 2019 What Hi-Fi? Awards. It doesn’t get much better than this.
It is their performance that distinguishes the F302 from the competition. The bass is precise but not obstructive to the F302’s excellent sense of rhythm, resulting in a wonderfully engaging listen. Even after hearing what Fyne is capable of further up the food chain, this is a more mature performance than we expected. You truly get a lot of speakers for your money.
If there is one limitation, it is that system matching must be done with caution. While the balance is not skewed, there is some treble brightness that should be mitigated by pairing with a proper amplifier and music source. But it was about the only disadvantage we could see.
Simply said, the F302 provides exceptional value and is the best floorstanders we’ve heard for the money in recent years.
3. Wharfedale Evo 4.4
The Wharfedale Evo 4.4 is so loaded with technology that we had to double-check the price. The Air Motion Transformer tweeter is typically found in much more costly speakers, but it is also present in this relatively inexpensive type. Not to mention the dome midrange and dual Kevlar bass drivers, which set these floorstanders different from the rest.
It should come as no surprise that these rather large speakers provide a large-scale, authoritative sound. That’s to be expected from speakers this size. However, they also provide transparency and subtlety, assisting in the delivery of a natural, easy-going appearance. Which you may not have anticipated.
There’s a genuine sense that these speakers are delving deep into the recording and presenting the material in an open and honest manner. They track a note’s whole envelope well, clearly delineating leading and trailing edges without sounding excessively carved.
Rivals may sound more upfront, and potentially more exciting as a result, but the Evo 4.4’s more laid-back presentation is more natural and convincing over time. It’s the type of sound that appeals over time rather than during a brief audition at a dealer. They’re in it for the long haul, much like the best speakers.
4. Dali Oberon 5
For much of the last decade, the Q Acoustics 3050i was our go-to choice for the best floorstander under $1,000. (see below). But not any longer. Dali has created a great alternative, one that is an even better purchase, with the Oberon 5.
Although they are slightly smaller than the 3050i, these speakers manage to sound noticeably larger and more enjoyable. Given a few days to settle in, they’re a true delight for the ears: responsive, musical, and, most importantly, entertaining. They have the dynamic sensitivity, rhythmic precision, and pure transparency to capitalize on tiny changes in tracks and immerse the listener in the musical experience.
They’re also comprehensive, disclosing low-level instrumental threads with ease while also arranging that information in a prepared and organized manner. Furthermore, their size ensures that they will look at home in most environments while never dominating visually. Fantastic performances at an enticing price. What’s not to appreciate about that?
In the Fyne range, the massive F303 – standing over a meter tall – sits above the award-winning F302. The difference between this model and its smaller siblings’ normal two-way configuration is the addition of a mid/bass driver and a larger cabinet.
These massive cabinets produce a lot of scales, as well as a lot of bass, thanks to that extra driver. These speakers are hard to beat for the price when it comes to tremendous dynamics. To avoid a boomy sound, you will need a good amount of space for them, including some distance between them and a wall.
They can, however, undertake delicate work and are very comfortable with nuanced rhythms. They have texture and warmth, as well as a lot of insight.
They’re energetic, upbeat, and enjoyable in general, which makes them easy to love. Although the Dalis mentioned above may provide a little more information, these Fynes truly are masters of their profession in terms of scale and excitement.
While not flawless, ProAc’s enormously solid towers deliver one of the most musically coherent performances we’ve heard at this price. They do an excellent job at rendering instrumental texture, and the stereo image is wonderful. While they are little in stature, there is no disputing their capacity to deliver powerful bass lines.
They have a lot of insight and attack, and their middle performance is impressive: voices come through loud and clear, and there’s a lot of transparency on display. Voices never blend into the musical background, resulting in a clear, unique performance.
These speakers have it all: agility, power, and weight.
Their appearance may be more polarising (the odd design and use of branding will not be to everyone’s liking), but we genuinely like these speakers. They have such a fun sound that we can’t help but suggest them. They will impress if you use caution during system-matching.
7. Triangle Borea BR08
As evidenced by this list, there is no shortage of great floorstanding speakers on the market, and the Triangle Borea BR08 is yet another excellent pair that provides something unique.
The cabinets appear simple at first glance, but upon closer inspection, you’ll notice that they’re robust, well-made, and perfectly finished. The plinths simply bolt onto the bottom for added stability, though we would love the included spikes to be a little sharper to get through thick carpets.
The BR08 is a three-way design with two fiberglass-coned bass units aided by a front-firing reflex port and a 25mm silk dome tweeter. Because of its relatively high sensitivity, you should get decent volume levels with even low-powered amps, albeit their nominal 8ohm impedance drops to a 3ohm minimum, so check for compatibility.
Give the Triangles lots of breathing area (a good 40/50cm in all directions) and slant them in towards the listener to hear them at their best. We’d steer clear of bright-sounding electronics, but pair them with the correct partners and you’ll be blown away by their engaging sound. They exude vitality and dynamic strength that few competitors can match. It is absolutely worth an audition.
8. Elac Debut 2.0 F5.2
The Elac Debut 2.0 F5.2 is excellent value for money. They’re mature and smart, well-built, and uncomplicated in terms of posture. The main drivers are stiffened with Aramid fiber, resulting in a clear sound with plenty of clarity and dynamic expression.
It is not a criticism to remark that some competitors provide a more complete presentation — in fact, some competitors can provide more in most cases. But the F5.2 aren’t interested in providing more; they’re interested in providing the music as it is delivered to them as transparently as possible.
Their strength lies in the detail and textural understanding. They can notice the body of an instrument as well as any quirks in the way it’s performed, which makes for an interesting listen.
Elac has been in the speaker business since the 1980s and has produced a number of high-quality devices during that period. It’s fair to say that the new Debut B5.2 speakers are among the best the firm has produced. They’re a great buy for the price.
9. Spendor A7
Spendor’s excellent floorstanders sound fantastic, look fantastic, and are small enough to fit into most homes. The top-of-the-line A7 continues the company’s penchant for mixing astounding clarity and nuance with tremendously pleasurable dynamics and rhythm.
The level of detail on display is astounding. Each musical strand and vocal eccentricity is exposed – musicians beware, there is nowhere to hide. The audio is clear and well-organized, while still having enough oomph to keep things interesting.
The vocals are quite impressive. They also clock with pinpoint accuracy and are quite transparent, never sounding clinical. They’re still full of expressive melodies and undulating dynamics that’ll have you shaking your head.
They’re not quite ‘cheap,’ but if you’re looking for a pair of high-quality floorstanders, the beautiful A7 should be at the top of your list. A deserving winner of the What Hi-Fi? Awards 2020.
10. Q Acoustics 3050i
If your need for bass and huge sound outweighs your budget for new speakers, these could be the solution.
For over a decade, Q Acoustics ruled the ‘best sub-grand floorstander’ category. While Dali’s amazing Oberon 5 has surpassed the 3050i, these 2018 What Hi-Fi Award winners still have a lot to offer.
They have a lot of energy and scale, but they also have a lot of musicality, warmth, and control.
In fact, you may only need to listen to these speakers for a few minutes before deciding which finish will look best in your space. Extremely gifted.
11. B&W 603
The 600 Series floorstanders feature a lot of B&W engineering, including the company’s silver Continuum cone material and a high-tech FST driver, both of which are employed in the midrange unit. The build quality is a little lacking for the price, but the B&Ws compensate with a breathtakingly broad sound.
There aren’t many speakers at this price point that handle vocals so well and extract as much information as these do. They’re not the most soothing to listen to and do necessitate a powerful amp, but pair them appropriately and you’ll be highly rewarded.
12. Fyne Audio F501
Fyne Audio already has a couple of items on this list, but you won’t be surprised if you’re familiar with the brand. It’s a big move to introduce a loudspeaker into the kind of competition that the F501 faces, but it’s also clear that Fyne Audio made the right choice. In reality, the F501 won a What Hi-Fi Award in 2018, the company’s first year.
The design is smooth, the construction quality is robust, and the timing is perfect. The clarity of their sound is completely believable, and while some system matching is required, keep that in mind and you’ll be in for a lot of audio fun.
13. Spendor D7.2
The Spendor D7.2 speakers produce a tight, agile, and responsive sound at this price point. Even at the highest volumes, they manage to sound incredibly composed, and there’s a lot of elegance to admire. And, no matter how intricate the music becomes, the stability remains constant. They do require some attention in terms of pairing equipment, but once they spread their wings, they fly in a spectacular manner.
Fyne Audio’s normal F501 floorstanders are excellent performers, but these Special Production versions are even more ambitious, squeezing in as much high-end technology as possible.
It makes a significant difference. If you’re looking for excitement and enthusiasm, we can’t think of anything better at the price. It’s difficult to sit still due to the sense of drive and attack, and the bass has a surprising amount of weight and authority.
But it’s not all about tapping your toes. They have the dynamic range to do classical music credit, beautifully reproducing the sound of a full-fledged orchestra. Position them correctly, pair them with the appropriate outfit, slap on a record, then sit back and enjoy — you won’t be disappointed.
Wharfedale may be best known for its Diamond line of speakers, but it also has plenty to offer at the top end. As in the Elysian 4.
These speakers are large and, by today’s standards, unusually broad. They are, nevertheless, stunning to look at, with a delightfully deep and luscious shine that is unrivaled at this price. The enclosure is supported by widely spread floor spikes, giving the Elysian 4 a strong and steady posture on a level surface, though they can’t be modified or locked into place – something to keep in mind if you have uneven hard floors.
These floorstanders provide a combination of scale, authority, and dynamic punch that most (invariably lower priced) competitors cannot match. The Elysians pound out the sound with real ferocity when it comes to large-scale crescendos. They can play at high volume levels without strain, yet they also have the uncommon ability to sound engaging at whisper levels. This is important to remember if you listen late at night and don’t want to wake the neighbors.
So, if you’re looking to host a party or simply enjoy your record in peace, the Elysian 4 is a terrific option for individuals with slightly more pockets.