A comparison of the best floorstanding speakers of 2021

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Floorstanding speakers have many assets to convince fans of high-fidelity music: small footprint, drivers at the ideal height, remarkable acoustic qualities. Floorstanding speakers are well designed and generally offer an excellent compromise between size and musical qualities for home use.

Why choose floorstanding speakers rather than bookshelf speakers?

How to choose between bookshelf speakers and floorstanding speakers?

Follow our advice on choosing the right pair of floorstanding speakers and discover our comparison of the best floorstanding speakers of 2021, including Bluetooth floorstanding speakers.

You will quickly see that certain speakers are missing from this comparison, which is naturally incomplete. Please don’t hold it against us if we don’t mention certain brands such as Atohm, KEF, Q Acoustics, Monitor Audio, PMC, Fyne Audio and so many other brands that delight their owners but are not necessarily all imported to France.

Son-Vidéo.com now offers more than 100 different floorstanding speaker models. So we had to make some choices. These are of course totally debatable and necessarily subjective. The main thing is that everyone finds THE pair of speakers that will thrill them!

Floorstanding speakers vs bookshelf speakers

Compared to bookshelf speakers or compact speakers, floorstanding speakers provide a wider soundstage and better low frequency reproduction. With generally deeper and more sustained bass, floorstanding speakers add a real physical dimension to the musical experience. You can feel the impacts more intensely than with a pair of bookshelf speakers.

Elipson Prestige Facet 8B bookshelf speaker and Elipson Prestige Facet 34F floorstanding speaker
Compared to a pair of bookshelf speakers, a pair of floorstanding speakers generally provides more bass (illustration: Elipson Prestige Facet 8B bookshelf speaker and Elipson Prestige Facet 34F floorstanding speaker).

Floorstanding speakers are larger than bookshelf speakers but do not require the use of stands and their footprint is often no larger.

Floorstanding speakers: hi-fi and home theater versatility

Able to explore the lows with more depth and energy than compact speakers, floorstanding speakers are often favored for hi-fi. They are also preferred in home theater setups as they are perfectly suited to reproduce the front left and right channels. Good floorstanding speakers eliminate the need for a subwoofer, even if the latter is essential for home theater enthusiasts to reproduce the sub-bass of the .1 (LFE channel).

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The B&W 603 S2 floorstanding speakers are part of the B&W 600 Series Anniversary Edition range, which also includes a center speaker and compact speakers.

The main floorstanding speaker manufacturers generally extend their range to include aesthetically matched center speakers and bookshelf speakers, and even surround speakers, with drivers similar to the floorstanding speakers. This makes it possible to create a 5.1, or 7.1 (or more) home theater speaker pack that is aesthetically homogeneous and perfectly coherent from a sonic point of view.

2-way, 2.5-way or 3-way floorstanding speaker?

In general, a 2-way floorstanding speaker is well suited for a room with an area of less than 25m². A 2.5-way or 3-way floorstanding speaker requires a room with an area greater than 30m² to deploy its full acoustic potential. It is therefore essential to consider the area of the listening room when choosing a floorstanding speaker.

Elipson PF14F floorstanding speaker
The Dali Oberon 7 speaker is a 2-way model equipped with two 6.7″ drivers and a 1″ tweeter. It is best suited to a room that is 25-30m².

2-way floorstanding speakers

A 2-way floorstanding speaker is equipped with a driver for reproducing low and medium frequencies (first channel) and a tweeter in charge of high frequencies (second channel).

Eltax Monitor IX floorstanding speaker
The Eltax Monitor IX floorstanding speaker is a 2-way model equipped with a 25mm dome tweeter and two 5″ midbass drivers.

2.5-way floorstanding speakers

A 2.5-way floorstanding speaker uses a tweeter for the highs and two identical drivers for the lows and mid-range. These are mounted in the same enclosure, but the first reproduces the medium and low frequencies while the second reproduces only the low frequencies in support of the first (specific filtering that is cut lower). This generally allows the bass level and amplitude to be increased compared to a 2-way configuration. This design also offers great articulation between the bass and the midrange, an example of this being the Jean-Marie Reynaud Cantabile Jubilee speakers.

Elipson Legacy 3220 floorstanding speaker
The Jean-Marie Reynaud Cantabile Jubileefloorstanding speaker is a 2.5-way model equipped with 5″ drivers for the bass and midrange, topped by a decoupled silk dome tweeter.

3-way floorstanding speakers

When you go up in range, there are floorstanding speakers with a 3-way configuration. This is for example the case for historical French manufacturers, with Cabasse floorstanding speakers, Elipson floorstanding speakers and Focal floorstanding speakers.

3-way floorstanding speakers are equipped with separate drivers for the lows, the mids and the highs. These speakers use passive electronic filters to separate the frequencies coming from the amplifier so that each driver can reproduce a different frequency range.

Focal Aria 926 floorstanding speaker
The Focal Aria 926 floorstanding speaker is a 3-way, 4-driver model. It has two 6.5″ woofers and a 6.5″ midrange driver all equipped with a Flax cone. The TNF inverted dome tweeter is 0.8″ in diameter.

The bass is thus entrusted to one or more drivers that are at least 5″ in diameter, most often 6.5″ or even more. The midrange can be reproduced by a driver of the same diameter or one that is smaller than the woofer. The high frequencies are entrusted to a dome tweeter or sometimes a ribbon or AMT model as on the Elipson Legacy 3230 floorstanding speakers. The efficiency of each driver is greatly improved, creating a very spacious soundstage.

Elipson Legacy 3230 floorstanding speakers
Flagship of theElipson Legacy range, the Elipson Legacy 3230 floorstanding speaker is a 3-way model, the lower part of which houses a subwoofer equipped with two 8″ drivers. It is topped by a resin sphere that houses the 6-inch midrange driver and the wide dispersion AMT tweeter.

Which amplifier should I use with my speakers?

The power of the amplifier must be in accordance with the recommended values for the speakers, or even slightly higher, whether it is a hi-fi stereo amplifier, WiFi/Bluetooth amplifier, DAC amplifier, receiver, tube amp, AV receiver or power amp.

In the technical specifications, many manufacturers indicate the recommended amplification power for the speaker in order to facilitate the choice of the amplifier.

Yamaha MusicCast R-N803D amplifier
With a power of 2 x 100 watts into 8 ohms, theYamaha MusicCast R-N803D amplifier is able to power the majority of floorstanding speakers on the market.

It is also necessary to ensure that the impedance of the speakers is compatible with the characteristics of the amplifier. Speakers with lower impedance than that for which the amplifier is designed may cause the latter to overheat.

Understanding speaker impedance

Bluetooth floorstanding speakers

Long considered a pipe dream, wireless floorstanding speakers are now more commonplace in our living rooms, thanks to Bluetooth and the explosion of dematerialized music and streaming. You can now easily enjoy your favorite track stored on a smartphone or tablet, on a computer or even on a network server (NAS), without any connection cable thanks to audio streaming (direct wireless transmission), which offers unparalleled comfort on a daily basis. The floorstanding format also allows you to enjoy spacious and generous sound in a large room.

A pioneer of Bluetooth floorstanding speakers, Philips has produced very beautiful models such as the Philips Fidelio BM90 with CD player, FM radio tuner, Bluetooth, USB and multi-room function.

Philips Fidelio BM90 Bluetooth floorstanding speaker
With its elegant lines and neat finish, thePhilips Fidelio BM90 Bluetooth floorstanding speaker looked great in any room of the home. A simple power outlet was enough for it to be operational.

Today, Muse is the only manufacturer in this niche with the Muse M-1280BT and Muse M-1350 BTC Bluetooth floorstanding speakers.

Muse M-1280 BT Bluetooth floorstanding speaker
The Muse M-1280 BTBluetooth floorstanding speaker has 80 watt amplification. At one meter tall, it features an amplified 2.1 audio system, an FM tuner and an NFC-compatible Bluetooth 2.1 audio receiver.

Thanks to the investment of a few big names in hi-fi, music enthusiasts can enjoy a high-fidelity stereo reproduction in their living room with a real pair of floorstanding speakers, without the hassle of multiple devices and cables to connect them.

The Tangent Spectrum X6 BT Phono wireless hi-fi speakers feature 2×60 watt Class D amplification and Bluetooth aptX connectivity in addition to a full range of connectors. They can therefore be directly connected to a television, a smartphone, a DAP or any audio source.

We remember some pioneering models such as the Klipsch R-26PF stereo Bluetooth floorstanding speakers, the Focal Easya with their remote-controlled hub, the Elipson Prestige Facet 14F BT (aptX HD Bluetooth connection and phono input) Bluetooth floorstanders, and the Triangle Elara LN05A.

Dali Rubicon 6 C floorstanding speakers
No more cables to connect the speakers and the amplifier with theDali Rubicon 6 C floorstanders, which are connected wirelessly with their Sound Hub.

Today, it is the Tangent Spectrum X6 BT Phono speakers, the Audio Pro A36 wireless floorstanding speakers and the Dali Rubicon 6 C speakers with their Sound Hub that perpetuate the dream of a high quality hi-fi stereo system freed from the constraint of multiple cables.

Vintage speakers: the return of big drivers

It is difficult to talk about floorstanding speakers without mentioning their famous ancestors, which were equipped with very big drivers measuring 12 or even 15 inches in diameter for the lows. Almost as wide as they are tall, these legendary speakers have made the brands Tannoy, Klipsch and JBL famous.

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Very imposing with its enormous 15″ driver, theEltax Monitor PWR 1959vintage speaker needs plently of space to freely express itself.

Thanks to the vintage hi-fi revival that began a few years ago, these extraordinary speakers are once again a hit with audiophiles. Klipsch therefore continues to develop its flagship models such as the Klipsch Heresy IV and the Klipsch Forte III, but also the very impressive Klipsch Cornwall IV, Klipsch La Scala AL5 and the Klipsch Klipschorn AK6. The iconic French manufacturer Elipson also has its vintage-inspired model, the Elipson Heritage XLR15 equipped with a 12″ woofer, while the Danish brand Eltax impresses with its Monitor PWR 1959 speaker equipped with a 15″ driver.

Impressive in more ways than one, the Klipsch Cornwall IV speaker is a legendary model with exceptional musicality destined to reign for many years in your living room.

The use of such large drivers generally provides very nuanced, dry and responsive lows, without drag but with a lot of substance and amplitude. In a nutshell, the ultimate floorstanding speaker!

The vintage selection

The best floorstanding speakers under €500

The best floorstanding speakers between €500 and €1000

The best floorstanding speakers between €1000 and €3000

The best column speakers over € 3,000

The best Bluetooth column speakers

  • Muse M-1280BT – 2.1 channels, 80 W, FM radio, USB, Bluetooth, Line inputs
  • Muse M-1350 BTC – 2.1 channels, 5 speakers, 180 W, CD player, FM radio, USB, Bluetooth, Line inputs
  • Tangent Spectrum X6 BT Phono – 3 channels, 3 speakers, 2 x 60 W, Bluetooth aptX, SPDIF, Line and Phono inputs, subwoofer output
  • Audio Pro A36 – 2 channels, 3 speakers, 2 x 75 W, Bluetooth aptX, SPDIF, Line and HDMI ARC inputs, subwoofer output
  • Dali Rubicon 6 C – 3 channels, 4 speakers, 2 x 250 W, Bluetooth aptX, WiFi, SPDIF inputs, Line inputs and subwoofer output


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