Floor standing speakers are arguably the most important part of a home audio setup. These speakers are like your point men, driving the majority of the sound that you’ll ultimately hear. Bookshelf speakers fill in and subs give some booming low-end, but these bad boys do everything else.
Or, they should at least. If you’re investing in a setup, you’ll need a great pair of floorstanding speakers. We searched out the best ones under $500. It should be noted that the price was per speaker, so a pair may reach over $500. With that being said, there are a few options on the list that are under $500 for the pair.
We didn’t just pick out some speakers. We looked at the size of the speaker, how much power they’re rated for, the overall design of them, and, of course, the sound quality. Outside of the speakers, the speakers have to look great (since they’ll be the focal point of your setup) and sound balanced across their range.
Just as a side note, the speakers are not arranged in particular order, so one of not necessarily better than another. With all that out of the way, let’s get on with the list!
Quick Compare: My Best Floor Standing Speakers under $500
Here’s a quick run-down of my overall findings and recommendations for floor-standing speakers:
Alright, let’s get into the specifics of what makes each of these speakers so awesome.
Klipsch RF-62 II[easyazon_image align=”center” height=”500″ identifier=”B00415E7FE” locale=”US” src=”http://allsoundlab.net/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/31SvTedDWL.jpg” tag=”allsoundlab-20″ width=”500″] Klipsch RF-62 II Floorstanding Speaker Black - Each makes some awesome speakers and this one is no exception to that rule. The RF-62 II comes from the reference line of speakers, built to recreate sound accurately with a high level of detail and low distortion.
The focal point of the sound are the dual 6.5” copper-spun drivers. These beautiful domes really make the speakers stand out among other options. Yeah, they look great, but they sound great too. Dubbed the Cerametallic woofer, these bad boys are made out of specially treated aluminum that help dampen and prevent distortion.
Going up the frequency spectrum, the Tractrix horn technology gives a sound that is totally natural, as well as granting more output on less energy. Klipsch even claims that they’re more reliable and stand up better to the test of time.
At the top end, Klipsch has their titanium tweeter rocking in these speakers. This tech found in Klipsch’s flagship Palladium Series speakers, granting an open and natural sound in the top-end. Does a lot in the way of accurate imaging up there, too.
Technically, these are some of the best looking speakers I have ever seen. They come in black ash or a cherry finish, both with a faux wood veneer on the outside. The rounded feet on the bottom don’t stick out, giving the cabinet a more sophisticated look. All of this is accented by the copper woofers, tying the whole system together in the looks department.
These sit right in the middle at $349.99 per speaker. For that price, Klipsch is providing a speaker that is gorgeous both in terms of its looks and it’s sound. If you want a great all-arounder, this one is for you.
Polk Audio RTI A7[easyazon_image align=”center” height=”500″ identifier=”B000V2QVDW” locale=”US” src=”http://allsoundlab.net/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/41i2B2BN99tTL.jpg” tag=”allsoundlab-20″ width=”425″]
Take the Klipsch and turn up the performance (and price) and you’re left with the Polk Audio RTI A7 Floorstanding Speaker (Single, Black). In a lot of ways, it feels like the older brother of the Klipsch, feeling similar, but more mature overall.
On the front, there’s a mess more to look at. First up are the dual 7” low-end drivers. These guys grant more than the Klipsch’s do. The range dips into the subs and actually sounds pretty good. It won’t replace a sub in your system, but it’s good supplemental low-end if you want to wait before getting a
Additionally, the speaker holds Polk’s Power Port Plus. This patented bass venting design helps to allow the air flow out of the speaker with low turbulence. This grants bass that not only reaches low but is clean at the same time.
Above the low-end drivers but below the tweeter is the 6.5” midrange driver. Having a dedicated driver for the midrange helps smooth out this area of the frequency spectrum that can typically grant the “peak and valley” sound, depending on the curve of the speaker response.
And rounding it all out is a 1” dome tweeter. Honestly, it sounds fine, but it’s a little disappointing. The dome design works in the majority of cases but is a little dated. It would’ve been nice to see some innovation from Polk here.
Tying all of this together is the cascade tapered crossover. This crossover helps get rid of comb filtering. In short, the speakers have a wider soundstage and don’t fall into the sweet spot trap that a lot of other floor standing speaker do.
Infinity Primus[easyazon_image align=”center” height=”500″ identifier=”B0046A8R3M” locale=”US” src=”http://allsoundlab.net/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/51iQFEeL2L.jpg” tag=”allsoundlab-20″ width=”394″]
This floorstanding speaker is a little more difficult to find than the other options on this list, but nonetheless great. It sits in the middle both in terms of performance and price on this list.
Starting off the plethora of drivers are the dual 6.5” low-frequency units. They don’t reach too low, falling off before the advertised 38Hz. Not much, but most of the signal loose is in the 40-50Hz range. Because of that, they really won’t do much for the low-end, meaning you will need a sub if you actually want some good bass response. Most of what you’ll be hearing out of these are actually low-mids.
Speaking of which, there’s a 4” midrange driver here. Since the mids don’t need as much surface area as the lows, that doesn’t really make any beef with the speaker. In fact, the mid range sounds great. It’s smooth and natural, which is more than can be said for even more expensive speakers.
The ¾” tweeter gets the job done with the typical dome styled design. However, there’s something interesting here. Waveguides help eliminate issues when standing at different positions of the speakers. This widens the sweet spot and helps high frequencies to reach you no matter where you stand. Additionally, it helps disperse the high frequencies, giving you a response that is more natural overall.
Across all of these is the patented MMD (Metal Matrix Diaphragm) technology. This approach using different materials in the the diaphragms to improve the accuracy of the units. The aluminum core is anodized on both sides, making the diaphragms both rigid and lightweight. Basically, it means the speakers sound more responsive.
Pioneer SP-FS52 Floorstanding[easyazon_image align=”center” height=”500″ identifier=”B008NCD2S4″ locale=”US” src=”http://allsoundlab.net/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/31rYZq1fEkL.jpg” tag=”allsoundlab-20″ width=”500″]
These speakers are the most inexpensive options on our list but are nonetheless a great option for the budget-oriented buyer. They’re kind of like an entry point into the world of high-end audio for a home setup. They don’t hold a candle to more expensive speakers, but they vastly out perform a soundbar or cheap surround pack.
Starting off, there are triple 5 ¼” woofers to drive the low-end and mids. Pioneer added a little more structure behind them, improving both rigidity and bass accuracy. There isn’t a ton of low-end here, but what is there is surprisingly pleasant. Again, they won’t replace a sub, but the bass response is tight and responsive.
Above the triple woofers is a 1 “High-Efficiency Soft Dome tweeter”. In short, it’s an off the shelf dome tweeter and you should expect about the same level of performance out of it. There is a custom waveguide, which, again, helps to widen the sweet spot. The high-end isn’t bad and will satisfy most non-audiophiles, but certainly isn’t anything exceptional.
All of this is wrapped up in a black cabinet with a faux wood veneer as a finish. It’s a little stock but thankfully won’t clash with most setups. If you know about other Pioneer products, then you’ll know that this is a godsend.
They aren’t perfect and won’t chuck beautiful audio at extreme levels, but they get the job done. If you want to take your audio game to the next level, but don’t want to spend too much money, these are a great option.
JBL Loft 50[easyazon_image align=”center” height=”500″ identifier=”B00DKPJUDU” locale=”US” src=”http://allsoundlab.net/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/41CZLjnyntL.jpg” tag=”allsoundlab-20″ width=”500″]
Finishing off our list is the JBL Loft 50 Three-Way Dual 6-1/2" Floorstanding Loudspeaker - Pair (Black)s. These speakers are just a little more than the Pioneer’s, but grant a lot more performance. They aren’t perfect, so don’t expect performance similar to the earlier entries on this list. That being said, they still sound great.
Interestingly enough, there are dual 6.5” bass drivers on the side of the speaker. These are part of JBL’s PolyBass line. Honestly, I have no idea what that means, but the low-end is actually really nice here. It’s not earth-shattering and you shouldn’t expect them to shake your floor, but they will grant a nice enough bass response if you don’t have a sub.
Going back to the front are triple 4” midrange drivers, again part of the PolyBass line that doesn’t make any sense. Despite the confusing naming scheme, the triple design helps to produce midrange that is punchy and responsive. A lot of speakers have trouble in the midrange because it’s such a tricky area.
They’re either peak and valley-esque or cut altogether. That’s not the case here, with a pleasant and natural sounding midrange.
Of course, there’s a 1” soft dome tweeter on top that’s the same you’ll find on most inexpensive speakers. Again, it’s about what you would expect from this design. The highs are fine, but not exceptional.
Final Note – Top Floor-standing Speakers
So, that’s our list! A lot of thought was put into not only speakers under $500, but those across a few different price ranges as well. Any of the options on this list will be great. In the end, it depends on your needs and your budget. If you have a larger room, opt for the more expensive options. If you are just getting into a home audio setup, then the cheaper pairs are just fine.
If, for some reason, none of these speakers fit your needs and budget, check out the SVS Prime Tower Speaker - (Each) Black Ash or Fluance XL7F High Performance Three-Way Floorstanding Loudspeakers (or, read my Fluance XL7F review here). They were some contenders for this list that just didn’t make the cut.
Do you have a set of speakers already? What are they? Make sure to let us know in the comments below.