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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 floor-standing 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 a particular order, so one of not necessarily better than another. With all that out of the way, let’s get on with the list!
TL;DR: To cut right to the chase, these are my top recommended tower speakers under $500…
- Polk Audio XT7 (Amazon) – Best Overall Floor Standing Speaker under $500
- Klipsch Synergy F-300 (Amazon / Walmart) – Next Best Cheap Floor Standing Speakers ($269)
- SVS Prime Tower Speaker (SVS Sound / Amazon) – Best Premium Upgrade ($599)
- Yamaha Audio NS-F150 (Amazon) – Best Modern Aesthetic Floor Standing Speakers under $500
- JBL Stage 190 (Amazon / Harman Audio) – Best Floor Standing Speaker for Bass under $500
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.
Best Overall Floor Standing Speakers under $500:
Polk Audio XT70 (Best Overall)
Excellent range at an affordable price, this quad dome setup provides amazing crisp and clean sound value for the money. A good buy that doesn't feel like much of a compromise in the budget range.
Take the Klipsch and turn up the performance (and price) and you’re left with the Polk XT70. 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 6.5” 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 a good supplemental low-end if you want to wait before getting a dedicated subwoofer.
Additionally, the speaker holds Polk’s Power Port Plus. This patented bass venting design helps to allow the airflow 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 8” passive radiator. 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 frequency response.
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 speakers do.
Klipsch Synergy F-300: (Best Cheap Floor Standing Speakers)
Klipsch makes some awesome speakers and this one is no exception to that rule. Synergy F-300 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 is the dual 8″ woofers. 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 helps 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 its 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 $269 per speaker. For that price, Klipsch is providing a speaker that is gorgeous both in terms of its looks and its sound. If you want a great all-arounder, this one is for you.
SVS Prime Tower Speaker: (Best Premium Upgrade)
Just a tad over budget (but check for promos), these tower speakers are a huge step above the other recommendations. The only reason I don't have these #1 is that they retail for $599, above our target for this article. Excellent crossover make these a versatile crowd-pleaser. SVS isn't as highly recognized off the street, but a true cult classic!
This floor-standing speaker is a little more difficult to find than the other options on this list but nonetheless great. It’s JUST outside the price range here at $599, but close enough to be considered as a premium upgrade if you can stretch your budget just a bit (or check their latest deals here).
Lofty highs don’t miss their clean edges, paired with a surprisingly solid bass, means you don’t really have to compromise on any of the frequencies. While a bit on the expensive site, I noticed a clear step up in sound crispness, even compared to my top recommended tower speakers above.
The SoundMatch 3.5-Way Crossover is specifically designed for the the widest array of music listening conditions.
One of my favorite qualities of these speakers is that literally everyone who hears them, likes them. Even my audiophile friends.
And they are really surprised that I only paid $600. Sure enough, I haven’t been able to find any negative reviews of these in forums. They might not have the name brand recognition of a Klipsch, Bose, or Polk, but they a sort of cult classic.
Yamaha Audio NS-F150 Floor Standing Speaker: (Best Looking)
All around great performers, excellent value for the money. AND these ones LOOK THE PART with a high-end, modern aesthetic that looks good on display.
These speakers are the most inexpensive options on our list but are nonetheless a great option for the budget-oriented buyer.
The NS-F150 Floor Standing speakers are 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 outperform a soundbar or cheap surround pack.
I’m usually not one to judge appearances, but these speakers LOOK the part with a modern, sleek veneer. The main reason this is worth mentioning is that a lot of floor standing speakers still look like bad 90s knock-offs.
Starting off, these are 3-way dual 6.5″ woofers and your top power is around 180 watts here. 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.
Another little side benefit here is that these are fairly lightweight (just under 25 lbs.), meaning that you can easily reposition if needed.
They aren’t perfect, but perform better than most. If you want to take your audio game to the next level AND want something that looks good in the living room or on display, these tower speakers are a great find.
JBL Stage 190: (Best for Bass)
If you need a floor standing tower speaker to really pump the bass, while still providing precision and range, the Stage 190's are a great value for bass output in this price range.
Finishing off our list is the JBL Stage 190s. These speakers are right in the pricing sweet spot, at just around $199 (at the time of this writing).
They aren’t perfect, so don’t expect performance similar to the earlier entries on this list. That being said, they still sound great & you can pick up two of these for a decent stereo setup and still stay “under budget”.
The main selling point for these speakers over the others mentioned is the powerful bass. If you prefer the power bass sound, these will make you happy.
Interestingly enough, there are dual 8” woofers which provide the core kick for bass projection here. Each bass driver actually gets it’s own internal chamber (so not just the empty box common with many budget bass setups).
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.
An impedance of 6-Ohm’s also makes these ideal for most AVR setups and pretty much any standard amplifier.
Of course, there’s a 1” aluminum 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. Bass is where these JBL speakers shine.
Old or Discontinued Tower Speaker Recommendations
I previously had a few different floorstanding speaker recommendations when originally published, but they have largely been discontinued (I update this article yearly). That said, if you can find any of these used, either locally or on Reverb for a good price, definitely worth it!
- JBL Loft 50
- Klipsch RF-62 II: A great Klipsch speaker at the time, previous top recommendation!
- Fluance XL7F
- Pioneer SP-FS52
- RTI A7
Looking for the Best Overall Tower Speakers?
Check out our comprehensive guide to the best Tower Speakers here, if you just want to know which tower speakers (another name for floor standing speakers) are the best ones, irrespective of budget.
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 Polk XT7’s here, or if you can afford to stretch your budget the SVS Prime’s here are a solid step up. 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.
Monday 4th of July 2022
I have the JBL speakers along with a 10in powered Yamaha sub and my system bumps I essentially use these for my mids and highs and am extremely happy with the results