Floorstanding speakers have been a cornerstone of home audio systems for decades. Also known as tower speakers, they are able to deliver a big and full sound that’s difficult to match. Even as more complex home theater systems have become common, they remain the go-to workhorses that provide the most important part of surround sound.
A good quality pair of floorstanders can instantly supercharge your hi-fi system and deliver room-filling sound. With larger cabinets than bookshelf speakers, floorstanders tend to create greater scale, authority and bass.
What are Speakers?
Speakers are transducers that convert electromagnetic waves into sound waves. The speakers can receive audio input from a pre-amp(active speakers), stereo amplifier(passive speakers), directly from a turntable or any audio source.
There are two major category of speakers concerning us:
Active Speakershave a built-in power amplifier. They just need a power source(or battery) to operate
Passive Speakersdraw their power from an external amplifier & is connected to that amp via speaker wire/cable.
Note: Almost all of the Floor Standing speakers available in the market are passive speakers.
Floor Standing Speakers:
As implied by the name, floor standing loudspeakers are tall, generally narrow speakers that sit on the floor of a home theater or listening room. These are the largest type of standard speakers found in homes and are often called “tower speakers.” Normally they will be three feet or taller and seven inches and up in width. Depth can vary from about nine inches to two feet.
Speakers are described as two-way, three-way, four-way, etc. This is a description of the number of speaker drivers handling the different audio frequencies. A two-way speaker is the simplest type of tower speaker. It has a tweeter (for high-frequency) and a woofer (for low-frequency). A three-way speaker contains a tweeter, a midrange driver (for mid-frequency dialogue), and a woofer.
While it's hard to generalize that a 3-way speaker is better than a 2-way speaker, if you properly design a speaker, one with more drivers allows the speaker designer to have the components dedicated to a smaller range of frequencies, which can result in better and more accurate performance.
You would want a speaker that can produce as much of the full range of frequencies that human ears can hear as possible.
A speaker driver is an individual loudspeaker transducer that converts an electrical audio signal to sound waves. While the term is sometimes used interchangeably with the term loudspeaker (speaker), it is usually applied to specialized transducers which reproduce only a portion of the audible frequency range.
Tweeters (2, refer above image) are small drivers, named for the high pitch sounds birds make, are usually found at the top of the speaker, and generally emit sounds at high frequencies ranging from 2,000 to 30,000 Hz.
Tweeters are of 3 types :
Horn tweeters offer plenty of high-frequency detail, with a shape that provides focused, precise sound that’s big on sensitivity and dynamic range but low on distortion.
Cone tweeters can be made out of several materials - paper cones are available but tend to produce distorted sound. Fabric and metal cones have better sound dispersion than their paper counterparts.
Dome tweeters have largely supplanted cones, due to their superior sound dispersion and range. They may be made out of a variety of thin, strong materials, such as Mylar, silk, polymer, or various metals.
Mid Range Drivers (1, refer above image)can handle sounds ranging from 500to 2,000 Hz. This is the range that instruments and the human voice falls within, which means having a satisfactory midrange driver is crucial. Like tweeters, they can be made of different materials, which will affect sound quality.
Woofers (3, refer above image)are named such for the low-pitch noises dogs make, these drivers produce lower frequency sounds, ranging from 40 to 1,000 Hz or higher. Woofers are known for having a high-quality bass response. The superior bass performance of woofers in tower speakers is one reason they are often chosen over smaller, bookshelf speakers.
Subwoofer drivers magnify bass sounds, with a range of 20 to 200 Hz. Sounds of this frequency are non-directional, meaning that there is some flexibility in where they are placed in a room. In some cases, subwoofers are used with smaller speakers to bypass the need for large tower speakers.
Bookshelf Speakers vs Floor Standing Speakers:
Floor Standing Speakers are more powerful as compared to bookshelf speakers. They are better for high quality music listening and greater acoustic as compared to bookshelf speakers.
On the other hand bookshelf speakers have a more flexible placement, occupy less space and fit well into a home theatre setup.
They tend to have fewer drivers because of their limited space but have a great mid range sound coverage, and need to be placed on a shelf or table to stay at ear level.
But the advantage of having a smaller set of experience is being able to use them in smaller spaces, including a desk, or wall mounting them to the corners of your room. They are always preferred as a part of a larger system.
Pros of Floor Standing Speakers:
They sound the best by giving you a big and a full sound range
They have an enhanced bass response
Floor standing loudspeakers are top-of-the-line products that recreate that sought-after sound
The design of most free standing or tower speakers is meant to be striking and attention grabbing,which will add a cool quotient in the space they would occupy
you can almost get a sense of the performers spread out in front of you, giving you that feeling of “being there”
These kinds of speakers are perfect for all types of audio because they are extremely versatile in producing sounds and audio of all kinds
Cons of FloorStandingSpeakers:
They occupy a decent amount of space
They are heavy and cumbersome
Most need to be away from the back wall of a room to sound their best, usually 12 to 16-inches out into space.
Difficult to make disappear in a room due to their size.
If space is no object, you’ll almost always get the best audio experience out of a pair of floor standing speakers, but many people don’t have that luxury. If you need to conserve space, you can get a pair of passive bookshelf speakers that sound excellent.