Editor’s Choice Best Floorstanding Speaker Under $2000

So many to choose from! Lets us boil it down.
How to Choose a Floorstanding Speaker that fits you.


Updated 7/11/2011

What things do I need to consider when buying floorstanding speakers?
There are basically four things you should take into consideration when shopping for floorstanding speakers.
Space - How big is the room you plan to put these in? Floorstanding speakers can be impressive but in a small room sometimes they are too much. Audio quality suffers without a lot of room treatment. If you have a smaller sized room, something less than 8-10ft wide and 10-15ft long you may want to consider bookshelf speakers and a sub set up. Imaging can sometimes be better and room reflections can be mitigated by seating distance from 2-way near field bookshelf speakers. Speaking of sitting distance, with floorstanding speakers, you’ll want at least 8-10ft of distance between you and the speaker so that the sound from the tweeter and woofers has enough space to fully meld into one before it enters your ears. Of course, every speaker is a bit different, but this is a good rule of thumb distance for 3-way or more speakers.  Sound image and quality can suffer if it hasn’t fully formed into one by the time it gets to you. With 2-way floorstanding speakers such as the Salk Songtowers, distance can be closer.  You’ll also want to make sure your the speakers aren’t stuff into corners. Rather 2-3ft from them so bass doesn’t become BOOMing and overwhelming. But finding your best sweet spot is your own challenge.  If you have the ability, and a dedicated rectangle listing room, try this Golden Triangle approach.  It is what I use.
Music Style - What kind of music you listen to can be greatly enhanced or detracted from by your speaker choice. Lucky most speakers under $2000 tend to sounds good across a large variety of music, but some have more bump, thump, or detail than others. Some are laid back, good for jazz or acoustic, while others that thump are better for rock, pop, and rap. Just looking at the speaker specs wont tell you how the speaker sounds, so you’ll want to research, read reviews, pro and user reviews, to get an idea of how the speaker will sound. If you can, it is always best to audition the speaker in person with power and input devices similar to your home set up.
Associated Equipment - You’ll want to make sure that your amp and input sources characteristics match your speaker characteristics for a desired result. For instance, if your amp is known to be bright, and you get speakers that are also known to be bright, the combo of the two can be over bearing and make listening unpleasant. If your pre-amp or tuner has high and low controls you can adjust for this. If they don’t, than it is a major part of pairing your equipment. Don’t forget to mitigate the associated equipment known as your listening room.  Make sure to at least put sound dampening material at the points of 1st reflection and behind you if you can.  Here is a good reference article on first reflections points from PSAudio.  It is easy and can make a world of difference for soundstage.
Home Theater or Stereo Only - If you plan to build up a home theater system at some point it is good to consider if the speakers you are purchasing have associated surrounds, center, and sub speakers paired with the floorstanding. In a surround sound system having matching sounding speakers is very important.
Experts may all agree on the advantages or shortcomings of any product they review but, at AudioReview.com, we believe that the average consumer can best summarize all the details a product has to offer… So read what users have to says!

Magneplanar 1.7 ~ $1,995
magneplanar-1.7
AudioREVIEW Editor’s Note – At the time of this article the Magnepa 1.6 would have made the list, but they have been supplanted by the 1.7.  Based off the reactions at CES ’10 these are added to this list in place of the 1.6.
The Absolute Sound – Jonathan Valin – that the new model is, indeed, all that Magnepan claims it is, setting a new standard in coherence for a quasi-ribbon Maggie, reproducing more detail top-to-bottom, improving low-level resolution and large-scale dynamics, and simply sounding more realistic than the already-quite-realistic-sounding 1.6
Stereophile – Brain Damkroger - The 1.7s sounded truly spectacular and at just $2000/pair, destined to be another winner for Magnepan.

Monitor Audio RX6 ~ $1200
monitor-audio-rx6
WhatHiFi – They’re an energetic, energising listen, with the sort of subtlety and manoeuvrability to lay bare all the fine details without losing sight of the overall picture, and remain composed even at antisocial volumes.
AudioReview Editor’s Note - The RX6 is the next generation in Monitor Audio’s Silver line.  The RS6 won over many consumers and reviewers alike, and the RX6, though only professionally reviewed at this time by WhatHiFi in England, is giving the Rx6 a better score.  For being just over a grand, these speakers are going to be awesome.

Dali Lektor 8 ~ $1800
dali-lektor-8
Audioholics – The excellent off axis response makes placement a breeze. The real strength of these speakers is the soundstage. Wider than your room (or so it seems), the DALI Lekors wrap the music around you even in a two channel setup. For the price, the DALI‘s definitely represent a top tier offering.
Techradar - Lots of loudspeaker for the money, with a big yet solidly built enclosure, Two 200mm bass drivers give loads of bass output, Mid-to-treble balance looks well judged

Salk Songtower ~ $1695
salksound-songtower
SonicFlare – Sean Fowler – Though they are not perfect, the SongTower’s combination of great (American made) build quality, first rate performance, versatility and over-all value all add up to an exceptional performer that is very easy and safe recommendation. Great stuff!
Audioholics – Tom Andry – The imaging is very good, the bass very deep and linear, and the detail is amazing. Female vocals sometimes come off as too forward, the soundstage is not as wide as I’d have hoped, and the speakers themselves are pretty large. Overall, though, the Salks are a very, very good speaker in a very, very pretty package.
AudioCirle -Nuance writes -The ribbon tweeter adds that last 10-15% and gives one an idea of what the word “transparency” really means.  I am now able to sit in my listening room, fire up some tunes and hear music fill the room rather than speakers trying to produce music, if that makes any sense.



Bowers & Wilkins ~ $1400
BestCovery.com: The sound of the 683’s is more refined than its predecessors in the 600 series. Their neutrality is great with minimal coloration and the midrange does very well with male and female vocals. The high frequency response is clean and extended and the soundstage is open and deep with good placement.
Thomas J. Norton – ultimateavmag.com – For me this sequence sums up what the B&Ws are about, and how they can send a chill up your spine whether the source is big or small effects, crisp dialog, or music ranging from gentle strings to soaring brass and vocal choirs.
6 Reviews 4.29 of 5 – PDN writes: I know some say that B&W loudspeakers lend themselves more to classical symphony music than good old rock N roll. That they’re not in your face speakers. To that I say hogwash. I don’t buy it. I listen to it all and they sound great regardless of the music genre. You should hear the drum slam on “Honky Cat” in the Elton John “Honky Chateau” SACD. WOW


More Floorstanding speakers on AudioREVIEW.

Yes, unfortunately, an Editorial list won’t, and probably couldn’t include everyone’s personal favorite speaker.  So, if you think we left a great sub $2000 speaker out, comment. Let us and others know why you think it should be included.  Help those in our community who are searching for speakers.  Be detailed if you can about sound, music style, and room set up.  It is great appreciated.

 

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Original Resource is Audioreview http://www.audioreview.com/reviews/editors-choice-best-floorstanding-speaker-under-2000