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Floorstanding speakers can be some of the best in the audio business. Their ability to transmit high sound quality in your home or other locations can transform your movie watching or music producing/listening experience. But you will want to make sure they are properly set up.
You can use an adjustable angle stand to elevate your floorstanding speakers off of a carpeted or uneven surface. Be sure not to elevate them too high, though, or their functionality diminishes. Keep the top driver (tweeter) slightly above ear level to maintain high-quality sound.
As there are a variety of reasons why you might choose to elevate your floorstanding speakers, it is most important to ensure that raising them does not affect the sound quality in a negative way.
Most floorstanding speakers work well with little to no elevation, but sometimes a short stand can help you to manually adjust your equipment to ensure a better audio experience.
Should Speakers Be on Stands?
As mentioned, there are many reasons why someone would want to place their speakers on a stand. This can be true for different types of speakers, and while this can sometimes help the sound quality, this is not always the case.
Speakers should be on stands if the stand helps to improve the overall quality of sound produced by the speaker. Other reasons include elevating the speaker off of an uneven or absorptive surface, to protect the speakers from possible hazards, and to adjust the speakers to a better angle.
Of course, the type of speaker that you are attempting to place on a stand will cause great variance in the feasibility and practicality of doing so. While smaller audio speakers can go easily on a stand, and the sound not be distorted because of doing so, this is not always the case.
Speakers are designed with the listener in mind. The acoustics produced by the speaker in a variable setting will affect the listening experience. So, while elevating a speaker by placing it on a stand can be helpful to the listening experience in some cases, it can distort the audio in a negative way in other scenarios.
This can especially be true when using large speakers like floorstanding speakers that are generally pretty tall on their own. While it is ok to use a shorter stand for floorstanding speakers, elevating them a few feet or placing them on a shelf could cause them to sound distorted.
The height of the drivers on the speakers is generally designed to produce the appropriate sounds at ear level when someone is sitting down one meter away from them or more. When you use a stand to elevate these, then the quality of the audio experience could decrease as the speaker (and thus, the drivers) are moved to inappropriate heights.
How High Should Speakers be off of the Ground?
The adjustable height settings that come with some speaker stands can help to ensure a positive listening experience. However, some speakers require different (or no) elevation to enhance the quality of sound for the listener.
How high a speaker should be placed off of the ground will depend on the type of speaker, the combination of speakers used in a sound system, and the purpose of the speaker’s use. Generally, speakers should be arranged based on the production of sound in accordance with the other speakers in the speaker system.
While this may seem like a roundabout answer, the arrangement of your speakers depends entirely on your speaker system (how many speakers, types of speaker channels, natural acoustics, etc.). You will want to ensure that your speakers are adjusted to a height that guides the audio towards the listener’s ears. Otherwise, the listener might feel like they are “listening downward” as if talking to a small child.
Keep in mind that some floorstanding (and other) speakers have “feet” or base pegs for slight elevation from the floor already. If you are looking for the right “feet” for your speakers, consider the surface on which you will be placing them.
Carpeted surfaces require hard pegs or spikes to hold the speaker off of the ground. Contrarily, you should not use spikes or hard pegs on hard surfaces as this can scratch your floors. You will also likely find that jamming out with your bass could cause the speaker to move too much when using spikes on a hard surface. This will also ensure scratching.
If you are looking for how high to place your specific speaker off of the ground, it is best to consider the entire setup that you will have. In combination with other speakers, your sound system will ideally work well with each speaker component that is brought into the picture. This, along with your unique room situation, will help you to determine how high to place your speakers off of the ground.
Do Speaker Stands Improve Sound?
You might be wondering what exactly speaker stands are used for. Sure, they can elevate a speaker and make it look more aesthetically pleasing in some situations, but what do they do for your audio/listening experience?
Speaker stands can improve the sound of your audio quality as they help to balance the placement of your speakers. When used correctly, speaker stands can help to avoid distorted sound and will ultimately provide you with a high-quality listening experience.
Read my article on Speaker Stands in which I explain their benefits.
Using the right type in materials, height, and matching with your speakers is an essential component. That is to say, if you just choose any stand and attempt to pair it with any speaker, then you may find that you do not achieve the results in which you were hoping.
In fact, you could even see that the results of your audio quality are worsened when using a speaker stand incorrectly (or at least inappropriately for your unique speaker and sound system setup).
However, when used and positioned correctly, speaker stands can help to improve the quality of the sound streaming from your speakers.
They help to adjust the speakers to an appropriate height so that the balance of sound is achieved and distortion is avoided. This is particularly the case with smaller speakers that are often, otherwise, left on the floor or on a shelf rather than placed in the ideal location that would produce top-notch sound quality.
How Do You Install Floorstanding Speakers?
Let’s say that you have found the perfect floorstanding speakers and now you are wondering how you should set up your home sound system. Floorstanding speakers are an essential component of high-quality audio, after all.
To install floorstanding speakers, you will need to gain a sense of the natural acoustics in the room. Then, place your floorstanding speakers far enough away from each other to avoid feedback, about ⅓ of the wall measurement in from either side. Test out different placements and add a speaker stand if needed.
You may also need to check if you need to remove materials that could lead to absorption or distortion of the sound unless a carpeted space, for example, will help with the overall sound quality. Additionally, it is important to check the backs of the speakers, as their material could give you an idea of how far away from the wall to place them.
Often, you can place speakers with finished backs right next to the wall, though speakers with unfinished backs should be removed from the wall.
You will also need to figure out how you plan to stream the sound through your speakers, such as if you are using an amp or not. This will change the setup as you will work with this additional equipment to create the best sound situation for your space.
Where Should I Place my Floorstanding Speakers?
Many people find that their sound systems just are not meeting their expectations. For one reason or another, they have invested heavily in quality equipment, but they are not hearing the resulting audio experience that they thought they would. This could have to do with speaker placement.
Where you place your floorstanding speakers will depend on your sound system setup. Generally speaking, you can follow various “rules of thumb” such as using the ⅓ of the room rule in creating a surround sound effect. Additionally, be sure that your speakers are level with your ears when sitting down.
You will also need to know how far off of the wall to place your speakers as this can vary by model. Using a stand will adjust the height of your speakers to an appropriate level, and you can use adjustable angle stands to help achieve the right angle for your space.
As you move your speakers, the audio that comes out of them will sound different. This is not only because of the way that the sound hits your ears but because of how the sound blends together seamlessly (or not) with the sound produced by the other speakers in the room.
Getting all of your equipment properly set up can seem like a chore unless you know what you are doing, but it is a task worth taking the time to do. Those who spend dedicated time to properly set up their sound system in their home can assure you that the effort is worth it.
Thanks for reading! Check out my recommended speakers for home theater.
Also read: Do Tower Speakers Need an Amp?