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If you’re investing in your speakers, putting them on a bookshelf is not something you want. Sure, you can do it, but you’re wasting the quality of your speakers. Instead, you should find yourself investing more in speaker stands as they’re worth every penny.
So, do speaker stands make a difference? Speaker stands do make a difference as they help cut down on audio reflections, create surface isolation, improve audio positioning, and tweak sound staging. When picking your speaker stands, consider weight rating, material, height, base, and feet. You would also want stands that can help you take advantage of sand for acoustics.
Are you ready to improve how your speaker performs? Let’s look at how stands can create a difference for your audio experience.
Investing In Your Speakers and Speaker Stands
When it comes to superior audio, getting cheap speakers is not the way to go. Sure, many people like their beer budget speakers as much as the next guy. If you’re looking for an immersive experience, however, you’re going to have a bad time.
Sure, some brands can be better than others, but nothing beats speakers that you sink some investment in. Cheap speakers have neither a well-defined bass nor a natural-sounding midrange. It even has better clarity and a nice treble to boot.
Like any proper enthusiast, if you want to experience quality, invest in it. Your work does not end at paying for top quality speakers. This move will cut down the work that you need to do, but it’s not the end-all.
If you talk in car terms, a Ferrari will not push you over the edge too much in speed compared to a Ford. It’s not even twice as fast, but it’s almost five times more expensive. For a superior quality experience, you want to invest in the peripherals too.
Speaker stands are some of these peripherals that improve on the already superior quality of a good sound speaker. They help make sure that your speakers can show their best output by providing a good anchor for them.
Unlike other items in a household, speaker stands offer the best boost for their use. Even then, what do they do?
How Do Speakers Work?
Before we can understand how speaker stands make a difference, we need to understand how speakers work.
Inside your eardrums, there is a thin piece of skin that can detect vibrations in its environment. It receives vibrations sent to your ear, interpreting this into signals. This signal is what we know as sound.
Sound happens when an object creates vibrations over a medium. This vibration excites particles in the particular medium, passing the energy along as mechanical motion. This mechanical motion moves across as a sound wave.
Sound waves behave differently across various media. Because the waves need to propagate through particles, its strength varies depending on how packed the molecules are. Solids work as the best medium for sound, with air being the least.
Why does this concern you, you ask?
When you hear the sound, you will hear the vibrations and the pressure waves around you. Your eardrums will start vibrating back and forth, but the sound doesn’t only come from the speakers. All materials around your home will react to the same sound waves and vibrate on their own. Depending on their quality, they reflect back the same sounds and carry it across.
By working out your surroundings, you’ll get to cut down on potential echo and reverberations. This is only a part of the process of helping your speakers. Your speaker stands can do more.
Do Speaker Stands Make A Difference?
Speaker stands do one of the most basic things you’ll think. They’re mounting devices that allow your speakers to stay at a specific height. For a user, you can get the advantage of precision aim, letting you target the sound in a direction effective to listeners.
Speaker stands are the best for handling sound placement. Most speaker owners put their units either on the floor or on cabinets. This action poses its own challenges, considering the idea of materials and how they react to vibrations.
By using speaker stands, you set your speakers at a level where they are more audible. You can adjust them with freedom, helping you get a superior audio image. With the right stand, you can unleash some of the crucial advantages that your speaker affords you.
Without speaker stands, expect to have issues directing sound as you want it. As speaker sound can be directional, you want to make the most out of it. You want to get the best out of every experience, and stands offer such flexibility.
Even then, can they make a difference? The answer is yes. Speaker stands offer a bevy of different advantages to speaker owners, which includes:
- Eliminates sound reflection off surfaces
- Improves mechanical isolation
- Helps with speaker foundation and anchoring
- Puts sounds at ear level
- Widens the perfect audio range, the “sweet spot”
As you can see, the benefits of speaker stands speak for themselves. These peripheral audio units can give you an improvement, unlike anything you’ve seen before. Depending on the quality of the speaker stands you buy, you can take advantage of these and even more.
Reduce Early Sound Reflection
One of the most crucial natural benefits of a speaker stand is to cut down on sound reflection. As we said, sound travels as a mechanical wave of energy across media. These sounds create vibrations to nearby materials, which then reflects audio. These sound reflections are echo and reverberation, which can be problematic.
When you have your speakers on surfaces like cabinets, TV stands, and bookshelves, they vibrate back. With these materials so close to the speakers, the echo and reverb they create can change your audio quality.
One of the worst things that surfaces can do to your speaker audio is to distort the sound image. They change how your ears perceive the intended audio and instead creates a different profile. By removing the potential effects of close first reflection, you get a better idea of what the audio sounds.
When you’re using high-quality speakers, you want your speakers to be “floating” in space. You want them to be as far away as possible from sources that can reflect vibrations. Surfaces like floors and tables tend to be big reflective surfaces that make your audio dirtier than it should be.
A speaker stand plays a very substantial role in letting your audio work in optimal conditions.
Improves Mechanical Isolation
The purpose of a stand goes beyond its initial value of reducing early reflection. They also offer what we call mechanical isolation, which is decoupling of speakers from the floor. A good stand provides a system of parts and features that make sure you get the most out of the decoupling.
Take your typical speaker stand. A good speaker stand will have its entire construction geared towards important features.
For example, a good stand will have spikes for solid floors or rubber for wooden floors. The base plate will manage vibrations and would cut down on the chances of the speaker falling. The support columns will also have compartments for sand and compartments for wiring. Finally, the top plate will also be there to improve on the decoupling of the speakers.
Each part of your speaker stand has something to contribute in improving your speaker isolation. When you recalibrate your room once you install stands, you will feel the difference in the audio. You will hear your tester tracks, and they will sound amazing again.
The audio image will be complete and easy to visualize. They can improve the sound quality and audio experience to a whole new level. Effects get more pronounced, and you get a good amount of bottom end.
With the right speaker stands, you can reduce the halo of low frequencies, giving out cleaner audio.
Helps With Speaker Foundation and Anchoring
Speaker stands are the best way to anchor your speakers. You want a speaker to handle not only the vibration of the speakers. You want it to keep the vibrations from affecting your speaker, improving the performance.
When a loudspeaker generates vibrations, the mechanical force of the sound pressure can make floors vibrate. With wooden floors, they can make your speakers bounce, which can both damage and hamper speaker performance.
With solid floors, you’re unlike to get concrete or other hard floors to move and reflect pressure. Your speakers will get the entirety of the pressure it generates, so a stand is crucial. By anchoring your stands with couplings and fasteners, you can cut on unwanted movement. There are no audio distortions, changes in the intended audio color.
Improves Audio Positioning
Another one of the obvious benefits of speaker stands is the audio positioning. When you put your speakers at ear level, you will get proper directionality and body from the audio. You will notice a clear improvement in audio quality when the tweeters are at ear level.
Higher frequencies are more directional than lower or midrange frequencies. Tweeters don’t radiate audio in all directions as bass units, which are omnidirectional. Tweeters have a more conical audio range, which means more treble.
You can achieve better treble even if your speaker is on the floor, but you’re losing directionality. The sound will still come from the floor. Quality speaker stands offer a proper, solid foundation that helps improve the sound.
Widens Audio Sweet Spot
One of the most crucial advantages that a speaker stand can give you is widening your speaker’s “sweet spot.” You’ll likely hear the term a lot, but audiophiles care a lot about the sweet spot for a reason.
Without a speaker stand, you will get not only a narrow audio image but also a bad soundstage. You will also feel the bass to be worse, which means the sweet spot is hard to comprehend. If you can’t experience the sweet spot, you don’t get the optimal experience.
With a speaker stand, not only do you widen your sweet spot, but you also clean up the bass. With the right positioning, you get a clearer soundstage to get an optimal experience.
How Do You Pick The Right Speaker Stand?
Now that we know how the right speaker stands make a difference, here’s the thing. We need to learn how to pick the right ones. How do you do it? There are a few considerations that you need to take.
- Weight rating
- Base and Feet
- Cable Management Options
- Top Plate
Let’s take a look at the reasons why would any of these matters when choosing a speaker stands.
When buying speaker stands, the most basic factor that you need to consider is weight. Are the stands able to support the weight of your speakers? Are they stable enough that it lets them anchor down without making the stand wobble? These are vital questions that you want to ask.
If you’re speaker stands with hollow posts, you want to make sure you have good access to adding sand. Many stands come with a compartment for cabling and sand. There’s a reason why you want to fill that sand compartment.
As you know, speakers emit a sound pressure that creates vibrations on surfaces. A stand is not exempt from the issues you get from speakers. This is the reason why you want a relatively heavy speaker stand. If you want to make it heavier or let it anchor better, filling the sand compartments can give you the advantage.
Like any product, materials construction is a valuable detail that you need in your speaker stand. You would want to have both high-quality materials, with common materials like wood and steel. While either has its merits, it’s up to you to pick which one you need.
For example, solid wood stands tend to be more lightweight but are durable in the long run. They can be expensive too but vibrates less than their steel counterparts.
Most of the stands on the market use steel as their primary material. The usual process involves having hollow steel stands that allow you to add sand to them. As we know, adding sand and other anchoring materials help improve audio quality and stability.
When it comes to height, your speaker stands must rise enough to let the tweeters go ear level. Thus, the height of your stands must coincide with the level of your seating option. You would also want the height to help your speaker design stay at the ear level.
Many speaker stands offer height adjustment systems, but it’s hard to find good ones. The usual stands that offer adjustments tend to be light and hollow.
If you have small speakers, you want something around 30+ inches (76.2+ cm). For the standard medium to large speaker, 24 – 26 inches (60.96 – 66.04 cm) should work. Take into account the height of your seating options.
Base and Feet
Much like height, base and feet are a vital consideration for your speaker stands. Like any stand, a wider, heavier base will result in a more stable stand. It doesn’t matter how wide your base goes, but you would want it to be around the same size as the top plate.
For the feet, you want either rubber or spikes, depending on the surface that you have. You want to use spikes for solid floor surfaces while rubber feet for wood. So, what if you have carpeting?
For carpeting, you want to use spikes on solid floors and let it pierce through the carpet. Don’t use spikes through carpet and wood, as this can result in strong vibrations. The preference is to not have carpet there in the first place. If it’s unavoidable, use spikes and weigh down the stands as much as you can.
Speaker stands can either have cable management options or not. They can help keep your cables hidden or exposed, and many stands offer this option. You will be happy to find that the option is available in both wood and steel stands.
You need to check what size cables will fit on the cable management channels you have. You would want to give this a look, as some stands will only allow something as small as 18 gauge. If you need to do cable management, a spiral cable wrap should be good enough. You can also use heat shrink tubing if you’re sure you won’t remove the cables any time soon.
Top plates in speaker stands come in three vital options. These are:
- Rubber feet or speaker studs
- Top plate size
- Central hole for bolting
As you can see, you would want to consider these details. For example, rubber feet are typical in most stands, while speaker studs reduce vibrations and look aesthetic.
You want the top plate size to accommodate the entire size of your speakers. You want to have good coverage to make sure you get superior stability.
Some stands will have a central hole that you can use to anchor your speaker. Whether you want to use this or not is something you want to think about. If you have a pre-drilled bottom, it’s best to find a speaker stands with such an anchoring hole.
So, do speaker stands matter? The simple answer is yes, speaker stands mean the world if you want to get optimal performance. With the right speaker stand, you can get superior performance and the best sound staging.
When choosing the speaker stand, consider everything, from height, durability, to weight. Your goal is to reduce vibrations from sound pressure to help give you superior audio.
Are you looking for the right speaker stands? Use our guide above for the best audio setup you can get. We’re sure that you can get the best stands if you follow our tips.