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The Complete Speaker Stand Buying Guide

The Complete Speaker Stand Buying Guide

Craig Walker |

If you're serious about getting the best sound quality from your HiFi speakers, then you've come to the right place. 

In this buying guide we'll be diving into the world of HiFi speaker stands – those often overlooked, yet crucial accessories that can take your audio experience to a whole new level.

Whether you’ve got a full HiFi speaker setup or some active bookshelf speakers, speaker stands can provide enhanced sound quality as well as looks.

Audioengine Speakers On Speaker Stands

 

Why Speaker Stands Matter

You might be wondering, "Do I really need speaker stands?" 

Well, let us assure you that they are much more than just fancy add-ons. 

Speaker stands play a significant role in optimising the performance of your speakers and enhancing your listening pleasure in several ways:

  1. Isolation & Decoupling: Speaker stands effectively isolate your speakers from the floor, reducing vibrations that can muddle the sound. This isolation ensures that the sound produced by your speakers is as pure and unaltered as possible resulting in a clearer and more defined audio experience.

  2. Optimal Positioning: Placing your speakers at the right height and angle is essential for achieving the best soundstage and imaging. Speaker stands allow you to position your speakers at ear level, directing the sound directly towards your ears for a more immersive and realistic audio experience.

  3. Reduced Interference: Placing speakers on furniture or directly on the floor can cause reflections and sound diffraction leading to a loss of audio clarity. Speaker stands minimise these issues allowing your speakers to perform at their best.

  4. Aesthetic Appeal: Aside from their functional benefits, speaker stands can also add a touch of elegance to your listening space. With various designs and finishes available you’ll easily find stands that complement your room's decor and create a visually pleasing setup.

    In our demo area we’ve found that speaker stands make a big difference even on entry level speakers such as the Edifier R1700BT.

    When mounted on the turntable unit we had bass that was reflecting off the walls and muddying the sound. Once stand-mounted we had much more clarity, a more controlled bass output and we also benefited from a more optimal listening position.

Mitchell Acoustics uStream One Bookshelf Speakers On Speaker Stands


Choosing the Right Speaker Stands

Now that you understand why speaker stands are essential for your speaker setup let's explore the key factors to consider when choosing the right stands for your speakers:

  1. Height: The height of your speaker stands is crucial for achieving optimal sound performance. Ensure that the stands position your speakers at ear level when seated for an ideal listening experience. 

  2. Weight Capacity: One of the most important considerations is to make sure that they can safely support your speakers. Make sure that you check the weight capacity of the stands and compare them to your speakers to ensure they can support your speakers safely.

  3. Material & Build Quality: Speaker stands come in various materials like wood, metal, and even acrylic. Each material has its unique characteristics, affecting sound quality differently. Wood stands are known for their warm and natural sound, while metal stands may offer better stability. Choose a well-built stand that can withstand the weight of your speakers and provide a stable foundation.

  4. Top Plate & Base Design: Look for speaker stands with a top plate that securely accommodates your speakers dimensions.

    You need to ensure that the top plate is marginally smaller than your speaker. If your speaker is much bigger than the top plate you’re going to have stability issues!

    If you have a small speaker such as the Edifier R1280DB then you’ll struggle to find a stand small enough, they will fit fine and securely but will be smaller than the top plate so may look a little bit lost.

    Some stands offer adjustable spikes or rubber feet on the base, allowing you to fine-tune the stability and isolate the stands further. In most cases we’d recommend rubber feet on the top plate as they provide a solid grip on the speakers and protect from any damage and spikes on the bottom plate.

    Most speaker stands will have a hole for fixing into the speaker - however, I’ve not seen any speakers that actually have a fixing hole to mount to a speaker stand so most commonly speakers are placed on top of the stand without fixings. We would not recommend that you screw into your speakers.

  5. Cable Management: Neatly managing speaker cables can improve the overall aesthetics of your setup and prevent tripping hazards. Some stands come with cable management features allowing you to run your speaker cables down the tube of the stand keeping your speaker cables organised and out of sight.

  6. Compatibility with Room: Consider your room layout and speaker placement options when choosing the right stands. If you have limited floor space then look for compact stands that can fit in tight spots without compromising on performance.

  7. Budget: Speaker stands come in a range of prices so it's essential to set a budget that aligns with your needs and preferences. While premium stands may offer extra features and aesthetics, there are also budget-friendly options that can deliver excellent performance.

Specific vs Universal Speaker Stands

If your speaker manufacturer has made a specific stand for your speaker then it’s often the best option to go for.

They will be designed and engineered specifically to support the weight and size of the speaker and are often fine tuned for optimal performance and sound quality.

So it’s worth first looking to see if there’s a manufacturer stand ready-made for your speakers.

Otherwise you can use a universal stand such as the popular Norstone Stylum or Norstone ESSE which can accommodate any speaker within its weight and size range.

Q Acoustics Concept 50 On Speaker Stand

 

Desktop Speaker Stands

Whilst this blog is primarily focused on floor mounted speaker stands for HiFi speakers I wanted to touch quickly on desktop speaker stands.

A lot of our customers are placing speakers on desktops, side boards etc with turntables and using smaller speakers such as the Edifier R1700BT, Audioengine A2+ etc.

These can be significantly improved by using desktop speaker stands such as the Kanto Audio S4, SE4 or the SP9 range.

Raising the speakers towards your ears and isolating them from the desktop can really make a difference without spending too much money.

Personally I have some Audioengine A2+ on my desk and using the Kanto Audio S2 stands has made a tremendous difference in sound quality as well as looking significantly better.

Kanto Audio YU4 On Desktop Speaker Stand

 

Conclusion

Investing in high-quality HiFi speaker stands is a decision you won't regret. 

By providing stability, isolation, and optimal positioning, these stands elevate your audio experience to new heights (pun intended). 

Remember to consider factors like height, material, build quality, and cable management when choosing the right stands for your speakers. 

With the perfect speaker stands in place, you can sit back, relax, and immerse yourself in the rich and captivating sounds of your favourite music like never before!