Top Picks Floorstanding Speakers

Floorstanding Speakers

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<$4,999
PSB Image T6 Speaker System: $2,625
Expect outstanding performance with music and movies from a package that delivers great value and exceptional build quality for the price. As reviewer Tom Norton put it: “The system skillfully walks the fine line between edginess and boring politeness. It never falls to either side unless you push it there with program material. This is exactly what a good speaker system should do.” (May 2010, Read Full Review)
GoldenEar Technology TritonCinema Three Speaker System: $3,000
A slimmed down version of the phenomenal TritonCinema Two system reviewed in January 2012, complete with sweet sounding folded-diaphragm tweeters and a powered subwoofer built into each main tower, the TritonCinema Three ensemble will seduce you with its stunning clarity, detail and depth. Said reviewer Darryl Wilkinson: “Few other speakers can couple the intimacy reminiscent of an electrostatic speaker with the authority and heft of a traditional box speaker in such an organic and integral way.” (March 2012, Read Full Review)
Aperion Verus Grand Speaker System: $3,095
Available direct from Aperion with a 30-day money-back guarantee, the gorgeously finished Verus Grand system delivers a wonderfully uniform front soundstage—among the best we’ve heard—and superb 5.1-channel performance characterized by exceptional detail and convincing imaging and depth. Summing up, reviewer Tom Norton said: “The Aperions produced a huge, expansive, cohesive soundstage that many speakers at twice the price might envy.” (October 2011, Read Full Review)
GoldenEar Technology TritonCinema Two Speaker System: $3,495
It’s not very often that you hear the same word used in repetition to characterize the sound of a speaker system, but reviewer Darryl Wilkinson described his TritonCinema Two experience as “spectacularly spectacular” with much of the credit going to the delicate, electrostatic-esque sound produced by the system’s folded diaphragm tweeters. Bonus: You won’t need a separate bass module—a 1,200-watt subwoofer section is built into each of the main towers. (April 2011, Read Full Review)
GoldenEar Technology Triton Seven Speaker System: $3,594
As reviewer Darryl Wilkinson said in his review, the GoldenEar “winning streak” continues with the Triton Seven-based speaker system that teams a pair of Triton Seven towers with an SCX center speaker, a pair of Invisa 650 in-ceiling surround speakers, and the killer ForceField 5 subwoofer, which netted its own Top Pick in the subwoofer category. In addition to knocking it out of the park on movie soundtracks, the Triton towers proved to be reference-caliber speakers for music at a decidedly mid-fi price. (November 2013, Read Full Review)
KEF Q900 Speaker System: $3,700
The Q900 might look somewhat pedestrian but nearly two decades of sonic tweaks to KEF’s fabled Q Series have produced a compelling system with an uncanny ability to firmly locate stereo images. Apart from reveling in sound he described as “uncolored, open, and detailed,” reviewer Tom Norton was “knocked out” by the speakers’ ability to firmly locate images across the front soundstage. (June 2011, Read Full Review)
Paradigm Monitor 11 Speaker System: $3,794
Some speaker systems excel at reproducing movie soundtracks but are merely satisfactory on music—or the reverse. This was definitely not the case with the Paradigm Monitor 11 system we put together, which comprised a pair of Monitor 11 towers, a Center 3 speaker, two Mini Monitors, and a SUB 12 subwoofer. The parts of this whole can shine on their own but as reviewer Tom Norton observed: “Together they made up one of the most satisfying speaker systems I’ve reviewed to date and proved equally adept at putting you in the concert venue, recording studio, or movie palace.” (SoundandVision.com, Read Full Review)
Definitive Technology BP-8080ST Speaker System: $3,997
“The BP-8080ST and CS-8080HD make big, bodacious, but refined and focused sound that was consistently thrilling, involving, and best of all, flat-out fun for music and movies.” That was reviewer Shane Buettner’s take on this redesigned version of the bipolar tower speaker that made Def Tech famous. Love bass? Get ready to rumble with the powered subwoofers built into those slender towers. You won’t think twice about adding a stand-alone subwoofer. (February 2011, Read Full Review)
Bowers & Wilkins CM10 Speaker: $3,999/pr
If simple stereo listening is your passion, then you’ll appreciate the precise, lifelike imaging, intimate vocal sound, and well-defined bass delivered by a pair of CM10s, the latest addition to the CM speaker series one step below B&W’s fabled 800 Series Diamond (not Diamond Series). Captivated by the “soul” revealed by these speakers, reviewer Brent Butterworth wrote: “If you want a little more character and flavor and charm to your sound, get the CM10… there’s nothing I’ve heard that’s truly better in its price range.” (SoundandVision.com, Read Full Review)
Bowers & Wilkins 683 S2 Speaker System: $4,300
An update of B&W’s more affordable 600 Series speakers, the 683 S2 grouping we reviewed delivered big, immediate sound and bass that was tight if not a bit restrained. With music, the ensemble filled the room with “sweet definition, fine depth, and a natural explosiveness,” wrote reviewer Tom Norton. And with movies, it “had all the punch and over-the-top audio I could hope for, played as loud as I could tolerate.” The only caveat: The ASW 610 XP subwoofer may not be up to the task of reproducing the lowest and loudest bass on some movies. (November 2014, Read Full Review)
MartinLogan Motion 40 Speaker System: $4,345
You’ll be amazed at how close the Motion 40 system comes to achieving the light and airy sonic character of the electrostatic speakers MartinLogan built its reputation on. Reviewer Darryl Wilkinson described the ensemble as “one of the most phenomenally cohesive, startlingly immersive home theater systems” in its price range. Much of the credit goes to the special Folded Motion tweeters, which impart an unmistakable clarity and immediacy to the soundfield. Add to that taut, powerful bass and get ready to experience an “inextricable, intertwining mind-meld of sound.” (HomeTheater.com, Read Full Review)
Definitive Technology Mythos STS SuperTower Speaker System: $4,355
The Mythos STS system stands as proof that it is, indeed, possible for five svelte speakers with graceful, sculpted lines to create a huge, involving soundstage with full-bodied bass, even though there is no stand-alone subwoofer. What’s more, vocals and dialogue are rendered with extraordinary clarity. You’ll feel like you’re standing next to Rocky when he yells, “Yo Adrian.” (March 2009, Read Full Review)
Monitor Audio Silver RX8 Speaker System: $4,400
Reviewer Tom Norton heaped high praise on the RX8: “Music, effects, dialogue, and bass all came together in a spectacular way. Even at the highest playback level I could stand, the sound was highly detailed and never grating.” What more can you ask for, except for maybe outstanding fit and finish, which you get in spades. The Rosenut veneer, in particular, is as elegant a simulation of genuine Rosewood as you’ll find. (July 2010, Read Full Review)
PSB Image T Speaker System: $4,749
With the Imagine T, Canadian speaker stalwart PSB has produced a high-value system that easily satisfied reviewer Tom Norton’s audiophile cravings: “The PSB system is sweet and clean with music, capable of surprisingly forceful impact and wide dynamic range, and includes a subwoofer that is far more impressive than its price would suggest.” A must for your audition list. (May 2009, Read Full Review)
Definitive Technology Mythos ST-L Speaker: $4,998/pr
DefTech describes the Mythos ST-L as a re-imaging of the Mythos ST introduced in 2007, which means just about every aspect of this flagship has been refined: Redesigned (and laser-mapped) drivers), a cast-aluminum this-speaker’s-not-going-anywhere platform to replace the original granite base, and a built-in 1,200-watt subwoofer amp that delivers four times the power of its predecessor. In describing the result of all that tinkering, reviewer Darryl Wilkinson wrote: “True to its heritage, the ST-L is a stunning performer…a magical, emotive speaker, one that’s able to bypass the rational, thinking part of your brain and unleash deep and powerfully moving emotions trapped within.” (September 2014, Read Full Review)
$5,000-$9,999
GoldenEar Technology Triton One Speaker: $5,000/pr
It’s rare when a speaker gets five-star ratings across the board yet that is exactly the case with GoldenEar’s flagship Triton One. In a feat of engineering, the designers arranged 10 drivers and 1,600 watts of power in a sleek, 54-inch-tall cabinet. Their diligence rewards the listener with revelatory sound and an astounding price/performance ratio. As reviewer Darryl Wilkinson wrote: “GoldenEar’s Triton One speakers are members of that rarest of rare breeds for which words can do little justice. You simply have to listen to them—no, experience them—firsthand. What are you waiting for? (July/August 2014, Read Full Review)
MartinLogan ElectroMotion ESL Speaker System: $5,290
If you haven’t experienced the thrill of electrostatic speakers, check out the stately ElectroMotion ESL system and prepare to experience an extraordinary level of clarity and detail. Reviewer Darryl Wilkinson on its musical abilities: “Few speakers at this price can so clearly define each instrument…as if you were sitting in front of the band.” Movies: “One of the finest-performing, most entertaining, drool-worthiest $5,000 home theater speaker systems you can buy.” (December 2011, Read Full Review)
Sonus faber Venere: $5,493 (reviewed with the $999 REL T-7 subwoofer)
Sonus faber, Italian maker of the strikingly gorgeous $120,000 limited-edition Aida speaker, upholds its reputation for visually stunning, superb, furniture-grade build quality, and delicate, graceful, high-resolution sonics with its entry-level Venere ensemble—and does so at a fraction of the price of the much costlier Aida. Veteran reviewer Michael Fremer praised Venere for its remarkable value and called it an “exciting and musically convincing must-hear system” that will appeal to listeners who prefer clean, taut, and detailed sound. (April 2013, Read Full Review)
Monitor Audio Silver 10 Speaker System: $5,925
A redesign of the Silver RX system, the Silver 10 ensemble combines meticulous build quality with impeccable fit and finish and sound that reviewer Tom Norton described as open and detailed with “appealingly real sparkle and liveliness.” The only caveat is the W-12 subwoofer, which turned out to be much better suited for music than movie soundtracks.” Still, the system is well worth seeking out for a serious audition. (SoundandVision.com 2014, Read Full Review)
PSB Imagine T2 Speaker System: $6,650
The essence of the Imagine T2 is captured in the headline for our review: Sensationally Seamless Seduction. Digging deeper, reviewer Darryl Wilkinson explained: “The sound is beguilingly smooth and natural…Even though it’s composed of six boxes, the system is absolutely superb at working together as seamlessly as if it were one big speaker. All this from the gentle, organic lines of cabinets designed by a guy whose work can also be found in a Lamborghini showroom." (November 2012, see HomeTheater.com for review)
Adam Audio GTC77 Speaker System: $6,850
Plain-Jane looks but sound that rates 11 on a scale of 10 is the GTC77 in a nutshell. Most of the credit goes to the X-ART (Extended Accelerating Ribbon Technology), which reviewer Michael Fremer called “positively mesmerizing.” More to the point: “The system was open, clean, and dynamically effortless… It rocked, and it exhibited delicacy and finesse. If the GTC77 system has any weak points, I don’t know what they are.” (February 2012, Read Full Review)
Wharfedale Jade 7 Speaker System: $7,197
From one of the oldest and most respected brands comes a thoroughly modern system that sounds every bit as good as it looks. The audiophile cravings of reviewer Tom Norton were satiated by the Jades ability to “handle all types of music convincingly, including small ensembles, jazz, classic rock, and both male and female vocals.” Movies? Expect big, generous sound with an irresistible blend of dynamics, subtlety, and detail. (September 2012, Read Full Review)
Wisdom Audio Insight P4i In-Wall Speaker System: $9,250
If you’re looking for a near-electrostatic audiophile listening experience from speakers that literally disappear, you need to check out the P4i in-wall speaker system. The package includes five panels—designed to sit flush in the wall behind a finely perforated, paintable metal grille—that mate rectangular planar magnetic tweeters with oblong 3 x 5-inch woofers. Summing up his impressions, reviewer Darryl Wilkinson wrote: “Wisdom Audio’s Insight P4i and P2i in-wall speakers are an absolute delight to listen to. Regardless of the source material, be it musical or cinematic in nature, the P4i speakers never caused me a moment of disappointment.” (HomeTheater.com, Read Full Review)
KEF R900 Speaker System: $9,400
The venerated British loudspeaker company lives up to its reputation once again, this time with the tower-based R900 system, big brother to the R300 bookshelf system we tested last year. Reviewer Tom Norton marveled at the system’s ability to sort out the sonic complexities of sophisticated soundtracks like the one for Prometheus: “The aural candy begins with spectacular music cues over the opening credits…and ends awash in music, effects, and a dynamic range that tests the system to the max. The KEFs never faltered under this immense torrent of sound.” (HomeTheater.com, Read Full Review)
Polk LSiM707 Speaker System: $9,600
Drawing on a proud, 40-year history of delivering quality sound at accessible prices, Polk struts its stuff with the LSiM707, which delivered a sonic presentation that reviewer Tom Norton called “revealing and detailed without being at all clinical.” On handling a favorite soundtrack, Norton proclaimed: “John Williams’ sweet score for War Horse enveloped the room, but it was the throb of the cavalry charges and the pounding of the artillery that made the biggest impression.” (June 2012, Read Full Review)
$10,000 >
Legacy Audio Classic HD Speaker System: $10,785
Serious audiophiles, listen up: If you revel in impeccably designed, full-size speakers capable of delivering a cathartic experience, Legacy’s Classic HD ensemble deserves a high place on your audition list. From over-the-top, batter-your-rib-cage pounding to the barely audible flutter of a butterfly’s wings and everything in between, you’ll be stunned by the lifelike presentation. As Darryl Wilkinson put it: “The Classic HDs are quite amazing in the way they can bring you under their spell and make you forget there are a couple of 110-pound towers sitting in the room in front of you.” (July/August 2013, Read Full Review)
Revel Performa3 F208 Speaker System: $13,300
From the speaker gurus at Revel comes the impeccably built Performa3 F208 ensemble, one step down from the flagship Concerta series and designed at Harman’s state-of-the-art R&D facility in Northridge, CA. Listening to the F208 towers on their own, reviewer Tom Norton marveled at the superb imaging, impressively uncolored midrange, and pristine top end. Turning to the stunning soundtrack of an otherwise dud of a movie, Battleship, he concluded: “The soundstage was huge, the bass deep and crisp, the effects never harsh, and the music as right as you could wish for.” (January 2014, Read Full Review)
McIntosh XR100 Speaker System: $16,500
Yes, the storied maker of those gorgeously analog amplifiers, known for their glowing power meters, makes speakers and has been doing so for years. Simply put, the XR100 speakers uphold the McIntosh legacy. Reviewer Michael Fremer described the sonic presentation as all Ferrari, producing “sound fields that were astonishingly transparent, tight, vibrant, focused, punchy, dynamic, and most of all, utterly effortless—at any volume I cared to listen at.” (June 2012, Read Full Review)
Focal Electra 1028 Be Speaker System: $21,480
Known for its impeccably smooth tweeters, which are used by Wilson Audio and other high-end speaker makers, Focal’s 1028 Be commands attention visually and sonically. Reviewer Tom Norton explains: “No speaker system I’ve had in my current listening room (10 years and counting) has produced a more consistently enjoyable performance on both music and movies.” And those tweeters… The top end combined crystal clarity with an easy naturalness that most speakers shoot for and miss.” (February 2011, Read Full Review)
Monitor Audio Platinum PL300 Speaker System: $27,350
With the PL300, Monitor stepped out of its value comfort zone to craft the Platinum Series, which wowed reviewer Tom Norton with its amazingly detailed sound and tight imaging. “It covers all the bases from the subtle to the explosive, with a soundstage as small or immense as it needs to be. The Platinum speakers do it all, with full-bodied, extended bass without bloat, a natural midrange, and crisp, precise highs.” (October 2009, Read Full Review)
B&W 802 Diamond Speaker System: $32,000
The Brits make some of the finest speakers in the world. B&W’s 802 Diamond system, featuring the company’s trademark tweeter eye, is the latest entry on the world-class speaker list, joining its iconic 800 Series siblings, which have occupied the control room of London’s famous Abbey Road Studios for more than two decades. Reviewer Tom Norton puts things in perspective: “If you’re serious about acquiring one of the highest-end home theater speaker systems, you need to hear this 802 Diamond package.” (November 2012, see HomeTheater.com for review)
Revel Ultima2 Salon2 Speaker System: $45,993
One of the newer members of the world-class-speaker club, Revel unquestionably makes some of the best speakers money can buy. Enter the Ultima2 Salon2 system, delivering goosebump-producing sound that reviewer Fred Manteghian said “revealed the complexity of the human voice as perfectly as the mechanical gyrations of a grand piano. Whether listening to vinyl in stereo, or watching the latest action movie on Blu-ray, the experience is always rewarding.” (July 2009, Read Full Review)
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COMMENTS
idaman@q.com's picture

I use you guys for buying electronics but I notice that you never do recommendations of these larger sizes that are under $3000.00.There has to be some good units out there and I am not interested in 3-D and could live without smart features if I can get a best picture at a down to earth price.

kathleen's picture

Has anyone heard of - AZON DEAL UPDATER (google it)? They have a little gold box on the site that spits out any discount promo codes for any product on Amazon. Bought my Samsung HT-E6500 lower than the discounted price. Don't think too many people know about this.

Aschinck's picture

Good afternoon guys.
As a worker in the electronic industry i often look at your top pick to see if some of my products would find a place in it. Recently i realize that for a buyer your list is kind of shitty. First most of the model are 2-3-4 years back. Would it be possible to have a top pick of 2014 and then 2015 product so we can keep a fair track?

thank you

Vrahode's picture

There has been a lot of new technology in viewing surfaces in recent years as the prior post stated. Draper, for example, who I work for has released a new line of surfaces called TecVision that out perform many competitor products through wider viewing cones, more consistent gain, lower gloss levels and even superior angular reflectivity. We would love to send samples and allow the folks at Sound and Vision the opportunity for objective comparison of these recent breakthroughs in screen technology.

Angelo's picture

On my projectors JVC DLA-X3 the lamp is at 900 hours and the brightness has dimed a bit!
The brightness calibration on the unit is at 10(from day one) .
I use the projector only for movies . Can you please provide any suggestion/recommendations on how to calibrate the brightness !
Greatly appreciate your help.

johnny_y_mac's picture

Any thoughts on the X2000, 3000, or 4000?

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