Home Theater Review

 

Floorstanding and Audiophile Loudspeaker Reviews

While the rest of the home theater world may be cashing in on the LED HDTV craze, you still need a pair of floorstanding loudspeakers if you're trying to achieve a true, full-range sound in your home theater. For the audiophile in you there's nothing better than pair of reference grade floorstanding loudspeakers from the likes of Bowers & Wilkins, Revel, Wilson Audio, Paradigm and more. Tight on space? Today's modern floorstanding loudspeaker isn't the boxy black coffin from days of old-many have become streamlined pieces of art featuring finishes that rival some of the world's most exotic cars.

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Bowers & Wilkins 804 D3 Floorstanding Speakers Reviewed

Bowers & Wilkins 804 D3 Floorstanding Speakers Reviewed

By Brent Butterworth

Overall Rating
4.5 Stars
 

Bowers & Wilkins' high-end Diamond Series has received a complete makeover. Brent Butterworth sits down with the new 804 D3 tower speaker to see how it performs. Read More

 
Spatial M3 Turbo S Floorstanding Speakers Reviewed

Spatial M3 Turbo S Floorstanding Speakers Reviewed

By Steven Stone

Overall Rating
5 Stars
 

Steven Stone reviews Spatial Audio's M3 Turbo S floorstanding speaker, a hybrid open-baffle design that combines a coaxial compression driver and dual 15-inch mid-woofers. Read More

 
Bache Audio 002AB Floorstanding Speaker Reviewed

Bache Audio 002AB Floorstanding Speaker Reviewed

By Terry London

Overall Rating
4.5 Stars
 

Terry London reviews Bache Audio's 002AB floorstanding speaker, a hybrid four-way design that combines a full-range eight-inch paper cone transducer and super tweeter with a powered eight-inch mid-bass driver and a 10-inch woofer. Read More

 
Bache Audio Metro-001 Floorstanding Speaker Reviewed

Bache Audio Metro-001 Floorstanding Speaker Reviewed

By Terry London

Overall Rating
4 Stars
 

One of my friends who lives on the East Coast shared that he had heard a wonderful-sounding speaker called the 001-AB that was manufactured by a company called Bache Audio, located in Brooklyn, New York. The 001-AB is Bache Audio's... Read More

 
Tekton Design Sigma OB Floorstanding Speakers Reviewed

Tekton Design Sigma OB Floorstanding Speakers Reviewed

By Terry London

Overall Rating
4.5 Stars
 

Terry London recently auditioned Tekton Design's Sigma OB floorstanding speaker, a hybrid open-baffle design that retails for $3,000 per pair. Find out how they perform in this week's featured review. Read More

 
Polk Audio T50 Tower Speaker Reviewed

Polk Audio T50 Tower Speaker Reviewed

By Brent Butterworth

Overall Rating
4.5 Stars
 

Brent Butterworth reviews Polk Audio's new T50 tower speaker, priced at a very wallet-friendly $258 per pair. How do these value-oriented speakers measure up? Read on to find out. Read More

 
Home Theater Review's Best of 2015 Awards

Home Theater Review's Best of 2015 Awards

By HomeTheaterReview.com

Overall Rating
0 Stars
 

It's that time of year again--time for the HomeTheaterReview.com staff to pick the products that we feel represent the best of the best from all of our 2015 reviews. We've covered a variety of categories and price points. See if your faves made the list. Read More

 
Klipsch RP-280FA Tower Speaker Reviewed

Klipsch RP-280FA Tower Speaker Reviewed

By Brent Butterworth

Overall Rating
4.5 Stars
 

Brent Butterworth explores the new Atmos-enabled RP-280FA tower speakers from Klipsch, as well as other new models from the company's Reference Premiere line. Read More

 
Monitor Audio Gold 300 Floorstanding Speakers Reviewed

Monitor Audio Gold 300 Floorstanding Speakers Reviewed

By Bob Barrett

Overall Rating
5 Stars
 

Bob Barrett explores Monitor Audio's updated Gold Series speaker lineup--specifically, the Gold 300 tower speaker, C350 center channel, FX surround, and W15 subwoofer. Read More

 
GoldenEar Triton Five Tower Loudspeaker Reviewed

GoldenEar Triton Five Tower Loudspeaker Reviewed

By Brent Butterworth

Overall Rating
4.5 Stars
 

GoldenEar Technology recently added a new model to the Triton series: the $999 Triton Five. Brent Butterworth puts this floorstanding speaker through its paces to see how it compares with the rest of the Triton lineup. Read More

 

Everything You Need To Know About Floorstanding Audiophile Speakers

1.0 An Overview of Floorstanding Audiophile Loudspeakers
2.0 Types of Floorstanding Audiophile Loudspeakers


2.1 Dynamic Speakers
2.2 Electrostatic Speakers
2.3 Planar Speakers
2.4 Ribbon Speakers
2.5 Horn Loaded Speakers
2.6 Bi-polar Speakers

1.0 An Overview of Floor-standing Audiophile Loudspeakers
The floor-standing loudspeaker is your traditional audiophile speaker. Because of their large size and to-the-floor design, floor-standing speakers have the most bass, the largest soundstage and often overall the best sound money can buy.


2.0 Types of Floor-standing Audiophile Loudspeakers

2.1 Dynamic Speakers
Dynamic loudspeakers use traditional speaker drivers normally connected via a crossover network that sends the high frequencies to the tweeters, the midrange audio to the midrange driver and the low-frequency material to the larger woofers. Dynamic speakers can commonly be found as two-way bookshelf speakers, three-way floor-standing speakers or in even more complex configurations. Dynamic speakers are the most popular design of speakers in the audiophile and home theater markets.

2.2 Electrostatic Speakers
Electrostatic Speaker designs use a high voltage electrical field to drive a thin membrane between two perforated conductive plates called stators. Unless paired with a hybrid design using dynamic woofers (like MartinLogan speakers do), electrostats don't need a crossover system the way traditional dynamic loudspeaker systems do.

Fans of electrostats love their linear and low-distortion sound. Electrostats are very hard to drive and therefore need very powerful amplifiers to get high levels of sound pressure. An AV receiver is not a good match with a true electrostatic loudspeaker system. Electrostats are not known for their ability to reproduce deep bass and are, in most cases, physically very large.

2.3 Planar Speakers
Planar speakers use a thin membrane to create a three-dimensional sound that is beloved by a small group of older audiophiles. The most famous type of planar speaker is the Magnepan. Design flaws and technological limitations make planar speakers difficult to use in home theater applications. Also, don't let their thin size make you think they can be placed near a wall and still sound good. Planars need a lot of space between the speakers and the back wall of a listening room to sound their best. Planar speakers require a lot of power to play loudly and generally still can't keep up with dynamic or even electrostatic designs.

2.4 Ribbon Speakers
The term "ribbon" in the context of a conversation about speakers generally refers to the concept of using a thin ribbon driver, along with other, normally dynamic drivers to create the three-dimensionality and characteristic sound found in planar or electrostatic speakers without sacrificing power and dynamics. The most famous ribbon loudspeaker company today is Wisdom Audio, which makes the most expensive in-wall, ribbon-loaded speakers on the market today.

2.5 Horn Loaded Speakers
Horn speakers are used in cinema applications and in many recording studios. Horns have a distinctive sound on the high frequencies and are the speakers of choice for installations behind perforated screens, as they are highly efficient compared to traditional speakers and therefore will play loudly enough to make the behind-screen application sound good. Klipsch is the most well-known company currently selling horn loaded consumer-grade speakers.

2.6 Bi-polar Speakers
Bi-polar speakers fire both from the front and the back. Planar and electrostatic designs are bi-polar, which helps to create their distinctive three-dimensional sound. Bi-polar speakers can be dynamic or any number of other designs. Bi-polar speakers are more subject to the acoustics to the room than more traditional designs. Bi-polar rear and side-channel speakers have been in use in THX-certified theaters for more than a decade.