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Improve Your Surround Sound with Floor Standing Speakers

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Improve Your Surround Sound with Floor Standing Speakers
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Improve Your Surround Sound with Floor Standing Speakers

The name "floor standing speaker" is pretty self-explanatory. It simply refers to tall towering speakers that are made to stand on the floor in a room as opposed to being placed on a shelf or mounted on a wall. Many floor standing speaker systems are complete system packages that feature front left and right floor standing speakers, small surround sound speakers, a centre channel speaker, and maybe a subwoofer to complete the set. Floor standing speakers are also called in-room speakers and are typically the largest speaker type. They can then be categorized in a wide range of styles and price ranges, so buyers need to also consider their budget and personal style in the selection process.

The main advantage of having floor standing speakers is their versatility and ability to be placed anywhere and be easily transported. While they are tall, they are also slender and can be easily placed in a corner or between furniture. Additionally, their enclosures are built to optimize the speaker’s performance, and they can be positioned in different ways to improve their sound. These facts contribute to the popularity of floor standing speakers in home theatre systems and among musical enthusiasts. Before buyers attempt to source a set of floor standing speakers, they should take four basic things into consideration. These shopping basics include space availability, preferred music genre, component compatibility, and driver materials.

Choosing the Right Floor Standing Speakers

Once buyers know the type of speakers that they need, the best way to choose the right one is to listen to it. The fact is that personal listening preferences plays a valid part, and some persons may even argue that there are no speakers that can be considered "best" based on sound because a "good" sound is relative.

However, when speakers are bought for the first time, especially online, it is not always possible to hear the way they sound, and they may even sound different in a bedroom or living room than they do inside a larger shop area. Therefore, the following factors should be considered when purchasing.

Space Availability

The size of the room for the speakers plays a valid role in the speaker selection process. Floor standing speakers are great at providing quality enhanced sounds, but if the room is too small, the speakers may be too overpowering. The audio quality of the speakers suffers if there is not enough room for it to spread.

If the room size is less than 2.5 to 3 metres wide and 3 to 4.5 m long, it may be best to consider another speaker type other than floor standing ones. Bookshelf speakers are similar to floor standing speakers but are a bit more compact. Additionally, if the speakers are going to be situated in a living room or bedroom, the lounge area should be at least 2.5 to 3 m away from the speakers so that enough space is there to facilitate the sounds from the tweeter and woofers. In essence, all the sounds need to have enough travel space to mesh together so that one solid smooth sound reaches the ears.

Any 3-way or higher speakers should utilize the aforementioned space rules, but a 2-way floor standing speaker may be okay with less space. While the corners of a room are the most ideal places to put floor standing speakers, they still need to be at least half a metre away from the walls to ensure that the bass does not become too overwhelming.

It may be a little tricky to find the best spot for floor standing speakers to provide the best sounds, but many persons find that they get a better performance from the "triangle speaker placement".

Triangle Speaker Placement Chart

Most rooms are rectangular in shape, and setting up box speakers in a specific triangular fashion improves the way it sounds to the listener. Some people play their speakers and then move them around until they get the best sounds; oftentimes, the result is a triangular placement because it just sounds better that way.

The chart below shows how to calculate the golden ratio, or triangle method, so that speakers are placed in a way that eliminates any unison resonance in each node. The chart should be used to figure out the distance from the centre of the woofer face to the corresponding wall.

Which Distance

Recommended Distance

Speaker and sidewall

Room Width x .276

Speaker and back wall

Room Width x .447

Speaker and wall across

Room Width x .724

Speaker and speaker

Room Width x .447

A node refers to the frequency where parallel walls in a room and the speakers interact. The most important nodes are proportional to the distance between the speaker and the sidewall that is closest to the speaker, the back wall, and the sidewall that is across the room from the speaker. The time constant between speaker to speaker is also a factor. In essence, the speaker distance from the side wall would be calculated as (the width of the room multiply by .276). The other placements can be calculated using the chart.

Component Compatibility

Speakers are not used alone; they are bought for the purpose of elevating sounds from various audio sources, such as CD players, MP3 players, and DVD players. Additionally, many speakers are also paired with a compatible amplifier to further elevate the speakers’ sounds and performance.

However, buyers need to ensure that the characteristics from their other components match with speakers that are being purchased. For instance, if the amplifier is "bright", then "bright" floor standing speakers may result in an unpleasant listening experience by being overbearing. However, this may not be a problem if the preamplifier is equipped with high and low adjustment controls.

Preferred Music Genre

The musical preference of the buyer may not seem like such an important factor when selecting speakers, but it still plays a part. While most speakers of a certain price range may be good for all music types, many of them still provide more or less bass, woofer, and voice quality than others. Some speakers are more conducive to a laid back groove, such as acoustic music or jazz, while others are more amped up for the heavy bass of rap and rock music.

The bad news is that the specification of the speakers probably does not recommend usage for any particular type of music, but buyers can easily read a few reviews from the manufacturers as well as other users to find out which ones may be more suitable.

Diver Materials

This may be a little technical for some buyers, but they can look for the driver material information in the seller’s description or ask the seller to provide that information. The driver material details can be found directly beneath the speaker grill. As a general rule, buyers should stay away from driver materials that include uncoated paper or piezoelectric tweeter. In addition, the speaker surrounding materials should at least comprise rubber or high density foam.

How to Buy Floor Standing Speakers on eBay

When buying floor standing speakers, it is best to have a wide variety so as to sift through the various selection criteria and find the right option. Some buyers prefer to go into a local store to buy speakers, but the stores often have a limited stock supply and variety. For persons who want more variety and convenience, eBay is a good place to start.

You can start off with a general search for floor standing speakers and browse through the many types and styles that are returned on the results page. However, if you already have certain criteria in mind and would like to narrow your search from the onset, you can enter the specific term within the initial search from the eBay home page. For instance, if you specifically want the high fidelity feature, you can search for "hi-fi floor standing speakers", and then that drastically cuts down the number of items returned and only include high fidelity types.

That result can be further filtered by brand, price range, and audio input. Therefore, you can select Eltix or Tannoy floor standing speakers and raw cable or banana jack, just to name a few. Once all filters and specifications are considered, you should select a few options and then contact the sellers for any additional details that were not made clear in the listing. Based on all the final details gathered, you can now make one final selection and proceed with your order.

Conclusion

There are many styles of floor standing speakers, and buyers who lack knowledge may simply choose a speaker set that looks nice and matches with their other furniture and components. While the outward appearance of the speakers should always be considered, buyers should ensure that they consider the most important factors first. Otherwise, they may not be satisfied with the end result when the speakers are installed and played.

Buyers should consider the size of their room versus the speakers that are being bought, and even if the room size is sufficient, the placement of the speakers greatly affects their performance. They should also ensure that the additional components are compatible and complement each other.

The driver materials and the music style may not be information that is easily procured from an advertisement, but buyers can easily find out more about their choices by asking sellers the right questions and doing a little research. In the end, buyers should ensure that they are comfortable with their selection and satisfied with its price, performance, and appearance.

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