When looking for an audio system, the majority of consumers opt for the best deal of the day. However a true audio lover may build their system slightly different and take more care in selecting their floor standing speakers . Adding in a great sounding pair of floor standing speakers is probably the easiest change a consumer can make if they are looking to improve their sound quality. They play a key role in an audio system as they are the front left and right channels. These front two channels are the driving force in any surround sound set-up.
When surround sound is not required, the floor standing speakers perform exceptionally well on their own. They have multiple speakers built into a channel, making the speakers capable of producing a wider range of frequencies, which provides a better, more accurate sound. Before a consumer purchases a set of floor standing speakers they need to consider how these speakers work and how they can fit into the house as they are quite large.
Considerations with Floor Standing Speakers
Purchasing floor standing speakers can be a tough decision. They need to fit into the home surroundings, and at roughly 90 cm tall, this can be a difficult task to achieve. How the speakers look as well as what deals are on offer usually determines a purchase. Floor standing speakers are available in a wide range of colours with the most popular being beech, cherry, and oak.
A quality set of floor standing speakers should already be tuned by the manufacturer, so consumers should not have to make any adjustments. Consumers with knowledge in tuning speakers can make adjustments if they like, but it is not a necessity.
Audio expectations need to be kept in mind when purchasing a set of floor standing speakers as they do not cover the full 20 Hz to 20 Khz range. There are sets available that cover the majority of this range; however, they can be at the more expensive end of the scale. This is not usually an issue as most consumers have a subwoofer as part of the entertainment system, and this subwoofer is able to pick up some of the slack on the lower ends.
Floor Standing Speaker Components
Many things go into making a floor standing speaker. There are six main components, and they are important in selecting a quality set of speakers.
Cones or Drivers
Any decent set of floor standing speakers has at least two cones. One for high frequencies called a tweeter—this is the smallest cone—and another larger cone for the mid and bass range frequencies. A really good quality set has three cones. The small cone or tweeter, a mid-sized cone, and a large cone, which correspond to the low, mid, and high range of frequencies.
The baffle is the area of the floorstanding speakers where the cones are mounted. The purpose of a baffle is to prevent the front and back sound waves from interfering with each other.
A bass port can be found on the front or back of floorstanding speakers. Some speakers have both a front and back bass port. The bass port is the hole that you see in the speaker cabinet. The size and shape of the hole is matched to the size and shape of the cones. Matching the sizes allows for optimal speaker performance.
Always try to purchase a pair of speakers that has four sets of terminals on the back. This means that consumers can bi-wire them, which means that the consumer connect the high and low range cones to separate amplifiers. Bi-wiring the speakers and using individual amplifiers provides the best sound while improving the control of the different frequencies.
If the floorstanding speakers are going to be positioned near any other electrical equipment, make sure the ones that are purchased have the internal magnetic coil shielded. An unshielded set of speakers can cause distortion to a TV if they are placed too close to each other.
Spikes are placed on the bottom of the floorstanding speaker cabinet. Not all floor standing speakers come with spikes. The spikes are designed to make the speaker cabinet completely independent of the surface it is sitting on which means the sound produced is purely the sound generated by the speaker.
Terminology for Floorstanding Speakers
The two most common technical terms concerning floor standing speakers are watts and ohms. Most consumers do not know the difference or have a full understanding of what each one does.
When the word watts is used, it describes the power that a floor standing speaker can handle, meaning it specifies the rate the electrical energy is dissipated. The watt figure has absolutely no association with the power of the amplifier required to drive them. A consumer does need to use some common sense in this department. If the speakers are 100 watts and the amplifier is only 10 watts, then music cannot be played too loud as the amplifier will run out of current and the sound would become distorted. Low-powered amplifier distortion is a common cause of blown speaker cones.
An ohm is a unit of electrical resistance that is equal to that of a conductor in which a current is produced. The majority of speakers work between 8 and 10 ohms with the resistance of most speakers being 8 ohms. Most amplifiers are compatible with speakers that run between 4 to 8 ohms. This needs to be considered before making a purchase.
Floor Standing Speaker Specifications
There are multiple variances in the way speakers can be measured, which makes it hard to interpret the specific specifications. The best way to choose a speaker is to test it, but there are consumers who purchase solely on specification. If so, it is helpful to actually know what those specifications mean.
Frequency response is the range of sounds a speaker can produce. Look for floorstanding speakers that have a full range, mid-range, or multiple drivers for the best frequency response. The speakers with the best high to low frequency balance are the best floorstanding speakers a consumer can buy.
SPL is the measurement of the speakers sound pressure level known as sensitivity. How much volume a speaker emits for its given voltage is sensitivity. For an efficient set of floorstanding speakers, look for ones with a high SPL number.
This actually goes hand in hand with speaker sensitivity. Speaker efficiency is the measure of the speaker’s ability to convert electrical power into sound. Efficiency is quite difficult to measure, and most manufacturers do not print this information anywhere. For the best consumer grade floorstanding speakers, an efficiency rating between 1 and 10 percent is quite good. More expensive floorstanding speakers can get up to 10 percent efficiency.
Power Handling Capabilities
This is an extremely important factor when it comes to connecting floorstanding speakers to an amplifier. Basically, this is the amount of power a speaker can handle without becoming damaged or distorted.
Resistance to Electricity
Resistance to electricity is otherwise known as impedance. When a speaker is in use, this level can vary slightly, but a standard specification should be listed somewhere in the book by the manufacturer. Resistance to electricity is generally listed as 4, 6, or 8 ohms. This is helpful information for matching amplifiers to floorstanding speakers.
Which Floor Standing Speakers are the Best Value for Money?
The best floor standing speakers a consumer can buy does not have to be the most expensive. But they must cover the six main components. A good quality floor standing speaker should have at least two cones for optimal sound. There should be at least four ports on the back of the speakers allowing for future growth. Spikes and magnetic shielding are also great options to choose. If a consumer has to go without one of the six main components, then the one that can be excluded is the spikes. A set of floor standing speakers should not be too big or too small for the room as they cannot perform at their best. A good set of floor standing speakers work best in mid-sized rooms.
How to Purchase Floorstanding Speakers on eBay
eBay is a great place to purchase floorstanding speakers. The best place to start is by conducting a keyword search, in this case "floor standing speakers ". eBay will display all the advertisements that match this search. It is really important to gather as much information as possible about the product as well as the seller. To gain product information read the seller’s ad thoroughly. If you still have unanswered questions, the seller can be contacted directly. To further research the seller, read the reviews other clients have left to see if they had a positive shopping experience.
Ask the seller if they can email you a music file that demonstrates the quality of the speakers when they are in use. Always check if the seller has a return policy so that the floorstanding speakers can be returned if they are not what you thought you were purchasing. Try and get a specific delivery price as shipping large items can be relatively expensive. If purchasing local, the seller may have you pick up speakers, which saves on delivery.
Before purchasing a pair of floor standing speakers, a consumer must decide what they want to use them for. This helps in deciding which speakers to buy. For an all around good sound, the speakers should have at least two cones and four sets of speaker connections on the back. This allows a consumer to upgrade their amplifiers at a later date if they choose to.
If money is not an issue, then purchasing a set of floor standing speakers with as many of the six components gives the consumer the best result. A consumer needs to understand the watts that a speaker system puts out, as this helps to prevent blowing out speakers. The speaker system must be matched to the amplifier in terms of output or the consumer cannot get the best results from the floor standing speakers. For a consumer to avoid interference with the TV, speakers should be shielded. For the best sound possible, consumers should look to floor standing speakers with spikes. There is a set of floorstanding speakers to suit every consumer's needs. Floorstanding speakers can be very expensive, but with the wide range offered on eBay, there is something for everyone.