Tower Speakers: Giants of the Audio World – An In-depth Review
In the sea of sonic devices, tower speakers, often referred to as floor standing speakers, stand tall both figuratively and literally. These monoliths of sound aren’t just about size, they produce some of the purest, room-filling audio.
Whether you’re an audiophile with an insatiable appetite for sound clarity or a home theater enthusiast seeking cinematic sound quality, tower speakers have often been the go-to solution.
In this review, we’ll delve deep into their world, assessing their performance, design nuances, and where they fit into the modern sound landscape. We have reviewed some of the best tower speakers by several different audio brands and in ranges from budget to high end price entries.
Our budget range is designed for those looking to upgrade their sound experience without breaking the bank, which includes speakers priced up to $250. Next, we have the mid-range category for enthusiasts who are willing to invest a bit more for enhanced sound quality, encapsulating speakers up to $1000.
And, for the discerning audiophile for whom price is no object, we present the high-end range, starting from models priced above $1000. Our selections in each category are based on rigorous testing, user reviews, and overall value for money to offer you the best recommendations.
The Best Tower Speakers
Budget Tower Speakers Under $250
Polk Monitor XT60 Tower Speaker
The Polk Monitor XT60 stands out for impressive performance, but also for its wallet-friendly price, coming in under $250. For those on the hunt for a blend of affordability and quality, you should certainly consider this speaker.
Starting with aesthetics, the Polk MXT60, with its sleek midnight black finish, ensures that it fits seamlessly into any decor while hinting at the power contained within. And power it indeed has. Its Dynamically Balanced acoustic array boasts a 1” High-Resolution Terylene Tweeter and a 6.5” Polypropylene Woofer, complemented by two 6.5” Passive radiators. The result? Sound that is rich, detailed, enveloping and typically Polk Audio.
This tower speaker truly shines when it comes to delivering crisp, clear highs, paired with a bass that is both profound and effortless. Its Hi-Res Audio Certification ensures it can render even the subtlest nuances of tracks, so listeners can enjoy a front-row experience in their living room.
The compatibility with cutting-edge Dolby Atmos, DTS:X, and Auro 3D ensures that movie nights becomes almost cinematic. This speaker brings films to life, immersing the listener in a soundscape that transports them straight into the scene.
Another significant advantage of the Monitor XT Series is the flexibility it offers. Designed with timbre-matched Polk components, it allows users to curate their unique sound environment, whether they’re looking for a simple setup or aiming to build a full-blown 5.1 surround sound experience with additional models like the MXT20, MXT30, MXT90, and MXT12.
All in all, the Polk Monitor XT60 Tower Speaker provides unmatched value at its price point. If you’re looking for a floor-standing speaker that punches well above its weight without burning a hole in your pocket, this model should be at the top of your list.
- Great value
- Very sleek and stylish
- Excellent midrange
- Lows and high frequency could be better
Klipsch R-610F Floorstanding Speaker
Klipsch has an impeccable legacy of producing state-of-the-art audio equipment, and with the R-610F Floorstanding Speaker, they’ve once delivered and best of all, it’s pretty cheap for a tower speaker.
Although standing modestly at 37 inches, this speaker packs a punch well above its weight, and will elevate your auditory experience, be it movies or music.
One of the standout features of the R-610F is the signature Klipsch horn-loaded tweeter. Combined with a spun-copper IMG woofer, this speaker guarantees deep bass extension, ensuring your sound is not only loud but also clear and rich.
The exclusive linear travel suspension (LTS) offers enhanced, detailed performances by minimizing distortion, and the clarity for a speaker in this price range is impressive.
Such quality is further amplified by the Kapton material used in the tweeter suspension. Known for its lightness and rigidity, Kapton ensures high efficiency and improves resolution and detail. This makes the LTS tweeter a hallmark feature not just for the R-610F, but for Klipsch speakers in general.
The R-610F also boasts injection-molded graphite (IMG) woofer cones, noted for their lightweight and rigid properties. This ensures remarkable low-frequency responses again with minimal distortion.
The meticulous design extends to the rear Tractrix port, which syncs perfectly with the cabinet and woofers, ensuring optimal airflow with minimal distortion, even at the lowest frequencies.
Aesthetically, the R-610F has a modern, polished look. The exposed fasteners, angled feet, and low-profile magnetic grilles contribute to its chic appearance. All in all, this Klipsch tower speaker is highly impressive, well under $250 and the full range clarity is surprising.
- Excellent value
- Very sleek and stylish
- Excellent mids and highs
- Not much to dislike at this price
Sony SS-CS3 3-Way 4-Driver Floor Standing Speaker – Pair
The quest for high-quality sound often comes with a hefty price tag, but every once in a while, a product emerges that strikes the perfect balance between affordability and performance.
Enter the Sony SS-CS3 3-Way 4-Driver Floor-Standing Speakers. With a price tag of around $400 for a pair, depending on the retailer, they firmly sit in the budget range for many. But don’t let the price fool you, because these SONY tower speakers pack a punch.
Designed with meticulous attention to detail, the SS-CS3 promises an audio experience like no other in this price range. Part of Sony’s renowned Core Series, these floorstanding speakers are a testament to the brand’s commitment to delivering top-notch sound quality.
The promise of “music being played right there” in your room isn’t an exaggeration. With its Wide-Dispersion Super Tweeter system, vocals come alive, hitting those high-frequency notes with precision. The clarity doesn’t stop at vocals, the instruments resonate with authenticity, giving a feeling of being at a live concert.
High-Resolution Audio is a standout feature. For those who’ve delved into the world of high-res music, you know the difference it can make. By capturing music with enhanced depth and detail, every note, every breath, every subtle nuance of the artist’s creation is brought to the forefront, allowing you to feel the music.
The Sony SS-CS3 3-Way 4-Driver Tower Speakers are a testament to the idea that you don’t always have to break the bank for quality sound. From the moment you press play, you’re transported into a realm where instruments are not just sounds but entities with position and depth, all contributing to an expansive soundstage.
- Excellent sound profile
- Booming bass
- Great value
- Not magnetically shielded
- Quite bulky
Mid-Range Prices: Up to $1000
Cerwin-Vega XLS-12 Floor Tower Speaker
Cerwin-Vega’s reputation as an audio specialist is second-to-none, and the XLS-12 will blow your mind. Heralded as the most coveted tower in the brand’s Classic Series, it effortlessly combines a modern aesthetic with powerful audio prowess, delivering a sound experience that captivates.
At the heart of the XLS-12 is a robust 12-inch (available from 8″ to 15″), cast frame high-excursion woofer, promising deep and resonant bass tones, and believe me it will shake your entire room.
Accompanying the sub is a 6.5-inch mid-range speaker that provides a balanced and smooth audio output. The 1-inch soft dome tweeter, enhanced with Ferro Fluid and coupled to Cerwin-Vega’s proprietary mid and high-frequency waveguide, ensures highs are crisp, clear, and meticulously detailed.
Such a setup makes the tower’s three-way performance up there with the very best, especially when its loud.
Talking of power, the XLS-12 stands tall. Capable of handling up to 300 watts, this speaker transforms your home into a live concert. Its frequency response, ranging from 37 Hz to 20 kHz, ensures no note is missed, from the lowest rumble to the highest tinkle.
The tower’s build isn’t just about performance, it’s also a visual treat, IMO. It’s not everyone’s cup of tea, but the black-ash enclosure and grill is simple yet elegant, ensuring the XLS-12 complements any room decor. And, features like fuse protection guarantee longevity, ensuring that the XLS-12 will last.
All in all, the Cerwin-Vega XLS-12 tower speaker is a statement of style, and a testament to sound engineering. For those seeking a blend of beauty and brute audio strength without compromising on either, this big bass beast should be considered.
- Awesome and deep bass
- Crisp and clear
- High sensitivity
- Cabinet design could be better
- Quite big
Klipsch Synergy Black Label F-300 Floorstanding Speaker
Our second Klipsch tower speaker, A brand known for its exquisite audio equipment, and with the introduction of the Synergy Black Label F-300 Floorstanding Speaker, they’ve solidified that reputation once more. This tower speaker is an absolute statement—a testament to the art of sound engineering.
Right out of the box, the aesthetics of the F-300 exude a sleek and modern aura. Its dimensions, at 42″ H x 9.5″ W x 16″ D, are commanding yet elegant. But as any audio enthusiast knows, it’s what’s inside that counts.
With Klipsch’s iconic Tractrix Horn technology spearheading its features, listeners can expect precision and clarity, especially in the higher frequency ranges. The aluminum diaphragm compression driver, which serves as the tweeter, ensures that each note, whether a subtle whisper or a piercing guitar riff, is crystal-clear.
The addition of the Linear Travel Suspension works brilliantly to minimize any potential distortion, a problem often faced by many tower speakers in the market.
But what truly sets the F-300 apart are its dual 8” copper IMG woofers. Bass aficionados will revel in the tight, punchy musical bass these woofers produce. It’s the kind of depth that resonates, not just with the ears, but with the soul.
Given the stature and design of these speakers, they’re particularly apt for large rooms, effortlessly filling the space with lifelike audio reproductions. Whether you’re enveloping yourself in the haunting scores of a film or blasting your favorite tracks, the F-300’s efficient design ensures more output using remarkably less energy.
For those considering buying the set (they come as a single or a set of two tower speakers), the recommendation is to place them 6-15’ apart, ensuring they’re at least 24” from the back and side walls. This will truly optimize your listening experience.
- Excellent sound profile
- Very sleek and stylish
- High sensitivity
- Not the cheapest
- Quite heavy
Polk Audio – Signature Elite ES55 Hi-Res Tower Speaker
In the quest for aesthetic elegance and acoustic prowess the Polk Audio Signature Elite ES55 Hi-Res Tower Speaker doesn’t just fit into this niche, it proudly defines it.
Right off the bat, the ES55’s bass capability is a head-turner. Thanks to Polk’s Patented Power Port Technology, the speaker boasts a bass output that’s 3dB louder than its conventional counterparts.
For listeners, this translates to a deep, heart-thumping, and distortion-free bass, enriching both cinematic and musical experiences. Quite simply, the bass is precise, rich, and encompassing. Come on it’s Polk! What did you expect?
High-Resolution Audio is, without doubt, the gold standard for audio enthusiasts, and the ES55 stands tall in this realm. The Polk tower speaker’s compatibility with both 4- & 8-Ohm and its high sensitivity ensure that it can reproduce sound with stunning clarity and depth, delivering rich vocals and instruments right into your living room.
A speaker isn’t just about sound, it’s also a piece of furniture. And the ES55’s design is a testament to Polk Audio’s commitment to aesthetics. The modern look effortlessly blends with diverse home décors.
Its acoustically inert enclosure, constructed from Medite MDF, not only ensures noise-free sound but also adds a touch of elegance to your space. The anti-diffraction magnetic grille is an added bonus, ensuring minimal sonic interference, and the clarity is definitely noticeable.
Installation and placement can often be the bane of setting up audio equipment. Polk Audio understands this all too well. The ES55 features dual gold-plated 5-way binding posts for a seamless connection, and its versatile rubber feet cater to both carpet and hard floors.
In essence, the Polk Audio Signature Elite ES55 is a blend of art and science. While not the cheapest, especially if you want 2, you’re getting top-tier performance, a modern design, and the promise of an unparalleled audio experience.
- Excellent sound range
- Clear and tight bass
- Classy design
- Not the cheapest
- Quite bulky
High-End Price Entries Over $1000
Bowers & Wilkins 600 Series Anniversary Edition Tower Speaker
Bowers & Wilkins has long been at the forefront of high-fidelity audio, and their latest offering, the 600 Series Anniversary Edition Floorstanding Speaker, further establishes this pedigree. Celebrating 25 years of crafting exceptional sound with their 600 Series, this Anniversary Edition stands as a testament to their commitment to sonic excellence.
Visually, the speaker itself is a sleek marvel. But, as always, the magic lies beneath its elegant exterior. At the heart of the 603 S2 is a blend of superior technological components, each meticulously crafted to elevate your auditory experience.
Starting with the 1″ Decoupled Double Dome Aluminum Tweeter, it boasts a dual-layer aluminum dome powered by a neodymium magnet. This technology, borrowed from their 700 Series, assures smooth, crystalline high frequencies. The isolation of this drive unit from the main cabinet with a decoupling rubber ring further enhances clarity and provides a rich imaging experience, that will simply astound you.
The 6″ Continuum Midrange is a revelation. Bowers & Wilkins’ proprietary woven material masterfully balances control with flexibility, delivering a clarity that is truly awe-inspiring, particularly in the midrange. Vocals become more intimate, guitars more vibrant, and instruments shine with a newfound authenticity.
Bass enthusiasts aren’t left behind, thanks to the dual 6.5″ Paper/Aramid Fiber Bass Drivers. These drivers guarantee a room-filling bass, rich in power and precision. The combination of paper and aramid fibers in the cones ensures minimal distortion, allowing listeners to immerse themselves fully in the deepest tones without compromise.
The inclusion of the Flowport is a subtle yet crucial touch, designed to reduce air turbulence and, in turn, deliver clearer bass tones. And the magnetic grille isn’t just a functional addition but also a stylistic one.
The Bowers & Wilkins 600 Series Tower Speaker is a celebration of sound. With the enhancements to its crossover network promising more clarity and smoother high frequencies, it offers a listening experience that’s simply amazing.
- Clarity like you wouldn’t believe
- Deep bass
- Classy look
KEF – LS60 Wireless Floorstanding Speakers Pair
In life, there’s a saying that quality often comes at a price, and with the KEF LS60 floor-standers we’ve saved our most expensive but best tower speakers until last. While they undoubtedly sit at the top end of the market (although there are much more expensive ones), the premium you pay ensures an unparalleled audio experience.
Drawing inspiration from the revered Blade’s Single Apparent Source technology, the LS60 is a technological marvel. Boasting a 12th Generation Uni-Q driver array, the groundbreaking Metamaterial Absorption Technology, and Uni-Core bass drivers, these speakers are an amalgamation of KEF’s best innovations.
The Metamaterial Absorption Technology, in particular, is noteworthy for its ability to eliminate an astonishing 99% of high-frequency distortion, and the pristine audio clarity it produces is simply unbelievable.
The LS60 doesn’t just sound amazing – it embodies convenience. With integrated DAC and amplifier capabilities, it offers a genuine high-fidelity experience without the added cost or clutter of an external amp.
Its out-of-the-box wireless compatibility, including Wi-Fi, Apple AirPlay 2, Google Chromecast, and Bluetooth, allows for effortless connectivity, catering to a broad spectrum of listeners.
Aesthetically, the slim floor-standing design ensures that the LS60 is more than just an auditory delight. Available in three finishes – Titanium Grey, Mineral White, and Royal Blue – these speakers can serve as statement pieces that meld effortlessly into any interior décor, ready to impress both visually and acoustically.
The expansive soundstage and incredible resolution of sound produced by the KEF LS60 Wireless Floorstanding Speakers are genuinely dreamlike. These are a significant investment, but if you want sonic perfection, these speakers are as close as it gets in today’s market.
- Dreamlike soundstage
- Incredible bass
- Streaming capability
- Out of most people’s price range
Focal Aria 948 Floor Standing Speaker
For the aficionado seeking an unparalleled audio experience, the Focal Aria 948 is an absolute sonic masterpiece. Embodying the essence of true acoustic prowess, this 3-way floorstanding loudspeaker transcends conventional auditory expectations, and delivers a listening experience that’s nothing short of exquisite.
It’s not the cheapest, but honestly: wow! At the heart of the Aria 948 is its unique 8¼” (21cm) speaker drivers. Engineered for perfection, these drivers render bass that’s not just deep, but so intense and controlled, you will feel every frequency.
A clear nod to those who ardently value the nuances of music, Focal’s ‘F’ cones stand out for their ability to produce sound with minimal distortion, giving richer mid-tones and a snappier bass. The resultant sound is cohesive and pulsating and will ensure you’re excited for every time you go to use it.
Another of the defining features of the Aria 948 is the innovative TNF tweeter. Borrowing inspiration from Focal’s revered Utopia Beryllium tweeter, the TNF tweeter integrates Poron suspension. This ingenious inclusion ensures a remarkable reduction in distortion, especially in the 2-3kHz spectrum, a range where human hearing is particularly sensitive.
If that’s not enough, the Flax cone stands as a testament to the brand’s commitment to innovation, exuding originality in both design and function. Aesthetically, the Aria 948 tower speaker strikes a delicate balance between classical elegance and modern sophistication, making it a piece of furniture that blends in and stands out in any room.
All in all, the Focal Aria 948 is quite simply an experience. For rooms of larger dimensions and for those who refuse to compromise on any aspect of sound, the Aria 948 floor standing speaker is unmatched. It’s expensive, but within most people’s budgets, and for your buck you’re getting a masterstroke in audio engineering, wrapped in sheer elegance.
- Amazing soundstage
- Natural sound
- Slick and classy cabinet
Tower Speakers Buyer’s Guide
Tower speakers, often referred to as floorstanding speakers, are a cornerstone for audiophiles and casual listeners, who are looking for room-filling sound. If you’re in the market for one or a pair, this guide is designed to help you understand the essential factors to consider and ensure you make an informed purchase.
Size and Space:
Consider the Room: Tower speakers are designed to fill space with sound, but they also take up physical space. Measure your room and decide where you’d place the speakers. And ensure there’s enough breathing room around them for optimal sound distribution.
Frequency Response: A broader frequency response generally means the speaker can reproduce more lows and highs. For instance, a range of 20Hz-20kHz would cover deep bass to high treble.
Driver Configuration: Tower speakers can have different driver configurations, such as a 2-way or 3-way design. Each configuration affects the speaker’s ability to reproduce different frequencies accurately. Determine which driver configuration suits your listening preferences.
Sensitivity: Often measured in dB (decibels), sensitivity is a critical factor in determining the efficiency of a speaker. It indicates how loud a speaker will play at a given power level or when one watt of power is applied. Essentially, a speaker’s sensitivity tells you how effectively it converts power into sound. A good range to aim for is 87 to 92 dB.
Measured in watts, power handling refers to the maximum amount of power a speaker can manage before distortion or potential damage occurs. This parameter gives an indication of how robust a speaker is and its ability to handle peaks in the audio signal.
While some floorstanding speakers come with built-in amps, many are passive and benefit from an external amplifier. When pairing these speakers with an amplifier, it’s essential that the amp’s power output falls within the recommended range of the speaker’s power handling.
Overpowering can lead to distortion and potential damage, while underpowering can result in lackluster performance. It’s paramount to find a balance, ensuring your speaker performs optimally without risk of harm.
Impedance, represented in ohms, is a measure of resistance a speaker offers to the current flow from an amplifier.
Common values are 4, 6, and 8 ohms. Selecting the right impedance is essential for both the longevity of your equipment and the quality of sound. Mismatching impedance can lead to the amplifier working harder than it should, potentially overheating or causing damage.
While many modern amplifiers support a range of impedances, always consult your amplifier’s specifications and ensure they match your speaker’s for optimal performance.
The construction and materials used in a speaker greatly influence its sound quality and lifespan. Solidly built cabinets, often made of dense materials like solid wood or MDF (Medium Density Fiberboard), play a vital role.
They minimize resonance, ensuring the sound produced is clear and free from unwanted vibrations or distortions. And, the quality of internal components, including crossovers, wiring, and dampening materials, contribute to the speaker’s overall performance.
Investing in a speaker with superior build quality not only promises better sound but also a longer-lasting audio companion.
How a tower speaker connects to your amplifier or receiver is of paramount importance. Traditional speakers utilize binding posts or spring clips for wire connections.
However, high-end models may offer advanced features like bi-wiring or bi-amping. Bi-wiring uses separate cables for the treble and bass modules, potentially improving sound clarity, while bi-amping involves using two separate amplifier channels for the same purposes.
Always ensure your chosen speaker’s connectivity options are compatible with your amplifier and consider features that might provide an upgraded audio experience.
Brand and Reviews:
Reputable brands usually offer better quality and customer service. That said, always check customer reviews to get insights on the performance and potential issues of specific models.
Tower speakers are sizable pieces of equipment that will be quite visible in your room. Ensure their design and finish complement your room’s decor.
Set a realistic budget. While high-end tower speakers can deliver unparalleled sound quality, many mid-range options offer excellent performance for their price.
Some tower speakers come with integrated subwoofers, atmos modules, or even smart features like Bluetooth connectivity.
Warranty and Customer Support:
Ensure the brand provides a solid warranty and responsive customer support.
Getting the Best Tower Speakers
Selecting the best tower speakers is a transformative move for your home audio. These pillars of sound have the capacity to breathe new life into your favorite movies, evoke emotions with every music track, and immerse you completely in your gaming worlds.
Every model we reviewed above comes highly recommended, and you can be assured of their quality. Our recommendations stem from thorough testing or in-depth research, ensuring you’re only presented with the crème de la crème.
As you embark on this sonic journey, remember to consider your personal tastes, the acoustics of your space, and the intended purpose of your tower speakers. Dive into the world of immersive audio, and here’s to many sessions of ecstatic listening!
Tower Speakers FAQs
Are tower speakers any good?
Yes, tower speakers are highly regarded for their ability to deliver a full range of sound, from deep bass to crisp highs. They’re especially suitable for larger rooms where sound needs to be spread more extensively. Their vertical design allows for multiple speaker drivers, ensuring a rich and layered audio experience.
What are the best tower speakers?
The “best” tower speakers can vary based on individual preferences, room size, and budget. Popular brands include Bowers & Wilkins, Klipsch, and KEF, among others. It’s a good idea to read reviews, listen to the speakers in person if possible, and consider your specific needs before making a choice.
Which company is best for tower speaker?
Several companies are well-regarded in the audio industry for producing high-quality tower speakers. Brands like Bowers & Wilkins, Klipsch, KEF, and MartinLogan have all earned a reputation for their exceptional audio products. The best company often depends on individual preferences, desired features, and budget.
Should tower speakers be on the floor?
Yes, tower speakers, also known as floorstanding speakers, are designed to sit on the floor. They typically have built-in stabilizing feet or platforms. However, they should be placed on a stable, flat surface, and some enthusiasts might add additional isolation spikes or pads to enhance sound quality further.
Do I need a subwoofer with tower speakers?
While many tower speakers deliver robust bass due to their size and design, adding a subwoofer can enhance the low-frequency response, especially in larger rooms or for those who desire a more pronounced bass presence. It’s not always necessary, but a subwoofer can complement tower speakers nicely.
How long will tower speakers last?
With proper care and usage, high-quality tower speakers can last several decades. The longevity depends on factors like build quality, usage patterns, and environmental conditions. Regular dusting and avoiding overdriving them can help prolong their lifespan.
How do I get the best sound from my tower speakers?
Achieving the best sound involves positioning the tower speakers correctly, often away from walls and corners, ensuring they’re on a level surface, and angling them slightly towards the listening position.
Using high-quality audio sources, cables, and amplification will also enhance the sound. Room acoustics play a role, so consider treatments like rugs or wall panels to manage reflections and optimize sound quality.
How far should you sit from tower speakers?
The ideal distance varies based on the speaker’s design and the room’s acoustics. Generally, listeners should sit at least twice the distance of the space between the two speakers. For example, if your speakers are 8 feet apart, aim to sit at least 16 feet away for a balanced stereo image.
How far should tower speakers be from TV?
Tower speakers should ideally be positioned so that the tweeters are at ear level when seated. The distance from the TV will vary based on room layout and personal preference, but a general guideline is to place them at least 6-10 feet apart, creating an equilateral triangle with the main listening position. It’s also essential to ensure they do not obstruct the screen or are too close to prevent any potential interference.
I am a passionate and skilled car audio enthusiast with 15 years of experience in the industry. My journey started when I replaced my first set of factory car speakers, sparking a deep love for high-quality sound. Since then, I have worked as a representative for renowned brands like Kenwood and Alpine.
With a background in both retail and distribution, I have developed a comprehensive understanding of the car audio market. Currently a certified (MECP) installer in the Mobile Electronics industry, my expertise lies in delivering top-notch audio installations. My knowledge, coupled with my genuine passion, makes me the go-to professional for all car audio needs.