How to Choose the Right Floor Speakers
Filling the room with sound
A larger room filled with furniture and objects will absorb sound and make a smaller speaker system sound tinny and disconnected. Instead, try something like the Wharfedale Reva-4, which has dual 6 inch woofers (bass speakers) to deliver a more authoritative sound.
Similarly, the Wharfedale Diamond 250 has dual 8 inch woofers, great for a home sound system or for home theatre. Basically, with high end speakers like these, the smaller the room, the smaller the speaker diameter – but you still get clear, bright sound thanks to the quality of the engineering.
Fitting in with the decor
No matter which size hi-fi floor speakers you choose, you should think about how they are going to integrate into your living space. A pair of ultra-modern looking Wharfedale Reva may sound great, but if you like cosy, old-fashioned decor they may not look right. Fortunately, Wharfedale – founded in 1932 – has just the thing if you’re looking for speakers with that old-fashioned wooden appearance. The Airdale Heritage speakers are housed in a hand-oiled and waxed walnut veneer hexagonal cabinet that would look at home in an English country mansion.
Try something new: Go electrostatic
If, however, you are interested in trying the latest technology, why not take a look at the Quad ESL electrostatic speakers. Traditional speakers work because an electromagnet receives a current from the amplifier which pushes the speaker cone in and out to create a sound wave. In an electrostatic speaker, a thin plastic film sandwiched between two panels vibrates when a signal passes through the panels. Electrostatic speakers are usually tall and thin. If you want to enhance a modern room with state-of-the-art technology, this is the way to do it.
Speaker placement matters
Try not to have speakers right up against the wall. You’ll find that moving them out from the walls between half a metre and a metre will give a better sound. This lessens early reflections, which is sound bouncing off walls and objects that reaches the listener in addition to the main sound.
If you’ve visited a sound studio you may have noticed the acoustic baffling on the walls, which is designed to trap early reflections and ‘deaden’ the room so that only the direct sound from the speakers is heard by the engineers.
For home theatre floor speaker placement, place your main speaker right under the screen, then fan out the other speakers in an arc in front and behind. Experimentation will produce the best results for your particular set-up.From the traditional to the space-age, from 5 inch to 22 inch, there is a speaker system that will suit your lifestyle. Experiment with speaker placement, and move them around until you find a spot where your music sounds best to you. After all, that’s what buying speakers is all about – pleasing your ear.