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Best Tower Speakers in 2022 – Reviews & Buyers Guide

Best Tower Speakers in 2021 – Reviews & Buyers Guide

A tower speaker, or tower speakers, is one of the best ways to really bring out the best sound possible in your setup. Whether you want to enhance your music listening or you want to set up a complete home theater, tower speakers really bring out the audio in a dynamic and reliable way.

Tower speakers come in a lot of different varieties and a lot of different price ranges. You will find multiple styles, budgets, and designs to choose from. That’s not even taking into account the various features and technicalities you will find as well.

Best Tower Speakers in 2021 – Reviews & Buyers Guide
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In this guide, we will share with you some of the best tower speakers on the market. We’ve found a lot of really great options and hope something here will work for you. We will present you with tower speakers in a range of prices, styles, and types. In addition, we also have some tips on how to choose tower speakers as well as a buyer’s guide and some FAQs to help you along the way.

How to Choose Floor Standing Speakers

Before we dig into the options, you need some basic information to lean on. If you’ve never purchased tower speakers or perhaps just aren’t sure what to look for, we’ve got some helpful details for you right here.

Tower Speakers Vs. Bookshelf Speakers

Tower Speakers Vs. Bookshelf Speakers
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When you’re looking at sound system options, you will see a lot of different speakers out there. How do you really know what you need or don’t need? A lot of people have the perception that a bookshelf speaker and a tower speaker are similar but that is not really the case. They are very different from build to output.

The bookshelf speaker is known for being compact. They can still be fairly large but when you compare them to tower speakers or floor standing speakers, you will find that they are actually not so large. Bookshelf speakers can even sometimes be mounted but tower speakers are made to be floor standing speakers instead. They don’t go on a shelf or mount on the wall.

What you will find is that bookshelf speakers have a tweeter and a woofer. Most tower speakers also have these. Towers also usually have a mid-range addition. The most noticeable difference in the sound is the bass and the ability to really hear the lowest bass notes, which is far improved in a tower speaker.

The bookshelf speakers have only two drivers (woofer and tweeter) most of the time. A tower on the other hand might have multiple drivers and each driver has a specific purpose. Those purposes sort out to bass, high notes, and then mid-range. The overall range is usually more advanced when compared to bookshelf speakers.

Sound Quality

The audio quality is really probably one of the most important elements of choosing a tower speaker, or any other speaker for that matter. Remember that the intention of this type of speaker is to bring your audio game setup to the top. This is the perfection for sound if you get it right.

The best tower speakers can get pretty pricy sometimes. You want to be sure that if you are spending the money, you are getting quality to back up that expenditure. It would be super disappointing to choose a speaker or speakers and then end up hating the sound.

There are several ways to get a feel for the audio quality but sometimes you don’t know until you get them. Try paying attention to the overall design, noting things like the materials, the driver elements, and even maybe reviews from other customers that have tried out the speakers you’re looking at.

Two-Way Vs. Three-Way Speakers

The next thing to be aware of when you’re looking at these floor standing speakers is that some might be two-way speakers and some might be three-way speakers. This may not make a substantial difference to you but they are not the same thing so you should know the basic differences.

Basically, the difference is that a two-way speaker uses two drivers to produce sound while a three-way speaker uses three drivers. That’s a simple difference. Two ways ultimately separate frequencies into lows or highs and then the middle frequencies just kinda fall into one of those categories. The separation is typically done with a tweeter and a woofer.

The three-way speaker will actually separate those frequencies into three parts so they have more intuitive sound in some ways. These 3 drivers are separated into highs with tweeters, mid-range, and lows with woofers.

Here’s the catch. You might think that you can tell this just by looking at a tower speaker but you can’t always tell. You might only see a tweeter and a woofer at first glance but that tower speaker might still be a three-way speaker rather than a two-way.

We also want to point out that a tower speaker might have 5 drivers in an effort to perfect sound but that doesn’t make it a 5-way speaker. The elements that cross those drivers together most likely make it a three-way speaker.

Compatibility

When you’re setting up a home theater system, you want to be sure that all of the parts and pieces will work together to bring you great sound. Maybe you are only using standing speakers or maybe you plan to have a total surround sound system.

Whatever the case may be, you always need to be sure that various parts are compatible. Be sure that your speaker will connect to your devices. What type of connections can you use? Is it Bluetooth or auxiliary or perhaps something else?

If you need other parts like a center speaker, sound bar, or an amplifier, you also want to be sure that your standing speakers will connect and work with whatever you are using for those pieces. You can typically mix different brands but you still want to check for compatibility to know they will work together and do so properly for the best stereo sound.

The Best Tower Speakers Reviewed

Now that you have some basic information under your hat to make an informed decision, it’s time to review the best floor standing speakers. We’ve searched the market to bring you the very best out there. We’ve got some premium options, some budget-friendly options, and some middle of the line options.

What you can count on for all of them is that they are the best tower speakers to choose from. We made every effort to present a variety of choices with the understanding that we all have different preferences and budget ranges.

Here are our top picks.

1. Best Overall: Polk Audio Monitor 70 Series II Tower Speakers

Polk Audio Monitor 70 Series II Tower Speakers

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First up is our top pick overall. Polk Audio comes at a decent price and the quality is awesome. This is a three-way speaker that is built for multichannel home theater. The sound quality is outstanding and the design is really pretty great too. At first glance, you will see a nice tweeter paired with 4 woofers. It’s a bi-wire and bi-amp design.

This is a top of the line choice and it’s all about dynamic balance to your sound. It has immense power and the total combination is meant to bring you the best sound around. Polk Audio takes a stance to provide you awesome sound and do it affordably so the price of these high definition speakers might really be impressive to you.

The sound is crisp and clear and definitely stereo sound. The dispersion is wide and 3-dimensional so the sounds feel lifelike no matter where you set this up in your home. The production of vocals are realistic and clear. It’s an immersive experience.

These tower speakers from Polk Audio bring together bass, mid-range, and high notes for superior detail in sound. The frequency response is great. These are reliable and the company has some of the best customer services should you happen to run into any issues. You can also pair this with other Polk Audio pieces as well.

Specs:

Power: 300 watts
Tweeters:1 inch
Woofer:6.5 inches (x4)
Dimensions:15.6 x 7.7 x 42 inches

Key Features (On a scale of 1-10 with 10 being the highest)

  • Power: 10
  • Frequencies: 10
  • Sound: 10
  • Compatibility: 10
  • Overall Design: 10
Pros:
  • Polk Audio presents one of the best tower speakers on the market
  • Includes 4 woofers for ultimate sound
  • Super easy to connect and work with
  • Polk Audio believes in affordable quality
  • Magnetically shielded so other items don’t affect sound
Cons:
  • The lower noises are harder to get your setting just right. Everything seems slightly higher pitched

Why We Like It: We love that Polk Audio Monitor 70 brings you an option that works and sounds really awesome but they don’t charge you an arm and a leg to get it. Polk Audio really gets it right on every aspect of their design.

2. Budget Pick: Polk Audio T50 Budget Tower Speaker

Polk Audio T50 Budget Tower Speaker

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We know we just shared an option from Polk but we couldn’t pass by without their budget tower speaker option. This is a passive speaker. It comes as a single but you could also purchase it as a pair. You can even purchase a bundle so you get all of the pieces if you want to. The T50 is a simple design but it has reliable sound and that’s the part that counts, right?

These do sound best when you have a pair just because the boost gives you that stereo or full surround performance so it’s more and that’s what makes it stand apart. This is built with a tweeter, a woofer, and then two bass radiators.

The binding posts for connecting are really nice. They are gold plates and there is just one pair so it’s easy to connect and hold a reliable connection. These are designed to help you get a full 5.1 surround experience. Pair them up with all of the parts for a truly awesome sound experience.

The good news is that if you don’t want to buy the full bundle or perhaps you already have other pieces, this floor standing speaker is compatible with the majority of AV receivers out there so compatibility and getting everything connected together really shouldn’t be an issue.

Specs:

Power: 150 watts
Tweeter:1 inch
Woofer:6 inches + 6.5 inch bass radiators (x2)
Dimensions:8.75 x 9.25 x 36.5 inches

Key Features (On a scale of 1-10 with 10 being the highest)

  • Power: 9
  • Frequencies: 10
  • Sound: 10
  • Compatibility: 10
  • Overall Design: 9
Pros:
  • Compatible with most receivers
  • Can be bundled up for immersive sound
  • Peak power uses less but still creates great surround sound
  • Quality speakers at an affordable price
  • Easy to use and connect
Cons:
  • At times the bass can sound muffled or not loud enough

Why We Like It: When you find a reliable brand, why not stick to them? Polk does it right here and they do it affordably. These floor standing speakers work great and are very easy to use for quality sound.

3. Best Value: Rockville TM150B Home Theater System

Rockville TM150B Home Theater System

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If you want the best bang for your buck, these floor standing speakers from Rockville are pretty great. They are made to reflect modern technology and they do a great job of that. These Rockville speakers are not your typical tower speakers. When you look at them, you see a sleek exterior as well as additions like a digital touchpad and a side panel.

This is a powered home system in a set of speaker towers. You may not even need or want other pieces of a system because these were designed to do it all for you. They have built in Bluetooth as well and that offers a 150-foot range without interference.

The tower speakers have built in USB as well as built in SD cards and FM radio. The radio gets great reception so that’s a pretty cool addition. You will also receive a remote control that allows you to do pretty much anything you need from your couch or across the room.

The material of the cabinets is an inexpensive MDF material. This is built well but also keeps the costs down. You will even find 2 sets of RCA outputs that help to make your system expandable.

Specs:

Power: 250 watts
Tweeter:1 inch
Woofer:10 inches
Dimensions:12.99 x 6.3 x 37.4 inches

Key Features (On a scale of 1-10 with 10 being the highest)

  • Power: 9
  • Frequencies: 10
  • Sound: 9
  • Compatibility: 10
  • Overall Design: 10
Pros:
  • Modern technology added to tower speakers
  • Includes a 10-inch woofer and 3 mid range
  • Bluetooth and FM radio capability
  • Tons of compatibility with just about any device
  • Great value for the money
Cons:
  • Music doesn’t seem to be able to be turned up very loud if you want a lot of volume

Why We Like It: We love that Rockville added something extra to their setup. They thought of what technology should give you and then rose to that challenge. It’s all about ideas and ingenuity sometimes and that’s where these Bluetooth floor standing speakers stand out.

4. Dayton Audio T652 Dual 2-Way Tower Speaker

Dayton Audio T652 Dual 2-Way Tower Speaker

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Dayton Audio brings you a best tower speaker that is simple and responsive. It’s a 2-way speaker and the sound quality is really great for this setup. Each tower is equipped with two woofers as well as a tweeter. The tweeter is made with polycarbonate as well as ferrofluid for cooling.

These tower speakers are made to have a somewhat slim profile but are still a decent size. They have changed the drivers to use a bass reflex design for deep bass. Considering the price of these, you will be pleasantly surprised with the sound quality as well as the details in the sound.

Add these to your home theater system or just use them as is. The bass frequencies make a significant difference on this two way tower speaker. It helps to provide balanced sound. These have exceptional sound for the price and build but they are cheaper speakers compared to some of the options out there.

These two way speakers are simple and yet effective. You can easily connect them to a larger sound system to get the full immersive experience with surround sound or a home theater type system. Whether you’re watching movies or you just want to enjoy your sound, you will be good with these best floorstanding speakers.

Specs:

Power: 150 watts
Tweeter:5/8 inch
Woofer:6.5 inches (x2)
Dimensions:7.1 x 9.5 x 30 inches

Key Features (On a scale of 1-10 with 10 being the highest)

  • Power: 10
  • Frequencies: 9
  • Sound: 9
  • Compatibility: 10
  • Overall Design: 10
Pros:
  • More detailed sound for less money
  • Not an overly large speaker set
  • Enhanced bass performance range
  • Perfect price point for boosting your sound
  • Added auxiliary bass radiators
Cons:
  • The bottom end bass can get a little bit off in sound

Why We Like It: Sometimes better sound quality doesn’t have to cost a ton of money and these tower speakers prove that. They have a quality audio signal and really nice sound. The speakers perform almost as well as some of the high dollar options out there.

5. KEF Q550 Floorstanding Speaker

KEF Q550 Floorstanding Speaker

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This next set is a premium model and actually, you only get a single speaker for the price so if you want a pair of these large tower speakers, be prepared to buy 2. Buying 2 does make them pretty expensive speakers but the sound quality is very nice and they have a lot to offer with high frequencies and low frequencies alike.

These bigger speakers have extra reinforcement on the stand to hold them up with the vibration of bass kicks in. It also slightly elevates them from the floor so that your floor doesn’t muffle or affect any of the sound. It’s a pretty sweet setup. You can even get these in black, brown, or white.

You can use these powered speakers for surround sound, computers, TV, music, and more. KEF have a built in amplifier so you just connect them with auxiliary and enjoy the sound. They are sleek and the cabinet features a re-design from the brand that is award-winning in the industry.

This best tower speaker has enhanced Uni-Q drivers to help smooth out sound so that the sound quality is great regardless of highs and lows. Some of the other changes include upgrades to the drivers as well as rear suspension for immaculate bass.

Specs:

Power: 130 watts
Tweeter:unspecified
Woofer:5.25 inches (x2)
Dimensions:38 x 11.77 x 12 inches

Key Features (On a scale of 1-10 with 10 being the highest)

  • Power: 10
  • Frequencies: 10
  • Sound: 10
  • Compatibility: 10
  • Overall Design: 10
Pros:
  • Larger tower speakers built for volume
  • Unparalleled quality from a longstanding brand
  • Expensive tower speakers well worth their cost
  • Intelligent bass control for all sound levels
  • Loaded with midrange drivers, dome tweeters, and woofers that really come together
Cons:
  • These tower speakers come individually and are definitely more expensive

Why We Like It: These floorstanding speakers are perfect for surround sound setup or just listening to music. They’re versatile with a high frequency range and its own amplifier built into the speaker. The bass sounds can’t get much better.

6. Sony SSCS3 Three Way Speakers

Sony SSCS3 Three Way Speakers

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This three way tower speaker is another really great option. Sony has long been a brand in the electronics world. Their items are reliable and well-made. These highly-rated quality speakers are sold individually so you may need to purchase two. This will make them cost a little bit more but not super terrible.

This three way tower speaker uses a 4 speaker bass reflex system to create bass frequencies and hit all of the lowest notes for you. Of course, that doesn’t stop it from also being able to hit those high frequencies, which is how you know you have one of the best tower speaker options to check out.

The cone tweeters in this bad boy include the standard 1-inch polyester tweeter as well as a 3/4 inch super tweeter, bringing you the best of a hi fi system in detailed high frequency response. The integrated subwoofer is reinforced with foamed mica. All of this gives these best speakers more detailed sound on both ends of the spectrum.

Whether you choose to use two speakers or stick with one for the price, the sound is reliable. These sport crossover componentry for the three way system that makes audio crisp and clear no matter what it is. They are super easy to connect and use and the price point is reasonable, even for the pair.

Specs:

Power: 145 watts
Tweeter:1 inch and 3/4 inch super tweeter
Woofer:5 1/4 inches
Dimensions:9 x 36 3/8 x 10 inches

Key Features (On a scale of 1-10 with 10 being the highest)

  • Power: 10
  • Frequencies: 10
  • Sound: 10
  • Compatibility: 10
  • Overall Design: 10
Pros:
  • Mid range price point for quality speakers
  • Includes a tweeter and super tweeter
  • Hits the lows and the highs
  • Longstanding brand
  • 3 way with 4 drivers
Cons:
  • You do have to purchase these individually

Why We Like It: What makes these tower speakers good is that Sony took measures to try to meet a frequency range for both lows and highs. You can enjoy musical instruments, movies, bass, and so much more with the frequency response design and spread here.

7. Samsung MX-T40 Sound Tower

Samsung MX-T40 Sound Tower

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This Samsung tower speaker is not your average speaker. It comes as a single floor standing speaker and that is ok because this one is actually designed to work alone so you don’t need a pair. It’s really pretty awesome and it’s highly-rated across the board as well. It’s larger than your standard tower speakers but remember it’s a single one.

This best tower speaker is really cool and it envelopes modern technology. The one we’ve shared here is their most basic model but you can easily upgrade to different options if you like. They have two other tiers to choose from and they are all pretty awesome.

This is a Bluetooth tower speaker but it can also be connected to devices via USB if they are USB compatible. It’s simple to operate and adjust to meet your preferences. It’s a simple control display right on the top of your speaker. This speaker uses bi-directional sound, which better fills a room from all angles.

You also get to enjoy LED party lights, which is pretty cool! These are enhanced with a bass booster but do not have your traditional tweeters, woofers, and mids on them like most towers so obviously do. They are even energy start certified.

Specs:

Power: 1,500 watts
Tweeter:2 tweeters, size undefined
Woofer:1 woofer, size undefined
Dimensions:10.6 x 11.5 x 20.9 inches

Key Features (On a scale of 1-10 with 10 being the highest)

  • Power: 10
  • Frequencies: 10
  • Sound: 10
  • Compatibility: 10
  • Overall Design: 10
Pros:
  • More power in an energy-friendly design
  • Connects through Bluetooth or USB
  • Includes LED party lights
  • Two tower speakers not required for awesome sound
  • Bi-directional sound to enjoy sound from all angles
Cons:
  • The bass is not the focus of this speaker so it doesn’t have full range

Why We Like It: Who wouldn’t like tower speakers that have LED party lights? That combined with bi-directional sound and impressive sound quality specs make this best tower speaker pretty awesome in our books. Plus, it’s an energy saver!

8. Jamo Studio Series S809 Floorstanding Speaker Pair

Jamo Studio Series S809 Floorstanding Speaker Pair

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Next up, we check out a pair of speakers from Jamo. These are very nicely made and developed with the pure intent of bringing you beautiful sound. These speakers are Dolby Atmos ready and absolutely sleek and powerful when you take a look at the specs. They don’t have a ton of ratings but those that they do have are mostly positive, making them highly-rated in many areas.

The tower speakers boast three woofers, all of which are 5 inches and are made from aluminized polyfiber. This is quality material and it typically makes for really nice sound and optimal bass in the frequency range.

The speakers are also equipped with Jamo’s Waveguide acoustic technology. This is used to help your floor standing speaker sound awesome on the high notes so they’ve hit both the highs and the lows with their design. The soft dome tweeter measures in at 1-inch, which is pretty common in the best tower speaker.

These also have a patent-pending fastening system that the brand has created. It’s a pretty cool addition to the design. This particular set has a black finish but the brand also has white and walnut finishes to choose from if those fit your style better.

Specs:

Power: 240 watts
Tweeter:1 inch
Woofer:5 inches (x3)
Dimensions:44.25 x 19.75 x 14 inches

Key Features (On a scale of 1-10 with 10 being the highest)

  • Power: 10
  • Frequencies: 10
  • Sound: 9
  • Compatibility: 10
  • Overall Design: 10
Pros:
  • Fully compatible with Dolby Atmos
  • Available in several color choices
  • Three woofers for better bass
  • Bi-amp or bi-wiring capability
  • Intuitive technological aspects in design
Cons:
  • The bass is not as strong as some like but still decent

Why We Like It: When you want the best tower speakers that show promising details, you will find them here. These tower speakers are well-designed from top to bottom so you really can’t go wrong. We love the brand’s attention to detail for the little things to make them that much better.

Buyer’s Guide

Buyer's Guide
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Now that you have an assortment of options to consider for your needs, why not take a look at some useful details that can help you make a fully-informed decision. This buyer’s guide is simply meant to help guide you through the buying process.

We will share some intuitive insight and some basic details for you to monitor and pay attention to before you buy.

Bi-Amping & Bi-Wiring

Some terms that you may hear in regards to floor standing speakers are things like bi-wiring or bi-amping. These are unique procedures designed to make your sound that much better. Your audio quality will benefit from this setup but a lot of times these are overlooked because of cost.

Your tower speakers are designed for you to set up how you like them so it stands to reason that the sound quality of any tower speakers will be affected by the quality of the wiring and overall setup. Now, that being said, sometimes a tower speaker just isn’t made well so this can also play a part in your sound quality if you aren’t careful.

If you know what you are doing, you should be able to set up even so-so tower speaker parts to work decently.

Something you may specifically want to look for on a tower speaker is the binding posts on the back of the speaker or speakers. If there are two pairs of binding posts on the tower speakers, this is good. With two sets of binding posts, you can use these for bi-amping and bi-wiring and it will actually probably take your sound to a whole new level.

You don’t have to do both of these for great sound either. You can do just bi-amping or bi-wiring and experience a notable difference.

Bi-amping basically allows you to connect two amps to a tower speaker. The name pretty much speaks for itself there. When you do this, one amplifier works for your low notes as well as your midrange drivers. The other amplifier is used for your high notes. This separates out the notes so that they can be better portrayed to you through the tower speaker.

Then you have bi-wiring. Bi-wiring (much like the name suggests) uses two sets of wires or cables for your connections to each tower speaker. It has much the same effect as bi-amping, it’s just through a different source. One of your cables will source the high notes and the other cable will source the lows and midrange drivers notes.

Of course, you can use whichever of these you prefer or have the supplies for. Obviously, bi-amping will require two amplifiers, which can get pricy and might also take up extra space. By-wiring on the other hand just needs the connections and the cables so it may be more affordable. However, bi-wiring does not always work as well.

Wireless Speakers Vs. Wired

You honestly will find it much easier to find wired speakers when it comes to floor standing speakers. It just seems to work better altogether for this type of setup as you have a more reliable connection. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t benefit from Bluetooth abilities still.

In fact, you might find that a Bluetooth or wireless speaker still allows you to have a wired connection if that is your preference. However, if you want to know for sure you have that backup plan, you better be sure to look for it!

The speaker industry, at least in this realm, still primarily sticks to wired floor standing speakers. The theory is that the sound quality is better because you have a consistent connection. The thing is that data has to travel in order to relay the sound. So when data travels through a wire, it’s just simple and it can handle large amounts of steady data at a time.

Bluetooth has always been more limited on the speed of data transmittal and how great it is really depends on your own internet and wi-fi strength, to be honest. Technology has come a long way and some speakers have added Bluetooth but also kept the wired functionality in place. Others have completely changed to Bluetooth, but you are more likely to see this in smaller, portable speakers or steady smaller bookshelf speakers, and more along those lines.

Bluetooth speakers are not typically only Bluetooth in the world of tower speakers, although it’s not impossible to find them. Bluetooth has significantly changed over the years but it’s still more challenging to incorporate for this type of product.

Whether Bluetooth or wireless is better is really a matter of personal preference for you. Just keep in mind connecting wireless speakers can sometimes be more challenging.

Budget

When you’re considering what speakers you should be purchasing, you need to consider your budget. You can see even from the variety of price ranges in this guide that there are tons of different prices. You can easily spend over $1,000 but you can also easily find much more affordable options that can still sound nice if you set them up well.

The budget parameters will totally be up to your own needs and ability. If you want the best of the best and you’re willing to spend more, that’s great! But if you’re looking for a reliable option on a tighter budget, you can find those solutions right here as well.

Basically, we want you to feel as though you can find something great that works for you, no matter where your budget line falls. We made every effort to choose a variety of budget points.

What you will find is that sometimes more expensive solutions do have better sound or better features or even better overall quality. But our point is that it doesn’t mean you’re getting something terrible if you go with something a little cheaper.

Speaker Size

Another aspect that you might want to keep in mind is the size of the speakers. You’ve got to make sure that your best tower speakers are going to fit into the area that you intend them to. It’s a good idea to somewhat plan the placement of your tower speakers and then find something that fits that space.

These speakers come in all different sizes. You really won’t find a “standard” size. In fact, you will notice that none of these that we’ve shared here with you will have the same measurements. Some of them may be similar but they are each unique when it comes to dimensions.

If you aren’t picky about the dimensions, that’s great! Just make sure you know and understand how various sizes will work or look in your space. Again, we don’t have a right or wrong answer for you. This detail will be all about your personal preferences and needs.

Frequently Asked Questions

Which is the Best Tower Speaker?

Our favorite overall pick is the Polk Monitor T70 as our best overall option. However, we think you will find that just about any of these options listed here will be pretty great in the end. There’s a variety of options and everything we share here is a top pick in our books.

Are Tower Speakers Better?

Tower speakers can be really great depending on what you are trying to do. If you’re adding to your sound, creating surround sound, or want really awesome sound, tower speakers are the way to do that! The best tower speakers are made to take your sound to the next level and that is pretty much all there is to it.

Are Tower Speakers Outdated?

Absolutely not! These continue to be popular and we don’t see that going away. They are not the only speaker solution but their value remains. You will find that technology continues to advance and change. New options will always be there but the tower speakers industry also continues to advance and improve in many ways so we wouldn’t count them out.

Conclusion

We hope that you find this guide to the best tower speakers to be a valuable resource. Finding the best tower speakers is one part of understanding your needs, one part knowing what to look for, and one part looking for quality solutions. We certainly tried to help you bring all of those parts together in this guide.

Which tower speakers do you have your eye on? We’d love to know your setup!

Expert Tip

If you want the best sound possible, look for speakers that will allow you to use bi-amping or bi-wiring solutions. These are a great way to really improve the sound, even when you don’t have the most amazing speakers on the market.

Did You Know?

Did you know that most tower speakers are sold in pairs but not all of them come that way? If you want a pair, be sure to pay attention to this detail so you know that you are getting the speaker or speakers that you really want. Sometimes paying attention to the details is one of the most important parts of making a decision.

Amazon Recommends:

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Sony SSCS3 3-Way Floor-Standing Speaker (Single) - Black
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Riptunes Portable Bluetooth Speaker, Wireless Speakers, Mini Tower Speaker with Colorful Lights, Aux-in, Micro SD, USB, Hands-Free Speakerphone and FM Radio - Black
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  • ♪FLASHING LIGHTS: The combination of colorful led lights will Flash...
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Dayton Audio T652 Dual 6-1/2" 2-Way Tower Speaker Pair
  • Dual 6-1/2" woofers provide superb bass power and punch
  • 5/8" polycarbonate dome tweeter with ferrofluid cooling

5 Best Budget Speakers for Turntable in 2022 – Reviews & Buyers Guide

One of the Best Budget Speakers for Turntable in red color

When it comes to the best turntable speakers there are a lot of options. Which model is best for you depends on your needs and requirements. You’ll have to consider the matter of budget and depending on how much you’re willing to spend you can get a discount, mid-priced, or high-priced speaker.

Then, you need to consider build quality, materials used, design elements, and finally features within the speaker model. Some speakers are made to maximize audio quality and give off a high-powered sound, while others focus on factors like in built amps and preamps. Consider whether bluetooth connectivity is a primary concern for you.

Speaker size and power value also play a role. You’ll need storage space for your pair. If you plan on carrying it around you’re better off buying a light-weight option. To make this decision easier for you we’ve compiled this list of the best budget speakers for turntable use. As you make your way through this list think carefully about which pros and cons apply to you.

5 Best Budget Speakers for Turntable

1. AudioEngine A2+

Best Overall
Audioengine A2+ Plus
  • 60W of power
  • Compact and light - 6lbs
  • Flat frequency response for accurate sound
Editor's Rating:
5.0
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Perfect for home office and small setups

On the list of best budget speakers for turntable the AudioEngine A2+ is a top choice. You can get these active speakers for an affordable price of under $300, putting them in the medium priced category. With wireless connectivity options, and a built in digital to analog converter these are the best speakers for vinyl.

Additionally, these bookshelf speakers use quality materials like a silk dome tweeter, Kevlar woofers, shielded wooden cabinets, high performance amps and top-of-the-line connections and wires that work well with any device. The budget speakers come with a bluetooth option, RCA cables, a USB port, and one-eighth inch input port.

The A2+ speakers have two RCA ports so you can connect the output to a bluetooth transmitter and use a bluetooth soundbar with it if you want to. You can also choose between a red, black and white color option.

Pros

  • Easy to use because you just need to plug in the USB or connect with the bluetooth
  • The DAC device results in a loud and crisp stereo sound perfect for a home cinema or for DJing
  • The active speakers work great with vinyl and come with a build in amplifier
  • Flat frequency response (65Hz-22kHz ±2.0dB) speakers give off an equal and pure audio quality, so you get an enhanced and accurate sound with little external interference
  • Superior build quality combined with a compact form of 6” x 4” x 5.25” that weighs a total of 6.7 lbs making it easy to carry
  • Accessories include optical cables, a speaker stand and a control panel with independent volume control
  • The power value for each speaker is 30W so the two speakers add up to a 60W rating
  • Auto standby mode extends battery life

Cons

  • Only one input source works at a time so you will have to turn off bluetooth to use the usb connection
  • Lack the bass response of a subwoofer, however, you can attach an external device

Why We Like It

The design for the A2+ model is meant to serve as a middle ground between home audio and desktop speakers. So you get a compact budget speaker with bluetooth connectivity, incredible performance, high sound quality, bass punch, and flat frequency response.

Conclusion

Overall, customers give the Audioengine A2+ Stereo speakers a 4.5 out of 5 star rating. The active speakers come with a build in amplifier and all the necessary cables to get it to work. With both bluetooth connectivity as a USB port it’s easy to use. And the flat frequency response improves the crispness of sound so you get a high quality listening experience.


2. Kanto Yu4 Speakers

Kanto YU4 Powered Speakers
  • Bluetooth connectivity
  • Built in ampplifier
  • Two optical inputs, a 3.5mm AUX and a subwoofer outputs
Editor's Rating:
4.6
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High-quality bookshelf speakers with maximum features

These mid-sized bookshelf speakers work well with turntables of all sizes. They measure 5.5 inches by 7.5 inches by 8.7 inches and weigh 6.9 pounds. The Kanto Yu4 Speakers are among the best speakers for vinyl on the market with a price range from $400 to $500 depending on the accessories and stand you choose to purchase. Despite costing higher than other budget options this pair of speakers will last you a long time. The durability combined with the build quality and sound response make it a contender on the list of best budget speakers for turntable use.

Various design features help make these high-quality speakers user friendly. The single knob control panel is placed on the front as opposed to the back. With a built-in pre amp you can connect these speakers to the turntable of your choice. You have a subwoofer output if you want to add more bass. Both the bass and treble are adjustable.

The company left nothing out, going above and beyond to perfect these bluetooth speakers. You don’t even have to worry about the battery life because the speakers automatically shift to standby mode to conserve energy. Additionally, you can pick a color and finish of your choice to customize your stereo speakers. Apart from the sleek matte black and white speakers there is even a bamboo option.

Pros

  • Bluetooth connectivity allows you to stream music from any device
  • Phono preamp makes your speakers compatible and connectable with all turntables
  • Remote control option to manage bass and treble levels
  • Two optical inputs, a 3.5mm AUX and a subwoofer output all help improve the speaker connectivity
  • The Kanto YU4 bookshelf speakers give off high quality sound
  • The speaker comes with an amplifier so you don’t need to attach any external device
  • Automatic standby mode helps preserve speaker battery life
  • The speakers come with all the needed cables and you can also use remote control
  • Parts include four inch kevlar woofers, a one inch silk dome tweeter, a class D amplifier and a subwoofer

Cons

  • More expensive than other budget speakers

Why We Like It

The AptX bluetooth speakers come with an inbuilt pre amp so you can stream music directly from your phone. With a focus on connectivity these bookshelf speakers let you set the mood. Whether you want to throw on your favorite vinyl records or stream a playlist the choice is yours. The audio quality definitely leaves nothing to be desired.

Conclusion

Overall, customers give the Kanto Yu4 Bluetooth Speakers a 4.5 out of 5 star rating. These high powered speakers come with built-in phono preamp and aptX tech. Additionally, high-quality parts like the 4 inch Kevlar drivers and 1 inch silk dome tweeters result in crisp high notes and steady mid-range notes that would please any audiophile.


3. Edifier R1280DB Powered Speakers

Best Budget Pick
Edifier R1280DB
  • Built in amplifier
  • Bluetooth connectivity
  • Has both optical and coaxial inputs
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Best budget pair of speakers

At under $130 per pair of speakers the Edifier R1280DB is the reigning king when it comes to best budget buys. Despite the affordable price you get a range of features like RCA ports, bluetooth connectivity, optical inputs, remote and onboard controls.

The bass and treble adjustment options on the side of the speaker makes this a top choice if you want to listen to vinyl records. Since the speaker uses active monitors you don’t need to get an amplifier to boost the volume. Also, these bookshelf speakers connect to analog and digital devices which lets you access a wide range of devices and music catalog.

The speaker measures 5.75 inches by 9.5 inches by 7 inches so it is slightly larger than the previous options. With speaker size you want to think about storage and whether you’ll need to transport it a lot. If these aren’t concerns then the larger size doesn’t matter.  In terms of color options you can get this speaker in a black or wood brown design.

Pros

  • Bluetooth connectivity lets you stream music from any device
  • Control panels lets you adjust the volume, treble and bass frequencies
  • Multiple RCS input ports let you connect 2 devices simultaneously
  • Speakers for turntables with analogue or digital sources
  • Inputs work with optical and coaxial needs
  • Active speakers remove the need for external amps
  • Battery operated wireless remote to switch inputs or bluetooth devices
  • Comes with all the needed cables, including speaker cable, optical cable, RCA cable
  • Frequency response ranges from 55 Hz to 20kHz
  • Power output of 21W RMS per channel
  • Hardware includes 4 inch bass unit, 13 mm silk dome tweeter and removable grills
  • Components made using solid mdf sheets

Cons

  • No built-in phono preamp so you will have to get your own
  • Since these are budget speakers their build quality is lower than other more expensive options

Why We Like It

The audio performance, crisp sound, and connectivity options are unmatched for turntable speakers at this price point making the Edifier R1280DB the best budget vinyl speakers on the market. The pair comes with 2 port RCA input cables, bass and treble controls. Overall, you get an output of 21W RMS per channel which adds up to a 42W total.

Conclusion

The Edifier R1280DB comes with a 4.5 out of 5 rating making it one of the best budget bookshelf speakers. These bluetooth budget speakers come with quality features like multiple input ports and output channels, built in amplifiers, and bass controls as well as a two year warranty which will last you a long time.

Related Review: Polk Signature Series S15 Bookshelf Speaker Review


4. Airpulse A80 Speakers

Airpulse A80
  • Bluetooth 5.0 connectivity
  • High power output - 100W RMS
  • App to customize speaker output
Editor's Rating:
4.2
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Powerful Bass Frequencies, Good Speakers for Vinyl

The Edifier A80 speakers are one of the best pairs for turntables, in terms of audio quality and sound clarity. These high powered speakers have a superior build quality and use the finest components, including transparent brand wiring, high-strength MDF sheets, horn-loaded ribbon tweeter, a 4.5 inch aluminum cone mid-woofer and an inbuilt digital amplifier with XMOS processor.

However, all these features, materials, and design qualities have a trickle down effect. The total cost of these money speakers adds up to around $600-$700. For many audiophiles the high price point is worth the audio quality. It all comes down to the type of speakers you’re looking for.

Pros

  • Power output of 100W RMS with audio that is loud, clear and powerful
  • Frequency response range from 52 Hz to 40kHz
  • Speakers measure 5.5 inches by 9.8 inches by 8.7 inches and weigh around 20.5 pounds.
  • Bluetooth 5.0 provides high resolution sound so you can stream music and get a clear and even result
  • Bass driver speakers with controls to alter the bass and treble levels
  • Foam pads provide acoustic insulation that prevents echo in the audio or external interference
  • Digital and analog setup speakers for turntables
  • Additional Sono units can further elevate the audio
  • Use the Sono app to customize the speaker sound according to your requirements
  • 3.5 mm input and RCA ports for easy attachment to a turntable
  • Multiple connectivity options include 2 RCA inputs, 1 optical input and 1 USB port, making these the best turntable speakers for vinyl
  • Materials include high-strength MDF sheets for the cabinet and foam lining for the interior soundproofing
  • Parts include a horn-loaded ribbon tweeter, a 4.5 inch aluminum cone mid-woofer and an inbuilt digital amplifier with XMOS processor

Cons

  • Expensive option that not everyone can afford

Why We Like It

The Edifier A80 high powered speakers come with an extensive list of features, high-quality audio, and expert build quality that make this speaker perfect for any turntables. Special features include acoustic insulation, built in amp, bass and treble remote controls, and an alumnium cone mid-woofer.

Conclusion

Customers give the Edifier A80 speakers and 4.5 out of 5 star rating, and for good reason. These are the best speakers on this list, in terms of audio and build quality, as well as, overall performance. However, while the features attract audiophiles, this quality comes at a high price point.

That said, the investment is definitely worth its while as you can use these speakers with any type of turntable or audio input. If you’re shopping in the $600 to $700 range there are no other speakers that can compete with this product in quality or design.


5. Sonos Five

Sonos Five
  • Compatible with Alexa and Google Assistant
  • Can be adjusted for stereo or mono effect
  • 3 tweeters and 3 woofers for robust sound
Editor's Rating:
4.0
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Best Wifi Speakers for Vinyl

The Sonos Five high powered speakers are a mid-range option of around $500. These are the best speakers for vinyl but you can also use them for streaming and get quality audio. You can get a lot of range out of these speakers by either placing a single speaker horizontally in a stereo position or both vertically and at a distance for a mono effect and broad sound stage.

The speakers measure 8 inches by 14 inches by 6 inches and weigh around 14 pounds making them comparatively light-weight. The 3.5mm input port lets you connect the speakers to the turntable. And if you want to customize and edit the quality of the output sound you can use the Sono Trueplay app or the Apple AirPlay2 to fine tune the audio.

What makes this one of the best turntable options is the range you get thanks to the various pieces. With the 3 multi-dimensional tweeters you get a surround sound effect that you control. The 3 sealed woofers provide the bass frequencies.

Pros

  • 3 multi-directional tweeters and 3 sealed woofers so you get a quality surround sound experience
  • The Sonos Trueplay app lets you finetune the sound levels and adjust the bass
  • When attaching to the turntables you can place the speakers horizontally or vertically to get a stereo or mono effect
  • The Sonos Five comes with higher memory and faster processing power than previous models
  • Speaker is humidity resistant
  • Speaker updates are automatic and effortless
  • On-board touch panel lets you adjust the control settings although you can also use Alexa and Google Assistant for a more interactive experience
  • The speakers comes with a power plug and a set up guide that lets you know how to connect them to the turntable

Cons

  • Unsuitable for audiophiles who prefer to separate their vinyl and streaming music setups

Why We Like It

The Sonos Five takes surround sound to the next level with its 3 multi-directional tweeters and 3 sealed woofers, set in an echo reducing acoustic design. This speaker comes with the Sonos Trueplay app which lets you adjust and fine tune sound levels. Overall, this is one of the best turntable speakers for vinyl or for streaming because of the powerful and clear sound output.

Conclusion

The Sonos Five comes with a 4.5 out of 5 rating making it one of the best high powered speakers for vinyl. These record player speakers come with quality features like multiple input ports and output channels, treble and bass controls as well as a control panel that lets you customize sound.


Buyers’ Guide

When you’re purchasing a turntable setup there are certain things you need to know so you can make an informed decision. These include the various components, how they work with one another, and the options you have. After all, you can’t get quality products if you don’t know what to look for.

Best Budget Speakers for Turntable Buyers Guide
Image by Kanto YU4 Powered Speakers with Bluetooth and Phono Preamp, Gloss Black from Amazon

The overall setup for your sound system determines what devices you will need to purchase.

  1. Type of set up: Common turntable and amplifier

Requirements: turntable, cartridge, phono preamp, speakers, amplifier

  1. Type of set up: Simple turntable and active speakers

Requirements: turntable, cartridge, phono preamp, active speakers

  1. Type of set up: Turntable and desktop speakers

Requirements: turntable, cartridge, phono preamp, computer

  1. Type of set up: Classic stereo system

Requirements: turntable, cartridge, speakers, amplifier

1.  Phono Preamp

How it works

Your turntable puts out a Phono signal, however, audio equipment often can’t recognize it in this form. To solve this problem the device uses a phono preamp to convert the phono signal to a line level signal that the speakers can interpret.

What you need to know

Generally, most turntables will have a built-in preamp, but this is not always the case. So how do you tell? If the device comes with a USB port it will also have a preamp. Older models for stereos come with preamps so just look for the input slot with the tag marked ‘phono’. You can use a DJ mixer for the same purpose and if you are using an external preamp get RCA cables to connect and set up the entire system.

When you’re dealing with a turntable without a built in preamp remember that it will need grounding, otherwise you’ll notice outside noise that will interfere with the output quality. For this you will have to purchase a grounding cable so take that into account.

Additionally, preamps come in a range of qualities and a significant price range, starting at $50 and going all the way up till $500. So if you don’t find one that fits your budget initially keep looking because you don’t have to get an expensive option.

2.  Belt Drive vs. Direct Drive

How it works

In the belt drive system an independent motor runs the turntable platter using the rubber belt. On the other hand, the direct drive system drives the platter without mediation.

What you need to know

When it comes to the drive system the more suitable option depends on your needs. If you want to DJ then you should get a direct drive system and not the belt drive system. Overall, the belt drive system has a more clear and crisp sound. There is no outside noise or interference to disrupt the music and overall you’ll get a better listening experience.

The direct drive system is more durable, with superior build quality and sturdier hardware. Also, these turntables have stronger torque and take less time to start up. If you know what your eventual goal is you’ll find it easier to choose between the two drive types.

3.  Cartridge

How it works

The cartridge is the electro-mechanical component that produces an amplifiable signal in the record player. It is an essential part of the sound system and ensures fast frequency response, high sound quality, tracking speed of the needle across the record grooves, and the power output. If there is one part of the set up you should invest in it is the cartridge, because expensive options generally offer more impressive audio quality.

What you need to know

You can choose between a head shell mounted cartridge or one that plugs into your tonearm directly. The Ortofon 2M Red is a solid option for the first type while the Ortofon Concorde series falls into the second category. Keep in mind that these are quality options for home listening. DJing requires a special separate set of cartridges.

If you’re considering other options look into factors like cartridge weight and alignment. Generally, any device you buy will likely be MM or Moving Magnet. If an item is labelled MC or Moving Coil then it will be more expensive and have higher maintenance costs. These are advanced options not suitable for beginners.

4.  Tweeters

How it works

A tweeter also known as a treble speaker comes in a variety of forms such as dome and horn type. These speakers produce audio with high frequencies that are generally between 2kHz and 20 kHz, although some custom designs go as high as 100kHz.When you attach these to your turntable you get a superior listening experience.

Dome tweeter speakers use a circular diaphragm that comes in plastic, aluminium, or titanium. Aluminium dome tweeters give off crisp and strong high frequencies. Titanium tweeters do the same, with higher accuracy, but without the sharp edge.

Best Budget Speakers for Turntable Buyers Guide
Image by Edifier R1280DB Powered Bluetooth Bookshelf Speakers from Amazon

What you need to know

Tweeters are a must have if you want your sound system to deliver a full range of sounds. They add crispness and clarity to the sound output from the speakers and are essential for a high quality listening experience. Because of their small size their output volume is low. To solve this you can attach a horn to your speakers and amplify the audio volume.

5.  Woofers

How it works

A woofer also known as a bass speaker produces sound with low frequencies that are generally between 50Hz and 1000Hz. Physically woofers are a lot bigger than tweeters, with an average diameter of more than 12 inches.

What you need to know

There are two common types of woofers in speakers, sealed enclosure and ported enclosed. The sealed enclosure woofer traps sound waves coming out of the back of the speakers. The result is crisp bass and clear audio with a low volume.

The ported enclosed woofers do not trap sound completely. The escaped audio has a 180 degree phase shift so when it travels to the front of the speakers the result is a muddier sound.

6.  Bass and Treble

What you need to know

The bass settings let you adjust the bass or low frequency sounds like bass drums and guitars. The treble settings let you fine tune the higher pitched sounds like snare drums and cymbals. You can change the settings depending on the type of music you are listening to.

7.  Turntable Mats

How it works

Keeping a specially designed turntable mat underneath your record player can help improve sound quality by reducing friction. This is a must buy for DJing but also a worthwhile buy for a home cinema. The mat will protect your records and dampen vibrations caused by the movement of the record against the platter.

What you need to know

Rubber mats are a solid dampening option and will improve the sound quality. But, if you get a felt mat you can hold the record in place as the platter beneath continues to spin. As audiophiles and listeners with expert ears will tell you, cork mats open up the range of sound frequencies, taking the listening experience to new heights.

8.  Additional Features

When you’re looking for the best budget speakers for turntables you’ll come across various brands promoting their products by highlighting specific features. Knowing these terms will let you tell the quality speakers apart from the mediocre turntable speakers.

A pair of RCA output cables channels the signals in your turntable. These should come with the device, as should a tonearm weight to direct the tracking force. This refers to the pressure on the needle. Turntables should offer high torque, especially ones designed for DJing.

Additional features of the Best Budget Speakers for Turntable
Image by Edifier R1280DB Powered Bluetooth from Amazon

If a turntable is listed as anti-skating that means a built in control keeps the needle in the records center groove. Another factor is the pitch control which lets you adjust the platter’s spinning speed.  Usually, you can play records at 33 RPM, 45 RPM, or 78 RPM.

It is an added benefit if a turntable comes with an acrylic platter as opposed to a standard one. Not only does it boost sound quality, but it also removes the need for a mat.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are active and passive speakers?

Active speakers have built in amplifiers while passive speakers require an externally attached amplifier. Generally, passive speakers are only suited to home use whereas active speakers can fulfil a wide variety of roles including DJing. The brands and products listed above are all active, high powered speakers.

Do speakers stay on all the time?

The best turntable speakers are designed to automatically turn off when they aren’t playing music. This helps conserve energy and extend their battery life. However, you should look into the power consumption of your chosen speaker when idle before you decide to purchase.

Are bigger tweeters better?

It isn’t a case of better so much as a case of what you want. Bigger tweets are easier to install and pair with a midrange. Smaller tweeters produce more accurate high frequency sounds and have superior off axis response.

Conclusion

Overall, there are a number of speaker options to choose from depending on your individual preferences and needs. If you’re having trouble deciding which speakers are best for you start by isolating one factor. The price range is generally a good place to start as it will considerably narrow down your options.

Once that’s done decide which factors and qualities you are not willing to compromise on. If you’re a huge audiophile and cannot consider buying a speaker with subpar sound clarity or quality then focus on the amps, preamps, tweeters, woofers, and other sound enhancing design factors.

On the other hand, if you want to stream music you’ll want a bluetooth speaker and if your goal is playing vinyl then look for the best speakers for vinyl. No matter your preference, there’s something for everyone. So happy shopping!

Our Top Choice
Audioengine A2+ Plus
  • 60W of power
  • Compact and light - 6lbs
  • Flat frequency response for accurate sound
Editor's Rating:
5.0
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Woofer vs. Subwoofer – Learn the Difference

Woofer vs. Subwoofer - Learn the Difference

If you are interested to build your home theater system or simply want to improve the sound quality in your room, investing in a woofer or subwoofer is a great first step. The quality of a sound system hinges on its ability to replicate all the low and high notes. Some types of music will benefit from a subwoofer more than others, but adding quality bass to a stereo system will surely bring the music to life.

Woofer vs. Subwoofer - Learn the Difference

This article will mostly discuss the two loudspeakers – woofer vs. subwoofer – and how they differ. Figuring out how they vary and what they are best suited for will help you decide between getting a woofer or subwoofer for your needs. Since woofers and subwoofers are speakers, they work by converting electrical signals into sounds, using the concept that variations of an electric signal facilitate the speaker’s movement with it and create sound waves through the air (or water). So whenever there are audible differences and distortions noticeable in the sounds, that’s all because of your woofers.

While they have similar features, there are distinct ways to use a woofer vs. a subwoofer. We’ll help you narrow down on which one you’re better off buying between the two by describing each type, differentiating them, and listing down the factors to consider depending on the sonic experience you are looking for.

You might be Interested: Connecting Wired Subwoofer to Soundbar

What is a Woofer?

First off, woofers are loudspeakers. What makes a woofer unique is because it specializes in the lower end of the audible spectrum of sound. Funnily enough, the term ‘woof’ from woofer refers to the low sound of a dog’s bark.

In a typical home audio setup, the woofer is part of the main speaker system. These are usually the floor-standing speakers you see in home theatres or living rooms. It helps the tweeter with mid-range frequencies since they typically have a range of about 20 to 2 kHz (kilohertz), which enables it to play low to mid-range frequencies. Since they have a wider range of sounds, woofers are perfect for use in home theatres!

What is a Subwoofer?

A woofer is a specialized speaker, while a subwoofer is a specialized woofer that covers a more narrow frequency range. Subwoofers are used to emphasize the deeper bass notes.

There are many subwoofer variants in the market. You can differentiate among these products by looking at efficiency, cost, size, and even their distortion and power handling capabilities.

Normally the structure of a subwoofer is a plastic or wooden enclosure that has one or more woofers fitted into it. However, the focus on the lower frequency ranges causes the subwoofer to be often designed as a larger speaker than woofers are. This larger size allows the driver to move a lot of air while maintaining the required low frequency. Remember that it matters how you place your subwoofer because it can make room for the emergence of multiple subwoofer variants in that area.

Subwoofers are made up of one or more woofers mounted on a wooden loudspeaker enclosure. This enclosure is built to withstand air pressure and resist deformation as these variables affect the sound quality produced. The common subwoofer designs are bass reflex, horn-loaded, bandpass, and infinite battle.

The frequency range of your subwoofer is determined by how you use it. For a subwoofer at home, the frequency range will usually be between 20 to 200 Hertz (Hz) and around 100 Hz for subwoofers used in enclosed professional settings, like a church or a hall.

Since subwoofers concentrate on a narrower spectrum of frequencies, you should carefully place them to have a fuller sound. This “fuller” sound effect cannot be achieved on a regular woofer. However, this can get tricky because your sound system is now more complex. You may need to invest and add other speakers to cover the higher range of frequencies and make the most out of your subwoofer setup.

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Can a Woofer Be Used as a Subwoofer?

Since a subwoofer is a specialized type of woofer, you might be wondering if a woofer can function as a subwoofer. The simple answer is yes – a woofer can be used as a subwoofer, but the resulting sound is still that of a woofer.

You can use a woofer as a subwoofer by installing the same driver in its box with its amplifier. This way, it functions with an LFE or low-frequency effect.

Drivers classified as subwoofers are often designed for lower frequencies than the range that typical woofers cover. So while a woofer can be used as a subwoofer, you still cannot expect the lower frequencies to be as crisp on your woofer vs. subwoofer.

The Differences Between Woofer Vs. Subwoofer

The Differences Between Woofer Vs. Subwoofer
Photo by Sandy Kawadkar on Unsplash

The key difference between woofer vs. subwoofer is the frequency range. Subwoofers are used to produce a wide range of low sounds and are great for loud bass sounds, unlike woofers. Woofers cover high frequencies as well as the mid and treble range.

With woofers, while their covered range of frequency is pretty adequate for most of your applications, you might want to get a subwoofer if you want the best sound quality.

It all depends on what you want the sound system effect to be. If you plan on a sound system that has more than two speakers, then opt for woofers. But if you want better sound quality from your sound system – now is the time to ask if you should get a subwoofer or a woofer.

Subwoofers from reputable brands will have high accuracy in producing low frequencies. Since the human ear can hear sounds ranging from 20 kHz to as low as 20 Hz, artists and producers feature special low-frequency effects of LFEs in their content to make it more entertaining. This goes for movies, films, music, and every creative thing in between. Directors want their audiences to make the most out of their viewing experience, so they utilize this range and work with more LFEs.

Let’s say that in your home, you are using floor-standing woofers to handle low-frequency waves. Your woofers will generally reproduce sub-bass sounds ranging from 40 Hz to 2500 Hz. Unfortunately, this means that much of the LFEs falling in the narrow range of below 35 Hz will generally be lost. You, unfortunately, will not be able to hear or enjoy them in the way that artists, directors, or producers had hoped or designed.

But if you have a subwoofer, they can reproduce even the extremely low frequencies ranging from 20 to 200 Hz! This way, they can handle the narrow frequency ranges that create earth trembling effects. Imagine your favorite movie and all its bass sounds! You can replicate this experience right at home by getting the right subwoofer set up.

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Types of Subwoofers

Types of Subwoofers

Another important thing to note is there are two types of subwoofers you can choose from.

This will help you determine if you want the specialized features that subwoofers offer or if these are unnecessary and you are already satisfied with a woofer.

Active Subwoofer

Active subwoofers are also known as powered subwoofers. This type is self-contained. It has line-level inputs and outputs, a built-in amplifier, and a volume control panel. It doesn’t require an external amplifier to compensate for the power. Instead, it relies on its built-in amplifier, which does a pretty decent job of providing the required power to amp up the large speaker driver.

However, you will need an independent power source. This means that your active or powered subwoofer should be plugged in a power outlet for it to work.

It has its volume control panel, too. In addition, the powered subwoofer comes with its independent gain and volume controls separate from those in the receiver. These controls will allow you to tune it to meet your required specifications or sound preferences.

Passive Subwoofer

Meanwhile, a passive subwoofer works with an external amplifier (similar to a typical loudspeaker). The subwoofers use more power to decrease low-frequency sounds. Passive subwoofers have a subwoofer driver, enclosure and are powered by an external amplifier. This type relies on the external amplifier to achieve the best sound; otherwise, this is sacrificed. If this is what you have (or want), you will need to first connect the amp to the preamp output of the receiver. This way, the preamp will send clean audio signals to the amplifier for amplification. You will certainly make the most out of having a passive subwoofer.

When dealing with a passive subwoofer, the amplifier or receiver should have enough power to handle the bass that your subwoofer will produce. Otherwise, the energy supply will be drained from your amplifier. They require a lot of power, so setting it up properly and accurately is a necessary step. Failure to add an external amplifier means that your subwoofer won’t have enough power to reproduce the deep floor trembling bass. You basically won’t get to make the most out of your subwoofer and your listening experience.

If you are looking to buy a subwoofer, here are the factors to consider because they will impact your listening experience:

#1. Power

Like previously mentioned, active subwoofers have built-in amplifiers. These are more powerful because it gives you more control over how the power is used.

It would be best if you also looked into the driver. The larger the driver, the deeper the bass. This is ideal if you have a lot of space to work with and prefer loud bass sounds.

On average, individuals lean towards subwoofers that have 10 to 12-inch cones.

#2. Cone Mount

There are two ways to mount a single cone subwoofer – down-firing or front-firing. Since the subwoofer’s cone moves back and forth to produce sound waves, the way these are mounted makes a huge difference in the quality of sound you can expect.

Keep in mind that down-firing cones are mounted on the bottom of the subwoofer cabinet. Front-firing cones will be on the side of the cabinet. Cone mounting is a matter of personal preference, so take note of the space you are working with and the overall look and sounds you want to achieve.

#3. Casing

Casing plays a big role in the quality of sound from your subwoofer. The way its encased makes a huge difference, and even the build of the case affects the way it functions and produces sound.

Acoustic suspension is where the woofers are inside of a box, producing a base response sound. The sound produced by an acoustic suspension enclosure is precise and clear.

Meanwhile, base reflex casings have a port. This makes the foundation of your subwoofer bigger and more extended. Having a port allows some of the power produced by the woofer to come out. The enclosures are better on power but less accurate.

#4. Sealed Box

A sealed box produces a smooth bass line, resulting in an even flow of music. In addition, sealed box woofers tend to have better low-frequency ability compared to other types of boxes. It will also produce a transition from one note to the next, which is quick and clear.

However, a sealed box also has its cons. These types of boxes require more power because they lack efficiency. In addition, they do not produce at the volume levels that other boxes can.

Because of that, you can easily damage your subwoofer as it’s more reliant on power. More power means more heat, but a sealed box – hence the name – does not let the heat escape. You will also notice distortion in the signal because it will be heard in the upper base note resulting from your subwoofer.

#5. Ported Box

A ported box comes with a port. The result with this box is better because the port adds more boom the quality of bass sound from the subwoofer.

The port will mimic a speaker, which gives you a rounder and fuller sound. Plus, this ported box has a better low frequency compared to a sealed box. There is also better circulation and airflow since it is not sealed. This allows frequencies to produce a better boom, and you can play the speaker for longer periods without worrying about overheating or draining the power source.

But ported boxes can be tricky to adjust with certain speakers. The design can distort within the speaker. Unfortunately, heat does not have a chance to spread out evenly when the speaker is played long and hard. Think of it as your typical wear and tear as with any gadget or appliance.

The ported box also does not provide a cushion for the speaker, which can cause issues in both functionality and sound.

Lastly, these types of boxes are larger. Therefore, you will have to consider the space you are working with before purchasing a ported box.

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Conclusion – Which One Should You Buy Between a Woofer Vs. Subwoofer?

Conclusion - Which One Should You Buy Between a Woofer Vs. Subwoofer?

Subwoofers are perfect for home theatre systems and clubs because they give a more realistic and engrossing sound. Just imagine the thumping bass from your favorite club. That sound is thanks to the bass speaker abilities of a subwoofer that woofers cannot offer. If you are more particular about personal settings for your listening experience, you’re better off with a subwoofer because it allows for more control.

Meanwhile, woofers are more appropriate for compact and portable systems such as your car. They are usually smaller, so it is more convenient to set them up and transport them. In addition, woofers consist of just one speaker driver inside an enclosure. Since there is not much technical wiggle room here, opt for a world-class brand to get the high-quality sound.

There is no general rule of thumb if a woofer or subwoofer is better. It depends on your needs, preferences, and budget!

Invest in a quality woofer or subwoofer for an amazing sound experience, but keep in mind that not all speakers are created equally. Always go with a trusted brand with many good reviews that can provide you with the amazing sound experience you deserve.

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