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Buyers Guide & Information

Best Floor Standing Speakers Under $500

These models offer high-quality audio output at affordable price points.

by

Buyers Guide & Information

Best Floor Standing Speakers Under $500

These models offer high-quality audio output at affordable price points.

by PITeam

by PITeam

Investing in floor standing speakers can be a costly endeavor, especially for a true audiophile who is searching for a high-quality home audio system. Some people end up spending thousands on audio equipment - but it doesn’t actually need to be this way. There are plenty of options currently on the market for all of your music-listening needs that fall under $500.

The common misconception is that for the most accurate, full-range sound, it’s necessary to spend thousands. However, even lower-cost models can deliver amazing sound, without the high price tag. You can read about these models here, plus everything else you need to know about the best floor standing speakers under 500.

Image

Model

Sound Level

Frequency

Check Price

Polk Audio Monitor 70 Series II Tower Speaker...

Polk Audio Monitor 70 Series II

90 dB

25 Hz - 30 kHz

Sony SS-CS3 3-Way 4-Driver Floor-Standing Speaker...

Sony SS-CS3

87.7 dB

45 Hz - 50 kHz

Pioneer Andrew Jones Designed Floorstanding...

Pioneer Andrew Jones

87 dB

40 Hz - 20 kHz

Onkyo SKF-4800 2-Way Bass Reflex Floor-standing...

Onkyo SKF-4800

86 dB

55 Hz - 25 kHz

Yamaha NS-F150 Floor Standing Speaker - Black

Yamaha NS-F150

88 dB

37 Hz - 30 kHz

Klipsch R-28F Floorstanding Speaker (Each)...

Klipsch R-28F

98 dB

35 Hz - 24 kHz

Polk Audio RTI A7 Floorstanding Speaker (Single,...

Polk Audio RTI A7

89 dB

35 Hz - 26 kHz

Benefits of Cheap Floor Standing Speakers

Speakers come in all shapes and sizes - some amplify music through a pair of headphones, others play music in the form of a bookshelf speaker. A floor standing speaker is placed conveniently on the floor anywhere in the home, designed with a skinny shape to discreetly stand alongside a bookshelf or TV stand.

Some benefits come along with choosing a floor standing speaker system that doesn't come together with small headphone amplifiers or bookshelf speakers. These affordable systems come with audio-playing power, many of them performing just as well as the more expensive audio systems on the market. These are the main benefits of choosing cheap floor standing speakers:

  • They are highly adaptable and can be placed anywhere in the home.
  • They can house several speaker drivers, which allows for a greater frequency range.
  • They can be paired with a series of additional speakers for a richer soundscape.

Choosing Quality Floor Speakers Under $500

Build Quality & Design

Quality of materials should be the first priority when settling on an inexpensive set of floor standing speakers under 500. Look for a system that is built to last, but also one that has aesthetic appeal. Also, keep in mind that these systems can be quite large, so consider available floor space compared to a speaker model's dimensions.

Audio Performance

High-quality audio performance is even possible from floor speakers that fall within the $200 to $500 price range. However, there are some cheap models out there that won't deliver the sound you're hoping for. For this reason, consider speaker qualities like sensitivity, frequency range, and efficiency.

Speaker sensitivity is “not about sound quality, but about how high the volume on your amplifier needs to be to make your speakers work their best. Therefore, sensitivity refers to a measure of how loudly the speaker will play given a certain electrical input level." 

This is measured in decibels; sensitivity of 90 decibels is considered excellent, but 87 or 88 dB speakers are also perfectly acceptable.

Connectivity & Flexibility

Connectivity has a lot to do with convenience. If you want the most convenient audio solution possible, look for a completely wireless floor standing speakers that can pair to multiple devices. Wireless speakers mean that you'll need a stable internet connection, so if this is something you're lacking, opting for a wired system might be the better choice.

Many people claim that wired speakers offer more dependable and high-quality sound than wireless devices, but this is up for debate. They’ll never be affected by WiFi or power outages, but some people still prefer the curb appeal of a completely wireless system. The other perk of going wireless is increased flexibility; wireless speakers can be placed anywhere in the home without the hassling of unplugging.

Power Rating - Volume, Drivers & Wattage

A speaker’s power rating is the measurement of how much power the system can safely receive from an amplifier before the sound becomes distorted. It is measured in watts, and some models come with both a minimum and maximum power rating. The more important value to pay attention to is the maximum rating since delivering more power than the speaker can handle could permanently damage the audio system.

There are speaker drivers contained within any speaker system.

Speaker drivers work by moving “back and forth and creating changes in the air pressure (sound waves) that ultimately arrive at your eardrum and cause it to move back and forth in a corresponding fashion. This causes you to hear the sound.” 

If you’re looking for a more powerful bass sound, you’ll want to choose a speaker with a large driver. The best floor standing speakers come with multiple drivers, which allows the sound to be better distributed.

Speaker Specifications

When comparing speaker specs, be sure to consider each model's configuration. There are 2 configuration types - 2-way and 3-way. A speaker with a 2-way configuration is equipped with a subwoofer and tweeter in one basket, while a 3-way speaker comes with the addition of a midrange in the same basket.

Driving Life says that deciding between 2-way versus 3-way configuration can be difficult since there are pros to each. 

When in doubt, you can't go wrong with a 3-way system since "a 3-way speaker has three drivers, so the frequencies can be divided more evenly. Three speakers mean each speaker can do its job more efficiently than 2 speakers." 

Price & Warranty

It’s time to let go of the idea that a high-quality speaker has to be high in price. There are many floor standing models available that fall between $200 to $500 that are more than capable of delivering the sound you’re hoping for. That said, it is especially important to do your research on a cheaper model to make sure that it meets your needs - and isn’t cheaply constructed.

All of the best floor standing speakers under 500 reviewed below come with warranty coverage. Each product features a unique policy depending on the manufacturer, but as long as you make your purchase from an authorized dealer, you should get at least 1 year of coverage. Just remember that warranty coverage is only valid if you stay within the speaker's specifications. If damage happens from failing to stay within the model's power rating, then you won't be covered.


7 Best Floor Standing Speakers Under $500 Reviewed

1. Polk Audio Monitor 70 Series II

Our Top Pick!

Sound Level (Loudest Volume)

90 dB

Peak Power Output

275 watts

Impedance

8 ohms

Number of Drivers

13

Frequency

25 Hz - 30 kHz

Warranty

5 years

The best audiophile floor standing speakers that rightfully deserves the top spot on this list of floor standing speakers under 500 is the Polk Audio Monitor 70 Series II. Polk specializes in home audio speakers for every budget, and one of the most-loved Polk products is this floor standing speaker set. 

Polk says that “award-winning engineering meets sheer physical presence for wide frequency response, extraordinary dynamic range and the most authentic sound reproduction you'll ever hear.”

The 70 Series II is equipped with a total of 13 drivers and tweeters that each feature Polk’s proprietary dynamic balance technology. It comes with two tower speakers and one center channel monitor. Each tower has four 6.5" woofers plus a 1" tweeter, and the center has two 5.25" woofers plus a 1" tweeter. All this creates an immersive cinematic experience at home, no matter if you're listening to music, movies, or sports.                                      

If you're looking for amazing sound at an affordable price, this is it. This model creates a 3-dimensional audio experience for full, rich audio that will make your home the new hangout spot. It delivers detailed high-frequency response with amazingly realistic reproduction of vocals and instrumentals. Compared to other comparable models, the Polk 70 Series II delivers more powerful bass and better quality midrange audio.

Pros

  • Delivers detailed high frequency
  • Combined 13 drivers
  • Unique reversible design
  • Unwavering Polk commitment
  • Aesthetic appeal

Cons

  • Limits to amplifiers

2. Sony SS-CS3

Best Audiophile Floor Standing Speakers Under 500

Sound Level (Loudest Volume)

87.7 dB

Peak Power Output

145 watts

Impedance

6 ohms

Number of Drivers

4

Frequency

45 Hz - 50 kHz

Warranty

2 years

Out of all the home audio equipment companies, Sony is one of the most trusted names in the industry. Sony’s SS-CS3 model features a 3-way speaker design that looks good in any home. It is capable of sound reproduction up to 50kHz with high-resolution audio, delivering rich acoustics while looking good in the process. These are the best audiophile floor standing speakers under 500 that enable any homeowner to enjoy a rich audio experience.

Sony says that the SS-CS3 speaker system allows you to “take your digital music collection to another level with High-Resolution Audio. By capturing music at a higher rate than CD, increasing both audio samples per second and the bitrate accuracy of each sample, High-Resolution Audio offers a near-perfect capture of an artist’s music.”

High-res audio through the SS-CS3 is made possible in a few ways. The first is thanks to the newly developed 5.12” woofer that creates deep, powerful bass. Not only is bass sound more powerful, but it is also more detailed since the woofer utilizes a foamed mica-cellular diaphragm. Many speakers use paper cones that deteriorate over time, but the SS-CS3’s mica reinforced fibers can withstand the test of time, and they never compromise on audio quality.

Another feature that keeps sound clear is the tapered shape of the speaker's faceplate edges. This eliminates unnecessary noise and creates the perfect platform for a clear and natural soundstage. All in all, there's nothing bad to say about the Sony SS-CS3. Some reviewers claim that the amp is slightly too loud, but this is easy to manage.

Pros

  • Well under $500
  • Super tweeters for expanded soundstage
  • Mica reinforced cellular cone
  • Boosted low-end frequencies
  • Strong cabinet design

Cons

  • Slightly loud amplifier
  • Very lightweight design

3. Pioneer Andrew Jones

Best Floor Standing Speakers for Small Room

Sound Level (Loudest Volume)

87 dB

Peak Power Output

130 watts

Impedance

6 ohms

Number of Drivers

6 (3 per unit)

Frequency

40 Hz - 20 kHz

Warranty

3 years

The Pioneer Andrew Jones audio bundles are the best budget floor standing speakers for a small room. This model is all about delivering powerful sound throughout a small space. It does so with its 130 peak watt power output and sophisticated 8 element crossover technology. Even if you're on an extreme budget, the SP-FS52 can bring your entire listening experience to the next level.

Contained within the speakers are three 5.25” structured surface subwoofers, which work to broaden the frequency range, specifically when it comes to low bass audio. The curved cabinet design doesn’t just enhance the aesthetics of this floor standing speaker set, but it also boosts the listening experience. This unique shape ensures high-performance and exceptional sound quality; the stiffer design reduces standing sound waves inside the cabinet.

The Pioneer company has been a leading industry figure for over 7 decades. This specific model is special in the sense that it was designed by Pioneer’s Chief Speaker Engineer, Andrew Jones, which typically go for a much higher price. 

“These speakers embody all his high-end expertise and passion for pure audio reproduction,” says Pioneer. “And while audio enthusiasts gladly pay as much as $80,000 for some of Andrew’s designs, you’ll find these new SP-FS52 speakers considerably more affordable.”

One thing to be aware of when adding the Pioneer speakers to your shopping cart is that each speaker is sold individually. The price might appear significantly lower on the company's website than it does on Amazon, but this is because Amazon sells the speakers as a set, while Pioneer requires customers to purchase them individually. No matter where you choose to purchase your Andrew Jones speakers, though, you can count on beautifully-engineered sound.

Pros

  • Designed by audio mastermind, Andrew Jones
  • Taller speaker for improved sound
  • Exceptional crossover speaker
  • Dedicated Pioneer customer service

Cons

  • Speakers sold individually (on Pioneer website)
  • An additional sub may be needed

4. Onkyo SKF-4800

Best 2-Way Floor Standing Speakers Under 500

Sound Level (Loudest Volume)

86 dB

Peak Power Output

130 watts

Impedance

6 ohms

Number of Drivers

4 (2 per unit)

Frequency

55 Hz - 25 kHz

Warranty

1 year

One of the best selling floor standing speakers under 500 is the Onkyo SKF-4800. Each speaker in this 2-way model is equipped with twin 16 cm cone woofers and a 2.5 cm soft-dome tweeter. It has an impressive peak power rating of 130 watts, a decent sound level of 86 decibels, and a wide frequency range of 55 Hz to 25 kHz.

Some audiophiles won’t even consider a 2-way speaker design since the common assumption is that 3-way is always better. But there are perks to choosing a 2-way system, especially with this set of Onkyo stereo speakers.

Onkyo says that “their twin woofers give them the heft to handle dynamic classical scores and towering rock anthems with equal aplomb. At all volume levels, your music will sound full and natural, with stunning detail across the audio spectrum.”

The main downside of choosing this model is that bass audio isn't as impressive as some of the models we've reviewed so far. But if your audio mainly consists of high and mid-range frequencies, Onkyo gets the job done with crisp, rich sound. Another perk is that these speakers allow for both wired and wireless connectivity. You have the option to plug-in, or connect your device via Bluetooth.

If you plan on using this speaker set for your home theater system, you might want to think about investing in an additional subwoofer to make up for the lacking bass. This shouldn’t be a problem, though, since the Onkyo SKF-4800 costs less than the average floor standing speakers under 500.

Pros

  • Crisp highs and midrange frequencies
  • Wired or wireless connection
  • Lower than the average cost
  • Simple 2-way design

Cons

  • Bass sounds could be improved
  • Short 1-year warranty

5. Yamaha NS-F150

Most Affordable Floor Standing Speakers Under 500

Sound Level (Loudest Volume)

88 dB

Peak Power Output

150 Watts

Impedance

6 ohms

Number of Drivers

6 (3 per unit)

Frequency

37 Hz - 30 kHz

Warranty

1 year

Budget floor standing speakers aren't hard to come by, but if you're looking for the most affordable home audio solution, you can't go wrong with the Yamaha NS-F150. When you purchase just one Yamaha floor standing speaker, the cost is well under $500. However, it is recommended that you invest in two NS-F150 speakers for optimal sound, which will put you right at the $500 limit.

Here’s what the Yamaha company says about their NS-F150 model: "The NS-F150 is designed to provide outstanding reproduction of HD movie and music sources. Using it together with the NS-P150 speaker package ensures that you will enjoy the accurate, well-balanced sound, for an affordable yet high-quality home theater system." 

Yamaha does recommend that this be paired with another set of speakers, but this isn't necessary. On the backside of each unit, you'll find a set of extra-large gold-plated terminals that are designed to maximize signal transmission. These terminals can handle HD audio signals while never losing sound quality. Some reviewers claim that for high-quality low-frequency sound, and additional subwoofer should be purchased, but this won't cost much extra.

The piano black mirror finish looks good in any home, especially when placed on either side of a TV stand. The 180-watt power output is higher than the average floor standing speakers under $500, but just be aware that these speakers are sold individually, so if you plan on buying the pair, you'll need to add 2 units to your shopping cart.

Pros

  • Perfect for home theater audio
  • Removable speaker grills
  • Sophisticated black mirror finish
  • High-quality HD surround sound audio

Cons

  • Each speaker sold individually
  • Additional subwoofer necessary

6. Klipsch R-28F

Best Floor Standing Speaker
for Music Under 500

Sound Level (Loudest Volume)

98 dB

Peak Power Output

600 watts

Impedance

8 ohms

Number of Drivers

4

Frequency

35 Hz - 24 kHz

Warranty

5 years

If you're looking for the best floor standing speakers for music under $500, no model compares to the Klipsch R-28F. This floor standing speaker set is capable of filling a medium to large room-sized room with powerful, lifelike audio performances. The sleek design features the proprietary 90x90 Tractrix Horn technology mated with an aluminum tweeter, for the most impressive high-end response and greater extension, enhanced imaging, and powerful dynamics.

Similar to Pioneer, the Klipsch history dates back 70 years, and according to the company, “you're not buying a speaker - you're buying a piece of American audio history - built on more than 70 years of badass acoustic technology.” 

Over the years, Klipsch has outdone itself by delivering the best home audio experience possible, especially with the R-28F.

All of this and more creates the cleanest, most natural sound possible. It comes with a front-firing port that has been precisely matched to the cabinet and drivers. Even at the lowest frequencies, the R-28F completely minimizes turbulence and distortion. You'll have plenty of connectivity options with the 5-way binding ports. And you can't beat the impressive peak power rating of 600 watts and high sensitivity of 98 decibels.

According to Klipsch customers, these speakers are a solid addition to any home audio system. There have been a few complaints over the years about the cabinet construction, but as long as you purchase the R-28F from an authorized dealer, any speaker damage adhering to the warranty policy will be covered for 5 years. When a single speaker stand is purchased, this model is well under $500, but if you choose to purchase two R-28F speakers, you’ll have to pay slightly more than $500.

Pros

  • Impressive power rating
  • High 98 dB sensitivity
  • Maximum connection flexibility
  • An industry leader for 70 years

Cons

  • Cabinet construction could be better
  • Over $500 with 2 speakers
  • No mid-range driver

7. Polk Audio RTI A7

Best Single Floor Standing Speaker

Sound Level (Loudest Volume)

89 dB

Peak Power Output

300 watts

Impedance

8 ohms

Number of Drivers

4

Frequency

35 Hz - 26 kHz

Warranty

5 years

Just as we started this list of best floor standing speakers under 500, we’ll end it with another high-quality Polk Audio model. The RTI A7 is the best single floor standing speaker for in-home use. All of the speakers we’ve covered so far are intended to be used as a set of two, but the RTI A7 delivers impressive sound from just one standing speaker.

This single speaker system comes in two color options - black and cherry wood - and is equipped with two 7” bass drivers, one 6.5” midrange driver, and one dome tweeter. The custom butyl rubber surrounds, and anti-diffraction grilles produce a lifetime of reliable sound. It mixes stunning performance and classic beauty, giving it a one-up on the competition.

The dynamic balance is what Polk RTI A7 customers love most.

"Proprietary Polk Audio technology eliminates distortion-causing driver and system resonances, so all you hear is high-quality sound," says the company.

Another nice feature is the patented bass venting design that smoothly transitions airflow — this eliminated distortion and turbulence for a much more efficient bass impact. If you’re looking for a single speaker, this is it. However, many audiophiles prefer the look and power that comes along with a set of floor standing speakers. Of course, you have the option to purchase two RTI A7 models, but this will put you over the $500 limit.

Pros

  • Patented bass venting design
  • Signature Polk dynamic balance technology
  • 2 unique color options
  • Better sound with innovative crossover

Cons

  • Single speaker (not ideal for some)
  • Heavy 60-lb design

Passive vs. Powered Explained

Active speakers come with a built-in power amplifier and only require a power source to operate. Passive speakers require a power source, but they also need an external amplifier to play audio. For an all-in-one system, an active speaker system is the better choice.

However, some people prefer passive speakers since they are more customizable; you can mix and match amplifiers and speakers, but this makes things more challenging since you need to make sure everything is compatible with each other.


3-Way vs. 2-Way Floor Standing Speakers

The terms 2-way and 3-way describe the number of speakers contained within a device’s monitor.

ProAudioLand says that "the reason behind creating monitors and loudspeakers with individual speakers handling a certain range is because different sound waves are better produced by different sizes." 

A subwoofer better handles low bass frequencies, and a tweeter controls high frequencies. To get a wide frequency range, these two components need to be contained within a speaker system (this is a 2-way speaker). There is the option for a third part to be added, called a mid-range, which handles mid-range frequencies. This addition in a 3-way speaker system makes it the best choice since it is capable of playing a more comprehensive frequency range.


Setting Up Floor Standing Speakers Correctly

The first step in setting up your new floor standing speakers correctly is deciding on placement. It's important to note that every room is different in terms of acoustics. Never place items directly in front of the speakers since this can lead to distortion. For the highest sound quality, place them in a way that they can play along the length of the room.

After placing them securely on the floor, simply follow the manufacturer's instructions for setup. Every set of speakers is different, so it is essential to carefully read the specific assembly instructions that come along with yours. Set up for an active speaker system is much simpler since the amplifier is built-in, whereas you'll have to connect a separate amp in a passive speaker system.


Frequently Asked Questions

How do I minimize playback interference with floor standing speakers?

It's fairly common for static to interfere with floor standing speakers, but there are ways to minimize this or eliminate it entirely. Some people claim that wireless speakers are more prone to static and interference, but a lack of wires isn't always the cause. Here are a few things you can do to minimize playback interference:

  • Check that no radio transmitters are within 10 to 15 feet of the speakers - this can overload the receivers and cause static.
  • Make sure that receiving antennas are not touching - there should be at least 10 inches of space separating each antenna.
  • If you have 2 wireless systems on the same frequency, ensure that both transmitters aren't turned on at the same time.
What determines the sound quality of speakers?

There are many factors involved in speaker sound quality, like the materials used to construct the system, frequency response, and power rating. Frequency response is a huge factor since it determines the range of frequencies a speaker is capable of reproducing.

What kind of audio performance can I expect from floor standing speakers under $500?

Many people are shocked to find out that the best budget floor standing speakers can perform just as well as a model that costs thousands of dollars. As long as you choose a model that is constructed from high-quality materials, features a wide frequency range, and comes from a reputable manufacturer, you can count on a sound that is high in quality.

How do these cheap models compare with more expensive brands?

If you do the proper research and choose the best affordable floor standing speakers based on the factors mentioned above, cheaper models can give more expensive brands a run for their money. Selecting an expensive brand often just means that the speakers come with more high-tech features, not that they produce better sound.


Conclusion

The verdict on the best floor speakers is this: you can’t go wrong with the Polk Audio Monitor 70 Series II. This powerful speaker system comes with 13 drivers, each one equipped with Polk's dynamic balance technology. It delivers detailed high-frequency sounds, powerful deep bass, and better mid-range that is superior to any other model on this list. You'll get nothing less than amazing sound, all for less than $500. 

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