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Best speaker stands 2021: budget and premium

Best Speaker Stands Buying Guide: Welcome to What Hi-Fi?'s round-up of the best speaker stands you can buy in 2021.

We'd argue there's really no such thing as bookshelf speakers. Even if that's how yours were advertised, it'll take a sturdy pair of speaker stands to have them sounding their best.

You needn't spend eye-watering amounts to achieve good support for your speakers, however. There are plenty of affordable options that are still rigid and non-resonating, neutralising unwanted cabinet vibrations, thus minimising distortion and improving overall sound quality.

The technology is such that a fine pair of stands from a few years ago will be a fine pair of stands today, but if you're still propping your speakers up on an MDF bookcase, you'd best think about investing right now.

So, without further ado, here are the best options for every budget.

Best speaker stands 2020: budget and premium

1. Atacama Moseco 6

The best speaker stands we've heard at the money - work well with all sorts of speakers.

Dimensions (hwd): 61.5 x 22.5 x 30.5 cm
Reasons to buy
+Punchy and detailed performance+Sturdy build and finish+Good value
Reasons to avoid
-Nothing at the money

There's a reason these Atacama speaker stands continue picking up What Hi-Fi? Awards. Two metal columns – one filled for better stability, one for cable management – and a bamboo base offer sturdy support and a neat look.

And they allow our system to flourish by letting the speakers deliver their best in terms of punch, detail and rhythm. For around a ton, you'll struggle to do better.

Read the full review: Atacama Moseco 6

Best speaker stands 2020: budget and premium

2. Soundstyle Z2

If you're looking for one of the best speaker stand bargains, look no further.

Dimensions (hwd): 56.8 x 22.5 x 30.5 cm
Reasons to buy
+Great value+Can boost detail, attack and openness
Reasons to avoid
-The tonal balance could be weightier

The Soundstyle Z2 speaker stands have been favourites of ours for more than a decade, winning Awards at various prices, and they remain a solid (ahem) choice.

Soundstyle has added lockable spikes to the base and improved the bolt and socket assembly of the main support for additional rigidity, while also filling the stands with damping materials to reduce resonance. They also come with top spikes.  The new stands can help improve detail, add drive and help bring out the excitement in your music.

Read the full review: Soundstyle Z2

Best speaker stands 2020: budget and premium

3. Q Acoustics Concept 20 Speaker Stands

An elegant pair of stands that allow your system to sound its very best.

Dimensions (hwd): 65.5 x 24 x 38.6 cm
Reasons to buy
+Allow for subtlety and punch+Help where rhythms are concerned+Excellent build and finish
Reasons to avoid
-Price might put some off

Designed for the Q Acoustics speaker, but compatible with any speakers, these are a little more expensive but deliver a performance to justify the price.

The clever construction – a layer of compliant compound in the metal top plate that helps dampen unwanted resonances by turning them into heat energy – makes them superb supports for all types of speakers. They look classy and have some cable management, while sonically they will free-up your system in terms of punch and bite.

Read the full review: Q Acoustics Concept 20 Speaker Stands

Best speaker stands 2020: budget and premium

4. Custom Design FS104 Signature

Allow speakers to sound vibrant, transparent and rhythmical.

Dimensions (hwd): 61 x 19 x 24 cm
Reasons to buy
+Exciting, informative delivery+Range of sizes
Reasons to avoid

The FS104 Signature has five columns: a large one in the middle and four satellites. Assembly is fairly simple, especially for anyone who’s ever played with construction sets or a certain brand of Swedish furniture.

There’s an all-black option but, for contrast, the satellites also come in gold, chrome and brushed chrome. Overall, these stands allowed our kit to perform with more control and precision than did their rivals, offering a livelier, clearer sound.

Read the full review: Custom Design FS104 Signature

Best speaker stands 2020: budget and premium

5. Atacama HMS2

More than capable premium stands.

Dimensions (hwd): 60.7 x 25 x 30 cm
Reasons to buy
+Wide, open soundstage+Good detail+Option of rubber pads
Reasons to avoid
-Not quite as musically cohesive as we'd like

Made from carbon steel, the HMS2s (HMS stands for High Mass) certainly look built to last and come in a smart matt black finish, the only colour option at the moment. Our sample arrived ready filled with Atabite fillers, just to add to the weight (these cost extra).

Tonally these Atacama's help our reference speakers offer a prominent and smooth midrange and sweet treble, although the bass lacks some authority where needed. With the HMS2s, Atacama has supplied a more than capable stand, that will appeal to fans of detailing and those who like their vocals sweet and smooth.

Read the full review: Atacama HMS2

What Hi-Fi?

What Hi-Fi?, founded in 1976, is the world's leading independent guide to buying and owning hi-fi and home entertainment products. Our comprehensive tests help you buy the very best for your money, with our advice sections giving you step-by-step information on how to get even more from your music and movies. Everything is tested by our dedicated team of in-house reviewers in our custom-built test rooms in London and Bath. Our coveted five-star rating and Awards are recognised all over the world as the ultimate seal of approval, so you can buy with absolute confidence.

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