Best floorstanding speakers 2024

Best floorstanding speakers: quick menu

Whether you're looking to spend a few hundred dollars or even a few thousand, the best floorstanding speakers will take your hi-fi system to the next level by delivering awesome, room-filling sound with authority, breadth and scale. If you pick the right ones, of course.

Floorstanders tend to deliver greater sonic scope, with beefier bass notes and more dynamic highs than bookshelf speakers, mainly thanks to their large cabinets and (often) more substantial drive units. You still need to choose wisely and make sure you pick the best floorstanding speakers for your budget and room size, though, as a bigger speaker doesn't automatically make for a better one.

We're here to help in that regard, as we've tested hundreds of pairs over the years and have listed our choice options below. Perhaps you're building a hi-fi system from scratch, or going up in size from a bookshelf pair to a bigger model? Or maybe you just want to splash out on a pair of pricey speakers to give a premium system something awesome to work with?

Every pair of floorstanding speakers recommended below has been thoroughly tested by What Hi-Fi?'s expert reviewers in our dedicated listening rooms, so you can trust our buying advice.

You'll also find some of the best prices from around the web, so you can make the most of your budget, but be sure to check whether the figure quoted is for a pair of speakers or just one.

Written by
Harry McKerrell headshot
Written by
Harry McKerrell

Harry McKerrell is a staff writer who has listened to and reviewed dozens of products – be they floorstanding speakers, over-ear headphones or network music streamers – during his time at What Hi-Fi?. His ever-growing first-hand experience with audio products across all types and price points makes him ideally placed to give you the inside track on which models to pick and which to avoid.

The quick list

You can see a quick breakdown of all the floorstanders on this list with a summary of what they’re best at and why we think they’re worth your money below. If you need more detail, just click the photo of a product to go to the in-depth entry.

The best floorstanding speakers overall

Q Acoustics 5040 towers in a glass room

New cone technology and a shift in sonic character results in an excellent new phase of performance for these superb floorstanders. (Image credit: Q Acoustics)
What Hi-Fi? Awards 2023 winner. A superbly insightful and entertaining performance from these new floorstanders.

Specifications

Drive units: 1" soft dome tweeter, 2x 4.9" mid/bass
Ported: Yes (rear)
Bi-wire: No
Impedance: 6 ohms
Sensitivity: 91.5dB
Dimensions: 38.2" x 7.1" x 11"
Weight: 39.7lb
Finishes: x3 (black, white, oak, rosewood)

Reasons to buy

+
Excellent clarity and detail resolution
+
Expressive, bold dynamics
+
Fine build and finish

Reasons to avoid

-
Needs care in system matching
-
Not as forgiving as previous Q Acoustics models

Q Acoustics' 5000 line sits in between the budget 3000 series and the premium Concept range, with these solid and well-made 5040 capable of fitting neatly into most rooms thanks to their relatively slim, compact design. 

New to the 5000 range is the Continuous Curved Cone design for the mid/bass drivers, with a geometry that Q Acoustics claims combines the rigidity advantages of a standard conical cone profile with the high-frequency break-up characteristics of a more flared design. That, as you'll see below, has had a big impact on how these floorstanders perform sonically.

Q Acoustics' previous efforts have tended to be unfussy about partnering and positioning, but these 5040 towers need a bit more care when being placed in your room and system. You'll also need to match them with more refined partnering electronics as they are rather transparent, and if you do, the 5040 will sound wonderfully clear and precise, not to mention agile, grippy and lots of fun, too.

During our review, we were impressed with how these slim towers always sounded so composed and controlled, and that sense of organization doesn’t falter when the music becomes more demanding or complex. The 5040 offer a clean, spacious and well-focused tone that offers impressive stereo imaging and a really cohesive musical picture. Tonally, they're a little leaner than your average towers, but not so far as to cause issues or fatigue from undue harshness. 

In truth, the Q Acoustics 5040 are even-handed performers that simply move out of the way of the music and let songs shine. When partnered with care, they deliver a wonderfully expressive and insightful performance that’s class-leading at this price point. And considering they're newly crowned 2023 Award-winners, not to mention winning Product of the Year for the floorstanding speakers category, it should be no surprise we recommend them without hesitation as the best floorstanders overall right now.  

Read the full Q Acoustics 5040 review

The best budget floorstanding speakers

Elac Debut 2.0 F5.2 on a white background

An exceptional, unfussy floorstander for a budget price - these are worth an audition. (Image credit: Elac)
Some of the best budget floorstanders we’ve heard in a good while.

Specifications

Drive units: 1" tweeter, 3x 5.1" mid/bass
Ported: Yes (rear)
Bi-wire: No
Impedance: 6 ohms
Sensitivity: 86dB
Dimensions (hwd): 40" x 7" x 9.2"
Weight: 68.8lb
Finishes: 2 (black, walnut)

Reasons to buy

+
Loads of detail
+
Weighty, precise bass
+
Snappy timing and dynamics

Reasons to avoid

-
Rivals offer more playful presentation

If you're working with a pretty restricted budget, the Elac Debut 2.0 F5.2 are a great option that don't cut too many corners. The F5.2 are brilliant performers for the money, offering a mature and sophisticated sound that belies their low price and rather straightforward aesthetic presentation.

Yes, they're not stunning to look at, but build quality is solid enough and they're certainly unfussy when it comes to positioning in any given room. That's a big bonus, especially if you want a pair of simple, affordable speakers that will do the job no matter where you put them. 

The main drivers use Aramid fibre for greater stiffness, resulting in a transparent sound with heaps of detail and dynamic expression. Some rivals will assuredly offer a fuller, beefier sonic presentation, but that's ok in this case. The F5.2 aren’t about delivering more, rather, they’re about offering the music as it is fed to them with as much transparency and openness as possible, something they do with impressive clarity and spirit.

Elac has been in the speaker business since the 1980s, and it has made many fine products in that time, but in terms of value for money, the Debut B5.2 are one of the company's best. If you're on a budget and just want a simple, neutral-sounding pair of floorstanders, the F5.2 are tough to beat.

Read the full Elac Debut 2.0 F5.2 review

The best mid-price floorstanding speakers

Wharfedale Diamond 12.3 flanking a living room

These Wharfedale speakers are hugely capable and fun, especially for the budget price. (Image credit: Wharfedale)
What Hi-Fi? Awards 2023 winner. Refined, entertaining and affordable floorstanders.

Specifications

Drive units: 1" tweeter, 2x 5.1" mid/bass
Ported: Yes (rear)
Bi-wire: Yes
Impedance: 8 ohms
Sensitivity: 89dB
Dimensions (hwd): 38.4" x 7.1" x 13.7"
Weight: 43.2lb
Finishes: 3 (light oak, black oak, walnut pearl)

Reasons to buy

+
Superbly balanced presentation
+
Expressive and revealing midrange
+
Pleasing build and finish

Reasons to avoid

-
Perform best if given a little room to breathe

If you're looking for a step up from the budget brilliance of the Elac Debut towers above, we'd direct you over to the Wharfedale Diamond 12.3 floorstanders. Wharfedale's pedigree in terms of speakers in general is well known, especially in the UK, yet it's the Award-winning 12.3 that have us standing for an ovation.

The handsome, solidly built Diamond 12.3 towers sound even more impressive than the renowned 12.1 standmounters – and considering the 12.1 are five-star speakers, that's quite some praise. At just over 38 inches tall, the 12.3 aren't massive, but they like having space to breathe. They benefit from a bit of inward angling too, but thanks to their wide sound dispersion you don't have to worry about being inch-perfect.

To really get into the detail of that sound, they're sonically smooth, even-handed and wonderfully refined for the money. Feed them a poor signal and they are skilled at revealing the shortcomings without bringing too much attention to them, rounding off rough edges and downplaying unwanted aggression without sounding like they’re smothering the life out of your music.

Those qualities make them great if you want to partner your turntable, CD player or streamer with a floorstander without breaking the bank, but however you use the 12.3, you'll surely be satisfied either way.

Read the full Wharfedale Diamond 12.3 review

The best premium floorstanding speakers

White Triangle Borea BR08 towers flanking a fireplace

A talented pair of well-made speakers that need a bit of care to deliver an excellent performance. (Image credit: Triangle)
Superb performers capable of thrilling results.

Specifications

Drive units: 1" tweeter, 6.3" midrange, 2x 6.3" bass
Ported: Yes (front)
Bi-wire: No
Impedance: 8 ohms
Sensitivity: 92dB
Dimensions (hwd): 40.2" x 8.1" x 12.4"
Weight: 19.6lb
Finishes: 4 (black, white, light oak, walnut)

Reasons to buy

+
Excellent dynamics and punch
+
Impressive rhythmic drive
+
Terrific punch and agility

Reasons to avoid

-
Requires care in partnering
-
Needs a larger room to shine

As this list proves, there are plenty of talented floorstanding speakers on the market today, with the Award-winning Triangle Borea BR08 providing another excellent example of a pair that offers something a little bit special to stand out from the crowd. 

The speaker cabinets do look a little basic on first inspection, but look closer and you'll discover that they're stable, well-made and neatly finished. The plinths bolt onto the bottom for a bit of extra stability, although we'd prefer the supplied spikes to be a little sharper to penetrate through thick carpets. That's a small irritation, but just something to bear in mind if your house sports rhinoceros hide-levels of flooring density.

Inside, the BR08 make great use of their three-way design, packing in two fiberglass-coned bass units alongside a front-firing reflex port and a 25mm silk dome tweeter. The speakers' relatively high sensitivity means you should be able to eke out decent volume levels, even from relatively low-powered amps, but make sure you check for compatibility first.

Sonically, the BR08 are speakers that look to grab your attention from the get-go, displaying a sense of vigor, vitality and dynamic strength that most rivals fail just can't manage. As long as you give the speakers plenty of room to breathe (at least 40/50cm in all directions) and angle them in towards the listener, you'll hear them at their vivacious, punchy best. That said, bright-sounding electronics might make them a little over-excitable, so find suitable partners and you'll be blown away by their entertaining, immediate sound. 

If you have a tad more cash to spend, the entertaining, expressive Dali Oberon 5 are also worthy of your cash and consideration.

Read the full Triangle Borea BR08 review

Best high-end floorstanding speakers

Wharfedale Evo 4.4 towers flanking a wall-mounted TV

A natural-sounding, tech-laden speaker that is still relatively affordable. (Image credit: Wharfedale)
Wharfedale shows it can mix with the best premium speakers.

Specifications

Drive units: 1.2x2.4" AMT tweeter, 2" midrange, 2x 6.5" bass
Ported: Yes (downward)
Bi-wire: Yes
Sensitivity: 89dB
Impedance: 4 ohms
Dimensions (hwd): 41.7" x 9.8" x 13.8"
Weight: 56.4lb
Finishes: 3 (black, walnut, white oak)

Reasons to buy

+
Natural, easy-going presentation
+
Excitement and rhythmic drive
+
Fine build and finish

Reasons to avoid

-
Need a large room to shine
-
Not a budget option

Wharfedale's premium Evo 4.4 floorstanding speakers boast some of the latest technology you'll find in a pair of towers at this level, and to listen to them, it truly shows. The speakers' Air Motion Transformer tweeter is usually found in far more costly models, while you also get the firm's midrange and twin Kevlar bass drivers.

That all pays seriously sonic dividends when it comes to listening to the burly Evo 4.4. The grand, imposing speakers produce a large-scale sound with plenty of weight, but they also deliver transparency and subtlety, helping to ensure a natural, easy-going presentation that never strays into dullness or complacency.

In fact, the opposite is the case. There’s a tangible sense that these speakers are making the effort to dig deep into each recording to then present the information they find in an honest, clear way. They track notes well, clearly defining leading and trailing edges without sounding overly etched or staid in the process.

Rival speakers might sound more forward and eager, even enthusiastic, but we actually found that over time the Evo 4.4’s easy-going presentation was wonderfully natural and convincing, not to mention pleasurable to listen to. 

At this kind of money, these are some of the best floorstanding speakers you can buy right now. If you can afford to fork out a bit more, then we'd urge you to look at PMC's Award-winning Prodigy 5 as an alternative, which are easily some of our favourite speakers of recent times. 

Read the full Wharfedale Evo 4.4 review

How to choose the best floorstanding speakers for you

First things first, decide on a budget. Your components should be evenly matched, both tonally and in terms of price, so consider this before breaking the bank on a new pair of floorstanding speakers that the rest of your kit can't do justice to. 

You also need to make sure your floorstanding speakers fit your room. Most speakers require a degree of space to sound their best, so be sure not to buy speakers that are too big for your listening area. Large floorstanding speakers mean higher volumes but, again, you need the space so make sure there's room for them to breathe.

There's also the choice between passive and active speakers. Most floorstanding speakers are passive - they have no amplification inside, so require a separate amplifier to work. Active speakers with amplification (and sometimes DAC and streaming smarts) are increasingly popular and can connect straight to your source, no amp required, though they do require a connection to mains power. Check out our pick of the best active speakers if you're curious about this alternative.

For a more detailed explanation of everything you should consider, check out our complete guide to choosing the right speakers.

How we test floorstanding speakers

We have state-of-the-art testing facilities in London and Reading, where our team of experienced, in-house reviewers test the majority of hi-fi and AV kit that passes through our door – including floorstanding speakers.

What Hi-Fi? is all about comparative testing, so we listen to every pair of floorstanding speakers we review against the current leader in its field to gauge how it compares to the best-in-class competition. We keep What Hi-Fi? Award winners in our stockrooms so we can always compare new products against ones we know and love. We also do our best to review as many new models in as many markets as possible to ensure our contextual knowledge is the best it can be.

We are always impartial in our testing and ensure we hear every pair of floorstanding speakers at its optimum, with the relevant sources and amplifiers for each price point. We test them in their best use case with different partnering source kit, whether that's with a record player, a music streamer, or even a CD player, and we play plenty of different types of music through them. Naturally, we give them plenty of listening time (and time to run in) and try them in various positions in the room to find the sweet spot.

All review verdicts are agreed upon by the team as a whole rather than an individual reviewer, to eliminate any personal preference and to make sure we are being as thorough as possible. There is no input from PR companies or our sales team when it comes to the verdict, with What Hi-Fi? proud of having delivered honest and unbiased reviews for decades.

You can read more about how we test and review products on What Hi-Fi? here.

MORE:

Harry McKerrell
Staff writer

Harry McKerrell is a staff writer at What Hi-Fi?. He studied law and history at university before working as a freelance journalist covering TV and gaming for numerous platforms both online and in print. When not at work he can be found playing hockey, practising the piano or forcing himself to go long-distance running.

With contributions from
  • Ivan
    Hello, are there any good active floorstanding speakers? For example
    Dynaudio Focus 60 XD? Thank you
    Reply
  • soswishy
    If you have the budget for those Dynaudio's, I'd definitely recommend you demo the ATC SCM40A.
    Reply
  • F8lee
    Is there a reason Magnepan isn't represented here? The 1.7i sounds outstanding, even without a subwoofer.
    Reply
  • Julian Stevens
    No PMC's?
    Reply
  • soswishy
    No Elac Vela FS 407s? No Sonus Faber Sonetto IIIs?
    Reply
  • mikes
    Goldenear speakers
    Reply
  • paulshwk
    For £699 are there any better floorstanders than the Q Acoustics concept 40? I know these are a few years old but WHF only tends to do comparisons of new products. I'm looking to buy floorstanders and the Q's are in budget. Based on reviews I've read there doesn't appear to be anything significantly better available for the money. Thoughts?
    Reply
  • psurquhart
    Yeah, I’m with Julian above - why no PMC’s - previous WhatHiFi favourites and excellent speaker makers fallen from grace ? Surely they should be on this list ? What have PMC done to you lot ? Explain please
    Reply
  • psurquhart
    paulshwk said:
    For £699 are there any better floorstanders than the Q Acoustics concept 40? I know these are a few years old but WHF only tends to do comparisons of new products. I'm looking to buy floorstanders and the Q's are in budget. Based on reviews I've read there doesn't appear to be anything significantly better available for the money. Thoughts?
    2nd Hand Market - PMC GB1’s - just a thought if you can buy 2nd hand ?
    Reply
  • londonguy
    anyone know if the fyne audio f501 would be a significant upgrade from the monitor audio bx5? Im using a naim atom and want a bit more oopmh in the bass as well as to tame the treble on some tracks which can sound a little harsh on occasion. I was looking at the f502 but think it may be over kill in my living room which is approximately 4m2
    Reply