Best Tower Speakers of 2018

Updated August 18th, 2018 by Headshot Jacob Tuwiner

If you’re like me, you won’t settle for anything less than the best sound quality.

Floor standing tower speakers are incredibly popular, because they sound fantastic.

They’re great for home theaters, gaming setups, and you can listen to music too (obviously).

I’ve scoured the internet to compile my ultimate list of the 5 best tower speakers under 500, so you can enjoy the quality of an awesome sound system, without breaking the bank.

Best Tower Speakers (Under $500)

IMG Speaker Price
Polk Audio T50 (Single) Polk Audio T50 (Single) $100
Yamaha NS-F210​ (Single) Yamaha NS-F210​BL (Single) $150
Onkyo SKF-4800 Onkyo SKF-4800​ (Pair) $400
Klipsch R-24F (Pair) ​Klipsch R-24F (Pair) $450
KEF Q550 ​KEF Q550 $500

Polk Audio T50 (Single)

Polk Audio T50 (Single)

The T50 doesn’t have any fancy features, but it definitely gets the job done. This 36.25” high enclosure speaker is a great speaker for those of you on a budget.

Drivers include a one-inch silk dome tweeter, a 6.5-inch composite cone woofer, and two 6.5 passive radiators.

If you want to set up a home theater system, buying a few Polk T50s is a good choice. The speaker’s subwoofer handled explosions well, and dialogue sounded crisp and clear, too.

Listening to music is also an enjoyable experience with this speaker. If I didn’t know the price tag beforehand, I would’ve guessed this speaker is far more expensive. You can’t go wrong with the Polk Audio T50.

Yamaha NS-F210​BL (Single)

Yamaha NS-F210​ (Single)

The Yamaha NS-F210​BL sounds highly detailed and crisp. Vocals project well, and stereo imagery is also stable.

Speed between mids and highs is easily audible, and the speaker has good overall midrange sound quality.

I had to turn up the base settings considerably to hear any substantial lows, probably due to the speaker’s slim cabinets and tiny drivers.

The speaker’s surround sound is phenomenal – in fact, it may be the speaker’s strongest quality. The NS-C210 centre speaker – despite its small size – provides sufficient weight and definition to voices and other midrange sounds.

The speaker also has plenty of rear ambience, thanks to the NS-B210 at the other end.

Although it has a relatively low price tag, this speaker can hold its own, especially after you tweak some settings.

Onkyo SKF-4800​ (Pair)

Onkyo SKF-4800

The Onkyo SKF-4800​ is one of the best floor standing speakers for your money. Its one-inch soft dome tweeter radiates lovely high-frequency sound that accompanies the speaker’s amazing base.

Onkyo produces superb products for those on a budget. Rather than a mid-level sound bar or home theater system, you can couple this speaker set with an Onkyo receiver to create an awesome surround sound system.

The speakers are rated for 55Hz on the low end, but you won’t need a subwoofer, as these speakers have impactful base. Overall, you can’t go wrong with Onkyo’s SKF-4800, especially considering its price.

This set of speakers is easily one of the best you’ll find below $500.

Klipsch R-24F (Pair)

Klipsch R-24F (Pair)

The Klipsch R-24F has consistently proven itself as a worthy contender in its weight class. The speaker yields great results across the boards: it is efficient, the design is attractive, and the speaker features smooth audio reproduction.

The speakers blast rumbling lows, clear mids and crisp highs. Unlike other floor standing tower speakers that sound muddy during hard-hitting bass, these speakers emit clear and impressive low bass frequencies.

These tower speakers each have two 8-inch IMG subwoofers and a 1-inch tweeter that is responsible for a lot of the midrange and high frequencies.

If you’re looking for a pair of speakers that will provide you with depth and clarity that is unmatched by any other, consider a pair of Klipsch R24F speakers.

KEF Q550

KEF Q550

The KEF Q550 is the smallest floorstanding speaker in the Q-series. KEF is well known for their high-end products, and the Q550 is no different.

This speaker is rocking a contemporary modern look. The finish is made of a plastic film, which comes in either white or black. Overall, it looks very good.

The speaker’s feet use adjustable spikes at the ends which allow you to adjust the height of the speaker.

Every sound is detailed and homogeneous. Bass doesn’t overpower the sound from other instruments, and it sounds great. Instruments like the violin and guitar are reproduced with clarity and texture, demonstrating the speaker’s clarity.

In conclusion, no matter what genre of music is being played, the Q550 was fit for the task. I’d highly recommend this small floor standing speaker!

How to Position Tower Speakers

Floorstanding vs. Bookshelf Speakers

To put it simply, bookshelf speakers are short and fat, while floorstanding speakers are tall and thin. Of course, there’s more to it than that.

There are situations in which both floorstanding and bookshelf speakers could be used together. For example, in a home hifi setup with a stereo amp, both types of speakers are ideal for playing music.

Floorstanding speakers are often more powerful than bookshelf speakers, and usually deliver a more powerful and wider sound than bookshelf speakers. Floorstanding speakers are also great for those with limited space, as they don’t take up much room on the floor.

Speaker Drivers

Speaker drivers are the individual engines that produce sound by turning the electronic audio signals into something you can hear.

The more drivers packed into one speaker, the better the speaker’s sound quality will be (in most cases). If a speaker has less than three drivers, it’s probably a good idea to steer clear.

Cheap speakers will use cone tweeters, whereas more expensive (and higher quality) models will use dome tweeters, which emit sound more effectively.

Tower Speakers

Wattage

Wattage is the amount of power consumed by each speaker. Consider watts per channel, as this measures how much potential each one has.

Peak wattage is how much the speaker can withstand at maximum load, and can often be ignored. Continuous wattage is the average wattage the speaker consumes during general use.

Sensitivity

Also referred to as efficiency, speaker sensitivity measures how loud speakers can become when consuming a certain amount of power.

It’s important to note that manufacturers don’t have a testing standard, so you should consider sensitivity ratings lightly.

Frequencies

Frequencies measure how low and high sounds are, in Hertz (Hz). Speakers with a wider frequency range can emit more detailed sound. Humans can only hear a maximum of 17,000 Hz.

This is where bass comes in. Bass is created by woofers, which are special drivers that are used to create low bass frequencies. Nearly all floorstanding speakers have at least one woofer, but higher end models have more than one.

Most of the time, floorstanding speakers’ woofers are sufficient. However, if you want truly impactful bass, you’re going to need to generate frequencies that are so low, they can’t be heard, only felt. This takes a tremendous amount of power.

If you want serious bass, consider buying an aftermarket subwoofer to accompany your floorstanding speakers.

While you’re certainly able to get away with relying on the woofers in your floorstanding speakers – especially in the case of models like the GoldenEar Triton One, which have three huge 9” woofers (!) – we would always recommend buying an additional subwoofer. It will do the job that even the best floorstanding speakers can’t.

Home Theater vs. HiFi

Can you use floorstanding tower speakers in your home theater setup, or are they only sufficient for music?

Most people would say you should use floorstanding speakers for a home theater system. If you want to buy speakers for a HiFi music system, go for bookshelf speakers instead.

In reality, as long as you pair your floorstanding speakers with a good amp, they’ll work perfectly well in a HiFi music setup. You’ll get a bigger bang for your buck out of floorstanding tower speakers than you will with bookshelf speakers.

Conclusion

Floorstanding tower speakers are a great solution for a home theater system. They’re also awesome for listening to music. All in all, you can’t go wrong with a great set of tower speakers. They can even be used as gaming speakers! Although, if you want a pair of dedicated gaming speakers, you’ll want to look elsewhere.

Of course, you don’t want to break the bank. That’s why I compiled this list of the best tower speakers under 500 dollars. If you have any questions or you need further help, feel free to contact me!