Speaker stands may not be the first thing you think of when you think of upgrading your audio setup, but not only do speaker stands add to the aesthetic of your setup, but they can actually impact how you perceive the quality of sound. The best speaker stands to get are ones that are stable and support your speaker model as well as those that will bring your speakers up to ear level.
To go into it a little more, two factors influence a speaker’s performance, aside from the quality of the speaker itself: speaker placement and listening position. Money spent on quality speakers can quickly be wasted due to improper placement, so in order to get the most out of your sound system, a basic understanding of speaker isolation and directivity will go a long way.
Whether you’re using your speakers for music production, critical listening, or home theater applications, you’ll want to align them properly and find the listening ‘sweet spot’ to achieve the best possible sound quality. A short guide to speaker placement is included at the end of this article, or if you’d like to dig deeper into the topic of placement we recommend giving this article on placement by Cambridge Audio a read.
Our Top Picks
The Best PA Speaker Stand
Produced by a heavily trusted brand in the pro audio community, Hercules, the SS200BB speaker stands are well-built, and heavy-duty making them some of the best speaker stands for PA purposes.
The Best Studio Monitor Speaker Stand
The On-Stage SMS600 adopts a classic design and is produced by another reputable company. These stands provide long-lasting use and a subtle look that compliments any studio environment.
The Best Home Theatre Stand Choice
The Edifier S3000 speaker stands are stylish, well-built, and can be filled with sand for additional isolation. These speaker stands can’t be adjusted, but their height is universally usable for couch-based listening.
The Best Bookshelf Speaker Stand
The Sanus HTBS speaker stands follow a different design, allowing you to mount your bookshelf speakers by means of one of three mounting options, and the height range is incredibly versatile.
The Best PA Speaker Stands
For the best speaker stands for PA systems, you’ll want a heavier-duty stand that can not only support the weight and size of the speakers but also won’t tip over if gently bumped or blown in the wind.
Hercules SS200BB Speaker Stands
Hercules are widely respected in the professional audio industry for their well-built speaker and instrument stands. The SS200BB speaker stands can accommodate a speaker with a 35/38mm pole socket and uses a pinhole-type system to secure the speaker on the stand, with a maximum height of up to 8 feet. The SS200BB speaker stands come as a pair with a sturdy carry bag.
On-Stage SSP7900 Speaker Stands
On-Stage speaker stands are also extensively used in professional environments, and their instrument and equipment stands are all exceptionally well-made. The SSP7900 speaker stands are strong enough to hold any PA speaker and can reach a height of 6.25 feet. While the locking mechanisms don’t quite feel as durable as those on the Hercules stands, I can put my trust in them to hold my system safely. The SSP7900 speaker stands come with a drawstring-style carry bag with an adjustable shoulder strap.
Amazon Basics Speaker Stand
The Amazon Basics speaker stand is an excellent entry-level option for house parties or mobile DJs. The stands aren’t as sturdy as the On-Stage or Hercules options, but will safely hold your speakers and should prove to last if they’re used correctly. The Amazon Basics speaker stands can reach a height of 6.6 feet and can be purchased with a 25ft or 50ft cable. There is no option for a carry bag, though any speaker stand bag will work for these.
The Best Home Theater/Critical Listening Speaker Stands
If you’re running a stereo or surround home theater system, bookshelf speakers, or enjoy listening to classic records on the couch with a trusty pair of far-field monitors, you’ll need something that not only suits the height requirements but also suits your design and theme of your living room/entertainment area. Below are our selections for the best speaker stands for home theatre and critical listening.
Edifier S3000 Pro Speaker Stands
A familiar brand in the audio world, Edifier, offers a stylish solution for bookshelf speakers or home theater systems. These stands are specifically designed for their S3000 Pro bookshelf speakers but can accommodate other models, as long as they aren’t too large for the base plate (9.05 x 11.81). In our opinion, these are some of the best speaker stands for a wood-finished room – with a clean design and good support.
The S3000 Pro speaker stands are 25.6 inches tall, an ideal height for couch-based listening, though if your speakers aren’t very tall, you may find the driver’s cone to be more aligned with your stomach or chest area. For most purposes, this shouldn’t be an issue, but for audiophiles/critical listeners, please measure the height of your speaker’s cone to ensure the height is correct for your listening area.
The Edifier S3000 Pro speaker stands also allow for sand-filling, which reduces unwanted resonance.
Perlegear PGSS6 Universal Speaker Stands
The Perlegear PGSS6 Universal Speaker Stands are designed to hold any speaker that fits on the base plate, measuring 7.79 x 7.79 inches. The speaker stand is 27.5 inches tall, which can be slightly tall for couch-based listening if your seat is pretty close to the ground, so check those measurements before purchasing.
These speaker stands are considerably cheaper than the Edifier models but don’t allow for sand-filling and adopt a simpler look and feel, with a steel and tempered glass design in black, complimenting any environment.
The PGSS6 speaker stands by Perlegear feature a hollowed pole with holes on either end to run cables through- I really like this for cable management, as it allows you to keep all the cable slack within the stand, rather than hanging around on the floor.
Sanus HTBS Speaker Stands
These Sanus HTBS Universal Speaker Stands are designed specifically for bookshelf speakers with a mounting hole at the rear. These stands are 28 inches tall and are incredibly discreet, with a thin pole and non-offensive base that won’t distract from its surroundings.
These speaker stands can hold small satellite and bookshelf speakers weighing up to 3.5lbs, and allow for mounting in three different configurations, including L-shaped brackets, top plate mounting, and keyhole adapters, maximizing their versatility and compatibility.
The speaker stand base comes with attachable carpet spikes, promoting a non-slip functionality, and rubberized pads for wood or tiled surfaces.
The Best Studio Monitor Stands
These stands are ideal for music producers, recording and mix engineers, and other professional audio applications, though someone in video editing or even an avid gamer could benefit from a good-sounding setup at their desk.
Gator Frameworks Clamp-On Studio Monitor Speaker Stands
Owned by Gator, who are praised industry-wide for their hard-shell and flight case quality, produce convenient desktop clamp-style speaker stands under the name Frameworks, who also make other studio furniture and accessories.
The Frameworks Clamp-On speaker stands are great for smaller home studios as they don’t occupy any floor space, eliminating the need to have your desk a few feet away from the wall with your speakers behind it.
This speaker stand can extend to a height of 14 inches, and your speaker can be angled toward you anywhere between 0 and 15 degrees.
IsoAcoustics Iso-155 Speaker Stands
The Iso-155 speaker stands from IsoAcoustics is another incredibly compact and versatile isolation solution for smaller spaces. The Iso-155 stands on four legs and proves to be sturdy enough to hold any studio monitor. This speaker stand is available in various size configurations to suit any speaker, and its height can be adjusted between 14 settings, ranging from 2.9 to 8.2 inches.
The Iso-155 speaker stands can also operate at a tilted angle, allowing you to get the most out of your listening setup. Adjusting the parameters of these speaker stands is incredibly straightforward- I managed to find the best setting for my studio in a matter of minutes.
On-Stage SMS6000 Studio Speaker Stands
Adopting a classic design that’s widely used in professional studios where floor space behind the desk/console isn’t an issue, the SMS6000 speaker stands by On-Stage Stands is an affordable and guaranteed solution to achieving proper isolation and, in turn, more accurate sound representations from your speakers.
The SMS6000 speaker stands stem from a triangular base, fitted with carpet spikes. The height can be adjusted between 36.5 inches to 54 inches tall to suit any listening position. These speaker stands use PA-style locking pins, so the height adjustments occur in increments of 4 inches.
The base plate of this speaker stand includes a thin layer of non-slip padding, so your speakers aren’t in any danger of shifting around from vibrations or knocks and bumps.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why should my speakers go on stands?
You may have noticed how placing your portable Bluetooth speaker on the kitchen counter makes it sound different from when it’s on the grass- this is because a speaker’s surroundings alter the tonal qualities. If you’re looking to get the most accurate response from your speakers, you’ll need to isolate them- sadly, this means your bookshelf speakers can no longer sit on the bookshelf.
I won’t go into too much detail about sound isolation here, but it’s important to recognize that placing your speakers on your desk will allow lower frequency energy to disperse into the desk, causing resonating frequencies, which can dramatically modify the way your source material sounds.
To combat this, we use speaker stands, which not only isolate the speakers from conflicting materials and surfaces but most also let you adjust the speaker’s height to achieve optimal listening positioning.
What Else can I do to improve isolation?
In addition to using speaker stands, many professionals use a second isolation technique: placing the speakers atop a layer of heavily-absorbent foam, facilitating further isolation and therefore reducing unwanted resonance.
Isolation pads are available from several manufacturers and come in various sizes. The Mopad range by Auralex is arguably the best on the market and isn’t too expensive.
Some speaker stands, like the Edifier S3000 Pro stands, allow for sand-filling. This increases the density of the stands and therefore provides an additional layer of isolation and reduces resonance from the stand itself.
Where Do I Place My Speaker Stand?
For a stereo pair of speakers, this is relatively straightforward:
Your listening position should form an equilateral triangle between you and each speaker, i.e., The distance between the speakers should be the same as your distance from the speakers, and the speaker’s cone should be firing at ear level. There’s a little more to it, but for now, this is all that’s important.
Are Speaker Stands Universal?
Mostly, no. PA speaker stands attach themself to the speaker using a mounting hole found beneath the speaker, while monitor stands or bookshelf speaker stands have a plate which the speaker rests on. There are some exceptions, such as the Sanus HTBS speaker stands which don’t have a plate, but rather allow you to mount the speaker using hooks or brackets.
Does The Material of the Stand Affect The Performance?
Since the speaker stand is in direct contact with the speaker, it will resonate, though these resonances aren’t easily perceivable, especially in live sound situations where PA speakers are used at louder volume levels.
For studio monitor or critical listening stands, the isolation provided by the speaker stands effectively reduces interference within the room, though extra isolation methods such as foam pads beneath the speakers will further decouple the speaker from the stand, reducing the resonance you may hear.