How To Choose Tower Speaker

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To buy the best floor-standing speaker for your home, you should go through each of these factors thoroughly. It will be very helpful in deciding the effectiveness of the speaker that you are going to buy.

1. Type of Drivers:

Tower speakers usually have multiple drivers that are responsible for relaying sound via vibration. This allows the speaker to generate a large array of sounds. The type and the number of drivers used in the tower speaker vary from model to model.

There are 4 types of drivers that are generally used in tower speakers. Each of them offers a specific frequency range. The size of the driver partly depends on the range that it offers. As higher ranges end up offering shorter soundwaves, the size of these drivers used can be small. Contrary to this, as lower frequencies have longer soundwaves, the speakers require larger drivers.

The different types of drivers used are as follows:

  • Tweeters:

Tweeters are small drivers that are usually placed at the top of the speaker. They are named after the high-pitch sounds that the birds make. These drivers emit sounds at higher frequencies that range from 2,000 to 30,000 Hz.

There are three types of tweeters that are usually found in tower speakers:

Cheaper speakers use cone-shaped tweeters called cone tweeters. When compared to other shaped tweeters, the cone-shaped tweeters don’t spread sound efficiently. The material used to make these tweeters is also not that effective (paper is the most commonly used and effective material but is not high-grade). Better models of speakers use dome tweeters that handle the sound efficiently and spreads it across evenly.

Cone tweeters are made using different types of materials. Paper cones are easily available but they produce distorted sound quality. Cones made using materials like metal and fabric offer better sound dispersion when compared to the paper cones.

Because of the good-quality sound dispersion and range, dome tweeters generally have supplanted cones. They are mostly made using thin yet strong materials like silk, polymer, Mylar, etc.

Even horn tweeters offer sound with high-frequency detail. It comes in a shape that generates precise and focused sound. The sensitivity and the dynamic range are high here but the sound distortion is very low.

Planar-magnetic tweeters are quite similar to dome tweeters. They are direct radiators and hence, are a bit low when it comes to power handling and sensitivity.

  • Mid-range Drivers:

Mid-range drivers are capable of handling sound frequency that ranges from 500 to 2,000 Hz. The human voice and the sound of instruments fall in this range. This means that having a good mid-range driver is very important in speakers. Like tweeters, mid-range drivers are also made using different types of materials that have an impact on the sound quality of the speaker.

Some of the advanced and highly engineered horn tweeters can also be used as mid-range drivers as the horn tweeter also resonates sound within a frequency ranging between 1,000 – 2,000 Hz. This adds acoustic energy in the sound of the speaker. Hence, it makes it easier to match the tweeter with the woofer as this range (1,000 – 2,000 Hz) has a bit more energy.

  • Woofers:

Woofers are named after the low-pitch noises that the dogs make. Woofers are the drivers that generate low-frequency sounds that range from 40 – 1,000 Hz or high. Woofers produce a high-quality bass response that is loved by many users. The high-quality bass performance offered by the woofers in most tower speakers is one of the reasons users prefer buying these speakers rather than going for smaller speakers.

  • Subwoofers:

Subwoofers are the drivers that are known for magnifying bass sounds in a range of 20 – 200 Hz. Sounds at this frequency are usually non-directional. This means that there is some amount of flexibility wherever it is placed in the room. In certain scenarios, these subwoofers are paired with smaller speakers to eliminate the use of larger tower speakers.

If you want a powerful home theatre system at your home, there should be a subwoofer that is effective in producing the LFE (low-frequency effects) channel.

2. Tower Speaker Configuration (Two Way vs. Three Way)

Even though tower speakers are available in different configurations, there are three main classifications. They are named simply after the number of drivers the speaker contains.

  • Two-Way Speakers:

Two-way speakers contain only a woofer and a tweeter. Both are responsible for separating the frequencies in order to produce lows and highs. They even share the mid-range load.

  • Three-Way Speakers:

Three-way speakers comprise of a tweeter, one woofer, and one mid-range. Their job is to separate the frequency into three parts: lows, mids, and high. Each component in the speaker works in its own range. Thus, the extremes focus primarily on delivering detailed highs and lows, even when the volume increases. When compared, three-ways speakers are better than two-ways speakers as they produce more detailed sounds.

3. Cabinet Construction:

The cabinet is another important component of a tower speaker. It should be well constructed and should be anti-resonant. This means that the cabinet should be sturdy and it should not cause any sound distortion whenever it vibrates due to the sound that is emitted by the drivers.

While choosing a tower or floor-standing speaker, you must check the material that is used to make the cabinet. You should also consider its finish and see if it will match with the other interiors of your home or room. The most commonly used material for making cabinet is wood along with wood finish. It goes well with any kind of décor.

You should also check the cabinet’s footing. If you have a hard floor at your home like wood or linoleum, you must look for a cabinet with either rubber or padded footing. If you plan to keep the speaker over a carpet, you can check for carpet spikes. They will hold the speaker in place. Avoid using spikes on harder surfaces as they can lead to scratches on the surface of the floor.

4. Sensitivity:

The sensitivity rating of a speaker helps you in determining how effectively it can convert power into volume. The more the rating is, the louder the volume will be at a given amount of power. The sensitivity of a speaker is generally calculated by running the speaker with one watt of power. The loudness is then measured in decibels (dB) from a distance of one meter.

Speakers with more sensitivity ratings require less power. Hence, a speaker that has a sensitivity rating that is only 3 dB higher than any other speaker; it will consume half the power to deliver the same amount of sound.

Here is a chart that shows how a few dB change in sensitivity can have a big difference in the sound that you get to hear.

SpeakerSensitivityPower required to
produce certain
A85 dB100 watts
B88 dB50 watts
C91 dB25 watts

If you have a low-powered amp at your home, you should check for a speaker that offers high sensitivity ratings (90 dB or more) to get the best output.

4. Frequency Response:

Frequency response is measured in Hertz (Hz). Tower speakers generally use two or more drivers to generate a wide range in frequency.

Frequency response is basically a measurement that shows what range of frequency (20 – 20,000 Hz) can the speaker produce. Tower speakers with high-frequency response offer a wider range. This means the highs and the lows are going to be detailed and clear.

5. Impedance:

Impedance measures the current resistance that impacts the amount of load (coming from the amplifier) that the speaker can handle. It is measured in ohms. The total amount of current used is in a state of constant flux. However, the speakers are provided with a nominal rating so that it is easy for comparison.

Some of the common impedance values are 4, 8, and 16 ohms. It is very important to match the impedance of the speaker with the amplifier. If there is a mismatch, it might lead to sound issues or damage the equipment completely.

6. Wattage or Power Output:

The power specification of the speakers (measured in watts) refers to the amount of power that the speaker is designed to receive from the amplifier before it starts to distort.

Not all amplifiers are made equally. Hence, you should check the watts per channel that the amplifier can output. If the amount of power that the amplifier can output is within the capabilities of the speaker, you can be sure that it won’t damage the speaker.

Wattage is categorized into two types: peak and continuous. The peak power handling value is the maximum power level that a speaker utilizes during short bursts. For example, a speaker that has a 40W RMS rating and a peak rating of 80W, it means that the speaker can work comfortably with 40W of continuous power and with occasional bursts of around 80W. Most of the manufacturers offer both the values for the speaker.

7. Speaker Size:

You should select a size that will fit properly in the allocated space. One thing for sure is the bigger the size of the speaker is, the louder sound it can generate. While a bigger room will need bigger tower speakers, a smaller room might need a smaller tower speaker. However, if you love the loud sound, you can buy a bigger speaker for your small room too.

8. Wire Terminal Type:

There are two types of wire terminals that are used in tower speakers: spring clip and building post terminals. You will usually find spring clips wire terminals in lower-end models of tower speakers. They work with bare wire and pin type connections.

Building post terminals, on the other hand, are quite versatile and sturdy. They allow connections with different types of wires. You can even tighten the building post terminals in order to strengthen the connections.

9. Wire Terminal Configuration:

There are different configurations available for the total number of terminals. The most common configuration is to have a single set of terminals. In such a scenario, there will be a single connection to the speaker along with a crossover that determines which part of the signal is going to which driver.

Some speakers come with two sets of terminals where one set is for low-frequency drivers and the other one is for high-frequency drivers. Thus, each frequency range receives a dedicated channel. If you want to get the most out of the two-set terminal configuration, you should have an amplifier that will provide differentiation.

If the receiver does not have two channels, you can still connect them by running two sets of wires from the same terminal (on the receiver) to the two sets of speaker terminals. You can even jump two sets of terminals together in this scenario.

10. Passive vs. Powered Speakers:

Passive speakers are those that don’t have an in-built amplifier. You will have to buy an external amplifier to achieve the best performance. Powered speakers, on the other hand, come with an in-built amplifier. Powered speakers are also called as active speakers. For everyday use, powered speakers can be the best choice as you will not have to worry about additional space to keep the amplifier.

Most of the newer models of tower speakers are active speakers only.

11. Placement:

Most users prefer keeping their tower speakers next to the TV or music system. To get an optimal output, you can even keep the towers in different places in the room.

However, one point that you should remember is if you keep the speaker in the corner of the room, the quality of the bass will drop automatically. Hence, you should maintain a distance of at least six inches between the speaker and the wall. You can figure out the perfect position according to the shape of your room too.

12. Speaker Materials:

The drivers of the speakers are made using different materials like paper, plastic, metal, and rubber. Each of these materials has its own sonic properties. For example, if a tweeter is made using like silk, it will produce smooth sound.

Most of the manufacturers prefer using those materials that offers a perfect balance of lightweight and strength for making a driver. While lightweight is important for promoting efficient movement, strength is important to generate clear sound without any distortion.

Drivers made using premium materials offer better sound quality than the low-cost materials.

13. Aesthetics:

You should buy a tower speaker that will look good in your house. Many manufacturers are now trying to make speakers that are visually pleasing too.

14. Price:

If you are looking forward to buying a good quality tower speaker to enhance your TV viewing experience, you can easily get it within a price range of Rs. 10,000 to Rs. 25,000.

15. Warranty:

Buying any product with a warranty period is always beneficial and tower speaker is no exception. If there is an issue with the product, you can always contact the manufacturer and claim the warranty. Most of the products mentioned in our list come with a warranty of around 3 months to 1 year.

16. Customer Reviews:

No matter whether you are buying a tower speaker online or from a shop, you should check the reviews of the customers. It will help you in understanding the product better and if it is worth it spending so much on the speakers. Even if you are buying speakers from a well-known brand, you should check the reviews.

Benefits of Buying the Best Tower Speakers:

Some of the benefits of having good quality tower speakers at your home are as follows:

1. Fuller and Richer Sound Experience

While setting up a home theatre system for your home, you should consider buying speakers that offer the best sound quality. Such speakers add richness factor to the entire audio experience. It makes you feel like you are in a theatre and lets you enjoy an immersive experience.

2. Modern Style:

The newer models of the tower speakers are designed in a way that they look aesthetic and visually pleasing too. An attractive and functional tower speaker can add an oomph factor to the interior of your house.

3. Slim Profile:

Tower speakers are slim and tall. Hence, they can even fit in tight corners or tight spaces in your room. This prevents you from the hassle of shifting the furniture to fit the speaker.

This property makes the speaker very versatile. You can use it anywhere, in your living room, bedroom, or leisure room.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Do all tower speakers need a subwoofer?

Tower speakers don’t need subwoofer necessarily. Some tower speakers are even efficient enough to provide you the correct amount of bass without a subwoofer.

2. Which one is better: wired or wireless floor standing tower speaker?

There is no such specific thing that which one of them is better. If you want a wireless home theatre system, you can buy a wireless set of speakers.
If you want your room to look clean and if you don’t the wires to show up in every corner, you can opt for a wireless speaker.With wired tower speakers, you will have to connect the cables to the input terminals.
However, when compared to wireless tower speakers, a properly wired tower speaker can provide high audio quality.
If you are planning to buy a wired tower speaker, buy the one that uses binding post terminals.
Most users prefer gold-plated binding posts. These terminals are versatile and you can even use different connectors with them.

3. Tower speaker is the best choice for: Hi-Fi or Home Theatre?

Many users are confused regarding the best use of tower speakers. Are they useful only for listening to music or do they help in providing the best home theatre experience?
Floor-standing tower speakers work the best while you are using them with your home theatre system.
If you are planning to make a hi-fi music system for your home, you should probably buy the bookshelf speakers along with a small subwoofer.
However, since the sound quality and the bass quality offered by the tower speakers are so good, you can use it in both cases.

4. What are narrow floor standing speakers?

The narrow floor standing speakers have a slim profile (most of them have a depth of 15 inches). These speakers improve the entertainment experience without taking too much space.
For people who have limited space can buy these speakers.

5. Is it easy to install tower speakers?

Most of the tower speakers are very easy to install. All you have to do is put the speaker on the floor.
Since these speakers are the largest components of a home theatre system, you should make sure that there is enough space near the TV or stereo to accommodate the speakers.
If you are already sure that where are you going to place the speaker, check the surrounding area, and buy a model that will blend well in that area.

6. Are tower speakers good?

Tower speakers are also known as floor speakers. These are great in terms of performance and ideal for large spaces.

7. Are tower speakers better than bookshelf?

A tower speaker has more bass as compared to a bookshelf speaker. These can produce sound in full range and do not need any supports to stand on the floor.

8. Is it easy to install tower speakers?

Yes, tower speakers are very easy to set up. You just have to place it on the floor and connect it with a device wirelessly or wired and enjoy your music.

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