If you’re a music lover, upgrading your audio setup with speaker stands will bring your listening experience to the next level. Besides increasing the height of your speakers to ear level when you’re sitting down, these accessories also look sleek and stylish.
Some stands have a compartment for sand to increase stability and anchor the base. This is important to consider as it prevents the stand from shaking when a strong vibration is emitted by your speakers.
Besides isolating a speaker’s vibrations from the floor and reducing bass distortion, stand quality plays a significant role in the overall sound staging. The weight capacity of a stand and its base are important factors to consider as well. A stand that has a wide base is less likely to tip over. The top plate size is also important because it should match the size of your speakers to provide superior stability. Some stands will come with a central hole that you can use to anchor your speakers.
Spikes are another way to improve the stability of your stand and are perfect for hardwood floors. However, if you’re using your speakers in a carpeted room, spikes should be avoided since they can transmit vibrations to the floor through small contact points with the carpet. To avoid this, choose a stand with rubber pads that can grip the carpet and perform better than spikes. The best stands are made from high-quality materials and have a strong construction.
Speaker stands are constructed from a variety of materials. Many are made from metal, which provides stability and height adjustment while enhancing your speakers’ aesthetics. Others are made from wood, which offers acoustic properties that dampen micro-vibration and rumble that can muddy audio quality.
The feet on a speaker stand can also make a significant difference in sound quality. Spikes are usually recommended for solid floor surfaces, while rubber feet can be used on carpeted floors.
Another common material for speaker stands is PVC pipes. This design is simple and affordable and can be built in a few hours. However, the pipe designs can slip, especially if the boards are not joined tightly enough or coated. Some manufacturers add a layer of coatings or fill the tubes with sand to reduce the slipperiness and maintain stability. These steps can add a few pounds to the total weight of the stand. That doesn’t make a big difference to most users but it’s a good option for heavy duty or commercial applications.
When a speaker emits sound waves, they also vibrate and create pressure on other surfaces around them. These surface vibrations reflect the sound back to your ears, creating what sounds like a reverberation or echo. Speaker stands can eliminate these reflections and provide a clean sound.
Often, the top plate of a speaker stand can be made from an expensive metal or wood material that helps improve audio quality. These materials are less susceptible to resonant frequencies and have a smoother finish than their cheaper counterparts.
Most speaker stands are hollow steel and have compartments for adding sand, an optional practice that increases stability. Filling these compartments with a bag of play sand (available for purchase at any home improvement store) adds mass and dampens the vibrations that can cause distortion. This can greatly improve the sound quality of the stand. This is known as decoupling, and it can significantly reduce distortion and coloration.
Whether you’re looking for a stand to support your home theater speakers or bookshelf models, the weight capacity should be enough to avoid damage. In addition, the weight should be enough to dampen vibrations and ensure that only pure sound reaches your ears.
Most high-end stands feature welded steel tubing filled with sand to dampen vibrations. These are expensive, heavy, and ugly. They also take up a lot of space.
You can build your own affordable speaker stands at home. For instance, you can use old lampstands or a set of Ikea chopping boards and concrete mix to make a sturdy base for your speakers. This DIY model is slender and suitable for medium-sized speakers.
Another option is to build your own stand from PVC tubes, wood boards, and sand. These stands are more stable than others and can handle a heavier load. They’re also less prone to oxidation and breakdown. They’re a great choice for professional applications and for people who want to save money on audio equipment.