My philosophy on bookshelf speaker stands is; well-placed speakers on well-placed stands have a very impactful, positive change in acoustics. As a side note, bookshelf speaker stands are called bookshelf stands because they serve to accommodate the smaller sized speakers which can be placed on things like bookshelves or desktops.
Before we dive in, the winner of this product roundup was the DynAudio Stand 10, because it served a purpose for hi-fi enthusiasts and it also served as a learning tool for people interested and for effective listening. The DynAudio Stand 10 was created as a product for everyone, which is what really brought me to choose it as the winner of this roundup. It’s sturdy, well designed, and organized! What’s not to love?
Bookshelf Speaker Stands We Recommend
The Kanto SP32PL
What we like: 36 pound, heavy duty steel base for prime stabilization, Rotating top plate for sound-angle management, Cable management for optimized organization
Not so much: Hollow interior not suited to be filled with sand (turns out it worked better than I thought!), Foam padding on top plate as opposed to the standard rubber padding, Size limits speaker compatibility
The Kanto SP32PL speaker stand seem as if it were designed for the easiest listening experience available. The rotating top plate allows us to turn the speaker, as well-placed speakers on well-placed stands offer a positive impact on the acoustics. This close to ear level stand provides an optimal sound. A speaker too close to the ground results in bass reflection, but the 32” Kanto stand is heavy and adjustable, allowing for the reduction of unnecessary vibrations and the negative effects of coupling.
This product’s foam padding didn’t really work in my favor because I’m used to waking with the rubber padding that has been standardized in the speaker stand industry. The foam padding seemed to absorb vibrations rather than prevent them, as the rubber grips did.
Even then, this speaker stand’s removable rubber grips did work in my favor because my home has a carpeted floor. It allowed for the easy removal of the grips which revealed the spike feet that sank into my carpet for stabilization. This really combated the decoupling issue I had been previously facing, because I had to go without the spike feet.
Although the Kanto stand consists of heavy-duty steel, I was at first unsettled by the fact that I couldn’t fill it with sand to double the provided stability. But, on its own, the stand proved me wrong and was heavy enough to produce only necessary vibrations. This is a solid speaker stand, especially for those who understand the implications of frequency response changes and acoustics change as it relates to vibrations. This speaker gets the job done.
The SP32PL bookshelf speaker stands are different from Kanto’s previous releases of the SP series as they are a taller model, the previous being 26”. I recommend these speakers if you work with the YU4 or YU6 Kanto speaker models, or any other similar speaker models.
The Sanus BF31
What we like: Non-slip surface, Removable carpet spikes for increased stability, Cable organization
Not so much: The acoustic isolation by means of MDF (shocking, I know!), 20 lb weight capacity, Hollow interior, but without heavy base
The Sanus BF31 bases its entire philosophy on the fact that its energy-absorbing medium-density fiberboard (MDF) will provide a greater acoustic isolation experience. My problem with this is that although it provides greater acoustic isolation, the sound felt a little muffled. I’m not sure I got the superior acoustic feel that Sanus was promising.
Even though this speaker stand cowered in front of a stand like the Kanto SP32PL, it had other advantages. For example, its non-slip surface pads were AMAZING! I tried to see if the speaker would slip off but to no avail. Those little pads were godsends. The stand fit perfectly into my carpet thanks to its spikes that perforated through, holding the stand perfectly in place.
Like any stand with a weight capacity, possibilities are very limited. The stand seems a little frail, which did worry me in terms of what would happen in case of bass and/or bass port reflection, and vibrations. The stand, being on the lighter side, would probably vibrate more than your average stand.
Since most people who buy bookshelf stands work with smaller speakers, the weight capacity didn’t worry meekest too much, but nonetheless, such a fragile stand is bound to vibrate unnecessarily and cause problems for many of its consumers. This product is not for professionals, nor is it for people who have seriously invested in the world of hi-fi. This is a more introductory stand for newcomers into our world.
The Sanus basic series includes the 31” BF31 and the 26” stand, being the only two products in the Sanus Basic series. Compared to its competitor, VideoSecu 2, the BF31 seems to thrive because of its non-stick pads, cable organization, and hollow inside. On the other hand, the VideoSecu 2 only has one thing going for it — it’s extendable, making it fierce competition for the BF31.
The Atlantic Speaker Stand
What we like: Top plate adjustability in terms of optimized listening
Hollow inside for wire management and organization
Not so much: Top plate adjustability in terms of speaker sturdiness (It’s risky!)
Non-marring floor spikes (It means plastic, and it’s NOT helpful)
First off, these bookshelf speaker stands are solely for those who are experimenting with audio and hi-fi, and NOT for anyone who is seriously investing in the audio field. While experimenting with this product, the first thing I noticed was the non-marring floor spikes, which were not stable at all.
Floor spikes were meant for carpeted floors, but even on my carpeted floors, the spikes were unable to stick well enough to hold the stand steadily. This caused unwanted vibrations, and therefore lowered the optimal sound quality. This speaker stand might be a better choice for someone with soft carpeted floors or someone with rubbers to place on the spikes.
Although the weight capacity is worrisome with the fragility of this stand, the top plate adjustability is the double-edged sword of this speaker stand. While the top plate adjustability is good for my philosophy of well-placed speakers on well-placed stands to produce positive acoustic change, the 45-degree rotational angle also poses the possible risk of a falling speaker. An optimal sound and ear level stand, but with a risk of falling.
The Atlantic stands steel construction and wire organization is one of the things to celebrate about this stand. For newbies, cable organization and wire management are very important, especially in learning how to manage these and learning about vibrations. The steel construction allows a sturdiness that the base does not provide (decoupling effect). Although easier to place, it still messes with sounds, even though the speaker is heavier, which reduces vibrations too.
The Sanus SF26B1
What we like: Resonance dampening
Heavy base and tubing for stabilization
Adjustable carpet spikes AND rubber caps
Not so much: Small, thin top plate
The flimsy cable organization system
Made for sand (Maybe it should just be redesigned!)
The Sanus SF26B1 bookshelf speaker stand is one of the strangely built stands that somehow remain stable at the base and prevent stand-to-floor vibrations while remaining unbalanced on the plate, enabling speaker-to-stand vibrations.
These vibrations mess with the acoustics and sound quality of the speaker and explain why Sanus chose to implant resonance dampening into their speaker stand design. It shouldn’t be described as ‘flimsy,’ but the SF26B1 is not exactly sturdy. Additionally, the flimsy cable organization system that is promised is underdeveloped as far as two small loops that require fishing and threading the slim wires during product assembly. For modern hi-fier, this is not the speaker’s stand of choice.
Despite the issues in balance and unwanted vibrations, the resonance dampening aids in containing the unwarranted vibrations to enhance the sound of the speakers. The included floor spikes work really well to balance the sturdiness for carpets, and the rubber grips are ALSO included, making it easy to work with these speakers on harder floors.
This product is made to be filled with sand. What I mean is that it seems to have been built counterintuitively, so as to be filled with sand. I recommend filling the inner tubing with sand so that the stand has some durability and sturdiness. Rather than expecting the consumer to fill the stand with sand, the stand should be redesigned so as not to need sand.
DynAudio Stand 10
What we like: Non-stick rubber pads for speaker support, Adjustable floor spikes/rubber caps for decoupling stability, Stand tilt mobility reinforced, with no chance of disaster
Not so much: Aluminum design means it’s less sturdy, Mainly compatible with Dynaudio speakers
Outstanding! The Dynaudio speakers are a modern marvel in their design, durability, and comprehensive sound quality. The non-stick pads were very effective in helping me get the speaker on and letting it stay on, even with the built-in tilt mobility.
Whenever the speaker stands have tilted, it’s worrisome because it may cause the speaker to slip, even if it includes the non-stick pads. The Dynaudio didn’t give me this worry, because the working tilt angle is very low, still allowing the optimized and positive acoustic change that one desire in a speaker stand while removing the worry that your speaker will slip off the stand if the bass is too strong.
Even then, the adjustable floor spikes and rubber caps work on my living room carpet. My friend ordered the Dynaudio stands for his hardwood floor and he is also proud to report that the stands worked well on his floor as well. I recommend this stand for more professional use — this stand is more practical and workable for hi-fi professionals and the modern audio consumer.
The Dynaudio’s main competition is the TransDeco speaker stand, which also has a lot going for it. Although the TransDeco stand has a sturdier, heavier base, the Dynaudio stand is the more practical of the two, and it is better suited for the modern consumer AND professionals. Its aluminum design may mean it’s less sturdy, but its floor spikes more than makeup for the stand’s stability, as does its sleek design.
What we like: Optimal listening as a result of the ear-level listening axis, Sturdy and supportive base
Not so much: Increased unnecessary vibrations due to design, Reflection, and negative acoustic effects
The Wharfedale Linton is a very (and I say VERY) elegant speaker stand. Its red mahogany, case like design allows for a sturdy and supportive base that offers maximum stability.
The stand’s ear-level listening axis allows for the perfect placement of the speaker, following my philosophy that a well-placed speaker on a well-placed stand allows for optimized listening, and so on and so on. I’m telling you, this speaker stand looks like something out of a mansion.
I would say though, this speaker stand is only meant for listeners who have no intention of diving into the world of hi-fi and acoustics, and just want the best listening experience possible.
Now, for a professional hi-fi enthusiast, the way that this stand is designed enables unwanted vibrations. This stand’s feet have only one setting, inhibiting positive acoustic floor vibrations, and instead of aiding in their escape.
The frequency response changes due to the boundary effects of the stand. Bass reflection runs loose when the feet meet hardwood floors, and the floor vibrates along with the speaker. The acoustics are therefore negatively impacted.
KEF Performance Stand
What we like: Hollow center to be filled with complementary filler
Integrated cable management system
Dampening base plates
Not so much: Shorter stand, at 26”
The base lacks the spike feet necessary for stability on carpets
The KEF Performance is a much shorter take on some of the stands on this list. Although it is a bit unstable, it is one of the more beautifully crafted and aesthetically appealing bookshelf speaker stands. My main complaint is the confusing assembly. This stand is obviously meant for the everyday consumer, so a clean and easy assembly should be a top priority.
The unsteadiness and height make it a poor choice for many dedicated acoustic enthusiasts, so this product must be targeted at the common public. Therefore, the assembly must be simple and easy to understand.
Even with a confusing assembly, this speaker stand is one of the two with dampening base plates, which does result in a positive acoustic effect on the sound. The dampening base plates isolate the good vibrations and positive acoustic sounds, reducing the “recoil vibrations” produced by an unsteady stand or decoupling.
The stands integrated cable management system also works to provide the aesthetic feel that this model of stand seems to strive for. A hollow center allows stability as it can be filled with the filler that is included with the purchase of this product. This might be the best choice for those who have never experimented with the speaker stands before, seeing as it includes most of the things that an enthusiast must work with.
What we like: Adjustable spike feet for reduced sound distortion and unwelcome vibrations
Built-in wire management
Heavy steel build
High weight capacity
Not so much: …is there anything I didn’t like?
The TransDeco speaker stand is a formidable opponent to many of the stands on this list and could be the best option for a professional. The high-weight capacity and sleek, steel build provide the best foundational balance and sturdiness for the reduction of unnecessary vibrations that negatively affect the acoustics.
The adjustable spike feet reduce the decoupling effect that some other stands may enhance, and the built-in wire management system is a dream come true for many professionals that work with an unruly amount of cables.
I personally love this stand because it is everything that the other stands don’t have — they include caps for hardwood floors to reduce the negative acoustic impact, it is a good, ear-level height — this bookshelf speaker stand is the meat and potatoes. The TransDeco speaker stand is the full package and might be the best option for up and coming hi-fiers.
Why do I need speaker stands?
Speaker stands are one of the most important things to buy, right after you buy your speakers. Speaker stands create an acoustic difference due to the vibrations that the speaker can cause on the floor, ceiling, or in the room. Not placing your speaker on a stand creates an acoustic effect on the sound that the loudspeaker produces, thereby lowering sound quality.
The frequency response can change due to the boundary effects. There are effects like coupling and decoupling — coupling explains the speaker vibrations from speaker to stand. Rubber grips reduce the vibrations in the stand and therefore improve the speaker’s sound quality. Speakers can use the rubber grips, or they can be screwed into the stand, which although more inconvenient, reduces speaker vibrations to virtually nothing.
Decoupling is the floor and stand vibrations, and can be reduced using spikes on carpeted floors to anchor/ground the stand, or rubber caps on hardwood floors. Ultimately, the goal is to lower unwanted vibrations, and that is done by improving the stability of the stand as much as possible.
Last update on 2020-12-02 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API