Standmount Loudspeakers

Standmount loudspeakers are an interesting breed. They have distinct merits and demerits which often polarizes people between loving them or their larger floorstanding counterparts. 

Standmount speakers have greater placement flexibility than floorstanding loudspeakers. While they always sound best on a dedicated stand, they can also be placed on any sturdy surface, such as a bookshelf or countertop.

Other standmount speaker advantages are in the sonic domain.

  • A standmount is usually a two-way speaker, which means the crossover splits the music two ways - high frequencies to the tweeter, and low to the woofer.  Two-way crossovers have fewer components so the signal is handled less. This effect was more prevalent perhaps ten years ago before materials science gave us much better crossovers, but it can still be present today, especially outside of the ne plus ultra category. 
  • A standmount has a smaller cabinet so it resonates less. Again, this is cost related and as you move up to higher cost and performance speakers, the effect is diminished because higher quality speakers are better braced and engineered to resonate less.
  • A standmount speaker allows you, for a given cost, to get into a higher range of speaker. For example, you can purchase a large Dynaudio Contour 60 floorstanding speaker for a similar price as Dynaudio Confidence 20, an exquisite fine resolution standmount. The Confidence 20 brings higher quality crossover, cabinet, drivers, and technology giving resolution and realism, but trading away the dynamics of the larger Contour 60. Jazz vs Rock.
  • You can augment a standmount with subwoofers.  An advantage to this is that you can turn off the subwoofers when it is getting late, so you can more easily listen late at night without disturbing others. The subwoofers will also go lower than many floorstanders. What will be missing in this scenario is that a true floorstander will have more midrange and upper-midbass power and a fuller sound.  The large floorstander also has a more perfect and continuous integration of bass.  
  • Lastly, standmounts can have a little better performance in terms of imaging and 'disappearing' because they have smaller front baffles. Again this effect is reduced with the more advanced cabinets that reduce and optimize diffraction off the front baffles and sound better, and you are losing some bass fullness. If you love vocals, then a nice standmount can be a quite special listen. For example a vocals benchmark in our store is the Sonus faber Electa Amator III paired with an Audio Research LS28 preamplifier and VT80SE amplifier.