By Wilde Becker. Speaker Stands. At Tuesday, July 30th 2019, 19:03:02 PM.
To sum up, the platforms with a heavy plate of some type on top are the most effective, though you can add mass very easily to any type of support by using floor tiles. Similarly, the more massive and better damped a speaker stand, the less vibrational energy is likely to make it through to the floor and less the stand itself will vibrate. Compared with the cost of speakers, adding suitable stands or platforms is relatively inexpensive, yet it can make a very worthwhile improvement to the overall sound quality!
Many stands come with a compartment dedicated to sand and similarly heavy and well-damped materials. And there’s method in the madness. You see, the speaker plays music by moving its drive unit in and out to create sound pressure: when the drive unit pushes outwards, it creates sound pressure, but when it moves inwards it pushes the entire speaker backwards.
One way to improve the situation is to add mass by means of a platform fixed to the top surface of the foam. Primacoustic do this in their Recoil Stabilizer by using a very thick steel slab with rubber matting on top, while Auralex and other companies use MDF topped with dense rubber on their more up–market platforms. IsoAcoustics take yet a different approach, by using a frame made from rigid components joined by resilient isolators.
A speaker platform is designed primarily to provide a degree of mechanical isolation between the speaker and the surface upon which it is placed, while keeping the speaker firmly in place. This is particularly important when siting speakers on lightweight desks or shelves, as these can easily be set into vibration if in direct contact with a speaker cabinet.
So, what should you do instead? We’ve talked to our product team to learn more – and the solution is stands. Sideboards, tables and chairs are out of the question, too. Speaker stands are specifically designed to bring the best out of your speakers by managing vibrations, reducing early reflections and ensuring the proper amount of treble. Together with our Product Manager - Home, Otto Jørgensen, we’ve taken a look at the fundamentals.
You may have noticed that some speaker stands are fitted with spikes on the base, which help to make a rigid and stable contact with the floor. As long as the stands are both robust and stable, this strategy works well on solid floors, but you may find that it causes problems on wooden floors, due to vibrations from the speaker cabinet being transferred to the floor via the rigid stand and spikes. The floor will then act as the king of soundboards!