Ultimate Guide to Freestanding Loudspeakers 2012

Freestanding loudspeakers are designed to minimally impact aesthetics, while providing the ultimate two-channel and home theater listening experience. We look at some of the latest models and trends.


This past spring a small group of audio journalists were invited by PSB Speakers’ founder Paul Barton to tour the legendary Canadian National Research Council’s (NRC) audio lab in Ottawa.

Barton explained during the tour the research that’s been conducted in the field of audio at the NRC, as well as how the speaker market has evolved, and how he has become a better engineer over the years.

Barton pointed out the most important thing he has learned over the years is how humans perceive sound and how this knowledge has influenced his product designs.

“My goals have always stayed on the same course. They were and they still are to design, manufacture and market high-performance, value-oriented loudspeakers,” he says. “I was not aware of the importance of understanding the human psychology of how we perceive sound, and how it would apply and influence my speaker designs.”

Barton adds whether a speaker is home theater or two-channel audio, it has to perform at the same quality level. He also notes it’s more important than ever to design a product that can handle the demand high-resolution audio recordings have for power and bandwidth.

To see what Barton and his peers in the speaker community have been implementing in their designs, we have rounded up some of the latest freestanding speakers and subwoofers available.

Click here for Ultimate Guide to Freestanding Loudspeakers 2012.

About the Author

Robert Archer
Robert Archer:

Bob is an audio enthusiast who has written about consumer electronics for various publications within Massachusetts before joining the staff of CE Pro in 2000. Bob is THX Level I certified, and he's also taken classes from the Imaging Science Foundation (ISF) and Home Acoustics Alliance (HAA). Bob has also served as the technology editor for CE Pro's sister publication Commercial Integrator. In his personal time beyond his family, he's studied guitar and music theory at Sarrin Music Studios in Wakefield, Mass., and he also studies Kyokushin karate at 5 Dragons and Brazilian jiu-jitsu at Binda Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.