May 17

The Best 11 Studio Monitor Stands for Your Desktop or Floor

One of the most important investments for your home studio is a great pair of studio monitors. But did you realize that you can’t get the most out of those studio monitors without proper floor or desktop monitor stands?

Our list of the best 11 studio monitor stands for your desktop or floor will help you narrow down to the right choice for your space.

By the way, if you’re not sure which studio monitors to pick, we have resources for you, like our ultimate guide to studio monitors and our in-depth review of the Yamaha HS series

The Purpose of Studio Monitor Stands

When most at-home studio musicians are just getting started, it’s common to see their studio monitors just sitting on their desk or work surface. But this leads to several undesirable outcomes. First, the angle is all wrong. You want your studio monitors aimed pretty much at ear level, which is just about impossible if they’re just sitting on the desk.

Second, there are issues with sound distribution. Studio monitors weren’t designed to be set on a desk. So when you do, you can get all sorts of reflections, echoes, and other undesirable effects. Sound tends to be bassy and distorted this way.

The solution is to put your speakers on stands— just like the manufacturer intended.

Desktop Speaker Stands

In the absolute perfect studio space, your studio monitors would likely be on floor stands, positioned comfortably between your desk and the front wall, with plenty of room on all sides.

But for the rest of us who are doing our audio work in a spare bedroom and just don’t have the space for all that, desktop studio speaker stands are a worthwhile investment, too.

By getting your studio monitors off your desk, you accomplish at least two big things. First, you lessen the dampening or reflecting from the desktop surface, freeing the speaker to perform as it was meant to. And second, at least with the right set of monitor stands, you get the speakers appropriately angled so that the sweet spot lines up with your ear height.

Below are our top 5 recommendations for desktop-style studio monitor speaker stands.

IsoAcoustics Aperta Series Isolation Speaker Stands with Tilt Adjustment

If you’re looking for studio monitor desk stands rather than floor stands, the Aperta series from IsoAcoustics Stands is an absolutely fantastic choice. In fact, I’ve been using a set of the Aperta200 stands for a few years now, and in my view, they’re some of the best studio monitor stands on the market today.

The sculpted aluminum structure of these studio monitor stands makes them lightweight yet very strong. With 6.5 degrees of tilt adjustment, you’ll have an easier time getting the angle just right so that your monitors are aimed right at ear level.

IsoAcoustics puts special care into its products so that they provide excellent isolation, and that’s certainly the case with this patented design. Thanks to the intriguing two-layer design with just four points of contact, you get excellent acoustic isolation here. The isolators on these stands reduce the vibrations that make it to the supporting surface, and internal reflections are also reduced.

Available in three sizes, the Aperta series can fit just about every size of studio speakers, even those with a larger footprint. They make serviceable Yamaha HS8 stands, for example, despite those speakers being a bit on the large side.

Here are the sizes available, each in either black or silver:

  • Aperta: 6.1 inches wide by 7.5 inches deep
  • Aperta200: 7.8 inches wide by 10 inches deep
  • Aperta300: 11.8 inches wide by 7.9 inches deep

IsoAcoustics also offers an isolation stand specifically designed for subwoofer use, the Iso-200Sub. If you’re using a subwoofer in your studio monitor setup, make sure to pick up one of these to match.

Check current prices on Amazon for the IsoAcoustics Aperta Series Isolation Speaker Stands with Tilt Adjustment: Aperta

IsoAcoustics Iso-Stand Series

In some ways a step down from the Aperta series, the Iso-Stand series does offer one feature its pricier sibling doesn’t have: added height. If you’re not convinced that 6.5 degrees of tilt would be enough to hit you square in the ears, you might need a different approach like this one.

The Iso-Stand series has the same basic two-layer design, though it’s not as polished as the Aperta. Iso-Stand ships with two sets of tubes that connect those two layers: a short and a long set. This means that you can choose between two heights with Iso-Stand, 3.75 inches or 8.25 inches.

You can also angle the speaker stands up or down. However, you have to choose between set points with the Iso-Stand, so you can’t infinitely adjust the angle.

Other than this significant difference and a noticeable difference in materials and build quality, you’re getting that same IsoAcoustics engineering here. Internal reflections are greatly reduced, as are vibrations carrying through your desk or work surface.

Most users will be better off spending slightly more and getting the Aperta. But if height is more important than angle to you — especially if you’re a tall person — the Iso-Stand might make more sense than the Aperta.

There are four sizes to choose from in this series:

  • ISO-130: 5.1 inches by 6 inches
  • ISO-155: 6.1 inches by 7.5 inches
  • ISO-200: 7.8 inches by 10 inches
  • ISO-430: 17 inches by 9 inches (not height-adjustable)

The ISO-200Sub is a suitable match here as well, so make sure to pick one up if you use a subwoofer in your studio monitor setup.

Check current prices on Amazon for the IsoAcoustics Iso-Stand Series

Ultimate Support MS-80 Angling Desktop Studio Monitor Stands

Ultimate Support is a go-to name for all sorts of gear, and their monitor stands are excellent and affordable. In fact, the company earned three of the slots in the floor speaker stands section later on.

Their main entry in terms of desktop studio monitor stands is the MS-80, an effective (if not particularly attractive) choice.

The squat design may not be much to look at, but it accomplishes everything you need in terms of sound isolation, decoupling, and angle adjustment. On the bottom, there are spiked, rubber-capped feet for one layer of decoupling. And the top of the stand is an absorptive foam layer that provides a second layer.

The angle adjust is continuously adjustable, so you can achieve a wide range of angles, both upward and downward.

The only other downside besides aesthetics is height. These studio monitor speaker stands don’t add a ton of height, and there’s no height adjustability at all — only angle adjustment.

If you’re looking for a desktop studio monitor stands solution at the moment but don’t want to feel like you wasted your money if you upgrade to floor stands later on, the MS-80 is an ideal choice. It integrates mechanically with Ultimate Support’s MS-90 stands, giving you an ultra-flexible fully-featured monitor stand once you’re ready for it.

Check current prices on Amazon for the Ultimate Support MS-80 Angling Desktop Studio Monitor Stands

Fluid Audio DS8 Decoupling Adjustable Monitor Stand

The Fluid Audio DS8 takes a similar approach to the iso acoustic stand options we reviewed above, with four contact points on the speaker itself, plus a two-layer stand with spacers between, plus four rubber feet. All together, it’s plenty of decoupling and acoustic isolation in a surprisingly affordable package.

The Fluid Audio DS8 is designed to fit most six- to eight-inch 2-way studio monitors, making them a budget pick for Yamaha HS8 stands.

The included rubber feet give you flexibility in terms of angle: you can choose from flat, or tilted up 3 or 6 degrees. The stand itself can be set to 3 or 6 inches of rise, as well, for an impressive amount of overall adjustability.

Instead of metal, the Fluid Audio DS8 is made from MDF wood, just like the cabinet of most studio monitors. Even the choice of polypropylene for the stand posts is an intentional acoustic decision.

The look of the Fluid Audio DS8 is a bit different, kind of reminiscent of a crab or spider. But we think many users are happy to overlook the design when considering the functionality and low price.

Check current prices on Amazon for the Fluid Audio DS8 Decoupling Adjustable Monitor Stand

Stageek Universal Aluminum Desktop Speaker Stands

If the Fluid Audio DS8 prioritized function over form, this Stageek offering decidedly does the opposite. These things look sleek, and the price is just right. That said, they aren’t adjustable in any way (unless you want to get comfortable with some pliers), and they aren’t likely to do as much in terms of decoupling and acoustic isolation.

These are best for smaller speakers, with a low 15-pound weight limit. You do get five degrees of upward tilt and nearly five inches of added height, plus some anti-vibration feet that double as a non-slip grip.

These are far from the most flexible or functional studio monitor desk stands on the list (those would be the IsoAcoustics stands by a long shot). But for budget-minded small spaces where sharp aesthetics are a priority, Stageek is worth a look.

Check current prices on Amazon for the Stageek Universal Aluminum Desktop Speaker Stands

Floor Speaker Stands

If you’re fortunate enough to be operating in a space where you can physically accommodate floor studio monitor stands, good for you! This is generally considered the best approach, but it requires positioning your desk a decent way back from the wall— something many at-home studio musicians can’t do well.

Make sure you place your floor speaker stands appropriately. This is easier said than done, and the explanations get complicated fast. Suffice it to say, you want your monitors to be at least 2, if not 3, feet from the back wall, which pushes your desk or console even further away from the wall.

We’ll leave the nitty-gritty of placement for another day. If you’re looking for the best studio monitor stands of the freestanding variety, you’ll find our top four picks below.

Ultimate Support JS-MS70 JamStands Steel Monitor Stands

The nice thing about floor stands for your studio monitors is that, at their most basic, they don’t have to be particularly complicated. The Ultimate Support JS-MS70 JamStands certainly aren’t complicated, but they perform well and don’t cost a ton, either.

Made from steel, this pair of floor stands features triangular bases for excellent stability. These stands are adjustable in several increments from 32.25 inches to 44.25 inches, giving you all the height you’ll need in most instances.

One nice extra detail is the inclusion of optional floor spikes and rubber feet. The spikes will secure your stand in carpeted applications, and the rubber feet keep the stand from sliding on hard surfaces.

The platform up top is flat and stable and includes two non-slip strips to keep your speaker from falling. That said, it’s still pretty much a flat shelf. You won’t get the kind of separation or isolation from these stands that you would from, say, the IsoAcoustics. You also can’t adjust the angle of the platforms, so your only directional option is straight in front.

Despite these drawbacks, getting your speaker freestanding and at the right height is still a big part of the puzzle. For a budget entry in the floor-style monitor stands category, the Ultimate Support JS-MS70 JamStands are a good choice.

By the way, you won’t have to search long before you come across nearly identical monitor stands from makers you’ve never heard of. It seems that this design has been popular enough to get copied. While you would save a bit of money going with one of these off-brands, we can’t recommend that you do. Stick with a known brand and the support that comes with it, should you run into trouble.

Check current prices on Amazon for the Ultimate Support JS-MS70 JamStands Steel Monitor Stands

VideoSecu 2

Another budget entry, the VideoSecu 2 is better suited for smaller monitors than large ones. These are pretty basic studio monitor stands and aren’t going to win any quality or durability prizes. But if you’re looking for more adjustability than the JamStands, you’ll get it here.

The top plate on the VideoSecu 2 has adjustable side clamps that can hold on to speakers anywhere from 5.5 inches wide to 11 inches wide. That top plate can also pan 180 degrees, and it can tilt a whopping 10 degrees up or down. This tilt function is critical in some scenarios, and it’s pretty surprising to see it at this low price point.

The screw-in rubber feet are also adjustable, so you can keep the stands level even if your floor isn’t.

There isn’t a ton of separation here, so your monitor will touch even more of the plate on this stand than with other models. And we can’t exactly stand behind the overall durability, as several Amazon reviewers have noted. But if you need the absolute cheapest adjustable-height monitor stands that can also tilt, these are them.

Check current prices on Amazon for the VideoSecu 2 Stands

Ultimate Support MS-90 Professional Column Studio Monitor Stands with Non-Marring Decoupling Pads

We’re starting to get into pro or near-pro territory here, so expect a significant price jump to match. We’ll start with the one big negative: The Ultimate Support MS-90 isn’t height-adjustable. You have to pick between 36 and 45 inches and purchase the one that makes sense for you.

But if you can get past that hurdle, the MS-90 are truly fantastic floor-style studio monitor stands. They’re even some of the best studio monitor stands, period, if height adjustability doesn’t matter much to you. (And if you can’t get over the lack of height adjustability, you’ll want to check out the following entry.)

Many pro engineers look for a monitor stand that can be filled or packed with sand. They might even sacrifice other features to get a pair of stands that can be filled. Why? Because doing this to your monitor stands adds extra stability. Even more importantly, it increases the acoustic isolation even further, reducing reflections and unwanted reverberations from getting to your floor.

The MS-90 has three channels running down the support shaft: two small channels for audio and power cables and a larger channel for sand. This added ballast creates a floating system that doesn’t interact with your floor.

As if that wasn’t enough, you also get four layers of additional decoupling: the four soft pads on the speaker platform are one, then there are rubber joints at the top and bottom of the shaft, plus rubber feet (or spikes for carpet use).

One other quasi-downside is that the MS-90 can’t be angled out of the box. It’s possible to add the MS-80 to the MS-90, but it kind of hurts to have to buy desktop studio monitor stands just to stick on top of your floor-standing ones.

Check current prices on Amazon for the Ultimate Support MS-90/36B MS Series Professional Column Studio Monitor Stand

Ultimate Support MS-100 MS Series Professional Column Studio Monitor Stand with Adjustable Angle and Axis

If the lack of angle adjustability was the only thing stopping you from buying the MS-90, Ultimate Support heard you and has a solution. The MS-100 is essentially the MS90 with the MS-80 added and already integrated. You can still fill the center column with the ballast of your choice, and you still get that awesome Ultimate Support build quality.

The MS-100 is a solid choice for sure, one that will meet the needs of many at-home producers.

The top plate measures 10.25 inches by 10.25 inches (same measurements as the MS-90), though with the adjustable angle tops, you can place monitors of almost any size on top with good stability.

The MS-100 is available in all-black aluminum, or you can go for the more elegant red and black version for some added class and aesthetics.

Check current prices on Amazon for the Ultimate Support MS-100 MS Series

Other Options

While most home engineers are going to opt for either desktop studio monitor stands or freestanding ones, there are a couple of other options that are worth mentioning. These won’t be right for everyone, but give them some thought while you’re in the planning stages for sure.

Build Your Own

Monitor stands can be complicated, but they don’t have to be. Building your own pair is something that anyone with a moderate amount of DIY skills can do. And when you build your own, you don’t have to worry about them ending up the wrong size— you can make them exactly the size you want.

If you’re especially tall or short, you might get a better end product by building your own set at exactly the height you need than if you try to make a premade size work. And if you’re very particular about wanting your stands filled in a certain way, building your own is the way to go.

Of course, you’ll need a plan to do this, and that’s why we’ve put together a Build Your Own DIY Studio Monitor Stands guide. Check it out!

Use an Adjustable Wall Mount

Wall-mounting your studio monitors isn’t always the best idea as it can be challenging to get enough distance from the wall. That said, there are scenarios where doing so is the best (or only) option. Going this route can be a little tricky in terms of fit, so make sure that your studio monitors will definitely work with a given setup before purchasing.

One option is to combine something like the Gator Frameworks Adjustable Studio Speaker Wall Mount with a flat-mount adapter like the On-Stage EB9760 Exterior Speaker Mounting Bracket. The Gator wall mount will give you a decent amount of distance from the wall, while the On-Stage bracket will allow you to interface your monitors with the Gator mount point.

Of course, if you have a rare set of monitors with that large mount point, you can skip the mounting bracket.

Final Thoughts, Plus My Top Recommendation

For myself personally, I chose to purchase the IsoAcoustics Aperta Series Isolation Speaker Stands with Tilt Adjustment and I have never looked back! They immediately blew my mind with how much the sound quality improved coming out of my Yamaha HS8 Monitors. Here's my experience that I wrote in my blog post on my own home studio equipment.

"I went 3 years with having my Yamaha HS8's sitting directly on my desk, and I thought literally nothing of it. As I spent more time learning about recording and producing music, I realized I needed to train my ears better and I had heard it is important to get your speakers off the desk. After a lot of research and second-guessing, I decided to buy these high end isolation stands.

Believe me, I know that $200+ sounds like a high price to pay just for studio monitor stands, but I'm telling you it's so worth it. I was absolutely blown away the first time I used them - and honestly mad at myself for waiting so long. I still remember putting on a Jon Bellion track that I had listened to hundreds of times and my jaw dropped - I heard distinct sounds that I had never heard before."

Check current prices on Amazon for the IsoAcoustics Aperta Series Isolation Speaker Stands with Tilt Adjustment: Aperta

Whatever your final choice, one thing’s for sure: setting up your studio monitors on a quality pair of studio monitor stands, whether studio monitor desk stands or floor stands, will vastly improve the audio quality in your studio space. It’s the right next move toward a pro setup at home — and one you won’t regret.


Tags

best studio monitor stands, iso acoustic stand, isoacoustics stands, studio monitor desk stands, studio monitor speaker stands, studio monitor stands, studio speaker stands, yamaha hs8 stands


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