Best speakers under $1,000

If you're looking at spending up to $1,000 on a pair of stereo speakers, these are the absolute best performers for the money.

Ty Pendlebury Editor
Ty Pendlebury is a journalism graduate of RMIT Melbourne, and has worked at CNET since 2006. He lives in New York City where he writes about streaming and home audio.
Expertise Ty has worked for radio, print, and online publications, and has been writing about home entertainment since 2004. He majored in Cinema Studies when studying at RMIT. He is an avid record collector and streaming music enthusiast. Credentials
  • Ty was nominated for Best New Journalist at the Australian IT Journalism awards, but he has only ever won one thing. As a youth, he was awarded a free session for the photography studio at a local supermarket.
Ty Pendlebury
2 min read
One set of floorstanding speakers stands out above the rest: the SVS Prime Towers. Sarah Tew/CNET

If you're looking to buy speakers for your home system, then the lion's share of your budget should go to your front speakers. Spending in the neighborhood of $1,000 isn't for the weak of heart, but it will reward you with bigger bass, better detail, and party-making volume levels.

So once you decide on your budget, you need to work out whether you want compact stand-mount speakers or the physical presence of floor-standers. A stand mount is less taxing on the decor and better suited for smaller spaces. However if you do decide to go the whole hog for a set of floor-standers, you get fuller sound for what is essentially the same amount of floor space.

Based on CNET's reviews, our favorite stand-mount speakers under $1,000 are the Pioneer Elite SP-EBS73-LR beating out our favorite from last year, the Bowers and Wilkins 685 S2s. The Pioneers, designed by Andrew Jones (who has since moved to ELAC), are true hi-fi speakers and include Atmos height drivers for a smattering of future-proofing.

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    Moving up to floor-standers, the competition is a lot fiercer, but one set of speakers stands out above the rest: the SVS Prime Towers . While they are detailed and crisp, they are also very balanced-sounding, and like the Pioneers sound good with virtually any kind of music -- not something you can say for the rocking Klipschs or the acoustic-friendly PSBs. If you can afford the extra $250, the SVS Prime Towers are ultimately the ones to get over the Pioneers for the pure scale they can summon up in your listening space.

    The Pioneer SPEBS73-LR features excellent performance while costing under $1,000. Sarah Tew / CNET

    Pioneer SPEBS73-LR

    The Pioneer SPEBS73-LR is our favorite standmounter under $1000. It features excellent performance, a smart build and the option of Atmos if you want it. Read the full review here.

    The Bowers and Wilkins B&W 685 S2s are an excellent deal at this price level. Sarah Tew/CNET

    Bowers and Wilkins 685 S2

    Whether you listen to death metal or nature documentaries, the Bowers and Wilkins B&W 685 S2s are astoundingly good speakers and an excellent deal at this price level. Read the full review here.

    The SVS Prime Towers are very balanced-sounding. Sarah Tew/CNET

    SVS Prime Towers

    The SVS Prime Tower's highly transparent sound will appeal to audiophiles hankering for big-speaker sound at a price they can afford. Read the full review here.

    The Klipsch Reference Premiere RP-160 hits the midrange. Sarah Tew / CNET

    Klipsch RF-62 II

    The Klipsch Reference Premiere RP-160 is the company's best mid-range-level standmounter yet with unexpected sophistication and performance. Read the full review here.

    The PSB Imagine X1T lacks the gravitas of other similarly sized and priced towers. Sarah Tew/CNET

    PSB Imagine X1T

    The PSB Imagine X1T is a sweet-sounding speaker and very easy to listen to, but it lacks the gravitas of other similarly sized and priced towers. Read the full review here.

    The speakers above are ordered by their review rating, but what if you don't see your favorites here?

    Be sure to check here for more speaker reviews and also check back for further recommendations here in the near future.