Posted on Mon, 12 Jan, 2015
Posted by Raven



Hi-fi is not something you can just slap together – if it’s a rush job, it isn’t hi-fi! From the drawing board to the testing room to the factory floor, attention to detail is crucial, and what ultimately makes hi-fi… well… hi-fi! But it doesn’t stop there. Once the item has been polished off and shipped out to its ultimate destination, rarely is it a simple case of plug in and play. At least, that’s not the case with speakers! From placement in the room to stands and just the right amount of filler (in the case of the bookshelves) to the right cables for the job – getting the most from your speakers is all about the finishing touches.

With that in mind, how many of you use speaker spikes on your speaker stands? Or even your speakers?

It’s a strange detail, but it is absolutely crucial to getting the absolute most out of your speakers. And here is our guide to the hows, whats and whys – ’cause we want you to get the best possible sound just as much as you do!



But before we get onto how why they work, first we must ask… what are they? How do you install them? And… what do they do?

What are they?

In short, they are spikes (sometimes referred to as ‘cones’) which will screw into the base of your stand (or plinth) and – with four of them in place (for typical stands and plinth formations) in each corner, they will function as spikey feet. Typically, spikes will also come with a washer or ‘puck’ which will sit under the spike to prevent any damage to floorboards. The spikes (and their pucks) come in all sorts of shapes, materials and sizes, but all suit the same basic function.

Which brings us onto…

What do they do?

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Quite simply, they serve three main functions: stability, purging and isolation.


As you can see from the image above – that is a speaker and its stand minus the spikes. And as you can see, it’s rocking. Whenever speakers are in use, their cones move back and forth. The speaker and the stand will also move back and forth, particularly when they are placed on a nice, spongy (i.e, springy) carpet. The result is a speaker – and a stand – that will move to the music. Aside from the obvious trouble that this may cause, there may also be an effect on sound quality, typically the speaker’s ability to produce the correct bass response. And it is during these ‘bass’ moments that the speaker and stand will move the most, so using the spikes as a means to ‘grip’ and prevent any unwanted movement means you will be getting the correct bass response. Another concern is the speaker’s ability to pass the vibrations caught in its cabinet into its stand, into the floor and away, which means there may be more vibrational present than there would be if spikes were in use.

You don’t need me to tell you: vibrations = bad for hi-fi. The less vibrational energy, the better.


Sticking with the theme of vibration…

… the more readily known function is the spikes’ ability to ‘couple’ the stand (or speaker) with the floor. Coupling at the four corners of the stand rather than in the centre of the plinth allows for equal distribution of the vibrational energy that builds up in the cabinet to evenly disperse from the cabinet to the stand and into the ground.



While getting rid of the vibrational energy of the cabinet, the clever shape of the spikes means that they function as a means of isolating the stand and the corresponding speaker from external vibrations from the floor, or anywhere else for that matter. It’s not flawless, unless the cabinet is suspended in zero gravity, there will be external vibrations. But limiting the damage where you can is crucial to getting the best sound, so extra isolation from the sources of disturbances are always welcome.

How do you install?



Installation of speaker spikes into stands or plinths is fairly straight forward, and is typically the same regardless of the type of spike. If there aren’t already holes present, you must first pre-drill the correct-sized hole for the gnarled nut and hammer it into position. We would advise using a block of wood to protect the surface when hammering.

The size of hole is variable and depends on the supplier, but here is a rough guide as to the size of hole dependent on the size of the nut (courtesy of – click here for the full article). Full guidance will be present on or within the packaging of the spikes when supplied.


When the nut is in place screw in the spike and lock it into position with the lock nut. Job done! Of course, there will always be variations depending on the size and type of screw, but a quick read of the packaging should clear matters up. Specialist tools should scarcely – if ever – be required.

Attaching the spikes to the speakers directly is similar, expect the guide hole should never be drilled directly into the cabinet of the speaker as this will effect the structure and compromise the air lock. To get around this, you must glue a pre-drilled packing piece of MDF – or similar – to the base and inserting the nut, spike and lock nut as before.

Why fix to the speakers?


It’s a less common endeavour, but some believe that fixing spikes to the base of the speakers is just as beneficial as fixing them to the stands, most due to the aforementioned point of stability. Creating a completely flat surface is technically impossible – for both the stand and the speaker – which means the speaker is guaranteed to rock and wobble – even if ever so slightly – unless there are spikes present to create grip. This means the movement of the speaker cone will not effect the stability of the speaker, and the bass response will be unaffected.

What about pucks?

These come under many names – spike shoes, pads, pucks, coins, washers… and probably many other names we have yet to stumble upon. But they all serve the same function: cushioning the spike and protecting the surface beneath. This will mean the stand will sit on narrow shoes as opposed to thin points. Most spikes will be advertised as ‘carpet spikes’ and are intended for use with carpet – any holes left will be unnoticeable and typically close up around them – but if you have non-carpeted floors – tiles, wood, laminate etc – most spikes will typically leave marks. And that’s when the pucks come into play.



There is a small disadvantage to their use, the slight increase on surface area means that all of the spike’s functions are diminished slightly, but that doesn’t mean they won’t still serve their purpose in the stability, purging and isolation departments, and your lovely hard wood floor won’t be any the wiser.
Remember to check our website for our selection of spikes and shoes – there’s lots of styles and colours to chose from! But rest assured, whichever ones you decide to go for, you will notice a difference. It may be small, but hey, most high-end speaker stands wouldn’t include them if they didn’t make a difference.

As we’ve said before, time and time again, it is the little touches which make big differences in the world of hi-fi. If you’re looking at improving your system, the small yet substantial addition of spikes (and their shoes) if necessary, will go towards making a big difference.

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