IsoAcoustics SO-L8R155 Speaker Stand

Device Type: Speaker Stand
Availability: online and through Authorized Dealers
Price: $99.99

For my review of the Focal Alpha 50 active speakers, my contact sent along a pair of IsoAcoustics L8R155 speaker stands, "I don't do a single demo without it." A few readers alerted me to the IsoAcoustics stands in the past but at the time IsoAcoustics did not have a set small enough to accommodate my ADAM A3X speakers and it was only until this pair arrived for review that I see IsoAcoustics has the ISO-L8R130 to fit their small footprint. So the idea of trying a pair faded until I admit I forgot all about them. All that's changed now that I've heard 'em.

The IsoAcoustics stands come in three sizes; small, medium, and large. You can view their PDF chart (see chart) to see which will work with your speakers. Street pricing runs from $79.99 for the small (ISO-L8R130), $99.99 for the medium (under review), and $149.99 for the large (ISO-L8R200). Considering their build quality and effect, I'd say those prices reflect screamin' bargains. Screamin'!

The IsoAcoustics stands come disassembled in three main parts; high-density plastic base and top pieces, and steel vertical supports. There are also small spacers that you use to provide forward or back-leaning tilt. No tools are required and you just slip the spacers into the tubes, slip the tubes into the base, slide the top into the tubes, press down and you're done. IsoAcoustics provides 2 sets of vertical tubing including short 3" lengths and 8" lengths. I used the shorter lengths which raised the Focal Alpha 50's up placing the tweeter at roughly ear height.

The very top of the top piece, which comes into contact with your speakers, is a concave-shaped high-modulus co-polymer (that's fancy for rubber). The same for the bottom of the bottom piece which touches your desktop. While there are the obvious benefits of raising your speakers off of your desktop, plus the benefits of tilting your speakers toward your ears, the IsoAcoustics isolation performance is to me where their greatest benefits lie and they aren't bad looking to my eyes to boot.

Thankfully there is nothing magic about the IsoAcoustics stands, just solid engineering. From the web site:

The isolation and response of the audio stand is a function of the isolator's shape and its volume and durometer (hardness and density). Its opening, internal taper and concave end (void) result in a compliant element to contain the supporting tubes or rods. This allows the supporting tubes to move fore and aft, while resisting lateral and secondary movements and oscillations. As the speaker cone moves forward, the speaker enclosure tends to move back, as predicted by Newton's third law of reciprocating motion. Transducers, enclosure and upper stand section therefore move in a direction sympathetic to the sound source.
As I've said many times before, the proof lies in the listening. While I'm going to talk about listening, you can check out the IsoAcoustics video demo and listen for yourself.

When the review pair of the Focal Alpha 50 speakers first arrived, I placed them on top of my plywood stack home made speaker stands. To provide tilt, I place a Yamamoto ebony footer under the front of each speaker. These Yamamoto footers were left over from when I used them to protect my floor against my speaker's spikes. Then I spent a day plus just listening/enjoying. Into the second day I decided to slip the IsoAcoustics into place, replacing the plywood stack and the difference in sound quality was immediately and obviously apparent. No further A/B'ing required, no blind testing to verify iffy results, this was a clear noticeable improvement with no apparent downsides.

Music through the Focals with the IsoAcoustics stands became at once more focused with tighter bass response and improved imaging. It was as if someone find-tuned the 'resolution' control snapping the musical picture into sharper focus. These changes were all of the positive variety and I heard no negatives associated with the IsoAcoustic stands. This is not a tweak, rather an integral aspect of your speaker so it should come as no surprise that a stand can make such a significant and appreciable difference. I admit that I did not think they would make such a clear and positive improvement. But they did.

The Shortest Review Ever
If you use desktop speakers, you owe it to them, to your ears, and to your music to try the IsoAcoustic speaker stands. If you are currently not using anything, they will elevate the musicality of your speakers by far more than inches, providing greater resolution, improved bass response, and a more focused sound image. They will in short make your speakers more enjoyable to listen to and that is more than worth the price of admission.

Associated Equipment

johndarko's picture

Just bought a pair for my KEF X300AW on the back of this review. Thanks for the heads up Michael. :)

Michael Lavorgna's picture
See you in Denver?


johndarko's picture

Yup - I'll be in Denver in October. See you there. :)

snorkel54's picture

I've used mine on a desktop for about 9 months now, with era d4 and sonus faber venere 1.5. Yep, they really work. I did have to try different heights for the best sound. Short suits my ears and chair.

joelha's picture

Hey Michael.
Great review.
Have you ever or for that matter would you be willing to try these units under some of your componets to see if they work the same magic on those units?
Hope you're doing great.

Michael Lavorgna's picture
Thanks. Under components? I have not tried this but I'm game.
joelha's picture

Look forward to learning what you find, Michael.
Be good.

Michael Lavorgna's picture
BradleyP's picture

...for plastic and rubber. I have no doubt that these stands do what they are advertised to do and what you have experienced, but still. I'm willing to accept that these *might* be better than my cheapskate $5 foam yoga blocks. ;-)

Michael Lavorgna's picture
Let me know how that goes ;-)
BradleyP's picture

You make a valid point. One pays for the R&D and effectiveness of these stands, not the materials. In this emerging era of 3D printers and open source "plans," a DIY knockoff could actually go quite well in theory. The rubber parts are the challenge. Sorbothane or other audio-grade footers would defeat most of the cost savings. Alas.

Michael Lavorgna's picture
But they're not free, nor are they free to operate unless you know someone with the requisite software skills. I think you'd be hard pressed to make a pair of like-stands for anywhere near the cost of the IsoAcoustics.
dparker's picture

I have the small stands on my CEntrance audiophile desktop system. Definitely noticed stereo image becoming more focused.

I have the large stands under my B&W CT700 speakers (home theaterish setup).

Money well spent.

AC's picture

I was looking for a desktop stand for my KEF LS50 speakers and found these. People pay far more than $100 for an improvement this big. Highly recommended!

tubefan9's picture

It's nice to see some inexpensive tweaks such as this.

Cadfael's picture

I have a pair of KEF LS 50's setting on ad hoc stands on either side of my desk. (Dania Bar Stools). The isoacoustics stands make all the difference as they lift and isolate the speakers, while not inhibiting the wide dispersion of the uni-Q driver, thus resulting in a noticeable improvement in sound quality.

The only question left is would the small stands still be too large for the little PSB's?

Esprit's picture

I have L8R200 under my Adam S3X-V for a long time( since they were available in Europe).
I can not do without them, now I'm studying a different type of stand but Isoacoustic will be part of my project.
A very great product.

ssbkk's picture

My understanding for a solid/rigid stand is to make sure the speakers enclosure do not move in the opposite direction of the driver movements due to reactive force; hence a better bass definition and clearer mid. If the stand is movable then it allows the speaker to rock back and forth due to driver movements; then the sound should be thinner due to this effect. Could you please shed some light on this. Thanks.

zeroshiki's picture

there are 2 principles of design for loudspeaker base. one is speakers coupling(examples: to the floor using spikes, or to solid stand base, etc), and the other is speakers de-coupling(using rubber feet, foams, DIY stuffs, or isoacoustics). how each work and their benefits are studied in depth by many loudspeaker brands houses(one i can remember is an in depth analysis by genesis, you can google it).

i used to make my own DIY speaker feet for my bookshelf speakers, placed on the table as a computer audio. i knew about isoacoustics, but couldn't be bothered to give it a try because i thought a DIY would be just as good, and it was, compared to a direct table placement.

boy i was wrong. after reading the rave review here, i decided what the heck and to give it a try. if it's a snake oil thing, well, it would still look cool for display purpose. lol. boy oh boy, best decision, ever. lol.

1st off, a little background, back then at first i only placed my loudspeakers plainly on the table, the improvement using a DIY feet underneath it was apparent. better height level with ears resulting in nicer image focus, less boomy bass, better mids, better highs, etc(i'm not good in describing/painting sounds).

the isoacoustics on the other hand. brings the improvement to another level compared to my DIY footing(combination of rubber, foam, and felt, procured from hardware store, lol). for one, the speakers image like crazy now, maybe it's partly because the speakers are not the same level to ears now as before(before: just a bit under, now a bit above, around same cm of under/above), but honestly, i don't remember them sounding this good even when i lowered my seating on the old setup(to about the same level now with the isoacoustics).

again, i'm not good in describing nuances of sounds etc but i'll try my best to describe the improvements: the highs are now clearer, that's for sure, the mids.. oh the mids.. this is where the most improvement i can hear from, vocals are just beautiful to hear to, crystal. the bass, well, since i use a subwoofer for my setup, the improvement is maybe just subtle. i think it's now better defined etc, but then i think it's just subtle, it's less boomy on the mid/upper bass that's for sure. the best part is the mids where the most apparent change i can tell from instantly from the 1st time turning on music with the speakers on the isoacoustics.

from a DIY setup, what i thought was already good before, i didn't think it could be much improved, not like this. other excellent improvements are the soundstage, image, precision etc2.. it was already really good before(i thought it was excellent), now it is really excellent!

i am already recommending this little product to my fellow friends, especially those who are using bookshelf speakers. it's a no brainer product.

highstream's picture

I was likely one of those who'd mentioned these stands along the way, having gotten a pair of the small ones (130s) last year that I mounted Focal CMS 40s on top of, using the long legs and 4" wood blocks from Heinecke Wood Products. The sound definitely improved in all ways vs. Audioengine stands. A few months ago I switched to much larger 21-lb Quad 12L actives, which theoretically should be too large, heavy and short for the 130's, but that's not been the case at all. Using the stand's short legs with the plugs allowing modest upward tilt - still on the wood blocks - I set and maintained the desired tilt with a wrap of scotch tape around each of the front legs. Quite stable and of course, even better sound.

SilverLitz's picture

Thanks for the great review! Last month I bought the IsoAcoustics SO-L8R155 Speaker Stands based on your review. I put my Focal CMS50's on these stands. I bought the CMS50's last year, partially based on your CMS40 (CMS50's baby brother) review. I noticed significant improvement with the sound of Tori Amos' Scarlet's Walk CD (I think this CD was poorly mastered, with some annoying resonance muddying up a otherwise good CD), as the IsoAcoustics desktop speaker stands that greatly lessened this problem. My desktop CMS50's are fed by a Audio-gd NFB-28 DAC/Pre using fully differential, balanced XLR connections, with source being uncompressed ripped WAV files stored on my NAS connected to my PC via CAT6 ethernet cable.'s picture

I've used my large IsoAcoustics (in the "tall" configuration with the front edge tilted up) on a hardwood floor under an old pair of ATC SCM12 monitors. The low-to-the-floor positioning and up-tilt reinforced the ATC's bass without having to put them against a back wall. I've also used the same stands (in the "short" configuration; level) under my Direct Acoustics floor-standing speakers. After nearly three years of trial and error, the IsoAcoustics are the only stands that get the DAs off the floor enough to give them a balanced sound across their frequency capabilities while isolating them acoustically from a "problem" floor comprised of hardwood-in-a-box over concrete. And of course the small IsoAcoustics do wonders under desktop-sized speakers on my nightstand. I can't recommend them highly enough.