Interesting that you mentioned the Apogee Stages.
My room was a little bigger, but I had them on the long wall (just 18 inches from it) with only 8-feet between me and the speakers, so it was pretty nearfield. I never heard them boom, and I have had several other speakers boom in this room badly. My intuition tells me I would really give the Stages a try w/o fear because of your room size. They are a historically important speakers that convey a sense of reality in a very unique and satisfying, non fatiguing way I never heard elsewhere. I think they are flexible to place and worth the try. They are cheap used, so it's not that big a risk, and they don't need expensive amps to sound great (I had an Aragon 8008 when I had them back in the mid 1990s.)
The stages are different than other planars, and I don't think the same installation rules apply. To my ears, I never really liked Martin Logans, Maggies, Innersounds, or other panels, but the Stages were pretty awesome while I had them.
(Mine developed a buzz in one woofer and I moved on to dynamic speakers, but I still miss them.) I would give'em a try if you are starting from scratch and considering them, and not worry too much about your room.
Oh, and vocals? OMG, Stage Vocals are something incredibly amazing. The (1991!) Stereophile review (John Atkinson I think, but I may be wrong) said they convey the human voice better and more realistically than any speaker at any price. Hard to believe, but I think this was true then, and may still be up there with the best.