Luckily, there are many great computer speakers on the market today that will tremendously boost your computer’s sound quality. Whether you’re just looking for a slight upgrade or you’re an audiophile wanting the latest cutting-edge tech, we’ve rounded up some great speakers that you can undoubtedly appreciate.
Why buy computer speakers?
Simply put, the experiences of using the stock speakers on your computer or laptop versus a great pair of computer speakers are like night and day. With computer speakers, the sound is crisper, easier to understand, and immerses you much more than your device’s stock speakers ever could. New computer speakers will also likely enhance your device’s lower sounds, which is a real game-changer, whether you’re watching a movie, listening to a song, or playing online games. In fact, even budget-friendly speaker systems that cost as much as a dinner at your favorite restaurant can greatly improve your computer’s audio experience for many years to come.
What should you look for when buying computer speakers?
- Speaker Type: When shopping for computer speakers, you’ll typically be choosing between stereo, 2.1, and surround sound systems. Stereo systems consist of two speakers and are typically very affordable but (usually) somewhat limited in terms of bass. 2.1 speaker systems also provide a left and right speaker but include a subwoofer as well for a more immersive sound with richer mids and lows. Finally, surround sound systems typically include more than four speakers and a subwoofer for enveloping sound that draws you into the action.
- Size: The size of your computer speakers will determine both how well they fit on your computer desk and whether or not they’re a portable option. If you use a laptop in various locations around your home, investing in ultra-portable USB or Bluetooth computer speakers is a great idea. Keep in mind that surround sound systems and 2.1 speakers will be more demanding space-wise, as you’ll need to find a suitable location in which to house a subwoofer.
- Sound Quality: Naturally, the quality of the sound that your computer speakers are able to produce is the most important factor. Great speakers will sound clear and pleasant both at low and high volumes, and whether you’re nearby or standing well away from the speakers. For stellar sound quality, you’ll usually have to invest a bit more money into your computer speakers. However, people with very basic needs should have no problem finding a budget-friendly setup that blows their computer’s built-in speakers out of the water.
Which type of computer speakers should you buy?
The answer to this question depends on how you use your computer. If you occasionally watch videos on your computer but don’t care too much about sound quality, budget-friendly stereo speakers are likely your most cost-effective choice. However, if you spend a great deal of time listening to music and watching media on your PC or laptop, investing in a 2.1 speaker system with a more immersive effect could be an excellent option for you. While some gamers choose to employ a surround sound system to recreate the effect of their favorite gaming headset, many find this setup to be a pricey and complicated endeavor. However, it’s only natural that competitive gamers and audiophiles will want to spend a little extra on a system with unbeatable sound since it will enhance the enjoyment that they get out of their favorite hobbies.
Creative Pebble Plus 2.1 Speakers
Get two quality speakers and a subwoofer at a reasonable price.
Pros: These budget-friendly USB speakers should meet the needs of most thanks to their crisp, loud audio that outperforms just about any other budget option out there. The inclusion of the 4-inch subwoofer is key since the speakers alone lack the depth of other top-notch computer speakers. However, with the subwoofer plugged in, you have a system that’s ideal for not only music and videos, but also, for casual gaming applications. The USB-powered design is also simple to set up and will save you the need to find an extra wall outlet.
Cons: While the subwoofer does well to add understated, balanced bass in order to make the speakers sound more dynamic, there’s no way to manually adjust their levels. Thus, if the out-of-the-box sound isn’t to your liking, you’ll have to use (and possibly download) an equalizer app in order to get the sound that you desire.
Bottom Line: Given its price tag and impressive sound, it’s no surprise that this computer speaker system is one of the most popular options out there. However, this is primarily a product that will appeal to casual users and not audiophiles due to its lack of adjustability and somewhat underrepresented lows.
Audioengine A5+ Plus Wireless Speaker
These speakers are great for those who desire vibrant, room-filling sound. They also offer a wealth of connectivity options for added versatility.
Pros: Despite not featuring a subwoofer, these stereo speakers produce great bass depth that puts similar products to shame. While the end product isn’t “thumping” by any means, the subtle lows bring out the best in the crisp mids and highs for a next-level audio experience. These speakers also offer a wealth of connectivity options, so you won’t have to walk over to your computer in order to play your favorite song or podcast.
Cons: This is primarily a setup for audiophiles, so it’s not exactly surprising that the A5+ sports a price tag that will scare many away. People who don’t care much about sound quality or who are simply looking for speakers in order to listen to YouTube videos are better off finding a more budget-friendly and less technologically sophisticated product.
Bottom Line: These stereo speakers supply better highs and mids than the competitors in their price range and have even better bass than many budget-friendly options that come with a subwoofer. However, they’re designed to be paired with a subwoofer, which will be especially important for audiophiles who love bass-heavy music. If this product’s price hasn’t caused you to scroll past this paragraph already, you’ll definitely treasure the sound that these speakers produce.
Pros: These Logitech speakers are light enough to carry around the house wherever you like to use your laptop and offer surprisingly good sound quality for their value price point. While they do get pretty loud, they really shine when you’re listening up close and at moderate to low volumes. If you’re looking for something inexpensive with which to listen to webinars or online classes, it doesn’t get better than this.
Cons: While this is a minor point, these speakers sport a curved, asymmetrical style that’s a little outdated. In addition to not winning any beauty contests, the speakers won’t “wow” you in terms of bass, which honestly is to be expected of budget stereo speakers.
Bottom Line: While this won’t be a stellar pick for audiophiles, these speakers have a lot to offer people with basic needs and expectations. Are they comparable to $300 2.1 speakers? No. Will they outperform your laptop’s built-in speakers? Almost certainly.
Bose Companion 2 Series III Multimedia Speakers
These speakers provide crisp highs and mids with just enough bass for an immersive audio experience.
Pros: Thanks to their great highs and mids, along with subtle bass notes that add depth to the final product, these speakers are a reliable choice for music lovers. They can also be played at loud volumes without suffering a drop in sound quality, making them a great option if you listen to media from across the room. As a bonus, these speakers are incredibly durable and feature a heft and solidness that’s usually lacking in similarly priced stereo speakers.
Cons: These stereo speakers come with a 3-foot 3.5mm cable that attaches to your computer via the right speaker. This will probably not present a problem for laptop users, but some tower PC setups will have issues finding a placement option that allows them to connect. However, this issue can be solved relatively easily (and inexpensively) by purchasing a longer cable that will reach your computer.
Bottom Line: Whether you use your computer to watch movies, play games, listen to music, or all of the above, these speakers are a fantastic choice. That being said, since they aren’t exactly simple to situate around your computer, they serve better as a stationary sound solution than a portable one.
Sanyun SW102 Computer Speakers
These compact speakers deliver impressive bass for the price.
Pros: Low on desk space? These compact speakers from Sanyun will take up as little space as possible while minimizing vibrations thanks to their sturdy metal base. However, don’t underestimate these speakers because of their small size—they definitely pack a punch. They also come with excellent bass quality for their size, so you can watch your favorite Netflix dramas and not feel like you’re missing out in terms of atmosphere.
Cons: While these speakers’ LED lights do score some style points, it would be nice if there were a way to turn them off without unplugging the speakers from your computer. Additionally, this speaker system does suffer from the same limitations that most small, low-power speakers suffer from, so don’t expect ear-shattering volumes or ground-shaking bass.
Bottom Line: If you’re looking for a compact option that impresses in terms of sound quality, these speakers will deliver. However, given their budget price and small size, it’s important to set your expectations accordingly.
Settling for sub-par audio when using your laptop or computer is so unnecessary when there are more amazing options for affordable computer speakers on the market than ever before. While audiophiles will have to spend extra for next-level audio quality, the average person will be able to upgrade their computer’s sound for considerably less than a night out on the town costs.