Best Computer Speakers
A great set of computer speakers can make all the difference in the world. Sure, you can choose some lousy set of speakers, that do their job of producing sound and nothing more.
However, you won’t be doing yourself a favor. Going with a proper set of computer speakers will ensure you experience your favorite game or a movie the way you’re supposed to, in their full glory.
Check out our guide on the best computer speakers on the market, and learn what makes them great in the first place.
See related: How to choose floorstanding speakers
Best Computer Speakers - Our Top Picks
1. Best Overall - Audioengine A2+ Wireless
- Size: 15.2 x 10.9 x 7.2 inches
- Weight: 11 lbs
- Dual-class AB monolithic amp
- 60 Watt peak
- 2.¾ inch woofers
- ¾ inch tweeters
- RCA, USB, 3.5mm jack, Bluetooth
- RCA output
Audioengine A2+ Wireless Review
Placed at the top of our list is the Audioengine A2+ Wireless model, which is no surprise since it’s a beautiful set that delivers clear and crisp sound. And since Audioengine doesn’t put out new models quite so often, waiting for this one was worth the wait.
However, A2+ is a model that is somewhere in between computer and bookshelf speakers. Which can only be a good thing, as you can choose what you’ll use them for.
It comes in a matte and glossy finish, where black is matte, and red and white have a shiny surface. Design is of high-quality, allowing the A2+ to stand out in any circumstances.
This setup consists of two speakers, small enough in size that you can place them anywhere. Now, even though these are wireless speakers, they still do require to be connected with each other. So, you’ll have to put up with some wiring, at least.
Inside each of the speakers, there’s a ¾ inch tweeter and a 2.¾ woofer. The left speaker is slightly more massive than the right one (3.5 and 3.2 pounds).
Connect the left and the right speaker
The left speaker is powered while the right one is passive. And you use the wire mentioned above to connect the back panel of the left to the rear panel of the right speaker. Check out the difference between powered and passive speakers.
A left rear panel is also a place where the connectivity ports are located. There’s a power supply, RCA ports, micro USB and a 3.5 mm aux input.
Seeing that it also can connect through Bluetooth, we can say that this model has remarkable connectivity options.
Since the speakers have a short stature, you might want to angle them upward to get the most out of them. Or place them a bit higher. It would be nice I the manufacturer provided some additional stands to help in overcoming this issue.
If you do not elevate or angle the speakers, the highs production could sound a little muffled.
So, it’s in your best interest to either point them upward or find a dedicated stand.
On the other hand, low-end production is top-quality. Even when blasted on full volume, there’s no distortion, and the overall sound is deep and full. But if you’re looking for a set of speakers that mainly focuses on bass, then this might not be a model for you.
This set of speakers aims to deliver accuracy, transparency, and clarity. And it does that every time, probably the best among its competition.
2. Best Budget - Creative Pebble Plus 2.1
- Size: 2 x 4 x 8 inches
- Weight: 5.45 lbs
- 2.1 setup
- 8 Watts RMS
- 3.5 mm jack, USB
- 50 Hz to 20 kHz frequency response
Creative Pebble Plus 2.1 Review
Creative Pebble Plus 2.1 proves that even small speakers can provide a powerful and potent sound. And all that for a surprisingly low price.
One thing that might surprise you from the get-go is that such a low-priced item comes with a sub in the first place. That’s the benefit of getting a “plus” model, which is only a couple bucks pricier than the model without a subwoofer.
At first glance, you could notice that the subwoofer lacks some robustness and that it could be a bit bulkier. It’s equipped with a down-firing 4-inch driver that can produce 4 watts of power.
Speakers Leaned at an Angle
Also, you can notice that the speakers lean at a 45-degree angle, aiming in the direction of your ears. This way, the Pebble Plus sports a more uncommon look that sets it apart from the competition. But such a slant also helps with the audio quality, too.
When it comes to connectivity, it’s as essential as they get. Which should be expected in this price range.
You get a 3.5 mm aux input, USB port, and the audio connection for the sub. Seeing that it does not have an AC adapter, it will get power from a USB cable.
Setting up this model is simple, as there are not that many wires that come along with it. Then again, since all the cables go through the right speaker, the placement options might not be that flexible as with other models.
If you’re looking for various wireless options, then maybe look elsewhere. With Pebble Plus, you don’t get Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, Chromecast, or others.
In terms of performance, it provides excellent and balanced output. Just keep in mind that this is a cheaper model, and don’t expect too much from it.
Some distortion tends to kick in when you play the audio at a higher volume. But that is to be expected.
Although it struggles in the midrange, the bass, and the high produce some clean and lively sound.
You’ll be glad to hear that these speakers have their sweet spot. You just have to play around a bit to find that perfect placement.
So, if you’re looking for speakers that offer stereo sound, and that performs much better than some of the pricier models out there, check this model out.
3. Best High-End - Audioengine A5+ Wireless
- Size: 22 x 11 x 15 inches
- Weight: 13.5 lbs
- 75 Watts peak
- 50 Watts RMS
- 50 KHz to 22 kHz frequency response
- Class AB amp
- Bluetooth 5.0
Audioengine A5+ Wireless Review
If it wasn’t for the price tag that accompanies this model, we could have easily placed the A5+ Wireless at the top of our selection. These speakers make every source (music, games, movies) sound exquisite. The highs, the lows, the mids sound astonishing.
You’ll fall in love with the crisp and precise sound, without any form of distortion or blurriness. And the bass output is top-notch also.
The speakers can produce up to 50 Watts of power, and they come with built-in 5-inch tweeters and 8-inch woofers.
Seeing that these are full-size speakers, you’ll have to deal with their placement. Your first course of action will be to find them enough space on your desk if you are going to set them up correctly.
But even with being so bulky, they still look elegant and stylish enough.
The A5+ Wireless model is almost the same as the regular A5+. The only thing that separates the two (apart from the apparent hint in the product name) is the centralized tweeters that come with the new model. These are responsible for producing some of the best stereo sound available.
Best for Streaming
With the A5+, you can easily stream Spotify or any other streaming service. It also supports high-resolution streaming like Bluetooth aptX and AAC.
For the best setup, it is preferable to place your speakers at a slight angle toward you, not directly facing you.
As good as these speakers are, they do come with their share of flaws. Sometimes, when you stream music from your phone, the sounds coming from the device and the speakers can be blended together.
So if the volume on the smartphone is set to a certain value, it can be hard to set it by just using the knob on the speaker.
Anyone who is looking for versatility in their sound should look into this model. With it, you don’t have to worry whether you’ll use them for listening to music or watching movies, they’ve got you covered.
And if you enjoy streaming audio, this model is top-of-the-line. You just have to connect your smartphone, computer, or any other device, and you’re good to go.
Best of the Rest
- Size: 11 x 11.3 x 15.5 inches
- Weight: 6.39 lbs
- 44 Hz to 22 kHz frequency response
- Active subwoofer
- 40 Watts RMS
- Integrated audio amp
Harman Kardon SoundSticks III Review
Without a doubt, Harman Kardon SoundSticks sport the most exclusive and unusual look of all the items on this list. In fact, it’s one of the most unique-looking sets available on the market.
SoundSticks III has a transparent plastic build, both for the sub and the satellites. The sub emits white light when in use, and the blue light shines when the Bluetooth is on. The manufacturer took its audience’s advice and lowered the distracting amount of light from the previous models.
Four Vertical Drivers
As with its predecessor, the SoundStick II, the satellite speakers (10 Watt) have four vertically aligned drivers. These can be adjusted, so the angle suits your position the best. So if your desk is higher or lower than your seating position, you can easily position them to your liking.
Those satellites are connected to a sub through ports. The cables are then protected by using a transparent wrapping, to prevent any damage to the wires.
If we’re being honest, it would be nice if these cables weren’t attached to the unit. However, that’s something you’ll soon forget once you see how sturdy and durable those wires are. You can pull and pull, and they will remain in place.
So, it’s fair to say that they will stand the test of time.
Rest assured that the manufacturers don’t rely solely on the design. This is not just some random pretty looking model.
Users keep giving good grades not just to this, but all models from the SoundStick series. The two satellites handle their mids and lows on a superb level.
The distortion is almost non-existent, even at high-volume ranges. On the low end, the subwoofer produces some clear and fierce bass.
To be completely fair, Soundstick III speakers don’t bring that much novelty to the table, if you compare it to its predecessors. But, they’ve managed to keep all the things we loved in the past and performing some minor tweaks to remove the things that used to irritate us.
- Size: 3.1 x 19.7 x 2.9 inches
- Weight: 9.76 lbs
- 30 Watt total power output
- 180 Hz to 20 kHz frequency response
- Passive subwoofer
- Bluetooth connectivity
Razer Leviathan Review
With Leviathan, the guys at Razer have outdone themselves, even though they set some pretty high standards, to begin with. Leviathan is one of the best compact options for those looking for a surround sound.
Small in stature (19.7 x 3 x 2.8 inches) yet powerful would be the best way to describe this model. Even though it’s a lightweight set, it does not fall behind in sound quality.
On the front, you’ll find a speaker that houses a grille and two tweeters and two full-range drivers. At the top, there’s a power button.
Right on the top of the soundbar, some controls let you manage the device, along with a dedicated Bluetooth button. You can use this to connect the bar to your smartphone.
Intuitive and straightforward preset buttons on top allow you to quickly shift through different modes for games, movies, and music.
All things considered, the design is appealing and tempting. The setup that consists of just a soundbar and a sub makes it easy for you to find it a place. The bar can be placed on your desk, below the monitor, while the subwoofer can easily be stored underneath the desk.
All the way in the back, you can find a small number of connectivity ports, like audio-in, aux input, subwoofer-out. It’s evident that Leviathan doesn’t come with a plethora of ports, at least when compared to its competition. The connections are stripped down to bare necessities.
Not only are there only a few ports, but the subwoofer out seems a bit delicate. The cable that goes in it doesn’t seem to fit well. That’s why the manufacturer decided to blend the signal and power into one cable, making things simpler.
In the future, it would be nice if the subwoofer was entirely wireless.
That subwoofer turns out to be one of the biggest Leviathan’s upsides. For such a small package, it puts out heavy and detailed bass, without a sign of distortion.
Some might even think that the bass comes off too strong. But, if you’re a fan of hard bass sound, you’ve hit the jackpot with this model.
It doesn’t matter for which purpose you use it, the Leviathan will always come on top. The Dolby Pro Logic II makes sure that each and every signal you assign is transformed into surround sound.
- Size: 24.5 x 15.2 x 15.1 inches
- Weight: 19.84 lbs
- Bluetooth 4.0
- 150 Watts RMS
- 160 Hz to 20 kHz frequency response
- 85 dB sensitivity
Edifier S350DB Review
In the sea of midrange speakers, one of the models stands out as quite a beast. Edifier S359Db is one of those models that hook you right from the start.
The name Edifier is not a novelty in the audio world. They have managed to stay afloat for more than two decades, and rise to become a well-known manufacturer of sound electronic devices.
The design solution is something that will catch your attention right from the start. With a cherry wood exterior and matte black speaker front panels, it seems like a perfect blend of classic and modern design.
As you’ll be able to see, there are no driver grilles. Although this means that the drivers will not be so protected, it makes the whole setup smoother and classier. So, another win for the design department at Edifier.
One thing that might stand in your way, design-wise, is the fact that it’s a large setup. Ultimately, this will play a significant role in your placement decision.
All the Connectivity You’ll Need
The sub is the central piece of the setup. There you’ll find all the connections you’ll need. Aside from all the standard connectivity options, S350DB also has an optical input.
It’s a great feature if you want to hook up your speakers to a more modern device, like a new TV.
On top of all those options, you can also connect your device wirelessly via Bluetooth.
The right satellite speaker serves to house a control panel, and also a wireless sensor. Three knobs blend perfectly with the overall design.
On the front panel, you can find an LED screen, and behind it, a sensor for wireless control.
Although it is nice to be able to control everything with a remote, the screen is so small that it’s sometimes too hard to see what’s going on, especially from a distance.
Performance-wise, these speakers are at the top of the class. Seeing that there are countless connectivity options available, you might think that some of them won’t work that well.
However, whichever you go with, the results will always be incredible. S359DB can produce some loud sound, even when you place it in a larger space.
This is due to the steady subwoofer output of 70 Watts combined with 25 Watts on the speakers.
Watching a movie with this model will ensure you get the most immersive and inviting experience. The dialogues and music are probably unlike anything you’ve ever heard.
And the bass makes this model perfect for gaming. Every explosion, every gunshot is delivered with such precision and power that it will take your gaming to a whole new level.
Best Computer Speakers - Buying Guide
Built-In Monitor Speakers or Dedicated Computer Speakers? Which Ones To Use?
There’s always a question of whether you can get by without buying a certain piece of equipment. And in the case of computer speakers, the answer would be yes. You can absolutely get sound from builtin monitor speakers.
The quality of that sound is a different matter altogether. You simply won’t be able to get good or decent results from them.
Seeing that monitors today come in slim form, the manufacturers are unable to place drivers of the substantial size inside. And without them, you won’t be able to get great audio.
And even if you wanted to get a monitor with built-in speakers, it would be challenging to find a decent one. In most cases, those are low-end models that allow the manufacturers to keep the prices low.
So, if you are at least a bit into audio, you should consider getting a set of speakers, maybe with a good subwoofer. And you don’t have to break the bank to do that!
You’d be surprised just how much difference even low-priced speakers can make.
Bookshelf or Computer Speakers
Likewise, if you are wondering if you can use quality bookshelf speakers instead of computer ones, the short answer would also be yes. But, there’s a reason why one of these are called computer speakers.
Bookshelf speakers, as great as they might be, are just not cut out to be connected to your computer. As bookshelf speakers, in most cases, are passive, you will need to obtain some sort of amplification to power them externally and get the sound output.
In most cases, you will have to get a stereo amp. This complicates things for you in more ways than one.
Computer Speakers are Less Complicated
First of all, buying a separate amp will cost you more right from the start. More often than not, these amps are not on the low-end.
Second, having a solid stereo amp increases the amount of gear you’ll have to set up. Keeping things simple is the best way to go.
Even if you’re a gamer, you should consider simplifying things as much as possible. You don’t want any additional equipment to detract you from focusing on your gaming experience.
That’s why computer speakers come in handy, since all you need to do is plug them in, and you’re off.
Then again, what’s to stop you from getting a bookshelf speaker? If the money allows, and you have enough time on your hands, set things up, and get yourself a higher amount of sound control.
2.0 or 2.1?
If you’re new to the audio world, you might be wondering what those numbers mean. And the answer is pretty straightforward.
That number refers to the number of channels and subwoofers available. So, if it says 2.0, then you get two channels (left and right), without a subwoofer, while the .1 means that there’s an added subwoofer.
Now, you don’t necessarily need a subwoofer. The left and right channels will be more than able to produce clear and accurate sound.
But having a sub could mean a lot to the overall setup.
Having it means that it will be able to do what it does best, separate the low-end frequencies, and offload them from satellite speakers.
That way, they don’t have to deal with the bass output. Having a subwoofer means that you will get a rich and detailed sound, seeing that the satellite speakers can focus on delivering midrange and high sounds.
If you want to feel the thundering explosions and increase the overall feel of the sound, then, by all means, get a subwoofer.
In the end, you’ll also need to consider whether you have appropriate conditions to house a subwoofer. If you’re living in a building, getting a robust, down-firing sub will only upset the neighbors.
Another thing to always have in mind when getting speakers is the connectivity. Make sure you know your options before purchasing a set. Not knowing what you get, and what you’ll be able to do with your speakers might ruin your experience in the future.
The most common input that you’ll get with every speaker is the 3.5 mm jack. Having this one will allow you to connect the speakers to multiple devices, like your PC, phone, tablet, laptop, and more.
Another option that’s hard to miss these days is USB. Once you plug that in, in most cases, the dedicated device will set things up for you instantly. Unlike with 3.5 mm jack, you won’t get distortion that happens when aux jack meets the port.
There are also some less obvious connections that you won’t be able to find everywhere, like optical. This option allows you to attach your set to some more modern devices.
In most cases, standard computers will require you to add a dedicated soundcard where you can connect optical.
As a rule of thumb, the more connections, the better. Naturally, you won’t use them all, or you will use some of them rarely, but you never know when you’ll need some of those ports.
If you’re at all serious about audio, then the question won’t be whether you should get quality speakers, but rather which speakers you should get.
You’ll just have to decide what you want to get from them, and how much you’re willing to spend. After that, all that is up to you is to enjoy your new quality setup.