It was almost inevitable that come the age of the computer that something would be done to include sound. Just a few years after, there are multiple choices, and we can now look for the Best Computer Speakers. Technology travels fast.
Speakers weren’t needed until computers became small enough to sit on a desk. They were already used to a certain extent in games machines in arcades. But they were largely built-in beeps and sounds. I suppose if we were to ask who were the first introduced sound technology to the computer, a fair number might say, Yamaha. They would be right.
The dawn of Multimedia speakers…
In 1991 came the first speakers designed for the computer. Often called Multimedia speakers, they can also be used with other hardware such as MP3 players.
Speakers installed in computers do not offer what you might call a satisfying listening experience. They are usually of poor quality because of a lack of space to accommodate them. External speakers can give you so much more. Today they come in all shapes and sizes and at prices to fit all budgets.
So, let’s take a look at some of the Best PC Speakers available and find the perfect pair for you…
- 1 Top Best Computer Speakers Reviews
- 2 Best Computer Speakers Under $50
- 3 Best Computer Speakers Under $100
- 4 Best Computer Speakers Under $150
- 5 Best Computer Speakers Under $200
- 6 Best Computer Speakers Under $300
- 7 Best Computer Speakers Under $500
- 8 But, what are the Best Computer Speakers of them all?
Top Best Computer Speakers Reviews
Best Computer Speakers Under $50
1 Logitech Multimedia Speakers Z200
Logitech is a Swiss company founded in 1981. They seem to keep a rather low, dignified profile, but they are one of the world’s largest hardware companies. They are well-known for their computer mouse production but also manufacture keyboards, smart devices and of course computer speakers.
Cheap but perfect formed…
These are very much one of their budget ranges. But still, budget range or not, they deliver a decent sound at 10 watts max or 5 watts RMS. There are two 2.5-inch speakers in each cabinet that provide a clear stereo sound.
With speakers such as this, the lower frequencies can often be non-existent. Logitech has overcome that problem to a certain degree. They have included in the design, passive radiators, that give a little boost to the bass. The bass level is adjustable through a tone control.
The controls are well-placed and easy to use. The bass control we have mentioned, and there is also a volume. On the front of the right speaker, there is a 3.55mm aux input. This will connect to a smartphone, tablet, or music player. And if you want some listening privacy, a headphone jack socket. You can connect one other device, be it a phone or tablet at the same time as your computer.
They are not intrusive by their size, measuring just 9.5 inches by 3.5 by 4 inches. The cable connecting the speakers is six feet long. You will need the facility to be able to plug these speakers into the mains. There are also thin wire stands that pull out to position them in a backward angle.
The sound is what we might describe as adequate. It has a reasonable spread across the frequencies, and that little extra bass makes a difference. They won’t win too many awards for the quality of the sound. But the price point should tell you that. If you are expecting outstanding sound reproduction, then you need to look elsewhere. These are a very low-price option and to that end are an excellent option.
Reasonable sound, decent volume, and well-made with some easy to use controls. Can’t really go wrong.
- Decent sound with good features.
- Affordable price with good build quality.
- At this price, it is difficult to find things to complain about.
2 Creative Inspire T3300
For those looking for a very affordable speaker system, this is worth a look. It has two speakers and a subwoofer, which for the price point represents outstanding value.
Each speaker puts out five and a half watts of power. This is supplemented by the 16 watts of bottom end from the down-firing ported woofer. To even have a subwoofer at the is price is something you don’t see very often. The four-inch woofer also has an adjustable bass level. The frequency range of the set is 40hz-20Khz.
Basic but practical…
It is, of course, missing a few features that more expensive speaker systems might include. For instance, it is not Bluetooth compatible. But then you wouldn’t really expect it to be. There are also no optical or USB connections; the only connection it offers is a 3.5mm aux.
It is a compact unit of three speakers that easily fits on your desk. The most important thing about this system, though, is the sound quality. Given the size of the speakers and the price, it is quite exceptional.
We wouldn’t say that it is going to compete with systems costing much more. But it does produce a decent bass sound and higher frequencies that you would call ok. As we keep repeating, and can’t emphasize enough, for the money, this performs exceptionally well.
- Decent sound with a subwoofer with bass control.
- Affordable price.
- Lacks a few connection options.
Best Computer Speakers Under $100
Bose Companion 2 Series III
Bose, of course, is going to produce a speaker system to enhance your listening experience for computers or other devices. This multimedia speaker system is good for music playback but also works really well for computer games.
They are made of good quality plastic and are a decent size measuring 5.9 inches by 3.1 by 7.5 inches. They have a very distinctive and interesting design that sits comfortably on a desk or unit. The units are quite small and compact but deliver a decent sound.
Lacking in bottom end…
The lower frequencies are a little indistinct, of course, as you would expect. But they are certainly a big step up from what your computer can provide itself. When you have a small speaker handling all the frequencies, you must expect a lower level of performance. They are though surprisingly good. As you might expect at the price point, there is no Bluetooth connection.
The controls and connections are basic. There is just a volume control and a jack socket for headphones placed on the right-side speaker. On the rear, there is a 3.5mm socket. This will make a connection to a further device such as a phone or a tablet. They are compatible with Mac and Windows XP.
They represent good value for money at the price but possibly lack a little sound quality at the bottom end.
- Nice design and well-built.
- Affordable price with decent sound quality.
- Low frequencies are not as good as some competitors.
Best Computer Speakers Under $150
1 Logitech Z623
Back we go to our Swiss friends from Logitech for another option. A rather understated design in a tough black plastic, they look like they are ready for business. And they are, this multimedia system is a big step up though in sound quality.
The system features two speakers handling mids and high frequencies. These put out 35 watts of power each. There is also a powerful subwoofer, and with the sub, the total output is 120 watts RMS. Quite a powerful system for anyone’s laptop, we would think. All this sound, though, does come at the cost of the size of the units.
Needs some space…
The subwoofer is 10 by 12 by 11 inches. Each speaker cabinet is 8 inches by 5 by 5inches. You will need a reasonable size of computer table. Not exactly what you might call compact. That though, is the downside. The upside is the quality of the sound they deliver.
When you consider these have been designed to improve the sound of your computer, they are very impressive — good depth, of course, from the sub. But just as impressive are the mids and highs from such small satellite speakers. The frequency range is 20Hz to 20,000 kHz. Could they be considered as the Best Speakers for Computer? For the price, they could be.
As well as connecting to your computer, it will also link in with your TV, phone or tablet, game console, or your music player. Even a DVD or iPod can be attached. In fact, just about anything with a 3.5mm jack socket or an RCA input. You can connect up to three devices at any one time.
This is not only suited to just sit on your desk. It is quite loud enough for indoor and even outdoor gatherings. Just connect up your PC, and you have all your playlists played with a good sound and volume level.
At its price point, we feel this is an exceptional multimedia system. Suitable for just about everything, games, music, and movies, it ticks all the boxes. No Bluetooth connections which at the price you might have hoped for. But with this, wired is more than ok.
- Quality build quality at an affordable price.
- Good sound and volume with a subwoofer.
- No Bluetooth connection.
2 Edifier R1700BT
Edifier was founded in 1996 in China and has established a good reputation for producing quality speakers at a competitive price. The 1700BT speaker system is designed as a desk or bookshelf based option for use with computer od music systems.
We have started to move up the scale of the quality with these speakers. These are not plastic build but made from MDF fiberboard. They are a little bit larger than a lot of computer speakers measuring 8.5 inches by 9 by 9.9 inches.
The way these speakers are designed makes them suitable for a variety of uses. They have an attractive walnut wood style finish with a black baffle board front. The main controls are recessed into the sides of one of the speakers. This is a good design feature making them quick and easy to use, but they are also out of sight.
Each cabinet has a four-inch driver and a 19mm tweeter. To add to some bottom end, there is a front-facing port. This allows them to be placed near to or next to a wall without interfering with the sound.
As we said, the controls are recessed and include a volume and bass and treble. When the speakers are turned on, the volume will set itself automatically. It can be adjusted when you wish. The sound is quite good across the frequencies. For speakers to use with your computer for music, movies, or games, they have plenty of volume. The RMS rating is 66 watts, so there is plenty there.
These speakers are Bluetooth compatible, which does move them up the scale of computer speakers. Pairing is quick and easy pressing down on the volume control. They are both Mac and Windows compatible.
Great value for money…
As systems go for upgrading the sound of a laptop, these are a big move up the quality of the sound ladder. They are obviously going to be vastly superior to the very cheap budget lines that are available. They are, though, of course, more expensive. The bass could be better and can boom a bit at higher volumes. Don’t expect high-end performance, and you won’t be disappointed.
For the price point, they are good value.
- Well-built with a nice solid design at an affordable price.
- Good sounds and suitable for a variety of in-home use.
- Sound can be a little weak at the bottom end.
Best Computer Speakers Under $200
1 Harman Kardon Soundsticks III
We have to say that the first time we caught sight of this system, we thought it might be a science experiment. To say the design is unusual would be an understatement, to say the least. Harman Kardon is a subsidiary of Harmon Industries who are owned by South Korean giant Samsung.
Soundsticks were given their first appearance in 2000. Apple did the design and performed the necessary engineering. They have been upgraded a few times since but still bear the same design influence.
Let’s examine the chemistry set…
Taking center stage is the down-firing subwoofer delivering 20 watts of power RMS. It has its own volume control. There is also a mute control. Four small speakers sit in the two test tube-like speaker columns. They are designed so that they can be angled to suit your needs. The total output is 10 watts per channel RMS. In use, it has a soft LED glow. It is compatible with most devices and computers.
The sound is quite nice. High frequencies are clear though a little sharp at times. Mids are also audible but can be crowded a little by the bass delivered by the subwoofer.
A bit of a novelty…
There are some features missing from a speaker system at this price point. Perhaps the most noticeable is a socket for headphones. Also, for this money, you might be expecting Bluetooth compatibility. It’s not there. They are also semi-hardwired, and so there could be a problem if there is a wiring issue.
Some will like this for its visual appeal. Though its sound performance is not that much better or worse than similarly priced systems. We have to say, for the price sound-wise you can probably do better. To us, it is a novelty item.
It has been placed in New York City’s Museum of Modern Art. Maybe that’s what they were really hoping for rather than a serious attempt at speaker design.
- It has a decent sound with an interesting design.
- Subwoofer to accent the bass frequencies.
- A vulnerable design that appears to be for show rather than extended use.
2 Yamaha HS5 Powered Studio Monitor
Yamaha has an annoying habit as far as its competitors are concerned. They have a habit of making musical history. They have achieved greatness with pianos, saxophones, and even some of their guitars, but speakers?
At first glance at the HS5, the first thing you are drawn to is the speaker cone. That cone is seen in a lot of places. It was the signature design of the Yamaha NS10. A legend amongst speakers. People, in the know, are saying that the HS5 is the NS10’s rightful successor.
Let’s see why and if they might be?
A plain and simple design, of course, each cabinet carries a one-inch tweeter and that domed five-inch woofer, it is a two-way bass-reflex design with a rear-facing port that delivers 45 watts of power RMS. The frequency response is 54Hz-30kHz.
But let’s get down to the real issue. What do they sound like? It is hard to not make the comparison with their illustrious best in class cousins the NS10. They can’t be as good. But it’s close. Very close.
Accurate and clear…
The high frequencies are excellent, and the tweeters do a good job. The sound is accurate and clear and not too bright, as can sometimes be the case. In treated rooms, the sound was still exceptional. The result is that even with the demands of the recording studio these speakers were high performers,
Mids likewise. In fact, listening to them in an untreated room, these speakers are mid-based. There is a real emphasis on the sound of the mids. For such small speakers, that is exceptional quality. In the treated room, they weren’t so prominent, but the balance between mids and highs was good. There was very little overlap.
Add a sub and blow your mind!
It was with the low frequencies where the difference was most noticeable. This is where the NS10’s had a definite advantage. In treated rooms, the bass struggles to make an impact. Even in your home being untreated, they won’t necessarily impress. This observation is made when listening side by side with excellent highs and mids, so maybe a little unfair.
But the overall sound is good though despite being a little ‘bass-light.’ A subwoofer would probably make these mind-blowing.
There are some connections via XLR and TRS phone jack inputs. These will take balanced or unbalanced signals. Are they the Best Speakers for a PC in this review? Certainly going to be in with a shout.
Before you get too excited about the price point, the price is for one speaker, not two. So, you’ll need to double it, that’s the price of this level of quality.
- Excellent sound and performance.
- Well-built with a great understated design.
- The price point might dissuade some.
Best Computer Speakers Under $300
Audioengine A2 Plus
If what you are looking for in a speaker system is a plain understated design, then you may have found it. They do not come much plainer than the Audioengine A2 Plus. For some, including us, that is going to be a big plus point.
Audioengine was established in 2005 in Texas and has built itself a solid reputation for quality speakers at attractive prices.
Desk or bookshelf?
The A2 design is a compact speaker system that is ideal for the computer or also as a bookshelf speaker. They measure 4 inches by 5.25 by 6 inches and so will not take up too much desk space. They have a good quality build and are made from MDF fiberboard.
The peak power rating is set at 60 watts, which means an RMS of approximately 30 watts. Plenty loud enough for use with your laptop. The sound is delivered by a silk-domed three-quarter-inch tweeter and 2.75-inch woofer in each cabinet. It is a quality sound performance with clear high frequencies. The bass is prominent without being overpowering.
For a mid-priced speaker system, the sound is good. This will put them in contention to be the best sounding computer speakers. Being powered speakers, they have built-in amplifiers. They also have a built-in DAC, which is a converter to change the digital format to analog.
There is an abundance of connections on the rear of one speaker. There is a USB for connection to a PC or a Mac, and there is also connectivity for TV, CD, DVD players, and even turntables if they have their own preamps. Phones and other devices may also be connected, as can most things with ¼ inch jack or RCA output.
What’s in the box?
Located on the rear is also a master volume control. Included in the package for these speakers are USB, mini-jack cables, and 1.5 meters of audio cabling. They also thoughtfully include cable bags for when they are not in use.
These are a good set of speakers for either a laptop as bookshelf speakers.
- Good sounding speakers in a compact size.
- Well-made with good materials and plenty of connection options.
- Some will be put off by the price for a speaker system for a computer.
Best Computer Speakers Under $500
1 Audioengine A5 Plus Classic
Another offering from our Texan friends, this model is a step up to a higher level than the A2 plus we have already looked at. This is an improvement to their popular A5 range, which has proved themselves popular in the past.
Like a lot of Audioengine speakers, they have an understated design, which is very appealing. They are not that compact and are too large for placing on a desk and using with a computer. We suppose it might depend on the size of the desk. They measure 12 inches by 16 by 22 inches. When you have heard the sound they produce, though, you might just make room for them.
Bring the party to life…
They have 50 watts per channel RMS power rating, which for a computer speaker system is very loud. The frequency range is 50Hz-22kHz. We can see these also being used as bookshelf speakers. With the computer, they are going to be great at parties where playlists from the laptop can be knocked out.
They have a good build being made for fiberboard and weigh twenty-five pounds, so they are quite substantial.
Not the best for EDM and Rap…
Inside each cabinet are a ¾ inch silk dome tweeter and a five-inch fiber woofer. They deliver a decent sound, which is very good in the mids and high-frequency ranges. They are a bit light at the bottom end, though. Certainly would not be suitable for genres that demand a heavy bass presence.
If you are serious about adding some bass, then we would think you will also need a subwoofer. That is going to put the price up a little more.
They are Bluetooth compatible, which is an added bonus AAC, aptX, aptX HD codecs are operational. On the rear of one of the cabinets are all the connections. Line in and Line out and 3.5mm input. The volume control is situated on the front of the cabinet.
As usual with Audioengine, the design is organized and low key. The speakers are well-built and have a number of potential uses in the home. The Bluetooth capability is good and pairing quick. If we are to be critical, the bass is a little under-powered, but that is all — a good set of speakers.
- Solid fiberboard builds with a nice understated design.
- Bluetooth and other connection options.
- Bass might be too underpowered for some.
2 Bose Companion 5 Multimedia Speaker System
Starting to reach the high-end products now with the Companion 5 from Bose. This is a 2.1 channel speaker system that connects to your computer via USB 2.0. It has two satellite speakers that come ready assembled on stands.
These have an attractive design very reminiscent of speakers from Bang and Olufsen in the 70s and 80s. The speakers have two-inch drivers that deliver a nice top end. Not too sharp but bright and clear. The advantage of having speakers on stands is that they are not cluttering up your desk. Whilst they are also a decent size to give good sound.
They are small enough, however, to have them on the desk if you choose.
And then there’s the sub…
For the low frequencies, there is a subwoofer. This has a 5,25-inch driver and produces a deep, resonant sound. Because the speakers are on stands and there is a self-standing subwoofer, it creates an almost surround sound experience. Not something you often get on computer speakers. This adds quite a bit extra if they are used for gaming or movies where low frequencies are important.
There is a control pod that is wired. This lets you control the volume and has a mute control if it’s needed. It also has a jack socket for headphones and an aux input for another device. When the headphones are plugged in, it automatically mutes the speakers.
There is no need for any special wiring or drivers. The speakers connect via the USB 2.0 and are compatible with Windows XP and Mac OS. They have no Bluetooth connection.
- Nice practical design with a very good sound.
- Everything comes fully assembled.
- The price will deter some.
3 Audioengine HDP6
Another high-end speaker system for your computer from Audioengine. The market for speakers that cost less than four figures is full to bursting. It takes a very special speaker to break out of that group and lay claim to being one of the best quality computer speakers.
But these might just do that?
They are a 2-way passive design with a rear port. They have a tough build being made from MDF fiberboard. Each cabinet measures 11.75 inches by 7.25 by 10 inches. They are finished in an attractive walnut veneer.
Each has a one-inch tweeter with a silk dome and 5 and a half inch woofers with a Kevlar cone. The speakers are set in butyl rubber surrounds. This is an important feature of the design. It reduces the amount of unwanted resonance from the cone giving a clearer sound.
They will deliver a peak power rating of up to 150 watts per channel and have a frequency response of 50Hz to 22kHz. To ensure a good anti-corrosive connection, the binding posts are gold-plated.
Keep them away from walls…
They have been designed to give great quality in their sound reproduction. They are suitable for the computer but may also be used as bookshelf speakers in a music system. Care will need to be taken in whatever environment they are used. They must not be placed to close to a wall with the rear-facing port.
These speakers are well-made in China, as are all Audioengine speakers and have an impressive sound. They are probably more suited to a bookshelf environment. Also, being 4 ohms, they are not the best impedance for hooking up to a computer. 8 or 16 ohms would probably be better.
Will they break out of the packed market they are in?
As computer speakers probably not. As bookshelf speakers, they might, but that is not what we are looking at here.
They produce a decent sound. Possibly a little lightweight at the bottom end, but otherwise nice. As computer speakers, they are a little expensive for what they do.
- Well-built with an attractive walnut finish.
- Good sound.
- Quite expensive for what they do.
But, what are the Best Computer Speakers of them all?
Difficult to pick one set of speakers when there is a range of price points. As with most speakers, you get what you pay for. Having said that, at every level, the speakers we have looked at have features that are worth mentioning. Even the budget ranges have a decent sound. It does depend on how much you want to spend and if you want any extra features.
For us, we have chosen a set of speakers at the mid-price point. They are well made and have everything that a good set of computer speakers needs, our choice is therefore the…
Yamaha HS5 Powered Studio Monitor
Outstanding Yamaha quality and a worthy follow up to a speaker system that was a legend.