The best computer speakers may be hard to figure out when sifting through all the popular models in the market. To us audio junkies, nothing is better than investing in a good pair to get your music, movies, TV shows and other audio needs up and running to be enjoyed optimally. Today we took the time to review, compare and contrast the top 10 in the market to give you some options. We made sure to go through numerous different price points, shapes, and sizes to help you decide the best, which is ultimately dependent on a few subjective preferences. Let’s see what we found!
Choosing the best speakers for your computer
- Budget – There isn’t too big of a range when it comes to the best speakers for computers; however, there’s a big difference (usually in terms of overall sound quality as well as power) f you’re looking at an under $100 model or a pair above $200. We found quite a few different price points to help you decide.
- Intended use – Aside from the amount of money you have at hand to invest, your actual use of the speakers is very important to keep in consideration. Will you be listening to music casually? Gaming? Making music? TV series or movies? Perhaps all of the above? We list the recommended application for most of these computer speakers below.
- What type of speaker? There are a few different types of speakers for your computer:
- Studio monitors – These are some of the most popular speakers for computers, and although typically geared towards musicians for music recording and production, work extremely well for most uses on a computer due to their versatility. The reason they’re preferred by musicians is because they’re specialized for sound accuracy — many have 2 or 3-way systems inside (a component for lower, mid-range and high frequencies) to help you differentiate the sound waves and have a more clear playback. Although gaming headsets are a bit more preferred, that’s why studio monitors are also recommended for gamers (since having an accurate sound won’t throw you off where you hear those sound effects in a game or match). They’re also great for movie watching, TV shows, and more, which is why we have quite a few of those in here.
- Desktop – More of the traditional setup, we consider ‘desktop speakers’ to be those slim and sleek models we usually see on desks. These are great for those wanting to listen to music, watching TV shows or movies, and (some models) gaming.
- Wireless bluetooth speakers – These are usually used for leisure music listening, but we’ve heard of some use specific wireless boomboxes for their computers. They’re usually preferred for music-listening only.
- Soundbars – Although mostly used for TV and multimedia systems, can be considered great for computers at times if it’s what you fancy.
- Additional features? Wireless Bluetooth connectivity? Volume control knobs on the front? 1/8″ ports? Extra subwoofer to get some more bass in your audio? These are some of the popular additional features of computer speakers that may catch your eye. We list the highlights of each.
The top 10 best computer speakers
Polk Audio Hampden
To start off our list, the Polk Hampden is known to deliver outstanding sounds with some super clear audio quality. Check out a lot of the other computer speaker lists and this is most likely included for a reason. As our choice for one of the best computer speakers, its chassis comes with a sleek and glossy wooden finish, and under the hood it brings impressive audio. Aside from the look, you’re also getting some Bluetooth connectivity (wireless range of up to 40 feet) if you’re in the mood for it, as well as some volume control with the classic rotary volume controller style. The total system power is 80 watts, so it isn’t going to necessarily blow away your windows but it can get the job done for most computer applications out there. It also has a USB port for music playback (comes with an 8 ft. cable) and stereo mini jack in case you’d prefer to plug it in directly to your computer. The quality of the audio is up there (not necessarily studio monitor flatness but more geared towards the average leisurely listening audience) as you can play any range of music. If it’s within your budget, we highly recommend the Polk Audio Hampden as the best computer speakers in the market today.
The Mackie CR3 is another one of the best speakers for computers if you felt the previous model was a bit too expensive for you. For those of you who plan to enhance your desktop multimedia, this speaker speaks for itself since they’re technically studio monitors (Mackie is a music and recording equipment brand). You have a dedicated volume knob on the unit (you can switch the settings for which side you want the speaker to portray in case you prefer the knob on the left instead of right), and the frequency range is pretty wide (80 Hz to 20 kHz). It produces great sounds for the price and offers some internal components for each level of sound — a high frequency tweeter with a 3 inch low/mid-range driver. The CR3 is also quite compact at 6” deep, by 5.5” wide, by 8” tall so it’ll fit on most desktop setups as well as laptop stands (double-check to make sure). The Mackie CR3 have a clean texture and smooth sound quality you expect from the best speaker for computers, especially if you’re into the accuracy of what’s being played in front of you.
Bose Companion 2 Series III
The Companion 2 Series III is more of a traditional build when it comes to computer speakers. The slim design may be the factor that steers you in its direction if the previous model was a bit too bulky for your. It boasts a great sound quality with their ‘TrueSpace digital signaling’ technology that’s known to give you a more spacious, surround-sound type of feel despite having only two speakers. There is an auxiliary input for you to connect it with your other devices – making it versatile if you weren’t just using it for your laptop or computer and it is also able to be played along with your headphone jack. As one of the best stereo speakers, you can also connect it with your Apple devices like an iPad or iPhone. The headphone jack is on the front of the speaker, offering the user convenience and comfort when using headphones (we’re guilty of continually switching from headphones to speakers when we work or make music a lot). The Bose Companion 2 Series III does not come with a remote control, but that’s a sacrifice we’re willing to take if you like the design and friendly price-point. We’re all pretty aware of that Bose speaker brand tag by now.
Alesis M1 Active 320
The Alesis M1 Active 320 is an impressive pair of computer speakers to enhance the sound of your desktop. They’re another pair of studio monitor speakers, so you’re getting a more flat, accurate sounding playback as opposed to some other speakers that put slight (or sometimes huge) emphasis on either the high or low frequencies of the sound waves. Alesis is another one of our favorite music gear creators. We’d consider these as some of the best computer speakers in the market especially if you were looking for a super budget-friendly pair to buy. The system allows you to simply plug and play and with the built-in 3 inch woofer paired with 1 inch tweeter, they deliver some pretty impressive sound quality. Although not as slim as some others out there, it has a decently compact design that allows you to plug-in your USB easily as well as a volume control knob on the front. In terms of exact specs, it has a 16 bit and 44.1-48 GHz playback and recording and you can easily use it with your iPad and iPhone as well. If you weren’t feeling the Mackie and wanted a cheaper solution for studio monitors for your computer, check the Alesis M1 Active 320 out for sure.
Here’s an appearance from Logitech, and when it came to the best speakers for your computer, they had a few models that were super popular we had to decide from. The Logitech Z623 in particular has awesome performance with a crisp sound. It has great quality and the sound is closer to more high-end options despite the relatively low price. When you listen carefully, the bass sounds are a bit deeper than others and it delivers a pretty powerful blast as you turn up the volume. Each speaker has 35 watts and it pumps out 130 altogether. Although it does not include a remote control, you can still use it to accompany your iPad or your gaming session for some sound effects, music for leisurely listening or movie and TV show adventures. Given the large dimensions, this Logitech model can actually take up a lot of space so be sure to keep that mind. However, you are getting that dedicated subwoofer than many love (for studio monitors, you would have to buy a studio subwoofer separately and that can get costly). If you were looking for some extra bass in your audio experience as well were concerned with having some extra power for your sounds, keep an eye out for the Logitech Z623.
Creative GigaWorks T20 Series II
This Creative Gigaworks T20 series has not only some great audio quality but convenient size as well. In terms of build and on the outside, the speakers look impressive with a sleek and glossy finish. The cloth on its front is detachable, which gives the user more versatility. Its charm lies in the two-way speaker, having a component built-in to the speakers dedicated to the lower and higher frequencies. What also stands out from the others is the additional control you have over the sound — the front offers not only a volume control knob, but bass and treble as well (as well as a few input jacks). It comes with something called ‘BasXport’ – their self-created phrase (like the Bose pair earlier) for technology built-in to deliver some rich sounds. As a hi-fi music enhancer, it comes with an easy connection with headphone jacks and you can even connect it to your TV for a bigger screen experience. It won’t make the walls tremble, but it is a powerful subwoofer. The GigaWorks T20 Series II has the dimensions of 3.46 x 5.63 x 9.06 inches – a compact design size that’s great for many laptops or those on a desktop with limited space.
The Audioengine A2+ is a very popular computer speaker that performs as promised, considering we’re in the territory of studio monitors once again (they’ve made a few of our best-of studio monitor guides). For build, you’re getting some custom Kevlar woofers and silk tweeters as well as hand-finished wood cabinets. The clear sound boosts not only the bass quality but other frequencies as well and there are features like a USB connector and internal DAC for better, easier audio playback. This best speaker option has set a new standard for audio on your desktop if you were concerned with accuracy as opposed to the embellished quality others give. There are also built-in analog amplifiers that allow easy connection and it features auto standby for the user’s convenience. It is cleverly designed with electrical and acoustic sound combined in one. You’re also getting a few color options if you were concerned with aesthetics in your setup. If you can afford this pair of speakers, you definitely won’t be disappointed with the Audioengine A2+.
The Leviathan is our pick for one of the best computer speakers for gaming (we’re all aware of Razer‘s name in the gaming realm, right?), especially with its sub and speaker (more of a soundbar type of build) combination. It’s a 5.1 channel surround speaker bar with Dolby technology, and combined with high-quality sound drivers and big subwoofer, you’re getting some super clear quality right in all directions here. There are 2.5 inch full range drivers and 0.74 inch tweeters built-in to the bar and the subwoofer features down facing speakers with a sleek design. It comes in pretty lightweight. the internal components allow versatile connections to other devices and the subwoofer output of 30 Watts RMS has various plug systems to give you some options. It also has Bluetooth 4.0 (aptX technology), which is always a plus in our opinion. Due to this, we’d also say it’s great to use for TV’s if your setup allows wireless connectivity. Aside from the great audio quality and accompanied subwoofer, the well-constructed Razer Leviathan look super rigid and solid, blending well into any aesthetic setup, whether in the office for gaming or the living room to up the quality and look of some TV shows and movies.
The M-Audio AV32 is another one of the best computer speaker monitors to buy, especially if you’re on a strict budget. Although this is a computer accessory guide, if you’ve read our music equipment articles, we’re big fans of M-Audio since the quality to price ratio their gear offers is super impressive. This pair of monitors has 10 Watts of power per channel with its onboard amplification, some high-quality MDF cabinets to help with resonance, and the two-way design is great for differentiating those lows and highs from each other. The front panel of 1/8 inch stereo auxiliary input gives you the option to plug it in to your smart phone or computer or you can use the RCA cord instead. The front panel also has a headphone output that lets you use it with your headphones directly. They aren’t necessarily the smallest but that’s for a reason — you’re sacrificing some extra space for bigger, well-built components inside of them. The M-Audio AV32 are known for leisure music listening, production, as well as gaming.
Cyber Acoustics CA-3602FFP
Last but not least, this is a set of stylish computer speakers to check out for a pretty affordable price (it’s the cheapest pair in here, not to mention having a separate subwoofer for your extra bass needs). Equipped with a 2.1 speaker system, it offers an impressive bass sound and decent quality sound for the price. The speakers are 2″ and subwoofer is 5.25″ in size. The purchase also comes with a desktop control that allows you to control the volume (as well as bass, which is always a plus) or simply access music with your headphones. You can also connect the speakers to your TV set if you ever need to. What’s great about this speaker is the design specifically made to avoid any magnetic interference that can cause the reduction of quality. You will not be disappointed in the purchase of the Cyber Acoustics CA-3602FFP when it comes to affordability, and although not the highest in quality sound or most powerful, will get the job done without breaking your wallet.