Whether it’s for music, gaming or movies, a good set of PC speakers is a must if you want to enjoy immersive audio
If there’s one area that gets overlooked by PC, laptop and monitor manufacturers, it’s sound quality, but the best PC speakers around are capable of improving that sub-par audio significantly.
The best computer speakers provide a simple way of upgrading your home audio setup without necessarily taking up half your desk with wires, cables and big amplifiers. Whether you’re looking for a compact, affordable way of enhancing your tinny laptop audio or getting the finest audiophile experience that money can buy, there are plenty of great options to choose from.
Top 10 Best computer speakers
Below, you’ll find our pick of the best computer speakers available at a wide range of prices. These offer an alternative to traditional satellite speakers but aren’t an ideal pairing for laptops – you’re better off slotting them under the monitor of your desktop PC setup.
1. Audioengine A2+
While the Audioengine A2+ arrived on the scene four years back, they are still conceivably among the best computer speakers on the market. These slick-looking speakers will function with your PC’s USB port for uncompressed audio and amazing sound quality with its built-in DAC. The Audioengine A2+ comes sans subwoofer. However, if you really need that deep bass for extra rumble, that’s hardly a deal breaker: mostly because there is an RCA output, so it’s simple to connect an external woofer, which Audioengine also sells separately.
2. Logitech Z407 Bluetooth Computer Speakers
The Logitech Z407 offers great value in an affordable and appealing package. These minimalist, capsule-shaped speakers deliver great sound quality and a decent amount of volume while offering wireless connectivity, two physical input options, and a versatile design. That subwoofer is surprisingly powerful for its size as well, producing a good amount of rumble for those intense game and movie moments. Finally, that wireless control, while confusing at first, is a nifty addition that adds convenience to its use. If you think that computer speakers are becoming obsolete, these will certainly change your mind.
3. Logitech G560
The Logitech G560 are the best computer speakers for serious gamers. The G560 produces robust sound, whether you’re playing a game or listening to music, and the subwoofer really adds to the experience. If you like to play loud, this system is a great fit for you. It also features a sophisticated lighting system comprising four distinct zones with bright, colorful LEDs, which are fun but can be distracting. The included software is integral; you use it to configure the lights, activate surround sound and even create profiles for specific games.
One helpful feature of the G560 is its Bluetooth compatibility, which lets you funnel in your own music from a smartphone. This means that you can play pretty much anything on these speakers, and you can hand off control from person to person easily. If you need something powerful for an impromptu dance party, the G560 will work in a pinch, and even provide its own light show to go along with the proceedings.
4. Creative GigaWorks T20 Series II
The T20s are solidly built and deliver good overall sound for the money. Tall and narrow, the 9 x 5.6 x 3.5-inch satellites produce a balanced mix of treble and bass, and you can adjust those levels. However, the speakers lack resonant vocals, keeping the T20s from providing an excellent audio experience. The system features two 3.5mm inputs and ships with an RCA-to-3.5mm adapter to connect stereo sources. With 14 watts of power per channel, the T20s also get louder than many speakers in their price range.
Creative Labs also has a great computer audio pedigree, having made discrete audio cards for PCs since 1989. This doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s better at channeling computer audio than its competitors, but it does mean that Creative Labs products tend to be made with computers in mind, first and foremost.
5. Trust 20442 Avora 2.1
It’s amazing what £20 can get you these days. For the measly sum of £18, the Trust Avora 2.1 offers a pair of compact satellite speakers and a subwoofer. Granted, build quality isn’t the best – all three are made from rather unsightly black plastic – but that’s to be expected at such a low price point.
The speakers are powered by your laptop or desktop via a USB-A connection and generate a peak power of 18W, which is ample in just about any circumstance. The subwoofer houses both the volume and bass controls and the audio produced is impressive. At higher volumes, trebles can be a little ear-piercing but there’s a decent balance overall and the sub delivers a pleasing thump when cranked right up.
It may not be the most aesthetically pleasing budget 2.1 speaker set on the market – that title goes to the Creative Pebble Plus below – but it’s half the price. And, given that it’ll set you back less than a round of drinks, it sounds pretty decent, too.
6. Creative Pebble V2
This second-generation pair of satellite speakers feature the original Pebble’s distinctive design but incorporate a number of tweaks to improve both performance and the user experience.
The cable connecting the right and left speakers is 15cm longer, making it easier to position them on either side of your laptop or desktop, and the USB-A connection has been replaced by a USB-C connection. The V2 house enhanced 2in full-range drivers and are capable of producing 8W RMS total power and peak power of up to 16W, twice that of their predecessor.
The result is an ultra-compact pair of speakers that pack a punch. Vocals are impressively reproduced and there’s clarity in the mids and treble, which makes them great for watching movies on. They’re a little light in the bass department but if you’re after a more impactful low-end, Creative also produces the Pebble Plus below, which comes with a separate subwoofer.
If you’re looking for attractive, minimalist, speakers capable of delivering audio that belies their size, the Pebble V2 are the desktop speakers for you.
7. Audioengine HD3
Audioengine’s reputation for building premium speakers with accurate sound is flawless. The HD3 is proof of this, producing stellar audio that makes music and movies sound pristine. Wired speakers are known for offering the better audio experience, but these Bluetooth-only speakers exceed expectations. Mids are articulate and highs are compelling, giving vocals plenty of clarity and detail. Wireless range is stable as well with little to no dropout occurring. What’s more surprising is how well sound carries over to the headphone jack, as listening with over-ear cans maintains the HD3’s rich performance. Having a built-in DAC and amp also increases the HD3’s value.
Our only complaint is that Audioengine took it easy on the low end. You’ll still get to some nice oomph out of the drivers when listening to bass-dominating tracks, but don’t expect to blow a hole through your college dorm roof.
8. Klipsch The Fives Powered Speaker
The Fives speaker system looks like something you would find in your great-grandfather’s study, but the only thing retro about these speakers is the design. Despite no subwoofer, these monitors blast powerful, balanced sound to create an immersive listening experience when enjoying music, movies, sports, and video games. The details in craftsmanship are remarkable as exhibited by the aluminum dials sitting atop the right channel to allow for seamless switching between the numerous connections. There is even an output to connect to turntables; we recommend checking out our best USB turntables roundup to find some worthy pairings.
All that firepower does come at the cost of size. As you can see by the dimensions, The Fives isn’t exactly a pair of computer speakers that rest steadily on any tiny desk, so you’ll definitely want to clear out some space before these arrive on your doorstep.
9. Creative Pebble Plus 2.1
It doesn’t help that reliable brands have multiple options in the same price range. The differences at the low-end can be minimal, but the Creative Pebble Plus speakers stand apart from the competition with their big sound despite the compact size.
With a total power output of 8 watts, these speakers pump out crisper audio than some of their competitors using two to three times the amount of power. While they won’t produce the highest volume of sound, we found little distortion even with the volume maxed out. The only complaint here is a lack of bass control to complement the convenient volume knob located on the right speaker.
The Pebble Plus speakers may lack some raw oomph, but they make up for it in clarity. This is why we highly recommend these speakers for students and those who move around a lot, as the speakers are small enough to fit on any cramped desk surface. They’re easily the most portable system we tried and perform best in a smaller bedroom or dorm.
10. Razer Leviathan
One of the great things about gaming headsets is that they take up very little space. Unfortunately, if you’re looking for a great set of speakers, chances are you’ll have to sacrifice some of the real estate around your gaming PC. Luckily, Razer has a solution for the modern PC gaming minimalist: the Leviathan sound bar.
The Razer Leviathan is designed to be placed directly underneath your monitor and features both wired and wireless input options to help reduce clutter. We especially appreciated the notch in the middle, which allows you to run your keyboard and mouse cord underneath cleanly.
At $230, Razer’s sound bar directly competes with several other options on this list. It may not match the sound quality and feature set of the Logitech G560, but the Leviathan remains a smart choice for PC gamers who want a simple single speaker setup.
How to choose the best computer speakers for you
There are three things to consider when choosing the best computer speaker for your setup: sound quality, extra features and price.
Sound quality is a moving target, but generally speaking: Cheaper, less elaborate systems offer decent sound quality, but the soundscape is not that nuanced, and the maximum volume is sometimes not that loud. More expensive, more elaborate systems tend to offer richer treble, deeper bass and more substantial vocals. A great pair of speakers shouldn’t make you choose among the three facets of sound; everything should be balanced.
Extra features tend to come standard in more expensive speakers, but even cheaper models can have them. The most common extra feature is discrete bass/treble controls, but you can also have remote controls, wireless functionality and RGB lighting. None of these things is strictly necessary, but some can make your life a lot easier, especially if you’re looking to turn your computer into an audio powerhouse.
The best computer speakers offer an easy way to dramatically enhance the sound output of your PC or laptop. Instead of relying on weak integrated speakers, you can give music, movies and gaming audio the depth and detail it deserves — while also improving clarity in remote meetings and catch-up calls with friends.