I think we can all agree that music, art & even gaming are enhanced by great sound. Which is why having a good pair of speakers for your computer is key.
Gamers predominantly use headphones, but gaming speakers are pretty awesome to have when relaxing or watching your favorite movies & TV shows.
Speaker systems tend to vary in terms of price points, input types (RCA, Bluetooth, etc.), 2.0 or 2.1 & more, which is why we’ve researched and tested some of what we think to offer the best sound today.
Setup can vary as well, and you might need speakers that work just as well in the bedroom as it does pair with your television. They should have the ability to handle classical music, heavy metal, & hip hop with the same richness for instance.
There is a whole host of brands & speaker systems to choose from that offer their signature sound, and there can be a lot of debate amongst audiophiles about where the sweet spot lies.
Irrespective of that, if you happen to be a casual user, a gamer, a movie buff or an audiophile our list should have your back.
Best 2.0 Computer Speakers
1. Bose Companion 20
About: 2x 2.75″ / 7cm wide range drivers, Bose TrueSpace technology, Control pod, HDMI & Jack connectivity.
- Incredibly rich sound quality, in part due to Bose TrueSpace tech
- Surprisingly deep bass for 2.0 speakers
- Easy to set up
- The included jack cable feels a bit cheap
Very few companies have as much experience and authority when it comes to speakers of any kind as Bose and that really shines through with the incredibly popular Companion 20. While gaming or computers have never been Bose’s main priority that has not stopped them from crafting some of the best pairs of speakers for exactly that.
With the Companion 20, you get the signature Bose sound and build quality put into two handsome and compact speakers made for PC use. Despite being a simple 2.0 speakers set up it has incredibly rich sound effects and the Bose TrueSpace technology creates a much deeper and immersive sound experience than what you usually get from 2.0 speakers. Considering they might not have a stand-alone subwoofer the bass is surprisingly deep.
On top of their brilliant performance and build quality they are also very simple and easy to both use and set up. The Bose Companion 20 is a pair of simple plug-and-play speakers that work perfectly the second you plug them in and the control pod makes adjusting the speakers a joy. The Bose 20 Companion is by far our favorite pair of 2.0 speakers within a reasonable price class as it manages to create the same deep and rich sound as a 2.1 set but without having to find room for a large subwoofer.
2. Audioengine A2+
About: 2.0 setup, 60 Watts peak, 15W RMS, 2.75″ aramid fiber woofers(drivers), 3.5mm stereo mini-jack, RCA and USB inputs, 65Hz-22kHz frequency response.
- Perfect size for desktop use
- Unparalleled sound quality in it’s price range.
- Bass quite strong for a 2.0 setup
- No remote control included
Over the last decade, Audioengine has gone from a smaller company that made very little noise in the industry to one of the top developers of quality sound systems at reasonable prices and the A2+ is a testament to that.
While it is one of Audioengine’s cheaper models they have not skimped on their product here and for the price the A2+ is filled with powerful specs and a quality build, and most importantly it also has some of the best in class audio on the market.
It is no coincidence that the Audioengine speakers consistently score so high with consumers and reviewers, they quite simply make phenomenal audio systems at very fair prices. Audioengine remains an independent company that is run by passionate people and that shines through with everything from their products to their customer service.
Best 2.1 Computer Speakers
Logitech G560 Lightsync
About: 240 Watts peak, 7.1 DTS:X Ultra Surround sound, Down-firing subwoofer, Lightsync technology, Bluetooth.
- Great sound quality with a strong bass
- Exceptionally immersive surround sound feel for a 2.1 set up
- Bluetooth makes it easy to swap between PC and phone use
- LED lighting works in sync with most big games to create a more immersive gaming experience
- The default bass might be a bit too strong
Logitech has always been at the forefront when it comes to creating fantastic 2.1 speaker setups for gaming and computer use in general, and the G560 Lightsync is one of their best ones yet. Logitech has filled the G560 with all the latest technology and some serious firepower in order for them to create one of the most immersive gaming experiences yet.
The thing that puts the G560 above all other 2.1 in our book is that they were specifically crafted for gaming purposes and it really shows. They have an impressive 240 Watt peak and a unique driver set up created just for gaming which works together with the DTS:X integrated surround sound feature that creates a 3D sound experience that you usually only see with 5.1 speaker setups.
The G560 not only sounds great but also looks absolutely stunning with the subtle, modern design that has integrated Lightsync technology with beautiful RGB lighting. You can match the LED lights with your current PC set up or any other color you might want but you can also choose to make it match the in-game color pallets which creates an almost transcending immersive experience. This also works with music as the audio visualizer will make the LED work together with the music playing. The Logitech G560 is not only our favorite 2.1 speakers on the market but also the best gaming speakers of its price class in our honest opinion.
Best 5.1 Computer Speakers
About: 5.1 surround sound, THX certified, 500 Watts, works for any media, 165 Watts subwoofer.
- Immersive surround sound setup
- Fantastic sound quality with a booming bass
- Very diverse connectivity
- Has a lot of cables which can be annoying
For some people, 2 speakers just won’t cut it, and if that is the case for you then look no further than the Logitech Z906 5.1 surround sound system. This THX-certified surround sound system from Logitech is extremely powerful and works for both PC and TV use. Unless you are willing to spend a lot more on your 5.1 sound system then the Z906 is second to none and no 5.1 speakers in the same price class can really compete.
These wonderful speakers can deliver 500 watts continuously and even peak up at around 1000 watt when pushed which is supported perfectly with the booming, well-rounded bass from the subwoofer. The Z906 is not only powerful but also very flexible and its diverse array of connectivity options make it ideal for any form of entertainment, whether it is for listening to music on your phone, playing games on your PC or watching film on your TV.
Best Computer Soundbars
Sound BlasterX Katana
About: 5-driver design, multimedia compatible, Programmable LED lights, 2,5” midbass drivers.
- Incredibly immersive sound experience
- Very powerful audio & bass delivery
- Small and sleek design and very easy to set up
- Perfect for gaming
- Very small remote
A soundbar audio system is the perfect solution for gamers that want a 5.1 surround sound experience but don’t want to deal with the spacing issues and general hazzle of such a system. With a soundbar you can have your cake, and eat it too and there are no better soundbar for gaming right now than Sound BlasterX’s Katana.
While a soundbar will never be able to fully recreate the sound experience of a true 5 speaker surround sound setup like the Z906 it is incredible just how close the Katana gets. The Sound BlasterX Katana is quite small and looks very slick which is why it’s 5.1 performance is so impressive and borderline unbelievable.
Just like the Katana’s of ancient Japan, this speaker uses a sharp and effective design to get the job done to perfection. The Katana might not be the biggest or most flashy speakers on the market but their 5 driver design delivers a performance that is hard to argue against.
Best High-end Speakers
1. Audioengine A5+
About: 2.0 setup, Watts peak out at 150, 50 Watts RMS, 75W pr. channel, .5mm stereo mini-jack, 5″ aramid fiber woofers.
- Pristine build quality & finish
- Excellent sound quality
- Slick, classy look
- No Bluetooth
The A5+ by Audioengine is our high-end pick, and quite frankly it is the best sounding one amongst all the ones listed here. If you are willing to sacrifice a bit of desk space, you want excellent sound quality in return, and the A5+ delivers.
Across frequencies, the lows, highs & mids all sound crisp providing a luxurious experience. The analog amplifiers these uses are indeed pretty warm sounding which we liked. It’s available in 3 options the traditional black option looks impressive while the bamboo and white set will offer a clean finish to your PC setup. It’s worth noting that these speakers are about 11 inches high meaning they are quite large as well, and it’s almost like having a couple of mini-subwoofers beside your screen.
These speakers are not exactly cheap, but the sound quality does validate the price tag to a certain extent. But it doesn’t go lower than 50Hz (frequency response is 50 Hz to 22 KHz) which means you need a 2.1 solution like the BOSE if you want more bass. We do need to mention that the speakers do have excellent bass on their own but if you need more oomph then it might be better to pair these with the Audioengine S8 subwoofers. As far as premium bookshelf speakers go, it doesn’t get much better than the A5+.
Best Affordable Speakers(Below 150$)
About: 66 Watts RMS, 2.0 setup, double AUX input, Bluetooth, remote control included, 4-inch bass driver, 60Hz ~ 20kHz frequency response.
- Bluetooth for full wireless experience
- Fantastic build and sound quality for it’s price range
- Deep bass for a 2.0 setup
- Remote control is quite limited
The right mixture of low-end bass, crystal clear highs & resounding mids are hard to come by & the Edifier has all of the above. The Bluetooth connectivity, the finish & the sound quality put together to offer amazing value for audiophiles as well as everyday users.
If you are wondering why we picked this one in particular instead of other great options… In a nutshell, the sound quality is amazingly good for this price point. So why is it not the winner in this category? Well, the Klipsch is a 2.1 system that offers a lot that the Edifier does with even better bass. One could argue that you can’t directly compare the Edifier with the Klipsch which is true, but overall the two picks will appeal to different people based on preference alone.
The inputs are primarily RCA but you do get 3.5mm to RCA cables, or you can just use the Bluetooth input which makes it so much easier and reduces the number of wires lying around. The controls are on the side which means you don’t have to reach around the back to adjust the bass & treble which is the case with most solutions in the market today. The upward titled design is offering a 10-degree slant aimed at aiding the experience for the listener.
As for the sound like we mentioned earlier its great across all frequencies but it does have a warmer sound and crisper treble that you mind on many good bookshelf style speakers in comparison to 2.1 solutions. Some users did mention the excessive bass prevalence at times.
Best Budget Computer Speakers(Below 100$)
Bose Companion 2
About: 2.0 setup, Multimedia compatibility, auxiliary input.
- Best performance in price class
- Rich, deep sound quality
- Bass is a bit weak
Among the others, we tested the Bose companion 2 was one of the more impressive options. It’s not often you find BOSE speakers at this price point, and these multimedia speakers surprised us quite a bit with the quality across volume levels. When considering our low-end models, the companion 2 probably has the best sound on offer. It is a pricier option in comparison to the Logitech.
Despite being their most affordable option, Bose indeed didn’t hold back as these produce a pretty balanced sound with mild bass. As is the case with most stereo systems the deep end performance can only go so far. Another great thing about these is that there’s no distortion even at max volume. Despite being very affordable it is quite impressive how much quality sound you can actually get for just below 100 dollars. Once again Bose shows off their expertise as one of the best in the business.
If your budget is higher than the Acoustics or Z313 but lower than the Edifier, then the Bose 2 is a no-brainer in our opinion.
Best Cheap Computer Speakers(Below 50$)
1. Cyber Acoustics CA-3602FFP
About: 2.1 system, 62 watts peak & watts RMS, 5.25 inch Power Pro bass driver, duo drivers.
- Best in class sound quality
- The control module is great
- A little polar with the highs & lows drowning out the mids
There are many great speaker options with marginal differences in the mid-range category but the budget category is a bit more straightforward we felt. After extensive testing, we thought that the Cyber Acoustics 2.1 & the Logitech Z313 are a cut above the rest.
The sound quality of the Cyber Acoustics and the Z313 are pretty similar, but the former does have a higher peak and RMS power. The speakers are elegantly designed and the set comes with a control pod for volume, bass and even a headphone output jack which makes it a versatile solution for gamers too.
Despite the control pod being a tad flimsy its adds a bit more overall utility when compared to the Logitech. This feature coupled with the sound quality on hand makes it an excellent pick for gamers on a budget.
Unlike most options on our list, these don’t work well enough when used with a TV the quality just doesn’t cut it. One downside associated with these is that the speakers are pretty top heavy meaning they can tip over a lot unless your desk is devoid of anything but the speakers which is rarely the case. We had to shift it around with care too during testing. The sound quality is quite comparable to the Logitech which is our runner-up as it’s an even simpler solution than this. A bit of tinkering with the settings on the computer and the sound can be quite clear & crisp although the bass is pretty bad when approaching max volume. Many users also reported enduring a constant humming sound with the sub was switched on but not in use.
2. Logitech Z313
About: 2.1 system, 50 Watts Peak/25 Watts RMS power, connect to any device, control pod, 15W subwoofer.
- Outstanding sound quality for its price
- Fair bit of bass
- Very high value for money
- Very high volume results in distortion of sound
- The highs are a bit harsh
For us, a good budget pick should be plug & play and have a decent amount of bass, and the Logitech Z313 offers both at a desirable price. It works quite well and to our liking when used with low to medium volume. There’s barely any distortion and the bass is quite heavy but still pretty good.
It’s pretty decent when watching movies or playing games too. The two satellites are pretty small and are connected to the back of the sub. There’s only 1 form of input through the 3.5mm jack, and this is the norm for almost all budget options. The sub doesn’t occupy too much space as well, and there is a volume and power control module as well. At this price range, it is definitely a case of ”you get what you pay for” with the sound being quite average and not as crisp or dynamic as the others on our list. It isn’t winning any points for aesthetics too with a pretty ordinary design.
With age, you might hear some crackling when adjusting the volume due to the dust settling in the volume control mechanism. When we tested it out, we found the best place to keep the sub would be between the satellites for the best experience. It’s quite normal for the sub to be placed below a table in which case at medium to higher volumes the bass rumble can prove to be intolerable if you happen to be seated adjacent to the setup. Nonetheless, at its price point, it’s far better than many of its rivals except the Cyber acoustics 2.1 in our opinion. The Z313 is an excellent choice for those looking to upgrade from their stock speakers or for use with a laptop but is definitely not meant for audiophiles.
Best Bluetooth Speakers
1. Audioengine Wireless A5+
About: 50 watts per channel, Works with both Mac & PC, 95dB sensitivity, USB & Bluetooth connection.
- Sound quality that would make any audiophile happy
- Sublime sound quality & connectivity
- Beautiful, sleek design
What were our one and only gripe with the Audioengine A5+ regular? That’s right, no Bluetooth. Well, lucky for us and everyone else who love sublime audio quality and wireless technology they went and made a Bluetooth version. Now the 1 problem with the wireless version is that it is quite a bit more expensive than the regular versions with no significant differences apart from being wireless.
Audioengine has really accomplished something special with the A5+ speakers and the fact that they managed to create the same feel and performance with their Bluetooth system is astounding. Just as the A5+ regular is the best 2.1 speakers for computer use there is, so are the A5+ wireless the best Bluetooth speakers of its price class. If you don’t mind a bit of wiring we still recommend the regular speakers but if you cannot live without wireless technology then these are worth every dime.
How We Tested – What to Consider Before Buying
In a nutshell, we simply listened. If you are thinking “it’s all about that bass no pair treble” then it’s certainly not the case. We had multiple movie watching sessions, gaming sessions, and various music sessions to determine how each speaker performed across frequencies.
Vocal clarity is essential especially when we watch movies, and speakers like the Edifier excelled at providing a crisp & clear sound.
Bass is sometimes all that matters to folks, and we tested each of our sets to see how the bass delivery impacted the overall sound at low, medium & high volumes. It’s quite common that speaker solutions work well concerning one category and not the others.
We had multiple people from our team sample different speaker systems without them being aware of the brand or system. The placement or separation of satellites is another thing which we tried to standardize. We kept both at least 3 feet apart which is a pretty standard setup on desks. In the case of our high-end models, we tried a different special arrangement of about 7 feet which we felt was optimal if people opted to utilize them with their TV sets in addition to their PCs.
Here are the speakers and sound systems we teste that didn’t quite make the cut but still performed rather well.
The Mackie CR4BT was another option that is extremely good and is not a mixed bag like the Harman or the A2+. The Mackie sounds terrific, and if you are in the habit of mixing music, then these are not to be ignored. The treble range and bass sound great. You can choose which of the powered or unpowered speakers is on the left or the right, which is handy. Bluetooth connectivity in addition to the RCA inputs is a boon and makes the Mackie one of the more appealing options in the market and probably the favorite for some. Other users have reported that when used with a wired connection the sound is much more vibrant than the wireless connection. The volume knob is on the front which can easily be accessed. They are pretty light too so if you want to shift them to the living room for a movie it shouldn’t be a hassle. All the accessories you need along with monitor pads come with the speakers. So why isn’t this higher on the list? Well, many users have reported durability issues with either speaker after months of usage. Considering that this is a sizeable investment the longevity on offer especially by the Klipsch was not to be overlooked.
Harman Kardon Soundsticks 3
The Harman Kardon is a classic in its own right. The signature design stands out to this day, years after its launch. These speakers are no slouch either with the extra bass being the main attraction. The sound is crisp even at full volume. The mids are a bit weak in comparison to other like the Audioengine A2. One could mistake this for being a massive device in a picture, but in reality, its footprint is surprisingly small leaving plenty of desk space for other items. Another plus point is that these are super easy to clean unlike most of the others which turn into dust magnets. One could say that this is a pricey option if you consider that there is no external jack for headphones and the lighting can’t be customized. They are also a tad fragile in comparison to others if they happen to get pushed off the desk. If you are looking for a fuller mid-range which is essential considering the price, then the Harman lets you down a tad.
Audio Engine A2+
The A2+ comes in 3 colors white red and black with the latter being somewhat ordinary looking. The audio engine A2+ is another solid speaker set for those who like to keep things compact while upgrading. The sound quality is phenomenal, offering a full mid and clear highs which are just marginally shy of the A5+. It’s quite impressive considering how small they are. You can connect a subwoofer to these 2 to enhance the experience especially if your usage shifts to the living room.
The flaws are mainly related to the design of the A2+ itself. The volume control is at the back of the left speaker, and there is no remote control as well, so you need to reach around every time you want to make adjustments. Considering they are small Audioengine fans will hardly view this as a sacrifice. Price is probably the A2+’s Achilles heel. Yes, the sound is excellent, but the price tag puts it far above the Harman Kardon, the Edifier or even the Klipsch. Especially for audiophiles, it’s hard to see a reason to look past the others and splurge on the A2+.