In this article: We’ll look at our best desktop and computer speakers on the market, how they compare to each other and provide quick reviews of each, pros and cons and outline their key features that make them great.
Think about how much music/audio we listen to on a daily basis – videos, songs, YouTube, games, conference calls – all from our computers. Upgrading your computer speakers to one of our recommended best desktop speakers will bring new meaning to audio in your home office or at your desk.
You might already have speakers built into your computer or into your monitor, but even the good ones don’t normally produce quality audio. They’re usually an afterthought rather than carefully engineered like a set of computer speakers are. If you’re an audiophile like us, and want the best quality sound at your desk you came to the right place.
Who Is This Review For?
It’s pretty simple, this review is for anyone who wants a better audio experience. It’s for anyone who wants richer, fuller music. It’s for anyone who wants clear treble, deep bass, and a full mid-range. It’s for anyone who has settled for subpar audio while watching movies made with incredible sound. It’s for those who want explosive sound from their video games rather than background noise.
This review is to make it easier to navigate the world of computer speakers. It’s an explainer that gives recommendations on which computer speakers to consider. As well as which ones excel in certain categories. If you’ve ever thought about getting a nice pair of computer speakers, but been confused or intimidated by all of the different options, this list will make it easier. If you have a computer and you’re looking for better audio and a better experience, keep reading.
What to Look For in a Computer Speaker
This is where it starts getting complicated, but it’s really not that scary. There are several different types of computer speakers. As soon as you figure out which type is right for you, the shopping process gets much easier. Here are some of the most common types of computer speakers:
2.0 Computer Speakers – These are the most simple kind of computer speakers. It’s two speakers that connect to your computer. That’s it. They’re usually low-cost and offer the highest value.
2.1 Computer Speakers– A step up from simple 2.0 speakers, 2.1 speakers add a subwoofer. A subwoofer is a great addition if bass is important to you. Not only does it make the bass louder and more powerful, it allows the other speakers to take care of highs and mids. This lowers distortion and makes them come across more clearly.
Surround Sound Computer Speakers – A surround system typically consists of five speakers and a subwoofer. They’re also referred to as a 5.1 system. Why would you need five speakers plus a subwoofer? One speaker for each corner, another one for the middle, and a subwoofer for bass. This gives you the most immersive audio experience.
Bluetooth Computer Speakers – Bluetooth computer speakers have quickly become popular. They wirelessly connect to your smartphone or other device to stream music straight to the speakers. They’re more popular now than ever because of a popular smartphones such as the iPhone and Android. Bluetooth speakers are normally compact and portable. But as technology improves Bluetooth is becoming a common feature on big audio systems.
Our list of computer speakers are either 2.0 or 2.1. Some with Bluetooth, and some without. These are speakers that are an addition to your computer, not for a full home-theater. We’ll go over a wide price range to help you find the right speakers for your budget.
Household Audio’s Top 5 Computer & Desktop Speakers in 2023
- Best Overall Multimedia Speaker System: Audioengine A5+
- Best Bang for Your Buck Computer Speakers: Klipsch ProMedia 2.1
- Best Computer Speaker for High Fidelity Audio: Edifier R1280T
- Best Soundstage Multimedia Speakers: Bose Companion 2 Series III
- Best Design Computer Speakers: Harman Kardon SoundSticks III
Best Overall Multimedia Speaker System
Audioengine A5+ Quick Review
The Audioengine A5+ is a prime example of a desktop speaker system that successfully combines cutting-edge technology, premium features, and outstanding performance. From their sleek aesthetics to the impressive audio output, the A5+ is a standout choice for audiophiles and music enthusiasts alike.
At the heart of the Audioengine A5+ lies their advanced technology. These active speakers boast built-in amplifiers that eliminate the need for an external amplifier or receiver, simplifying your setup while maintaining top-notch sound quality. The dual-class AB monolithic amplifiers deliver powerful, distortion-free sound, ensuring accurate reproduction of music across the entire frequency range. This technology allows the A5+ to produce rich bass, clear mids, and detailed highs, providing a balanced and immersive listening experience.
One of the standout features of the A5+ is their versatility in connectivity. With multiple input options, including RCA, 3.5mm jack, and USB, you can easily connect the speakers to a wide range of devices such as computers, laptops, smartphones, and turntables. Additionally, the A5+ supports Bluetooth aptX, enabling high-quality wireless audio streaming without compromising on sound fidelity.
The design and build quality of the Audioengine A5+ are equally impressive. The speakers are housed in handcrafted cabinets constructed from high-quality MDF wood, which not only enhances their aesthetics but also minimizes resonance and distortion. The front-facing bass ports ensure optimal bass response while giving the speakers a modern and clean look. The included remote control allows for convenient volume adjustments and input switching, making the user experience seamless.
Furthermore, the A5+ excels in their ability to fill the room with captivating sound without losing clarity, making them ideal for both near-field listening at your desk and casual listening in larger spaces. Whether you’re listening to music, watching movies, or playing games, the A5+ consistently deliver an exceptional audio performance, immersing you in your favorite content.
The attention to detail in the engineering and construction of the Audioengine A5+ is what sets them apart from their competitors. The use of high-quality components and careful tuning ensures that every aspect of the sound reproduction is finely tuned. Audioengine’s commitment to excellence is reflected in the A5+’s sturdy build, and the inclusion of detachable grilles adds to their visual appeal while protecting the speaker drivers.
In conclusion, the Audioengine A5+ is a remarkable pair of desktop speakers that ticks all the boxes for technology, features, and performance. Their advanced technology, versatile connectivity options, and impeccable sound quality make them a top choice for anyone seeking a superior audio experience. Whether you’re a music enthusiast, a gamer, or simply someone who appreciates excellent sound, the Audioengine A5+ will undoubtedly exceed your expectations and elevate your desktop audio setup to a whole new level.
- Outstanding sound quality with clear highs, detailed mids, and rich bass, thanks to the dual-class AB monolithic amplifiers.
- Versatile connectivity options, including RCA, 3.5mm jack, USB, and Bluetooth aptX, making it easy to connect to various devices.
- Sturdy and elegant design, featuring handcrafted MDF wood cabinets and front-facing bass ports for improved aesthetics and audio performance.
- Remote control included for convenient volume adjustments and input switching.
- Suitable for both near-field and casual listening, making them ideal for desktop setups and larger spaces.
- High-quality components and careful tuning ensure accurate sound reproduction across the entire frequency range.
- Easy setup and minimal clutter, as the speakers have built-in amplifiers, eliminating the need for an external amplifier or receiver.
- Premium price point: The Audioengine A5+ is not the most affordable option in the desktop speaker market, which may be a drawback for budget-conscious buyers.
- Bulky size: The A5+ speakers might take up more space on your desk compared to compact options, which could be a concern for users with limited space.
- Lack of advanced audio processing: While the A5+ offers exceptional sound quality, it does not include advanced audio processing features like EQ presets or room calibration, which some users may desire.
- No subwoofer output: The A5+ does not have a dedicated subwoofer output, limiting the option for further bass enhancement if desired.
Best Bang for Your Buck Computer Speakers
Klipsch ProMedia 2.1 Quick Review
The Klipsch ProMedia 2.1 speaker system is a true testament to Klipsch’s dedication to delivering superior sound quality and immersive audio experiences. With its advanced technology, impressive features, and affordable price, the ProMedia 2.1 has earned its place as a top choice for multimedia enthusiasts and gamers alike.
At the heart of the ProMedia 2.1 lies Klipsch’s proprietary MicroTractrix Horn technology. This technology ensures clear and precise sound reproduction, allowing the speakers to produce crisp highs with minimal distortion. Complementing the horns are the 3-inch midrange drivers, which deliver detailed and accurate mids, while the 6.5-inch side-firing subwoofer produces deep and punchy bass, adding a new dimension to your audio content.
The ProMedia 2.1 excels in its ability to provide an immersive listening experience, immersing users in their favorite movies, games, and music. The speakers’ power output, combined with their efficient design, results in a room-filling soundstage that belies their compact size. Whether you’re watching a thrilling action movie or playing your favorite video game, the ProMedia 2.1 captures every nuance and sound effect, enhancing your overall entertainment experience.
One of the standout features of the Klipsch ProMedia 2.1 is its versatility in connectivity. The system features two auxiliary inputs, one for connecting your computer or gaming console and another for your smartphone or tablet. This flexibility enables seamless switching between devices, making it convenient for users with multiple audio sources. The system also includes a headphone jack for private listening, allowing you to enjoy late-night sessions without disturbing others.
The build quality of the Klipsch ProMedia 2.1 is another area where it shines. The satellite speakers are crafted from durable materials, ensuring longevity and resistance to wear and tear. The subwoofer is housed in a sleek and compact enclosure, making it easy to place under a desk or in a corner. The overall design is minimalistic yet stylish, blending seamlessly with any desktop setup.
Affordability is one of the significant advantages of the Klipsch ProMedia 2.1. Despite its impressive audio performance and advanced technology, the speaker system is reasonably priced, making it accessible to a wide range of users. This makes the ProMedia 2.1 an excellent choice for those seeking high-quality sound without breaking the bank.
In conclusion, the Klipsch ProMedia 2.1 stands out as a stellar desktop speaker system that excels in technology, features, and affordability. Its MicroTractrix Horn technology, coupled with the efficient subwoofer, delivers unmatched sound quality and an immersive listening experience. The versatility in connectivity and sturdy build further elevate its appeal, while the attractive price point makes it a standout choice in the crowded market of computer speakers. Whether you’re a multimedia enthusiast, gamer, or just someone who appreciates premium sound, the Klipsch ProMedia 2.1 will undoubtedly exceed your expectations and elevate your audio experience to new heights.
- Superior Sound Quality: The MicroTractrix Horn technology and powerful subwoofer deliver crisp highs, detailed mids, and deep, punchy bass, providing an immersive listening experience.
- Versatile Connectivity: The system offers two auxiliary inputs, making it easy to connect multiple devices, such as computers, gaming consoles, smartphones, and tablets. It also features a headphone jack for private listening.
- Immersive Soundstage: The ProMedia 2.1’s efficient design and power output create a room-filling soundstage that enhances movies, games, and music playback.
- Sturdy Build: The satellite speakers are built with durable materials, ensuring longevity and resistance to wear and tear. The subwoofer’s compact enclosure makes it easy to place in various locations.
- Affordable Price: Despite its advanced technology and impressive performance, the ProMedia 2.1 remains reasonably priced, making it a cost-effective option for high-quality sound.
- Wired Setup: While the ProMedia 2.1 offers versatile connectivity options, it is primarily a wired system, which might limit the positioning of the satellite speakers and subwoofer.
- Lack of Wireless Connectivity: Unlike some other modern speakers, the ProMedia 2.1 does not come with built-in Bluetooth or other wireless connectivity options, requiring a wired connection for devices without auxiliary outputs.
- Limited Sound Customization: The speaker system lacks advanced audio processing features, such as EQ presets, limiting the ability to fine-tune the sound to personal preferences.
- No Remote Control: The ProMedia 2.1 does not include a remote control for volume adjustments or input switching, requiring users to make changes directly on the speakers or connected devices.
Best Computer Speaker for High-Fidelity Audio
Edifier R1280T Quick Review
The Edifier R1280T bookshelf speakers are a testament to Edifier’s commitment to delivering an exceptional audio experience without compromising on aesthetics. These speakers strike the perfect balance between timeless design and advanced technology, making them a top choice for music enthusiasts and casual listeners alike.
At the heart of the Edifier R1280T lies its high-fidelity sound technology. The speakers are equipped with a 4-inch bass driver and a calibrated 13mm silk dome tweeter, which work in harmony to produce a well-balanced sound signature. The bass driver delivers warm and punchy bass, while the silk dome tweeter ensures clear and crisp highs, resulting in a rich and detailed audio performance across the entire frequency range.
The R1280T bookshelf speakers are designed with versatility in mind. They come with dual RCA inputs, allowing you to connect multiple audio sources such as computers, turntables, or smartphones simultaneously. Additionally, the speakers feature convenient volume, bass, and treble controls located on the side of the active speaker, enabling easy adjustments to tailor the sound according to your preferences and the listening environment.
What sets the Edifier R1280T apart is its timeless and elegant design. The speakers feature a classic wood grain finish that adds a touch of sophistication to any room or desktop setup. The wooden enclosure not only enhances their visual appeal but also contributes to minimizing resonance and distortion, resulting in a clean and pure sound output.
The Edifier R1280T is a great choice for both near-field and mid-field listening, making them ideal for a variety of setups. Whether you’re sitting at your desk or enjoying music from across the room, the R1280T maintains its audio clarity and presence. The speakers’ compact size allows for easy placement, even in limited spaces.
Furthermore, the Edifier R1280T comes with a wireless remote control, offering added convenience in adjusting the volume and selecting inputs from a distance. This remote control feature enhances the overall user experience and makes it more enjoyable to fine-tune the audio settings without having to reach for the speakers themselves.
In conclusion, the Edifier R1280T bookshelf speakers are a stellar choice that combines advanced technology, versatile features, and elegant design. Their high-fidelity sound output, coupled with the ability to connect multiple devices and easily adjust audio settings, ensures a personalized listening experience tailored to individual preferences. Whether you’re a music lover, a movie enthusiast, or simply seeking an upgrade to your desktop audio setup, the Edifier R1280T stands as an impressive and highly recommended option. With their classic appeal and exceptional audio performance, these speakers are sure to elevate your entertainment and audio experience to new heights.
- High-Fidelity Sound: The combination of a 4-inch bass driver and a 13mm silk dome tweeter delivers a well-balanced and detailed audio performance, with warm bass and clear highs.
- Versatile Connectivity: The speakers feature dual RCA inputs, allowing you to connect multiple audio sources simultaneously, such as computers, turntables, and smartphones.
- Convenient Controls: The side-mounted volume, bass, and treble controls provide easy access to adjust the sound according to your preferences and the room environment.
- Timeless Design: The classic wood grain finish adds a touch of sophistication and elegance, blending seamlessly with various room decors or desktop setups.
- Compact Size: The bookshelf speaker design allows for easy placement in different spaces, making them suitable for both near-field and mid-field listening.
- Wired Setup: The Edifier R1280T is primarily a wired speaker system, which might limit the positioning of the speakers and require additional cable management.
- Limited Sound Customization: While the speakers offer bass and treble controls, they lack more advanced audio processing features like EQ presets for finer sound adjustments.
- No Bluetooth Connectivity: Unlike some modern speakers, the R1280T does not come with built-in Bluetooth, requiring a separate Bluetooth adapter for wireless streaming from compatible devices.
- Subtle Bass: While the bass is warm and well-defined, some users seeking more powerful and booming bass might find the output to be subtle.
Best Soundstage Multimedia Speakers
Bose Companion 2 Series III Quick Review
The Bose Companion 2 Series III multimedia speakers showcase Bose’s dedication to providing premium audio quality in a compact and user-friendly package. With their advanced technology, thoughtful features, and sleek design, these speakers offer an exceptional audio experience that is sure to impress both casual listeners and music enthusiasts.
The heart of the Bose Companion 2 Series III lies in Bose’s TrueSpace technology. This proprietary technology creates a wide and immersive soundstage, allowing the speakers to produce a spacious and natural audio performance. The carefully positioned drivers and port design ensure balanced sound reproduction with clear highs, detailed mids, and surprisingly deep bass for their size.
The Companion 2 Series III speakers are designed with versatility in mind. They offer dual inputs, allowing you to connect two devices simultaneously, such as a computer and a smartphone, without the need for constant plugging and unplugging. This convenient feature makes it easy to switch between audio sources effortlessly.
One of the standout features of the Bose Companion 2 Series III is the intuitive volume control and headphone jack conveniently located on the front of the right speaker. Adjusting the volume or plugging in your headphones for private listening is just a fingertip away, providing a seamless user experience.
Despite their compact size, these multimedia speakers deliver impressive audio performance. They are suitable for a variety of applications, from enhancing your computer’s sound for multimedia content to enjoying your favorite music and games with immersive clarity.
The Bose Companion 2 Series III excels in its design and build quality. The speakers are constructed with high-quality materials, which ensures durability and longevity. The elegant black finish and minimalistic design blend effortlessly into any desktop or room setup, adding a touch of sophistication to your audio experience.
Another reason why the Bose Companion 2 Series III is great is the ease of setup. They are a plug-and-play solution, requiring no complicated installation or configuration. Simply connect the speakers to your computer or other audio devices, and you’re ready to enjoy high-quality sound instantly.
In conclusion, the Bose Companion 2 Series III multimedia speakers stand as a testament to Bose’s commitment to delivering superior audio performance and user-friendly features. Their TrueSpace technology creates an immersive soundstage, while the dual inputs and front-mounted controls offer versatility and convenience. The speakers’ sleek design ensures they complement any environment seamlessly, making them a stylish addition to your desktop setup or living room. Whether you’re a music lover, a gamer, or someone who appreciates clear and detailed audio, the Bose Companion 2 Series III is an excellent choice for enhancing your multimedia experience.
- Immersive Soundstage: Bose’s TrueSpace technology creates a wide and immersive soundstage, delivering spacious and natural audio performance.
- Compact and Versatile: The speakers’ compact size and dual inputs allow for easy integration with various audio sources, making them suitable for desktops, laptops, and other multimedia devices.
- Convenient Front-Mounted Controls: The intuitive volume control and headphone jack on the front of the right speaker provide easy access for adjusting audio levels and private listening.
- Impressive Audio Performance: Despite their size, the Companion 2 Series III speakers deliver well-balanced sound with clear highs, detailed mids, and surprisingly deep bass.
- Stylish Design: The sleek black finish and minimalistic design add a touch of sophistication to any room or desktop setup.
- Easy Setup: The plug-and-play functionality ensures a hassle-free setup without the need for complicated installation or configuration.
- Wired Connectivity: The Bose Companion 2 Series III uses wired connections, which may limit the flexibility of speaker placement and require additional cable management.
- No Bluetooth Connectivity: Unlike some modern speakers, the Companion 2 Series III does not offer built-in Bluetooth, which means wireless streaming from compatible devices would require an additional adapter.
- Limited Sound Customization: The speakers lack advanced audio processing features like EQ presets, which might limit fine-tuning options for personalized sound preferences.
- Volume Control Placement: Some users might find the front-mounted volume control less convenient if the speakers are placed at a distance or in hard-to-reach locations.
Best Design Computer Speaker
Harman Kardon SoundSticks III Quick Review
The Harman Kardon SoundSticks III stands out as an iconic and innovative speaker system that not only delivers impressive sound but also serves as an artful centerpiece in any room. With its unique transparent design, advanced technology, and immersive sound performance, the SoundSticks III has become a favorite among audiophiles and design enthusiasts alike.
At the heart of the SoundSticks III is Harman Kardon’s commitment to audio excellence. This 2.1 speaker system comprises two satellite speakers and a powerful subwoofer, which work together to create a full-range and immersive sound experience. The satellite speakers utilize four drivers each, providing clear and balanced sound distribution across all frequencies. The dedicated subwoofer delivers deep and dynamic bass, adding depth and richness to music, movies, and gaming.
One of the standout features of the SoundSticks III is its striking design. The transparent polycarbonate housing of the satellite speakers exposes the inner workings of the speakers, showcasing the precision-engineered components within. This visually captivating design not only adds a modern and artistic touch to any space but also serves as a conversation starter.
The SoundSticks III boasts convenient controls, allowing for easy adjustments without the need to navigate through menus or use a remote control. The touch-sensitive volume control and mute button on the right satellite speaker offer a seamless user experience, while the subwoofer level control at the back lets you fine-tune the bass according to your preference and room acoustics.
Additionally, the SoundSticks III offers versatile connectivity options. The system features a 3.5mm audio jack, making it compatible with various devices such as computers, laptops, smartphones, and tablets. The plug-and-play functionality ensures effortless setup, allowing you to enjoy high-quality audio in seconds.
The SoundSticks III is a true testament to Harman Kardon’s dedication to both form and function. The satellite speakers and subwoofer are carefully tuned to deliver balanced sound performance, catering to various audio genres and preferences. Whether you’re listening to classical music, watching action-packed movies, or immersing yourself in the world of gaming, the SoundSticks III consistently delivers engaging and accurate sound.
The thoughtfully engineered components and high-quality materials contribute to the SoundSticks III’s impressive audio output and durability. Each speaker is meticulously crafted to ensure optimal performance, and the transparent design highlights the attention to detail in construction.
In conclusion, the Harman Kardon SoundSticks III is a remarkable speaker system that combines stunning design with powerful audio performance. Its unique transparent appearance elevates it from a mere speaker system to a captivating piece of art. With advanced technology, convenient controls, and immersive sound quality, the SoundSticks III has rightfully earned its reputation as an excellent choice for both audiophiles seeking exceptional sound and design enthusiasts looking to make a statement in their living spaces. Whether you’re an audio purist or simply appreciate cutting-edge design, the Harman Kardon SoundSticks III promises a truly extraordinary listening experience.
- Striking Design: The transparent polycarbonate housing of the satellite speakers showcases a visually captivating and modern design, making them a standout centerpiece in any room.
- Immersive Sound: The 2.1 speaker system with four drivers in each satellite speaker and a powerful subwoofer delivers a full-range and engaging sound experience, enhancing music, movies, and gaming.
- Convenient Controls: The touch-sensitive volume control and mute button on the right satellite speaker, along with the subwoofer level control at the back, provide easy access for adjusting audio settings.
- Versatile Connectivity: The SoundSticks III offers a 3.5mm audio jack, allowing compatibility with a wide range of devices, and the plug-and-play functionality ensures hassle-free setup.
- High-Quality Materials: Meticulously crafted components and high-quality materials contribute to the system’s impressive audio performance and overall durability.
- Wired Connectivity: The SoundSticks III does not offer wireless connectivity options, which may limit speaker placement and require additional cable management.
- No Bluetooth: Unlike some modern speakers, the SoundSticks III does not come with built-in Bluetooth, requiring an external adapter for wireless audio streaming.
- Transparent Design Dust and Scratches: The transparent housing may require regular cleaning to maintain its pristine appearance, and it may be susceptible to scratches over time.
- Limited Bass Customization: Some users might find the bass level control at the back less convenient for fine-tuning, especially if the subwoofer is placed in hard-to-reach locations.
Desktop multimedia speakers are compact speaker systems designed to enhance audio quality for computers, laptops, or other multimedia devices. They come with built-in amplifiers and multiple input options, providing a convenient audio solution for various applications.
Connecting desktop multimedia speakers is typically straightforward. Most speakers use a 3.5mm audio jack that plugs into your computer’s headphone or audio output port. Some advanced speakers may offer USB or Bluetooth connectivity options.
Yes, desktop multimedia speakers are excellent for gaming. Many models offer immersive sound and deep bass, enhancing the gaming experience. Look for speakers with good spatial audio capabilities and a dedicated subwoofer for impactful in-game effects.
Yes, some desktop multimedia speakers support connecting turntables via RCA inputs. However, not all models have this feature, so check the speaker’s specifications to ensure compatibility with your turntable.
No, desktop multimedia speakers come with built-in amplifiers, eliminating the need for an external amplifier or receiver. This feature makes them a convenient plug-and-play audio solution for desktop setups.
Yes, you can connect desktop multimedia speakers to your TV if it has an audio output or headphone jack. Some modern TVs may also have Bluetooth capabilities, allowing wireless pairing with Bluetooth-enabled speakers. However, ensure the speakers’ power output matches the TV’s audio requirements for optimal performance.