The 10 Best Computer Speakers

Updated June 03, 2017 by Brett Dvoretz

10 Best Computer Speakers
Best High-End
Best Mid-Range
Best Inexpensive
We spent 43 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top choices for this wiki. Now you don't have to settle for tinny sound from your computer or gaming console. Any of these advanced computer speakers will give you beautiful sound quality, whether you use them for gaming, music or spoken-word podcasts. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to support our work. Skip to the best computer speaker on Amazon.

10. GOgroove BassPULSE

The GOgroove BassPULSE is compatible with most computer systems, and features full-range satellite speakers for incredible surround sound. The thin side panels are ideal for a small desk, and they accept Bluetooth connections.
  • blue pulsing lights create ambiance
  • backed by a 3-year warranty
  • plastic design feels flimsy
Brand GOgroove
Model GGBP000100BKUS
Weight 6.8 pounds
Rating 3.8 / 5.0

9. Bose Companion 2

If you love to blast music, the Bose Companion 2 delivers clear sound at any level, so it's great for a party. These have a sophisticated look for their price range, and the TrueSpace processing picks up on the subtlest audio detail.
  • sound is consistent in any size room
  • no led power indicator
  • connection cable is too short
Brand Bose
Model 354495-1100
Weight 5 pounds
Rating 4.2 / 5.0

8. Genius SW-G2.1

If you like your computer room to be an audio and visual experience, the Genius SW-G2.1 is for you. It has a futuristic design with stunning blue LED lights. Add to that the 45 watt RMS output, and you have very powerful sound, too.
  • also available with red leds
  • headphone jack for private listening
  • budget-friendly price point
Brand Genius
Model G2.1 2000
Weight 12.3 pounds
Rating 4.0 / 5.0

7. Mackie CR Series CR3

With multiple input options, including Bluetooth, you should have no trouble connecting the Mackie CR Series CR3 to any computer or audio source. They have a wide 80 Hz-20 kHz frequency range, which makes them great for gaming where you want to hear all the little details.
  • studio quality sound
  • conveniently front-located aux port
  • no subwoofer connections
Brand Mackie
Model CR3
Weight 11.6 pounds
Rating 4.2 / 5.0

6. GigaWorks T40

Thanks to their cloth dome tweeters, the GigaWorks T40s deliver crisp sound even at the highest frequencies. If you prefer an all black aesthetic, they come with a detachable black mesh screen to create a sleeker look, and their small size allows for easy placement.
  • standby mode to conserve energy
  • front volume and eq access
  • create very directional audio
Brand Creative
Model MF1616
Weight 8.4 pounds
Rating 3.8 / 5.0

5. Klipsch ProMedia

Compatible with gaming consoles and most portable audio devices, the Klipsch ProMedia is designed to improve the audio quality of CDs and downloaded files. It comes with an extra long cable that makes installation easier in a variety of areas.
  • subwoofer produces rich bass
  • large frequency response range
  • rivals many home audio systems
Brand Klipsch
Model 090524082714
Weight 25.7 pounds
Rating 4.1 / 5.0

4. Harman Kardon Soundsticks

The Harman Kardon Soundsticks features a cutting edge design, and is a must-have if you like products ahead of their time. With 8 transducers, it delivers remarkably clean sound, which is adjusted through discreet soft-touch controls.
  • outstanding bass performance
  • angle-adjustable speakers
  • rubber bases keep them stable
Brand Harman Kardon
Model Soundsticks III Wireles
Weight 10.8 pounds
Rating 4.3 / 5.0

3. Corsair SP2500

The Corsair SP2500 pumps sound from a 4th order bandpass enclosure, which is esteemed audio technology that extends low frequency responses. If you enjoy real-time audio, like sports, the programmable digital signal processor is ideal.
  • highly detailed sound
  • includes a wired desktop controller
  • two bridged 60 watt amps
Brand Corsair
Model CA-SP211NA
Weight 33.3 pounds
Rating 4.8 / 5.0

2. Logitech Z623

THX-certified and designed to provide studio-quality sound, the Logitech Z623 will make you feel like the musicians you're hearing are in the room with you. The system delivers strong mid-range frequencies and allows you to hook up 3 devices at the same time.
  • available with a bluetooth adapter
  • durable industrial design
  • distortion-free audio
Brand Logitech
Model 980-000402
Weight 22.4 pounds
Rating 4.8 / 5.0

1. Audioengine A2+

If you are looking for big sound from a small package, the Audioengine A2+ are a good buy. They have solid mid and high range frequency reproduction with impressive clarity, and they are available in red, black, or white to suit your personal style.
  • built-in usb dac
  • external subwoofer output
  • hand-finished wood enclosures
Brand Audioengine
Model A2+B
Weight 9.4 pounds
Rating 4.9 / 5.0

How Zeroes and Ones Become Sound

One look at that diagram can make a lot of people go cross-eyed. I don't blame them, it had the same effect on me, for ages, before I decided it'd be a good idea to at least try to understand it.

If you took the challenge above to create your own little amplifier in an attempt to better understand the speakers you're about to buy, you've actually already assembled a circuit that's similar to this one.

Amplification is a pretty cool thing. One of its pioneers, the co-inventor of the transistor William Shockley once said the following:

"If you take a bale of hay and tie it to the tail of a mule and then strike a match and set the bale of hay on fire, and if you then compare the energy expended shortly thereafter by the mule with the energy expended by yourself in the striking of the match, you will understand the concept of amplification."

Even if all you've ever done is put your cell phone in a cup or bowl to increase its resonance, you've experienced this concept at its most basic analog levels. Also, please do not attempt to recreate the mule experiment.

So, by degrees, any speaker system is designed to take a positive and negative signal (zeroes and ones), and convert it first into a small sound, and later along the stages into louder and louder sounds.

The quality and innovation in design of today's speakers and amplifiers allows for greater jumps in volume without distorting, so these systems can stay small and still provide both punch and clarity. This is especially true when the circuitry is coupled with quality hardware and big, strong magnets.

Sound Quality Starts Long Before the Speaker

I once had a substitute teacher who, for legal reasons, will remain nameless. One day toward the end of an otherwise uneventful class he asked us how many of us pirated music. This was at the height of Napster, Kazaa, and LimeWire, three of the more popular services for sharing music at the advent of illicit peer to peer file sharing.

The only hands that didn't go up belonged to the students who didn't know how to do it. It was so new, it was barely even frowned upon yet. When, after his little survey, he asked us if anybody knew what kbps was all about, no one could answer him.

You see, if you're streaming music, or even if you have your music stored on your computer to play it through iTunes or some other player, that music has undergone a significant amount of compression.

Most applications that play your music (not the streaming services) will show you the quality in the file measured in kilobytes per second, or kbps. The higher that number the better, but for a minimum of CD quality sound, you should shoot for at least 320 kbps.

Now, if you buy a set of speakers with a big subwoofer, and you take them home to a set of 128 kbps audio files, you might be upset at how muddy the low end sounds, even on this big, expensive sub.

The reason is that very low end and very high end frequencies are the first to suffer from digital music compression, which works much like the garbage compactor in Star Wars: Episode IV.

The best way to avoid this? Buy your music. Buy it from artists. Rip the CDs or use the provided download codes (artists consistently offer at least 320 kbps.) Then, and only then, will you get the most out of your investment.

The Sound of One PC Booting

Although Altec Lansing claims on their website to have "Created the computer speaker market," in 1990, their claim is difficult to prove.

Speakers have been part of home computing since IBM introduced its model 5150 in 1981, although these were more beeps and bloops than the kinds of sounds we're searching for from modern models.

Nowadays, whenever you boot up an early PC and and hear those little beep-bloops, a Gen Xer gets his wings!

Initially, these beeps were meant to provide user feedback in the event of errors, but they soon found themselves deeply entrenched in the games that helped amplify (pun intended) sales of personal computers around the world.

As the complexity of available games and the capabilities of computer operating systems expanded, so too did the need for a broader audio profile that could accommodate the needs of a growing industry.

This is when companies like Altec Lansing came along to fill the audio gap, and the race to better audio has been running ever since.

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Last updated on June 03, 2017 by Brett Dvoretz

A wandering writer who spends as much time on the road as behind the computer screen, Brett can either be found hacking furiously away at the keyboard or perhaps enjoying a whiskey and coke on some exotic beach, sometimes both simultaneously, usually with a four-legged companion by his side. He hopes to one day become a modern day renaissance man.

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