The 10 Best Computer Speakers

Updated April 05, 2018 by Brett Dvoretz

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We spent 45 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top choices for this wiki. Now you don't have to settle for tinny sound coming out of your computer's built-in speakers, which we all know is dreadful. Any of these advanced options will give you beautiful audio quality and a decent amount of bass, so you can actually feel the music. They are also great for gamers who want to experience the explosions. Some also allow for the addition of a subwoofer. 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 features full-range satellite speakers for incredible surround sound and a sleek look with their clear plastic panels that are illuminated by an integrated LED. Their thin form factor is ideal for a small desk.
  • leds pulse with the music
  • can turn off the lights if desired
  • build quality feels a bit flimsy
Brand GOgroove
Model GGBP000100BKUS
Weight 6 pounds
Rating 3.8 / 5.0

9. 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.
  • great choice for gamers
  • headphone jack for private listening
  • sound isn't well balanced
Brand Genius
Model G2.1 2000
Weight 12.3 pounds
Rating 3.8 / 5.0

8. Bose Companion 2 Series III

If you love to blast music, the Bose Companion 2 Series III deliver clear sound at any level, so they're great for a party. These have a sophisticated look for their price, and the TrueSpace processing picks up on the subtlest audio detail.
  • good low-end performance
  • have a wide soundstage
  • connection cable is too short
Brand Bose
Model 354495-1100
Weight 5 pounds
Rating 4.2 / 5.0

7. Kanto YU2

The Kanto YU2 come in a bunch of unique colors and styles, including bamboo, matte yellow, and gloss teal. They feature a rear bass port to improve bass response, but also minimize port turbulence, so you aren't distracted while trying to get some work done.
  • suitable for home and office use
  • has a sub out port
  • fill a medium sized room with sound
Brand Kanto
Weight 7.9 pounds
Rating 3.6 / 5.0

6. Bitzen Wireless

The Bitzen Wireless isn't your average computer speaker. It is more akin to a portable travel model, with its rechargeable battery, durable housing, and compact size. Don't let that fool you, though, it still offers a decent amount of bass and high volume.
  • mic for speakerphone use
  • silicone pad keeps it in place
  • jack for hardwired connections
Brand Bitzen
Model pending
Weight 2.5 pounds
Rating 4.3 / 5.0

5. Harman Kardon Soundsticks III

The Harman Kardon Soundsticks III feature a cutting edge design, and are a must-have if you like products ahead of their time. With eight transducers, they deliver remarkably clean sound, which is adjusted through discreet touch controls.
  • outstanding bass performance
  • angle-adjustable speakers
  • rubber bases keep them stable
Brand Harman Kardon
Model Soundsticks III
Weight 24 pounds
Rating 4.3 / 5.0

4. 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

3. 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
  • convenient front-located aux port
  • left-right speaker placement switch
Brand Mackie
Model CR3
Weight 10.8 pounds
Rating 4.6 / 5.0

2. Elegiant Soundbar

The Elegiant Soundbar is available in a wired or wireless model and is powered directly via a USB port, so no worries if you don't have an extra wall plug near your desk. Its single, large control knob adjusts the volume and turns the speaker on and off.
  • attractive low-profile design
  • mic and headphones ports
  • magnetically shielded
Model FBA_ELEGIANTFurmores307
Weight 14.4 ounces
Rating 4.7 / 5.0

1. Edifier R2000DB

The Edifier R2000DB have a beautiful cherry wood cabinet, though they are also available in piano black if you prefer. You can connect them to your phone or PC via aux or RCA jacks or Bluetooth, and they come with a remote control to adjust the volume and switch inputs.
  • can connect to two devices at once
  • impressive bass for their size
  • classic look with modern components
Brand Edifier
Model R2000DB
Weight 23.3 pounds
Rating 4.8 / 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 April 05, 2018 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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