5 Best Computer Speakers – 2019 Reviews and Top Picks
After 36 hours of research and comparison, we concluded that the Klipsch ProMedia 2.1 is still the best computer speaker in 2019. While these are slightly older speakers, they’ve earned their position being some of the best computer speakers on the market with great audio. Don’t just take our word for it, it is backed up with a THX certification!
If you’re looking for small or wireless speakers, this ain’t for you. But we have the best in these categories below. Read more to learn about it.
The THX certification assures that this has gone through and passed rigorous testing to attain such quality audio. For its age, it’s surprising that it still is able to compete with modern themes efficiently. And this is one huge factor that makes them worth getting even though these were originally released way back 2002.
Logitech’s G560 speakers aren’t as extravagant as the more expensive options on the market but they do offer similar sound quality. This 2.1 computer speaker makes games not just sound better but look better as well thanks to the LIGHTSYNC RGB that pulsates along with the game’s content.
The Altec Lansing BXR 1220 is a 2.0 computer speaker that will fit in any setup. This is USB-powered, which means it does not come with a power brick nor does it need to be plugged in.
Aside from being a wireless speaker, the Creative T30 Wireless Bluetooth speaker also utilizes the NFC (Near-Field Communication) feature, which lets you pair devices easily without the need to manually do it.
While the Logitech S150 are cheap, they aren’t cheap. Ultimately, the low price point and the clear quality difference between these and the rest of the speakers in this price range made this our budget pick.
How We Choose
We’ve been in the computer industry for a few years now and in that time we’ve learned how much audio quality can make or break your experience– whether you’re a gamer, just wish to Netflix and chill, or listen to your favorite artist with your family.
All the options we have gathered were carefully evaluated. After 36 hours of evaluation, our team ended up choosing the best performing speakers in their respective categories:
- Best Gaming Speakers
- Best 2.1 Computer Speakers
- Best Small Computer Speakers
- Best Wireless Computer Speakers
- Best Budget Computer Speakers
Our selection method is heavily based on the following key points:
The most important feature when buying a computer speaker is the overall sound quality. We’ll go over how to determine this more below.
Surround Sound (3D-Sound)
You don’t technically need surround sound (or 3D sound), but why wouldn’t you want it? It can immerse you further into games or movies, which makes those experiences more valuable as a result. Oh, and you get to really appreciate all the hard work those audio engineers put in.
Luckily, our roundup is proud to support this feature with flying colors. We’ll also be talking about this more below.
Aesthetics are only as important as you make them, but that can be really important if you’ve already spent good money on a nice setup. Thankfully, we feel all of our speakers range from nice looking to inoffensive at the very least.
However, if you’re strapped, we’d recommend going with our budget pick over a similarly cheap, more stylish, less functional speaker.
We know that first-hand experience is golden. This is why our selection method is not limited to our expertise in the field alone. Rather, we specifically looked into real-world experiences with the product, especially long-term durability and use.
Tips on How To Choose the Best Computer Speakers
So, remember how we said you should focus on quality, but then kind of skipped out on how to identify quality speakers? Well, we’re about to get to that.
What do you need?
It’s important that you have an idea about what you want, whether that be gaming or mobility (Creative T30).
If you’re a gamer, then you will be better off going with a speaker that supports 3D surround (Logitech G560). This will give you clear directional audio cues to keep you from getting killed from behind (ermmm… it’s not what you think).
If you fancy movie marathons with the family or party with your friends, then at least a 2.1 speaker is advisable to hear good balance and good sound quality.
What is Your Budget?
A rule of thumb when shopping for computer speakers is that expensive is not always best.
A good example would be the Razer Nommo Pro which cost $500! But these didn’t make our list because– aside from the fact that its price tag is just “oof!”— they don’t really have any features that differentiate themselves quite the same way their price tag does.
To give you an idea, computer speakers should cost anywhere from $20 – $300.
What is a THX Certification?
THX certified speakers are speakers that passed rigorous quality assurance and testing to ensure an optimal audio quality and entertainment experience. You’ll likely recognize the THX logo from a movie theater.
Does it Come with Accessories?
Unlike cameras that will greatly improve image quality when paired with accessories, computer speaker accessories have nothing to do with improving the sound quality. Rather, they provide convenience, like how a remote lets you adjust volume on-the-fly.
2.1 or 5.1 Surround Sound?
The numbers you’ll find as part of the name, or model, of the speaker refers to the speaker channel.
The first number refers to the total number of speakers or audio channels that you place on the sides or behind you.
The second number refers to the total number of powered subwoofers. These are the guys that reproduce very low bass frequencies. If you’re going to invest in a computer speaker for entertainment purposes, then at least 1 subwoofer is highly recommended.
A subwoofer may not be necessary for gaming but it does add some audio cues and elements that make the game sound better– or even make footsteps sound more audible.
How Does it Sound?
It’s hard to convince a vegan that pork steak is the best meal in town, or a Coke-head that Pepsi is better (not to spark a never-ending debate).
Similarly, sound quality can be very subjective. We all have different tastes in music quality and our pick may not sound as appealing to others.
How to Connect to Wireless Speakers?
If you need a wireless speaker, make sure to check what pairing process it uses.
Most speakers are easy to pair with your computer or any device that supports Bluetooth. But there also are speakers that do more than just that. For instance, the Logitech G560, lets you connect 4 devices at once and lets you listen to music seamlessly. Just pause the music on device 1 and play the music on device 2, 3, or 4.
Moreover, there’s also the Near-Field Communication, or NFC by Creative T30, which lets you connect easily just by hovering it over the NFC logo found on top of one side of the speaker.
Which are the Right Computer Speakers For You?
Let’s recap all of the speakers for you one last time:
- If you’re a serious gamer, get the Logitech G560 gaming speakers.
- The Klipsch ProMedia 2.1 delivers very similar– if not the same– audio quality as more expensive options. Plus, it has a THX certificate that backs up this claim.
- If you have limited space on your desk, the Altec Lansing BXR1220 speaker is the perfect solution.
- The Creative T30 Wireless Bluetooth 3.0 is a great wireless speaker thanks to its NFC support.
- Lastly, the Logitech S150 is the perfect solution if you need a decent speaker that you can rely on.
Choosing among the best desktop speakers really boils down to what you need. And now that you know which speakers are best used for what, you should be able to choose a speaker that’s great for you.
Tell us what you think about our choices, which speaker is perfect for you, or just share your experiences in the comments in case you currently own or have owned one of these before. We definitely would love to hear from you!
Terrence Mai, LOGITECH G560 LIGHTSYNC SPEAKERS REVIEW, PC Gamer, October 10, 2018
Tim Gideon, Klipsch ProMedia 2.1 review: Klipsch ProMedia 2.1, CNET, OCTOBER 7, 2004
Justin Yu, Altec Lansing BXR1220 review: Altec Lansing BXR1220, CNET, APRIL 22, 2010