Whether you’re looking to watch a big-budget blockbuster, zone out to some music, or immerse yourself in the world of your favorite video game, your PC serves as an entertainment hub in your home. But it will require a little extra effort to get the most out of it. Most PCs you’ll pick up at the store don’t come with the most powerful sound systems, but a good set of speakers will go a long way towards turning your computer into an audio powerhouse.
We’re here to help you with that. We’ve picked out 10 of the best computer speakers on the market in 2021, and we’ve put together our own reviews to cover the best specs and features. We’ll also provide you with a detailed guide for what you should pay attention to when shopping.
10 Best Computer Speakers:
- Logitech S120 2.0 Speakers
- Bose Companion 2 Series III
- Creative Pebble Desktop Speakers
- Logitech Speakers Z200
- Logitech S150
- Logitech 3.5mm Jack Compact Speakers
- Creative Labs GigaWorks T20 Series II 2.0 Speaker
- Altec Lansing BXR1220 2pc. Speaker
- Genius Speaker
- Cyber Acoustics CA-2012 2.0 computer speakers
1. Logitech S120 2.0 Speakers
Capable Performance at a Rock Bottom Price
Logitech has their fingers in a lot of different pies, but if there's one thing that you can trust, it's that they'll offer some of the best quality and one of the most unique ranges of features around. The former, at least, is par for the course here, but the amount of value you receive for little more than $10 makes the S120 one of the best deals on speakers anywhere.
While these computer speakers don't cover the whole response range of human hearing, their compact size means you can take them to the office to listen to music or to a local gaming cafe to get deep into your favorite virtual worlds. This model is also incredibly easy to set up, and the controls attached to the right speaker employ a very intuitive control system.
2. Bose Companion 2 Series III
Some of the Best Sound Stage Around
Bose isn't exactly known for the affordability of their speakers, but the Bose Companion 2 Series III is the closest they get. And for a $100 pair of speakers, they're one of the best deals around. Designed for use with either Windows or Mac, these PC speakers also include a 3.5mm jack that can be used to set up other external devices like MP3 players or phones. Combine that with their lightweight design, and you're left with speakers that you can take with you when you travel.
These are some of the best-sounding speakers on our list, but they're especially impressive in terms of the sound stage, largely thanks to the TrueSpace technology built right in. It also includes digital signal processing for clear and consistent performance even at the highest decibel levels.
3. Creative Pebble Desktop Speakers
Stylish and Thoughtful Design
The Creative Pebble speakers are some of the most compact computer speakers on the market and also some of the most stylish. The rounded-off shape makes them look more like desk art than sound devices, but the design sensibilities also allow the drivers to project upward and better deliver music for those seated at a desk. Clear thought has gone into determining how to offer the best listening experience specifically for PC users. The bass here is strong, but the real standout is in the highs, which come through universally crisp and precise.
And while there's no doubt that these are budget models through and through (they retail for about $30 for a pair), these speakers have a great sense of style from top to bottom. In-line controls make adjusting the volume of the Creative Pebble a total breeze, and that's especially great considering how well they maintain fidelity at higher volumes.
4. Logitech Speakers Z200
Speakers With a Long-Standing Reputation
The Logitech Z200 speakers have been around for years, but they've continued to be some of the best PC speakers available on the market even in 2021. With a peak power of 10 watts, they're pretty powerful for such a small and cheap pair of speakers, and they actually perform surprisingly well even when running at higher volumes. There are even dedicated controls for adjusting the bass settings.
And since these use a standard 3.5mm jack, that means that they'll work just as well with your more portable devices as they will with your computer. There's even a separate input for setting up a separate pair of headphones or a gaming headset. You don't need to be a pro to get these speakers working either; since there's only a volume and a bass switch, all the important controls are right at your fingertips.
5. Logitech S150
Compatibility in a Compact Package
The Logitech S150 speakers don't come with a whole lot of fancy features, but they're the speakers you need to have around if you want compatibility with a wide variety of different devices without having to spend a small fortune for it. They can connect to your device with a simple USB cable and be controlled with some simple built-in inline controls. And since they connect right to USB, you don't need to worry about connecting it to a battery source.
Since the pair of speakers together weigh less than two pounds, they're easy to bring with you on the go. There's a great level of fidelity at work here. While they're a fine enough choice for listening to music or playing your favorite games, they really excel when you're listening to spoken word or other vocal-heavy tracks.
6. Logitech 3.5mm Jack Compact Speakers
The fact that three Logitech speakers have made their way onto our list is a testament to the quality of their construction, but the Z130 manages to carve out an identity unique from its peers. It relies on a 3.5 mm aux connection for playing music and promises stereo sound performance that can make movies and games really sing.
And the bass performance here especially stands out. The front-facing reflex port on each of the speakers extends the bass, and the controls are easy to access from the main controls on the right speaker. What's more, setup is as easy as plugging these speakers into your computer.
7. Creative Labs GigaWorks T20 Series II 2.0 Speaker
A lot of computer speakers are built more as utilitarian accessories than as an opportunity to really let the music and audio pop. But the T20 from GigaWorks breaks that mould. It will run you about $70, but the fact that it promises an RMS of 28 watts means better performance even when the volume is cranked all the way up.
And the sound quality is easily some of the best we've seen on computer speakers in this price range. There's a richness here that can completely fill a room and create a sound stage that goes beyond traditional computer speakers, and it also sports one of the coolest designs we've seen.
8. Altec Lansing BXR1220 2pc. Speaker
Finding the best computer speakers often means having to take into consideration spatial limitations. The Altec Lansing BXR1220 speakers aren't going to be the centerpiece of a house party, but they offer some pretty strong audio quality despite sporting a very compact profile.
Further advancing that compact profile is the lack of a bulky power adapter, which makes these some of the best computer speakers if you're looking to take them on the road with you. The sub-bass on display here may be a little weak, but the clarity and sound quality should be enough for most users.
9. Genius Speaker
Most of the computer speakers on our list stick to the 2.0 format - meaning that they use two speakers to produce stereo sound. The Genius gaming speakers, on the other hand, offer an affordably-priced 2.1 system, as long as you have the space to hold them. The inclusion of a subwoofer offers some of the best bass performance of any of the speakers we've highlighted.
And despite looking a bit intimidating, these speakers are designed to be easy to set up and work with a number of different devices in addition to a computer. With the simple plug-and-play format, you can use this speaker system for your gaming consoles as well as your PC.
10. Cyber Acoustics CA-2012 2.0 computer speakers
The CA-2012 speakers don't come with much in the way of special features or unique sensibilities, but they're some of the best balanced sets of computer speakers on our list. They're right in the middle of the road in terms of sound quality and sensitivity while still taking up a relatively small amount of space on your desk.
An LED power indicator on one of the speakers will assure you that everything is working correctly, and the controls are also built into the speaker, clearly labeled and easy to understand. These speakers are also magnetically shielded to reduce the risk of signal interference.
Computer Speakers Buyer’s Guide
Fortunately, whether you’re looking to listen to Spotify through your computer, stream music, or play games, you don’t have to alter your strategy too much when shopping for computer speakers. The biggest consideration is finding the balance between sound quality and performance at higher decibels while still keeping within your price range. Below, we’ll help you understand how the measurements for the key specs work and answer some common questions we hear from customers shopping for speakers for computers.
Frequency response is one of the most frequently touted features from speaker manufacturers, but it’s also one of the most misunderstood. The frequency response range that’s audible to humans is between 20 and 20,000 Hz. If you want the best performance, you’ll want speakers that offer at least that. A higher minimum will cause your bass to suffer, while a lower maximum will negatively affect treble performance.
Many speakers offer a frequency response outside of the range of human hearing. That can offer an advantage as well. While a wider frequency response range isn’t going to cause you to hear sounds you haven’t heard before, it does offer a richer soundscape with better imaging and a more realistic sound stage.
Whether you’re looking to buy bookshelf speakers or more portable models, sensitivity determines how loud the volume can get. That’s a big practical concern if you’re looking for speakers that you can play at a house party, but it’s significantly less important for speakers you have hooked up to your home computer.
That said, if you want to use your laptop as a hub for your entertainment center and get a cinema-level experience as a result, sensitivity is going to be far more important to you. Just keep in mind that sonic integrity tends to degrade at higher decibel levels, so blasting music or movies might result in less than ideal sound.
While we’re discussing how sound quality tends to degrade at higher volumes, let’s address the power levels. Speakers that support a higher voltage are more comfortable working at a higher volume, and they’re typically going to see less degradation the more you crank the volume up. Power is measured in both maximum power and RMS (root means squared), which essentially tells you the average wattage that speakers can support. If you want to play your music loud, you should pay attention to both the power levels and the sensitivity.
If you want to travel with your speakers, form factor is obviously going to be a big deal, but it can also be a major factor for people working in more cramped home or office spaces. Smaller is usually better for making the most of your space, but it can also have a negative effect on the overall quality of the frequency response, sensitivity, and power. After all, bigger drivers mean better clarity at both average and peak volumes.
We suggest you consider how much space you’re working with before you invest in a set of speakers. The Creative Pebble series in particular finds a great balance between form factor, sound performance, and overall good looks, and it’s a great place to start if you’re seeking out smaller models.
Number of Speakers
Most of the speakers on our list come in a pack of two. That’s a decent enough choice if you’re fine with standard stereo sound, but you’re going to need to seriously upgrade your performance if you want surround sound. That said, any of these PC speakers can serve as a solid basis for a new surround sound speaker system.
Splitting the difference between stereo sound and surround sound is a 2.1 system. These pair a traditional pair of speakers with a subwoofer to help you get better bass performance in your home. The only model on our list to come with a dedicated, separate subwoofer is the Genius speaker system.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the Best Laptop Speakers?
Just scroll up! We aren’t comfortable saying that there’s only one set of best computer speakers because everyone’s needs are different, but if you want the best computer speakers, you’re sure to find something you’ll want in our reviews above.
What are the Best Budget Computer Speakers?
We think the best speakers for people on a budget are the Creative Pebble 2.0 PC speakers. They have a great sense of style, and they back it up with some of the best performance for the price. You can get a full speaker system constituting two computer speaker models for right around $25.
What Are the Loudest Computer Speakers?
Every manufacturer tries to prove that they have the best computer speakers, and posting a high sensitivity is one of the best ways to demonstrate value. That said, the best computer speakers on our list in terms of maximum volume are the Logitech S120. These bookshelf speakers sport a maximum volume of over a hundred decibels.
Are Bluetooth Speakers Good for PC?
If you’re sick of having to deal with cords in the home or office, a new pair of Bluetooth speakers is one of the best choices. Bluetooth offers solid connectivity, minimal lag, and a decent range, and they’re a common feature in the best home computer speakers.
Speakers are often an overlooked feature when shopping for a computer. Both PCs and laptops rarely come with the sound systems you deserve, but it doesn’t have to cost you a lot of money to get the sonic results that you deserve. Whether you’re a gamer, a cinephile, or an audiophile, there should be something on this list that can scratch your itch.
If you’re looking to create the perfect computer-based cinema experience, we suggest that you check out our guide to the best 4K laptops of 2021. And if you’ve used any of the speakers on our list, we’d love for you to share your opinion using the form right at the end of this article.If you liked our article on computer speakers, please share and comment below what your favorite product is.