Some of the greatest pleasures PCs offer us - such as engrossing gaming sessions, Netflix binges, or immersive audio journeys - all hinge significantly on the quality of our speakers. They can really make or break our experience. Nothing is worse than going to kickback after a long day only to experience tinny sound with low volume or even none at all! PC Speakers are crucial to every PC setup, whether you’re a gamer, media buff, casual user or working professional. It’s not about spending a fortune either; it’s about finding something that fits your space, your style and your needs. In this article, we cover a range of PC speakers to suit a range of needs and styles.
- What to Consider When Buying
- Top Entry-Level Speakers
- Top Surround Sound Speakers
- Top Design-Forward Speakers
- Top Premium Speakers
- Top Value Gaming Speakers
- Top Value Studio Monitor Speakers
What to Consider When Buying PC Speakers
The first thing to consider is what you’ll be using your PC for. This will help you figure out what features and specifications to prioritise. Here is our recommendation based on use.
- Gaming: If you’re a PC gamer, prioritise speakers with powerful bass to provide the rumbles and roars for immersive gameplay, surround sound or simulated surround for spatial audio cues, and low-latency for audio-video sync.
- Music Production and Listening: If fidelity is crucial, as in music production or for audiophiles, flat frequency response and high-resolution audio support will yield the truest sound. Multiple inputs are beneficial for connecting various sources.
- Movies and Entertainment: For a cinematic experience, a soundbar or a 5.1 surround system is a great choice for an immersive experience. Additionally, you’ll want speakers that offer clear dialogue and a wide soundstage.
- Professional Work: If you’re mostly using your PC for professional work and/or video conferencing, clarity and balance are key. You may not need a very powerful system, but one that offers clear and consistent sound projection.
- Casual Use: For general multimedia purposes, a simple 2.0 system or modest 2.1 setup could suffice for balanced sound without overwhelming bass or extensive features.
Another important factor to consider is the sound quality. Below are some factors that are worth paying attention to. We cover more on sound quality and related features over in our Ultimate Audio Buying Guide. Make sure you check that out too!
- Frequency Range: Typically measured in Hertz (Hz), a wider range can capture more of the audio spectrum. Ideally, your speakers should cover 20 Hz to 20 kHz, which is the full range of human hearing.
- Drivers: Quality matters. Larger drivers generally produce better, fuller sound. Tweeters are for high frequencies, mid-range drivers for vocals/instruments, and woofers/subwoofers for bass.
- Signal-to-Noise Ratio (SNR): This is rated in decibels (dB) and gauges audio clarity versus background noise. A higher SNR means a clearer signal with reduced noise, such as hiss or hum. An SNR of 90 dB or above is considered high-quality and will provide clean sound, crucial for uses like music production or home theaters where clarity is key.
Make sure the speakers include sufficient connectivity options for your needs.
- Wired Connections: Some wired connections that may be worth having include a 3.5mm jack, RCA connectors, USB, and optical.
- Wireless Connections: Wireless connections may be beneficial too, such as Bluetooth and WiFi. Check for Bluetooth version and codec support such as aptX for enhanced audio quality. The presence of features like AirPlay are a perk that can add some convenience.
- Multiple Inputs: Having a variety of input options increases the types of devices you can connect to your speakers, from gaming consoles and TV to mobile devices and traditional audio sources.
Size and Footprint
To ensure your PC speakers fits nicely in your set up, be sure to measure your available desk or shelf space. If space is limited, consider satellite speakers or a soundbar which can sit elegantly under a monitor.
Build Quality & Design
If you’re after a premium look and feel, then keep an eye on the build quality and design. Pick a style that complements your PC setup, be it sleek, retro, RGB lighting, or minimalist. Beyond aesthetics, quality materials can better withstand resonances and provide clearer sound.
Now that you’ve got a good idea of what to consider when shopping for PC speakers, let’s dive into our top recommendations.
Top Entry-Level PC Speakers - Edifier M1360 2.1
If you’re looking for entry-level PC speakers that offer great value, the Edifier M1360 is a standout contender. This 2.1 multimedia speaker system, comprising two compact satellite speakers and a subwoofer, delivers on clarity and bass, providing a well-rounded audio experience that might surprise you given its budget-friendly price tag. The satellites ensure crisp highs and mids, while the subwoofer adds a level of depth and resonance that's uncommon in this price bracket.
With its sleek black design, the M1360 can complement most desktop setups without taking up too much space. User-friendly controls, including a wired remote with a built-in headphone jack, make it easy to manage volume levels or enjoy a private listening session. For those stepping into the world of enhanced PC audio without breaking the bank, the Edifier M1360 offers a harmonious balance of performance and affordability. If you don't need a subwoofer, check out the Edifier R19BT as an alternative.
Top Surround Sound Speakers - Logitech Z906 5.1
When immersive surround sound is a must for your gaming or home entertainment setup, the Logitech Z906 5.1 Surround Sound System stands out as the top choice in its class. This THX-certified 5.1 system pumps out a staggering 500 watts of power, ensuring room-shaking audio that can turn your living room or office into a personal cinema. The Z906 boasts Dolby Digital and DTS encoding to accurately recreate the final surround sound mix in your media.
The Z906 system includes five satellite speakers and a subwoofer, delivering a full range of high and middle tones as well as deep bass that you can feel. With its easy-to-read console and wireless remote, you have full control over your sound experience, whether you're sitting at your desk or lounging across the room. Inputs are plentiful, with the ability to connect up to six devices simultaneously, making the Logitech Z906 a versatile and powerful companion for any multimedia enthusiast.
Top Design-Forward Speakers - Harman Kardon SoundSticks 4 2.1
The Harman Kardon SoundSticks 4 is not just a speaker system; it's a statement piece that blends stunning sound with eye-catching aesthetics. The aesthetic fits perfectly into a Mac set up or anywhere design choices matter. With their iconic transparent dome design, which allows you to see the inner workings of the speakers, the SoundSticks 4 serves as both a conversation starter and a central part of your audio setup. These design-forward speakers deliver high-quality audio with a deep rich bass from the integrated subwoofer, and crisp, clear highs from the satellite sticks themselves.
The updated model boasts improved Bluetooth 4.2 connectivity for seamless wireless streaming, allowing for a clean, cable-free setup that keeps the focus on the speakers' sculptural quality. The 140 watts of audio power ensure that the system sounds as good as it looks, making the Harman Kardon SoundSticks 4 perfect for users who prioritise both style and acoustic performance in their PC setup.
Top Premium Speakers - Klipsch ProMedia Heritage 2.1
The Klipsch ProMedia Heritage Speakers define luxury in audio craftsmanship, marrying the richness of real wood enclosures with an aesthetic that pays homage to beautiful, vintage design. For the discerning audiophile looking to indulge in top-tier acoustics, the Klipsch ProMedia Heritage Speakers emerge as the crown jewel of premium PC sound systems. Meticulously crafted with a nod to the classic, mid-century modern design ethos, these speakers boast the renowned Klipsch audio heritage, delivering exceptionally clear and detailed sound.
Engineered with a high-efficiency driver that results in more output while using less energy, the ProMedia Heritage offers a full-range audio experience with deep lows, warm mid-tones, and sparkling highs. Wrapped in real wood veneer and topped with tactile spun copper switches and knobs, it merges the tactile feel of analog with modern acoustic technology. These speakers come equipped with a built-in DAC, enabling high-resolution audio streaming over USB for state-of-the-art sound quality, and they feature Bluetooth for wireless versatility. The ProMedia Heritage Speakers not only elevate your aural landscape but also enhance the visual ambiance of your space.
Top Value Gaming Speakers - Razer Leviathan V2 X Soundbar
Next up, we have the Razer Leviathan V2 X SoundBar - a sterling choice for gamers looking for great value. This soundbar merges practical functionality with gaming-centric design, striking a balance between price and features. Its compact form factor saves desk space while still offering a sound experience that deftly complements your in-game audio environment. The Leviathan V2 X provides enveloping THX Spatial Audio, creating a sense of atmosphere without claiming prime real estate on your desk.
Where it truly shines is in its gamer-first approach — RGB lighting that can synchronise with your games, enhancing the overall gaming atmosphere. The inclusion of a dedicated subwoofer means bass frequencies are adequately represented, essential for immersive gaming sessions. It's a smart choice for gamers seeking a soundbar that appreciates the essence of gaming culture, marries straightforward functionality with a gamer aesthetic, and does so without stretching the wallet too much. Connectivity is a breeze with both Bluetooth for wireless ease and additional ports for wired options.
Top Value Studio Monitor Speakers - Edifier MR4
The Edifer MR4 Studio Monitors stand out as the Top Value choice for those seeking professional-grade sound without the steep price. These speakers are engineered to deliver true-to-source sound with a near-flat frequency response, making them ideal for artists, home producers or content creators on a budget who still seek quality. The 4-inch woofers and 1-inch silk dome tweeters provide a wide frequency range, delivering clear trebles and rich bass.
With 42W RMS power output, they push clear, undistorted audio even at high volumes, perfect for detailed mixing sessions. The MR4s offer versatile connectivity with both TRS and RCA inputs, accommodating various audio interfaces and equipment. Additionally, the front panel features a convenient headphone output for silent monitoring and a straightforward volume control. Sturdily constructed and with a sleek, minimalist aesthetic, the Edifier MR4 monitors are a perfect fit for the home studio setting, striking a fine balance between cost and sound fidelity.