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Transform your desktop into a concert hall with these computer speakers

Sadly, the built-in speakers lining your laptop or monitor are rarely worthy of high praise. A quality speaker system is essential when it comes to music and movies, though, allowing you to experience more than what’s typically afforded from the chintzy speakers that come stock with your machine. These days, the realm of desktop speakers is more robust than ever before, quickly deviating from the boxy designs of their age-old counterparts with every new iteration, while offering wireless functionality and producing unprecedented sound in an affordable package.

Related: Cut the chord and not the sound with 11 of our favorite wireless speakers

As such, we compiled our favorite desktop speakers for upgrading your sound quality. We can’t guarantee they’ll make listening to the new Carly Rae Jepsen record any more enjoyable, but at least it will sound better.

The Best

Aperion Allaire ($400)

Aperion Allaire

The Allaire offers the most complete combination of high-end sound quality, versatility, and connectivity in the genre. With Bluetooth, a digital optical input, an analog input, a subwoofer output, and a USB port for charging devices, the Allaire is suitable for almost any installation. It includes a 1-inch dome tweeter and a 4-inch woven fiberglass woofer. However, what really sells us on this set is its outstanding sound quality, which offers rich bass response, pure midrange details, and pristine treble. For a desktop that often doubles as an entertainment center, there is no better choice at this price point. Read our full review.

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Aperion Audio

The Rest

Edifier e25 Luna Eclipse ($173)


The ultra-modern e25 Luna Eclipse is as outstanding in terms of build quality as it is in sound. The slick, egg-shaped speakers produce a clear, open midrange and a surprising amount of bass via the integrated 3.5-inch drivers and dual passive radiators. They offer phenomenal sound for the price, with a bevy of flashy features to boot – such as an auxiliary port for connecting to additional devices. Read our full review.

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Polk Hampden ($249)


The Polk Hampden hits the sweet spot, and revels in a handsome vintage design that produces robust volume and a sprawling, accurate sound stage. The old-school interface on the front showcases the volume much like an analog flip clock would — adding to the aesthetic — while a button housed on the side allows you to switch the source between digital USB, Bluetooth, and analog 3.5mm. The wireless range is about 40 feet.  Read our full review.

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Logitech Z533 ($100)

Logitech Z533

Logitech’s Z533 isn’t the fanciest set around, but it boasts big, clear sound and strong bass thanks to a 30-watt subwoofer and pair of 2.5-inch drivers. The control knob allows you to quickly change the volume adjust the bass, too, and the black-and-gold design renders the system subtle enough for any desktop setup. Plus, it doesn’t carry the price tag normally associated with high-end speakers.

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Best Buy Logitech

Klipsch ProMedia 2.1 ($120)


Klipsch’s THX-certified 2.1 system doesn’t offer many frills, but it does offer a proper 130-watt subwoofer to go along with a pair of 35-watt satellite speakers. This provides clear, full sound that’s suited for both music and gaming – and at a price well within the range of most speaker budgets. It’s a simple setup that focuses primarily on quality sound, especially if you like to turn things up. Moreover, the system’s digital hybrid amp features a headphone jack and dual stereo analog inputs, so you can connect two sources at once.

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Amazon Best Buy

Audioengine A2+ ($250)


Audioengine’s A2+ are a simple and sweet speaker upgrade for your computer or related devices. The dynamic bookshelf speakers bask in clear accuracy and nuanced undertones that span the frequency range, while offering an integrated digital-to-analog converter that lets you forego your computer’s analog output in favor of a purer signal. These speakers may lack a bit in the low-end, but they shine with versatility.

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KEF Egg ($500)


Kef’s oddly-shaped Egg speakers reach new highs in terms of both price and sound quality. You get a class-leading balance and brilliant detail for your money, which amounts to phenomenal sound in a variety of locations. They aren’t just desktop speakers, given they’re just as suitable for your home theater system as for your PC. Features include aptX Bluetooth streaming, a miniUSB port, drivers designed for wide-angle listening throughout a room, and a built-in amp to push sound to new levels. Note that a connecting cable is required. Read our full review.

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Amazon Target

Bose Companion 5 ($400)


Bose has a certain reputation for high-priced speakers that can easily fill a room with swelling sound. In this particular case, that reputation is well deserved. This pricey speaker set (a subwoofer, plus drivers perched on stands to better broadcast their sound) is perfect for supplying office music or using computer speakers as your primary house music system. They are also compatible with additional audio devices with an included USB cable, as well as Bose Bluetooth adapters. If you are looking for a top line speaker set that’s extra low on maintenance, this makes a great choice.

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Amazon Bose

Harman Kardon Soundsticks III ($170)


While the “alien probe look” doesn’t do these speakers any favors, behind all the sci-fi design is a set of extremely powerful drivers with laudable bass performance via a 6-inch subwoofer. Each channel in this 2.1 system has four 1-inch full range transducer to squeeze as much sound as possible out of the speakers. Connections are based on a simply stereo mini-jack that can work with most devices and easily switch between them. If you don’t mind the ultra-modern design goals, these Soundsticks are a complement to any desktop.

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Amazon B&H

Logitech Speaker System Z323 ($48+)


If our collection of speakers has been way too expensive for you so far, here’s a low cost option that nonetheless impresses. For only $45, these computer speakers will give you balance, powerful sound that’s great for desktop music when you don’t need speakers to fill a large room. Dollar for dollar, they’re a great a deal and in that old Logitech durability certainly doesn’t hurt. If you’re on a budget, give these speakers a try.

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