If you’re using your computer for gaming, movies, or music then a quality speaker system is essential. While desktops may come with some basic speakers and laptops feature chintzy built-ins, neither is going to give you quality sound when you start to crank it up. Below we’ve gathered our list of the best computer speakers at price ranges fitting every budget. These systems should provide a huge upgrade in sound quality over most any stock speakers.
This list has been updated since its original publication to reflect new products that have entered the market. Multiple members of the Digital Trends staff contributed to our best computer speakers list.
For a more in-depth look at some of the best speakers on the market, be sure to check out our PC Speaker Reviews.
Price is no object you say? Well if you don’t shy away from big price tags, this set from Bowers & Wilkins will pack some serious hi-fi sound into pint-sized package that’ll fit nicely on your desktop. As far as specs go, it’s got four 18-Watt class D amplifiers, a two 1-inch tweeters, and each speaker has it’s own 3-inch woofer. Aside from its innards, the system has also got a sleek, well-designed exterior.
If you’re looking for a speaker set that balances sound quality with an eye-catching design, check out this system from Harmon Kardon. The third incarnation in the Soundstick line, this system boasts two satellite speakers—each of which contains four 1-inch full-range transducers—and a 6-inch 20 watt subwoofer. Their performance easily ranks among the best we’ve seen from speakers in this price range. Downsides? Despite being the third generation of the system, it still doesn’t have a remote.
If you love floor rumbling bass for your movies and games then give Altec Lansing’s Expressionist Ultra MX6021 computer speakers a long look. They offer the most bass on our list with a 6 ½” front firing, long throw woofer. This system offers 200-watts of power and retains a clean output at any volume. If there is one downside to this system it’s the size, the woofer is pretty large so if you have space concerns then you should probably look elsewhere.
Check out our full Altec Lansing Expressionist Ultra MX6021 Review.
Logitech Z523 $99.99
These are the most inexpensive speakers on our list, but don’t let the price tag fool you. These offer great sound that should satisfy most non-audiophiles. The 2.1 system offers surprisingly rich bass and performs great with music and games alike. All three speakers are driven by a 40-watt amplifier that fills most medium sized rooms easily with sound. These speakers may not satisfy everyone’s appetite but if you’re on a budget then their outstanding choice.
Check out our full Logitech Z523 Review.
M-Audio Studiophile AV 40 $229.00
The Studiophile AV 40s from M-Audio offer nothing flashy, just outstanding sound and surprising bass for a system lacking a dedicated subwoofer. The monitors feature a combination of 4-inch polypropylene-coated drivers and ¾-inch silk dome tweeters for balanced professional-grade fidelity. An integrated bass boost switch along with MDF wooden cabinets provide the Studiophile AV 40 speakers with plenty of low end power and saves users from trying to find a place to put those large dedicated subwoofers.
Joey Roth Ceramic Speakers $495.00
Industrial designer Joey Roth’s Ceramic Speakers are the most expensive system on our list and won’t suit everyone. For the price they aren’t going to be the best bang for your buck as you can probably get better sound from the Audioengine or M-Audio systems, but the Ceramic Speakers are about making a statement with a unique style that deviates from traditional plastic computer speakers. The speakers are made from simple materials including porcelain, cork, and Baltic birch and the T-Amp is made from stainless steel and cast iron which emphasizes the systems minimalistic and natural qualities.
Check out our full Joey Roth Ceramic Speakers Review.
Klipsch ProMedia 2.1 $149.99
The ProMedia 2.1 system offers no frills just great sound plain and simple. The three piece system offers two 35-watt satellite speakers and a booming 130-watt subwoofer which reaches down to 31 Hz. The two satellites feature Kipsch’s MicroTactrix horn which maximizes clarity in digital sources and the system’s high output digital hybrid amp features a headphone jack and dual stereo analog inputs so you can connect two sources at once.
Audioengine A5 $349.00
The A5s are similar in design to M-Audio’s AV 40s with a slightly larger tweeter and woofer to offer a little more punch. They offer phenomenal sound, two audio inputs, and two integrated charging options. With a 5-inch driver and 50 watts per channel the A5s pump out a lot of sound for their size. At close to $350 MSRP they are a bit pricey but since they’re powered there’s no need for a separate amplifier which depending on your needs can save you money, space and allows you to hook up any audio source.
If your desktop space is limited then Creative’s GigaWorks T40 series may be worth a look. This system goes up rather than out saving you space but retaining great sound and bass response for their slender size. Each of these computer speakers feature a pair of 2.5-inch full range drivers, a 1-inch tweeter, and bass reflex port on top. The right speaker offers convenient controls on the front for bass, treble and volume along with a 3.5-mm headphone jack. The T40s won’t give you quite the bang for your buck as M-Audio’s M40 system but they’ll fit better beside a monitor on your desktop.
Check out our full Creative GigaWorks T40 Series I Review.
Edifier Spinnaker $299.99
Make your desktop look devilish and sound downright sinful with these speakers from Edifier. Sure, they’re rather unconventional in terms of shape, but their form definitely doesn’t affect their function. Each 16-inch tall unit encases a silk-domed tweeter, a mid-range speaker and a downward-firing bass driver—all driven by 90 watts of RMS power, so you can rest assured that these badboys sound just as sharp as they look. They’re a bit on the spendy side, but if you’re looking for a set of speakers that can make a statement without even being turned on, look no further.
Edifier Exclaim E10 $99.99
Edifier is quickly making a name for itself as a manufacturer who thinks outside the box with their sound system designs, but doesn’t make any compromises when it comes to sound quality. The Exclaim E10′s are some of the best-sounding computer speakers you can get for this price, so you don’t have to break the bank to get top-tier frequency response and a classy wireless aesthetic.
Looking for something a bit bigger? Check out our robust selection of in-depth Speaker Reviews to find a sound system that’ll blow you away, or head over to our constantly-updated list of the Best Speakers