The 9 Best Computer Speakers of 2021

Jamming out to music on your computer just got way better

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The Rundown
"Offering the right mix of sound reproduction with an accurate, balanced frequency response."
Most Popular:
Logitech Z623 at Amazon
"The Z623 speakers from Logitech are some of the most popular desktop speakers around."
"An excellent and wallet-friendly audio experience for gaming, movies and music."
"A basic set of speakers that will upgrade your listening experience without breaking the bank."
"Taking your computer speakers to new heights in sound quality."
Best Bluetooth:
Logitech Z407 at Amazon
"The Logitech Z407 are an upgrade over the Z337, coming with a subwoofer, wireless controls, and deep, room-filling sound."
"You could place them as a centerpiece in a modern home and they’d fit right in."
"With built-in LED tech lets you customize the colors of the lights."
"You'll be hard-pressed to find a more well-rounded (pun intended) pair of speakers for around $30."

Our lineup of the best computer speakers are an excellent investment for anyone looking to elevate their desktop audio experience. While you can arguably get a similar experience by bringing together a digital audio converter and a solid pair of headphones, neither of those can really match the haptic experience provided by a dedicated subwoofer.

When looking for a pair of good computer speakers, you'll obviously want the size and aesthetics to vibe with your current desktop setup, but there are some other things to consider as well. Think about the dB levels and frequency range, both of these metrics measure the loudness and fidelity of your listening experience. While it's hardly necessary, having a speaker setup that comes with a subwoofer included can also have a compounding effect on your listening experience.

If you're looking for a way to bench test your new speakers, check out our guide to the best tracks for evaluating audio equipment. There's certainly no shortage of budget-friendly speakers out there, but these picks are some of the best computer speakers you can get.

Best Overall: Audioengine A5+ Active 2-Way Speakers

Audioengine A5+ Active 2-Way Speakers
What We Like
  • Robust build quality

  • Excellent audio fidelity

  • Booming bass

  • Nice design

What We Don't Like
  • Very expensive

  • Need a DAC to fully experience

When it comes to desktop computer speakers, your options are almost as varied as computers themselves. The trick is zeroing in on a pair of speakers that can satisfy the largest variety of circumstances. The Audioengine A5+ 2-Way speakers are those speakers.

Our testing showed that these dynamic bookshelf cans offer the right mix of sound reproduction with accurate, balanced frequency response. Bill found the speakers deliver a deep, rich bass that doesn’t overwhelm, as well as a smooth treble range that doesn’t pierce the eardrums. There’s an integrated digital-to-analog converter that allows you to bypass analog output for a purer signal. Like most desktop speakers, they’re easy to set up, featuring built-in amplifiers (50 watts per channel) that skip the need for a stereo receiver.

Just connect them to your player’s headphone jack or USB device. Simple. There’s also a remote control for convenience, RCA inputs, and a USB power port for charging mobile devices directly.

If you're thinking of upgrading to an even more immersive surround sound system, find out if a 5.1 system is right for you.

Dimensions: 10.75 x 7 x 9 in. | Weight: 15.4 lbs | Type: Bookshelf speakers | Wired/Wireless: Wired | Controls: Physical dial and buttons; remote control | Connection: 3.5mm, RCA, USB

"The Audioengine A5+ speakers are expensive, but if you’re on the market for high-fidelity audio, these speakers are worth the price."Bill Thomas, Product Tester

Most Popular: Logitech Z623 Speaker System

Logitech Z623
What We Like
  • Affordable

  • Great for watching movies

  • Booming bass

What We Don't Like
  • Mids and highs get drowned out

  • Heavy and hard to move around

  • Proprietary connectors

The Z623 speakers from Logitech are some of the most popular desktop speakers around. They feature a sleek design with a powerful subwoofer that is sure to boost any music, movie or gaming endeavor you could imagine. And it's pretty cheap. For an extra $30, Logitech throws in a Bluetooth adapter. Our expert tester Bill Thomas discovered that the Z623 is THX certified, which may be more of a branding component than anything else, but it still evoked that big cinema sound he loved.

The 2.1, 200-watt speaker system features on-speaker controls, as well as RCA and 3.5 mm inputs that allow you to connect up to three audio devices at a time. And the subwoofer features a seven-inch driver made to deliver a deep bass sound. Keep in mind, these speakers are mid-range. They’re not meant for recording studios or amphitheaters. But for pretty much any desktop computer application, they’ll deliver a high-quality bang for your buck.

Dimensions: 11.2 x 12 x 10.5 in | Weight: 15.4 lbs | Type: Bookshelf speakers | Wired/Wireless: Wired  | Controls: On-speaker | Connection: 3.5mm, VGA, RCA

"Whether you’re watching “Game of Thrones” or trying to catch up to all the Marvel movies, the Z623 can provide a cinematic experience."Bill Thomas, Product Tester

Best Value: Cyber Acoustics CA-3602 2.1 Speaker Sound System

Cyber Acoustics
What We Like
  • Extremely affordable

  • Lightweight

  • Solid value

What We Don't Like
  • Lots of details lost in the mix

  • Distortion at higher volumes

  • Cheap build quality

The name Cyber Acoustics might not be familiar to you, but their 30-watt desktop speakers are among the best inexpensive options you can find. The 2.1 three-piece system includes the 5.25-inch subwoofer, and the 2 x 2-inch satellite speaker drivers create an excellent and wallet-friendly audio experience for gaming, movies, and music. Our reviewer particularly enjoyed using it for music and found that it handled Spotify playback well despite some distortion at very high volumes (which you don't need).

A separate control panel turns the speakers on and off, adjusts master and bass volume and contains the 3.5mm headphone jack and aux-in jack. Housed in an acoustically balanced wood cabinet, the subwoofer offers clear audio and good bass response. The magnetically-shielded satellite speakers offer clear and open sound to round out the full audio experience.

The included five-foot cable offers more than enough cord to connect to a PC, and there is an 11-foot speaker cable to connect both satellite speakers.

Dimensions: 8.0 3.0. x 3.0 in | Weight: 8.55 lbs | Type: Bookshelf speakers | Wired/Wireless: Wired  | Controls: Audio control dial | Connection: 3.5mm, headphone out, aux-in

"Overall, the CA-3602 speakers get plenty loud and sound good enough for listening to Spotify in your downtime." — Bill Thomas, Product Tester

Best Basic: Logitech S150 USB Speakers

Logitech S150 USB Speakers
What We Like
  • Incredibly affordable

  • Powered through USB

What We Don't Like
  • Average sound quality

If you’re looking for a basic set of speakers that will upgrade your listening experience without breaking the bank, the Logitech S150 USB digital speakers are a great choice. They don’t have a lot of extra bells and whistles, but they do provide quality acoustic stereo sound — especially for speakers of this size and price.

When it comes to features, the Logitech S150 USB Speakers keep it simple: volume control (including a mute button), easy-to-use USB connectivity, and an LED power indicator so you can make sure everything is in working order. They don't even require a separate power cord — just plug into a single USB port and you're ready to listen. Ideal for a dorm room or office, these speakers will bring out the best in your favorite songs, videos, movies or games.

Dimensions: 6.22 x 2.68 x 2.52 in | Weight: 1 lb | Type: Bookshelf speakers | Wired/Wireless: Wired  | Controls: On-speaker | Connection: 3.5mm, USB-A

Best Premium: Audioengine HD3 Speakers

Audioengine HD3
What We Like
  • Good sound quality

  • Built-in DAC

  • Bluetooth

  • Aesthetics

  • Built-in headphone amplifier

What We Don't Like
  • Expensive

  • Bass and high end a bit lacking

When you want to take your computer speakers to new heights in sound quality, your best bet is a pair of Audioengine HD3 speakers. These modestly sized speakers pack a lot of power and don’t even require an external power amp to blast great-sounding tunes.

When it comes to design, the Audioengine HD3 speakers have a cool retro look and come in black, cherry and walnut. These speakers also have a ton of versatility. On the back of the speakers, our testing showed that there are multiple inputs to accommodate both digital and analog sources, including a USB audio input and a digital-to-analog converter. They also have Bluetooth connectivity, so you can stream music from your smartphone or tablet on top of playing it through your computer.

Bill was extremely happy with these speakers, noting that the sound quality for Audioengine HD3 is second to none for computer speakers and that the speakers give off great mids, highs, and bass, so every song sounds amazing.

Dimensions: 7.0 x 4.25 x 5.5 in | Weight: 7.4 lbs | Type: Bookshelf speakers | Wired/Wireless: Both| Controls: On-speaker | Connection: RCA, Bluetooth, USB input, 3.5mm

"The Bluetooth connectivity, built-in DAC, and solid sound quality add up to a pretty compelling product." — Bill Thomas, Product Tester

Best Bluetooth: Logitech Z407 Bluetooth Computer Speakers

What We Like
  • Immersive sound with 80W peak power

  • Strong and clear bass

  • Dial for wireless control

  • Multiple connectivity options including Bluetooth

What We Don't Like
  • Speakers themselves not wireless

  • Some users report issues with subwoofer

The Logitech Z407 is a pair of impressive Bluetooth computer speakers that come with a subwoofer and a wireless control puck. The design is sleek, with two gray oval-shaped satellite speakers. The sound system has 80W of speak power and 40W RMS, giving it deep, room-filling sounds that can offer cris highs, powerful mids and lows. The wireless dial allows you to control the sound at 30 meters of range, letting you play, pause, control volume, and bass.

The speakers also offer multiple connection options, pairing with up to three devices via Bluetooth, micro USB, and 3,5mm audio jack. You can easily switch between wired and wireless connections. It is important to note, however, that the speakers themselves are not fully wireless despite supporting Bluetooth audio. They will require a power source.

Dimensions: 9.45 x 9.21 x 7.09 in | Weight: 5.4 lbs | Type: Bookshelf speakers | Wired/Wireless: Wired  | Controls: Wireless audio control | Connection: 3.5mm, micro USB, Bluetooth

Best Design: Harman Kardon Soundsticks III

Harman Kardon Soundsticks III
What We Like
  • Stunning, futuristic construction

  • Angle-adjustable satellite speakers

What We Don't Like
  • Questionable long-term durability

Take one look at these speakers from Harman Kardon and the next time you hear the words "futuristic design," you’ll think of them. Guaranteed. These things look like something out of Minority Report — more like chemistry equipment than computer speakers. You could place them as a centerpiece in a modern home and they’d fit right in.

So, yes, the design on these speakers is truly unique and impressive — but what about the sound? By all measures, it's top-notch. The SoundSticks include four, one-inch full-range transducers per channel powered by a 10-watt amplifier. There’s also one, six-inch low-frequency transducer with a 20-watt amp for room-filling bass response. Through the 3.5 mm stereo connection, you can connect the speakers to virtually any device.

However, some users have complained about the speakers’ out-of-the-box frequency balance. Depending on your preferences, you may want to compensate through a digital equalizer, but it’s really up to you.

Dimensions: 11.0 x 11.3 x 15.5 in | Weight: 16.39 lbs | Type: Bookshelf speakers | Wired/Wireless: Wired  | Controls: On-speaker touch controls, subwoofer volume | Connection: 3.5mm

"If you’re on the hunt for the best speakers to complement your computer system, the first and foremost thing to consider is obviously audio quality. That said, you should also take note of important features like connectivity options, bass output, and stereo separation."Rajat Sharma, Commerce Writer

Best LEDs: GOgroove BassPULSE LED Computer Speakers

GOgroove BassPULSE Glowing Blue LED Computer Speaker Sound System
What We Like
  • Funky design with LED accent lights

  • Easy connectivity

What We Don't Like
  • Not the best sound quality

The GOgroove certainly makes for an eye-catching accent piece for your desk. The sleek glass alone of the two left-right speakers gives you a modern look, but the built-in LED tech lets you customize the colors between bright blue, deep red, and sparkling green. While the sub-woofer unit doesn’t have the full see-through glass look, it does provide a lighted accent section on the front that will match whichever colored mode you’ve activated on the main speakers.

Let’s talk about sound features now: the speaker set offers 20 watts of RMS, which is pretty low for loudspeakers but will probably be sufficient for most desktop office setups. You can push the speakers up to 40 watts, but extended use at the volume might blow or fatigue the system, so it’s best to plan on sticking around the 20-watt zone.

The satellite speakers are directional, though, so they’ll maximize that wattage, and the side-firing subsystem gives you a nice, full, clear bass channel to add oomph to the system. It’s your standard computer set, so no compatibility concerns are necessary because it’ll connect via 3.5mm aux cable to any computer that has that input, from PCs to Macs.

Dimensions: 8.25 x 3.25 x 3.0 in | Weight: 6 lbs | Type: Bookshelf speakers | Wired/Wireless: Wired  | Controls: On-speaker | Connection: 3.5mm

Best Budget: Creative Labs Pebble V2

What We Like
  • Bare minimum of cable management

  • Modern, minimalist design

  • Solid value

What We Don't Like
  • Not particularly loud

  • No Subwoofer

a compact and sensible way to add a little extra "oomph" to your desk-bound setup, the Creative Pebble V2 is a pair of modest and straightforward speakers that can provide amplified sound where built-in laptop speakers or headphones would otherwise fall short.

The minimalist design of these speakers is ideal for anyone looking to keep desk clutter to a minimum. Cable management is also incredibly simple, with a single USB-C port for power and a 3.5mm audio jack, no wall outlet or AC adapter is required to keep these speakers running.

These speakers aren't going to exactly blow anyone away with their volume or bass, you'll be hard-pressed to find a more well-rounded (pun intended) pair of speakers for around $30.

Dimensions: 4.5 x 4.8 x 4.5 in | Weight: 0.25 lbs | Type: Bookshelf speakers | Wired/Wireless: Wired  | Controls: On-speaker | Connection: USB-C, 3.5mm

Final Verdict

If you're looking for awesome sound and can spare no expense, look no further than the Audioengine A5+ (view on B&H) Its massive speakers will bring studio-quality sound to your desktop. As a close second, we like the Logitech Z623 (view on Amazon), they come from a reputable band, have great bass, and are affordably priced.

About Our Trusted Experts

As a technology writer who also happens to be an audiophile, Rajat Sharma has tested out numerous speakers, headphones, and similar gear. He knows a good set of PC speakers when he sees one.

Bill Thomas is an editor fluent in all things tech. Besides employing their talents at Lifewire, they also work with Techradar as a computing editor.

Emily Ramirez has been writing for Lifewire since 2019. With a background in media studies and game design, she's reviewed a variety of audio products including speakers, stereos, and streaming devices. She liked the solid audio capabilities of the Razer Nonmo Pro and the extra features.

FAQs

How do you connect speakers to the computer?
Hooking up speakers to your computer is a fairly simple matter. If your computers speakers are wired, then it's a matter of plugging into the audio ports provided by your computer. They're typically on the back, where the motherboard/sound card is located. The three you'll need are Line-in, Line-out, and Microphone (if you're plugging in a mic). If the speakers are passive, meaning they don't require additional power, you'll be good to go aside from adjusting your volume settings. Otherwise, you'll need to find a spare outlet so you can plug your speakers into it, in addition to hooking them up to the computer.

For wireless speakers that use Bluetooth, you'll need to make sure the speakers are powered up then go into the Settings menu of your computer, enable Bluetooth, and then pair with the speakers (make sure to have them in pairing mode).

Do computer monitors have speakers?
Some computer monitors do have speakers. You can check the specs to see if they offer speakers or not. It's important to keep in mind though that built-in speakers on monitors tend not to be the highest quality, so if you're planning on using the PC as your main entertainment and multimedia device you'll want to shell out for a pair of computer speakers or quality headphones. Hefiter speakers with better sound hover around 15 pounds, while it's possible to get very compact and lightweight models that ar as little as one pound.

How do you test your computer speakers?
Once your speakers are plugged in and powered on, go to the Volume control menu, pick Playback Devices, and select PC speakers. Hit the configure button and you should see the speaker setup box appear. Hit the Test button and the speaker should play tones on both the left and right speakers with the left one playing first. If the tones aren't playing in the right order, the speakers are swapped, and you'll need to switch them. If the sound plays, then you're good to go. Otherwise, you'll have to do some troubleshooting to investigate if there's an issue with drivers or hardware.

What to Look for in Computer Speakers

Sound quality

Obviously, the sound quality varies from set to set. You can spend the value of a popcorn and soda for a decent set of desktop speakers or break the bank on a system that’ll fill your room with excellent sound. Either rely on reviews to assess a speaker's sound quality or head to your local electronics retailer to test it out for yourself. Additionally, if you’re looking for heavy bass, make sure you pick up a system that includes a subwoofer. If you want to pair speakers with a home theater or surround sound setup, take a look at our overview of 2.0, 2.1, 5.1, 6.1, 7.1 channel systems.

Design

You’ll have your chosen set of speakers sitting on your desk, so you might as well pick a pair that’s visually appealing. Beyond aesthetics, consider how the size of the speakers will fit into your existing setup. For example, if you select an option with a subwoofer, will you have room for it under your desk?

Wireless

If you're using your new speakers with a laptop, consider choosing a set with built-in Bluetooth capabilities so you can be completely wireless at your desk. The latest version is Bluetooth 5.0, though you'll likely still encounter many speakers with the older Bluetooth 4.1 and 4.2 standard. Bluetooth range tops out at around 33 feet, depending on interference, so that's also something to keep in mind.

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