- A good set of computer speakers can enhance your listening experience for music, gaming, and movies.
- The Klipsch ProMedia 2.1 speakers outshine the competition thanks to impressive sound for the money.
- Read more about why you can trust our tech team to provide the best product recommendations.
Desktop speakers for your computer or laptop are essential if you want the best audio quality. Though some gaming monitors and ultrawide monitors have decent built-in sound, a dedicated set of computer speakers will take your listening experience to the next level.
Computer speakers are available at many price points and in a variety of sizes. Some packages even include a separate subwoofer for extra bass. Wireless streaming support and surround sound capabilities are also featured on more expensive models.
Most computer speakers feature built-in amplification so all you need to do is plug them into an outlet for power. We made our picks with convenience in mind, so all of our recommendations fall into this category, which saves you the cost and hassle of buying a separate amp.
Here are the best computer speakers you can buy
- Best computer speakers overall: Klipsch ProMedia 2.1
- Best budget computer speakers: Logitech Z313
- Best high-end computer speakers: Klipsch R-51PM
- Best computer speakers for gaming: Razer Nommo Pro
- Best computer speakers for surround sound: Logitech Z906
The Klipsch ProMedia 2.1 speakers lack advanced features, but they deliver incredible sound for the money.
Pros: Impressive audio performance, affordable price, includes subwoofer, 3.5mm ports
Cons: No wireless support, no USB port
Klipsch’s ProMedia 2.1 speaker system is the definition of a tried-and-true audio product. In fact, the ProMedia 2.1 has been on the market in one form or another for nearly two decades.
Though the speakers lack extra features, like wireless streaming, they excel in the two areas that count the most: audio performance and value. The package includes two satellite speakers with 3-inch midrange drivers, MicroTractrix horns, and 19mm tweeters. You also get a dedicated 6.5-inch subwoofer for deep bass.
You don’t get a remote, but separate knobs for volume and subwoofer levels are integrated on one of the satellite speakers. The system uses a 3.5mm connection on the subwoofer to hook up to your computer or laptop, but it doesn’t have a USB option like some newer speaker systems. Two 3.5mm ports are also included on one of the speakers, allowing you to easily connect a pair of headphones for private listening.
What really makes the ProMedia 2.1 so special, however, is its audio performance. With clean highs, rich mids, and deep lows, the speakers excel at music, gaming, and movies. This versatility makes them a perfect fit for any multimedia computer setup.
Though this system has been available for nearly 20 years, we’ve yet to hear better sounding computer speakers in this price range.
Best budget computer speakers
While the Logitech Z313 speakers don’t impress with their sound quality, the low price tag makes them an excellent upgrade to built-in monitor speakers.
Pros: Very inexpensive, easy to set up, includes a subwoofer
Cons: Mediocre audio quality
The Logitech Z313 speakers can’t measure up to more expensive speakers when it comes to sound performance, but they make up for any audio woes in value. With such an affordable price tag, the Z313s are the de facto choice for budget computer speakers. While not reaching the quality heights of Klipsch, the low price tag and simple setup of the Z313s makes them worthy of consideration.
For the price, you’re getting a 2.1 system, meaning there are stereo speakers on your desktop and a subwoofer below. Everything is wired, but with only three cords going between each of the components, cable management shouldn’t be too difficult.
As far as audio quality goes, the Z313s are best summed up with “good for the money.” The satellite speakers are fairly tinny and the subwoofer doesn’t reach too deep into the lows. The system won’t get loud, either, with a total power rating of 25 watts (five for each satellite and 15 for the subwoofer).
The flaws show up most when you trying to play music loudly through the speakers. Logitech attempts to duck the sound coming out of the satellites as the subwoofer gets loud, making for a wobbly effect when listening to bass-heavy music at high volumes. These speakers are best used when listening to music at low volumes or, say, watching YouTube videos.
Despite their audio limitations, as a replacement for your monitor’s built-in speakers, the Z313s are great, especially for how cheap they are. If you’re interested in high-quality audio or just want to blare music, however, you’ll need to spend a little more.
Best high-end computer speakers
Klipsch’s R-51PM computer speakers look as good as they sound, delivering high-end audio and wireless support.
Pros: Look great, high-end sound, plenty of connection options, Bluetooth support
Cons: A bit pricey, doesn’t include a separate subwoofer
The speakers you use are somewhat of a status statement, and no company more clearly understands that than Klipsch. However, a company isn’t adopted in homes and theaters around the world for its looks alone. Klipsch has substance to its style, and that’s no more clearly exemplified than it is with the R-51PM computer speakers.
As a long time fan of the R-15PMs — which the R-51PMs replaced — to say I was excited for an update would be an understatement, and Klipsch definitely delivered. When I broke out the speakers for the first time, I was impressed with their style. The copper spun tweeter is a familiar hallmark, adding a perfect accent to an otherwise blank chassis.
The sound is really what sells these speakers. Small woofers are notorious for either lacking bass or crowding the rest of the audio field with it. The R-51PM’s humble 5.25-inch woofer sounds much bigger than its size would suggest, partly aided by the large rear-firing port.
If you’ve ever demoed Klipsch speakers — or any audiophile brand, for that matter — none of this should come as a surprise. The R-51PMs aren’t just for audiophiles, though. With a surprisingly clear 120W amplifier powering the two speakers, the R-51PMs are a plug-and-play speaker solution that anyone can pick up.
While my pair lives on my desktop, I’ve moved them around for various purposes in the past. They support a variety of connections, including your phone, computer, and TV. You could, for example, hook the speakers up to your computer through the USB connection and pop over to streaming music on Bluetooth with a single remote click.
Best computer speakers for gaming
The Razer Nommo Pro system is expensive, but for the sound and features it offers, the price is justified.
Pros: Clear midrange, impressive bass, RGB under-glow
Razer is well known for its gaming peripherals but only recently did it make a serious contender for desktop audio. While PC gamers usually use headphones for the best audio experience, the Razer Nommo Pro speaker system is a clear and powerful alternative for gaming audio.
That comes at a price, though. In fact, the Nommo Pros are the most expensive speakers on our list. That said, you get a lot for your money. The Nommo Pro system is a 2.1 audio setup, meaning you get two satellite speakers and a subwoofer. Each of the satellite speakers has a dedicated woofer and tweeter, too, so you get clear highs and midrange.
First, the satellites. Each speaker is equipped with a 3-inch woofer that’s angled towards your ears as well as 0.8-inch tweeter. The midrange woofers make the difference here. With a dedicated subwoofer, the Nommo Pros aren’t trying to reproduce bass with the satellites and, because of that, the midrange is clearer. Gunshots in games like “Overwatch” give just the right kick to the chest.
The low-end is filled out by the subwoofer, which gets surprisingly loud. In fact, the whole system can get loud. Razer has managed something special with the Nommo Pro in that it can easily shake your room without distorting. Even when explosions are pushing the subwoofer to its limit and bullets are flying across the screen, the sound is clear.
Gaming isn’t the only use case for them, either. Razer includes THX, Dolby, and music modes. THX and Dolby go a lot heavier on the bass, which makes it ideal for watching movies. However, these modes sound dull when listening to music or gaming as the subwoofer overpowers the high-end finesse of the dedicated tweeters.
Best computer speakers for surround sound
While it’ll take a lot of legwork to set up, the Logitech Z906 5.1 surround system delivers excellent audio quality at a good price.
Pros: The Z906 system is one of the cheapest ways to buy 5.1 surround sound
Cons: Setting up the speakers can be a pain
If you’re an avid movie fan, surround sound is the way to go. While not the most convenient for your desktop, the Logitech Z906 surround sound system has small enough speakers with multiple mounting options to make it worthy of consideration.
The package is comprised of four satellite speakers that are meant to be placed around you, a central speaker, a front-firing subwoofer and control module for controlling the output. Across the speakers, the Z906 system delivers 500 watts of continuous power with the ability to go up to 1,000 watts. In short, it can get really loud.
At the center is the subwoofer, which contains the amplifier and all necessary inputs and outputs. Most surround systems are designed to work in a home theater and, while the Z906 system can be used for that purpose, the number of inputs makes it a great choice for desktop applications.
On the back, you’ll find three 3.5mm jacks, a pair of RCA inputs, two optical inputs, a coaxial input, and a plug for six-channel direct connections. Furthermore, you can run these connections simultaneously and switch between them using the included wireless remote. If you use Logitech’s Bluetooth adapter (sold separately) you can stream wirelessly to the system, too.
As far as sound goes, the Z906 system is excellent, worthy of official THX certification. According to Trusted Reviews, this Logitech system “delivers a very impressive sound with depth, punch and decent detail reproduction.”
What else we considered
Audioengine A5+ ($569): Audioengine’s A5+ speakers were recently one of our picks. Though they still serve as very worthwhile desktop speakers, current price adjustments make it hard to truly recommend Audioengine’s speakers over Klipsch’s R-51PMs.
Both speakers are actually very similar. The woofers are the same size, as are the bodies, and both have excellent audio quality. However, with a slightly lower power rating, the A5+ speakers may not stay as clear at high volumes. Despite that, CNET says the 5+’s “deliver phenomenal sound.”
As far as connectivity goes, the A5+ speakers are slightly worse than their Klipsch counterparts. One speaker has the amplifier inside, and you’ll connect that speaker to the other using an included speaker cable. For connecting to your source, Audioengine includes a 3.5mm jack (standard headphone jack) and stereo RCA inputs and outputs.
While fine for connecting the speakers to your computer, a USB or optical output would allow the A5+ speakers to be used in a more diverse range of situations. Thankfully, that’s offset by support for Bluetooth. You can connect any Bluetooth device to the speakers and switch to that source using the included remote.
Despite missing optical and USB inputs, the A5+ speakers have one major strength in connectivity: an RCA output. With that output, you can pair the A5+’s with Audioengine’s powered S8 subwoofer. While the speakers alone have “solid bass depth” according to PCMag, adding a dedicated subwoofer helps the lows a lot.
The looks aren’t shabby, either. You can choose either satin black or hi-gloss white, both of which look excellent with the Kevlar woofers. For a premium, you can also purchase the speakers in a natural bamboo finish that looks great.
Check out our other speaker buying guides