People are listening to music on their computers more and more these days, and for some people that is the main device they use for music consumption. You can also watch high definition TV and movies and play high definition video games, so shouldn’t you have speakers that are a match in quality? There are a lot of computer speakers out there and it can be time consuming to sift through all of them, so here are our top 13 picks for the best computer speakers. We’ve listed the pros and cons for each one which will hopefully help you make a decision. Whatever your specific needs are, you’ll be able to find the right speakers for you in this list. Happy speaker shopping!
#1 KEF X300A
Featuring components that rival many audiophile-grade systems, the KEF X300A powered speakers produce some of the smoothest tones and present a dynamic soundstage. There are wireless connectivity options depending on the model available, but most users will want to take advantage of the 96kHz/44-bit digital-to-analog converter via the USB input. Each speaker requires 120V AC power to operate the two Class A/B amplifiers.
The 5.25” woofer with a coaxially mounted 1” vented tweeter delivers tight lows, warm mids, natural sounding vocal tones, and crisp highs. Bass response below 50 Hz may seem lacking for some users, so a subwoofer is recommended to enhance playback of some styles of music. The premium price point of the KEF X300A speakers may keep some from considering them as an approachable computer speaker, but you could look at these as a quality, entry-level audiophile system.
- smooth frequency response
- quality amplifiers and high-grade components
- digital audio input via USB connection
- 120V AC power required for each speaker
- highest cost speakers on this list
- limited wireless connectivity options without additional hardware
#2 Audioengine A5+ Premium Powered Speaker Pair
Audioengine delivers exceptional sound quality with the A5+ premium powered loudspeaker. The only thing keeping this set of speakers from ranking #1 is the lack of an integrated digital audio input. Otherwise, the A5+ deliver natural mids and highs with well-controlled bass frequencies. Like most bookshelf-style speakers, a subwoofer should be added to cover the lowest octave range, but these premium loudspeakers will impress the discerning audio enthusiast.
A volume control and remote control sensor can be found on the front of the beautifully finished speaker enclosure, and the rear panel features RCA and 3.5mm inputs along with a USB power port for charging a mobile device during playback. The 5” Kevlar woofer drives the low frequencies, which are enhanced by the rear port.
- remote control sensor and volume control on front of speaker
- even and natural sounding frequency response
- RCA and 3.5mm analog audio inputs
- no built-in support for digital audio input
- lacking a power saving auto-sleep mode.
#3 Aperion Allaire
The Aperion Allaire speaker system is extremely competitive when placed up against the #2 ranked Audioengine A5+ pair. Even with a smaller 4” woofer, the Allaire produces clean and balanced full-range audio. There are plenty of input options as well, including: digital audio optical input, 3.5mm analog input, and Bluetooth 4.0 connectivity using the aptX audio codec.
A wireless remote control is provided and is necessary for controlling the Aperion Allaire as there are no manual controls physically located on the speaker. These speakers really pack some punch given their efficient form factor and thoughtful design. A subwoofer may be required for larger rooms, but these make a great set of desktop speakers.
- variety of audio inputs for analog, digital, and Bluetooth wireless devices
- clean and balanced audio quality
- flexible placement options without proprietary cable connections
- reliable sound even at high volume levels
- not currently available
- included remote is required for operating the speaker (including power on/off)
- tweeter loses some clarity and detail when listening off-axis
#4 Audioengine A2+
Coming in with a street price of around $250, the Audioengine A2+ is probably the highest performing loudspeaker in this list when factoring audio quality, size, and price. RCA and 3.5mm analog audio inputs are provided along with a USB input for digital audio support, with additional hardware required to accept wireless digital audio connections. A subwoofer output is available as well, which will provide extra low energy support for the 2.8” Kevlar front-ported woofers.
For such a small package, the A2+ delivers impressively rich sound and a spacious soundstage. Magnetic shielding of the wood enclosure is a plus to minimize interference from nearby electronics. For the price, this set of active loudspeakers is among the best.
- on-board digital-to-analog conversion with USB audio input
- wood cabinet design thin front-ported tuning
- great sound at a competitive price
- frequencies below 125 Hz may under-perform with the 2.8” woofers making a subwoofer necessary for larger rooms
- wireless audio support requires additional hardware
#5 JBL Series 3 LSR305
The JBL Series 3 LSR305 is quite comfortable in the recording studio, but it will also make a great sounding companion with your home audio system. If you appreciate the robust features found in professional audio equipment, then the LSR305 will not disappoint. Accurate bass and even highs make this the speaker to use when searching for a reliable audio playback reference.
Weighing in at around 12 pounds, this self-powered loudspeaker is definitely not going to get pushed around on your desk. The average consumer electronics purchaser should know two important things about the JBL LSR305: the audio inputs use XLR and balanced ¼” professional audio connectors, and pricing for this speaker is given for single units instead of a pair of speakers.
- studio-grade sound quality and balanced frequency response
- heavy and durable enclosure
- works well without a subwoofer
- lacking built-in digital audio support
- does not feature common consumer-grade audio connections
- sold as an individual unit instead of a matched pair
#6 Polk Hampden
Polk Audio delivers another quality audio product with the Hampden AM6510-A Bluetooth speaker system. Supporting a USB digital audio input, Bluetooth aptX wireless audio, and a 3.5mm analog input, this speaker system provides crisp and clear highs. The sound quality is a major upgrade when compared to the average computer speaker system solution.
Perhaps the only design flaw is the down-firing bass port. It is effective, but unless the speakers are placed on a very solid desk, the bass can start to interfere with the mid range frequencies and cause a muddy listening experience. However, when well positioned, the Polk Hampden speakers provide beautiful sounding audio with a variety of connection options.
- unique built-in kickstand design
- Bluetooth connectivity with aptX codec
- supports USB and analog audio inputs
- crisp high frequency response
- lower mids can be muddy due to the down-firing port
- intermittent Bluetooth connectivity reported with some mobile devices
#7 Edifier e25 Luna Eclipse
It’s hard to ignore the unique egg-shaped design of the Edifier e25 Luna Eclipse desktop speakers. Available in rich black, red, and white colors, these speakers will not only make a contemporary style statement, but the sound quality from such a small package is also sure to grab a listener’s attention. The 3” woofer and ¾” silk dome tweeter produce a surprisingly full sound, due in no small part to the dual 2”x3” passive radiators creatively located in the rear midsection of the loudspeaker assembly.
Audio connection is available via wireless Bluetooth or 3.5mm analog connections. The Edifier e25 may have the appearance of an extra-portable speaker, but it does require 120V AC power. Even though high volume levels can cause a little bit of distortion, the e25 Luna Eclipse performs nicely for many computer and desktop audio speaker needs.
- unique and stylish design
- wireless Bluetooth audio connectivity
- wireless remote control
- dual passive radiators for enhanced bass response
- high volume levels can generate some distortion and clipping in the lower mid frequency range
#8 Klipsch ProMedia 2.1
The Klipsch ProMedia 2.1 computer speaker system has been in production for several years, and there have been several changes made since the initial versions were delivered. With a frequency response down to 31 Hz, clear highs, solid mid tones, and tight bass, it’s no surprise that the ProMedia 2.1 carries a THX certified label.
Many Klipsch fans have noted that the original ProMedia 2.1 system featured a more robust subwoofer and higher quality components, but they will also admit to a few important improvements. The preamp input DIN plug has been modified to have greater reliability and the compact package still delivers quality audio at a common street price just under $200.
- clear highs, mids, and lows
- THX certified
- good frequency response down to 31 Hz
- 3-piece system complete with subwoofer
- volume knob can be noisy
- connections limited to hardwired analog audio
- input DIN plug design has been revised but can still loosen up over time
#9 Logitech Z533
A premium audio system from Logitech may come as a surprise to some, but the Z533 delivers great sounding audio that leaves many other competitors behind. Without support for wired or wireless digital audio inputs, this 2.1 speaker system still delivers high quality and high volume output for its size.
The included 5” ported subwoofer delivers full bass frequencies and the two 2.6” satellite speakers provide decent highs and mids. One of the downsides of this system, however, is the hardwired controller and subwoofer must be placed within the limiting distance of the attached cable. The Logitech Z533 commands a retail price of just under $300, but aggressive street pricing from several vendors indicates that demand for this product should fit with a lower cost offering.
- good sound from two small satellite speakers and subwoofer package
- great sale pricing available from some retailers
- hardwired control module limits positioning flexibility
- no digital audio inputs
#10 KEF Egg
By all rights, these speakers could have ranked higher on this list, but their premium design coupled with an extra-premium price point just doesn’t seem to line up with the factors moving other products higher on the list. Yes, the Kef Egg has incredible sound for such a small enclosure. The 4.25” woofer and coaxially mounted ¾” dome tweeter produce some astonishing clarity and focus. A subwoofer will be required for enhanced low frequencies in a larger room, but for a pair of desktop speakers, the Egg definitely delivers.
The Kef Egg is built onto its own speaker stand and features wireless Bluetooth aptX connectivity along with a mini USB input for hardwired digital audio. A break-in period is definitely recommended with these speakers in order to achieve optimal sonic results. One of the few downsides is the proprietary cable that is required to connect the stereo pair of speakers, limiting the flexibility of selecting a suitable location.
- clean style and modern design
- convenient volume controls located on the built-in speaker stand
- Bluetooth connectivity
- mini USB audio input
- quality sound
- proprietary speaker connection cable can limit location choices
- Bluetooth radio can connect to random nearby devices with current firmware version
#11 Edifier Exclaim e10
The Edifier Exclaim e10 bi-amped 2.0 speaker system is the best quality computer speaker solution on this list available for less than $100. A unique bass sphere contains a side-firing 3” woofer with a 3” passive radiator on the opposite side, and the thin upper section of the assembly contains two 1.5” tweeters. The only audio input for this self-contained system is a 3.5mm analog connection with the included cable.
Low frequencies can be a less than punchy, but warm mids and crisp highs from the Exclaim e10 provide a great alternative to any built-in computer or mobile device loudspeakers. These are not audiophile speakers, but for the price and the sound quality, Edifier delivers another quality audio product.
- unique bass sphere and tower design
- good sound for the price
- short power cable can limit positioning without an extension cord
- low frequency roll-off can benefit from a subwoofer (not included)
#12 Marshall Kilburn
This compact Bluetooth speaker system packs some punch in an iconic package. The Marshall Kilburn features one 4” woofer and 2.75” dome tweeters in a very sturdy vintage case, reminiscent of classic Marshal guitar amp styling. The seven-pound speaker system isn’t the lightest portable option available, but its 20-hour battery life and clean, full sound make it a durable option for your mobile audio needs.
Stereo imaging is somewhat compromised given the single 4” woofer, but the spatial audio plane is still fairly well preserved. The Marshall Kilburn system is not weatherproof and the overall loudness can be lower than some other similarly sized portable speakers. But if a stout package and quality sound is what you’re after, this speaker definitely delivers.
- solid case construction
- long 20-hour battery life
- good bass response and clear mids/highs
- Bluetooth connectivity can be intermittent with some mobile devices
- maximum volume is lower than other similar products
#13 Creative iRoar
Creative’s iRoar Bluetooth speaker system is good for both desktop and portable use. Billed with a “5-driver design”, the iRoar features dual 2” high frequency drivers, one 2.75” woofer, and two passive radiators. Bass response is reasonable, and the sound is generally well balanced. A 20-hour battery life allows the iRoar to function outside the home, and Bluetooth aptX wireless connectivity allows high quality audio to be broadcast from a variety of devices. An optical input, USB connection, and analog inputs are also included.
A free mobile app for Android and Apple devices allows the user to create and store custom audio profiles to enhance the sound from the iRoar. The overall sound quality is good, but the performance and price point of the Creative iRoar doesn’t match the same value that other products in this list can readily exceed for computer speaker solutions. However, it is worth checking it out if you’re looking for a portable kitchen, living room, or patio playback system.
- lots of connectivity options including Bluetooth, optical, USB, and analog inputs
- 20-hour battery life
- mobile app for custom audio controls
- No remote control other than the mobile device app
- poor bass definition