Whether you use your computer for work or play, having a truly immersive sound system can truly take your tech to the next level. The best computer speakers can do that. Games, movies, Zoom calls, and more: When you can hear everything perfectly, it all just seems more real. It’s surprising how much of a life upgrade the best desktop speakers can be.
When you’re gaming, you want the effects to blow you away. If you’re working, you need a lush soundtrack to keep you energized and upbeat. When you’re talking to someone, ideally, it’d sound like they’re in the room with you.
Get ready for the sonorous respite of your dreams — these speakers are ready to enhance your computing experience, no matter what you need
The Best Computer Speakers
The best computer speakers are an essential part of any desktop setup. Sure, laptops and some monitors come with speakers built-in, but these simply won’t pump out sound as well as a dedicated set of speakers even a simple 2.0-channel pair.
So, along with one of the best webcams and best microphones, a great set of speakers can get ready to tackle anything from high-quality music playback to clearer, cleaner voice, and video calls.
Not to mention the benefits to PC gaming, if you’d prefer not to use a headset. With so many speaker configurations available, choosing just one can be tricky, but don’t worry: we’ve tested the very best computer speakers and have compiled them here.
1. Logitech G560
When it comes to RGB lighting, chances are you either hate it or love it. The PC Gamer office may be divided on this topic, but there’s one thing we can agree on
Logitech’s G560 Lightsync feature is anything but gimmicky. If there’s one RGB product we’d recommend, that might impact your PC gaming experience, it’s this one.
Logitech’s software allows you to choose between two control modes for the speakers. Hardware control ditches the software and uses Bluetooth or AUX input for lighting.
You get a gentle rainbow color cycle that also acts as an audio visualizer, which flashes and brightens to the beat of the music. Switching over to software control allows you to choose between fixed color, color cycle, breathing, audio visualizer, and screen sampler lighting modes.
The screen sampler, however, is where the G560 shines. Much like ambient TV backlighting products, the software takes user-defined areas of the screen and extends the colors outwards to create a very immersive lighting experience.
Since a good portion of this effect relies on the rear-facing LEDs, the speakers need to be positioned right beside your display with their back against a wall to get the best result.
But all that’s besides the point, since these speakers also offer some fantastic audio courtesy of twin tweeters and a powerful subwoofer.
For a spell, there, the G560 was prone to explosive audio even when cranked down to a low volume. Logitech eventually patched that nuisance out, which has us once again loving this kit for PC gaming.
2. Creative Pebble Plus
When you’re out shopping for cheap PC speakers below $50, it’s easy to be overwhelmed by choice. It doesn’t help that reliable brands have multiple options in the same price range.
The differences at the low-end can be minimal, but the Creative Pebble Plus speakers stand apart from the competition with their big sound despite the compact size.
With a total power output of 8 watts, these speakers pump out crisper audio than some of their competitors using two to three times the amount of power.
While they won’t produce the highest volume of sound, we found little distortion even with the volume maxed out. The only complaint here is a lack of bass control to complement the convenient volume knob located on the right speaker.
The Pebble Plus speakers may lack some raw oomph, but they make up for it in clarity. This is why we highly recommend these speakers for students and those who move around a lot, as the speakers are small enough to fit on any cramped desk surface.
They’re easily the most portable system we tried and perform best in a smaller bedroom or dorm.
Like any other pair of speakers below $50, the Creative Pebble Plus speakers are easily shamed by a mid-range set, but for gamers on a tight budget, we found these speakers to be the clear winner.
3. Logitech Z407
The Logitech Z407s pretty much win the award for most deceptively awesome computer speakers of 2021. This 80-watt speaker system connects via Bluetooth, 3.5 mm, or micro USB that easily connects to your phone, gaming laptop, and PC.
You never actually have to turn these speakers on, which is neat, though if they are connected via Bluetooth, I must warn you; the sound the speakers make whenever you turn on your PC is one of the most annoying startups bloops I’ve heard.
Keeping in the wireless theme, I absolutely fell in love with the wireless control knob, which let me control my media with satisfying spins.
What was not satisfying is the unusually short 4 foot cables, which limited the ways I could set up my speaker/sub-woofer layout. However, being able to lay the speakers themselves vertically or horizontally is a nice touch. Despite that, the sound achieved surprisingly balanced audio for a speaker set for only $80. A strong yes for anyone looking to upgrade their current dinky desktop speakers.
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How to Choose the Best Computer Speakers
There are three things to consider when choosing the best computer speaker for your setup: sound quality, extra features and price.
Sound quality is a moving target, but generally speaking: Cheaper, less elaborate systems offer decent sound quality, but the soundscape is not that nuanced, and the maximum volume is sometimes not that loud.
More expensive, more elaborate systems tend to offer richer treble, deeper bass and more substantial vocals. A great pair of speakers shouldn’t make you choose among the three facets of sound; everything should be balanced.
Extra features tend to come standard in more expensive speakers, but even cheaper models can have them.
The most common extra feature is discrete bass/treble controls, but you can also have remote controls, wireless functionality and RGB lighting. None of these things is strictly necessary, but some can make your life a lot easier, especially if you’re looking to turn your computer into an audio powerhouse.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Do I need a 2.1, 5.1 or 7.1 setup?
A: You’ll mostly find 2.1 setups for the PC market covering just left/right channels and a subwoofer—perhaps more often than that even devoid a subwoofer for a 2.0 setup. That’s mostly because that fits the bill for a desktop and monitor, with the speakers in front of the user for decent stereo sound.
Living room speaker setups and home cinema systems will take that a little further, often offering at least five surrounding speakers in most cases. You could hook such a system up to your PC too, and find decent support for such a configuration, but we’re hesitant to recommend such a setup due to the sheer number of wires involved around a single desk. It doesn’t bear thinking about.
Q: How do we test computer speakers?
A: We tested each set of speakers in-game for several hours through a wide range of games with rich soundtracks and sounds, including Doom Eternal, Call of Duty: Warzone, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, Overwatch, and Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice. Afterward, we ran listening tests, which included snippets from the film Jurassic World and a variety of albums in lossless FLAC format such as Daft Punk’s Random Access Memories and Psychic from Darkside.