- Investing in desktop speakers is still worthwhile despite the popularity of laptops and built-in speakers on monitors.
- Desktop speakers provide deeper bass and brighter highs compared to small, integrated speakers.
- Desktop speakers offer more volume and better clarity than built-in speakers.
- They are more durable and can handle louder volumes without damage.
- Desktop speakers provide more placement options and the ability to connect multiple devices.
Desktop Speakers aren’t exactly a hot item anymore. Technology has changed a lot in the last twenty years, as have consumer habits. In today’s market, laptops have replaced desktops as the go-to computer purchase. This, plus the fact that newer models of monitors include built-in speakers, means that investing in a speaker setup for your PC is no longer a priority the way it used to be.
Headsets have surpassed external speakers as the main audio source for PC gamers and those looking for an upgrade from their laptop speakers. However, despite the convenience and advancements in the quality of headsets and headphones, there are still limitations when compared to a traditional speaker setup. So, with that in mind, we’d like to make a case for you to invest in desktop speakers. Here are six reasons to buy some today.
Reasons to Buy Desktop Speakers
1. They Provide Deeper Bass and Brighter Highs
No matter how good your monitor or laptop is, small, integrated speakers generally don’t have a good acoustic range. Most can only go as low as 200 to 400Hz. Missing out on all that low-end information means your music and videos will sound flat or even tinny. On top of that, built-in speakers tend to give off a frequency response that can sound inaccurate and uneven with harsh-sounding hyped frequencies.
Purchasing a set of quality desktop speakers can extend your bass response down to 60Hz or lower. This will give you a better-tuned sound in the mids and highs, which will help your audio sound more natural. This will help improve your experience no matter whether you are streaming music, gaming, or simply watching a movie or video.
2. They Can Give More Volume
Volume can be critical, and not just for cranking your favorite song. If you’ve ever come across a YouTube video with a bad audio mix and had to lift your laptop right up to your ear to make out what they were saying, even at maximum volume, then you understand the value of volume. One of the major drawbacks of small, built-in speakers is that they only get so loud. A quality set of desktop speakers will give you the ability to pump up the volume, while also providing better clarity than your standard built-in speakers.
3. They Are More Durable
The more you use your laptop or monitor and repeatedly turn up the volume, the greater the chance you have of accidentally overloading and causing permanent damage to the device’s tiny built-in speakers. You can spot a damaged speaker by the crackling noise your laptop or monitor makes when you turn up the volume. That sound could also mean that your speakers aren’t equipped to handle the output from your computer. Either way, you should consider desktop speakers, which are built to handle significantly louder volumes. This means you will be able to get more use out of them without worrying about having a blown-out woofer or tweeter.
4. They Give You More Placement Options
It goes without saying that computer speakers that are not built into the computer itself provide more options for placement. The possibilities become endless for those with wireless or Bluetooth speakers. Regardless, the ability to place your speakers at the optimal position for sound quality, while also allowing you to declutter your workspace, gives desktop speakers an undeniable advantage.
5. You Can Connect More Devices
This advantage comes exclusively to those who purchase Bluetooth or other premium speakers. Not only will those speakers give dramatic improvements in audio quality, but you’ll also be able to connect many additional devices directly to the speakers. Some models of wireless digital bookshelf speakers provide connectivity for everything from Bluetooth to optical, to coax, and everything in between.
6. You Aren’t So Isolated
We’ve gone over the benefits of desktop speakers over built-in speakers quite a bit, but it is worth noting that desktop speakers also have a benefit over headphones and headsets. While headphones can provide high-quality sound for an affordable price point, they can also be isolating.
If you ever want to watch videos or listen to music with anyone else, you’ll soon remember the limitations of headphones. The benefit of headphones is blocking out ambient noise in the room, but that benefit can be a double-edged sword. When you want to fill a room with sound, headphones are incapable of providing this feature.
Best Desktop Speakers
Now that you know the benefits of desktop speakers, you may be thinking about picking some up. Here are some of the models we recommend.
Bose Companion 2 Series III
- Auxiliary input allows connection of an additional device
- Headphone jack built into the right speaker
- Compatible with Mac or Windows
- 3.5mm AUX & PC input
The Bose Companion 2 Series III speakers are a decent all-around choice for your first desktop speakers. The quality build and reliable functionality make these a safe and popular pick for speakers in this price range. The speakers themselves aren’t large so they can fit on most desks, bookshelves, or anywhere else you may want to place them. Qand although they have a small footprint, they provide a big sound, particularly when it comes to bass.
They conveniently provide a volume control built into the right speaker, which is a nice feature when you need to adjust the volume in a hurry. They also include a headphone jack for those times when you do need an isolated listening experience.
Klipsch ProMedia 2.1 THX
The Klipsch ProMedia 2.1 THX are great speakers on their own. However, they also have the benefit of coming with a separate and dedicated subwoofer. If you know anything about audio, then you understand what a fantastic asset that is. A subwoofer adds body to the low-end bass. This will make your music or videos sound much richer and fuller.
However, bass isn’t the only strength of these speakers, the overall audio quality is nothing short of fantastic. These are the kind of speakers that allow users to really hear the pieces of the mix. This allows vocals, instruments, and sound effects to all come through in detail while you listen to a song. It has the same effect on the soundtracks of movies and games. Dialogue can be heard clearly along with music and sound effects.
There are a few downsides, however. First of all, these speakers do not directly sync up with Bluetooth, but that’s an easy workaround if they are paired with a laptop or desktop. While a separate subwoofer is an advantage when it comes to your sound experience, it can be a burden if you have space issues.
Creative Pebble V3
The Creative Pebble V3 is a perfect choice for those who are looking for a decent set of speakers at an affordable price. In addition to the reasonable price point, the Pebble is also a great option for those with limited space as it provides a small footprint. Yet despite its diminutive size, the V3 provides listeners with a rich soundscape that rivals budget speakers that are twice the size.
The small speakers also have a unique orb-like design that is a stylish addition to any desk. A USB-C drive is included as is a 3.5mm headphone jack, making the design as functional as it is visually appealing. You may want to consider adding a subwoofer to the mix, however, because the lows tend to be a little underwhelming.
Audioengine A5+ Wireless
- Stylish finish and look
- Bluetooth compatible
- 3.5 audio jack
- RCA hook up built in
Speaking of stylish, the A5+ wireless speakers come in a variety of finishes, including a wood veneer. Not only do they look good no matter what the rest of your office decor is like, but they also have some handy practical features. Audioengine is known for delivering high-quality Bluetooth audio and this model holds true to that.
If you want to plug a source into your wireless speakers, Audioengine has you covered there too. The A5+ also contains inputs for 3.5mm or even RCA. Brand-new wireless technology that can still connect straight to your old-school receiver or turntable is pretty unique. If you’re looking for versatility and portability, look no further.
If you are a gamer, the Logitech G560 might be the right fit for you. Known for providing a rich, full sound no matter the source, the G560 is adaptable to many soundtracks for films and games. The built-in subwoofer brings out the lows, but keeps a good mix, even at a high volume. Plus, the software built into the speakers even allows you to create sound profiles for individual game soundtracks.
The look is also great for a gaming rig, as they have a built-in LED lighting system. The four zones with bright, colorful LEDs are the perfect addition to a gaming PC with a lighting component. Bluetooth compatibility gives you the ability to play music from another device like your phone, leaving all computing power to go toward the game.
Upgrading Desktop Speakers
Even if you already own an inexpensive pair of computer speakers, it may be worth considering an upgrade. While a basic set that was either low-cost or maybe bundled with your computer can be a good stop-gap solution, a decent pair of speakers is a worthwhile investment. They are typically better than the speakers built into your laptop or monitor, but they are usually nowhere near as good as the speakers listed above. Basic speakers often sound flat because they are not built with a large frequency range in mind. This means that the highs and lows will often be crushed, leaving you with a sound that’s heavy, albeit muffled, on the mids.
A set of good speakers will not only be a good investment for your current system but may also be able to adapt to a new system when you eventually upgrade your computer. External speakers are one of those rare pieces of hardware that can outlive the computer they were purchased for. Even better, depending on the speakers you get, they might be able to accommodate multiple devices. It’s possible that your desktop, laptop, and phone could use Bluetooth to connect to your brand-new speakers.
Desktop Speakers: Final Thoughts
While built-in speakers, headphones, and bottom-shelf speakers have their place, nothing can replace a good set of desktop speakers. Each of those alternatives has drawbacks. In the case of built-in speakers, it’s impossible to get a wide frequency range out of them. This means your sound will always be flat and tinny. With headphones, it’s impossible to have anything but a solitary experience. If you ever want to share games, movies, or music with your friends, even the best set of headphones will never do. Basic speakers can do in a pinch, but they shouldn’t be considered a long-term solution. A good set of desktop speakers is an investment that may very well outlive your computer.
The image featured at the top of this post is ©nampix/Shutterstock.com.