While it’s true that a good or even great pair of headphones can help you get more work done or just enjoy your favorite tunes, sometimes, with a computer, you need a little more volume. Enter the desktop computer speaker, which helps give your built-in computer speakers an often much-needed boost. Even in the case of the most expensive gaming computers, built-in speakers can often be underwhelming, especially when playing a game or trying to watch your latest Netflix binge.
Thankfully, desktop computer speakers are widely available and will give you a much-needed boost in sound quality. Here are the seven best desktop computer speakers you can buy today.
- Best Overall: Bose Companion 2 Series III
- Best Value: Creative Pebble V3
- Best for Gaming: Logitech G560
- Best Style: SteelSeries Arena 7
- Best Soundbar: Razer Leviathan V2
- Best for Creators: Edifier MR4
- Best Splurge: Razer Nommo Pro
Best Overall: 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
With dozens of computer speakers available, standing out above the pack is difficult to do but the Bose Companion 2 Series III manages to rise above.
Perhaps the only true downside to this Bose speaker is that it isn’t wirelessly connected and therefore requires a 3.5mm cable connection directly to your desktop. If you can overlook that limitation, the wide sound offered by the Bose Companion 2 Series III is likely to immediately win you over.
The dual-speaker hardware adds Bose’s TrueSpace stereo digital processing circuitry, which sounds a lot like fancy words but it’s more than just marketing terminology. Once connected to a desktop computer, this TrueSpace processing helps the Bose speakers offer stronger low-end performance than speakers twice the price and often require more desktop space. Most important is that at 7.5 x 5.9 x 3.1 inches in size, these are not large speakers, but they feel as if they should be four times larger than they are given the sound quality.
Volume controls take place on the right-hand side speaker and Bose suggests setting your computer to 75% and then adjusting the speakers to find the ideal volume for gaming, streaming, YouTubing, etc. If the $149 price point is a sweet spot for your budget, this is the best desktop computer speaker to pick up today.
Check out the Bose Companion 2 Series III on Amazon.
Best Value: Creative Pebble V3
Highly regarded as one of the best values in desktop speakers today, the Creative Pebble V3 dominates the low-end speaker market.
Packed with custom-tuned 2.25-inch full-range drivers, Creative claims the third version of its popular Pebble speaker is now 50% louder than the previous generation. Along with increased volume, the upgraded V3 hardware also adds deeper bass and a richer overall sound. Throw in a built-in gain switch for stronger-sounding amplified audio and you have up to 16W of power in total.
The drivers themselves are elevated to around 45 degrees so the sound is pushed directly at you when rested on a table or desktop stand. What’s more is that with the Creative Pebble V3, the company added connectivity for Bluetooth 5.0 and a 3.5mm audio jack input. This means you can quickly connect so you can start listening to the crisp dialog the Pebble V3 delivers, even in its compact size.
Measuring only 4.8 x 4.7 x 4.6 inches in total, there is no question the Creative Pebble V3 sound punches well above its size and value.
Check out the Creative Pebble V3 on Amazon.
Best for Gaming: Logitech G560
Standing out among gaming desktop speakers requires outstanding sound, easy setup, and the promise of lasting quality, and the Logitech G560 speaker set answers the call with its 240W of power for room filling sound no matter your game genre of choice.
Powered by Logitech’s G LIGHTSYNC Technology, the first thing anyone notices about the G560 speaker is the use of RGB lighting. Outside of adding a little personalized style, the lighting itself will sync to explosions or give away the sound of approaching enemies for a heightened desktop speaker experience. Each part of the lighting system offers four zones each with its own colorized LEDs and you can use software to help configure the lighting any way you choose.
Lighting aside, the G560 speaker set is Bluetooth compatible and offers complete surround sound with DTS:X enabled. The Logitech G560 is also compatible with Windows, macOS, smartphones, and tablets so you can use them for multiple functions. The takeaway with the Logitech G560 is that you can crank the volume up as loud as you want as the sound quality continues regardless of how much you try and push Logitech to its hardware limits.
Check out the Logitech G560 on Amazon.
Best Style: SteelSeries Arena 7
- 2-way Speaker design
- Powerful bass
- RGB lighting
- USB, AUX, Optical, Wired, Bluetooth
Like the Logitech G560, the SteelSeries Arena 7 are fantastic desktop speakers offering 2.1 sound thanks to the use of dual speakers and a 6.5-inch downward-firing subwoofer.
Right away the Arena 7 speakers grab your attention thanks to their use of 4-zone LEDs included on each of the two primary speakers that offer an ambient lighting show that reacts to music as well as on-screen events. Approximately 16.8 million colors are available to help put on a show on your wall or throughout a room as well as immediately connecting to any other SteelSeries products you might have available.
As far as the sound itself, the dual speakers that make up the Arena 7 hardware are promised to be acoustically accurate by SteelSeries and can be placed in a way near a desktop for an immersive audio experience. Premium organic fibers cover up the tweeters and with the use of SteelSeries’ software on a computer, you can adjust the 10-band EQ sound as well as remove mic feedback, the latter of which is alone worth the price of the SteelSeries Arena 7 speaker hardware.
The speakers themselves can connect to your PC, gaming or otherwise, through USB, Bluetooth, a 3.5mm audio jack, or any type of available optical input.
Check out the SteelSeries Arena 7 on Amazon.
Best Soundbar: Razer Leviathan V2
The Razer Leviathan V2 is out to prove that a soundbar can sound just as well, if not better than separate speakers.
At five pounds, the Razer Leviathan V2 isn’t lightweight, and at 27 inches across, you’ll need to make sure you have room, but if the weight and size don’t bother you, prepare for excellent sound.
First and foremost, it’s important to know that the soundbar isn’t all you are getting as there is also an included downward-firing subwoofer. The soundbar itself is packed with two full-range drivers which help drive a virtual 7.1 surround and a very realistic audio experience so games and movies sound as good as they look on your PC.
Packed with Bluetooth 5.2, the Razer Leviathan V2 looks to connect wirelessly while enabling a latent-free connection that you can use for a desktop or pair with up to eight additional devices. Add in Razer’s downloadable software for tweaking a variety of the Leviathan V2 settings and you’ll quickly find out a soundbar might be the best way to get desktop computer sound.
Check out the Razer Leviathan V2 on Amazon.
Best for Creators: Edifier MR4
Whether it’s your latest YouTube video or a recording of your most recent podcast, the Edified MR4 is the best desktop speaker set for content creators.
This speaker set is quick to impress as it’s based on the highly regarded Edifier bookshelf series of speakers which are professionally tuned for musicians. Inside each of the two speakers are a one-inch silk dome tweeter and a four-inch composite woofer that result in near-perfect audio, especially for dialog.
Unlike many desktop speakers that offer a plastic casing, the Edifier MR4 set focuses on wooden hardware which helps reduce resonance and keep dialog as true sounding as possible. The rest of the design of the speakers feels pretty standard at 11 inches in height and 8.98 inches in depth.
Outside of the terrific speaker sound, the Edifier MR4 also includes an RCA input for connecting to older music players like CD players as well as desktop computers. AUX input makes it easy to connect to a smartphone or tablet and a 3.5mm jack adds support for headphone use.
Check out the Edified MR4 on Amazon.
Best Splurge: Razer Nommo Pro
When money is no object around the best desktop speakers, the Razer Nommo Pro is the absolute best option, as long as $600 doesn’t sound too crazy.
For the price, you will receive a THX-certified premium audio experience that gives you exactly what you are paying for. Whenever you consider a desktop speaker a splurge, you want big sound and with 210W worth of audio power, the Razer Nommo Pro delivers. They might be among the loudest desktop speakers you will ever have the privilege of listening to, they are that good.
On top of the RGB lighting that emanates from underneath each of the two separate speakers, you have the ability to control the speaker directly from your computer or a smartphone app. From the app or PC software, you can customize the lighting on the speaker as well as adjust a variety of EQ settings like volume or bass or choose from a few different preset audio profiles for Razer’s idea of what makes for great sound.
Aside from the speakers and their Dolby virtual surround sound technology, an included subwoofer provides a downward firing sound that may very well make your desk shake from time to time.
Check the Razer Nommo Pro out on Amazon.
What to Know Before Buying Desktop Computer Speakers
Unsurprisingly, buying desktop speakers isn’t the same as buying headphones or even speakers for a television. However, there are some similarities that you want to focus on like audio performance, ensuring the right connection type, and extras like RGB lighting. It’s also important to know if you would prefer to go with a wired or wireless option, as this could impact overall audio performance though won’t have much impact on price.
A wired option is likely to have better sound without any possibility of audio lag but it also limits you to not having some of the latest and greatest speakers. If you can live with the possibility of some audio lag every now and then, wireless is the best way to go.
As far as sound itself, having a downward-firing sound in a subwoofer is a huge benefit, though only a few options on this list provide that as a feature. Beyond that, looking at the tweeter or physical speaker size will help influence your decision. Bigger isn’t always better so looking at options like Razer that include downloadable software for adjusting EQ settings is going to come in handy as well.
Using Desktop Computer Speakers: What It’s Like
Any of the desktop speakers on this list will provide vast improvements over the default sound of any speakers included with a desktop computer. Not to mention that many desktop computers still don’t include any kind of speakers at all, so having any speaker will be necessary for any sound whatsoever.
Razer is definitely one of the best names on this list when it comes to speakers and, given their strength in gaming accessories and laptops, they know how to make a great sound. Add in their ownership of THX and there is a better-than-good chance any Razer product will sound great to most desktop computer owners. The same goes for Logitech as they also have a deep history in computer and speaker accessories, so products like the Logitech G560 will stand out.
Of course, the Creative Pebble V3 and the Bose Companion 2 Series III both sound great, if at different ends of the price spectrum. The bottom line is that no matter which speaker on this list you choose, you are getting vastly better sound than built-in hardware plus unique styles and fun experiences with RGB lighting.
The image featured at the top of this post is ©Gorodenkoff/Shutterstock.com.