We have tracked down a selection of the best computer speakers that deliver great audio without hurting your wallet.
Now that so many people are working from home full-time, a lot of us are spending a lot of time in front of our home computers. And if there’s one thing that’s true about most computers, it’s that they have pretty terrible built-in speakers.
Chances are, you’ll max out the volume button on your laptop and still find the sound too soft to hear your boss on a Zoom or Google Meet conference. And if it’s that bad for a conference call, can you imagine streaming a movie or listening to music?
Luckily, you don’t have to just accept your computer’s shoddy speakers as a fact of life. You can either listen to audio with headphones or, even better, with computer speakers. And there’s even better news: you don’t have to break the bank to get decent computer speakers. There are lots of great speakers for a shopper on a budget.
What to look for when shopping for computer speakers
So what should you look for with computer speakers? A good place to start is with connectivity. Do you mind having wired speakers or do you prefer Bluetooth connectivity?
Next, consider whether you plan to work at your desk all the time or if you want to move around the house. If you want to move around, you’re better off not getting giant speakers. Even if you do plan to work at your desk, consider how much room you have. No one likes working on a crowded desk.
Then, consider what you’re getting these speakers for. Do you just plan to use them for work? Will you use them for calls? Are you a PC gamer? Do you want to listen to classical music while you work? Are you going to watch movies? Some computer speakers will be better than others for all of these different purposes.
Finally — and most importantly — make sure you get speakers that deliver good sound. You don’t have to be an audiophile to realise that some speakers are just rubbish. Computer speakers can also hiss and pop sometimes.
To help make your search for the perfect budget computer speakers a little easier, we’ve rounded up some of the best options that don’t cost an arm and a leg. You can even find top products from leading brands like Bose and Logitech.
These are the best budget computer speakers in 2020.
Impressive sound • Support for two devices simultaneously • Good midrange definition • Well-built and durable • Headphone jack
No subwoofer • Not great bass definition • No wireless connectivity • Lacks treble and bass controls
While these speakers may be on the higher side of your budget, you won’t be disappointed with their sound quality.
They offer impressive sound with little distortion, even when the volume is cranked all the way up. One Amazon reviewer writes “The sound quality is crystal clear. These are easily the best speakers in my house now, much to the chagrin of my wife who does not always share my taste in music.”
Reviewers also particularly love the fact that, unlike many budget computer speakers, there is no telltale hiss when they’re plugged in but not playing sound. The speakers are easy to use, with the volume control right on the front, and they feature a headphone jack. In addition, you can plug them into two devices simultaneously — a feature that takes them one step up from most computer speakers.
Plug into the headphone jack of a computer • Durable construction • Compact • Simple to use • Can be used with more than just computers
Don’t connect by USB port • No Bluetooth connectivity • Wires are a little fragile
These speakers are a great choice for students or anyone on a tight budget.
Logitech S120These compact, durable speakers deliver the sound you want at a low price.
The speakers are easy to set up, plugging into any computer (or other device) with a headphone jack. They have a built-in knob for volume, and thanks to their compact size, they won’t take up much space on your desk.
Many reviewers also love these speakers because of how durable and resilient they are. They’re hefty enough to resist easily falling over if you accidentally bump them, and even if you do knock them down, they can take most falls. In fact, one reviewer writes “I dropped them 100 times, they still work. I tend to be a klutz, and have knocked these guys over at least twice a week since I bought them Aug 2016. The cover flies off one and across the room, but I set them back up and they still work.”
Minimalist, modern look • Includes USB-C connectivity • Features powerful 2-inch full-range drivers and passive radiators • Space-saving size for desks
No protective screen over the speakers themselves, making them fragile for travelling • Not the most durable • Wired
With a minimalist, modern look, these powerful, space-saving speakers are a solid choice for their price.
Creative Pebble V2These speakers are small, lightweight, modern and deliver powerful sound with minimal distortion.
Of course, the advantages of these speakers aren’t just their size and looks: it’s their audio quality. An Amazon reviewer writes “there is no distortion at loud settings and the bass is actually quite good. The overall quality of sound highlights both high and low midpoints very well.”
The speakers also have a 45-degree angle tilt, which is ideal for a listener sitting at a desk because it projects the audio up towards them. Not only that, but if you don’t mind spending a little more, you can get the speakers with a powerful down-firing subwoofer to make the sound even better (though you’ll obviously need a little more office space).
While the speakers are definitely small and light enough to be portable, they are a little on the fragile side so may not be the best for taking with you on a work trip.
Cables included • Can connect two devices via AUX at the same time • Great sound • Feature a bass knob • Easy to set up
Large footprint • No Bluetooth connectivity • Heavier
If you have the office space, these speakers will deliver great sound from your computer.
Edifier R980TIf you have the office space, these speakers will deliver great sound from your computer.
These speakers are a deal, with many reviewers expressing their surprise at just how good they are: They’re well made, easy to set up and feature wooden enclosures to minimise acoustic resonance. They also feature a flared bass reflex port to provide extra depth and bass quality.
Even better: these speakers also feature a bass knob so you can change the bass level for your needs.
Built-in blue LEDs look cool when streaming in the dark • Feature elliptical design for great sound • Connect easily via USB • Small footprint on desk • Portable
The bass is not the most impressive
These small, light and USB-powered speakers are a great choice for your laptop computer or your desktop.
Sanyun SW102These small, light, and USB-powered speakers are a great choice if you use a laptop instead of a desktop computer.
For example, one Amazon customer writes “These little guys are tiny but the sound is huge” and another reviewer writes “the sound is good enough that I can play the music on my laptop in one room and hear it on another floor.”
The speakers also just look cool on your desk, thanks to their compact, modern design and blue LED lights. The lights are an especially nice touch if you’re watching a movie or listening to music in low light. They also don’t need much space — always a plus if you don’t have a large desk.