The Best PC Speakers

By Julio Franco · 29 replies
Oct 12, 2016
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  1. A good audio setup is essential when it comes to fully experiencing music, movies and games on a PC. Sadly, the speakers that come bundled or built in with off-the-shelf systems rarely cut it.

    There are a few factors to consider for finding the right set, such as footprint, controls, features, budget and, of course, sound quality. We’ve done the dirty work of researching various PC speakers to bring the best options in three distinct categories: best studio speakers, best 2.1 speakers, and best budget speakers.

    Read the complete article.

  2. mosu

    mosu TS Guru Posts: 474   +84

    I'll stick to M-Audio for semi-pro quality at 200 bucks. For budget, I'll prefer Logitech at Bose's price range, because Bose delivers just for high end products.I have never tested Bowers & Wilkins MM-1 , but they have great setups for audiophiles.
  3. bmw95

    bmw95 TS Maniac Posts: 199   +164

    Hmmm. Would it be possible for you guys to broaden your horizons in terms of speakers you review? Seeing Bose speakers recommended at any point is sort of a turn off :(. I don't know a ton of speakers companies, but if I can draw from all the cool different headphone companies out there producing unique sets, I'd imagine it's the same with speakers as well. Probably a lot of bookshelf speakers that would make great PC speakers for this review.
  4. yRaz

    yRaz Nigerian Prince Posts: 2,325   +1,433

    I was thinking the same thing.

    I'm disappointed that there was no mention of the Klipsch Promedia 2.1 speakers. I've had the same set since 2004 and they sound great. I've read that there have been has been another revision in which they fixed some of the initial complaints. They've been on the market for 14 years now and that alone should be a testament to their quality.
    Reehahs likes this.
  5. mcborge

    mcborge TS Guru Posts: 426   +278

    I'm still using the same edifier 2.1 speakers I got when socket A athlons were mainstream, the speakers cost me £20 pounds as they were an end of line product and they have seen out every main system I've built and hopefully will see out a few more.
    EDIT: I just got my hands on a set of corsair SP2500's for £50 in mint condition... Talk about a bass boost.
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2017
  6. Skjetne

    Skjetne TS Enthusiast Posts: 35   +10

    One set that totally blew my mind where Bose Companion 20. Amazing compared to the size.

    But B&W MM1 is my favorite. Have had mine for 6 years now
  7. nismo91

    nismo91 TS Evangelist Posts: 930   +33

    Can't agree more. At least logitech still makes those. Not everyone is willing to spend $500 on receiver and 5.1 speaker kit just to enjoy surround sound from their PC games. It appears that surround sound for PC gaming has been associated by "virtual surround headphones" today.
  8. Skidmarksdeluxe

    Skidmarksdeluxe TS Evangelist Posts: 8,647   +3,274

    It's different strokes for different folks but I couldn't care less about external speakers on my desktop PC. Decent quality STEREO headphones (no, not that gaming headset stuff either) and a decent quality DAC is all I require. I wouldn't mind trying some of these nice speakers reviewed here in my living room though but I'm still very satisfied with what I have at the moment which are the Logitech Z506's.
  9. Burty117

    Burty117 TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 3,147   +915

    They did mention them:

    Although I have to admit, when I google for them (in the UK anyway) they aren't sold anymore as far as I can tell? Looks like you can get them still in America though.
  10. mbrowne5061

    mbrowne5061 TS Evangelist Posts: 747   +357

    I run a couple of old (but well taken care of) Infinity speakers off of a Yahmaha receiver, through optical S/PDIF from a dedicated sound card. They're centered around my TV, which is elsewhere in the same room. Gives me excellent sound for music and movies. For gaming, I just use some wireless Logitech G930s.
  11. cbsvball

    cbsvball TS Rookie

    Funny part is they don't mention anything about Dayton's B652's for budget speakers...I have a pair powered with the Lepai LP-2020A+ amp and the Dayton Sub-1200 Subwoofer and for the price I don't think you can find a better combo.
  12. EClyde

    EClyde TS Evangelist Posts: 1,310   +434

    I have the Bose and they work fine. Speakers are personal and there are no best
  13. R Crook

    R Crook TS Rookie

    I have 2 JBL (circular) speakers from Costco Canada....great digital sound...on Linux or Windblows PCs
  14. wiyosaya

    wiyosaya TS Evangelist Posts: 1,937   +764

    If you ask me, the term "PC Speakers" can be interpreted any way that you want. What the PC is used for and the budget of the owner makes a difference.

    I have an HTPC that is used only for my home theater. I have a Yamaha receiver that is connected to the PC via HDMI. For front/center speakers, I recently upgraded to Paradigm Prestige 95Fs and 55C (the 55C was free with the pair of 95Fs). I have a Paradigm Servo-15 sub, and a much older set of Paradigm Monitor 5se MK III for rear speakers. At some point, I will upgrade the rears.

    For my gaming PC, though, I use an old pair of Sony headphones which are good enough for me. Maybe, at some point, I'll change that, and I like the suggestion of using a reasonable pair or set of bookshelf speakers. For another PC, I have a pair of Logitech speakers which are also good enough for me.

    To me, some of the speakers in this article look like they are filled with bling, and I would probably avoid them. Also, Bose has great marketing, but for the same amount of money that one might spend on Bose, one can probably get better sounding speakers from another manufacturer - especially if that manufacturer is one that is known for quality speakers.

    If you can, I highly recommend comparing speakers side-by-side, however, that is not that easy to do for PC speakers. Often, one just has to take a shot in the dark. If expectations are not set high, then one will probably be satisfied with whatever one chooses.
  15. Capaill

    Capaill TS Evangelist Posts: 452   +181

    I bought a cheap pair of Genius SP-HF1800A wooden speakers because I wanted separate bass and treble controls. These things are massive and look great if you have a large monitor. They have separate bass, mid and treble drivers and put out very good sound. The downside (and the reason they are cheap) is that the quality control appears to be poor and many report them failing. I have had mine almost 2 years and the right speaker does sometimes cut out but it works after I power it off/on. The only alternative speakers I was considering were the Creative T40 at 2-3 times the price.
  16. Axle Grease

    Axle Grease TS Booster Posts: 103   +37

    I've been using the same Kenwood stereo bookshelf speakers since 1986 soon after I got my Amiga 1000, but much of the "surround" on both speakers has been eaten away over time, and the audio clips at lower frequencies. I need something new. I'll have a look at some of the ones mentioned in the article and comments.
  17. SantistaUSA

    SantistaUSA TS Booster Posts: 94   +22

    I own a Logitech z-5500 that I've got back in 2010 for $280, I use it with my HTPC amazing speakers!
  18. lripplinger

    lripplinger TS Addict Posts: 283   +98

    Still using my Altec Lansing 251 system to this day. It is more than a decade old, but still working. I think I bought them back in 2001 or 2002. It is a 5.1 setup, although I don't use the rear speakers; I just have the front and center channel hooked up. They still sound great. They do make a lot of hissing though when you turn up the volume nob on them. Plus, the sub woofer is getting tired on it. But I may consider looking for just a 2.1 type of setup here and retire these. Altec Lansing was really great back in the day. A shame they aren't really around anymore.
  19. My computer delivers the sound for music, Netflix, DVD, Blu-ray and CD's (although I rip those to the computer). I use a sound card (Asus Essence STX, currently $280 where I live), connected by RCA cable to a NAD 316 BEE amp (about $350. and comes with remote) and the 40 watt amp can power almost any speaker you care to use. I use Ambiance II D-box (they are about 3 feet high, 2 speakers, some kind of tweeter device). Rescued them from my brother's garage before they were dumpstered when he got married.
    So didn't spend much and it sounds surprisingly good. Plus you can change out any part to something better
  20. Mouldy CPU

    Mouldy CPU TS Member Posts: 21

    I use a set of Altec Lansing ADA305 (from 2002), when I feel like blasting some music. Most of the time, though, I prefer a pair of headphones.
  21. Evernessince

    Evernessince TS Evangelist Posts: 2,108   +1,286

    I'd stick with headphones, they are just better for listening. With Binaural audio becoming more and more popular thanks to VR, I'd stick with a good set of cans. If anyone hasn't tried out Binaural audio yet, google virtual haircut with a pair of headphones on. It's pretty mind blowing how much more realistic it sounds compared to traditional recording.
  22. Wendy Oltman

    Wendy Oltman TS Booster Posts: 129   +16

    I use Audionic Bluetooth ones and they are working great. Before that I was using Fugoo bluetooth speakers. To me speakers/headphones preferences is dependent on individual tastes and preferences and there is no one right best option
  23. TomSEA

    TomSEA TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,718   +860

    I had an original set of Klipsch ProMedia 2.1, decided to try something different and went with Creative Sound Blasters. They lasted less than a year before dying on me and I went back to the Klipsch speakers. Should have never left them to begin with. Excellent sound and great value.
  24. TitoBXNY

    TitoBXNY TS Addict Posts: 236   +50

    I have a SMSL SD793-II DAC /Amplifier with a pair of Fluance SX6. SMSL SA50 powers them. Several headphones to listen depending on mood. The Fluance cost me $79.95. They are without question the best bargain speaker that I have ever purchased. I also power them with an old VSX-D1S that I've had for 25 years.
  25. Techstar

    Techstar TS Member Posts: 94   +18

    Sorry, not even close. I have found you get the best sound by channeling the audio stream through your network enabled Tuner/Amplifier and using top quality Martin Logan Reserve ESL Series Summit X Loudspeakers backed up with a set of Klipschorn floorstanding speakers in the back corners. The combination is unbeatable at any price. I went with cherry finish all around, but that will depend on your decor.

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