Computer Speakers Buying Guide

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Whether it’s for creating music, watching movies, streaming and gaming, video meetings, or just day-to-day use, having a good set of computer speakers can provide a major difference for those big on their audio. And with many desktop computers often overlooking built-in speakers, getting yourself a set of separate computer speakers can prove to be quite the investment, particularly if you’re looking to improve your setup. But with no shortage of brands, models and types available, which set of computer speakers should you be looking to plug in? Find out in this Canstar Blue guide.

What are computer speakers?

Plug-in computer speakers

Computer speakers are an output hardware device used to produce audio direct from your computer. With many standard desktop computers not having built-in speakers, people turn to computer speakers to provide them with the sound needed for their music, videos or other content, and often work by simply plugging into the sound card jack or USB port, depending on the model.

What to consider when buying computer speakers

Like any other part of your laptop/computer, there’s plenty to consider when it comes to purchasing a set of speakers, but what exactly should you be looking for? Here are a few key areas to keep an eye out for the next time you’re shopping:

  • Compatibility: Before you set your heart on a set of speakers, it’s important to check they are actually compatible with your set up, whether it’s through a USB, plug-in jack or even Bluetooth, meaning it’s best to check what hardware you’re running before heading to the shops.
  • Space: Computer speakers aren’t the biggest addition to your desk, but if you’re cramped for space, you may need to take into account how much room your speakers will take up. Some speakers can be quite small, particularly portable models, while others may include a number of speakers, meaning you’ll have to find room for them all, or invest in a new computer desk.
  • Sound quality: As with any audio purchase, you’ll want something that can clearly convey sound to where you’re sitting, meaning if you’re a big music fan, or you work within the multimedia industry, you’ll likely have to invest in some high-quality speakers to get what you want. Looking into the capabilities of the speakers can help you find the best option for your audio needs.
  • Price: As with any purchase, the price tag can often be the deciding factor in which brand and model you end up buying. Generally with speakers, the higher quality models will cost you more, but you also generally get what you pay for, meaning if audio is important to you, it’s worth investing more into a better quality model or brand.

Top Budget Computer Speakers

Logitech Z120 Multimedia Speaker

Logitech Multimedia Speakers

Powered by USB, the Logitech Z120 Multimedia Speakers are a cost-effective set of speakers featuring in-built controls, ultra-compact design and a double speaker set to provide you with every bit of sound you could want from your computer, all without breaking the bank. Easily portable and featuring a 3.5mm audio input, you can also play your favourite music via MP3 player or other source via AUX, allowing you to do more than just plug it into your computer. The Logitech Z120 Multimedia Speakers are a cheap yet effective set of computer speakers, providing performance without sacrificing your hard-earned money.

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Top Mid-Tier Computer Speakers

BOSE Companion 2 Series III Multimedia Speaker System

Bose Computer Speakers

A heavyweight of the audio industry, BOSE’s signature sound engineering makes sure you hear it all with just two speakers, allowing you to enjoy your favourite tunes, videos and more with a unique digital signal processing unit that consistently produces clear, full sound. With an additional device playable via the AUX input, the BOSE Companion 2 Series III Multimedia Speaker System is a suitable option for people wanting high quality speakers for their computer at a reasonable price.

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Top High-End Computer Speakers

Edifier E235 Luna E Speakers

Edifier Computer Speakers

The Edifier E235 Luna E is a THX-certified award-winning Bluetooth speaker specially designed to enhance audio for a superior sound. With dynamic range control, 3D sound processing and a signal reception of up to 90m, this speaker system produces top-tier sound where ever you place them. Connectable via optical or AUX input, this Bluetooth 4.0 enabled speaker truly is a game-changer, allowing you to enjoy the sound regardless if you stay in the one spot or are constantly on the move. If you’re after crisp sound at your work station and money isn’t an issue, the Edifier E235 Luna E may be the speaker system you’ve been looking for.

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Where can I buy computer speakers?

Computer speakers are available at a wide variety of stores, including electronics stores such as The Good Guys and JB Hi-Fi, as well as through general office supply retailers, including Officeworks, in addition to directly through brands.

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How much do computer speakers cost?

Like any other type of speaker, there’s a wide price range when it comes to hooking up some speakers to your computer, with some speakers able to be picked up for under $10, while other setups and brands can cost hundreds of dollars. With speakers however, you often get what you pay for, meaning investing a bit more into your speakers can equate to a clearer sound, although a higher price tag doesn’t always mean that you’re getting the best value for money, meaning a bit of research can ensure you hit the right note.

Are computer speakers better than headphones?

Gaming Computer with Speakers

Working out whether computer speakers are better than headphones is going to be largely based on your environment. If you’re in a working space or generally quiet setting, then headphones are great for keeping your noise at a minimum (while also potentially blocking out other noises), but if you’re at home or in an area where noise is permitted, computer speakers are highly recommended as they give you an entirely new listening experience.

And considering many speakers are competitively priced in comparison to headphones, they may be a cheaper option for your setup, and allow you to really make the space your own. Regardless of where your allegiance lies when it comes to your audio preferences, doing your research into what’s available and what will work with your computer will ensure you’re enjoying your favourite tunes in no time.

Photo Credit: Viacheslav Nikolaenko/shutterstock.com, SuphaksornThongwongboot/shutterstock.com, Gorodenkoff/shutterstock.com

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