The best computer speakers allow you to hear every bone-crunching hit in Mortal Kombat 11 or every footstep in Call of Duty Warzone. After a long hard day, maybe you need to blast out some Lupe Fiasco. While we will always sing the praises of exactly why you need a good gaming headset, there\’s still something beautiful about just sitting back and filling the room with dying sounds of evil aliens, Nazis, and zombies.
Space is a significant factor in deciding the best computer speakers for your desk. If you\’ve got the room, go for the typical 2.1, left/right speaker setup with a subwoofer. These will give you an excellent depth of sound and positional audio. The only downside is that this option is usually more expensive. If you don\’t have the room or the money, soundbars are great options as well. Those too can come with a subwoofer you can tuck under your desk for some rump-shaking sound.
Leading the pack are the Logitech G560 speakers, with their immersive Lightsync RGB lighting, which doesn\’t tie you into any janky software. If you\’re on a budget and still want some decent sound, the Creative Pebble Plus speakers are maybe the best computer speakers you can find for under $50.
We\’ve got choices for everyone from the budget-conscience to the sound snobs; the best computer speakers have the quality, balance, and bass you need to make all the noise you want.
Best computer speakers
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1. Logitech G560
The best RGB gaming speakers
Weight: 3.94lbs (satellites), 12.1lb (sub) | Size: 5.8 x 6.5 x 4.6 in (satellites), 15.9 x 10 x 8.1 in (sub) | Drivers: 6.5-in subwoofer, 2-in tweeters | Supported Connectivity: USB, 3.5mm, Bluetooth
$198.99View at Amazon$526View at Amazon536 Amazon customer reviews
Immersive Lightsync RGB lightingBuilt in DTS:X Virtual SurroundLarge subwoofer
When it comes to RGB lighting, chances are you either hate it or love it. The PC Gamer office may be divided on this topic, but there\’s one thing we can agree on: Logitech\’s G560 Lightsync feature is anything but gimmicky. If there\’s one RGB product we\’d recommend, that might impact your PC gaming experience, it\’s this one.
Logitech\’s software allows you to choose between two control modes for the speakers. Hardware control ditches the software and uses Bluetooth or AUX input for lighting. You get a gentle rainbow color cycle that also acts as an audio visualizer, which flashes and brightens to the beat of the music. Switching over to software control allows you to choose between fixed color, color cycle, breathing, audio visualizer, and screen sampler lighting modes.
Screen sampler, however, is where the G560 shines. Much like ambient TV backlighting products, the software takes user-defined areas of the screen and extends the colors outwards to create a very immersive lighting experience. Since a good portion of this effect relies on the rear-facing LEDs, the speakers need to be positioned right beside your display with their back against a wall to get the best result.
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2. Creative Pebble Plus
The best budget computer speakers
Weight: 5.45 lbs | Size: 4.5 x 4.8 x 4.5 in (satellites), 5.9 x 7.7 x 8 in (sub) | Supported Connectivity: 3.5mm
Prime$39.99View at Amazon
AffordableSmall footprintExcellent clarityTons of wires
When you\’re out shopping for cheap PC speakers below $50, it\’s easy to be overwhelmed by choice. It doesn\’t help that reliable brands have multiple options in the same price range. The differences at the low-end can be minimal, but the Creative Pebble Plus speakers stood apart from the competition with their big sound despite the compact size.
With a total power output of 8 watts, we were amazed to see the speakers pumping out crisper audio than some of their competitors using two to three times the amount of power. While they won\’t produce the highest volume of sound, we found little distortion even with volume up. The only complaint here is a lack of bass control to complement the convenient volume knob located on the right speaker.
Wherever the Pebble Plus speakers lacked in oomph, they made up for in clarity. This is why we highly recommend these speakers for students on the go, as the speakers are small enough to fit on any cramped desk surface. They\’re easily the most portable system we tried and performed best in a smaller bedroom or dorm.
Like any other pair of speakers below $50, the Creative Pebble Plus speaker is easily beat when compared to a mid-range set. But for gamers on a tight budget, we found these speakers to be the clear winner.
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3. Klipsch R-15PM Powered Monitors
The best high end computer speakers
Weight: 10lbs (each unit) | Size: 12.5 x 7 x 8.11 in (each unit) | Drivers: 5.25-in subwoofer, 1-in tweeters | Supported Connectivity: USB, Optical, 3.5mm, Bluetooth
No price informationCheck Amazon321 Amazon customer reviews
Extensive connectivity optionsBuilt-in amplifier
Most users couldn\’t imagine spending upwards of $500 on a PC speaker system, but audiophiles crave high-end as any PC gamer lusts for the best graphics cards. High-end desktop speaker systems are typically composed of powered monitors and a separate subwoofer. And while many of them offer exceptional sound clarity, we found them lacking in consumer-friendly features PC gamers would benefit from. That is until we tested the Klipsch R-15PM powered monitors.
With up to five input options, including Bluetooth, USB, 3.5mm AUX, digital optical, and analog RCA / phono, the R-15PM is the most versatile set of speakers we\’ve tested. A small remote control allows you to plug in multiple sources at once and switch them on the fly. The built-in amplifier eliminates the need for an external DAC to help keep your desk clean and allows you to forgo the a/v receiver when used in the living room.
On their own, the speakers already delivered consistent robust sound in all ranges, but once we added the Klipsch R-10SW subwoofer into the equation, the R-15PM monitors quickly entered a class of their own. While passive speakers have to be paired with an external amplifier engineered to work with a multitude of speakers, the internal amp inside the R-15PM was fine-tuned for one specific model. And the optimization shows as the system produced unmatched accuracy in all of our tests.
They aren\’t the cheapest high-end speakers by any means, especially when you consider the cost of adding a subwoofer. Once we consider their simplicity and consumer-friendly features, the R-15PM monitors have quickly become our top choice for high-end PC speakers.
Best gaming headset | Best gaming monitor | Best HDMI cable for gaming
Best microphone for streaming | Best SSD for gaming | Best CPU for gaming
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4. Harmon Kardon SoundSticks 3Wireless
The best designed computer speakers
Weight: 1.5lbs (satellites), 4.9lbs (sub) | Size: 2 x 2 x 10 in (satellites) 9.19 x 10.9 x 10.19 in (sub) | Drivers: 6-in subwoofer, 1-in tweeters | Supported Connectivity: 3.5mm, Bluetooth
$195.99View at Harman$195.99View at Harman$289.96View at Amazon831 Amazon customer reviews
Unique designBluetooth supportNo headphone jack
When building a gaming PC or upgrading a battle station, speakers typically aren\’t very high on the priority list. But jumping from the integrated set of speakers on your monitor to a $200 pair of external speakers can give you a sound quality boost similar to the performance increase you\’d see when switching from integrated to discrete graphics. When moving from testing our low-spec budget speakers to the Harman Kardon SoundSticks, the difference was night and day.
Priced at $170 for the standard SoundSticks III and $230 for the SoundSticks Wireless with Bluetooth connectivity, the price tag on our top choice for mid-range speakers can be a tough pill to swallow. But when you consider their one-of-a-kind design and equally satisfying performance, these speakers are a worthwhile investment and great addition to any system. Among our speaker tests within the same range, the SoundSticks excelled in audio clarity with little distortion even when cranked to uncomfortably high volumes.
Unlike most Bluetooth speakers, the SoundSticks enter and stay in pairing mode as soon as they\’re turned on. This made it easy for us to switch between audio sources at any time without having to touch the speakers. We also noticed little loss in sound quality up to the 30ft recommended range. Unfortunately, for those that are using the speakers in an apartment complex or dorm, that does mean nearby strangers can connect to them at any time.
With their beautiful looks and satisfying sound, the SoundSticks were an easy favorite for PC gaming. But for big-budget audio purists looking for the best of the best, the performance and expandability of powered bookshelf speakers or studio monitors remain tough to beat.
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5. Razer Leviathan Sound Bar
The best sound bar computer speakers
Weight: 4.4lbs (soundbar), 5.1lbs (sub) | Size: 19.7 x 3 x 2.8 in (soundbar), 9.5 x 8.7 x 9.5 in (sub) | Drivers: 5.25-in subwoofer, .74-in tweeters, 2.5-in full range | Supported Connectivity: Optical, 3.5mm, Bluetooth, NFC
Prime$173.04View at AmazonPrime$489.99View at Amazon314 Amazon customer reviews
Built in bluetoothDolby 5.1 virtual surround
One of the great things about gaming headsets is that they take up very little space. Unfortunately, if you\’re looking for a great set of speakers, chances are you\’ll have to sacrifice some of the real estates around your gaming PC. Luckily, Razer has a solution for the modern PC gaming minimalist: the Leviathan soundbar.
The Razer Leviathan is designed to be placed directly underneath your monitor and features both wired and wireless input options to help reduce clutter. We especially appreciated the notch in the middle, which allows you to run your keyboard and mouse cord underneath cleanly.
While it certainly won\’t match an actual 5.1 surround sound system, the Dolby 5.1 virtual surround sound built into the Leviathan performed exceptionally well in our tests. We found it quite easy to pinpoint gunfire and footsteps using the soundbar. Considering its compact nature, the Leviathan sounds fantastic.
Priced around $200, Razer\’s soundbar directly competes with several other options on this list. It may not match the sound quality and feature set of the Logitech G560, but the Leviathan remains a smart choice for PC gamers who want a simple single speaker setup.
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6. Creative Stage 2.1
The best mid-range speakers
Weight: 2.64lbs (soundbar), 6.8lbs (sub) | Size: 2.75 x 21.6 x 3 in (soundbar), 16.5 x 4.5 x 9.8 in (sub) | Supported Connectivity: 3.5mm, USB, Bluetooth 2.1, Optical
Prime$89.99View at Amazon$89.99View at Newegg
Decent bassVery versatile, with loads of inputsGood price
Creative\’s latest subwoofer and soundbar combo is a competent mid-range sound system, with a pleasing number of connections. There\’s a 3.5mm, Bluetooth 2.1, Optical, and USB option, so it not only fits with most PC builds and laptops but can be handy for other devices around the home. In terms of bass, it rumbles away nicely, and if you\’re looking to crank out games at a decent volume, this speaker system performs well via its dual 20W speakers in the soundbar and a 40W subwoofer.
The problem is that the speakers don\’t perform so well with quieter sounds, and the frequency response is uninspiring at 55Hz-20,000Hz. That means you do lose a bit of subtlety in incidental game noises, which are the bread and butter of decent gaming headsets. There are a couple of other tiny issues, like a short power cable and a slightly flimsy remote, but overall the lower price makes up for this speaker set\’s shortcomings. At less than $100, it\’s well worth a look.
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7. Creative T100
The best all-round speakers
Weight: 2.2lbs (each unit) | Size: Size: 8.5 x 3.5 x 4.8 in | Drivers: 2.75-in full-range | Supported Connectivity: Optical, 3.5mm, Bluetooth, NFC
Prime$89.99View at Amazon
Crisp and clear audioRestrained two-speaker designGreat set of features/controls
Another release from Creative, the T100s are exceptionally workman-like, competent desk speakers. For around the $100 mark, you could do a lot worse, but that makes them sound much more plain than they are. They have a relatively restrained and straightforward design and limit their physical presence and footprint to that of two small-ish speakers that are deceptively good. The two speakers have simple but effective on-board controls, and the handy remote comes with enough presets and options for you to find the right one for you. The Creative T100 will connect via Bluetooth, optical cable, and regular audio jack, so while they\’ll demand a bit of extra desk space, the wireless option is a good bonus.
The sound that the speakers produce is deceptively good. The 2.75-inch/70mm full-range drivers in each unit have a good range for such small speakers and even offered a realistic surround effect when necessary too. While they can\’t compete with a separate woofer and the bass systems, with the range that such setups bring, the T100s do a great job of handling everything you throw at them.
The overall sound is crisp and clear but, perhaps due to the bass being a little lacking, it\’s not as rich and rounded as we\’d like. The clarity is such that dialogue—something headsets can often feel light with—is particularly clear. Other audio cues and details are good too, with anything in the mid-to-high-end of the audio spectrum cutting across everything else particularly clearly and successfully.
The T100s are reliable, competent, and do a spectacular job, making them pleasing all-rounders. They couldn\’t entirely blow my socks off with the likes of Call of Duty: Warzone, for example, but they are as good any desk-bound set of speakers that we\’ve tested.
How we test computer speakers
Since we\’re looking for the best speakers for PC gaming, we kept the testing process simple and focused on gaming. We tested each set of speakers in-game for several hours through a wide range of games with rich soundtracks and sounds, including Doom Eternal, Call of Duty: Warzone, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, Overwatch, and Hellblade: Senua\’s Sacrifice. Afterward, we ran listening tests, which included snippets from the film Jurassic World and a variety of albums in lossless FLAC format such as Daft Punk\’s Random Access Memories and Psychic from Darkside.
With gaming in mind, one of the most important features to test for was the left/right balance. To check this in-game, we used the CS: GO Audio Test Chamber workshop project by geri43. It\’s a simple map that allows you to reproduce all sorts of in-game sounds, including ladder movements, sniper scopes, gunfire, footsteps, and more. Moving around the map or behind a wall allowed us to manipulate the location of the sounds and test how easily we could identify their direction with the speakers.