Best computer speakers 2018: the best audio systems for your PC

 techradar.com  05/30/2018 21:25:45   Michelle Rae Uy

There are certain people out there that’ll tell you that the best headphones are the only way to get great sound out of the best PCs. However, not everyone is comfortable with wearing headphones all day. For these people, the best computer speakers are a dream come true. Still, like any PC hardware, finding the best computer speakers isn’t as easy as you’d think. Fortunately, we’ve created this list of the best computer speakers you can buy today.

You need to think about several important details when buying the best computer speakers. How do they sound? Do they have good stereo or surround sound separation? Do you get a headache after listening to them for just a few minutes? Do they have a balanced sound profile? You need to keep these details in mind when you’re looking at computer speakers. 

You should also think about what you’re going to do with your speakers. Are you going to be playing the best PC games, prioritizing immersion? Are you rewatching all the Marvel films to get over Infinity War? Or are you just going to be jamming out to the new Pusha T “album”? No matter what you plan to do, you should go out and pick up the best computer speakers on the market in 2018.

You’re not in this alone, however. We here on the TechRadar editorial team have created this list of the best computer speakers that we have tested or reviewed over the last year or so. So, sit down, put on some music and enjoy.

Audioengine A2+

Weight: 1.6kg left, 1.4kg right | Size: 6in x 4in x 5.25in | Drivers: 2.75-inch Kevlar woofers, ¾-inch silk dome tweeters | Supported Connectivity: Wireless with Audioengine’s W3 adapter | Audio Inputs: USB, RCA, 3.5mm stereo mini-jack | Outputs: RCA

Built-in digital-to-audio converter

Uncompressed audio through USB

No included subwoofer

Even if Audioengine’s A2+ came out four years ago, they’re still one of the best sets of speakers on the market. These aesthetically pleasing speakers are compatible with digital audio from your PCs USB port for uncompressed audio and unparalleled audio fidelity through its built in DAC. This winning combination means these speakers feature the highest sound quality in their class with amazing clarity and thumping bass.

When you realize that these small six-inch speakers don’t come with a sub, you start to learn that they really have a lot of bang for the buck. Be warned though, you might need to invest in a subwoofer for really low bass, or heavy bass sound at higher volumes. Luckily, they do come with an RCA output, so connecting one is a breeze. And, for just a few more dollars, you can pick up a pair of stands for even better audio.

Logitech Z623

Weight: 0.95kg left, 1kg right; 7kg subwoofer | Size: 7.7in x 4.6in x 5.0in speakers; 11.2in x 12in x 10.5in subwoofer | Drivers: 2.5-inch front-firing, sealed drivers, 7-inch bass-reflex subwoofer | Supported Connectivity: none | Audio Inputs: 3.5mm jack, RCA | Outputs: headphone jack

Fantastic quality for an affordable value

Powerful subwoofer

Bass heavy

While they may be more expensive than you’d expect to pay for the brand’s speakers, the Logitech Z623 is still very affordable when you consider just how powerful they are. The Z623 may look like your average pair of speakers, but its subwoofer produces a thundering sound that can easily dialed up or down depending on your preference. And, it offers a great soundstage – with great highs and mids – making for a more immersive gaming and movie experience. 

Logitech G560

Weight: 1.79kg left, 1.79kg right, 5.5kg sub | Size (Satellites): 5.8 x 6.5 x 4.6 inches | Size (Sub): 15.9 x 10 x 8.1 inches | Drivers: 6.5-inch subwoofer, 2-inch tweeters | Supported Connectivity: USB, 3.5mm, Bluetooth | Audio Inputs: USB, 3.5mm stereo mini-jack | Outputs: Headphone

 Brilliant RGB lighting 

 DTS surround technology  

 Expensive 

Logitech is well known for its gaming peripherals and computer speakers in 2018, but never before has it combined the two so spectacularly. The first Logitech computer speakers designed for gaming, the Logitech G560 are the best computer speakers for gamers, bar none. Not only do they feature luminous RGB lighting, but through Logitech’s software, the multi-colored illumination can adapt to any kind of content you consume – whether you’re playing a game, or listening to music through your phone. 

Vanatoo Transparent Zero

Weight: 2.04kg | Size: 7.5in x 4.75in x 7.75in | Drivers: 1-inch soft dome tweeter, 4-inch aluminum cone woofer, 4-inch long-throw passive radiator | Supported Connectivity: Bluetooth | Audio Inputs: Optical, USB, Analog, Bluetooth | Outputs: : Subwoofer, RJ50

Beautifully refined sound 

High-quality drivers

Very pricey

Vanatoo’s Transparent Zero boasts the powerful, beautifully refined sound of a big speaker packed in a mid-size package all thanks to its high-quality drivers. Though it comes in a boxy, plain aesthetic, this pair delivers great clarity with more presence in the lower mid tones  as well as a lot of smooth high-end range so the sound is brighter but not harsh.

They also offer great sound imaging for an immersive experience and an extended base range. Last but not least, they’ve got a great selection of inputs – optical, USB, analog, and Bluetooth, making them extremely versatile. These are not cheap, but if you’ve got the funds, they’re certainly worth the investment.

  • This product is only available in the US as of this writing. UK and Australian readers: check out a fine alternative in the Audioengine A2+.  

Harman Kardon Soundsticks III

Weight: 2.04kg | Size: 10in x 2x satellites; 10.8in x 9in subwoofer | Drivers: four 1-inch full range transducers | Supported Connectivity: none | Audio Inputs: 3.5mm jack | Outputs: none

Futuristic look

Tons of bass power

Limited controls

If you stare at it long enough, the Soundsticks III might start to look like some kind of glowing alien jellyfish. These translucent babies, designed by Harman, seem more like a set of modern art installation than a functional speaker system until you step back and let it do its thing.  This speakers and bass combo boasts extra bass power thanks to its subwoofer while still producing crisp highs so you’re getting excellent sound at only $170, making it ideal for music fans with a mid-range budget.

Keep in mind its few minor cons however—it doesn’t have a headphone jack, its bass volume control is not accessible, and the LED lights cannot be turned off.

  • This product is only available in the US and UK at the time of this writing. Australian readers: check out a fine alternative in the Edifier E25 Luna Eclipse. 

Edifier E25 Luna Eclipse

Weight: 3.6kg | Size: 4.8in x 8.35in x 8.74in | Drivers: ¾-inch silk dome tweeter, 3-inch full-range bass driver | Supported Connectivity: Bluetooth | Audio Inputs: Bluetooth, 3.5mm jack | Outputs: USB port for charging, headphone jack

Gorgeous design

Excellent overall sound quality

A bit bass-heavy

Sure, it can be a bit bass-heavy, but the Edifier E25 Luna Eclipse is a beautiful Bluetooth speaker setup that produces a surprisingly excellent sound for something that looks like it’s a Sci-Fi prop. The Luna, which comes in red, white and black, offers a powerful but controlled bass, fantastic balance with pronounced mids, and good stereo separation. Using DRP and DSP tech, the pair delivers excellent quality with minimal distortion even when you’re cranking the volume up.

Its other perks include touch sensitive controls and a fancy little remote. Purchase its stands for an even better sound quality and the Jetsons look, if you’re into that.

Logitech MX Sound

Weight: 1.72kg | Size: 6.30in x 6.30in x 3.28in | Drivers: not available | Supported Connectivity: Bluetooth | Audio Inputs: Bluetooth, 3.5mm jack | Outputs: headphone jack

Excellent soundstage and powerful audio 

Easy wireless connectivity

Bass can overpower mids and highs

The Logitech MX Sound speakers are a thing of beauty with their eccentric circular design and silver accents. And, for the price, they certainly deliver a little more than what you’d look for in speakers. The bass may sometimes overpower the mids and highs, but it still delivers an excellent soundstage and powerful audio, which makes it great for gaming. It also features dual Bluetooth connectivity so you can connect two devices simultaneously. Lastly, the backlit motion sensor controls are so sensitive, a light touch is all it takes to interact with it.

Read the full review: Logitech MX Sound 

Klipsch ProMedia 2.1 THX

Weight: 0.95kg satellite; 5kg subwoofer | Size: 8.5in x 4.2in x 5.67x satellite; 9.5in x 9.8in x 10.2in subwoofer | Drivers: ¾-inch Poly compression tweeter, 6.5-inc side-firing, long-throw fiber composite cone woofer | Supported Connectivity: none | Audio Inputs: MP3 two-channel soundcard miniplug | Outputs: headphone jack

THX-certified, home theater-quality sound

Stunning value

Misses some low ends

The Klipsch ProMedia 2.1 speaker system promises enchanced sound for versatile use so that whether you’re watching movies, gaming, or listening to music, you’re in for a great experience. And it does. These THX-certified speakers boast power, a wide frequency range (31 Hz to 20kHz), and a detailed audio quality with punchy bass, maximum clarity, and great balance. It’s powerful enough to replicate that home theater quality. 

That’s a lot punch for $160, even if it means having to tolerate the fact that the sub stops at 31 Hz so there’s no low end rumble.

  • This product is only available in the US at the time of this writing. UK and Australian readers: check out a fine alternative in the Logitech Z623 

Dell Wireless 360 Speaker System AE715

Weight: 1.18kg | Size: 7.5in in diameter | Drivers: three 2.25-inch full-range drivers | Supported Connectivity: Bluetooth | Audio Inputs: 3.5mm jack | Outputs: USB port for charging, headphone jack

Decent 360-degree sound

Built-in mic for conference calls 

Low, low price

Dell’s AE715 may not be the most powerful speaker in the market. It produces a decent 360-degree sound that, while is fairly common in portable audio, is a rarity with computer speakers. For it's low, low price, this Bluetooth speaker is nothing amazing; not a lot of bass and there’s a bit of delay, but the audio quality good enough if your listening standards aren’t quite as demanding. 

However, what you’re getting in exchange are its wireless functionality, the USB charging port so you can charge the device, and the built-in mic so you can use it for conference calls. It’s definitely a great portable, wireless solution.

  • This product is only available in the US as of this writing. UK and Australian readers: check out a fine alternative in the Jabra SPEAK 510.    

Mackie CR4BT

Weight: 6kg | Size: 11.6in x 9.4in x 17in | Drivers: three 2.25-inch full-range drivers | Supported Connectivity: Bluetooth | Audio Inputs: Bluetooth, RCA, ¼-inch, 1/8-inch | Outputs: headphone jack

Professional-grade tuning 

Isolating acoustic foam bases

Thin mid range and missing high bass

Mackie CR4BT promises professional-grade performance, which is a lot more than what its competitors offer. The question is, does it really do that? Well, they sound good for a premium pair of speakers, but there are drawbacks including thinner mid range, and high bass cut off at 70 Hz, which means while there’s good bass presence, you might be missing the really low stuff.

The pros, however, include the acoustic foam pads to isolate the speakers from the surface it’s standing on, and the front auxiliary input. Overall, these aren’t your run-of-the-mill computer speakers. They are useful for multimedia creation and production as well.

  • This product is only available in the US and UK as of this writing. Australian readers: check out a fine alternative in the Logitech MX Sound.     
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