Most of us probably use a headset while playing PC games--that’s what the esports pros and Twitch streamers do, after all--but a set of PC speakers can elevate your gaming experience just as much, if not more, than headphones.
PC speakers have come a long way in the past few years, and you can get an excellent audio setup for your PC without spending hundreds of dollars (though that’s always an option if you want the very best). Best of all, there are tons of excellent options that can easily fit on your desk or gaming space--you don’t need a massive home theater to house multiple speakers, subwoofers, and other devices. In fact, many PC speakers even support 5.1 or 7.1 surround sound and take up just a few inches on your desk.
For anyone interested in upping their PC’s audio quality, here’s our list for the best PC speakers available right now. You’ll find affordable options, models with and without subwoofers, and even high-end picks with features like high-resolution audio. Most of our picks are focused on PC gaming, but all of these speakers are great for non-gaming audio and will even work in a pinch for console gaming, too.
To be the “best,” a set of PC gaming speakers needs to have it all: great sound, flexible connectivity, and extra features like dynamic RGB lighting, without being prohibitively expensive. Logitech’s G560 fits all of those criteria.
The $200 Logitech G560 includes two modest-sized satellite speakers and a downward-firing subwoofer. The speakers sport a 40Hz-18KHz frequency response, and 7.1 DTS:X surround sound support (Windows only). You can also connect up to four external devices--like gaming consoles, smartphones, or streaming devices--to the G560 via 3.5mm AUX, USB, or Bluetooth wireless, and hot-swap between them with Logitech’s Easy-Swap feature.
The G560 would make this list based on sound quality alone, but the included RGB lighting on the back of the speakers make them perfect for the PC gaming crowd. Users can select between several hardware- or software-based lighting modes. The hardware modes respond to the Bluetooth or AUX audio signals coming from your PC (or other connected devices) and you can pick between a static color, color cycling, or a rainbow mode that dynamically changes along with music or gameplay. The software mode lets you control the lighting with various settings in Logitech’s PC app such as selecting a part of the screen for the LEDs to react to.
AudioEngine’s PC speakers are considered some of the best on the market, but the A5 Plus Wireless get our pick for the best cordless listening experience.
As one of the high-end AudioEngine options, the A5 Plus Wireless are strong enough to fill your home office or PC gaming room with big sound thanks to the built-in 150W amps in each speaker. And since they’re wireless, you can place them wherever works best for you and your room--whether that’s your desk, entertainment center, bookshelf, or even mounted on speaker stands. The speakers will sound good from almost anywhere, though; the A5 Plus Wireless also supports APTX-HD, which allows for high-quality 24-bit audio playback over Bluetooth connections, and extends the overall connectivity range.
Of course, you can also connect the A5 Plus Wireless to your computer with a cable instead, but it might be better to save yourself some money with the $400 wired-only model instead if you don’t plan to use the Bluetooth mode.
The Creative Pebble Plus 2.1 are the best affordable PC speakers option. The package includes two rounded speakers that stand just 4.5 inches tall, each with a single 2-inch full-range driver, plus an external 8-inch tall subwoofer (there are even cheaper Pebble versions that ditch the subwoofer if you want a more compact setup). The full setup sounds excellent despite the speaker’s small size and low power output, and few sub-$50 speakers sound as clear as the Creative Pebble Plus 2.1.
That said, you’ll still have to deal with common drawbacks to audio setups at this price range--specifically the lower max volume compared to bigger, more powerful speakers. However, the Pebble Plus 2.1 has an onboard gain booster switch that increases the power output for louder audio without affecting sound quality. The feature should work on modern desktop PCs out of the box, but anyone on older machines or low-powered laptops can use the feature by plugging the USB power cable into a 5V 2A wall socket adapter (sold separately).
The Nommo Chroma won’t outclass many of their similarly priced peers in the audio department, but when you factor in (or factor out, as it were) the lack of a subwoofer, their capabilities become more impressive.
Each speaker features a single front-facing, full-range driver, a rear-facing bass port that can pump out loud music and gameplay audio with decent bass all on their own, and the built-in automatic gain control minimizes distortion. They’re also small enough to sit on your desk without taking up much space.
Like many other Razer accessories, the Nommo Chroma also feature dynamic color-changing LEDs. Each speaker is mounted on a small stand with its own dedicated RGB LED ring light. The rings are controlled with Razer’s Chroma app for Windows, and you can sync the speakers with other compatible RGB accessories. However, there is also an RBG-less model available that cuts the price down to $130 if the colorful lighting isn’t your style.
If all you need is a dependable set of speakers without pulsing LEDs or external subwoofers, the Bose Companion 2 Series III will do the job well. Sure, the volume output on these speakers is modest compared to bigger models, there’s no subwoofer for big bass, and no surround sound support, but the Companion 2 Series III are meant to be simple speakers.
The speakers themselves look unassuming, with an elegant aesthetic that verges on utilitarian (in a good way). They’re 7.5-inches tall with matte-black plastic and a slanted design, and the only control is a single volume knob on the right-hand speaker. There’s also a headphone-out jack, but that’s the only external connection you’ll find here. While some users may want something flashier, these speakers don’t stand out and can easily fit into any setup, and they’ll handle everything from work-from-home meetings and YouTube videos to gaming and music very well, and they sound leagues better than speakers at lower price points.
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