The new reality for many people is working from home. But that does not mean you have to work in silence, or suffer bad sound from a laptop. Equipping your PC with a quality pair of desktop speakers allows you to enjoy high quality stereo sound, whether it’s for music to work by, watching videos, or gaming. With options covering every possible price point and connectivity option, the key is to find a system that fits your needs and budget.
Not everyone needs to (or wants to) use headphones for their desktop audio needs. Good desktop speakers will deliver a good nearfield listening experience, which has different requirements than a living room stereo. For one, the speakers are much smaller, but a compensating factor is they don’t have to play as loud for because you are sitting closer. They key thing is that smaller speakers fit on your desktop to begin with and feature driver arrays that keep the sound cohesive in the nearfield.
How you get your bass is an interesting consideration in this category, the options being subwoofer (2.1 system) or no subwoofer (2.0 system). A subwoofer/satellite system allows for the smallest desktop speakers without giving up good bass response, but it demands that you find a spot for the sub. A 2.0 system is is basically a powered bookshelf speaker rig, but some allow you to optionally add a sub. There are numerous consumer systems and also active studio monitors that fit the bill.
And then there’s the option of using speakers of your choice in conjunction with some sort of integrated amplifier tha features Bluetooth playback and other inputs. With this approach, sky’s the limit as far as what you can put together, but you can also get tremendous bang for the buck if you shop budget gear.
Best Desktop Speaker Systems
SVS Sound needs no introduction to longtime AVS Forum members. The company’s Internet Direct model that puts customers first, along with its high quality designs that deliver great bang-for-the-buck, make it a go-to for those in the know.
These are Comparatively price you speakers for this category, but you get what you pay for. This is why the company’s excellent sounding, highly capable Prime Wireless speakers are the top choice for a desktop speaker system.
- 200 W total, (four 50W amplifiers) Power this system that features in active digital crossover
- Built in 24/192 DAC offers high-res audio compatibility
- Dual-band WiFi as well as Bluetooth enabled
- DTS-Play-Fi built-in
- App for configuration
- Physical controls in front of speaker
- Subwoofer output increase you want to expand to 2.1 system using one of the many great subs SVS sells
- Also features a digital optical input
Packed with features as well as sporting great sound, these Monoprice Monolith MM-3 speakers will satisfy even finicky audiophiles looking for an affordable solution to desktop sound.
- Premium speakers from a company known to deliver great value
- 50 W per channel power with bass response down to 55 Hz
- aptX Bluetooth for high-quality wireless sound
- Also features analog stereo inputs
Here’s the complete package for under 100 bucks, which is what you’d expect from Monoprice. Wireless bluetooth as well as wired connectivity and even the headphone jack.
- Woofer 4″ polypropylene cone
- Tweeter 0.75″ silk dome
- Amplifier Type Class AB
- Woofer Amplifier Power 15 watts/channel
- Tweeter Amplifier Power 10 watts/channel
- Frequency Response 55Hz ~ 20kHz
- Inputs 1x 3.5mm AUX, 1x Stereo RCA, 1x stereo balanced 1/4″ TRS, Bluetooth®
- Output 1x 3.5mm headphone
- Bluetooth Version 5
These speakers come from a JBL line that enjoys an enviable reputation for providing great sound relative to the price. No wireless, no USB… just professional desktop monitors with XLR and 1/4″ inputs that pair up great with a USB audio interface. These speakers are sold individually and you will have to buy some more parts to put the system together, but the payoff is great sound relative to the money invested.
- Patented waveguide on the JBL tweeter
- Boundary EQ settings for tuning bass response Bbased on speaker position
- Professional studio monitors
- Balanced XLR and 1/4″ inputs
You can’t go wrong with these excellent speakers from Audioengine. The three year transferable warranty directly speaks to the confidence the company has in its product. aptX Bluetooth ensures that you will get high-quality wireless sound, but it also has physical inputs including support for a turntable. And if you want to use it with Mac or PC, you can just plug them in directly with USB; no drivers are needed.
- Integrated DAC with USB for direct connection to your PC
- aptX Bluetooth ensures high-quality wireless sound
- Quality speakers and a brand you can trust
A shocking value, the Edifier R1700BT Bluetooth Bookshelf Speakers have the performance, looks and features you’d expect to find a more expensive models. An attractive design with wood veneer finish, an included remote, and multiple inputs including Bluetooth put this hired many recommendation list for desktop speakers. One of the most thoughtful touches our physical knobs on the side of the speaker, instead of on the rear many other models
- Bluetooth – Pair your phone, tablet or computer
- 2 x aux input
- Remote Control
- Wood Finish
- Two Year Warranty
Some people have a knee-jerk reaction to the name Bose. But it is uncalled for, the company has a great research and development department and does really well in creating consumer friendly audio products. The Bose Companion 2 Series III Multimedia Speakers are a great example; spend 100 bucks on these, set them up on your desktop and prepare to be reasonably impressed.
- Surprisingly good sound considering the size, price and brand
- Volume control/headphone jack on front of right speaker
- Operating compatibility: Mac, Windows XP
These premium desktop speakers feature a clever design with drivers that are tilted up to aim the sound at your ears. Despite their small size, these speakers can crank out great sound and feature a built-in passive radiator to extend the bass response.
- Active desktop sized speakers with 4 inputs (Bluetooth, USB, Optical and Analog)
- 4 inch aluminium woofer, 1 inch soft dome tweeter, 4 inch passive radiator
- Use as computer speakers, TV speakers
- Includes remote control, magnetically attached grills,a USB cable, 2 analog cables, and acoustic isolation pads
Classic looks and classic Klipsch sound in an all-in-one package. These speakers deliver the detailed listening experience that makes sitting at a desk fun, not a chore. Go ahead, queue up your favorite tunes and settle down for some spreadsheet sessions at your PC, while you enjoy a work environment that you would not be able to replicate in an office.
- Single 4″ spun-copper IMG woofer
- 1″ Aluminum LTS tweeter mated to a 90×90 square Tractrix Horn
- 68Hz -21kHz +/- 3dB Nominal Impedance – 8 ohms Compatible Crossover Frequency – 1 730 Hz
- Sensitivity 90dB
- 200 watts Power Handling
A Soundbar for your desktop? If it’s designed properly, the answer is absolutely! With the BlasterX Katana you get a 2.1 soundbar system that uses DSP to creat a wide soundfield and even 7.1 surround-sound. It’s design features drivers that are properly angled so that you can place this Soundbar underneath your monitor and get optimal audio.
- Under monitor Audio system: so sleek, yet so powerful
- Aurora reactive lighting system: light up your setup
- 5-driver design: expertly tuned acoustics
An unmistakable and iconic design, Harman Kardon SoundSticks are the clear speakers that look slick and futuristic but also provide a solution that not only sounds great, it takes up as little space as possible on your desktop. The secret to this is the 2.1 design featuring the namesake, stick shaped speakers powered by 10 W per channel of amplification.
- Compatible with all devices with a stereo minijack output
- Outstanding bass performance
- Touch volume and mute controls. Satellite Height (inches) 10.
- Subwoofer volume control and Angle adjustable satellites
- Amplifier output power 10 Watt RMS per channel
Standalone Bluetooth Amps (Add Your Own Speakers)
This amplifier is a bit of extravagance, and some would say a contradiction. Full tube amplification and Bluetooth in one! These tubes are not just for show, you’re getting true tube amplification that supplies 10 W of power teach channel with 1% THD. Now, you might say that is a rather high distortion figure, but the whole point of getting a tube amp is to enjoy the “pleasant” distortion that they impart, which some people feel makes music sound better. Add Bluetooth with AptX to the equation and we’re talking about convenience, cool looks and classic sound all in one. Just add speakers.
- Qualcomm® aptX™ audio codec for clean and clear wireless streaming
- 20Hz ~ 20kHz frequency response
- Tube preamplifier stage with Tube power output stage
- Bluetooth® v4.0 wireless streaming
- One stereo analog RCA input
- One stereo phono RCA input
- 5-way binding post speaker connections
Don’t let the extremely low price fool you, this “chip amp” delivers plenty of power (50 W per channel X2) to drive most bookshelf speakers, and sound good doing it. All you need to do is pick a pair of compact bookshelf speakers that look good on your desk you are in business.
- Features three inputs: AUX/ USB/ Bluetooth
- Bluetooth 4.2 with 33 foot range
- Not only is it compact, this amplifier runs cool
- Physical volume knob
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