Best computer speakers 2017: the best audio system for your PC

Best computer speakers 2017: the best audio system for your PC

Choosing great computer speakers is almost as delicate of a business as choosing a great computer. Alongside the price and the aesthetic, there are other more technical things to consider. 

Do they deliver excellent clarity? Are the low, mid and high frequencies well balanced, or is there too much high, making it sound tinny? Does the stereo or surround sound have spatial separation? Is it already fatiguing after an hour of listening? Can you get them for a sweet Black Friday deal?

Beyond that, you also want to think about what you’ll be using them for. Are you a gamer looking for a gloriously immersive experience? Or are you simply looking for a decent pair that are as impressive as the latest superhero flick?

We appraised some of the most popular on the market and picked out ten of the best ones for you to consider. 

Audioengine A2+

Big things come in small packages

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

Though it came out in 2013, Audioengine’s A2+ is still arguably one of the best on the market. These sleek speakers accept digital audio from your computer’s USB port for uncompressed audio input and pushes the sound quality up another notch through its built-in digital-to-audio converter. This combination allows this pair to deliver the highest sound quality with great clarity and an impressive bass. 

Considering that these small six-inch speakers don’t come with a subwoofer, they’re indisputably giving you a lot of bang for your buck. Be warned: they might need subwoofer for low bass and bass-heavy sound at higher volume. Good thing they come with an RCA output so you can connect one. And a few little more money, you can even invest on a pair of stands for a more improved sound.

Logitech Z623

More ounce for your bounce

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

Logitech’s higher end speaker system, Z623, might be a little more than what you’d expect pay for the brand’s speakers. But considering that it’s still very much affordable, you’re getting fantastic audio performance as well as a powerful subwoofer, so these are actually a steal.

The pair delivers great mids and highs, though it’s a little bass heavy, which might be a plus to some people. Its subwoofer produces a thundering sound that can be easily dialed up or down depending on your need and preference. And it offers a great soundstage for a more immersive gaming and movie watching experience right on your desktop.

Aperion Allaire

Quality comes at a price

Weight: 3.62kg | Size: 8.625in x 6in x 6.75in | Drivers: 1-inch dome tweeter, 4-inch Woven Fiberglass woofer | Supported Connectivity: Bluetooth 4.0 | Audio Inputs: PCM or Optical, Analog | Outputs: subwoofer

Full, balanced sound 
High price

While slightly large and a little expensive for a pair of computer speakers, Aperion’s classic-looking Allaire is packed with pros that justify its price. These babies produce controlled, rich bass; a full, balanced sound; and great, non-harsh high end. They’re equipped with an optical input, which allows you to connect to not just your PC but also other devices like Blu-ray players and game consoles. This input also delivers a slightly better sound quality than a USB—though it’s worth noting that you might not notice the difference.

This pair doesn’t come with a subwoofer, but it does come with a sub output. Other extras include a USB charging port, an aluminum remote control, and Bluetooth connectivity.

  • 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+. 

Vanatoo Transparent Zero

The speaker of your dreams, if you’ve got the dough

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

Great sound in a cool, aesthetically pleasing package

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.

Edifier E25 Luna Eclipse

Futuristic-looking beauties with an even more gorgeous sound

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, the Edifier E25 Luna Eclipse can be a bit bass-heavy, but these gorgeous Bluetooth speakers produce a surprisingly excellent sound for something that looks like it must have stepped straight out of Wall-E with its gimmicky space age design. The Luna, which comes in red, white, and black, offers a powerful but controlled bass, great balance with slightly pronounced mids, and good stereo separation. Using DSP and DRP technologies, the pair delivers excellent quality with minimal distortion even at louder volumes.

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

Dual Bluetooth speakers with plenty of juice

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

These Logitech speakers are a thing of beauty with their elegantly eccentric circular design and silver accents. And at $99 a pop, they certainly deliver a little more than what you’d look for in speakers. Before we talk about MX Sound’s pros however, let’s discuss its important con – while the brand is proudly advertising an extended bass range, thanks to its unique, rear-facing port tubes, the bass can sometimes overpower the mids and highs, making the audio a bit muddy.

That said, it does deliver an excellent soundstage and powerful audio, which makes it great for gaming. It’s got a few cutting edge aces up its sleeves as well: the dual Bluetooth connectivity so you can connect two devices simultaneously, and the backlit motion sensor controls so a light touch is all it takes to connect a device and adjust the volume.

Klipsch ProMedia 2.1 THX

THX-certified speakers that pack a punch

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 as of this writing. UK and Australian readers: check out a fine alternative in the Logitech Z623.   

Dell Wireless 360 Speaker System AE715

A 360-degree Bluetooth speaker that doubles as a conference speakerphone

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

Computer speakers for multimedia use

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 as of this writing. UK and Australian readers: check out a fine alternative in the Logitech MX Sound.     

Source: http://www.techradar.com/news/best-computer-speakers

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