Best computer speakers 2024: Top desktop models tested and rated

Adding one of the best computer speakers to your desktop is a great way to build a dynamic and entertaining workspace for yourself and the whole family to enjoy.     

In much the same way as the best soundbars upgrade the sound quality from a TV's built-in speakers, desktop speakers bring a big boost to any movie and gaming experience with a more powerful and immersive audio experience. 

All the desktop designs listed here have been tested as they would be used at home and. The best for most people is the JBL 104-BT thanks to its strong connectivity and big sound at a fair price. More affordable options generally sacrifice performance and connectivity. One option that bucks that trend is the Creative Pebble V3, and will outperform the tiny speakers built into a laptop or computer monitor screen. 

In this list, I've selected the best computer speakers based on their performance in our tests and their suitability for different activities. Read on to see which models make the grade and bring a boost to your desktop setup.

The quick list

About the author

Portrait studio shot Lee Dunkley
Lee Dunkley

Hi, I'm Lee and I cover all things audio for Tom's Guide, including maintaining our buying guides on the best computer speakers, best headphones, best soundbars, and best Bluetooth speakers. I am passionate about sound quality and getting the highest quality sound for all kinds of setups. I've been testing and writing about audio for more that 30 years years, and I love providing sound advice to help shoppers make informed buying decisions and achieve great sound.

The best computer speakers you can buy right now

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Best for most people

The best computer speakers for most people

Specifications

Configuration: 2.0 (full-range stereo speakers)
Inputs: 1x 3.5mm jack, Bluetooth, stereo RCAs, TRS balanced
Headphone socket: Yes
Size: 9.7 x 6.0 x 4.9 inches
Power output: 2x 30W

Reasons to buy

+
Big sound
+
Prominent vocals and crisp treble
+
Good connection options

Reasons to avoid

-
Limited bass output
-
No USB-C port

This pair of JBL 104-BT speakers has been around since 2020 and are the best desktop speakers for most people. Although there's no USB port, connectivity options are some of the widest around in the world of desktop speakers and you'll find everything you need to hook up the majority of your desktop sources. 

The solid build and functionality will be popular with buyers at the $169 asking price. Although the slightly larger satellites take up a bit more space on a desk, their larger size reaps sonic dividends to create a big, full sound that's great for vocal clarity and has clean sounding treble. 

Bass might be a weak point for some as our reviewer found that the 104-BT had some bass, but not enough. On some tracks, thumping drums sounded weak and lacked a level of deep rumble they should have. Unfortunately, there’s no way to connect a subwoofer to add the missing low-end.

The simple and elegant egg-shaped design features a volume knob and input selector on the right speaker, along with a 3.5mm audio input and headphone jack so you don't have to disconnect the speakers to listen privately. There's no way to adjust the bass or treble, but balance between sound and cost make the 104-BT a solid choice for a desktop.

Best budget computer speakers

Ideal for small spaces and great value

Specifications

Configuration: 2.0 (stereo speakers)
Inputs: USB-C port; 3.5mm jack; Bluetooth
Headphone socket: No
Size: 4.8 x 4.7 x 4.6 inches
Power output: 16W

Reasons to buy

+
Impressive sound performance
+
Space-saving design
+
Good selection of connectivity options

Reasons to avoid

-
Limited bass output
-
No headphone jack socket

Building out your desktop setup can get expensive, especially for those who are working from home regularly. The Creative Pebble V3 proves you don’t have to spend crazy money to snag a pair of serviceable and super-affordable computer speakers. Despite its compact size, the Pebble V3 produces loud and crisp sound, putting what comes out of your laptop speakers to shame. The orb-inspired design is attractive and takes up very little space, plus we appreciate all the hardware (e.g., 2.25-inch driver, passive bass radiator) and inputs (e.g., 3.5 mm port, USB-C) Creative managed to squeeze in. 

There isn’t much bass coming out of the driver, which means lows can lack depth on contemporary songs. A headphone output would have also been appreciated to enjoy music privately, but the price point makes the Pebble V3 incredible value.

Best computer speakers for music

Space-saving desktop speakers ideal for music lovers

Specifications

Configuration: 2.0 (full-range stereo speakers)
Inputs: Stereo RCAs, USB-C, Bluetooth
Headphone socket: No
Size: 6.9 x 5.6 x 3.9 inches
Power output: 50W

Reasons to buy

+
Wide soundstage
+
Balanced and detailed sound
+
Small footprint

Reasons to avoid

-
Lacks deep bass
-
Extra for stands and subwoofer  

Kanto's Ora desktop speakers are our best computer speakers for music. They don't have a big footprint and are ideal for smaller desktops where sound quality is of high importance. Our tests showed that they could produce an impressive nearfield soundstage, with a detailed and musical sound. 

In fact, our reviewer was so impressed that they mentioned that the Kanto Ora managed to make familiar tracks feel like they were experiencing them for the first time. This level of sonic detail is rare among budget desktop speakers, helping to justify the higher price and potentially making them a candidate for anyone thinking of starting to build a home studio setup, too.       

Connectivity runs to Bluetooth, USB-C and line-level RCAs for external sources. Plus, there's a subwoofer output should you want to upgrade the setup to a 2.1 configuration by adding the matching Kanto Sub8 subwoofer costing $279. 

Best computer speakers with a sub (2.1)

Best 2.1 desktop speakers with subwoofer

Specifications

Configuration: 2.1 (stereo speakers with subwoofer)
Inputs: 3.5mm
Headphone socket: Yes
Size: Satellites: 8.5 x 5.7 x 4.2 inches; Subwoofer: 10.2 x 9.8 x 9.5 inches
Power output : 2 x 15W

Reasons to buy

+
Impressive sub-bass performance with level control
+
Great clarity with music vocals   
+
Wide stereo soundstage
+
THX certified for high-quality audio experience 

Reasons to avoid

-
No Bluetooth support
-
Finding space for the subwoofer may prove tricky

If you’re in the market for computer speakers that come bundled with a subwoofer, the Klipsch ProMedia 2.1 THX is quite a bargain. Audio quality is impressive with a wide soundscape that allows you to hear subtle nuances in songs. Vocals, instruments, and sound effects are detailed, which benefits listeners when indulging in movies and video games. Each satellite sits attractively on the side your desktop and laptop as well.

Not having Bluetooth can be a deal-breaker for some. Also, figuring out where to place the large subwoofer may present challenges for those with very little space to work with. However, if you have the extra room to store it, the ProMedia 2.1 will reward you with robust bass.

Best 2.1 computer speaker package for gaming

The best computer speakers with big sound for gamers

Specifications

Configuration: 2.1 (stereo satellites with subwoofer)
Inputs: USB port; 3.5mm jack; Bluetooth
Headphone socket: Yes
Size: Satellites: 5.8 x 6.5 x 4.8 inches; Subwoofer: 15.9 x 10.3 x 8.15 inches
Power output: 120W (total RMS)

Reasons to buy

+
Excellent overall sound 
+
Effective EQ and surround modes  
+
Great bass performance 
+
Impressive lighting options

Reasons to avoid

-
Bass levels difficult to control for nighttime gaming
-
Lighting software can be finicky

The Logitech G560 are the best computer speakers for gamers. The G560 produces robust sound, whether you're playing a game or listening to music, and the subwoofer really adds to the experience. If you like to play loud, this system is a great fit for you. It also features a sophisticated lighting system comprising four distinct zones with bright, colorful LEDs, which are fun but can be distracting. The included software is integral; you use it to configure the lights, activate surround sound and even create profiles for specific games.

One helpful feature of the G560 is its Bluetooth compatibility, which lets you funnel in your own music from a smartphone. This means that you can play pretty much anything on these speakers, and you can hand off control from person to person easily. If you need something powerful for an impromptu dance party, the G560 will work in a pinch, and even provide its own light show to go along with the fun.

Best computer speakers for gaming clarity

Impressive gaming speakers with fun customizable RGB lighting

Specifications

Configuration: 2.0 (stereo speakers)
Inputs: 1x 3.5mm jack
Headphone socket: Yes
Size: 5.5 x 6.7 x 8.7-inches
Power output: Not specified

Reasons to buy

+
Impressive sound quality
+
Loud for their size
+
Customizable Chroma lighting

Reasons to avoid

-
A bit bulky
-
No subwoofer

If you're looking to step up from those tinny speakers on your gaming laptop or monitor and you don't feel like wearing one the best gaming headsets all day, the Razer Nommo Chroma speakers are an excellent gaming audio solution that makes just about any media sound great at a reasonable price. 

These gaming-minded stereo speakers may have been around for a while, but they deliver rich, and directionally accurate sound for hearing the competition coming. During our testing, they were largely as impressive for entertainment as they were for games, and are a solid set of speakers for all kinds of computer tasks.

As the name suggests, the Razer Nommo Chroma sports a thin LED strip around the base that can glow millions of colors. Using Razer's Synapse 3 software, you can customize the Nommo with an array of lighting options to bring an extra atmospheric element to gaming as well as routine computer tasks.

Best computer speakers: specs compared

Swipe to scroll horizontally
Header Cell - Column 0 Type Power output (rated)ControlsHeadphone jackConnectivity
JBL 104-BT2.0 (stereo speakers)2x 30WVolume onlyYes1x 3.5mm jack, Bluetooth, stereo RCAs, TRS balanced
Creative Pebble V32.0 (stereo speakers)2x 8WVolume onlyNo1x 3.5mm jack, Bluetooth, USB-C
Kanto Ora2.0 (stereo speakers)2x 25WVolume onlyNoStereo RCAs, Bluetooth, USB-C
Klipsch ProMedia 2.1 THX2.1 (stereo with sub)2x 15WSubwoofer levelYes1x 3.5mm jack
Logitech G5602.1 (stereo with sub)120W totalVolume and subwoofer level, RGB light brightnessYes1x 3.5mm jack, Bluetooth, USB port
Razer Nommo Chroma2.0 (stereo speakers)Not specifiedVolume and bass levelYes1x 3.5mm jack

Also tested...

As Tom's Guide's audio experts, we test a lot of speakers but some models don't make it into a buying guide. That's not to say that they're not great performers, just that they're beaten by rival models with a stronger set of features or better performance at the price. The picks in this guide are the very best computer speakers we've tested and have all been given full reviews. But with more models to choose from than ever, we want to make sure that you consider these also tested options. These alternatives have been through our rigorous testing process but didn't quite make the grade to rank among the best of the best.

Audioengine A2+:

Audioengine A2+: These Bluetooth speakers may have been around for a while, but they continue to impress us and are regularly called upon for reference purposes for benchmarking other speaker models. They sound great with music, although not quite as good as the Kanto Ora that made it onto the buying guide list. The big sound defies the speaker's compact dimensions, although bass fiends will find it worthwhile paying extra for the S6 subwoofer. The performance isn't quite as strong with movies and as an older model, they use a micro USB port although an adapter is supplied. They retail at $269 and are available in a range of colorful finishes at no extra cost.

Read the full Audioengine A2+ review 

Bose Companion 2 Series:

Bose Companion 2 Series: These have been around for over a decade, but are still a great pair of desktop speakers if you can find them. Connectivity options aren't as wide as what's on offer on the newest desktop speakers — there's no Bluetooth or USB connectivity here — but their solid build, style and performance continue to be a popular with buyers and we have seen them go for a low as $79 at online retailers. 

The simple and elegant design features a single volume knob on the right speaker, along with a headphone jack so you don't have to disconnect the speakers to listen privately. These speakers don't give you any way to adjust the bass or treble on the speaker itself, but with the well-balanced sound, you really shouldn't need to.

Read the full Bose Companion 2 Series III review

Q Acoustics M20:

Q Acoustics M20: Although I haven't given them a full review in Tom's Guide, I've been using these speakers in my home office for several years now. They're not designed for near-field listening, but they are ideal for larger office spaces where they can be placed on dedicated speaker stands or on a bookshelf several feet away from the desktop area. They're more costly at $699 / £439/ AU$899, which is a reason why they don't rank in this buying guide, but come in multiple finishes. Connectivity runs to Bluetooth 5.0 with aptX HD, digital optical, USB and a pair of analog RCAs, and bring a big boost to office-based music listening and gaming experiences.

How to choose the best computer speakers for you

There are three things to consider when choosing the best PC speakers for your setup: sound quality, extra features and price.

Sound quality

Sound quality is a subjective consideration, but choose the wrong speaker setup and you'll find them boring to listen. Think about the kind of sound you like and decide whether you enjoy a big bass sound, one with clear dialog and vocals, or a speaker setup that has a bright or detailed top end. Everyone hears things differently, and the kind of sound you enjoy is personal to you.

It's also worth considering the environment you're placing the speakers in. Are they going to be placed on a desktop? Close to a wall? Or on dedicated speaker stands? As computer speaker are mostly used in near-field desktop arrangements with the speakers placed within a few feet way from the seating position, the size of the speaker matters too. Also consider the environment the speakers are placed in. Speaker placement has a surprisingly big influence on the sound it produces. If you want it to perform its best, it's important to consider proximity to boundary walls as well as the material a speaker is placed on.

Power output is also something to consider. Generally speaking, the greater the figure the better they will be at handling complex audio signals and filling a room with sound. Most computer speakers will outperform those built-in to a laptop or monitor.          

Although improving the working from home experience may be your main criteria, gamers may also enjoy the extra depth a set of dedicated computer speakers can bring to their favorite titles. Online gaming is one of the most popular forms of entertainment, and you may want a set of desktop speakers that come with a subwoofer (2.1) or a full multi-channel speaker system with front and surround speakers with a subwoofer (5.1) to heighten the gaming environment for a more immersive and engaging experience.

Features

Extra features tend to come as standard in more expensive speakers, but even cheaper models can have them. The most common extra feature are some kind of tone or dedicated bass and treble controls, but you can also have remote controls, wireless functionality via Bluetooth (or even Wi-Fi) and RGB lighting.

Another is the number and type of inputs they support. Ideally you want to see a pair of stereo RCAs for analog sources as well as optical digital connectivity and/or a USB port. A headphone socket on the front is also a useful addition.

None of these features are strictly necessary, but some can make your life a lot easier, especially if you're looking to turn your computer into a studio powerhouse.

Price

Cheaper, less elaborate systems can sometimes offer decent sound quality, but the sound output is often not particularly well nuanced, and the maximum volume is sometimes not loud enough to fill your listening space or impactful enough for your activity. More elaborate systems tend to offer refined high frequencies, deeper bass and good vocal clarity. A great-sounding pair of computers speakers should sound balanced across the entire frequency range, with no band of frequencies sounding more powerful than another.

How we test the best computer speakers

JBL 104 BT speakers on a desktop

(Image credit: Future)

To an extent, testing to find the best computer speakers isn’t that different to testing one of the best Bluetooth speakers or even a soundbar. We’re looking for high audio quality across a range of uses, from making sure voices are clear in video calls to the speakers’ music, movie and gaming performance. We’ll play a variety of different media, including multiple musical genres, to identify any sonic strengths and weaknesses.

We also examine how easy it is to set up a pair (or multi-speaker set) of computer speakers, but generally you shouldn’t need any special knowledge to get them up and running.

Generally, we try to spend a few days using each speaker set on a desktop/home office setup, to fully replicate the conditions in which you’d use them yourself.

Once our testing is complete, we rate the best computer speakers based on our five-point system (1 = worst, 5 = best). Products that hit nearly every mark are awarded an Editor's Choice badge.

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Lee Dunkley
Audio Editor

As a former editor of the U.K.'s Hi-Fi Choice magazine, Lee is passionate about all kinds of audio tech and has been providing sound advice to enable consumers to make informed buying decisions since he joined Which? magazine as a product tester in the 1990s. Lee covers all things audio for Tom's Guide, including headphones, wireless speakers and soundbars and loves to connect and share the mindfulness benefits that listening to music in the very best quality can bring.