Computer Speakers Buying Guide

Computer speakers can open a whole new world of sound to the computer user. From the basic 2.0 speaker system to the powerful 7.1 system, speakers offer a richer quality of sound. However, buying speakers is not an easy task; you cannot just pick a random set of speakers off the store shelf and that's that. There is much to consider when buying computer speakers.

Types of Computer Speakers

2.0

The most common type of computer speakers system, the 2.0 speaker system has two speakers without a subwoofer. Great for smaller rooms, the speakers sit on each side of the monitor and offer stereo sound to the owner. This is also the cheapest system available on the market and is easy to pack for travel.

2.1

A 2.1 computer speaker system consists of two speakers and a subwoofer. It works with stereo sound and can add volume to your audio. This system is also compact. Easy to pack, you can take it with you on your travels without too much concern. You can also pair this computer speaker system with an mp3 player or CD player.

5.1

A great choice for gaming or playing videos from your computer, the 5.1 speaker system consists of five speakers and a subwoofer. Its volume is better than either a 2.1 or 2.0 speaker system, and it offers a richer sound. This type of speaker system does not pack as easily and moving these speakers may alter the richness of the sound. This speaker system can take a little while to set up, as you have to even out the speakers between the four walls of the room.

7.1

The most comprehensive speaker system available on the market, the 7.1 speaker system has seven speakers and a subwoofer. Excellent for gaming, watching movies from your computer, and listening to loud music, this computer speaker system does not travel well. A concern with this type of computer speaker system is where to place the extra two speakers. Should you place them in the front, back, or even on the sides? This is all a matter of personal preference, but the placement of the extra two speakers can make a huge difference in the sound quality of your 7.1 speaker system. Also consider the price of the 7.1 computer speaker system, which can cost you hundreds of dollars.

Wireless

Newer to the market are wireless speaker systems. This type of speaker system will avoid the hassle of wires that tangle and run all over your room, ruining the look of the room. Excellent for all your listening pleasures, some owners do have some conflict with your home wifi network.

Pay Attention to

Wattage

One rating listed on the packaging of any speaker system is wattage. This is the amount of power the amplifier is able to transmit. Be careful when comparing wattage ratings, as some speaker systems report the wattage for all of the speakers together while others report the wattage output of each individual speaker. The higher the wattage the more accurate the speakers will be at producing higher volumes of sound.

Headphone Jack

Most speaker systems come with a headphone jack. This is important if you have your computer in a space where many people work or play, such as the living room. If your speaker system does not have a headphone jack, consider whether you need one or if you would be willing to unplug your speaker system and plug in headphones every time you need to work or play quietly.

Surround Sound

Determine whether you want surround sound or not. This truly depends on a large number of things, from expense to the main use of the speaker system. If you plan on using the speakers for gaming, watching movies, or listening to music, you likely will want surround sound. However, if you are going to use the speakers just for word processing, surfing the internet, and other normal functions of a computer, you will not need surround sound.

Room Space

The space in the room plays a major part in the sound quality of the speaker system. The small 2.0 speaker system that sounds great in a small bedroom is not going to sound the same in a vaulted living room. If the room is larger than 400 square feet, it is greatly recommended that you get tower or bookshelf speakers. Placing these speakers at ear-level will also increase the sound quality, as will placing the speakers slightly into the room as speakers do not sound great against the wall.

Remote Control

An ideal computer speaker system will come with a remote control, but not all systems have one. If you are a couch potato, you need to consider whether you really want to be getting up and down to turn your speakers on or off. It is also important to check whether the remote is analog or digital. If it is analog, it is likely the volume dial will get messed up in the long run because of wear and tear. You will want to also check what functions the remote control offers besides the play/pause button.

Top Brands and Product Lines

Sony

Celebrating its seventieth anniversary in 2016, Sony is a well-reputed Japanese brand that produces home electronics of every kind. Their computer speaker systems are known for their sensitivity and high sound quality. One product they offer is the 5.1 Channel Blue-Ray Home Theatre System with Bluetooth. It is a wireless system intended for watching movies on your computer and offers one-touch Bluetooth connectivity and an app from which you can control the speaker system.

Bose

Before they made headphones, Bo's was a speaker system manufacturer. Their speakers range from small 2.0 systems to full 7.1 home theatre systems which all offer amazing sound quality. The Acoustimass 10 Series V System is a 5.1 speaker system with a strong bass. Intended for larger rooms, this speaker system offers deep bass with no distortion and is great for watching movies or listening to music. It also will give a wonderfully immersive experience for any gamer.

JBL

Founded in 1946 by James Bullough Lansing, JBL's primary products are speaker systems and headphones. Their premium offerings have a high reputation for great sound quality and excellent frequency ranges. The Creature III Self-Powered speaker system is an awesome choice for home theatre and gaming. It can connect to other audio devices like mp3 players and features a style all its own.