The best desktop speakers

Enhance your PC’s audio with our top picks for desktop speakers that give you awesome sound

TODO alt text

All computers come with a built-in speaker, but let’s face it, the sound quality is fairly minimal, and no one really wants to have to wear headphones all the time, no matter how good they may be. Whether you’re a gamer, music or movie fan, investing in some high-quality desktop speakers can improve your listening experience dramatically. 

There are a few things to consider, though, before you go out and buy the cheapest pair of speakers you can find. Sure, a pair of stereo speakers (2.0) is fine for listening to the radio occasionally, but you’ll sometimes find these to produce an annoying rattling sound when they go above a certain volume. If you think this will annoy you, then we recommend avoiding lightweight plastic speakers, as these will vibrate as the volume increases, which distorts the sound. 

For better sound quality, you might prefer to go for stereo speakers with a subwoofer (2.1), although naturally these will be bigger and bulkier, so it all depends on the desktop space you have available. Generally, though, a 2.1 subwoofer is better for movies and music as the small speaker plays the high-frequencies and the subwoofer plays the bass which ultimately leads to the best quality sound output. 

In terms of the speakers themselves, many desktop speakers come with a single audio connection, which is fine if they are going to permanently sit on your desk. However, if you think you’d like to use them for your laptop or other devices, you may want to look out for speakers with wireless connectivity. Furthermore, Wi-Fi connectivity will allow you to potentially sync your desktop speakers with other speakers around the house for a multi-room system. 

We’ve picked out some of the best desktop speakers on the market to cater to your needs, each of which has different styles and features. Take a look at our round up for inspiration!

1. Harman Kardon Soundsticks III

Funky glowing speakers with great sound

Specifications
Best for: Great performance
Weight: 3.6kg
Size: HWD 25.4xW5.1
Wireless: No
Bluetooth: No
Reasons to buy
+ LED glowing lights + Fantastic bass 
Reasons to avoid
- Emit a hissing noise 

This desktop speaker could make our top spot based on aesthetics alone, but the LED glowing lights combined with heavy bass subwoofer are what make these speakers the perfect combination of form and function. They are specifically designed for desktop, so be aware the cables are short and they don’t have Bluetooth, but they can be connected to pretty much any device if you really want them to. The down-firing subwoofer is designed to aim sound downwards so that the quality is not hindered by the surroundings such as walls, and users are impressed with the results; hearing sounds and details within music that they couldn’t hear on other standard speakers. Their industrial design isn’t for everyone, but if you often work or game at your computer late at night, the colour changing LED’s could make for suitable atmospheric lighting.  

2. AudioEngine A2+

A hefty piece of kit for high-quality audio

Specifications
Best for: Volume
Weight: 3kg
Size: HWD16x11x14cm
Wireless: No
Bluetooth: No
Reasons to buy
+ Wooden cabinets + Loud  
Reasons to avoid
- Some mp3 files don’t sound the best 

If you want some desktop speakers that will pack a punch, these speakers are highly rated for their sound quality despite the absence of a subwoofer. The wooden cabinets help to reduce the vibration that is common in plastic speakers, and in doing so you can expect to hear a much clearer, crisper sound. Users found that in watching movies or listening to albums the speakers were of good enough quality not to need an external subwoofer, but if you have any old mp3 files in your playlist you might find these sound a little under par, although that’s not necessarily the speaker’s fault. Reviewers say the volume is so good that it can almost sound boomy, but this only makes these speakers great for both using your PC and playing music throughout the house.  

3. Logitech MX Sound

Bluetooth speakers that are easy to connect and control

Specifications
Best for: Controls
Weight: 1.72kg
Size: HWD16x16x8.34cm
Wireless: No
Bluetooth: Yes
Reasons to buy
+ Motion-activated controls + Easy pairing 
Reasons to avoid
- Lacking punch a little 

These Bluetooth speakers are designed for easy pairing on any device, whether it is your desktop PC, laptop, TV or tablet, and reviewers found no trouble connecting their desired device and getting started with these speakers. They also have intuitive controls which are motion activated so all it takes is a light touch of the buttons to control the volume. In terms of the sound quality, they are regarded highly for providing decent quality sound for their intended us; as desktop speakers. The bass, however, is somewhat lacking according to those who are big music fans, but not so much that is makes these speakers redundant, and for listening to music while working they still provide and clear and crisp sound, with no static humming which can often drive people crazy. 

4. Edifier E25 LUNA Eclipse

Don’t underestimate the size of these small speakers

Specifications
Best for: Sleek design
Weight: 5.3kg
Size: HWD 55.6x14.5x32.5cm
Wireless: Yes
Bluetooth: Yes
Reasons to buy
+ Small footprint + Remote control 
Reasons to avoid
- Not the loudest 

The Edifier E25 Luna Eclipse speakers are cute and sleek, but don’t let their sweet and innocent exterior fool you into thinking they can’t pack a punch. Their wireless and Bluetooth connectivity only make these speakers fit in with your décor easier, as you can literally place them anywhere as long as they are still within range of your device. Of course, the size of them has some impact on sound, but the general consensus is that these are some of the best desktop speakers on the market and bass quality is seriously impressive. Their sleek design will make them a part of your furniture rather than just another gadget.  

5. Mackie CR4BT

Studio-quality speakers that complete your entertainment system

Specifications
Best for: Entertainment
Weight: 5.5kg
Size: HWD 43.2x24x29.4cm
Wireless: No
Bluetooth: Bluetooth
Reasons to buy
+ Balanced sound + Look cool 
Reasons to avoid
- Quite large 

If you often use your PC for entertainment such as gaming, watching movies or even creating your own music, these speakers are highly regarded as providing top-quality balanced sound that’s not too overbearing. The speakers are designed to be flexible and convenient, with an aux panel on the front for easy connectivity to numerous devices and users found Bluetooth pairing to be a doddle. These speakers are quite large so ensure you have enough desktop space to accommodate them before purchasing. 

6. Kef Egg

High resolution sound from any source

Specifications
Best for: Wireless connectivity
Weight: 4.3kg
Size: HWD 27.4x13.6x17.2cm
Wireless: Yes
Bluetooth: Bluetooth
Reasons to buy
+ Clear sounds + No need for a woofer 
Reasons to avoid
- Turn off after a few minutes of inactivity 

The Kef Egg speakers are another set of great Bluetooth wireless speakers, which, if you’re looking for something a little bigger and louder than the Edifier E25 Luna Eclipse speakers, these could do the job nicely.  The bigger size means they could just as easily accommodate your TV as well as your PC or laptop, as long as within a decent range for Bluetooth pairing. The only niggle customers had with these speakers is that they turn off after around 15 minutes of inactivity, which can be annoying If you want your speakers on demand, but for most it doesn’t pose too much of an issue and will eliminate any annoying humming that comes from leaving them on.  

7. Logitech Z200

An affordable pair of speakers with an adjustable bass

Specifications
Best for: Budget
Weight: 1kg
Size: 24.12x9x12.41cm
Wireless: No
Bluetooth: No
Reasons to buy
+ Adjustable bass + Simple connectivity and controls 
Reasons to avoid
- A tinny when turned up full 

If you just need a pair of speakers to use with your laptop every day then the Logitech Z200 speakers won’t break the bank, but still aim to provide great sound. Reviews of these speakers are glowing across the board, and despite their low price tag, they certainly still provide impressive sound as desktop speakers. When turned up loud they are said to be a little tinny, but the volume is powerful enough to fill a small room and you can adjust the bass to suit whatever you’re listening to for the most pleasurable listening experience.