Here at the Strategist, we like to think of ourselves as crazy (in the good way) about the stuff we buy, but as much as we’d like to, we can’t try everything. Which is why we have People’s Choice, in which we find the best-reviewed (that’s four-to-five-star reviews and lots of ’em) products and single out the most convincing.
While we’ve aggregated an assortment of tech for portable, studio-quality sound — Bluetooth speakers and wireless headphones, for instance — we have yet to dive into at-home sound systems. Here, the best computer speakers (some of which could also accompany a record-player setup or a home-theater system) currently available on Amazon. (Note that reviews have been edited for length and clarity.)
Best overall computer speakers
“My teenage son listens to a variety of music and has always just used the stock speakers that came with the computer. I read many reviews on these speakers and got them as ‘a shot in the dark’ for Christmas. I expected them to distort like speakers usually do. THESE DIDN’T! We turned them ALL the way up — heavy bass thumping and it was clear as a bell!!! THAT impressed him! He’s already planning to take them to college with him … Needless to say, when he isn’t home, mom is listening to some music — LOUD!!”
“I am an audiophile, so I know good-sounding speakers. To get this kind of sound for only paying $65 is simply amazing! If you want speakers that are crystal clear … these are it. If you want speakers that have warm mids and smooth highs … these are it. If you want speakers with the look and feel of good design and quality … these are it.”
“Amazing what kind of sound you get for $75-per-pair self-powered speakers. They’re not $5,000 audiophile models, but they’re clearly superior to speakers I’ve heard costing three to five times more. This is really a no-brainer. Buy them for an extra room, etc. They are remarkably good, and for $75, they are a screaming bargain.”
Best high-end computer speakers
“Could these be any more beautiful? I put on a wide variety of things and I felt like I was almost in the room with those that had real instruments. But since the majority of music I listen to has synthetic instruments, I listened to more of that, and it was still amazing. I LOVE these speakers and they have given me much joy, and they shall continue to do so for hopefully a very long time. NO cons whatsoever, just close my eyes and enjoy the music … (and tear up more often than not …).”
“Are you kidding me? I can only describe this speaker as ‘truth to your ears’; such incredible clarity across the spectrum without sounding shrill or amped. I’ve owned these speakers for almost six months and I’ve never enjoyed listening to my music as much as I do now.”
“There are no better computer speakers on the market. The Bose 20s are worth the $249. I’ve tried speakers from all price categories. These Bose 20s beat them all, and it’s not close. The sound output and quality are incredible, considering that these are only a pair of speakers that take up very little room and do not have a separate subwoofer unit. Whether you are listening to Beethoven, Black Sabbath, Slayer, or gaming with Fight Night or Battlefield 4, these speakers won’t let you down.”
Best bargain computer speakers
Best bargain computer speaker system with subwoofer
“Fantastic value! Honestly, they are worth at least double what Logitech sells them for. Setup was a breeze; my only gripe is that the cables are very long (and create clutter if not managed properly). The subwoofer definitely packs a punch, nothing wall-shaking, but definitely perfect for a bedroom.”
Best USB-powered computer speakers
“VERY surprised with the quality of sound these make. It’s hard to find small, USB-powered desktop speakers without a subwoofer. It’s even harder to find them in white! I’ve got them at almost-ear-height and the stereo quality is really great. So far, I’ve just used them for music, video editing, and some video games, and they’re way better than I could’ve hoped for, considering the size and cost.”
“Yes. Yes, finally. I would say these are the best or fullest sound you’re going to get without a subwoofer. They’re not going to shake the windows, obviously, but right now I’m jammin’ on some Janelle Monáe and I’d say it’s comparable to what you’d expect to hear of earbuds. You can hear everything; they don’t sound tinny or thin, but again, they’re not shaking your innards either. I’d say they’re comparable to a boom box. These are going to do me just fine.”
“Let’s be real, folks — for this price you aren’t getting the equivalent of a $500 Bose sound system. That said, this is a great alternative to desktop speakers: The sound is very good (for anyone other than audio aficionados), the giant volume knob is perfect — and its gentle ‘clicky’ feel is even better, and it has the headphone and mic jacks in front, where they belong. Well worth the money as a speaker replacement.”
Best Bluetooth computer speakers
“It’s hard to find Bluetooth speakers that run on AC power. These speakers are terrific! I can pair them with my phone or tablet to stream my playlists, but can leave them plugged into the wall power outlet and never have to worry about whether they’re charged or the diminishing life of a rechargeable battery. They sound good and are the perfect size for sitting on a small shelf. Very happy!”
“The sound is much richer than the Bluetooth speakers we currently own. Since all of our Bluetooth speakers are wireless, becoming accustomed to all of the wires is a trade-off for the sound quality. My teenagers immediately noticed a difference in the sound from their small Bluetooth speakers. The whole setup is small enough to easily transport, as long as you don’t mind securing the wires.”
Best computer speakers for Netflix streaming
“I bought the Logitech with a little fear that the sound would be off in some way. Shrill or muddy? I work in film and supervise the sound mixes for my movies, so I have a pretty fussy set of ears. To my relief, these speakers are compact and yet give a nice focused, resonant sound. The sub tucks away behind my iMac, but still distributes the base, and the outriggers give a nice full sound with good top end. A happy purchase.”
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