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The best PC speakers for gaming, streaming and music


Whether it's for music, gaming or movies, a pair of the best PC speakers are a must if you want to enjoy immersive audio

If you want to enjoy an engaging, immersive audio experience at your desk, you're going to need to add a pair of the best PC speakers to your desktop setup.

The sound quality delivered by monitors and laptops tends to be pretty disappointing and PC speakers are the simplest way to upgrade your audio without the need for large amplifiers or lots of connection cables.

Whether you're looking for a compact, cheap way of enhancing your tinny laptop's sonic output or seeking an audiophile experience to do your custom-built gaming rig justice, there are plenty of great PC speakers to choose from.

We've tested a huge number of options and below you'll find our pick of the best PC speakers available at a range of price points. The list includes a few PC soundbars, too, which offer an alternative to traditional satellite speakers. They're not an ideal pairing for laptops, however, and are best suited to life under a monitor.

If you're not too sure what to look for when buying a pair of the best PC speakers, our comprehensive buying guide details all the things you need to consider before parting with your hard-earned cash.

So, if you're ready to take your immersion in games, music and movies up a notch with the best computer speakers on the market, read on.

Best PC speakers: At a glance

How to choose the best PC speakers for you

How much do I need to spend?

You can buy a little set of stereo (also known as 2.0) speakers for your PC or Mac for as little as £10, and while they may be an improvement on the tinny sound that emanates from most laptops and tablets, they’re never going to let you sit back and wallow in your favourite tunes. So, even if you're working to a tight budget, we’d generally advise that you budget to spend around £30 on a basic set of speakers that do offer a real upgrade.

It’s hard to quantify something as subjective as audio quality, but the physical build quality of a set of PC speakers can often be a good indication. Cheaper speakers that are housed in a lightweight plastic “cabinet” tend to vibrate as you start to pump up the volume, causing distortion that affects the sound quality. That’s not to say that plastic speakers are all automatically terrible, but it's not until you spend around £100 that you get solid rattle-free build quality that does its bit to reduce distortion and improve clarity.

As you head towards and beyond the £200 mark, you’ll also start to come across PC speaker cabinets made out of wood, with MDF being a popular choice for many manufacturers and audio enthusiasts. You'll also find that speakers may boast more potent amplification (measured in watts), which may provide higher volumes and clearer sound compared to lower-end models.

Above the £300 level, you’re getting into audiophile territory so it’s worth doing a bit of research of your own before buying. Since many speakers at this level are designed for proper hi-fi or music production, you may find that local music and hi-fi shops will allow you to compare multiple models before splashing out. When you're spending this kind of money, it's worth checking which speakers you prefer the sound of.

READ NEXT: Best gaming mouse – take your gaming to the next level

What kind of connections should I look out for?

One other thing to remember is that most stereo PC speakers are not intended to be portable. They’ll spend most of their time sitting on a desk or shelf at home, so they'll often use a 3.5mm audio cable to connect to your PC. Certain stereo speakers may offer Bluetooth as an extra feature – so you can use them wirelessly with a smartphone or tablet – but you’ll generally get better results with a wired connection.

Speakers with Bluetooth aptX technology avoid most of the sound-quality compromises that can mar the audio quality of lesser Bluetooth speakers. However, some high-end speakers also offer Wi-Fi connectivity, which uses your Wi-Fi network to deliver improved wireless sound quality. This often goes hand in hand with the option of linking multiple speakers together as part of a multiroom speaker system.

Some speakers may also include a USB interface. This can be handy for smaller speakers, as it allows them to draw their power supply from the USB, with no need for any additional power cables. Speakers with a USB input option may also provide a DAC (digital to analogue converter) that’s capable of handling high-res audio files.

READ NEXT: The best wireless speakers

Do I want 2.0 or 2.1 PC speakers?

For most people, the decision between 2.0 (stereo) and 2.1 (stereo plus subwoofer) systems will come down to space and neatness. The extra space and cabling required for 2.1 systems, which include two smaller satellite speakers alongside a separate subwoofer, may be enough to put some people off straight away. The benefit of a 2.1 system is that the smaller speakers can handle the less demanding upper frequencies, while the larger subwoofer deals with the rumble and thump of the bass regions.

If you're looking for the loudest, most bombastic sound on a budget – say, for gaming – a 2.1 system is a good shout. Spend similar money on a good 2.0 system, however, and you'll generally get a better quality of sound, with more clarity and detail, and tighter, less exaggerated bass. It’s also worth remembering that some 2.0 speakers include an output connector for a subwoofer, which will allow you to upgrade your speaker system with a standalone subwoofer in the future.

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What manual controls should I look out for?

The most basic PC speaker systems have no controls of their own, and you just have to control the outputs once you've connected them to your computer. However, many systems come with manual controls that let you adjust variants such as volume, bass and treble levels to fine-tune audio output to your preference. You're always better off opting for the models that have manual controls, but this is dependent on personal preference. If the speakers you're considering include these controls, be sure they're easily reachable: on the left or right speaker or satellite, or on a control pod or remote control, rather than on the back of a subwoofer that will reside under your desk, for instance.

The best PC speakers to buy

1. Creative T60: The best PC speakers for home offices

Price: £65 | Buy now from Amazon

Creative’s new T60 desktop speakers are among the cheapest PC speakers you can buy that offer truly decent sound quality, instead of producing a noise that’s barely better than your laptop speakers.

Listen to them with your eyes closed and you’d swear you were listening to speakers costing three times as much and with drivers considerably larger than the 2.75in full-range modules that nestle inside each unit. The sheer loudness is impressive: I recorded peak sound levels of 91dB at 1m distance, although some distortion does rear its ugly head when you crank the volume right up.

Sound quality is not the only thing these speakers do well, though. They’re also exceptionally well specified, and even include (unusually for sub-£100 speakers) a built-in DAC. This means you can connect them to a USB sound source, as well as via the more usual 3.5mm AUX and Bluetooth inputs.

And, thanks to that USB socket, you can also use the T60 with Creative’s SmartComms Kit software, which offers automatic noise cancellation and auto-mute when you connect your microphone or headset via the 3.5mm input jacks. All in all, these are superb desktop speakers, and are especially well suited for use as part of a home office communications setup.

Key specs – System Configuration: 2.0; Power Output: 2 x 15W RMS; Supported Codecs: SBC; Connectivity: Bluetooth, AUX-in, USB; Size: 157 x 92 x 199mm; Weight: 1.9kg

Buy now from Amazon

2. Creative Pebble V3: Affordable, minimalist 2.0 PC speakers

Price: £30 | Buy now from Amazon

The V3 are the first speakers in Creative’s affordable Pebble range to feature Bluetooth connectivity and are an excellent choice for those with limited budgets and desk space.

The USB-powered spherical satellites are compact enough to be slotted into just about any desktop setup, while audio quality is good given the low cost of entry. Dialogue is communicated particularly well, but those wanting impactful bass reproduction will be better served by a 2.1 speaker setup like the Pebble Plus.

Simple to use, space-efficient and packing up to 8W RMS of power, the Pebble V3 are a superb value-for-money way of improving your laptop or desktop PC’s audio performance.

Read our full Creative Pebble V3 review for more details

Key specs – Type: 2.0; Inputs: USB-C, 3.5mm AUX-in, Bluetooth 5.0; Outputs: None; Dimensions: 123 x 120 x 118mm (each satellite)

Buy now from Amazon

3. JBL Quantum Duo: Best satellite speakers for gaming

Price: £120 | Buy now from Game

These 2.0 stereo satellite speakers deliver great gaming audio coupled with customisable lighting at a reasonable price. JBL’s QuantumSOUND signature was specifically created for gaming and it shows, with weighty bass reproduction lending impact to firefights in first-person shooters and accurate sound positioning allowing you to pinpoint enemies and teammates.

When it comes to lighting, there are six individual colours to choose from, plus the obligatory rainbow profile and three different effects: solid, which sees the lights remain static, wave and flow. Wave pulsates along to your audio with a breathing effect, while flow moves in and out to your music. Effects can be easily switched between using a button on top of the right speaker, and there are three brightness levels in addition to the option to turn the lighting off altogether.

Surround-sound mode boosts in-game immersion significantly, while Bluetooth 4.2 connectivity enables you to use the Quantum Duo to play audio from your phone. There’s also a 3.5mm headphone socket for those wanting to connect a pair of headphones or gaming headset.

Key specs – Type: 2.0 stereo; Inputs: 3.5mm, USB-A, Bluetooth; Outputs: 3.5mm headphone socket; Dimensions: 210 x 89 x 176mm (each satellite)

Buy now from Game

4. Ruark MR1 MKII: Premium speakers that look and sound the part

Price: £349 | Buy now from Amazon

The Ruark MR1 MKII combine phenomenal sound quality with a compact, classy aesthetic that will appeal to those with a sensibility for retro design. There’s great width to their soundstage and this provides ample space for individual instruments to be expertly articulated. Mids and treble are extremely clean and there’s real depth to their bass extension. They pack a powerful punch, too; you’re unlikely to need to push them above 50% volume while at your desk watching a film or listening to a playlist.

Primarily designed for use over Bluetooth, the MR1 MKII feature AUX-in and optical inputs on the rear of their right satellite. These additional connection options are very welcome and mean the MR1 can gamely double-up as TV speakers if you don’t own a soundbar. You can even use them as portable speakers if you’re willing to fork out an additional £69 for Ruark’s battery pack, the BackPack 3.

Controlling the MR1 couldn’t be easier via the included remote, which lets you switch sources, adjust volume and pair the speakers with up to eight different devices. Simple to set up and use, easy on the eye and wonderfully musical, the Ruark MR1 MKII are a superb addition to any desktop setup.

Key specs – Type: 2.0 stereo satellite speakers; Inputs: Bluetooth, AUX-in and Toslink optical; Outputs: Subwoofer out; Dimensions: 130 x 140 x 175mm (each satellite)

Buy now from John Lewis

5. Creative Pebble Plus: The best 2.1 PC speakers under £50

Price: £29 | Buy now from Amazon

If you’re looking for something with a decent amount of oomph and don’t have a lot to spend, the Creative Pebble Plus is an excellent choice. Unlike the Logitech Z200 or the Creative Pebble V3, the Plus has a dedicated subwoofer; this improves the speakers’ frequency response, where it extends down to 50Hz as opposed to 100Hz on the 2.0 system.

The speakers don’t require any additional power, just one of your computer’s USB sockets and a 3.5mm auxiliary port. Angled at 45˚, the system reproduces a pleasant audio experience with impressive bass tones, accurate-sounding mids and a wide soundstage – it’s loud enough to fill a small bedroom.

Key specs – Type: 2.1 stereo; Inputs: 3.5mm input; Outputs: None; Dimensions: 116 x 122 x 115mm (satellites)

Buy now from Amazon

6. JBL One Series 104-BT: Punchy, crisp and pleasingly versatile

Price: £119 | Buy now from Amazon

JBL’s One Series 104 were impressive desktop speakers, but the new model adds Bluetooth to the mix. The result is great-sounding speakers that are perfectly suited to both work and play.

The 60-watt Class D amplifier delivers 30 watts to each speaker, and this pushes the 4.5in woofer and 0.75in tweeter to surprisingly high volumes. Sound quality is good too, with enough bass to give music a decent amount of weight, and a high-end that reveals detail in everything from Zoom calls to delicate classical works.

The killer feature here is that you can listen to all of the three analogue inputs and Bluetooth input simultaneously. That means you can stream music wirelessly while still hearing notifications and receiving voice or video calls from your other devices – and that’s genuinely handy.

No, they’re not as refined as bigger active speakers, but if you’re looking for great sound in a compact, versatile package, they’re hard to beat.

Read our full JBL One Series 104-BT review for more details

Key specs – Type: 2.0; Inputs: 6.35mm balanced, TRS unbalanced, 3.5mm AUX-in, Bluetooth 5.0; Outputs: Headphones; Dimensions: 247 x 153 x 124mm (each satellite)

Buy now from Amazon

7. Logitech Z200: Cheap PC speakers with adjustable bass

Price: £30 | Buy now from Amazon

Logitech’s Z200 speakers are a solid option if you want to upgrade the feeble speakers in your laptop or tablet. They’re small enough to sit on a desk beside your laptop or PC monitor, but large enough to produce a full, firm sound for listening to music, or a bit of a binge-watch on Netflix.

There’s no Bluetooth unless you upgrade to the more expensive Z207, but the Z200 provides a fixed audio cable for your laptop, with an additional 3.5mm socket so you can still plug in a mobile device if you want to. There’s a headphone socket, too, so you don’t have to unplug them every time you reach for a pair of headphones.

Key specs – Type: 2.0 stereo; Inputs: 3.5mm input cable (not removable), 3.5mm line-in; Outputs: 3.5mm headphone socket; Dimensions: 241 x 90 x 124mm (each satellite)

Buy now from Amazon

8. Panasonic SoundSlayer (SC-HTB01): Best compact soundbar for gaming

Price: £250 | Buy now from Amazon

With a choice of three gaming-focused sound modes and support for 3D audio in the form of Dolby Atmos, DTS:X and DTS Virtual:X, this versatile soundbar is a great way to enhance your PC audio. It’s extremely compact, slipping under a monitor or TV with minimal fuss, and delivers impressive sound quality across its various modes.

Voice mode helps enhance dialogue in narrative-heavy games, while there are also profiles tailored specifically for RPGs and First-Person Shooters. Although it can’t compete with soundbars packing a separate subwoofer, the built-in subwoofer does a decent job at providing a solid bass thump.

The SoundSlayer can connect to devices via Bluetooth, which is great for when you want to blast out a Spotify playlist from your phone, and works well with next-gen gaming consoles, too. So, if you’ve been lucky enough to bag a PS5 or Xbox Series X you can enjoy the immersive sonic experience it provides on your console in addition to your PC. Everything is easily controlled using the included remote, but you will need HDMI cables to hook the speaker up, as it doesn’t come with any in the box.

Key specs – Type: 2.1 soundbar; Inputs: HDMI, Optical, USB-A (for firmware updates); Outputs: HDMI (ARC); Dimensions: 431 x 52 x 132mm

Buy now from Amazon

9. Creative T100: Attractive stereo speakers with connection options aplenty

Price: £100 | Buy now from Amazon

The Creative T100 doesn’t try to do anything too flashy but does the basics extremely well. The setup sounds great whatever you’re listening to and there are a number of different ways in which you can connect to your audio output, with a 3.5mm port, optical-in, USB Type-A and Bluetooth 5.0 connectivity.

You’ll want to connect the speakers via the 3.5mm cable when watching video content to avoid audio lag, but aside from that minor quibble, it’s hard to fault this pair of compact and smartly designed desktop speakers, which can be controlled via an included infrared remote.

Read our full Creative T100 review for more details

Key specs – Type: 2.0 stereo; Inputs: 3.5mm line-in, optical-in, Bluetooth 5.0, USB (FAT32, 32GB maximum); Outputs: N/A; Dimensions: 220 x 90 x 120mm

Buy now from Amazon

10. Razer Nommo Pro: Best premium gaming speaker system

Price: £500 | Buy now from Razer

This pricey 2.1 speaker system includes two futuristically designed satellites, a beefy downward-firing subwoofer and a control hub that allows you to select from the impressive range of input sources on offer. Bluetooth, optical, analogue and USB can all be connected simultaneously and switched between at the simple press of a button.

You can also select between three audio modes using Razer’s Synapse 3 software: stereo, THX and Dolby Virtual Surround, giving you great flexibility in how you listen to music or enjoy in-game audio. And for lovers of RGB, the satellites provide minimalist lighting via thin LED strips on their bases.

The sheer size of the Nommo Pro makes it a poor choice for those short on desk space but if you have the room to accommodate it, it’s a powerful and versatile system that will enhance your audio experience whether you’re gaming, watching a movie or simply listening to some tunes.

Key specs – Type: 2.1 stereo (plus virtual surround sound); Inputs: 3.5mm, Bluetooth 4,2, optical, USB-B; Outputs: None; Dimensions: Satellites – 27 x 13cm, Subwoofer – 39 x 27cm

Buy now from Razer

11. Edifier S3000 Pro: Incredible stereo sound – but very expensive

Price: £699 | Buy now from Amazon

The S3000 Pro active speakers are exceptional. Housed inside a beautiful wooden enclosure, the pair of 6.5in aluminium mid-to-low-end drivers and 107mm planar tweeters deliver an outstanding 256W of RMS power. These can get incredibly loud and yet it’s not the sheer volume of this system that will blow you away – it’s the quality. The pair delivers an incredible soundstage, an exquisite bassline that extends down to 38Hz and highs that sparkle at the top end.

For connectivity, you’ve got a selection of wired connections and Bluetooth, with some for the Hi-res aptX HD codec. The right and left speaker units are also wirelessly connected but there's no wire between the two so you will need to connect each to its own power socket. You can tailor the sound to your liking using volume, bass and treble knobs located on the rear of the right speaker and there are also four EQ profiles that can be accessed via the included IR remote.

If you like the look of the S3000 Pro but want a more compact and affordable option, Edifier’s S2000 MKIII are well worth checking out.

Key specs – Type: 2.0 stereo; Inputs: USB, RCA, Balanced XLR (3-pin), coaxial, optical, Bluetooth; Outputs: N/A; Dimensions: 356 x 232 x 268mm

Buy now from Amazon