Crowdstorm’s buyers guide to computer speakers
Welcome to Crowdstorm, and more specifically our page dedicated to speakers for PC. Below you’ll find all you need to know when looking to pick up some new computer speakers – while above you can compare all the best deals from your favourite high street and online retailers.
The audio quality of digital music and television is improving all the time and many us now rely on downloads and streaming for much of our viewing and listening. This has in turn led to huge growth in the quality of speakers for both computers and smartphones/MP3 players.
As well as quality, there is now a huge range of products to choose from. Basic PC speakers start from as little as £5, while a good PC surround sound system can set you back £500. So which option to choose?
Buying the best PC speakers
There are two main factors that can weigh heavily on your choice: style and surround sound. Style and quality have no correlation; we've seen some sweet looking speakers for as cheap as £10.
But then if you're just using your computer for a bit of casual YouTube watching, or listening to the radio while you work, you’re probably not too worried about it sounding perfect – so there’s no reason not to go for some PC speakers that look great while also suiting your budget
But if you use your machine as your main music player or multimedia device, it can really be worth spending that little bit extra when you compare deals. If that’s the case, there are different considerations depending on whether you’re more of a music or movie fan.
- Music: Those little speakers you often see connected to a PC simply aren't going to cut it for music lovers. But if you search '2.0' speakers here you'll find slim pickings in the stereo department; these PC speakers are very much considered small desktop mounted devices, so if you want a bit of bass you'll have to either connect your PC to an amp and 'proper' speakers – or get hooked up to a movie rig with surround sound, below.
- Movies: If you're looking for a strong multimedia set of PC speakers, you're going to be looking for surround sound – and here the PC speaker buyer tends to be better catered for: you should be looking specifically for 5.1 PC speakers for the full surround sound experience.
Just remember, a 5.1 surround sound PC speaker system need to be properly set up. This often means a lot of wires, with speakers needing to be mounted all around the room, so think carefully about the room your PC is in before committing.
Computer speaker specifics
Once you’ve decided on your price range and audio priorities, it’s time to get down to the nitty gritty of comparison. There’s a lot of choice out there, so here are some phrases and jargon to look out for:
- Portable PC speakers: These units are small and compact, perfect for boosting the sound output on anything from a tablet to laptop when you’re on the move (anything from the garden to a holiday). They won’t be great quality, but can make a miserable wet camping trip more bearable!
- Multiroom speakers: With Wi-Fi now in practically every home, multiroom technology is becoming increasing popular - and consequentially more affordable. Big guns such as Samsung have joined sonos is this space, making speakers you can control from your phone or PC that can pump your tunes all around the house.
- USB speakers: These speakers plug into a USB port rather than going via your soundcard, meaning they bypass your computer’s main source for creating good quality audio. This, of course, means the audio quality is going to suffer – but they can be very useful for giving laptop sound a boost, for example – or as a cheap option. They don’t tend to be awesome quality.
- Wireless speakers: The best wireless speakers tend to plug directly into the mains and have large drivers, creating sounds quality you’d expect from top-of-the range speakers: but you can also get small units with rechargeable batteries for taking on trips: there’s a huge range. Most will connect to your computer via Bluetooth (so they will work with your smartphone or tablet too), while those made specifically for Apple products will often use AirPlay. Remember these wireless protocols only have a range of about 10m, so are best used in a single room.
- 2.0 versus 2.1: If you love your bass, that .1 makes all the difference because it means your new speaker system will come with a dedicated bass bin. You can get really good sound, and even a good bass sound, from a standard 2.0 stereo speaker set – but you’ll need to pay good money for them.
- Remote control: Many computer speakers don’t have a remote, so be careful to check on this if it’s an important consideration for you.
I’ve found the best computer speakers: What next?
Once you’ve settled on the perfect speakers for your PC the next bit is easy. At Crowdstorm we scour the internet for the nest deals from our retail partners and put them here for you to compare.
But better still, Crowdstorm isn’t a retailer. This means we don’t add any commission to your purchase (we make our money from advertising), while you’ll be buying your speakers direct from the retailer of your choice – one click will take you directly to the right page to buy on their official website. What could be simpler?
So sit back, turn your tunes up loud, and wait for your new speakers to arrive!