Anyone who likes to watch series on their laptop will probably know the problem – bad sound is only half as fun. When gaming, good PC speakers can provide more immersion and even give you an advantage. GIGA presents the best PC speakers for every budget and also explains what you should know before buying.
If the laptop's built-in speakers aren't enough (which is more than understandable), either headphones or external speakers are used. Depending on the intended use, however, the requirements can be completely different: Should it knock you off your stool with every explosion? Is (virtual) surround sound important to you in order to hear every step of your opponent? Or maybe you're just looking for cheap boxes so you can relax and stream videos or series or listen to music at work. So that you can make the right purchase decision, we present our selection of PC speakers in various categories and price ranges.
- low price
- Switching between several devices via Bluetooth is possible
- Control element / audio input on the front
- no sound miracle with only 10 watts of power
The Logitech Z207 are our GIGA price tip. For just under 40 euros you get a simple pair of speakers that fit perfectly into the appearance of your desk. Since it is a 2.0 system without an additional subwoofer, the setup is very simple and the cable clutter is also limited. Thus, they are also ideal for use in combination with your laptop. Nothing stands in the way of a relaxed Netflix evening in front of the monitor.
The model listed here also has Bluetooth and enables easy switching between multiple playback sources. If you can do without this function, you can use the version without Bluetooth instead and only pay around 30 euros instead. If you want more power and are willing to pay more at the same time: The Bose Companion 2 are a good alternative here.
All-rounder with stereo sound: PreSonus Eris 3.5 BT
- Top price-performance ratio
- Great sound
- Control element / audio connections on the front
- Treble / bass control on the back
- Relatively compact
- Weak bass
- No on-the-fly device change despite Bluetooth 5.0
The PreSonus Eris 3.5 BT are actually monitor boxes. They also shine with crystal clear sound that is equally suitable for music and gaming. This version also has Bluetooth and is therefore ideally suited for music playback via smartphone or other mobile devices. For these reasons, this insider tip has been in my possession for several months. In terms of sound, you really get a lot here for just under 130 euros and there is hardly anything else to complain about.
The only drawback: When connecting via Bluetooth, there is a noticeable delay between image and sound. So when you watch series you still can't avoid a cable. It is also a 2.0 system without a dedicated subwoofer. So if you expect powerful bass, you will be disappointed in this regard.
Cinema feeling at home: Logitech Z906
- Dolby surround sound
- THX certification
- Real cinema feeling thanks to a total of 1,000 watts of peak power
- Remote control and control console included
- Setup associated with more effort
- Requires sufficient space
- No bluetooth
Are you longing for a real cinema feeling in your own four walls? The Logitech Z906 offers you exactly that for a price of just under 250 euros. It is a 5.1 system with a total output of 1,000 watts. The scope of delivery includes 4 satellites, a center speaker and a subwoofer. In addition, you get a control console including remote control.
By now it should be clear that these speakers are probably less suitable for a spontaneous Netflix evening in front of the laptop. The correct setup of the loudspeakers is associated with considerably more effort and also requires the appropriate space so that the full effect can unfold. But if you take the trouble, you will be rewarded with cinematic sound that is unparalleled in this price range.
Space-saving soundbar: Creative Sound BlasterX Katana
- 7.1 virtual surround sound
- numerous connection options including Bluetooth
- customizable RGB lighting
- takes up little space on the desk
- digital surround sound often sounds unnatural
The Creative Sound BlasterX Katana differs from the competition mainly in one point: Instead of two conventional speakers, a soundbar is used instead. The main advantage of this is that it can be stowed under the monitor to save space – this makes the desk look tidier.
In addition to inconspicuous RGB lighting, the Katana also has numerous connection options and virtual 7.1 surround sound. However, it cannot keep up with real surround sound by far. So if you attach great importance to this feature, you should probably consider the Logitech Z906. If you are primarily looking for a space-saving speaker that is equally suitable for gaming as well as for the occasional movie night, you will hardly go wrong here.
We need bass, bass! – Logitech G560 Lightsync
- Virtual DTS: X surround sound
- Powerful bass thanks to 240 watts peak power
- Numerous customization options via software
- Controls on the loudspeaker
- Coherent RGB lighting
- Bluetooth connectivity
- Bass can only be adjusted using software
- Screen sampler does not work in every game
- Rigid cables
The Logitech G560 Lightsync has it all. On the one hand, this is due to the maximum nominal output of a full 240 watts, which is particularly noticeable in the extremely powerful bass. On the other hand, you can make numerous adjustments using the Logitech G-Hub software: switching on virtual DTS: X surround sound and setting up various sound profiles for gaming, music and more.
You can also set the rear RGB lighting individually. That is the highlight of this model – the LEDs in the loudspeakers light up synchronously with the music ("Audio Visualizer") or, if necessary, adapt to what is happening on the monitor ("Screen Sampler"). The latter doesn't work with every game – in Doom Eternal I unfortunately had to do without the cool light effects when eliminating demons.
In addition, the associated software was not only available on the market yesterday and such errors should have long been ironed out. But if you don't like it so colorful anyway, you can switch off the lighting completely. One thing that struck me during my test: the speakers are extremely loud. Even with an output of only 10 percent, that was usually more than sufficient for my cases. So if you live in a badly soundproofed apartment or share premises with others, you should take this into account before buying.
High-end speakers for gamers: Razer Nommo Pro
- Excellent sound through THX certification
- Virtual Dolby Surround Sound
- Practical control module with LED lighting
- Numerous setting options via software
- Customizable RGB lighting
- High price
- Bluetooth 4.2 only
The manufacturer of computer accessories known for its snake logo is no longer limited to mice, keyboards or headsets. In addition to laptops or smartphones, the Razer Nommo Pro also offers high-end speakers that are particularly designed to meet the demands of gamers. However, this does not mean the apparently obligatory RGB lighting that can now be found in almost every gaming peripheral.
For a price of around 450 euros, you get first and foremost absolutely high-quality sound including THX certification, which is also supplemented by virtual Dolby surround sound. This should allow you to hear every step of your opponent so that you can track them down better. At the same time, the in-house Synapse software offers you even more options for individual adjustment – all the more practical if you already have other Razer peripherals. The practical control element and the numerous connection options do the rest, even if Bluetooth 5.0 would have been desirable at such a high price.
The best PC speakers: this is how we chose
If you want to enjoy the best sound on your desktop PC or laptop, you will use external speakers in most cases. But which speakers should you choose? It starts with the choice of the sound system: Are two simple stereo speakers enough or may it be an additional subwoofer? Others, on the other hand, may prefer a surround sound system to bring the cinema into their own four walls.
When it comes to gaming, there is now a large range of corresponding speakers that promise particularly good surround sound so that you can follow your opponents at every turn. We have therefore deliberately chosen models that cover both different price categories and purposes. In order to give you the best possible overview, we have incorporated external user opinions into our selection in addition to our own experience.
Buying PC speakers: what you should be aware of
Stereo, 2.1 and surround sound: the differences explained
The various loudspeaker systems differ primarily in the number of speakers. Stereo systems, for example, get by with only two speakers – with a 2.1 system, there is also a subwoofer, also known as a woofer. Surround sound systems, on the other hand, usually have a center speaker, other so-called satellites and a subwoofer. The subwoofer in sound systems usually has a much larger volume than the “tweeter” (tweeter) in order to generate a “good” bass. Because the human ear is much more difficult to locate bass than high tones, the position is not so important, which is why subwoofers are often placed apart.
The following are the most important differences between the respective systems:
- Stereo sound: With this variant, two individual speakers work in tandem and cover the entire sound range. The biggest disadvantage here: The bass, in particular, is often weak without an additional subwoofer. But you need fewer cables to set up.
- 2.1 sound: Two loudspeakers are responsible for reproducing the content in stereo quality. In addition, there is a subwoofer that covers the lower frequencies and thus ensures crisp bass. Some models already offer surround sound even in this configuration. In such a case, however, it is only about virtual surround sound that is simulated by software. This can only keep up with real surround sound in very few cases. But the setup is much easier.
- Surround sound: Two individual loudspeakers are simply not enough for real surround sound. That is why a surround sound system consists of several boxes that are distributed around the room. The most common are so-called 5.1 systems, consisting of a total of 5 speakers and a subwoofer. So for the best possible sound, enough space is required and you shouldn't be afraid of additional cable clutter.
THX, DTS: X, Dolby – WTF?
With so many abbreviations it is easy to lose track of things. In the following lines we will explain to you what exactly the individual standards are about. Make the start THX. this is basically a species seal of quality. Loudspeakers certified in this way guarantee, among other things, an unadulterated and precise reproduction. However, the THX certification says nothing about the ability of surround sound and its quality.
DTS: X is one of several alternatives for 3D sound. In principle, however, all standards pursue the same goal: using complex calculations, if possible realistic surround sound be generated. Depending on the speaker system, this can also be generated virtually.
Next Dolby Atmos there is also Dolby Virtual Surround Sound. This is mainly used in 2.1 systems. As the name suggests, the illusion of spatial sound is also created using software. What applies equally to all such standards: For an optimal experience, the appropriate settings should be made on the computer and in the respective game. You should also be aware that not all applications can handle all of these standards.
Connections and additional functions
Many models have various connection options and useful additional functions. This ranges from simple audio input via a 3.5 mm jack connection to a USB port from which media can be played directly. Some speakers also have an optical connection, which is mainly used on desktop computers, the PS4, AV receivers or televisions.
Another feature that is often found in PC speakers: the wireless connection via Bluetooth. This is particularly useful if you want to operate the speakers both by cable on the PC and wirelessly with the smartphone. At this point, however, it should be mentioned that the Bluetooth function is mostly only suitable for music playback. Conventional loudspeakers usually use outdated Bluetooth codecs, which lead to noticeable delays between sound and image reproduction. If your speakers don't have Bluetooth, there is the Logitech Bluetooth Audio Adapter. This means that every loudspeaker can be converted with little effort.
In particular, speakers with a focus on gaming often have additional software. This can be used to create individual sound profiles or to add virtual surround sound. Some models also have integrated RGB lighting, which can then also be configured with the associated software.
Which PC speakers are right for me?
That depends largely on how often and, above all, what exactly is to be reproduced via the loudspeakers. For occasional Netflix evenings on your laptop or in front of your screen, an inexpensive pair of stereo speakers is probably enough. If, on the other hand, you want to bring the cinema into your own four walls or follow your opponents every step of the way in the game, you will rather use a system with a subwoofer and (virtual) surround sound. To help you decide, here are a few possible scenarios:
- The built-in speakers of your laptop or monitor are not enough for you? You also don't want to spend a fortune on decent PC speakers? In such a case, inexpensive stereo speakers are sufficient: You only need to connect a few cables here, which avoids unnecessary cable clutter. If you also want to connect the boxes to your smartphone, you should preferably choose a model with Bluetooth. This saves you another cable and is much more mobile.
- Do you mainly use your speakers stationary at your desk? Would you like to use them for gaming as well as for films and music? At least investing in a high-quality 2.1 system is worthwhile here. The subwoofer provides the necessary oomph, which makes games and films sound even more lively. Depending on what your focus is on, speakers specially developed for gaming can also be considered, which then offer virtual surround sound, RGB lighting and more.
- You want the right cinema feeling in your own four walls? Here you can hardly avoid a corresponding 5.1 sound system. It is important here, however, that the increased number of loudspeakers is associated with greater effort when setting up. You also need more space so that the speakers can develop their full effect.
These portable loudspeakers manage without cables:
If you are interested in other audio topics, we have even more appropriate purchase advice on this:
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