The best computer speakers are those that provide the sound quality and amplification you need at a price you can afford. The most common types of computer speakers are 2.1 and 5.1. Speakers with 2.1 sound have two audio channels through a left and right speaker on both sides of the monitor as well as a subwoofer. Those with 5.1 sound come with five audio channels and a subwoofer. For standard computer use 2.1 speakers are adequate with prices ranging from $20 to $90. However, if you intend to use your speakers to watch movies or play games, 5.1 speakers are recommended with prices ranging from $40 to $200.
2.1 speakers are more than adequate for most people. If you are on a budget, Altec Lansing’s VS2321 is one of the best computer speakers at an average price of $40. For those that want the best quality sound a 2.1 can offer, the Logitech Z-2300 is recommended by CNET. It sells for around $90 and its sound has been described as loud, clear and crisp.
Logitech has a range of computer speakers which are ideal for serious gamers. For example, the Logitech X-540 is affordable and has great sound. It is a versatile 5.1 surround speaker system which you can connect to your computer, gaming consoles, television, ipods, or mp3 players. It is popular with gamers and also with people who listen to music on their P.C. It comes with five speakers and a subwoofer and prices commonly range from $67 to $116.
The Logitech G51 5.1 surround sound speakers also have five speakers and a subwoofer but they pack a bit more punch when it comes to sound. It has received good reviews for gaming and movies but some users find the sound quality insufficient for music. Prices range from $132 to $210.
In PC World, Labriola reviews the Logitech Z-5500 and describes it as the “ultimate 5.1-channel speaker system,” giving it four out of five stars. His only criticism is of its default bass settings. These speakers sell for around $220 which some reviewers criticize as being too high. However, Labriola is not alone in considering the Z-5500 one of the best computer speakers on the market, so the price may be well worth it.
Bose Companion III has two speakers and a sub-woofer. For gaming and to watch movies the price is on the high side, however if you also want to play music on your computer, the sound quality of this product is superior. The average price is $250.
For decent 5.1 sound on a budget the Altec Lansing VS3251 at $40 on average, is one of the best computer speakers available.
Before choosing your computer speakers, take the time to think through the ways in which you intend to use them. Are you going to need a good all round speaker with which to enjoy listening to music? Do you intend to watch DVDs on your computer or watch online videos? What about gaming? Or do you want to just have good audio for conversations over the internet? Your budget and the ways in which you want to use your speakers should govern your purchasing decision. Otherwise, you will quickly need to upgrade to get the best computer speakers for your needs.