We use our computers these days for more then basic web surfing and typing. Many people watch movies, play video games, and listen to music on their computers. Audio cards and speaker systems for computers have become more sophisticated and offer better audio quality then built in speakers.
Consider these tips before purchasing speakers for your PC or Mac.
What do you use your computer for the most?
If you listen to a lot of music on your computer, you’ll want a 2.1 or 3.1 speaker system. These systems either come with 2 speakers or 2 speakers and a subwoofer. They come in a wide range of prices and sizes.
If you play a lot of video games and watch a lot of movies on your computer you might want to consider a 5.1 speaker system. This system will allow you to set up surround sound for your computer audio as long as your computer audio card supports it. You can also get a 7.1 speaker system which is an even more advanced surround system stereo speaker system.
What can your audio card produce?
There is no point in buying an expensive high end surround sound speaker system if your audio card only puts out sound in mono or stereo. You can check your current audio card by looking in System Preferences under audio. A quick Google search will give you information about your audio card. You can also find information about your audio card in your computer user manual.
If you’ve purchased an after market audio card, chances are it can put out far better audio quality and could work well with surround sound systems.
Connections and cables
Many laptop users will find that they have only one audio jack, a combined headphone and stereo out jack. That said, if your computer or laptop only has one jack for audio connections you need to make sure the speakers you buy can hook up to that one jack.
A lot of speaker systems come with a central connection point, usually on the subwoofer, where the speakers, external controls, and power supply will connect to. That is all run to one output jack so you don’t need multiple connections.
Some speaker systems are powered by the connection to the computer, these are generally low power and not high quality audio producers. Stick with externally powered speaker systems to get better audio quality.
If you want less cables and minimal clutter, you can stretch out your budget and get a soundbar that has a wireless subwoofer, like Vizio SB3621n-F8M soundbar. This way, you’ll have multiple connectivity options with much less hassle, less clutter, and still have a good quality audio experience.
Space and size
Based on your audio needs you’ll need to pick a speaker system that fits both within your needs and within your desk space. Audiophiles who listen to a lot of music may want monitor speakers, but with tight space this might not be the best option.
A surround sound system might be your dream audio system for watching movies and playing the latest games, but do you have the room for all the components? Surround sound systems need to be placed in certain locations with speakers behind and in front of you. You may need to wall mount certain speakers as well.
If desktop space is limited and you can’t place your speakers on mounts you may want to stick to 2.1 or 3.1 speaker systems. Many companies such as JBL make space saving speaker systems that still deliver great audio quality.
Price and budget
With a speaker system for your computer you could spend as little as 20 dollars for 2 simple speakers or a few thousand dollars for a high powered surround sound system. Your choices range from simple single speakers to full range studio monitor speakers and everything in between.