As your helpful guide, I want to let you in on a little secret in the world of computer audio – desktop speakers are still 100% worth investing in, even in 2023!
I know, I know – with snazzy slim laptops and monitors rocking built-in speakers, you may think external speakers are no longer necessary. Trust me, I felt the same way too until I discovered the dramatic difference a quality set of desktop speakers can make.
Here are six compelling reasons why you should join me in upgrading to a serious set of desktop speakers for your computer or workspace.
Reason 1: Desktop Speakers Deliver Deeper, Richer Bass
Let‘s be honest – as cool as laptops and monitors look, their tiny integrated speakers simply can‘t produce deep, punchy bass. According to audio engineers at Harman Kardon, the average frequency response of built-in laptop speakers is 200 to 500 Hz on the low end. That means they can‘t even reproduce sounds below 200 Hz, which includes crucial bass information that gives music warmth, weight and impact.
In contrast, desktop speakers are specifically designed for low frequency extension. For example, the Audioengine A2+ speakers reach down to 50 Hz thanks to rear bass ports that enhance acoustic projection. Going from 500 Hz to 50 Hz means gaining two and half octaves of extra low bass content!
|Speaker Type||Low Frequency Limit|
|Laptop||200 – 500 Hz|
|Desktop||60 – 100 Hz|
This extended frequency range makes desktop speakers perfect for genres like EDM, hip hop and orchestral music that rely on deep bass. And even for acoustic genres, the extra low end gives a satisfying fullness that laptop speakers miss.
According to leading researchers in psychoacoustics like Dr. Floyd Toole, accurate bass reproduction down to at least 60 Hz is critical for reproducing music with a sense of warmth and space similar to a live performance. Desktop speakers get far closer to this goal.
Reason 2: Crisper, More Detailed Treble
In addition to weak bass, built-in laptop and monitor speakers often lack clean, extended high frequency reproduction according to audio testing experts like SoundGuys. The limited treble results in a darker, muddier sound that glosses over fine details.
Desktop speakers again excel here by utilizing higher quality tweeters and crossover components. This allows them to achieve airier highs up to 20 kHz and beyond, adding sparkle and articulation to instruments like cymbals, guitars and vocals.
For example, the Klipsch ProMedia 2.1 system employs proprietary horn-loaded tweeters for smoother, more natural treble than typical laptop speakers. This reveals intricacies and texture you‘ve been missing out on!
Reason 3: Much Higher Volume Potential
While portability is great, it comes at the cost of acoustic power. Small built-in speakers simply lack the surface area and cabinet space to move enough air to play loudly while maintaining sound quality. Turn them up too high and you get distortion and a tiring harshness.
With desktop speakers, you get more volume headroom thanks to dedicated amplifier sections and larger driver sizes. For instance, the Audioengine A2+ uses hefty 2.75” aramid fiber woofers that can achieve a remarkable 108 dB peak output.
Desktop speakers give you plenty of clean volume to immerse yourself in movies or music without fatiguing your ears. And when you do need to keep the noise down like late at night, they have enough sensitivity to still sound great at lower volumes.
Reason 4: Built to Last with Heavy-Duty Components
Here‘s an appeal to value – desktop speakers are designed with higher quality materials and components versus built-in speakers. This means they can stand up to repeated high playback volumes without failing prematurely.
For example, Look at the Edifier S3000Pro bookshelf speakers. They utilize robust 5.5" aluminum cone woofers and silk dome tweeters rated for up to 100 watts. The sturdy MDF wood cabinets are painstakingly constructed and braced to minimize resonance.
Compare that to the thin plastic laptop chassis and fragility of built-in speakers – they just can‘t handle the abuse that desktop speakers can. With a good set of desktop speakers, you get peace of mind from longevity and reliability.
Reason 5: Greater Placement Options for Better Sound
This is one of my favorite perks of desktop speakers – the flexibility to place them anywhere! Since they aren‘t confined to the laptop or monitor frame, you can position them to take advantage of the room‘s acoustics.
Wider spacing improves stereo imaging for a more immersive experience. Tilting them inward focuses the soundstage. You can even mount them on wall or ceiling brackets to save desk space. This degree of placement flexibility allows you to optimize the sound for your setup.
With built-in speakers, you‘re forced to accept the limited sound dictated by the device. But with desktop speakers, you take control over the audio experience.
Reason 6: Seamless Switching Between Devices
Modern connectivity options like Bluetooth and optical inputs allow many desktop speakers to connect with a variety of devices. For example, the Audioengine A5+ Wireless hooks up seamlessly to your computer, phone, tablet, TV and more.
This consolidation of your audio ecosystem into one superior speaker system reduces clutter. More importantly, it lets you easily switch between tunes on your phone and video on your computer without missing a beat.
Built-in speakers lock you into using them with just one device. With desktop speakers, you can upgrade the audio experience across all your electronics and streamline your desk.
Now that you know why desktop speakers are very much relevant in 2023, let‘s explore some of my top recommendations across a range of budgets and uses. I‘ll share specifics on what makes each one great based on hands-on testing and expert reviews.
For Music Lovers Seeking Hi-Fi Sound: Audioengine A5+
- 50W Class AB amps for articulate sound
- Aramid fiber woofers and silk tweeters
- RCA, optical and analog connectivity
- Detailed and expansive stereo imaging
If music is your thing, then the Audioengine A5+ should be at the top of your desktop speaker list. This venerable model continues to blow away listeners with its clean, accurate audio performance reminiscent of high-end hi-fi systems.
The secret lies in premium components like aramid fiber woofers and silk dome tweeters along with Class AB amplification. Together, these deliver tight, textured bass down to 50Hz along with shimmery extended highs up to 22kHz. The result is a stunningly realistic presentation with width and depth beyond what you‘d expect from such compact enclosures.
Vocals come through with intimacy and nuance. Instruments inhabit distinct spaces across the soundstage thanks to stellar stereo imaging. Whether you‘re jamming to jazz, classical or anything in between, the A5+ extracts every last detail for a sublime musical experience.
For $399 a pair, Audioengine succeeds in packing true audiophile-quality sound into an accessible desktop format. The connectivity options like analog, optical and USB inputs along with built-in DAC support any modern source.
Bottom line – if your desktop speakers budget allows, the Audioengine A5+ should be your first choice. You‘ll be amazed what a high-end audio experience they deliver.
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For Gamers and Home Theater Fans: Logitech G560
- Integrated side-firing subwoofer
- DTS:X Ultra surround sound
- Game-driven RGB lighting
- Rich sound with booming bass
For a truly immersive gaming and movie experience on your desktop, the Logitech G560 PC speakers are specially designed to transport you right into the action. This THX-certified 2.1 system combines pulsating down-firing sub bass with lifelike surround sound powered by advanced DTS:X Ultra technology.
The included 6.5” sub hits a seismic low end down to 40Hz to give explosions serious impact. Four expertly tuned drivers in the satellite speakers handle mids and highs with detail and clarity. Together they create a seamless 360-degree soundfield that fully envelops you.
Voices come through focused and clear even in chaotic action sequences thanks to the pinpoint imaging. Subtle environmental cues give you an added edge in FPS games by enhancing spatial awareness.
For a final touch of immersion, brilliant RGB lighting pulsates and reacts to in-game events like you see on gaming PCs. With independent zones, you can even customize colors and effects.
If you want desktop speakers to make your games and movies larger than life, the Logitech G560 should be your battlefield companion. Priced under $200, they deliver a captivating cinematic experience.
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For Music Production and Mixing: Kali Audio LP-6
- 6.5” copolymer woofers
- Customized 1” silk dome tweeters
- Rear bass port
- Balanced frequency response
For music creators and sound engineers, accuracy is everything. You need desktop monitors that reveal intricate details across the frequency spectrum so you can perfect your mixes. This is where the Kali Audio LP-6 absolutely shines for their reasonable $149 price point.
The LP-6 achieve stunning transparency through proprietary 6.5" copolymer woofers and customized silk dome tweeters. Together they deliver smooth frequency response from 54Hz to 20kHz +/- 3dB. This means you hear exactly what‘s in your recordings – no hype, no coloring.
The rear bass port provides added low-end projection and spatiality that makes instruments sound vivid and life-like. The wide sweet spot ensures this excellent imaging even when listening off-axis.
According to professional reviewers at websites like Audioholics, the LP-6 punch well above their weight, rivaling monitors double the price for mixing and mastering applications.
For home studio enthusiasts or live streamers, the Kali LP-6 should be your first choice to take audio quality seriously on a budget. Their accuracy across the spectrum helps mixers and creators achieve professional results.
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For Compact Minimalist Setup: Audioengine A2+ Wireless
- Sleek, compact form factor
- Bluetooth 5.0 streaming
- RCA, optical, and USB inputs
- Detailed sound despite small size
If you‘re tight on space but still want an audio upgrade, then meet the A2+ Wireless from Audioengine. These compact speakers measuring just 6.5" x 4.3" x 5.3" deliver stunning room-filling sound belying their miniature size.
A built-in DAC provides hi-res compatibility via optical or USB connections to your computer. High-quality components like kevlar woofers and silk tweeters achieve sparkling treble and articulate bass despite the small enclosures. You even get convenient volume knobs up top along with a headphone jack.
The A2+ Wireless builds on the legendary performance of Audioengine‘s A2+ model by adding easy wireless streaming via Bluetooth 5.0. Simply pair to your phone, tablet or computer for cable-free convenience.
Reviewers and customers consistently praise how the Audioengine A2+ Wireless punches way above its weight. If you‘re short on space but still want serious desktop speakers without sacrificing sound, then this compact system is made for you. For just $269 a pair, they‘ll transform your listening experience.
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For Those on a Budget: Creative Pebble V3
- Incredible value under $40
- USB-C connectivity
- Compact, minimalist design
- Clear audio with punchy bass
If you‘re looking for desktop audio on a tight budget, the Creative Pebble V3 should be at the top of your list. For less than $40, you‘d expect desktop speakers to sound like tin cans. Amazingly, the Pebble V3 presents audio cleanly with decent bass punch and smooth treble.
The curved aesthetic looks sharp on any desk while taking up minimal space. Connectivity is a breeze with the included USB-C cable – just plug and play. Don‘t let the tiny size fool you either. Acoustic tricks like bass reflex ports allow these mini speakers to achieve a surprisingly big sound.
According to tech experts at publications like PCWorld, the Pebble V3 outperform expectations to become one of the best values in budget computer speakers.
If you want an inexpensive way to upgrade from tinny laptop speakers, then the Pebble V3 should be your first choice. They bring a taste of serious sound to any desk at a price that‘s tough to beat.
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As you can see, there are so many great reasons to elevate your computer listening experience with desktop speakers – more bass, added clarity, higher volume, enhanced durability, flexible placement and multi-device connectivity.
Desktop speakers continue advancing to beat built-in options on all fronts. Dedicated components like woofers, tweeters and amplifiers packed into an acoustic enclosure give them a purpose-built advantage. Placement flexibility and ability to connect different sources provide even more ways to customize your experience.
I hope this breakdown of why desktop speakers are very much alive and well in 2023 helps explain their continued relevance. My goal was to save you from the limitations of built-in audio by revealing everything desktop speakers have to offer.
Ultimately, only you can decide if upgrading makes sense based on your listening habits and budget. But I guarantee once you experience what a quality set of desktop speakers can do in terms of taking your audio enjoyment to new heights, you‘ll never look back!
Let me know if you have any other questions. I‘m always happy to chat more about achieving your dream desktop sound experience. Talk soon!