Don’t spend big $$ unless you need big sound
Choosing computer speakers should be easy, right? Well, you might think that’s the case, but head down to the electronics store and you’ll soon find yourself confronted with a wall of different options – suddenly, your head’s in a spin!
So you need to stop and think: What do you use your computer for? Playing games? Surfing the net? Listening to music and watching movies? This will be the biggest factor in helping you determine what speakers to buy.
Think about where you’re going to put the speakers. Many of us have very cluttered desks where we work on our computers, and if this sounds like you, then you’re going to have to think. Luckily there are several options, including smaller speakers or wall mounted speakers to name just two.
If you’re after some really pounding sounds, then what you really need are sub-woofers. Bear in mind though, these are usually big, and so it’s unlikely they will fit on your computer desk. The absolute best kind of speakers are the biggest computer speakers going, and as such you’ll need to make room for them on the floor. However, bear in mind the size of the room as well. It’s not always necessary to go for the biggest speaker to get great quality sound – for example, the R.M.S. Aquatic Speakers & Horns (Model AQ-SPKC7.58R), available at just $191 are a great sounding yet compact pair of speakers that will more than adequately serve most normal-sized living rooms
In order to get good sound quality, you need to have more channels. Most built in computer speakers have just 2 or 3 channels. You can get computer speakers with up to 7 channels, but bear in mind you will also need a sound card that supports them, otherwise they simply won’t produce the sound quality they are capable of.
The price of the speakers is usually a reliable guide as to their quality. The golden rule with computer speakers is that, unless you spend more than $30, you are probably not going to get anything that can outperform the built in speakers that most laptops and PCs already have.
Wireless speakers are the next generation in computer speaker technology, but while they are indeed an up and coming technology, many users complain that the quality isn’t as good as wired speakers. Still, they are improving, and they offer some nice added features. For example, the Parrot Party Portable Wireless Bluetooth Speakers (PR555) can be hooked up to your smartphone, and are available at just $120.
Where to buy
As always, buying your speakers online will save you money, though the downside is you can’t listen before you buy. Price-wise, the best place we found was at Yahoo Shopping, which offers price comparisons for nearly all the top brands.