Speakers for computer?

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by TSWisla, Jan 21, 2017.

  1. TSWisla

    TSWisla Forum Resident Thread Starter

    What is the best way to do this without breaking the bank? Are there some decent speakers that I can simply plug in or do I need a streamer and amp or what? I apologize, but I am clueless when it comes to computer audio. Thank you?
    AcidPunk15 likes this.
  2. bdfin

    bdfin Well-Known Member

    Washington State
    AcidPunk15 and mds like this.
  3. mds

    mds Forum Resident

    In a similar vein as the Kilpsch I happen to use the JBL-LSR305 which incorporates a class D amplifier in the speaker. One for the tweeter and one for the woofer. I added an ifi DAC. With this arrangement you plug the speaker into the DAC and use a USB to plug the DAC into the PC. No need for a PC sound card. The sound is fantastic. I have used them with a self powered sub woofer and without and determined for sitting at my desk and listening to music there was no need for the addition of a sub, however if you are partial to deep bass then just add the sub, very easy to do.

    Amazon.com: JBL LSR305 Professional Studio Monitor (PACK OF 2): Musical Instruments »
    Sterling1 likes this.
  4. Lebowski

    Lebowski Hey, careful man, there's a beverage here!

    Eastern MA
    Do you have an external DAC? If not, you might to explore that in tandem with your speaker research.
  5. TSWisla

    TSWisla Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Can you suggest a dac or two?
  6. Lebowski

    Lebowski Hey, careful man, there's a beverage here!

    Eastern MA
    I'm not as knowledgeable as others on the forum. But I would check out Schiit. They are well-liked and offer different price points, including a couple of $100 options (the Fulla 2 and Modi 2).
  7. BayouTiger

    BayouTiger Forum Resident

    New Orleans
    I had the Klipsch setup for a long time and I think they are the best 2.1 "computer" speakers going, but you can do much better going to a pair of powered monitors. I moved to the mAudio BX5 and a small sub under the desk and was very happy for a long time.

    If I was doing it again I would just get a nice connected speaker like the Sonos Play5 or (even better) the Bluesound Pulse. These have a lot more flexibility than most other options and many of them found fantastic. They could also move somewhere else in the room which may be nicer than having them on the desktop.
    SandAndGlass likes this.
  8. jlykos

    jlykos Forum Resident

    Parts Unknown
    Try the Audioengine A2+. They are powered speakers with an internal DAC. Hook up an iPhone or any digital source and you are good to go. The stands are overpriced at $30, but are really useful to make the most of the speakers. I have had a pair of the older A2 speakers for years and I love them.
  9. shadowlord

    shadowlord Forum Resident

    depends a bit on what you expect in terms of sound quality. Just for youtube videos i'd go the 2.1 pc speaker route.
    if you want to listen to some quality tunes as well, a decent pair of bookshelf speakers plus dac and amp is the way to go in my opinion.
    some Elac B5 or B6 plus a SMLS T-amp should be a good starting point.
  10. Mike-48

    Mike-48 Forum Resident

    Portland, Oregon
    I second the recommendation for Audioengine. I have a pair of A5+, and they perform way above their price.

    As to configuration:
    • If you select a powered speaker including a DAC (like the A2+), you can plug it directly into the computer via USB. The speakers' DAC is almost certainly going sound better that taking analog from your computer.
    • If you select a powered speaker without a DAC, you can take analog from the computer or use an inexpensive USB DAC like the Audioquest Dragonfly.
    • If you select a passive (unpowered) speaker, you'll need an amplifier, and for the best sound you'll need a DAC as well.
    So the simplest solution is a powered speaker with its own DAC.
    octaneTom, geoffr, TSWisla and 2 others like this.
  11. The Pinhead


  12. Bananas&blow

    Bananas&blow Where the wind don't blow so strange.

    The audio engine powered monitors are a great choice. But realize a computer, in the audio sense, is the same thing as cd player, or a turntable. It is a device that holds the information that is eventually transmitted to the speakers in the form of music. So you really aren't limited to speakers designed for a computer. You need a dac (could be internal to an amp or speakers) to convert the data. I am awaiting a new turntable so my music source is a computer, but I have it running to an integrated amp with a Dac, to my speakers. Neither my amp nor speakers are designed specifically for a computer, but they likely sound much better than small specifically designed for computer speaker setups.

    There are some simple tweaks you can do to really improve the sound of a computer set up, which I am assuming to mean the speakers are on top of the desk. The reality is a desk is a lousy place to put speakers. The bass from the woofers vibrates the cabinet, which in turn vibrates the desk, causing muddying of the base. Get some kind of stand to separate the speakers from the desk. Also make sure there is some kind of dampener between the speaker and the desk. Sorbothane pads from amazing are a very cheap solution that make a huge difference in SQ for less than $25.

    Play around with the Toe in angle of the speakers on the desk as well. Measure the distance to each ear, don't just eyeball it. Find the angle that you prefer the most. The image changes dramatically with small adjustments to the speaker angle. Some desk tops stands angle the speakers up slightly which is good to reduce the effect of the sound waves bouncing off the desk before they hit your ears.

    If you don't want to think that much, here are some options that are generally considered a good brand for computer speakers:

    audioengine speakers at Crutchfield.com »
  13. Lord Summerisle

    Lord Summerisle Forum Resident


    I've had these for about 2 years and love them.
    Rick H. likes this.
  14. Gabe Walters

    Gabe Walters Forum Resident

    Going to add another voice to the Audioengine A2+ chorus. They sound good, especially at short distance as on a desk, and they have a small footprint, which can make a big difference in this setting. They integrate seamlessly with your computer; just run a USB cable from the computer to the left speaker. They look nice, too, if you care about that sort of thing.
  15. DigMyGroove

    DigMyGroove Forum Resident

    The FRiNgE likes this.
  16. PyroMessiah

    PyroMessiah Forum Resident

    Martinsburg, WV
    The Pinhead likes this.
  17. TSWisla

    TSWisla Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Thank you for the advice everyone. I found a great deal on JBL-LSR305 and intend on purchasing tomorrow unless someone talks me out if it...
    mds and The FRiNgE like this.
  18. KeithNC

    KeithNC New Member

    Greensboro, NC
    Ditto for Audioengine. I have original A2's (pre DAC) connected to Schiit stack of Magni Uber and Modi Uber. Will never replace the big rig but for desktop I am pleased

    SandAndGlass likes this.
  19. RiCat

    RiCat Forum Resident

    CT, USA
    My suggestion is: Audioengine A5+ and shop them on ebay. I bought a sealed in the box pair for about $200 in an auction.
  20. TSWisla

    TSWisla Forum Resident Thread Starter

    The JBLs are not too good then?
  21. Jim G.

    Jim G. Geezer with a nice stereo!

    Powered speakers you can plug into the headphone jack. The easiset way.
    bluemooze likes this.
  22. Paul99

    Paul99 Well-Known Member

  23. Jimmy B.

    Jimmy B. Forum Resident

  24. Mrtn77

    Mrtn77 Forum Resident

    European Union
    I have no experience with them but the Focal XS Book is, supposedly, pretty good.
  25. Ron Scubadiver

    Ron Scubadiver Forum Resident

    Houston TX
    Micca PB42X, about $100. For something fancier go with Audioengine.

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