Laptops have come a long way in the past decade, but they’re still severely lacking in one area: sound quality. The size of most laptops just can’t accommodate decent audio, and if you want to use your laptop for watching movies, playing video games or anything else that requires decent sound, you’ll be disappointed or even completely unable to hear.
Luckily, laptop speakers have been quietly getting better over the years. You can now pick up a wide range of speakers for your laptop, including 2-speaker systems, soundbars and Bluetooth speaker that upgrade your laptop’s sound quality.
When shopping for a laptop speaker, the most important consideration is portability. If you just need speakers for gaming or watching TV at home, get a nice pair with a subwoofer (a 2.1 system). On the other hand, if you need to take your speakers with you, there are more portable options available, such as clip-on laptop speakers or versatile Bluetooth speakers.
To help find the perfect audio for your laptop, we’ve rounded up some of the best speakers for every need and budget. Check them out below.
1. Bose Companion 2 Multimedia Speakers
When you want reliable, high-quality sound, Bose is always a good bet. The premium brand can get quite pricey, but their most affordable multimedia speakers are doable at $100. They come highly-recommended from users and other reviewers alike thanks to incredible sound quality and a lightweight design that doesn’t eat up too much desk space. They’re wired (not Bluetooth), which means better sound quality at the cost of less portability.
Bose Companion 2 Multimedia Speakers
2. Logitech 2.0 Stereo Speakers
If you just need a slight bump in sound quality, or maybe your laptop speakers are broken, you can find a decent pair of speakers for very little. Case-in-point: these $10 Logitech stereo speakers. They’re surprisingly compact and feature sound quality that offers a noticeable upgrade from your stock laptop speakers. Although they’re not explicitly portable (they’re wired), the low price makes them a great addition to your office or workspace at home for regular use.
Logitech 2.0 Stereo Speakers
3. Supvin Portable Clip-On Speakers
Need to take your laptop speakers everywhere? Go for these mini clip-on speakers from Supvin. They clip onto the top of your laptop, so you can use them without taking up any desk space, and their mini design can be stored in any commuter bag or purse. And at just over $10, you don’t have to worry too much about damaging or losing them while on-the-go.
Supvin Portable Clip-On Speakers
4. GOgroove Gaming Laptop Speakers
BEST FOR GAMING
Gaming requires much better audio than most laptops can deliver. We recommend upgrading to these GOgroove speakers because they feature dual bass radiators (passive woofers) that translate to more responsive bass. This increased response time doesn’t make much of a difference for movies or YouTube browsing, but in fast-paced games such as FPS or racing games, it can up your game significantly.
GOgroove Gaming Laptop Speakers
5. Creative 2.1 Desktop Speakers
BEST 2.1 SYSTEM
If you’re keeping your laptop speakers in one place (i.e. a desk at home or at the office), a 2.1 system is the best option. They come with two speakers and a subwoofer, providing high-quality sound with full bass. Also, because the speakers themselves don’t need to provide bass, they can be very small and won’t take up desk space. Our favorite 2.1 system is this package from Creative because it comes with nice-looking speakers and a compact subwoofer that provide great sound quality, plus it’s very reasonably priced at under $40.
Creative 2.1 Desktop Speakers
6. AptX Portable Sound Bar
Soundbars are a sleek option for desktop organization. This one from AptX is also Bluetooth, so you can take it on the road or to work. Although the sound quality won’t be as good as a dedicated speaker system, the compact shape is a big plus for small desks that tend to get cluttered.
7. JBL Flip 4 Bluetooth Stereo Speaker
BEST BLUETOOTH SPEAKER
While multimedia speakers meant for computer usage are great, Bluetooth speakers are also worth considering. They’re much more versatile than regular laptop speakers, and good options are also more durable and portable. We love JBL’s best-selling Flip 4 speaker because it’s waterproof, shockproof, compact and still offers very impressive sound — whether you’re watching a movie with friends or DJing a dinner party.
JBL Flip 4 Bluetooth Stereo Speaker
8. Bose Companion 20 Speaker System
For serious audio-heads, we suggest these premium speakers from Bose. They utilize Bose’s TrueSpace technology that’s engineered for computer users to experience crisp, bass-filled audio. The speakers also look extremely elegant and take up a surprisingly small amount of space considering their massive audio output.