Good sound is half the battle. If you want to listen to music, play games, and watch movies on your computer with pleasure, you must get good acoustics. In modern reality, you can buy excellent headphones, but many people simply do not like to sit with their ears closed for hours, so the computer speaker market is still developing.
We tell you how to choose inexpensive computer audio peripherals, what to look for and how different models differ.
Features of choosing the best speakers for your computer
Number of speaker channels: 2.0, 2.1, 5.1, 7.1 or 9.1
First, let’s figure out what these numbers mean, which often accompany the description of films, headphones, and speakers. It’s simple: the first digit indicates the number of active speakers, and the second – whether the system is equipped with an active subwoofer or not.
The subwoofer is responsible for high-quality low frequencies, so lovers of powerful bass should not even consider solutions that have a 0 at the end. At the same time, only two speakers are enough to create a stereo effect. But given that modern movies, music, and games are designed for more speakers, increasing the number of sound sources will add immersion to the process.
So, economical 2.0 speakers are enough for undemanding users, and 2.1 also adds a subwoofer for low frequencies to the circuit. 5.1 systems provide many sound sources but take up more space. However, for large rooms, it makes sense to purchase systems with exactly this number of speakers – for example, if you want to equip a home theater. 7.1 and 9.1 are not widespread at all, so often the content is not even designed for such several channels.
Deciding how powerful a gaming speaker system to purchase is based on the parameters of the room and the location of the user. Please note that both the total power of the entire system and the volume for individual speakers can be indicated. It’s easy to calculate if anything: the volumes of individual speakers simply add up to the total.
So, if the user is close to the speakers (that is, sitting at the desktop), then 5–10 watts per speaker will be enough. If a set of active acoustic devices is purchased for a small room (up to 20 square meters), then you should think about solutions with a power of 10–25 W per speaker, depending on the size of the room.
One of the most important indicators of the quality of an audio system is its frequency ranges. The human ear hears sounds ranging from 20 to 20,000 Hz. However, for the highest quality sound, you should choose a set with the widest possible frequency range. The minimum value of this characteristic will show how good the speaker is for bass reproduction. The upper limit affects the quality of high frequencies.
At the same time, one speaker will not be able to give out the entire depth of sound, no matter how good it is. Therefore, to improve the sound quality of multimedia speakers in advanced models, they try to use separate speakers. Thus, according to the number of speakers for each type of frequency (low, medium, high), the speakers are divided into three types: single-way, two-way and three-way.
No less important for users are the connectivity options provided by the speakers. When choosing between a wired and wireless connection, it should be borne in mind that modern wireless protocols, although they provide high-quality data transfer, cannot be compared with the classic version (the sound is distorted). We are mainly talking about Bluetooth speakers that connect to a smartphone or laptop without any problems. But for desktop computers, most likely, you will have to buy a separate USB adapter or an internal board. There are also models that support NFC connection, but this protocol has a low bandwidth and provides very mediocre sound quality, so it is more likely intended for portable speakers.
When choosing computer acoustics, it is important to pay attention to the case materials, and it’s not just about external frills. As we have already mentioned, the rear cover plays an important role in the formation of sound, or rather its insulating properties, which do not allow “tasty” frequencies to escape through the back door.
Wood is the best at this task: this dense material with a weak resonance does not spoil the sound, which is extremely important in our case. Speakers made of plastic, on the contrary, muffle the excess much worse, so you should not expect a high-quality low frequency from a device in a plastic case.