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Date Published: October 13, 2020
Many gaming monitors won't come with built-in speakers, and besides, the ones that do aren't good enough if you want the best audio setup for gaming. After analyzing the current market and carefully comparing as many different speaker setups as possible by sifting through reviews, customer experiences, and of course their specs on paper, below are the best PC speakers for gaming we can comfortably recommend right now for different budgets. We'll also cover what to know in terms of specs and features when choosing good gaming speakers.
See Also: The Best Gaming Headsets for the Money
Creative Pebble Plus 2.1 Speakers (80 Watts)
If you're strapped for cash but still want decent sound in your games, the good news is that certain cheap speakers will absolutely do just fine if you understand you won't be getting any type of crazy-high quality, bass, loudness, or features. However, not all speakers are created equal, and this is especially true when it comes to cheap speakers as you'll find a ton of products to avoid at all costs and that are absolutely not worth the money.
The Creative Pebble Plus 2.1 speaker system is one of the few gaming speakers under $50 that gets a solid pass as a very respectable option for good audio, and is surprisingly decent for its cost. Again, if you keep your expectations at bay and understand that a lower-powered system like this has limitations such as not being very loud, this system is well worth a look and easily beats many other cheap gaming speakers in this price range. At this budget I'd also consider the Logitech Z200 which are also good cheap speakers for your gaming PC if you don't want to spend much.
Honorable Mention: Logitech Multimedia Speakers Z200 (10 Watts)
Logitech Z337 2.1 Speakers (80 Watts)
If you're not looking for the absolute bare minimum speakers and have a little more to invest in a better 2.1 speaker system with a full-sized subwoofer for better bass, the popular Logitech Z337 is hard to ignore for pure value. You get 2 satellite speakers that produce very decent sound, and of course the subwoofer that reportedly does very respectable bass. This system can go pretty loud too, and without losing quality like cheaper sets, but just don't expect a budget 2.1 speaker set like this to be capable of hosting a rock concert in your room.
Unless you've lived under a rock the past decade, Logitech is a trusted brand for audio gear. Of course, that doesn't mean you should blindly assume that any Logitech product is going to be great, as even top brands have their fair share of average or straight-up bad buys. But by all accounts their Z337 speaker system is most definitely in the category of value excellence, and highly recommended as a very good gaming speaker system that's simultaneously very affordable. If anyone is wondering about the similar Logitech Z333, the Z337 is simply a newer model (that also includes Bluetooth), so all things considered the Z337 is the better buy unless you find the Z333 nicely discounted.
Klipsch ProMedia 2.1 Speakers (260 Watts)
The critically acclaimed Klipsch ProMedia 2.1 has glowing reviews internet wide, and I'm talking professional reviews from audio specialists (and not purely customer reviews which must be carefully analyzed with context in mind). Unless you're an audio perfectionist or engineer wanting or needing the absolutely best fidelity (read: sound quality) possible, or unless you want full true 5.1 surround sound (see below), this excellent 2.1 setup is all you need for an epic gaming audio experience.
You also don't need a dedicated sound card to make the most of these if you have a half-decent modern motherboard with good built-in audio, but at this level of audio a budget/mid-range dedicated sound card is something to consider if you want to leave nothing to chance and ensure you get the absolute most out of the ProMedia 2.1 (see our recommended gaming sound cards).
In this price range the Logitech Z623 is another worthy contender that's typically cheaper than the Klipsch ProMedia 2.1, but if you are eyeing off something more affordable than the ProMedia, keep in mind the Z333 mentioned earlier is perhaps the better overall buy for most people compared to the Z623, especially if on a budget and wanting to save as much as possible (as the Z333 has the same rough ballpark quality as the Z623, though the Z623 is more powerful).
Honorable Mention: Logitech Z623 2.1 Speakers (400 Watts)
Logitech Z906 5.1 Speakers (240 Watts)
Standard 2.1 or 2.0 speaker systems are just fine for gaming, and still provide a relatively immersive experience as you're still getting sound from two sides. But if you have the space for a true surround sound setup - one that is 5.1 and includes a bunch of speakers that you position around your room - the Z906 is a good starting point in your research and hard to beat for the price right now. Overall, they're the best value 5.1 gaming speakers, but look elsewhere if you're an audiophile seeking the ultimate in music quality. For a cheaper 5.1 system, check out the more affordable Z606, but for the ultimate high-end 5.1 setup, Klipsch is the way to go but doesn't come cheap.
Logitech G560 Lightsync 2.1 Speakers (240 Watts)
The RGB craze continues, enveloping every component and peripheral in sight, and speakers are no exception. It's not everyone's cup of tech, but if you want a lit sound system in both the literal and slang sense, with the sound quality to back up the cool exterior, look no further than the unique Logitech G560 Lightsync speaker system which produces top-notch audio - in style.
You have a range of different options when it comes to setting or controlling the RGB effects, with the standout being screen sampling which mimics the colors of your in-game display in real-time. The Razer Nommo Chroma is a cheaper alternative, but compromises a little on quality compared to the superior G560.
Honorable Mention: Razer Nommo Chroma 2.0 Speakers
Audioengine A5+ Premium Stereo Speakers (150 Watts)
Last but not least, if you don't care for price and just want the absolutely cream of the crop in terms of quality - not just for gaming but music and movies and everything else in-between - this is the set for you. Can't recommend this one for the far, far majority of gamers, as there's just no need to spend so much on your audio if you're just gaming, but true audiophiles will revel in the pristine quality these speakers are proven to provide.
Just keep in mind it's recommended to get a good sound card for your PC (or external DAC) in order to take full advantage of such a high-quality set of speakers. On-board motherboard audio is just fine for most people, and for all other speakers recommended in this guide, but for a super premium set of speakers like these you would be holding it back somewhat without a dedicated sound card/DAC. If decide on an internal sound card over an external DAC, perhaps to save room on your desk, the ultimate setup for both gaming and music would be pairing the Audioengine A5 Plus with the ASUS Essence STX II which installs in a PCIe slot on your motherboard (just make sure your motherboard and case has the space for it).
Honorable Mention: Audioengine A2+ (60 Watts)
Choosing the right computer speakers for gaming and music comes down to 5 main factors:
The most common speaker setup for PC gaming is a 2.0 or 2.1 setup, which offers the best overall value. 2.1 speakers include 2 main satellite speakers and 1 subwoofer for bass. 2.0 setups have 2 speakers but no subwoofer. It's always better having a subwoofer if you want better, louder bass, but it's not for everyone if you perhaps want to keep the noise down (a thumbing sub isn't going to please the neighbors at 2am). When choosing between 2.1 and 2.0 speakers, consider space too, as subwoofers can be large and heavy and will require room on the floor somewhere.
As for 5.1 speaker setups, these include 5 satellite speakers with 2 in the front, 2 in the rear, and 1 in the center, as well as a subwoofer. This allows for a more immersive experience compared to 2.1 or 2.0 stereo systems, as the true surround sound placement allows you to hear more pinpoint accurate sound positioning in-game. But you need a certain type of room for it, as you'll be placing speakers all around you.
If you buy 5.1 gaming speakers, make sure your gaming computer's motherboard supports 5.1 audio by checking its specs, though any half-decent modern motherboard should have 5.1 support (and 7.1). If you're using a dedicated sound card instead, and not your motherboard's built-in audio, you'll need to check for 5.1 support on the card.
Sound bar speakers are those all-in-one speaker setups you may have seen, which you place just in-front or behind your monitor, saving desk space. Don't be fooled by their compactness as they can still offer good quality, loud sound, but overall they aren't going to match a full speaker setup that has a dedicated subwoofer when it comes to bass and loudness.
You'll probably already be aware that buying a sound card isn't necessary for a gaming PC, as the audio provided by modern motherboards is of high-enough quality for the majority of gamers. But what if you're investing in a high-end speaker set for the ultimate gaming audio experience? Is a sound card required in that case to take full advantage of that epic speaker setup?
The answer is it depends on the exact equipment in question, but generally speaking, the more powerful a system, the more important it is to have a dedicated internal or external sound card/DAC to not "bottleneck" its potential so to speak. But for most mid-range speaker setups, and especially if you're just gaming, motherboard audio is likely going to please you just fine as it has come a long way in recent years.
A certain specification you may want to look out for if you're picky about quality is the THD (Total Harmonic Distortion) of your speakers' amplifier. The THD is a measurement of the distortion present, with lower distortion meaning the amplifier produces a more accurate reproduction of the audio it plays (therefore it is of higher quality). The lower the THD of speakers the better, and in general you should ideally stick to speakers with a THD less than 1-2% if you care about getting the highest quality audio possible. Otherwise, for most casual gamers, don't sweat the specs too much.
See Also: Choosing the Best Headphones for Gaming