Setting up Klipsch The Fives Powered Speakers is pretty straightforward. However, there are many fun tips & tricks most people don’t even know about. Whether you decide to use The Fives as a soundbar replacement or a pair of computer speakers on your work desk, this quick setup guide will ensure you get the most impressive sound field...
2021 Best Computer Speakers
If you have ever tried to watch a YouTube video on your desktop or laptop, you probably figured out pretty quickly the sound from the speakers in your computer are just terrible! They usually sound incredibly tinny with no bass at all. Of course, that is to be expected from speakers that are usually smaller in size than a dime!
Most of us spend hours every day in front of our computer both for work and entertainment. Working can be a lot more fun if we have some good music playing in the background and obviously watching a movie or YouTube video is a lot better experience with great sound.
If your computer hangs out in the same area where you like to kick back and listen to music, adding a pair of decent speakers may be just the ticket for getting some good sound into your living space. With computer speakers, the connections are very easy as the speakers have the amplifier and switching built into the speaker. All you have to do is get sound from your computer to them and provide them with power and you are up and running.
There are over 1000 models of computer speakers on the market today. Most of them are an upgrade from the tiny speakers in your computer, but we decided to focus on the ones that sound as good as speakers you would want to put in a home audio system.
To make the cut, these needed to have a very easy way to connect up to your computer and be simple to control. We felt like the speaker system needed to have a USB connection, which makes connecting them super simple. The USB connection also lets you turn up the speaker’s volume control then simply use the volume level on your computer to adjust the output level. All of the models we suggest have a USB DAC built-in for an easy connection.
They also needed to sound great with music and not tire us out if we had them playing for 4-6 hours continuously. We’ve found a lot of inexpensive speakers start to grate on our ears after 30 minutes or so due to some kind of distortion in their cheap speaker components. We wanted them to be able to fit pretty easily on a desk, although we made a couple of exceptions for some models that can really rock the house when you want them to!
Finally, we gave out bonus points if the speakers included Bluetooth for a super easy connection you or your guests can use.
NEW! Klipsch The Fives
When we reviewed The Fives, we loved them so much, we just had to put them on top of our list of great computer speakers!
The Fives from Klipsch are probably the best computer speaker we have tested to date. Klipsch used state-of-the-art DSP and tuning with new drivers to produce a speaker that nails the Klipsch DNA. The Fives can rock out big time for happy hour, yet have special circuitry to keep their full rich sound even when you turn them way down making them perfect for use at work or in a home office. They are also the first powered speaker to add HDMI ARC which allows your HDMI ARC enabled TV to even control them. Klipsch beefed up the phono preamp on The Fives and added special circuitry to make the couple perfectly to a powered subwoofer. We love the retro look of The Fives with their 60’s inspired grills, beautiful real wood veneers, and beefy top-mounted control knobs.
Bonus Points — HDMI-ARC, phono input, Bluetooth, optical input, dynamic loudness circuitry, built-in crossover for subwoofers, an upcoming app with more fine-tuning available.
We fell in love with the new Peachtree speakers from the first time we heard them. They had bigger and better speaker components than the competition and the best array of inputs we had seen. The Peachtree M24 sports a 1” soft dome tweeter with a 4” woofer with a rear-firing tuned port. The Peachtree team is a bunch of veteran audiophiles who love good sound which clearly shows in the way the M24 sounds. These have far more bass than the 3” models above and are just slightly larger. For less than $400, you will not find a better sounding computer speaker — nothing comes close! Available in Gloss Black and Bamboo.
Bonus Points — Phono Input, Bluetooth, subwoofer out, optical input, remote control included.
Now we are starting to get into computer speakers that rival the sound of some great stereo speakers. Of course with this even better sound, comes an even bigger speaker. The Peachtree M25 has a soft dome tweeter with a 5 ½” woofer. That woofer alone is wider than the boxes on some of the smaller models we like, so as you might expect, the cabinet size gets bigger. Along with that bigger cabinet though comes much more bass output and room-filling sound. If you are looking for a speaker that can serve as a great audio system too, the M25 should be at the top of your list. These were designed by audiophiles and you’ll know this when you first turn them on, they just sound fantastic! Available in gloss black or bamboo.
Bonus Points — Phono Input, Bluetooth, subwoofer out, optical input, volume control on the front, remote control included.
The Kanto YU2 has to be one of the neatest looking computer speakers out there. With their 4 distinctive color choices, they can either hide away or stand out on your desktop! We love the silk dome tweeter and its very smooth top end that is complemented by a 3” composite woofer. Bass output is great for a $220 pair of speakers so these will be a HUGE improvement over the speakers in your laptop or desktop. They actually can play pretty loud too, but the little 3” woofer will start to break up (as you would expect) if you push them super hard. But there is no question, for under $250 a pair, these are fantastic and like all Kanto’s, very musical.
Bonus Points — Beautifully finished, subwoofer out, tiny size.
Audioengine A2+ Wireless
Audioengine pretty much invented the computer speaker decades ago and their products have always sounded unbelievable for the price. The A2+ Wireless is a new version of their best selling A2+ with the A2+ Wireless adding Bluetooth. The bass you get out of this little speaker is very impressive. We think the combination of the Aramid fiber woofer and their slotted front port has a lot to do with their impressive deep bass performance. The Bluetooth receiver built into these has the longest range of any we have ever tested which means no dropouts until you get out in the yard. Available in matte black, gloss white and gloss red
Bonus Points — Great Bluetooth, subwoofer out, tiny size.
Audioengine speakers are award-winning products. This one takes the same speaker drivers from the A2+, and puts them in a bigger and better-braced wood-veneer cabinet with upgraded amps that Audioengine precisely tuned.
The difference is substantial. It has great bass and smooth sound for a medium-sized box. If you don’t want a larger speaker sitting on your desk, but you still want something that delivers better performance than a smaller-sized speaker, the HD4 is just the ticket. They have Audioengine’s best-selling DAC built-in — the Audioengine D1 24-bit headphone DAC/Amp, and they have an extended Bluetooth range up to 100ft! Plus, we like the headphone jack on the front panel with a volume knob. Available in Satin Black, or Walnut.
Bonus Points — Beautiful cabinets, Bluetooth AptX HD, subwoofer out, headphone jack, volume control on the front.
Klipsch has been “waking the neighbors” with their powerful sound for decades. When they made a powered computer speaker, they wanted it to have the same characteristics. They used their patented 1" Aluminum LTS tweeters with their Square Tractrix Horns, coupled with their 4" Spun-Copper IMG Woofer. In a word, these guys rock! They are the largest speaker on this list and without question can rock the house better than anything else on the list. You can set them up naked to display the cool looking speaker components or use the included magnetic grills for a more discrete look. Only available in black.
Bonus Points — Phono Input, Bluetooth, subwoofer out, optical input, included remote control and the remote can control the subwoofer volume for fine-tuning.
How to make your computer speakers really rock!
If you want to get even bigger sound from your computer speakers, consider adding a subwoofer to them. All of our recommended models have a subwoofer out, so you could put the sub under your desk and greatly improve the bass performance. All you do is connect a single cable from the computer speaker to the subwoofer.
And if you already own a pair of computer speakers, learn how to upgrade the sound of powered speakers sound with our tips and tricks guide.
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If you’ve read through this entire article and still have questions, please feel free to chat with us -- not only are we happy to help you decide, but we love doing it!
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