Desktop speakers in the year of our Lord 2018


Apparently last night my old Boston BA735 speakers finally gave up the ghost. I’ll miss the old birds, they’ve been with me for almost as long as I can remember.

So now I’m in the market for some new speakers apparently. Something I haven’t thought about in well over a decade. I have no idea what is good or what isn’t. I don’t want to lose any audio quality from what I’m used to, but an upgrade would be nice if it’s reasonable.

Still not sure on what my price range will be as of yet, but I’m completely clueless about desktop speakers anymore.

I just know I don’t want:

  • USB
  • wireless

I’m short on USB slots and wireless crap only makes me angry anymore. I don’t want insane bass or anything, but I’m used to having the sub from the 735. Any hints, suggestions or personal experience is very welcome at this point.


I think most people would recommend bookshelf speakers like these:

They do take up a bit more space than regular PC speakers, however.

OTOH, I have these:

They’re okay, but I don’t use them much. I mainly use headphones.


I didn’t see this until after I sent you a Steam message, but generally the best desktop speakers for a good price are these. I just was thinking about upgrading my sons speakers recently, did a quick search for “best desktop speakers 2018” and these are STILL on all those lists. Amazing speakers.

I’ve had them since 2016 and they sound amazing, and give you a nice place to rest your feet. :)


The Miccas in particular ere well regarded as being excellent bang for buck. A few folk here can comment, from memory.

You will still miss the low end oomph a 2.1 system delivers with any 2.0 system, but these will deliver way better audio quality for the money, particularly music, movies/tv, etc. If your use case is primarily (action) gaming, 2.1 might be the better route.


I went with these Logitechs because they were on a massive sale the other day. They’re still sitting in a box because I’m lazy.

I had a crappy old 5.1 set that I use as 2.1 so I figured I’d get a dedicated 2.1 set now since I bought new parts for everything else in this upgrade.


I still have a 2.1 system I bought earlier. The subwoofer always annoyed me. I kept bumping my toes on it. So I use it for the the living room TV instead. I also owned a 5.1 system for a while, but having multiple wires lying around everywhere became a PITA. I wouldn’t recommend a 5.1 system unless you can run the wires through the walls.


This is actually exactly why I bought these back in 2016. I had speakers and wires taped to my ceiling for a few years trying to make my 5.1 setup work, it was a nightmare. These days if I want a good surround sound/immersive experience I’ll use headphones.


I don’t know what type of speakers I have (maybe I got them as a gift and that’s why they aren’t in my amazon account) but holy crap not having removable and independent wires is EXTREMELY annoying. This is double so because the wires from the subwoofer to the two speakers combine into one wire, which makes things really messy and strained for a dual monitor desktop setup.

that being said it came with an individual circular device that I can use keep in the middle of my setup and easily access volume controls and headset plugin, which is nice.


I bought these at Fry’s six years ago. They were cheap, I was broke.

Still use them all the time today, and they sound just fantastic.


I concur, I have a pair of ancient Logitech desktop surround speakers still kicking.

Multiple in fact. For someone who values audio quality but can’t afford insane prices they were the best quality/ value buy out there


I’m using a pair of Klipsch Promedia 2.1 speakers. I just searched and found the receipt-- I ordered them in December 2001. Paid $175. I think I got my money’s worth.


Unsurprised those have lasted you nearly two decades. They make wonderful stuff.


I got these on a lark when they went on sale:

Sound-wise, they’ve been great. The buttons are kind of annoying, though, because they’re “too cool” to have physical buttons. They gotta have touch sensors on the side which is kind of annoying to do in the dark. Thankfully, it comes with a small remote for the speakers which I use for the volume.

I’m happy with the sound and they’ve allowed me to ditch my subwoofer, which has been nice. I just wish the design was a little more function instead of form.


They are great speakers, but really the point is that speakers last forever. They don’t break on their own, if you don’t physically damage them or blow them out, they will never die. And they don’t get obsolete.


Ooh, me! Me!

I switched to an external amp and a pair of midrange Micca bookshelf speakers a while back when my ridiculous Creative 7.1 system finally bought it, and they are night and day better in terms of sound quality. I’m not even joking that there are musical lines and touches in songs that I had never heard before, since most of my listening was either on desktop speakers or in the car. The quality is glorious.

I do miss having a sub on the rare occasions that my family is out of the house and I’m feeling some hip-hop or metal that wants it, and if I played shootyman manshooters I’d probably care for gaming as well. But honestly most of the time I’m either listening to music while doing other things, or listening to music while playing a strategy game. I’m super happy with my setup, and it may literally last me to the end of my days.

Looking up my order receipt (from summer 2016, turns out):

$90 for a pair of Micca MB42X speakers
$7 for hilarious overkill 50’ of speaker wire
$20 for way too many (12 pair) gold banana plugs
$70 for a Topping TP22 amp (again overkill, don’t really need the second input but c’est la vie)

So all in all I dropped in the neighborhood of $200 but that leaves me with supplies to do any more speaker installs as well as expandability in terms of the amp. Like I said, I’m super happy overall.


My son and I each have a pair of Mackie CR-3s (as small room music speakers, not computer speakers). Powered, so no need for a separate amp, Line In, so no USB. I’m quite happy with the sound quality.


Those are exactly the ones I have. I bought them 2002-ish and they’re still plugging away, sounding fantastic. Though I do notice that the subwoofer is starting to rattle a little, so I may have to replace them at some point in the next year or two.

All in all, though, excellent value for money.


Yeah, can’t complain about having to replace speakers nearly old enough to vote.


I also had a Klipsch Promedia set at some point, but they died after a few years of use (and multiple moves in and out of college dorms, which probably didn’t help). These days I’m on the nice-bookshelf-speakers train, with a pair of ELAC B6 speakers and an Orb Audio Mini-T amp. They sound significantly better than any set of computer speakers I’ve ever heard. I suppose I might miss the surround/positional audio if I played a lot of FPS, though.


Pretty sure my speakers were older than that.

Went with the Logitechs mentioned above. Seems comparable to what I had and at $80 seemed a decent price without have to do too much wiring craziness.