Whether you're a staunch headphone user or like to have your audio fill the room you're in, every computer needs something to play all those wonderful beeps, boops, booms, and beats. But if you're not sure where to start, our champions have pulled together a list of five great options so you can get your sonic fill.
The Creative Lab V3 Pebbles are my go-to computer speakers for beginners and for anyone who just wants something simple. I love how many options you have when it comes to connecting them to your PC: You can connect the Pebble V3s via USB-A, USB-C, and Bluetooth. They even have an AUX-in, allowing you to connect to other audio devices. They're minimal and discrete, ensuring they'll fit on almost any desk without taking up a lot of space, which is a major plus. In my eyes, though, the biggest selling point for me is the quality you get for the price point. You don’t have to break the bank for speakers, especially while you are just starting to test the waters on your personal likes and dislikes when it comes to audio equipment.
The HyperX Cloud II headset has become just about ubiquitous in the gaming space over the past few years, thanks to high-quality audio at a reasonable price. I was using pair of Cloud IIs for years (before upgrading to the Cloud Alphas early last year) and have recommended them to just about anyone who would listen. Not only are they incredibly comfortable for those long nights of gaming, the virtual 7.1 surround sound is spectacular and saved my in-game life on more than one occasion.
Out of the box, they come with two distinct options for your earcups: leatherette and velour. I've preferred the leatherette in my time with them, but I found the velour to be just as comfortable, offering a solid second option if the leatherette is not to your taste. The padded headband is just as comfortable. I've spent 6+ hours wearing the Cloud IIs and never felt the headphone fatigue you get from less comfortable headsets.
The audio quality rivals the comfort, with crisp highs and bassy lows. The 7.1 virtual surround sound is a genuine advantage in competitive shooters, letting you know exactly where your enemy is before they even get a chance to pull the trigger. And the microphone is just as good. I never once heard a complaint about the quality of my microphone audio, even back when I did live streams. It's even removable, if you're just looking to chill out and listen to music.
Whether you're looking to up your game or get some beats flowing while you work through your to-do list, the HyperX Cloud IIs are there with the comfort and quality you need.
Edifier R19BT 2.0 Channel Computer Speaker System with Bluetooth by @Lambdaben
The Edifier R19BT speakers may just be the perfect addition to your desktop setup. These speakers pack a powerful punch with their 16W RMS output, delivering crisp and clear sound quality that's perfect for both music and gaming. They also feature a built-in Bluetooth 4.0 receiver, allowing you to wirelessly stream your favorite music from your smartphone, tablet, or laptop.
With their sleek and compact design, the Edifier R19BT speakers are a stylish addition to any workspace. The wooden enclosure not only looks great but also helps to enhance the sound quality by reducing resonance and providing a more natural sound. The side panel controls allow for easy adjustments to volume and bass, giving you complete control over your audio experience. And with the added convenience of Bluetooth connectivity, you can easily switch between devices without the hassle of cords or wires. The Edifier R19BT is the perfect choice for anyone looking for high-quality, versatile speakers that deliver superior sound and style.
The SteelSeries Arctis Nova Pro Wireless is a high-end wireless gaming headset that offers excellent sound quality, comfort, and a wide range of features. It features the new Nova Pro Acoustic System with high-fidelity drivers that deliver clear and accurate sound. The headset also has active noise cancellation to block out background noise as well as 360° Spatial Audio for a more immersive gaming experience. And speaking of gaming experiences, the Nova Pro has a detachable microphone that provides crisp, clear audio, perfect for chatting with friends. And for those long gaming sessions, it's designed for comfort, with soft ear cups and a padded headband. It even features a swappable battery system that provides up to 40 hours of battery life!
Overall, the SteelSeries Arctis Nova Pro Wireless is an excellent choice for gamers who are looking for a high-quality wireless headset with great sound, comfort, and features. It is a bit pricey, but it is worth the investment for serious gamers. No matter your system - PC, PlayStation, or Xbox, the Arctis Nova Pro Wireless has a compatible headset that will work for you!
For those looking for a medium-sized speaker option that can fit on your desk, the Mackie CR4-Xs are a great pair of speakers that are able to produce amazing sound without a separate subwoofer. Whether you're using them for pc gaming, streaming movies, or even just listening to music while doing work, the bass sounds full and the high tones sound clear. Despite being a low-wattage (only 50 watts!) and a small driver size (4'!), these Mackies can deliver loud and clear sounds without cluttering up your desk with massive speakers. They even offer a wide range of inputs, including 1/4”, 1/8”, and RCA . There's even audio output via a headphone jack on the front of the speakers, so you don't need to mess around in your audio settings to get everything just right. The CR4-X is a fantastic jack-of-all-trades option and will feat seamlessly into almost any home workstation!
i personally love the steelseries headsets a lot! I have the Arctis Pro Wireless headset and it's comfortable and sounds amazing.
The Hyper X Cloud II is my go to for anyone wanting an inexpensive, yet great quality, headset.
So, for my actual music studio, I use both Audio Technica M50x (closed back) and AKG K240 Studio (open back). For business, gaming, meetings and general comms, I use a Poly Voyager Focus 2, which also has the BT700 dongle that supports DECT. Audio device is a Yamaha MG10XUF 10 channel mixer. Speakers are M-Audio Mx5 monitors (XLR).
For recreational sound, I've always loved Turtle Beach
Bring back the display wall! I want to be able to hear and accurately measure the physical dimensions the speakers themselves.
Maybe have a large sliding plexiglass front so customers don't steal crap off them, although I'm not sure what you could take off a speaker unless it has a removable grill or something.
Also this probably should have been two posts, with one focusing on the speakers and the other the headsets (and maybe earbuds.) Both perform the same function very differently and have different use cases. Headsets are great for not annoying others around you, not being annoyed by those around you (noise canceling), and also on video calls as the sound isn't likely to generate feedback.
I use HyperX for my headset and they are awesome! Great recommendations.
thanks for the guide i always wanted to know how the mackies were
Hyperx is great
Switching back to a wireless headset might be the move, my headphone cable always gets in the way 😆
I am a huge fan of all things edifier. I own a pair and I love them.
I'm also a fan of the HyperX line of headsets because once you try them on, they spoil things for the other. Soft and comfortable.
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