Even the best Chromebooks don’t do much to inspire in the audio department. Although whatever speakers they employ are good enough while working on the go, when you’re home you want some great speakers to bring the music alive. If you’ve decided to go the Chromebox route, you probably already know that they don’t produce sound at all, so speakers are a must.
You can go the premium wireless earbuds or headphones route, but no one wants to wear something in or on their ears all day, every day. The solution, then, is to invest in the best computer speakers for your needs. No matter what you go with, just about all the options out there are compatible with Chrome-based computers, as they require just a USB port or 3.5mm headphone jack. Some even support Bluetooth connectivity. Since there are so many options, we’ve picked the ones that we think are the best available right now for Chromebook and Chromebox users, including those for different budgets and needs.
Here are the best Chromebook and Chromebox speakers
The best computer speakers for most people
The Logitech Z407 is a fantastic all-around set of computer speakers. Not only do they offer a full sound with plenty of bass thanks to the included subwoofer, but they come with all the connectivity one could want. Plus, there’s a wireless dial for easy multi-function control.
- Great full sound with lots of volume
- Come with a subwoofer
- Has Bluetooth connectivity
- Soundstage is just okay
- Wireless dial isn't compatible with some apps
A subwoofer is always better for sound quality if you can afford one. Luckily, the Logitech Z407 speakers come with a reasonably powerful subwoofer. And although the speakers are pretty compact, this Logitech 2.1 system has a lot going for it. For instance, there's 80w of sound on tap, so you can easily turn up the volume next time you're watching "Ms. Marvel," "The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel," or even "Miss Congeniality 2."
More importantly, whatever you're listening to will sound good, especially in the mids, which is something often lacking in cheaper speakers. The soundstage is just serviceable, and the wireless dial takes some getting used to, not to mention it isn't compatible with all apps; however, those are fairly minor quibbles. Instead, think about the Logitech's Bluetooth connectivity (you can do analog as well) and how you can wirelessly connect to these speakers whenever you bring your Chromebook home.
Best PC speakers for those with extra cash
The Audioengine A2+ might look like bookshelf speakers, but they’re so much more. Along with excellent audio quality and the ability to add a subwoofer, these admittedly pricey speakers come with all the connectivity most computer users could want.
- Fantastic detailed sound
- All the connectivity you could want
- Attractive look available in three colors
- A bit pricey
- Not much sub-bass without paying extra for subwoofer
To start, you might not get that deep rumble as there’s no subwoofer here, but the clarity and depth of these speakers outperform most other speakers in this price range. Thankfully, the Audioengine A2+ speakers have a sub out, so you can always add a subwoofer later if you need to feel that rumble whenever there’s an explosion in a movie or the kick drum hits.
These are fairly expensive speakers for most people, which is why they are our premium pick. But having Bluetooth connectivity as well as detailed sound makes for a clean-looking and great sounding setup that’s worth the investment.
Creative Pebble Plus
Best computer speakers for those on a budget
The Creative Pebble Plus aren’t the best-sounding speakers out there, but they’re not bad. They’re especially not bad for their low, low price, and that’s without considering that they come with a subwoofer. There might not be a cheaper way to properly upgrade the audio on your laptop.
- Very reasonably priced
- Surprising audio quality for the price
- Comes with a subwoofer
- Not a lot of power
- Not the most detailed sound
- No wireless connectivity
You don't have to break the bank to get a pair of speakers with a subwoofer. For less than $50, you can grab the Creative Pebble Plus — a 2.1 system that gives you stereo sound, some decent low-end, and surprisingly nice audio quality. The speakers can't compete sound-wise with other options on this list, but they are a true upgrade from laptop speakers, no matter how good they purportedly are.
And even though they don't make for the cleanest setup, they connect via USB as well as analog, so you can power and send uncompressed audio to them with a single cable. With 8 watts of power, the speakers are not going to fill a large room with a lot of audio. Still, they will provide plenty of volume while sitting at your desk. Unfortunately, there's no wireless connectivity, but that's really not a surprise for the price.
Best-sounding computer speakers
The Fluance Ai41 have some connectivity limitations as computer speakers, but the sound quality more than makes up for that. If you’re willing to spend the money, you will be in aural heaven. Just make sure you have the space for these larger bookshelf speakers.
- Amazing detailed and rich sound
- Surprising amount of bass
- Almost all connectivity one could ask for
- No USB connectivity
- On the larger side
The Fluance Ai41 may not come with USB connectivity, but considering everything else they offer, that's OK. After all, you can connect them via Bluetooth or analog RCA to a 3.5mm cable, and they offer an incredibly rich sound. They might only be a pair of active bookshelf speakers, but as soon as you start watching a blockbuster on these, you'll start looking for a subwoofer inside that doesn't exist — that's how great their bass response is. The mid-range is equally outstanding, while the high-end is detailed without being fatiguing.
There are a few drawbacks to the Fluance Ai41. For one, they take up a lot of desk space. And that USB connectivity is sorely missed. They are also one of the pricier options on this list. However, if you want something that will blow you away while listening to your favorite guilty pleasures playlist, consider the Ai41.
Great budget bookshelf-style speakers
The Edifier R980T speakers are not only pretty cheap, but they sound pretty darn good for the price. Plus, they look good with their classic wood finish. There are some limitations, however, such as no Bluetooth or USB connectivity, and you won’t be able to add a subwoofer. But that’s just part of this very affordable deal.
- Very reasonably priced
- Solid sound especially for the price
- Classic look
- No subwoofer or sub out
- No Bluetooth or USB connectivity
Edifier is one of the newer kids on the block and one of the more affordable brands, with the Edifier R980T being proof of that. For less than a hundred dollars, you get fairly decently sized speakers with 4-inch woofers for a nice full mid-range and 13mm tweeters for a relatively articulate high-end, not to mention a powerful 24 watts of power, all encased in a classic wood finish.
Features are limited compared to some other options in this list. For example, the R980T consists of just two bookshelf speakers. There’s no subwoofer or sub out, so you won’t be able to get that low-end rumble. And since they also don’t come with Bluetooth or USB connectivity, you’re limited to an analog-wired connection. That said, you still get a surprising amount of bass (almost too much), and the sound quality is pretty solid without breaking the bank.
Bose Companion 2 Series III
Good sound for limited space
The Bose Companion 2 Series III speakers are small and look a bit dated with limited features, but they have an outsized sound. If you have limited desk space and want good audio, not to mention a wide soundstage, this offering from the premium brand is worth a listen.
- Balanced but full sound
- Wide soundstage
- Don't take up much space
- Only analog connectivity
- Outdated looks
- Can't connect to a subwoofer
The Bose Companion 2 Series III speakers are among the more expensive speakers included here, as one might expect from such a premium brand. Surprisingly, they are also some of the most stripped-down feature-wise. For instance, you’re limited to a wired analog connection as there’s no Bluetooth or USB, and you won’t be able to connect a subwoofer. Plus, its design, including its single volume control on the front, seems about as current as computer speakers from twenty years ago.
Despite their “should have come with a CRT monitor” look, they produce a lot of sound and high quality. There may be no subwoofer, but you’ll still get plenty of bass. You’ll also get a lot of highs and mids as well for a balanced but full sound. And, their soundstage is wider than you would think, making these ideal for watching something on Netflix when you’re supposed to be working.
Vigilant Audio SwitchOne
Great and versatile sound
You might not be familiar with the Vigilant Audio SwitchOne, but that’s okay. These bookshelf speakers have a unique feature that lets you switch between two different sound profiles, both of which sound fantastic. There's no USB port; however, there’s plenty of connectivity otherwise. Just be ready to spend a little extra for these.
- Fantastic sound quality with plenty of bass
- Two sound frequencies available with a flip of a switch
- Lots of connectivity
- Not cheap
- No USB connectivity
The Vigilant Audio SwitchOne are a pair of somewhat small bookshelf speakers that moonlight as studio monitors with a flick of the switch. In fact, that switch is what gives these speakers their name. While the difference is somewhat subtle, what’s not so subtle is the amount of volume on hand or the quality of audio emanating from these little guys. And, with the passive radiators on the outside of each speaker box, the low end is positively immense.
More than that, they have Bluetooth, TRS Stereo balanced inputs, and RCA inputs, so you can easily connect multiple sources, though there’s no USB connectivity to be found. They’re also pretty pricey, making these a contender for our premium pick. However, if you’re ok with the price tag and want great sound, the Vigilant Audio SwitchOne is a deep-cut worth considering, especially if you like getting something a little off-the-beaten-path.
For those who want a little color and lighting
The small but mighty Edifier G2000 speakers pump out a surprising amount of volume. And, though they’re not the most detailed speakers out there, they sound pretty good. They are also among the most fun-looking options available, as they come with a number of LED lighting effects as well as a few different colors.
- Fun look with LED lighting
- Very small footprint
- Lots of connectivity
- Not the most detailed sounding
- Soundstage isn't all that great
Though the Edifier G2000 aren’t the most detailed-sounding speakers, they are surprisingly capable. With plenty of volume and a nice, full sound, these tiny monitors prove that appearances can be deceiving. That’s especially true considering the fact that they offer 3.5mm, USB, and Bluetooth connectivity in a package half the size of some of the other offerings on this list.
They’re also more fun visually than most other computer speakers you’ll come across. And that’s not just because they come in three colors: black, white, and pink. It’s also because the G2000 sport 12 LED lighting effects to help liven up any setup or set the mood while you put on your favorite playlist or watch a movie.
Like other options from Edifier, the price is pretty reasonable though they’re a bit more expensive than our other addition from the company on this list, probably due to the extra connectivity options.
SteelSeries Arena 3
For those who want the best gaming audio
If you need computer speakers for gaming purposes but don’t want to break the bank, the SteelSeries Arena 3 might be the speakers for you. These egg-shaped 2.0 speakers have a wide soundstage, lots of volume, and plenty of connectivity, though they can be a little boxy sounding.
- Immersive soundstage
- Plenty of volume
- Plenty of connectivity
- A little boxy sounding
- Some software features require a different OS
While ChromeOS users are not known for their penchant for gaming, that doesn’t mean they don’t. And for that reason, we’ve included the reasonably priced entry-level speaker system from SteelSeries’ new lineup, the SteelSeries Arena 3.
While they don’t quite reach the aural heights of the Arena 7 or Arena 9, as the 3 series can sound a little boxy without much in the way of low end, they’re a stellar option for those who want to play PUBG or any of the other titles available on ChromeOS due to their great soundstage. That means that the listening experience will be that much more immersive, not to mention that these little egg-shaped speakers can get pretty loud, enveloping you in all the footsteps and gunshot sounds or whatever other audio produced by your favorite games. These speakers also let you plug in multiple sources for a more versatile computer audio setup.
Best speakers for those who create music
If you do music production, you can't use just any computer speakers. You need something a little more neutral, like the Mackie CR3-X. These studio monitors also offer a few different analog connectivity options, so you can plug in your audio interface as well. Just be aware that if you decide to add on the matching subwoofer, it’s much more expensive than the monitors themselves.
- Nice, neutral sound good for production work
- Lots of analog connectivity
- Reasonably priced
- A little light on the bass
- Adding a subwoofer is expensive
Chromebooks are surprisingly versatile machines, and at least some musicians have managed to use them to create and work on music. And as most musicians know, one of the most critical factors in producing or mixing music is having accurate sound reproduction, which most cheaper speakers can't do. Enter the Mackie CR3-X, a pair of studio monitors priced like a pair of standard computer speakers.
Almost everything is geared toward making music; inputs include RCA, 3.5mm, and TRS connectivity (all analog). And the sound response is somewhat neutral, so you can hear everything as it's supposed to be heard, though the Mackies are a little light on bass. You can add the CR8S-XBT subwoofer (which also adds Bluetooth capability) for a little more low-end oomph. Just be aware that the subwoofer is double the price of the speaker set. At least it matches the CR3-X’s lime green-on-black colorway.
What to look for in speakers for Chromebooks and Chromeboxes
There's a wide range of computer speakers available, with many offering solid audio and many more not quite hitting the mark. Figuring out which set of speakers are best for you means that you're going to know what to look for.
Sound quality is the most important factor, though not the only one. Still, it's a good place to start. You'll want to look at reviews or, better yet, see if you can hear them in person. Cheaper speakers tend to try to fake impressive audio by pumping the low and high end, but you want to get something where no part of the frequency range is overpowering anything else. For example, the low end should be there but not overbearing. And the same goes for the mid-range and high-end. Even if that sounds very technical, just give a listen before buying or when you're within that return period.
If there's no low-end, your audio will sound thin. If there's no mid-range, it will sound hollow. And, if there's no high-end, it will sound veiled, like someone threw a sheet over the speaker. Also, keep in mind that to get really deep bass, you'll need a subwoofer. Some speaker systems here come with one, while others have a sub-out port for adding one later.
Connectivity is also an important consideration. Since all computer speakers are active speakers, you won't need extra equipment like a stereo system. A spot on a power outlet must also be available for them. While all the speakers in this list come with a 3.5mm connection (meaning you can plug them into your computer's headphone jack), some offer other types of connectivity, such as USB or Bluetooth, the latter of which is nice for those who prefer a more wireless setup.
So, what are the right speakers for you?
When it comes to speaker setups, those meant to be used with a computer are somewhat lacking. And, while you can always hook that Acer Chromebook Spin 513 (or any laptop) to a Hi-Fi system, you also want something that can fit neatly on your desk and won't set you back too much money. With that in mind, we've included options for all budgets.
If you're limited in what you can spend, the Creative Pebble Plus speakers punch above their weight, which is why they are our value pick. If you want audio quality, we recommend the Audioengine A2+. Of course, being our premium pick, they will cost you about five times what you'll spend on the Creative Pebble Plus. But if you can afford them and want great sound, they are worth the investment. There is a middle ground between quality and affordability, and we believe the Logitech Z407 hits that sweet spot. They sound great, the price is reasonable, plus they're packed with features.
Best computer speakers for most people
The Logitech Z407 speakers are a fantastic all-around set of computer speakers. Not only do they offer a full sound with plenty of bass thanks to the included subwoofer, but they come with all the connectivity one could want. There’s also a wireless dial for easy multi-function control.