Readers asked about our recommendation of speakers for your monitor to complement their new upgrades after the holidays. It’s the next best upgrade you can get once you’ve secured visuals since it enhances another plane of your entertainment experience. Not all monitors have built-ins, and most that do only include the simplest sets that are mostly unusable for anything entertainment or gaming related.
How We Chose Speakers for Your Monitor
We prioritized size or formfactor next to audio quality in choosing speakers for your monitor. Built-ins don’t take up space since they are already inside the display’s chassis, so the compromise here is that the speakers must not take up a lot of space on your desk. Large bookshelf speakers will sound better with their deeper range, but they will eat up a lot of your desktop.
We also picked budget to premium options, so you have a wider array to choose from depending on how much you are willing to spend. Performance scales with the price in this guide, but we picked the products that offer the best value in this regard to ensure that you don’t get a crappy experience.
Another aspect we took a look at is the extra features each of the speakers for your monitor have. Add-ons like Bluetooth connectivity help in making your purchase even more flexible. Being able to use a product for other devices makes it more worth the hard-earned money while lessening the need to add more gadgets.
Our last major consideration is the price tag of each of the recommended speakers for your monitor we listed. We’re aiming at something that can replace a free built-in, so a lower impact on your budget is preferable. We still included some premium offerings, but they still have better value-per-dollar ratios than the other expensive options in the market.
The Best Speakers for Your Monitor
The Audioengine HD3 is the most expensive option in this segment, but it will not disappoint. If offers one of the best stereo sound quality in the market, providing superb clarity and just the right amount of punchiness. Its class AB amp and 60 watts of output can fill a decent-sized room easily, so it’s more than enough for desktop use.
The HD3 also comes with a wide array of connectivity features, but what’s most interesting is its daisy-chaining ability. You can connect two more Audioengine speakers for bigger sound, or you can go with the brand’s S8-powered sub. It’s pricey, but the option to upgrade it to a full audio system makes it practical for audiophiles in the long run.
Mackie CR2-X Bar
The Mackie CR2-X Bar soundbar is a premium single-unit speaker with superb versatility. It’s a Bluetooth-capable soundbar meant for desktop PCs. It is compact enough to sit under your monitor while blasting you with crisp and clear audio courtesy of its BMR drivers.
It’s also upgradable since you can pair it with Mackie’s Bluetooth subwoofers and their equally exquisite CR2-X Cube speakers. You can choose between bar and dual satellite form factors and pair them to build a full-range speaker setup for your PC. They sound equally good and compact, so getting either or going for the bundle is a wise choice for us.
Razer Leviathan V2 X
The Razer Leviathan V2 X is an inexpensive desktop soundbar that’s meant for gamers. It involves two full-range drivers for better clarity than most budget speakers in the market. It’s Bluetooth compatible, but it uses USB-C Power and audio delivery. It doesn’t have booming bass but we like its compact profile that fits under most monitors in the market.
The Leviathan V2 X also includes the brand’s Chroma RGB, so Razer fans can integrate it into their themed setups. It’s also a good way to add a subtle light on your desk so you can see your stuff a bit better at night. It also has some customization via Synapse, which lets you tweak the soundbar or seamlessly switch between audio devices.
Creative Stage SE
The creative Stage SE is our favorite budget option that doesn’t skimp on features. It’s also an under-monitor soundbar like the one above, so it doesn’t take more space than what is necessary for better audio than what a built-in set can offer. It offers up to 48 watts of peak power, allowing it to fill a small room with ease.
The Stage SE has enlarged radiators and racetrack drivers, which deliver better nearfield audio experience than the typical setup. Deep and rumbling bass isn’t available here, but that’s expected from the small form factor. This model features USB digital audio and Bluetooth 5.3 connectivity, and its controls are very easy to use, even for beginners.
Cyber Acoustics CA-2890PRO
The Cyber Acoustics CA-2890PR0 is the cheapest Bluetooth speaker bar we chose for this lineup. What makes it different is it clips onto your monitor’s bottom bezel to save space even more. We chose the Pro version since it has bigger drivers and a rear-facing bass radiator for better overall sound quality.
It connects to your PC or monitor via USB or USB-C, but it has Bluetooth 5.3 connectivity for wireless functionality. It also has echo-canceling microphones, making it usable for conferencing aside from gaming or movies. It plug and play, so simply clamping it to your monitor and connecting it via USB will get it going;
About the Author: Paolo has been a gaming veteran since the golden days of Doom and Warcraft and has been building gaming systems for family, friends, and colleagues since junior high. High-performance monitors are one of his fixations; he believes that every citizen’s right to enjoy one. He has gone through several pieces of hardware in pursuit of every bit of performance gain, much to the dismay of his wallet. He now works with Monitornerds to scrutinize the latest gear to create reviews that accentuate the seldom explained aspects of a PC monitor.