Best desktop speakers 2018

We all know computers don't sound great. Which is a shame, because we store more and more of our music digitally. Fortunately, help is at hand in the form of desktop speakers - here we've rounded up the best desktop designs money can buy, from under £200 to well over £1000.

Under £250

Steljes Audio NS3

Versatile, affordable and an affable listen, the Steljes NS3s are good desktop speakers for those on a budget.

SPECIFICATIONS

Power: 45W x 2 | Streaming: Bluetooth | USB charging: Yes | Colours: 7

Reasons to Buy
Sleek design
Good connectivity
Powerful bass
Reasons to Avoid
Could be more cohesive
Need a bit more detail

Today's best Steljes Audio NS3 deals

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£199
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For a desktop solution, the NS3 speakers certainly play their part well. They’re capable enough to work as your everyday speakers, and will look suitably stylish while doing it.

If you’re looking for an entry-level way to get your workplace audio sounding better, these speakers are worth considering.

Under £500

Ruark Audio MR1 Mk2

The Mk2s boast a wonderfully musical sound, plus stellar build quality and discreet good looks. 2018 Award-winners.

SPECIFICATIONS

Streaming: Bluetooth aptX | Digital input: Optical | Analogue input: 3.5mm | USB input: No

Reasons to Buy
Stunningly musical sound
Subtle dynamics
Stylish, compact design
Reasons to Avoid
No USB input

Today's best Ruark Audio MR1 Mk2 deals

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£329
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£329

Gorgeous looks, streamlined design and features, sound quality that’s been improved in every way – the Ruark MR1 Mk2s shoot straight to the top of our favourites list.

The step up in performance from the original model is impressive, making the Ruark MR1 Mk2s even more appealing than before. Quite simply, these are superb speakers of their type.

Under £1000

Acoustic Energy AE1 Active

Get high-end performance without the need for a stack of high-end electronics.

SPECIFICATIONS

Power: 50W x 2 | Inputs: RCA, balanced XLR | Finishes: 3

Reasons to Buy
Clear, balanced and detailed
Rhythmically exciting with fine dynamic range
Adjustable treble and bass for versatile placement
Reasons to Avoid
Nothing of note

Today's best Acoustic Energy AE1 Active deals

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It’s difficult to think of an amplifier/passive speakers combo that could better these Acoustic Energy active speakers at the price.

These 2018 What Hi-Fi? Award winners do everything with a flourish. You'd need to invest in a more expensive pair of components to offer a marked improvement on these Acoustic Energy active speakers - and you owe it to yourself to track down a pair to discover that for yourself.

Under £1500

Dynaudio Excite X14a

Clear, precise and exciting active speakers that will make your desktop the envy of the office.

SPECIFICATIONS

Power: 50W x2 | Inputs: RCA, balanced XLR | Finishes: 3

Reasons to Buy
Tight, agile bass
Insightful vocals
Compact and neatly finished
Reasons to Avoid
Need more attack

Today's best Dynaudio Excite X14a deals

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£1040
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£1300

The Excite family wear rosewood and walnut veneers or satin white or satin black finishes, and the X14as are almost dead ringers for their passive X14 relatives. Which means they look the business.

Sonically the Dynaudio X14a active speakers could do with more outright attack and energy, but there’s no doubting they do a lot of things very well. If you’re looking for clean, precise and transparent active speakers, give these a whirl.