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Best computer speakers 2020: boost your laptop's music performance

Best computer speakers Buying Guide: Welcome to What Hi-Fi?'s round-up of the best laptop speakers you can buy in 2020.

Whether you have a traditional all-in-one PC or a portable laptop, chances are your music library or game soundtrack isn't going to sound great through their built-in speakers.

If that reality makes you sad inside (and we don't blame you if it does) and you're willing to set the sound of your working space straight, then what you need – yes, need – is a pair of computer speakers. And good ones at that. Luckily for you, we know just the things!

Below, we've rounded up a handful of the best PC speakers – both active and Bluetooth stereo pairs – to flank your laptop or monitor, from budget solutions to premium. Our top recommendation has been honoured with a 2019 What Hi-Fi? Best Buy Award, at that.

Best computer speakers 2019: boost your laptop's music performance

1. Ruark Audio MR1 Mk2

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


Power: 20W | Bluetooth: Yes | Inputs: Optical, 3.5mm | Finishes: 1

Reasons to Buy

Stunningly musical sound
Subtle dynamics
Stylish, compact design

Reasons to Avoid

No USB input

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

The step up in performance from the original model is impressive, making the these Ruarks even more appealing than before. Quite simply, these are superb speakers of their type, hence their 2019 Award as the best desktop speakers on the market.

Read the full review: Ruark Audio MR1 Mk2

Best computer speakers 2019: boost your laptop's music performance

2. KEF Egg

KEF has hatched a real success with this balanced- and detailed-sounding 2016 Award winner


Power: 50W | Bluetooth: Yes | Inputs: 3.5mm/digital optical, USB | Finishes: 1

Reasons to Buy

Great sonic integration
Balanced, detailed, controlled sound
Compact egg-shaped design

Reasons to Avoid

Hybrid input not particularly neat

KEF has cracked it with these unique egg-shaped speakers. They're compact and stylish – just right to sandwich a computer monitor – and belt out a sound that's insightful, balanced and, frequency wise, seamlessly integrated.

Only bettered by the Ruarks above for their size and price, these former Award winners are still a great buy.

Read the full review: KEF Egg

Best computer speakers 2019: boost your laptop's music performance

3. Steljes Audio NS3

Versatile, affordable and an affable listen, these are solid desktop speakers for those on a budget.


Power: 90W | Bluetooth: Yes | Inputs: RCA, optical digital, RCA | Finishes: 7

Reasons to Buy

Sleek design
Good connectivity
Powerful bass

Reasons to Avoid

Could be more cohesive
Need a bit more detail

For a PC speaker 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.

Read the full review: Steljes Audio NS3

Best computer speakers 2019: boost your laptop's music performance

4. Acoustic Energy AE1 Active

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


Power: 100W | Inputs: RCA, balanced XLR | Finishes: 3

Reasons to Buy

Clear, balanced and detailed
Rhythmically exciting 
Flexible with placement

Reasons to Avoid

Nothing of note

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.

Read the full review: Acoustic Energy AE1 Active

Best computer speakers 2019: boost your laptop's music performance

5. Dynaudio Xeo 10

Pricey, but well worth the money. These are hugely impressive active speakers.


Power: 130W | Inputs: RCA, 3.5mm, optical digital | Bluetooth: Yes | Finishes: 2

Reasons to Buy

Clear, detailed and agile sound
Large-scaled and spacious delivery
Versatility, excellent features

Reasons to Avoid

Don’t physically feel like premium speakers

When you bear in mind the Xeo 10s are successors to the 2017 Award-winning Xeo 2s, their success is hardly surprising. They may be expensive – perhaps even pricier than your computer – but those who're serious about sound quality won't be disappointed. 

They're hugely entertaining and insightful, and for small speakers (each about the size of a thick hardback book) they sure belt out a large and spacious soundstage.

Their both wireless and wired connectivity options seal their five-star fate, too.

Read the full review: Dynaudio Xeo 10