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Upgrading Your Computer Speakers: 5 Things to Consider

August 4th, 2009

computer-speakers-upgrade.jpgEven the best computers often come with substandard speakers. For some people, upgrading the sound equipment is a good way to improve the overall enjoyment of a computer system. With more and more people using their computer to play games, watch movies, and listen to music, great speakers for your computer are a must. Speakers come in a wide variety of sizes and usually offer an equally wide variety of options. When selecting speakers for your computer consider:

1. The size of the room: Oversized speakers in a tiny room or apartment can cause sound overload or complaints from the neighbors. Also, the sound from small speakers can be swallowed by a large space.

2. Connections options: Commonly speakers connect to either a USB port or a jack input either on the front or back of the computer. Some computers also have coaxial connections (this uses a single digital cable) or an optical connection (fiber optic). Check which connection your computer has before exploring your speaker choices.

USB connection — speakers plug via open USB port

Analog — speakers plug in to port on front or back of computer

Coaxial — digital speakers connect to computer using a single digital cable

Optical — speakers connect via fiber optic connection.

3. Price: Speakers range in price from the entry level $30 speakers that come standard with most computers up to thousands of dollars for professional level equipment. Set a budget range for the speakers before you shop. Look for the best options in your price range.

4. Size and Shape: Speakers come in a seemingly endless variety of sizes and shapes. Before buying, determine how much desk, floor, or wall space you have available. Consider placement. Speaker sound can often be improved by the placement of speakers in the room. If your desk is cluttered, consider wall mounting. Is the color or style of the speaker casing a consideration? Is it important to you that your speakers match the room they are in or the computer to which they are connected?

5. Options: Not everyone has the same wants and needs when it comes to sound. Gamers may want strong subwoofers to get a good vibration from the low frequency. Someone who listens primarily to voice may want a cleaner sound.

Terms to know when shopping for computer speakers:

2.1 — refers to two speakers and one sub woofer

Subwoofer — speaker dedicated to the reproduction of bass audio frequencies

Sound card — also known as an audio adapter. Some motherboards come with a sound component on them, while others need a separate sound card to generate sound.

Consider a new sound card if your computer doesn’t have the type of connections you want.

Upgrading your speakers is a great way to increase your enjoyment of games, movies, and music. New speakers can open up a whole new world of computer enjoyment.

Although the name reads more like a Yahoo Messenger handle, “K8jonez” is actually a Constant Content author who managed to produce this article.

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