Best 2.1 Speakers with Subwoofers - For PC, TV and Music
Every computer and TV out there will include one or two built-in speakers – but as you can probably tell by now, these rarely do any of your audio any justice.
Sure, they’re good enough for hearing alerts, beeps, and whatnot – but that’s pretty much it as far as their sound-reproducing capability goes. Music, movies, and games are a whole different story, though – and you’ll never get that intended immersive experience without at least using a 2.1 computer speaker system.
And sure, it won’t exactly give you that surround sound experience, but it’s still better than a regular 2.0 system – and it sure as hell beats those generic speakers that came with your TV or computer.
But how do you pick the best 2.1 speakers for the job?
Well, that’s where I come in:
I took the time to browse the market, pick out a few reliable computer speaker sets worth trying out, and even put together a guide with all essential buying advice and considerations.
I know you’re excited to experience sound on a whole new level, so let’s get to it!
Table Of Contents (show/hide)
In a hurry? After 29 Hours of Research, We Recommend:
Logitech Z623 200-Watt 2.1 Speaker System
Why they are better?
Last Updated: May 1, 2020
By Barry Allen: This article has been updated to reflect the most accurate information regarding best 2.1 speakers available for those who are interested in the best 2.1 sound on the market. The best 5 available have changed, and information has been added to assist individuals in finding the best 2.1 speakers currently available on the market. The FAQ has also been updated.
Top 3 Best 2.1 Speakers – Comparison Table
Logitech Z623 200-Watt 2.1 Speaker System
35 – 20 Hz
Klipsch ProMedia 2.1 THX Certified Computer Speaker
31– 20 Hz
Cyber Acoustics High Power 2.1 Subwoofer Speaker System
45 – 20 Hz
How to Pick the Best 2.1 Speakers: Buying Advice & Considerations
With so many different brands and options available on the market, picking the best 2.1 speakers can turn out to be a somewhat confusing mess. And for a lot of people, figuring out what works best for their specific needs might not be as easy as it seems.
So, I’m here to help.
The first thing I’d like you to do is figure out what’s important to you. Some will appreciate Hi-Fi, audiophile-grade sound quality. Others will settle for decent sound reproduction of their computer speaker, as long as they get to save a couple of bucks.
Whatever your needs and priorities are, there are a few crucial elements you should pay attention to when buying the best 2.1 speakers for computer, TV, and music. For this, you’ll need a well-rounded, multi-purpose system – and that’s why the factors listed below should be your primary considerations.
Quality Sound above All Else
Sound quality is – and always will be – your main parameter and primary consideration here. It’s the one thing that you should never compromise when shopping for the best 2.1 speakers.
Now, I’m guessing that you’ll be doing your shopping online, and I know how tricky it can be to assess the speaker’s audio quality based on product descriptions. That's why I wanted to go over some factors with you.
The following can reveal a lot about the speaker's ability to keep up with all your needs:
Power Ratings – Even the birds in the trees know this, but one of the essential criteria you should pay attention to when trying to figure out the speaker's sound reproduction is output power.
Now, since 2.1 PC speakers tend to come as three-piece sets, you have two options – you can look at the individual RMS ratings of the satellites and the subwoofers, or the system’s total power.
Either way, you should check for both their continuous and peak power-handling capabilities.
Frequency Response Range – Another tell-tale sign of what the speakers sound like is, of course, their frequency response range. The crucial thing here is to find something that matches the natural hearing range of the human ear – 20 Hz to 20 kHz – as close as possible.
Since you’re working with two satellites and a subwoofer here, the efforts are typically divided between them, with the two smaller speakers handling mid- to high-range output. The subwoofer, on the other hand, is there to ensure a deep, thundering, bass experience.
Check how high – and low – these components go, and how well they complement each other in that regard.
One might argue that this is merely the tip of the iceberg and that there’s a whole lot more that could play into the speaker’s overall performance and sound quality.
And sure, these are the bare essentials. However, if you know your stuff, these factors should be more than enough to give you an idea of the output levels and quality you can expect from a set of speakers.
Get Connectivity Options That Match Your Setup
A limited number of connectivity options doesn’t necessarily make for a worse speaker, but at least make sure that you’re getting the inputs that you do need on a day-to-day basis.
There’s a handful of notable examples that come to mind here, including 3.5-millimeter jacks, USB ports, as well as RCA connections.
I mostly consider Bluetooth-enabled connectivity in speakers a matter of preference – and not an actual requirement that could make or break the best 2.1 PC speaker system.
Why did I decide to bring it up, then?
Well, considering their wireless mode of operation, which eliminates the need for a physical connection, they offer a level of convenience that wired speakers never will.
Anyway, I’ll leave you with one last piece of advice:
Keep in mind that more is more in this case. You probably won’t be using all of these connectivity options on your computer speaker simultaneously. However, the mere fact that they’re there when you do need them instantly increases the overall flexibility and value of your speakers.
A Few Extra Features and Accessories Are Always Welcome
We’re all getting a bit spoiled by the continually advancing technology, and as a result, we’ve come to expect a lot from all our devices, speakers included. That’s why I wanted to take a moment to discuss the importance of these extra features:
They might not be essential, but they’re more than welcome.
I’ll be the first one to admit that, if it comes down to it, I’ll always choose the speakers that match exceptional audio capabilities with a little something on the side.
On that note, dedicated bass knobs and other onboard EQ controls, LED lighting – especially for gaming setups – and headphone jacks are all welcome additions in my book.
Furthermore, I’m always happy to see an excellent remote control – or pad – included in the deal, as well. These are handy when you need to switch up the speakers’ settings but don’t feel like getting up and doing it manually.
I’m not judging – we all have our lazy days, and that’s what a remote control is for, anyway.
Looks Matter (More Than I’d Like to Admit)
We all have a particular set of stylistic preferences when choosing our tech – be it smartphones, soundbars, computer peripherals, or, in this case, 2.1 speakers.
Granted, the speaker’s design shouldn’t be the deciding factor – as an audiophile, I still believe that sound quality beats all else. But no one’s going to judge you for checking the speaker’s aesthetic appeal, too. It’s perfectly understandable:
A quality pair of speakers will become an essential part of your home’s audio setup, and you’ll probably be looking at them whenever you’re gaming, watching a movie, or listening to music.
So, why not make sure that you’re happy with the view?
Never forget about real-world use and build quality, though. What might look all shiny and stylish in the pictures could end up being a plasticky, dust-catching, fingerprint-attracting mess.
Also, don’t fall for temporary, ever-changing trends, because you’ll only end up with something that will look tacky and outdated in a matter of months. Classics are classics for a reason – nothing can beat that touch of class and simplicity.
Top 6 Best 2.1 Speakers of 2019/2020
I searched the market for you and picked up six of the best 2.1 speakers with subwoofers according to the criteria listed above. And after examining their design and testing their sound delivery, I’m ready to share my findings and honest opinions with you.
So, let’s get to it!
Our Rating: 91/100
The Logitech computer speaker is so much more than your average two satellites, one subwoofer combination:
Well-designed and incredibly loud, this system is much more potent than any other speaker I’ve included in this list. If you’re after a system that will take gaming and movie-watching to a whole new level with ample power and thundering bass, it doesn’t get much better than this one right here.
Plus, it’s THX-certified – so, you know you’re in for a treat.
That’s just a short introduction, though – you can check what else it has to offer in my detailed review!
The Logitech Z623 follows the standard 2.1 system format, including two satellite speakers and a subwoofer. But unlike typical speakers PC users are used to – with intricate design elements, rough edges, and whatnot – these have none of that. They’re pretty standard-looking.
The satellite speakers measure 7.7x4.6x5 inches each and utilize magnetically-shielded, 2.5-inch full-range drivers, hidden behind metal grilles. The subwoofer is significantly larger – which is to be expected – measuring 11.2x12x10.5 inches, and boasting an 8-inch woofer driver.
You’ll find three separate inputs on them, as well – 3.5-millimeter inputs on both the satellite and the subwoofer, as well as one RCA on the latter. That means that you won’t have to disconnect anything when switching between devices.
Furthermore, the satellite has a headphone jack, a power button, separate volume control, and a bass level knob.
The system has 200 watts of power total – 35 watts per satellite, and whooping 130 watts in the subwoofer alone! So, yes, you could most certainly wake up your neighbors if that’s what you’re wondering.
How’s that for powerful?
As you can expect, the subwoofer pushes out an insane amount of bass. I was worried that the satellites would fail to keep up, but they delivered crisp and clear highs and a well-balanced mid-range.
The sound was surprisingly rich and deep right out of the box – I guess that the THX had something to with it. Plus, they offered what is arguably the most three-dimensional experience I’ve had with a 2.1 system, almost stepping into surround sound realm.
Our Rating: 90/100
These speakers single-handedly raised the bar on what a mid-priced computer speaker can deliver sound-quality-wise.
You have to try playing first-person shooters with these babies plugged in and thumping in the background. To call the experience immersive would be an understatement!
That’s not the only reason why you should seriously consider buying the Klipsch ProMedia 2.1, though – the THX certification and the oh-so-tempting price tag are.
While their all-black finish looks a bit plain, their components and design are anything but:
The two satellite speakers measure 8.5x4.2x5.67 inches each and are fitted with highly-efficient, Klipsch-exclusive MicroTractrix horns, as well as 19-millimeter Poly compression tweeters. I like how they sit on top of metal stands for an added element of stability.
The lower frequencies are reserved for the 9.5x9.8x10.2-inch, side-firing subwoofer, and its 6.5-inch, long-throw, composite cone driver.
And while they don’t come with remote control, you’ll find knobs for adjusting volume and subwoofer levels located on the bottom of the right speaker, where they can be easily accessed. That’s where you’ll find two handy AUX connection ports, as well – a 3.5-millimeter input and a headphone jack.
For those of you who aren’t well-versed in tech terms, the THX certificate means that these speakers comply with the industry’s rigorous audio reproduction standards. You can rest assured that the sound they produce will be exactly as intended when it was recorded and mixed.
Beyond this seal of approval, these speakers boast a rather impressive set of specs, too, including a 31 Hz to 20 kHz frequency range, and a total system RMS power of 100 watts.
The sound balance is what stands out from the get-go, with every note being as clear and smooth as intended. The highs are sweet but avoid the dreaded piercing effect, the mid-range is rich and warm, and the lower end has a distinct smoothness to it that doesn’t overlap with the other frequencies.
Plus, the separate subwoofer volume control is super handy. It gives you the absolute freedom of choice when you want the bass to be loud and bone-rattling – and when you need something a bit more casual.
Our Rating: 84/100
If you’re on a tight speaker-shopping budget, you probably think that there’s no way that you’ll be able to get a 2.1 speaker system with decent enough sound delivery, acoustic, and bass output – but you’re wrong.
That’s precisely why I wanted to include this Cyber Acoustics CA-3810 computer speaker in my round-up:
Whether you’re more of a gamer or a movie watcher, this pocket-friendly, worth-every-penny option will blow your mind!
The three-piece 2.1 speaker system includes two magnetically-shielded, 8.75x3.25x2.5-inch satellite speakers, which feature two two-inch high-efficiency drivers each. They boast an angled design with aluminum-finished stands and removable cloth grills.
The third piece is, of course, the ported, side-firing subwoofer, fitted with a 5.25-inch woofer driver.
Also, I love that they included a convenient desktop control pod, too. It’s easy to use, yet highly functional, giving you full remote control over the speakers. And when I say “full control,” I do mean it:
You can turn your speakers on and off, see their current power status on the LED ring, adjust the volume levels, or fine-tune the sound according to your preferences using the bass volume control on the side.
Plus, the control pod packs a 3.5-millimeter auxiliary port for when you want to plug in an alternative sound source, as well as a headphone jack.
The system is driven by a built-in power supply, and has a total RMS rating of 40 watts, with 80-watt absolute peak power. Furthermore, the system boasts a frequency response range that goes from 45 Hz to 20 kHz, which is broad enough to deliver decent enough sound throughout the range.
They do, however, deliver a sound that is very mid-range oriented.
Then again, they’re more than capable of filling up an average-sized room with sound. When I first powered them up, I couldn’t stop myself from thinking:
How can a three-piece speaker system this cheap pump out so much bass?
Granted, I wouldn’t crank it up all the way, because it messes with the overall sound balance, and I can barely hear my thoughts – but the option is still there.
Our Rating: 88/100
It’s hard to put together a list of the best 2.1 speakers without including at least one of Edifier’s models. And this time, I wanted to take a moment to introduce you to the Edifier S350DB, because it offers a somewhat unique speaker system:
Unlike most other models on this list, which include relatively tiny satellite speakers, this 2.1 system comes with two fully-featured bookshelf speakers paired with a massive subwoofer.
It’s quite refreshing to see speakers that hold on to the classic beauty of the retro-style wood finish.
The fully-featured bookshelf satellite speakers measure 8.75x5x6 inches and are fitted with exposed, ¾-inch titanium dome tweeters, as well as mid-range drivers. The right speaker houses the main onboard controls – the three knobs for adjusting volume, bass, and treble levels – on its side panel.
The system also comes with a cool-looking, round wireless remote control, which allows you to turn your speakers on or off, switch between different input options, and control the volume from afar.
On that note, the input options include AUX, RCA, optical, coaxial, and yes, even Bluetooth.
The massive subwoofer is nothing short of amazing, either, with its 8-inch driver and the bass reflex port located on the side panel.
With such flexibility and classic design, I wanted to see if they hold up in testing as well as they do on paper.
The deep-hitting subwoofer has a frequency range of 40 Hz to 160 Hz and boasts 70 watts of power. It blasts a loud, thumping bass – and one that you can feel in your entire body, too. There are but a few options that can match its energy in the lower end.
The bookshelf speakers are there to take care of the mid to high-range sound reproduction and do so with 160 Hz to 20 kHz frequency response range, picking up where the subwoofer left off. They deliver soundstage-filling, balanced sound with brilliant clarity to it.
The layered soundstage blew me away, and I can comfortably recommend it for anything from movies and music to gaming!
Our Rating: 85/100
I rarely come across speakers that look like a work of art, yet offer sound quality that will satisfy even the pickiest of audiophiles – it’s always one or the other.
The Harman Kardon SoundSticks III, however, nails that balance of high-quality sound and unique looks – and I’m not just saying that, either:
These speakers landed themselves a spot in the permanent collection of New York’s Museum of Modern Art!
The original SoundSticks first made their appearance at the turn of the millennium, and even now, there are but minimal changes made to its latest iteration. The clear polycarbonate enclosure and the subtle LED glow are still an integral part of their sleek, futuristic design.
And why would they mess around with something that works, anyway?
The 2x10-inch satellite speakers are fitted with four full-range one-inch drivers each. They’re compact enough to fit exactly where you need them and can be angled at the desired position, too, meaning that you can optimize the sound to your liking.
The subwoofer shares the same transparent housing, albeit slightly bigger at 9.2x10.2 inches, and features a down-firing, six-inch subwoofer driver, along with separate volume controls.
Besides the inspiring looks, another thing that this set of speakers has to offer is excellent compatibility with other audio devices and components thanks to the 3.5-millimeter input. Oh, and it comes with a set of touch-sensitive volume controls, too.
The entire system has a frequency range of 44 Hz to 20 kHz and has an RMS rating of 10 watts per channel. And although their frequency range is a bit limited, this doesn’t affect the overall quality of sound.
So, how would I describe their overall sound delivery?
The satellites deliver crisp, clear highs, and a smooth and accurate mid-range, with the deep lows coming from the subwoofer. Their strength is in their balance – generous and even throughout the range. The resistance to distortions, even at higher volume levels, doesn't hurt, either.
It’s the subwoofer – powered by a 20-watt amplifier – that blends everything into a consistent, acoustic, well-balanced sound. That’s what makes it everyone’s favorite part of this three-piece system!
Our Rating: 80/100
Although we all like to see a fully-featured computer speaker with significant drivers and onboard controls, the truth is, not everyone needs – or has the space for – these not-so-compact speaker systems.
And that’s where the Creative Pebble Plus comes in:
They’re cute, they do the job well, and they’re a perfect addition to computers and laptops!
Their design focuses heavily on minimalism and simplicity that, in turn, blends into any given environment seamlessly:
The rounded – almost egg-shaped – satellites are made of sturdy-feeling plastic, with matte sides and a black, glossy finish on the front “panel.” They golden speaker cores are home to the two-inch drivers, angled at a 45-degree to better direct the sound.
The minimalistic design translates to the subwoofer, as well, which was brought into the mix as a part of an update to the original Creative Pebble 2.0 speakers.
It measures 8x5.9x7.7 inches and generally looks like an all-black box sitting on top of four rubber feet that elevate it from the surface – until you flip it over, that is. That’s when you’ll uncover a four-inch, downward-firing driver on the bottom side.
It’s a shame that they didn’t include onboard bass controls, though.
If you keep all your expectations in check, you’ll get your money’s worth with this ridiculously cheap set of tiny, pebble-shaped computer speakers.
The entire system is USB-powered, with the satellites having two watts of RMS power, and the subwoofer delivering four watts. The High Gain Mode does kick things up a bit, bringing their RMS rating up to 8 watts.
There’s no insane, ear-splitting volume output here. The speakers are more than enough to fill a smaller-sized bedroom with sound, though, and sound lovely at close range.
They boast a frequency range of 50 Hz to 20 kHz, but the overall sound quality is rather impressive. They sound well-balanced and full of life, with crisp and bright highs, and plenty of mid-range richness and vocal clarity.
And the bass levels are not too shabby, either – it’s audible and discernible, not at all overwhelming, and doesn’t bleed into the lower mid-range.
2.1 Speakers with Subwoofers – Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What’s the difference between 2.0 and 2.1 speakers?
A: A 2.0 system features two speakers with no dedicated subwoofer, making for a compact, left-and-right speaker setup. Alternatively, a 2.1 system features two speakers and a subwoofer. Here, the left and right speakers are often called satellites and are reserved for higher frequencies, while the substantial subwoofer driver takes care of the lower end.
The main difference between the two is in their overall size and bass output, with 2.0 ones generally taking up less room on your desk. The 2.1 systems do feature smaller satellites but are accompanied by a large subwoofer unit, which can take up a massive chunk of space.
Q: What is the best 2.1 speaker system for home theater?
A: Based on everything you’ve read so far, you probably have a few personal favorites when it comes to 2.1 speakers for a home theater setup. But if you’d like to hear my recommendations, I’d say that the best one out of the bunch is the Edifier S350DB Bookshelf Speaker and Subwoofer.
Q: What is a 2.1 speaker system?
A: Your basic stereo speaker systems – the 2.0 ones – consist of two speakers or two channels of sound. Once you add a dedicated subwoofer to the existing pair of standard stereo speakers, you get a 2.1 channel system. The “2” stands for the two stereo speakers – left and right – while the subwoofer makes for the “.1” part of the system.
One huge benefit of these 2.1 speakers is that they allow you to enjoy music and movies, and make for a much more immersive gaming experience, but don’t require surround and center-channel speakers. Two speakers and a separate subwoofer are all you need.
Plus, you can avoid all the clutter that comes with the additional wires.
Q: How do I set up a 2.1 speaker system?
A: Considering that you’re working with nothing more than a pair of satellite speakers and a sub, there’s not much to think about here. However, there are still a few things you can do to improve your setup because the placement is – and always has been – a critical step in getting an enjoyable sound:
Position your satellite speakers symmetrically on the left and right side of your monitor. Also, make sure that they’re directed inwards to create a listening area, with the center being the spot where you’ll be seated.
As for the sub, the setup is simple – as long as you avoid placing it against the wall, in the corner, or enclosed spaces, you’re pretty much good to go.
After it's all said and done, we recommend:
Logitech Z623 200-Watt 2.1 Speaker System
Why they are better?
That wraps up my round-up of the best 2.1 speakers you can currently buy. And rest assured, it will be a worthwhile investment, mainly if you’re used to the poor sound quality coming from your computer’s or TV’s built-in speakers.
While there are plenty of options for you to choose from, based on everything we’ve talked about, my vote goes to the Logitech Z623 200-Watt 2.1 Speaker System.
Let me know which one of these 2.1 speaker systems are you looking forward to buying, though!