Soundbars made for computers are external speakers ideal for those with small workspaces or who prefer a minimalist setup. The compact sound systems easily fit under a monitor, with tidier cabling for a clutter-free office desk. They also deliver better sound quality than most built-in monitor speakers, which is great if your monitor is your primary medium for entertainment.
Many soundbars are too big for computer setups, mainly because they’re normally intended for TVs and full-fledged home entertainment systems. So, we took it upon ourselves to hunt down a few great soundbars specifically for computers (don’t thank us, you’re welcome). In so doing, we dug around the net, nerded out a lot, and shimmied through a veritable ocean of verified buyer reviews.
The result is the following list, featuring a handful of the best soundbars for computers on the modern, sound-savvy market. To the daytime desk jockeys and WFH warriors; the podcast connoisseurs, and Fortnite…rs? This one’s for you.
The Best Soundbar for Computers
TaoTronics Bluetooth Computer Speaker
Featuring a minimalist frame with discreet branding, the TaoTronics Bluetooth Computer Speaker is a 16.1-inch wide soundbar under $300 that pairs nicely with monitor setups no matter their footprint. Connectivity options include Bluetooth 5.0 (intuitive!), USB 3.0 plug-in (lag-free!), and auxiliary (old school!).
The SK025 soundbar is TaoTronic’s most popular soundbar to date. And that’s saying something — the company practically sh- …makes some of the best soundbars for computers available today. According to tech nerds and customer reviewers alike, this TaoTronics bar ranks among the best budget pc speakers — subcategories notwithstanding.
At less than three inches tall, the pc soundbar fits easily under many a monitor setup. Its slightly angled design and low profile make it discreet, and its non-skid feet plant it securely. The circular control panel, comprising a power button and media controls, is located on the right side and is easy to access.
The TaoTronics SK025 packs a helluva punch in its appealing and condensed form factor, offering (alleged by many) decent sound quality at a nearly unbeatable price point.
Connectivity: Bluetooth 5.0, 3.5-mm aux-in, USB 3.0
Sound: Deluxe 6-driver
Extras: One-button operation (pairing, music controls, call handling)
Model No.: TT-SK025
Power Source: USB
Dimensions: 16.14 x 2.17 x 2.64 in
Weight: 2.2 lbs.
JBL Bar 2.0 – All-in-One Soundbar
When shopping for quality sound systems, whether it’s headphones or Bluetooth speakers, JBL is one of the first brands you should check out. Take a look at its Bar 2.0 for seamless sound quality. It’s a sexy-sounding 80-watt speaker with a sleek and compact design featuring Bluetooth 5.0 capability as well as an HDMI input cable for theatre-quality, latency-free connectivity.
At around 24.2 inches, this puppy is on the heftier end of the spectrum. But how else do you expect to house two 40-watt speakers? JBL says the Bar 2.0 utilizes Dolby Digital for virtual surround-sound engineering and a native smart sound mode to deliver “incredible sound every time.” And per the litany of customer reviews, this soundbar’s relatively big footprint is more than justified by the symphonic boom it delivers.
Regarding sound quality, this JBL soundbar is good, with “mega-luscious bass,”…or so we’re told by one (of thousands) of seemingly satisfied customers.
For controls, the Bar 2.0 has both a set of easy-access buttons up top and a remote, which offers the usual button array plus input and channel controls.
Word of the wise: if you prefer to connect to the Bar 2.0 using a traditional 3.5-mm aux, you’ll need to invest in an aux-to-optical converter, as this model does not come with an integrated auxiliary input. That said, the multitude of input options (Bluetooth, HDMI, optical) will work with just about any pc made in the last 5 to 10 years.
Connectivity: Bluetooth 5.0, HDMI ARC, optical
Sound: Dolby Digital virtual surround
Extras: HDMI and optical input options
Model No.: JBLBAR20AIOBLKAM
Power Source: AC
Dimensions: 24 x 5.71 x 4.92 in
Weight: 3.55 lbs.
Razer Leviathan Soundbar and Subwoofer
Ranked for several years as some of the best computer speakers for PC gaming, the Razer Leviathan Soundbar and Ancillary Subwoofer system offers 10-meter/30-foot range Bluetooth 4.0 aptX connectivity (read: muy dynamic and hella sexy).
The gaming hardware specialist’s latest Leviathan iteration also boasts Dolby 5.1 surround-sound config with 4 “finely tuned” drivers and a 5.25-inch downward-firing, bass-dedicated subwoofer. This versatile unit works well for games, movies, and music, featuring three preset sound profiles dedicated to each.
Housed in a sleek, all-black frame with the Razer logo in the middle of the front grille, the Leviathan soundbar measures 19.7 inches wide, 3 inches tall, and 2.8 inches deep. The accompanying subwoofer is a little more cumbersome, measuring 9.5 inches tall and 9.5 inches at the square base. Thoughtfully, Razer carved out a central notch in the soundbar base for clean channeling of mouse and keyboard wires.
Featuring multiple input options — including analog and Bluetooth — PC gear pros and buyers alike report exceptional immersive sound quality.
Heads up, though: if you’re looking for RGB light effects, look elsewhere. Although a staple in many of Razer’s pc peripherals, backlights are noticeably missing from the Leviathan.
Connectivity: Bluetooth v4.0 aptX, Optical, NFC, 3.5-mm aux
Sound: Dolby 5.1 surround
Extras: 3 Preset equalizer settings
Model No.: RZ05-01260100-R3U1
Power Source: AC
Dimensions: 19.7 x 3 x 2.8 in [bar], 9.5 x 8.7 x 9.5 in [sub]
Weight: 4.4 lbs. [bar], 5.1 lbs. [sub]
TaoTronics 16-Inch Gaming Speaker
For powerful sound, a small footprint, and RGB light effect options, check out TaoTronic’s gaming-specific soundbar.
One of the best budget pc gaming speakers according to the cloud, the 16-Inch Gaming Speaker soundbar boasts 360-degree sound with zero audio distortion, small but mega drivers, Bluetooth 5.0, and hardwired connectivity options. Plus three optional light modes (flow, pulse, sync).
One self-proclaimed “old-school analog kind of audiophile” stated that they swapped a busted 5.1 surround-sound system out for the compact TaoTronics Gaming Speaker. The buyer states that, while having a pc that’s fitted with a high-quality soundcard is necessary, they were impressed with the soundbar: “This is a fantastic soundbar for computer use. Overall, the dynamic range, clarity, and nuances that you get with this soundbar far surpassed my expectations.”
For more top-quality audio devices, check out our guide to the best powered speakers.
Connectivity: Bluetooth 5.0, 3.5-mm aux-in
Sound: Dual driver
Extras: RGB light effects, compact form
Model No.: TT- SK027
Power Source: AC
Dimensions: 16.5 x 3 x 3 in
Weight: 2 lbs.
ELEGIANT Wired Computer Sound Bar
Although this soundbar from ELEGIANT lacks wireless capabilities, it offers reportedly high sound quality. In fact, customers writ large celebrate it as one of the best cheap computer speakers across multiple categories due to dual 3-watt built-in subwoofers. And — and — the wired plug-in connectivity mitigates any risk of lag common among Bluetooth-enabled alternatives.
The ELEGIANT Wired Computer Sound Bar almost comes complete with optional RGB (red, green, or blue) light settings, a microphone interface, a headphone jack, and a single dial that controls power as well as volume. And, if verified buyer reviews are any indication, this sub-$25 soundbar is one of the best computer speakers for gaming at the price point.
Connectivity: 3.5-mm aux-in
Price Range: $
Sound: Dual driver
Extras: Optional RGB light effects, mic interface
Model No.: ELEGIANTFurmores4778
Power Source: USB
Dimensions: 16.5 x 2.4 x 2.4 in
Weight: 1.4 lbs.
Soundbars for Computers Buying Guide & FAQ
Features to Look for in the Best Soundbars for Computers
Size/Width – A great advantage to computer soundbars is the small physical footprint and vertical space they take up. The low, horizontal form allows users to neatly situate the bar in the empty space directly under their monitor, creating a clean and linear vertical profile while opening up usable desk space.
Similarly, soundbars aren’t very deep, which means they’re less apt to jut out awkwardly from under your office monitor.
More so than other computer speaker styles, soundbars appeal to those of us that are minimalist-minded, short on horizontal space, or both.
Connectivity – Most of the best soundbars for computers available today feature at least two types of device input technologies: 3.5-mm aux-in (wired) and Bluetooth (wireless). There are a few options on the market (though usually the higher end of it), which also boast HDMI, optical, USB-C, and Wifi connectivity.
Generally speaking, a 3.5-mm wired connection will be the most reliable and experience the least amount of latency.
Bluetooth connectivity is obviously appealing for its convenience factor — you can pair a Bluetooth soundbar to numerous devices and, with most models, seamlessly switch play control from one device (like your pc) to another (like your smartphone or tablet).
Ultimately, the types of connectivity you prefer and your physical parameters should determine whether a variety of input options is important to you or not. If you have a stationary desktop and intend to use your speaker as a dedicated pc soundbar, then maybe a simple wired configuration will do the trick. If however, you intend to connect multiple devices to your soundbar, or if portability is a big factor in your selection, then absolutely look for a Bluetooth-capable soundbar.
Stereo or Surround Sound – It’s substantially easier to find soundbars offering stereo sound technology as opposed to virtual surround sound. The difference is a matter of audio compression technologies used; virtual surround output requires newer, more advanced engineering and equipment than good ol’ stereo output.
While it’s impossible to create “true” surround sound without an arrangement of several strategically placed and synchronized speakers, modern audio engineering has done a pretty pretty pretty good job of synthesizing the effect. You’ll see synthetic surround-sound systems commonly referred to as “virtual” or “virtual surround sound.” So, no duh, that’s what you get with an independent, “surround” soundbar. It’s not uncommon for mid and high-end soundbars to come with brand-specific surround-sound technology; take “Dolby virtual,” for example.
If you’re looking for a sound experience close to cinematic, dig into the computer soundbars that offer Dolby 5.1 virtual surround sound, and keep your eye out for bars that come with (or can at least connect easily to) an accompanying subwoofer.
Best Soundbars for Computers FAQ
What is the best way to connect a soundbar?
The best way to connect a computer soundbar depends on what you’re working with. The good news is that you probably have some options, and setup for each is fairly simple.
Connecting your soundbar via a 3.5-mm aux tends to be the simplest. And since aux cables are designed specifically to carry sound (unlike many do-it-all USB cables), the sound fidelity should be pretty solid. Make sure you have a quality cable, especially if your soundbar didn’t come equipped with one. You can upgrade to any of the leading aux cables for less than $10.
That said, Bluetooth reliability is rapidly catching up to that of traditional wired connections. And the effective range for Bluetooth devices typically far outstrips that of wired alternatives. Most affordable soundbar options offer BT ranges starting at 10 meters/33 feet; some even boast 15 meters/50 feet.
Since Bluetooth is probably here to stay for a while, we recommend looking through the best soundbars for computers that offer both 3.5-mm aux and Bluetooth v4.0 or higher input.
Do I need a 2.1, 5.1, or 7.1 Setup?
That depends on your interior space, desired audio quality, and budget.
To borrow from the pros at The Home Theater DIY, “A 2.1 soundbar includes two speakers, usually a left and right channel and a subwoofer. A 5.1 soundbar includes five speakers. Usually, front left, front right, front center, surround left, surround right, and a subwoofer. You can also opt for bigger systems, like a 7.1 soundbar if your wallet can handle it.”
Expect 2.1 systems to be the run-of-the-mill varietal in today’s market.
You can score a decent 5.1 setup for under $200, although it’s likely limited to wired-only connectivity. Expenditure between $200 and $400 should secure an ample and multi-speaker 5.1 digital/virtual surround system.
7.1 setups, while sexy af, may be a little much for scenarios in which the primary input source is a computer. 7.1 arrays typically start around $600 and go up from there; they are usually found in the rare air of ample home theatres. But hey, live your dream. If all that’s missing from your Minecraft experience is a little 7.1 blast to the ears, go for it.
- How Virtual Surround Sound Works – HowStuffWorks
- How to Choose a Surround Sound System – HowStuffWorks