Computer speakers come in a wide variety of options. The majority of the time, tower desktop computers will require external speakers to play sound. Some all-in-one desktops and all notebook computers have built-in speakers. However, built-in speakers are not known for producing very loud or quality sound. Many computer users choose to purchase external speaker systems for their computers. The possibilities for external computer speakers is endless.
2.0 Computer Speaker Systems
2.0 speakers are the most common setup for computers. Most desktop computers come with a free pair of 2.0 speakers. The 2.0 stands for two speakers and no subwoofer or centralized unit. You can easily identify your speakers as a 2.0 setup if you have two small speakers that connect directly to your computer. Most 2.0 computer speaker setups produce good high sounds with some distortion in bass due to lack of a subwoofer.
2.1 Computer Speaker Systems
The second most common type of computer speaker setup is 2.1. 2.1 computer speakers feature two satellite speakers and one centralized audio unit or subwoofer. You can identify your computer speakers as 2.1 if you have two smaller speakers sitting somewhere on your desk and a subwoofer on the floor (or a similar setup). 2.1 computer speaker setups generally produce good highs and lows due to the fact that they have the smaller satellite speakers to produce high audio sound and the subwoofer to handle lows and bass.
5.1 Computer Speaker Systems
The most complex computer speaker setups feature 5.1 positioning. 5.1 computer speaker setups feature five smaller satellite speakers and one centralized audio unit or subwoofer. Most commonly, four of the five smaller satellite speakers will be normal speakers and one of the five will be a center channel speaker. 5.1 computer speaker setups are best for computer users who watch a lot of movies and want surround sound, or people who need to fill an entire room with audio. 5.1 computer speaker setups are commonly good throughout the entire audio range. They have four satellite speakers to produce highs, the one center channel speaker to produce mid-range sound and the subwoofer to produce low sound and bass.
All-In-One Computer Speakers
More recently, some computer audio companies have started producing all-in-one speaker systems. Rather then having multiple speaker setups, these all-in-one systems have all the speakers built into one enclosure. This enclosure usually hold two to four smaller speakers and one subwoofer. All-in-one computer speakers are great for people who do not want to have speaker wire running all over their office and want to save space. Many computer speakers that feature a built-in iPod dock are considered all-in-one computer speakers.
All of the different computer speaker setups have their pros and cons. The quality of the speaker makes a big difference in overall sound. For example, a high-end 2.1 speaker system could easily out due a cheap 5.1 speaker system. If you are looking to have any bass quality at all in your computer speaker setup, it is best to not buy a 2.0 speaker setup, as they do not have a subwoofer. Some recommendations for quality computer speaker brands are JBL, Logitech and Harmon Kardon.
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