PC speakers review

We tested 16 speaker systems to see which gives the best boom for your buck.
 
Learn more
 
 
 
 
 

02.Results

The following models scored the best results in our test

What to buy
Brand Price
Harman Kardon Soundsticks II $299
Edifier Multimedia Speaker System S2.1M (S330) $180
Logitech X-530 $150
Altec Lansing VS4121 $149

Though the Harman Kardon Soundsticks II were the pick of our sound experts, they’re also at the top of the price range. There’s a big price drop for the next three highest ranked, which makes them great value for money.

Of particular note is the Logitech X-530, which was the only 5.1 channel system in the top four. Around half the cost of the Soundsticks II, it’s outstanding value if you want surround sound.

 

Sign up to our free
e-Newsletter

Receive FREE email updates of our latest tests, consumer news and CHOICE marketing promotions.

 

Results table

Full results for all models are shown in the table below

b>Brand/model Price paid ($) Overall Performance Ease of use Off/Standby cost per year ($) Powered-on cost per year ($) Controls (locations, type, functions) Aux-Line in Other connections (location) Wall mountable speakers Amp/sub Dimensions (HxWxD in mm) Speaker Dimensions (HxWxD in mm) Speaker configuration Warranty (years)
Harman Kardon Soundsticks II
www.harmankardon.com
299 75 78 65 5.01 5.26 Sub: Bass up/down (rear), Speaker R: touch control volume up/down (front) Yes NA No 258 x 232 x 232 254 x 50.8 x 50.8 2.1 1
Logitech X-530
www.logitech.com
150 72 75 60 4.58 10.52 Sub: Bass up/down (rear), speaker R front: volume up/down, power on/off No Headphone (speaker front R) Yes 228 x 152 x 235 203 x 63.5 x 76 5.1 2
Altec Lansing VS4121
www.alteclansing.com
149 70 66 88 5.18 7.89 Speaker R: Volume, Treble, Bass, Power Yes NA No 347 x 204 x 251 233 x 100 x 131 2.1 1
Edifier Multimedia Speaker System S2.1M (S330)
www.edifier-international.com
180 70 70 68 6.79 11.57 Sub: Bass (rear of sub), Wired remote Yes Headphone (wired remote) Yes 246 x 246 x 286 190 x 68 x 100 2.1 1
Altec Lansing FX4021
www.alteclansing.com
189 69 66 80 11.84 12.10 Remote control ( only ) Yes NA Yes 348 x 220 x 228 169 x 90 x 90 2.1 1
Logitech Z-2300
www.logitech.com
300 69 69 68 4.24 19.71 Remote control ( only ) No Headphone (wired remote) No 280 x 280 x 380 170 x 90 x 150 2.1 2
Edifier M2600 Multimedia Speaker
www.edifier-international.com
180 68 65 80 7.57 10.91 Remote control, Sub: output level Yes Headphone (sub front) No 306 x 187 x 302 156 x 89 x 104 (centre: 122 x 132 x 104) 5.1 1
Cyber Acoustics Amplified Speaker System CA-3892
www.cyberacoustics.com
130 66 62 83 5.63 8.68 Speaker R: power on/off, Bass up/down, volume up/down Yes Microphone, Headphone (speaker R, right side), Microphone, AUX (speaker R, rear) No 238 x 177 x 267 197 x 87 x 90 2.1 1
Creative Inspire T6100
www.au.creative.com
125 66 63 78 8.06 14.14 Sub: Output level, Speaker R: Power/Volume knob No NA Yes 286 x 180 x 255 182 x 68 x 65 (Centre: 111 x 168 x 67) 5.1 1
Creative GigaWorks T40
www.au.creative.com
135 64 60 78 7.32 10.52 Speaker R: Volume, Treble, Bass (front), power (rear) No Headphone (Speaker R front) No NA 320 x 116 x 150 2.0 1
BOSE Companion 2 Series II
www.bose.com.au
149 59 54 80 6.29 6.57 Speaker R: Volume Yes Headphone (Speaker R front) No NA 189 x 81 x 153 2.0 1
Edifier M1550 Multimedia Speaker
www.edifier-international.com
85 56 53 70 8.36 7.89 Remote control ( only ) No NA No 228 x 151 x 220 165 x 68 x 68 (Centre: 66 x 160 x 44) 5.1 1
Cyber Acoustics 5.1 Amplified Speaker System CA-5001
www.cyberacoustics.com
180 54 47 83 5.98 11.18 Sub: Output level, Speaker R: Power, Fader, Volume No NA Yes 316 x 244 x 264 213 x 78 x 87 (Centre: 117 x 125 x 87) 5.1 1
JBL On Tour XT portable loudspeaker
www.jbl.com
238 54 54 55 0.54 2.63 Main unit - Volume up/down, Remote control - mute Yes USB (side) No NA 150 x 65 x 150 2.1 1
Yamaha NX-A01
www.yamahamusic.com.au
130 53 46 80 0.81 2.63 Main unit: Power on/off, volume up/down, mute No NA No NA 89 x 84 x 84 2.0 1
Sony Travel Speakers for Walkman/PC SRS-T57
www.sony.com.au
120 41 31 80 NA NA Main unit: Power on/off No DC 6V power (back) No NA 85 x 224 x 57 2.0 1
 

 

Table notes

Footnotes

  • NA Not tested — this speaker system is battery-powered and had no AC power supply.
  • (R, L) Denotes positioning. L = Left, R = Right.

Price What we paid in February 2008. Running costs based on 15c per kilowatt-hour.

Performance (80% of Overall) Based on our expert panel's performance scores per speaker system during playback of test samples of audio.

Ease of use (20% of Overall) Whether the speaker systems were easy to set up.

Features

  • Controls Playback controls and location on speaker system.
  • Aux Line-in Auxiliary line-in connection.
  • Other connections Headphone, microphone, DC power.
  • Wall mountable speakers If the speaker box has mounting brackets.

Specifications

  • Amp/sub dimensions Size of the subwoofer (where applicable).
  • Speaker dimensions Size of the included speakers.
  • Speaker configuration Channel separation: 2.0, 2.1 or 5.1.
  • Warranty Manufacturer's warranty period.
Your say - Choice voice

Make a Comment

Members – Sign in on the top right to contribute to comments