Desktop Powered Speakers - Recs? What do you use?

I want to buy my nephew some speakers for his desktop computer… they will sit left and right of his monitor (a college kid).

The speakers must have their own power amps inside them with analog inputs. No DAC needed and No Bluetooth… he said sound sucks via Bluetooth… I am looking to spend… oh… $100 to $150. So… what do you think?

BTW, I have some cheap Creative brand sitting on my desk and they are OK for $65 … just for YouTube video but not music… for music, they… well suck. I purchased them at the only place I know I could listen to them: Microcenter… go figure… buying audio at a computer store. So I figure I will double that price… Hmmmm…

Bruce in Philly

I got my brother the Creative GigaWorks T40 Series II for desktop and a used Audioquest Dragonfly Black which actually came to about $150.

I think these sound quite good for the $100 price and, I think, they look cool.

The B&W MM-1 might be a bit more than you want to spend but they sound outstanding! No longer in production but I see that a used pair is available on eBay. I’ve been listening to a pair for several years on my desktop (based on a recommendation from Darren Meyers). Seems to check all your boxes except perhaps price (although that is likely negotiable).

I have a pair of JBL 3 Series Mk II.

I’ve got a pair of Audioengine A2+ on my desktop, paired with a cheap Monoprice subwoofer, and it actually sounds really good…

Looks like you can pick up a factory refurbed set of the A2+ for $199…pretty close to budget. :blush:

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I use Genelec 8020’s and their 7050 sub for my computer station. But I have used the Monoprice powered speakers with ribbon tweeter for a Roland Vdrum setup and was very impressed for the low cost. It has bluetooth, even after trying 2 different ones was very noisy. (It has USB but that might have been noisy as well -can’t remember)

You should check out M-Audio powered monitors. It’s been a long time since I’ve listened to a pair but I had a job once that had a pair as their ‘shop’ speakers, they sounded pretty ok in that setting so I bet they won’t disappoint on a desktop.

The long-discontinued Polk Hampdens often show up on eBay for fairly cheap. USB, bluetooth and 3.5mm aux in.

I love em. I think i have five pairs of these things.


Look at the Edifier speakers on Amazon. I have two pair that I use for TV sound that are price above your range but they have several that fit in your budget.

More than you want to spend, but I have a pair of these on my desk, and I love them.

Used pair of Fostex PMO.4n’s will run you between $100-$150. I’ve been using these for years and I think they are fantastic sounding for the price. Not the PMO.4’s as I have no experience with those. Check Amazon.

Yamaha MSP5

Thanx all…

Clarification and question… I am not looking for a small system for a room, but a desktop… speakers will sit side-by-side to a monitor and be two feet (?) from my head.

Shouldn’t I consider a near-field monitor like an Adam or Genelec?

Bruce in Philly

Those Yamaha MSP5 are nearfield but equally perform well as midfield. They are really universal.

Up the budget a bit and look at Vanatoo. Great design for desk(Transparent Zero).

If you go for Genelec I would also plan to get their sub (which sits on my lower desk shelf)

The sub creates a nice full sound and is not too noticeable when a distance away from the area.

@bruce-in-philly budget remains topped out at $150 US, correct?

Does Genelec or Adam have speakers for $100-150?

That is what I say (price limit)… I never stick to it. Keeping it down is a stretch goal that never works. Oh well…

Cheap stuff just sucks… in general. I think we are too educated with our nice big systems and cheap is highly compromised.

Bruce in Philly