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6 Best Active Speakers And Quality

Do you need the best active speakers for home use, for example to put your computer or laptop in the limelight? On the market you will find a number of options for this application area, such as an active box that you connect directly to the output device. Thanks to its own power supply, a separate amplifier is not required and the speakers are so small that they can be placed next to a monitor or on a bookshelf.

active speakers

But what should you pay attention to when buying and what technical requirements must be met for operation? We'd like to address this in the following comparison of our products. We take a closer look at 6 devices and reveal what's important. In this guide you will find a lot of useful information about the best active speakers.

The 6 best powerful-sounding active speakers in our big comparison

1. Bose Companion 2 Series III Multimedia Speaker System
  • Cable connectivity technology
  • Multimedia type loudspeaker
  • Companion Series 2 Series III
  • Recommended use for computers
  • Wired special features
  • Table mounting type:
  • 2.1 . surround sound channel configuration
  • Dimensions of the item W x W x H 14.5 x 8 x 19 centimeters
The Bose company is known for its uncompromising, high-quality, but also very expensive product range. With this system, Bose offers PC speakers intended for home use.

As is always the case at Bose, these speakers do not provide information about output power. Buyers have to look very closely to find the appropriate key figure: 7 watts is recorded by the online retailer's offerings. However, whether this is related to performance is still questionable.

Simultaneous connection of two devices: In addition to the built-in 3.5mm jack cable for connecting to a PC or laptop, Bose speaker users have the option of connecting their smartphone, MP3 player or tablet with an additional cable counterpart. You can connect two devices at the same time and don't have to bother unplugging them.

Bose provides an active box and additional speakers that can be connected with the supplied cable. Connection to a computer or laptop can be done with a permanently attached cable, as well as a connection to an electrical socket. An on/off switch is integrated into the volume control on the front of the speaker. Turning it all the way to the left will shut down the system.

The connection jack for headphones can also be found on the front of the active box. As soon as headphones are plugged in, the speakers turn off. Volume is still adjustable, but only for headphones. Users can still connect devices such as smartphones or tablets into the box. A 3.5 millimeter jack cable is used for this on the front of the powered speaker.

2. Logitech Z200 2.0 . PC Speakers
  • 3.5MM . connectivity technology
  • Surround sound speaker types
  • Recommended use for Universal
  • Special feature booster
  • Table top mounting type
  • 2.0 . surround sound channel configuration
  • Dimensions of the item W x W x H 24.1 x 9 x 12.5 centimeters
If you're not too demanding when it comes to volume, the Logitech Z200 2.0 PC speaker might be for you. The total output of this speaker is 5 watts. The device is so small that you can easily mount it next to your PC monitor.

According to manufacturer Logitech, this system produces room-filling sound. Both speakers are active, i.e. they are supplied with power. Since the boxes are connected to each other, you only need one power source to supply them. Audio devices are connected via a 3.5-millimeter jack cable, which is included in the shipping range. It allows you to connect computers and laptops as well as smartphones, tablets or MP3 players to the speakers.

The Logitech Z200 2.0 PC speaker is small and practical. You can place it next to your monitor or right next to your laptop without wasting much space. Thanks to simple connection technology, they can be assembled and disassembled quickly.

The right speakers serve as your control center. Here you can adjust the volume with the rotary control. There are other controls on the side that you can use to adjust the pitch of the voice. For bass sound, Logitech uses passive coils. You can connect headphones to speakers. The sound from the speaker turns off automatically.

The Z200 speakers are available in black or white cases. The same model including Bluetooth function is available under the product name Z207. You can still use the connection with a jack cable.

3. PreSonus ERIS E3.5 Studio Monitors Active Speaker
  • RCA connectivity technology, Auxiliary
  • Speaker type studio monitor
  • Model name Spr air12
  • Recommended use of the product For music player
  • Special features Level control for upper and lower frequency ranges, integrated headphone amplifier, balanced 6.35mm TRS jack jack, unbalanced channel input as cinch jack and 3.5mm stereo jack, class AB power amplifier with 25W/side, compact dimensions and sound in Studio quality, 3.5" woofer with composite cone and 1" silk dome tweeter, Convenient volume control on the front
  • 1 inch subwoofer diameter
  • Table mounting type
  • 2.0 . surround sound channel configuration
  • Stereo audio output mode
The Eris E3.5 studio monitor is the smallest speaker in the portfolio of PreSonus studio technologists. You don't have to do without good technicality, because the technology is the same for all manufacturer's loudspeakers. Woofers with composite membranes and tweeters with silk domes are used in the Eris E 3.5. According to the manufacturer, this combination results in more homogeneous radiation behavior across the frequency spectrum as well as precise reproduction of transients and highs.

The left speaker is the main unit. Connect all the necessary cables, including the power supply, to this. Connect the right speaker with the cable provided. Various connection options allow operation of various devices. On the back there is a cinch connection, for example to connect a CD player. There's also a 6.35-millimeter TRS input that lets you connect a mixer or interface.

Thanks to its 6.35mm TRS input, the PreSonus Eris E3.5 is not only suitable for use on computers or for connecting to smartphones and tablets. Connections ensure that you can connect mixers, audio interfaces and musical instruments directly. This makes the speakers suitable for use in small home recording studios.

The front also has a connection: you can connect a PC, laptop or smartphone to the 3.5-millimeter jack. You can also connect headphones. The front houses the on/off button and volume control. On the back you can adjust the bass and treble settings. All necessary cables are included in the shipping scope.

The integrated amplifier ensures a maximum output of 25 watts per side. The same model, the Eris E 3.5 BT, comes in a version with Bluetooth, so you can pair your smartphone and tablet wirelessly.

4. Wavemaster STAX 2.1 . Active Speaker
  • Bluetooth connectivity technology
  • Types of satellite speakers, subwoofer
  • Stax model name
  • wall mounting type
  • 2.1 . surround sound channel configuration
  • Dimensions of the item W x W x H 26.5 x 18 x 28 centimeters
  • Touch control method
  • Item weight 599 grams
The Wavemaster STAX 2.1 powered speaker comes in a 2.1 speaker system. The device consists of two satellite speakers which, in combination with the woofer in the log house, will produce an impressive volume of sound. According to Wavemaster, the system is optimized for sound reproduction from multiple music sources and connections. According to the manufacturer, even the Bluetooth streaming function can be installed using the “Wavemaster Streamport” Bluetooth adapter. The integrated and powerful three-channel Class-D amplifier is said to deliver 50 watts RMS.

With headphone and line-in connection: The Wavemaster STAX 2.1 powered speaker has an integrated headphone amplifier with headphone connection on the control unit and line-in connection, which the manufacturer says is optimized for mobile audio sources such as smartphones. Compared to stationary sources like PCs, these usually have a relatively weak audio signal.

According to Wavemaster, the satellites of the 2.1 speaker system are driven by a remote driver with Mylar membrane, while the long-throw woofer plays in a wooden cabinet with bass reflex technology. According to the manufacturer, bass and treble can be individually adjusted on the bass speaker. The slim housing of the satellite speakers has an integrated protective grille and metal base and is said to be suitable for wall mounting. The satellites each have an output power of 10 watts, a woofer of 26 watts. Subwoofers work in the frequency range from 30 to 150 Hertz, active speakers from 150 to 20,000 Hertz.

5. EDIFIER Studio R1280T 2.0 . Active Speaker
  • Wired connectivity technology
  • Studio monitor speaker type
  • Model name R1280T
  • Recommended use for computers
  • Special features Shelf speakers, Computer speakers
  • Table mounting type
  • 2 . surround sound channel configuration
  • Item dimensions W x W x H 19.6 x 14.6 x 23.4 centimeters
Manufacturer Edifier promises studio-quality sound with its R1280T 2.0 speaker system. There are also many connection options so the box can be equipped with inputs. Equipped with a 4-inch bass unit and 13-millimeter silk dome tweeter, the loudspeakers should deliver sound that fits. Remote control is included in the dispatch scope, with which the relevant settings can be made.

This speaker is powered by a universal power supply. The operating voltage is 100 to 240 volts. Only one of the two boxes is active, which is directly connected to a power source. The second is connected to the first with a closed wire. Both speakers have an expanded bass reflex port, which the manufacturer says ensures rich bass tones full of depth and presence. The output power is 2 × 21 watts.

With infrared remote control: Buyer will receive the Edifier Studio R1280T 2.0 speaker system with infrared remote control. It can be used to adjust volume and sound, i.e. high and low. The grid is activated or deactivated at the touch of a button. Loudspeakers can be positioned freely in the room and you don't have to pay attention to how far they are from your seat.

The active box has three tone controls. Bass, treble and volume can be adjusted here. These three functions can be controlled via the supplied remote control. The loudspeaker can be turned off at the touch of a button.

As many as two devices can be connected to the speaker system. It works via double win input. PCs, laptops, tablets, phones, or record players can be connected with the right cable . Necessary cables are included in the scope of delivery - stereo cinch to 3.5 mm jack. The Edifier speaker system is available in wood and black. The front panel can be removed for a retro chic look. Buyers with Bluetooth and additional digital inputs get the same system. The cinch joint is combined with optical and coaxial inputs.

6. Trust GXT Gaming Speaker Set
  • Bluetooth connectivity technology
  • Speaker type satellite
  • Series 21202
  • Recommended use for Universal
  • Wired special features
  • Wall mounting type
  • 2.0 . surround sound channel configuration
  • Dimensions of the item W x W x H 20.7 x 9.7 x 10.4 centimeters
The speaker has an output power of 18 watts, on the front of the right box you will find the volume and bass controls. There are also two 3.5-millimeter jacks: you can connect headphones to one, and the other is used to record audio signals from an MP3 player or smartphone.

Gamers love it when everything shines and flashes. Computer housings are usually equipped with LED lights on the fans and on the housing itself, and peripheral devices, namely the keyboard and mouse, are also colorfully lit. So why not PC speakers too?

Trust offers such a system with the GTX 608 2.0 gaming speaker set. The LED lights are located around the bottom, slightly larger speaker in the case. When the box is connected to a computer, the LED will pulse to the rhythm of the sound or music. Combined with other gaming PC lighting, it creates the right atmosphere.

Computer gamers love their colorful and eye-catching equipment. Therefore, the Trust GXT 608 loudspeaker is equipped with an LED light. It glows red and pulsates to the beat of the music you play. A great gimmick that not only computer gamers can enjoy. If you are fed up with lighting, you can disable the function.

Connect the power supply using a USB cable. Just plug the cable into a free USB port on your computer and you're good to go. Also, connect the audio cable to the appropriate output jack on your PC or laptop. If you turn off the computer, the speakers also turn off, because the loudspeaker does not have a separate on/off switch. You can turn off the LED light.

What is an Active Speaker?

active speakers

Active speakers are sound reproduction systems that do not require a separate amplifier. With a massive hi-fi system, the amplifier is at the heart of the action. All playback devices such as CD players, turntables or cassette decks are connected to this. The loudspeaker is connected to the amplifier so you can hear something. These boxes do not require an external power source, as the amplifier provides the necessary energy.

With powered speakers, on the other hand, you don't need an amplifier because it's integrated into the speaker system. This offers several advantages:
  • You don't need any additional devices.
  • No cable mess.
  • The construction is not complicated.
Active loudspeakers come in countless sizes, colors, shapes, and qualities. Therefore, keeping track of things is not that easy. There is something for every application area. There are small systems intended only as playback devices for office PCs, but also very large, high-quality devices that you can use to replace a full stereo system. Many users use active boxes to connect record players, as this is sometimes no longer possible with ordinary amplifiers.

How to connect active speakers

Connecting powered speakers is easy. The prerequisites for the loudspeaker itself and the device that supplies the audio signal are crucial for choosing the right cable. There are several variants, some are analog and some are digital. And this is where the first purchase decision comes into play: You can't use speakers that only have analog inputs to play audio data that's shipped with digital end devices. Example of an analog connection:
  • RCA
  • Scavenge
  • Clamp
Example of a digital connection:
  • Optics
  • Coaxial
There are speakers that have a wireless interface, in most cases Bluetooth. In order for you to use this, the audio device must also have this technology. Perhaps the speaker has one analog connector, but the audio device only has another. In this case, a cable that supports both options helps. The most commonly used cables of this type have a cinch connector on one side and a jack connector on the other. In almost all cases, the necessary connection cables are included in the scope of delivery of the speaker system. Once you have established the connection between the audio device and the loudspeaker, you only need to connect the active box to a power source.

System 2.0, 2.1, 5.1: That's behind it

In our comparison, we only covered the 2.0 system. But there are also systems labeled 2.1, 5.1 and even 7.1. What is the difference between these systems and what should you pay attention to?

System 2.0 System

2.0 consists of two loudspeakers. This is a classic stereo setup. There are left and right channels, which are separated depending on the audio signal and play different sounds to create a stereo effect. In contrast to mono, where the same sound is played from all squares.

System 2.1 System

The 2.1 consists of three loudspeakers: two stereo components for the right and left channels and a separate subwoofer, which is only responsible for deep bass. It stands on the floor and uses its own hollow body and resonance with the wall or floor to produce powerful, vibrating bass tones. Whether you need such a system depends on personal preference and other criteria:
  • Not everyone likes a deep bass sound.
  • There should be enough space.
  • Proper placement of the subwoofer is very important.
  • Subwoofers usually require their own power source.
5.1 . system

A total of six speakers are used in the 5.1 system: two stereo components for left and right, a subwoofer, two surround boxes, and a center speaker. This system is mainly used by users who want to create spatial sounds in film and television. The placement of each speaker is very important here and depends on the sitting position of the listener.

The center unit is usually mounted above or below the TV set. Two stereo speakers are positioned to the left and right of the television, and two surround boxes are placed to the left and right behind the user. The subwoofer is properly positioned and, like the 2.1 system, delivers deep bass. This system is somewhat unsuitable for music lovers, as very few records are mixed with this system.

Exceptions: Some music DVDs, such as the bonus DVD from the 2007 Dream Theater album "Systematic Chaos" included with the special edition. If you insert this DVD in a player and connect it to a 5.1 system, you can enjoy mixes made especially for this purpose. It really depends on the respective genre of music and the skills of the musicians and technicians, whether that added value is really possible. Besides, it's a matter of taste. Music fans swear by stereos, which is why Hi-Fi amps are so expensive these days compared to 5.1 amps.

Purchase criteria: Find the right active speaker

active speakers

With so many options, you may have a hard time finding the right speaker system. The decision depends on several factors. First of all, price, but also dimensions, appearance, and last but not least, technology is important for purchasing decisions. Below you will find an overview of the most important buying criteria.

Application areas: What do you need loudspeakers for?

Small 2.0 speaker systems like the ones you'll find in our comparison are perfect as a supplement to or as a replacement for the built-in speakers in your laptop, smartphone or tablet. You can also use it as a playback system for voice assistants. Due to its compact size and simple connection options, you can transport boxes quickly and easily from A to B. The following special uses can be envisioned:
  • As an output device for language assistants like Amazon's Alexa
  • As an output device for a laptop, smartphone or tablet
  • As a fixed speaker system for desktop PC
  • As an additional music system in the bedroom or in the kitchen
Depending on what you want to use the device for or how much you expect in terms of volume and quality, there are different approaches. If you want to use the speaker primarily for your smartphone or tablet, the Bluetooth interface is the most convenient choice. You keep yourself a constant device connection, the connection is usually automatic.

There are also pure Bluetooth boxes on the market. Compared to the active speakers presented here, they have advantages and disadvantages:

  • Bluetooth box works on battery and is cellular
  • Compatibility provided by 3.5mm . jack socket
  • Available in various sizes
  • No external power supply only limited application possibilities
  • Only one box - therefore no stereo
Bluetooth is a technology that allows you to wirelessly connect two devices, such as a smartphone and a computer. Initially, Bluetooth was only meant to move data back and forth. You can now use this technology to transmit audio signals. For years, there have been commercially available headsets that you can use to make phone calls while driving without having to pick up the phone. Among other things, Bluetooth is used in toys, in building medical services and technology.


Speaker systems have different connection options. Some have several options, others may only have one. The most common connections:
  • Bluetooth: For smartphone and tablet wireless connection
  • Coaxial: The type of digital connection used, for example, by a Blu-ray player or receiver
  • XLR: For professional audio equipment, rarely found in homes
  • Win: Analog two-channel stereo connection for TV or CD player
  • 3.5mm jack: Wired connection option for smartphone, PC or MP3 player
  • 6.35mm jack: For microphones or musical instruments, mixers and interfaces
  • Optics: for modern sound cards, CD players, DVD players
  • USB: Direct data playback on USB stick
The simplest speaker systems usually have a built-in 3.5mm jack cable that you plug into your laptop, PC, smartphone, or tablet. With some devices you have to take a closer look, because sometimes there are two versions of the same system: with or without digital connectivity. XLR sockets are a bit unusual for powered speakers intended for home use. This connection is usually only found in systems intended for studio technology. Active loudspeakers can be found here both directly on the mixing table, so technicians can hear music mixes without distraction, but also in large PA systems intended for room sound reinforcement with an audience.

There are several models on the market that have a USB port. However, it does not always provide the music playback function. On some devices, the port can only charge the smartphone battery or the USB port has no functions that you can use and is only intended for maintenance purposes such as firmware updates. If the active loudspeaker supports the USB playback function with a USB stick, this is always explicitly stated in the product description. So don't be fooled by product images.


You can see the performance of the speaker system from the information in watts. Simple PC speakers have between 5 and 10 watts. This means that they are not really suitable for disco nights. Slightly more complex bookshelf speakers can sometimes reach a total output of 60 watts. However, the active speakers in our comparison are nowhere near the performance of a great hi-fi system.

Be careful when selecting the volume. Excessive exposure to sound can cause permanent damage to your hearing. You can also damage the speakers if your audio source is cut off. This happens, for example, with low-quality recordings or conversions. Overloading can also be triggered by software on the computer. Some playback programs, such as the popular VLC player, allow you to set the volume to more than 100 percent.

You may find two different performance claims in the item description. Watts are denoted by two different abbreviations: RMS and PMPO. The PMPO value is much higher than the RMS value. Which service is right? In general, the following applies: the higher the output in watts, the more likely the speaker is to produce good sound even at higher volumes. However, performance specifications are not a statement of audio quality. The RMS value, i.e. the lower one, should serve as a guide. Manufacturers determine PMPO performance by measurement methods that are sometimes very unlimited, so that much higher values ​​can be achieved.

PMPO actually stands for "Peak Music Power Out", but musicians tend to talk about "Pure Mystic Power Out".

In the 1990s it was still common for manufacturers to advertise their stereo systems for the highest possible performance rating. 1,000 watts of power has become the buzzword. However, these specifications are and are not a guarantee for a very loud or good-sounding music experience. The technology and design of loudspeakers as well as the quality of workmanship and materials used are more decisive. A good sound experience is only possible if everything is here.

Optical features

When choosing the right speaker system, appearance also plays a role. Starting with the materials used. Higher quality loudspeakers usually have a wooden body with a suitable color scheme. The trend is towards natural colors, namely natural wood. Black and white dominate the construction made of plastic. Colorful speakers are rare.

Another visual feature concerns lighting. There are gaming speakers equipped with LED lights. There is a lot of variety in this area. Pulsating light, permanent lighting, or "light movement" rhymes with the music. This is where more color comes into play: blue, green or red are the classic LED colors. For very expensive speakers, users can change colors, mix and match.

On some models, you can remove the front-mounted protective grille. A loudspeaker appeared behind him. Many music lovers love it when they can see them launched. However, you should decide this carefully, as speakers are very sensitive to pressure or impact. If you have children at home, you must leave the safety gate in front of them.

The dimensions of each box are important for speaker placement. There are so-called bookshelf speakers that can be easily placed on a bookshelf. Other boxes intended for use in computers are much smaller. In most cases, you place these on the left and right of the monitor.

Active speaker care and maintenance: What to pay attention to

Speakers usually do not require special treatment. They should be cared for and treated in the same way as tools and other valuables in their premises. However, especially when dusting, you should take precautions and observe:
  • Never touch a very delicate tweeter
  • Clean the woofer and midrange using a soft, pressure-free brush
  • The cover can be cleaned with a soft brush
  • Do not use any cleaning agents or sprays, even on the container
Loudspeaker History

active speakers

Loudspeakers have been in electronics since 1860. However, loudspeakers were not the product of inventors wanting to listen to music, but a by-product of a much more important innovation: the telephone. So, with the speaker, as with the phone itself, there are several people associated with the beginning of development:
  1. Antonio Meucci, who demonstrated the first telephone line in 1860
  2. Philipp Reis, who presented his telephone in Frankfurt in 1861 but received no response
  3. Thomas Alva Edison, who invented the phonograph in 1870
  4. Alexander Graham Bell, who took Reis and Meucci's inventions and brought the telephone to market
As a result, the development of loudspeakers as we know them today is increasingly advanced. In 1878 Werner von Siemens obtained a patent for an electrodynamic loudspeaker because it is still in use today, including a fixed magnet, a moving voice coil, and a moving NAWI membrane. However, Siemens did not have the right amplifier. It wasn't until 1898 that Sir Oliver Lodge at the University of Birmingham was able to apply the laws of electromagnetism and produce sound through an electric current.

Modern loudspeakers only appeared in the 1950s. The Thiele-Small parameter provides the basis for this technique. This makes it possible to calculate precisely the interactions between the loudspeaker and its housing and thereby build a relatively small loudspeaker box that can transmit very low frequencies. Therefore, the majority of loudspeaker manufacturers active today only established themselves in the 1960s and 1970s of the last century.

Where can I buy active speakers?

There are many sources of active speakers. You can find them at electronics stores like Media Markt or Saturn, but also at radio and television technicians. Online retail is also growing rapidly. Big mail order companies like Amazon always have these devices in stock in the lower and mid price ranges. However, if you are looking for custom speakers, specialized dealers can also be considered. At Thomann you will find loudspeakers for musicians and sound engineers and at Mindfactory, Alternate or other PC specialists there are loudspeaker boxes and systems for computers. So you have many choices in shopping.

How much do active speakers cost?

You'll find active speakers and systems at all levels of price and quality. If you only need a few boxes for your computer, models in the up to $30 price range may suffice. However, you shouldn't expect dynamic bass or crystal clear sound at high volumes in this price range. When demand increases, so do prices. If you want to enjoy movies or listen to music, then you have to factor in prices in the triple digit range. Premium speakers, which are very popular with music lovers, even cost up to $7,000 or more.

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