How to Choose Speakers for Music & Gaming | Bookshelf or PC Speakers

We all know how important it is to get the right type of sound system for your PC. Whether you’re looking for something to enhance your gaming, listen to your music, or be a general media amplifier, a good sound system can make all the difference in the world. That’s why knowing how to choose the best type of speakers for your setup is such a crucial part of any rig’s setup.

Let’s take a look at two particular types of speakers that are at the forefront when it comes to popularity, quality and effectiveness: bookshelf and PC speakers.

Wait…There’s A Difference?

There is, actually, and most of us can be forgiven for not knowing this. The distinction between these two speaker classes might be a small one, but it’s a significant one. Let’s clear it up first.

Bookshelf speakers might generally be considered to be any speakers that can sit up on a bookshelf and that are intended for use in a multiple speaker setup or stereo pair. To be more specific, though, they are small, unpowered, stereo speakers.

When we say unpowered it doesn’t mean that they don’t use electricity, but that they do not have an internal amplifier, and so rely on an external amplifier to operate between them and the computer.

Quite simply, on the other hand, PC speakers have this internal amplifier, and so you can just plug them into the computer and they’ll be good to go.

OK…Are we Good?

Good. With that out of the way, let’s figure out whether bookshelf speakers or PC speakers would be the right fit for you. We’ll do this by looking at what exactly you’re looking for and then figuring out what works best.

1. Sound Quality
If your first priority is the quality, range, and fullness of the sound you’ll be getting out of your speakers, then bookshelf speakers will be your choice. External amplifier setups allow for more powerful sound delivery and can accommodate far greater ranges than PC speakers.

2. Setup Complexity
Should you be looking to keep things simple then PC speakers will be your best bet. Bookshelf speakers call for multiple units placed at certain heights and distances to achieve their full potential, while PC speakers can simply be plopped on either side of your monitor.

3. Pocket Friendliness
As you might have guessed by now, bookshelf speaker setups cost more than PC speakers as a general rule, not least because of the various units required for full surround sound and the substantial amplifier cost required.

4. Space Considerations
If your space is limited, then bookshelf speakers might be wasted on you. You need to spread them out in a certain configuration to get the best out of them. PC speakers, on the other hand, can even fit quite cozily behind your monitor, if space is at such a premium in your situation.

5. Customizability
One of the reasons audiophiles and guy working on any type of sound production love bookshelf speakers is the fact that you can add or subtract elements of the setup to suit your particular needs without the need to purchase an entirely new setup. PC speakers are a take-as-is kind of deal, and they don’t really allow for any tweaking once out of the box.

12 thoughts on “How to Choose Speakers for Music & Gaming | Bookshelf or PC Speakers”

  1. I know it’s not always an option, but getting speakers, amps, even shelving all around the same time really helps your system have a nice cohesion. Sometimes I find myself with a system that is just a mish mash of components acquired over time – making space considerations and setup complexity both more challenging than they need to be.

    Great article, thank you!

  2. Hey I am Mario Mathews you wrote a very informative article. this information will help me choose gaming speakers. Thank You So Much for a great piece of content.


  3. Thanks Buddy..This really helps to sort a heck of problem while uploading photos to Instagram from PC Moreover photos can be easily edit on computer and shared with ease. Thanks!

  4. I understand, when it comes to the speakers, the quality of sound matters the most! but personally, I like to balance it between the sound quality and my budget and may be easy to use too 🙂

  5. I love playing music on my phone or computer through my stereo speakers while I sit on my couch, but I have found myself needing to take the screen out of the picture.
    Thank you so much for sharing this!


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