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by Staff Writer
Even the best computer sound cards can't reach their full potential without good computer speakers. The quality of your speakers and your sound card will determine the richness of sound you hear. Here are the facts on computer speakers to help you make sure your computer system puts out the highest quality sound possible for games, movies and music.
Speaker size: Bigger isn't always better. Computer speakers are typically designed to be as compact as possible. Size is usually not a good indicator of sound quality or output, though. Small, high-quality computer speakers that fit on your desktop can be just as good as full-size tower speakers. Technical specifications are more important than the size of the speaker box. Also, consider the space you have near your computer before deciding on a speaker system.
Wireless or wired? It's not necessary to have a computer speaker with wires. Avoid all the clutter and tangled wires by using wireless speaker components. Some wireless computer speakers operate on battery power while others use electric power and come with AC adapters. With a wireless speaker system, you can use your computer as the central audio system for your home, playing your music wirelessly throughout the house.
Some tasks have more demanding sound requirements. Everyday computer sounds and simple voice recordings don't require a lot of audio power. But if you play games, watch movies and listen to music on your computer, you'll probably not be satisfied with mediocre sound quality from inferior speakers. Most two-piece magnetically shielded computer speakers will be sufficient for basic purposes. If you wish to listen to music and play games or want to use your computer as a home theater center, you'll find a much better sound quality from speaker sets that have three or more pieces and a subwoofer.
Connections can affect sound quality. Computer speakers that connect by USB port will not have the same sound quality as those plugged into a dedicated sound card. If you have a high-quality sound card, take advantage of it by using quality computer speakers and the right connector cables. Computer speakers that are not magnetically shielded can cause interference with monitors and electronic devices placed near them. Also, using high-gauge speaker wire to connect the speakers and using high-definition sound cables (such as HDMI cables) will make sure you receive the high-quality sound your system is capable of.