A great set of speakers can turn your Mac from squeaking mouse to roaring lion. Super simple to install, external speakers can make your favorite movies, music, video games, podcasts, and more come to life. But which Mac speakers should you get? I’ve rounded up some of my favorites, so strap yourself in, hold onto your hats, and ride the waves.
Bose Companion 20
Bose Companion 20 speakers are simple and stylish. Their sleek metal exteriors — which have no buttons or knobs — give the speakers a sleek aesthetic that will look great beside your Mac.
Starting at about $250, these speakers are a 2.0 system, which means stereo but no surround or subwoofer. Even with the lack of a dedicated subwoofer, the low-end is smooth and true. They also do not allow you to adjust the bass and treble separately; if you want this option, give these a pass.
The control pod can be placed closer to you so that, even if the speakers are some distance away, you can still start, stop, and adjust them conveniently. The control pod also has an AUX input, allowing you to connect your iPhone, iPad, or any other device to play its audio through the Companion 20.
Audioengine A2+ are small in stature, standing slightly taller than a soft drink can, and have a sleek design with no buttons or knobs on the front. That makes them ideal for tight spaces. The sound quality is pretty good for such a small package, but the low-end tones can sometimes make the treble sound a little sparse at higher volumes.
The Wirecutter was surprised at the sound quality they heard from the Audioengine A2+:
“Voices and most instruments sounded extremely natural, and overall the A2+ performs like a real high-end stereo speaker.”
On the back, they include standard AUX input and USB, so you can connect your computer the way that works best for you. Plus, they have the ability to connect to plain old speakers wires so you can use the Audioengine A2+ to play music from your old stereo if you want to.
You can pick up the Audioengine A2+ for about $250.
Blue Sky International eXo2 Active 2.1 monitoring system
The Blue Sky International eXo2 Active 2.1 monitoring system will turn your computer into a trumpeting elephant. The sound quality of the Blue Sky International eXo2 Active 2.1 monitoring system is impressive, to say the least. The 8-inch sub does a great job providing warm and deep low-end sounds, while the two satellite speakers always deliver sharp and clear mids and highs.
The complete system comes with an 8-inch subwoofer, a pair of satellite speakers, and a desktop hub. The subwoofer acts as the center for the whole system, and on the back you have XLR and RCA inputs, allowing you to connect the system to many different devices. The desktop hub allows you to adjust the volume of the satellite speakers and the subwoofer separately, making it easy to craft the perfect balance of highs and lows.
Typically starting around $979, this system isn’t the most wallet-friendly option.
The M-Audio AV42 provides fantastic sound quality at a great price. Starting around $140, these speakers have two drivers each, a one-inch driver for treble and a four-inch driver for bass. That gives you enough bass to go without a dedicated sub, while providing clear and crisp high-end tones. There’s also an AUX port on the front, making it convenient to play music right from your iPhone or iPad if you so choose.
The shiny black coating on the M-Audio AV42 gives it a stylish and polished look that will compliment the beauty of your Mac; however, the coating is prone to showing fingerprints and dust, so you may need to wipe them down every now and then.
Bose Companion 2 Series III
Starting at around $99, the Bose Companion 2 Series III gives you the classic well-balanced sound you would expect from Bose speakers. The low-end tones are warm and consistent and never seem to fight with the high-end sounds. For hardcore audiophiles, these speakers may not quite cut it but, for its price point, the Companion 2 series III offers stand-out quality.
Much like Bose’s other computer speakers, the Companion 2 is meant to be simple in every way. Controlled by a single volume knob on the front of the right speaker, it’s very easy to set up and start using. Plus, they are quite small and compact making them perfect for tight spaces.
Grace Digital GDI-BTSP201
Don’t want to deal with unsightly wires? Grace Digital GDI-BTSP201 speakers are a great Bluetooth option.
Starting around $250, The Wirecutter praised the Grace Digital GDI-BTSP201 speakers for their looks:
“It’s a nicely designed set of two-way mini speakers with convenient controls on top of the right speaker.”
The speakers use Bluetooth 4.0, so connecting to all your devices is a breeze. Each speaker is equipped with a 1-inch tweeter and a 3.5-inch woofer that put out enough volume to easily fill a mid-size room.
Klipsch ProMedia 2.1
People love the Klipsch ProMedia 2.1 and they won’t shut up about it. Just take a look at the Amazon reviews and you’ll see what I mean, people love it so much it has become an Amazon’s Choice product.
Of course, being a 2.1 system does mean the Klipsch ProMedia comes with a dedicated subwoofer, meaning you’ll be able to hear all that glorious bass. Plus, the entire system is THX certified, which means you can get that signature THX sound for movies and gaming.
It rings in at about $150, but the two 35-watt speakers and the 130-watt subwoofer kick out enough power to turn your Mac into a powerful, but beautiful sounding machine.
What speakers do you use?
If you’re using speakers with your Mac, especially if we didn’t include them on our list, let me know all about them in the comments!
Do you have your Mac set up with some sweet speakers? Think they deserve to be on the list? Let us know what you use in the comment section below!
Updated January 2018: Added the Kilpsch ProMedia 2.1 to the list because it’s been highly recommended by the iMore community!