As convenient, practical, lightweight, and even surprisingly robust as Chromebooks and Chromeboxes are, not to mention cheap, they’re not typically known for speaker quality. In fact, that could be said for most laptops, which means you might need to invest in something that can upgrade that sound. Headphones and earbuds work well, but you might not want to spend hours with your ears covered— at least not at home or in your office.

Instead, we’ve gathered this selection of speakers to help you vamp up that audio experience. Not only will you get much better sound, but we’ve made sure to only include options, with an exception here and there, that won’t break the bank.

So, which speakers are right for you?

Editors choice

1. Logitech Z407

9.50 / 10
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Having a subwoofer is always better if you can afford it. Luckily, the Logitech Z407 comes with a fairly powerful one. It’s also pretty compact for one. But, this Logitech 2.1 system has much more going for it. There’s 80w of sound on tap, so you can easily turn up next time you’re watching Ms. Marvel, the Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, or even Miss Congeniality 2.

More importantly, whatever you’re listening to will sound good, especially in the mids. That’s something often lacking in cheaper speakers. The soundstage is just serviceable, and the wireless dial takes some getting used to, not to mention it isn’t compatible with all apps. But those are just quibbles. Instead, think about the Logitech’s Bluetooth connectivity (you can do analog as well) and how you can wirelessly connect to these speakers every time you bring your Chromebook home.

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Logitech Z407
Premium pick

2. Audioengine A2+

9.50 / 10
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Audioengine has been making excellent speakers for a while now. In fact, you could pick any of their bookshelf speakers and come away happy. But, the Audioengine A2+ represents their sweet spot of excellent audio, expandability and connectivity, and price. It helps that they’re also an attractive pair, available in either black, red, or white.

To start, you might not get that deep rumble without a subwoofer here, but the clarity and depth of these speakers outperform most other speakers in this price range. And, if you do miss that bass, you can add a subwoofer to the A2+ later. Of course, these are fairly expensive speakers for most, but they come with that Bluetooth connectivity, so you can keep a clean-looking setup.

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Audioengine A2+
Best value

3. Creative Pebble Plus

9.00 / 10
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You don’t have to break the bank to get a pair of speakers with a subwoofer. In fact, for less than $50, you can get the Creative Pebble Plus, a 2.1 system that gives you stereo sound, some decent low end, and surprisingly decent audio quality. It’s not going to compete sound-wise with other options on this list, but they’re a nice upgrade from laptop speakers.

And, though they don’t make for the cleanest setup, they connect via USB (as well as analog), so you can power and send uncompressed audio to them with a single cable. With 8 watts of power, they may not work for a large setup, but they will give you plenty of volume while sitting at your desk. There’s no wireless connectivity here, but for the price, that’s no surprise.

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Creative Pebble Plus

Edifier is one of the newer kids on the block. And, as a brand, it’s one of the more affordable. The Edifier R980T is proof of that. For less than a hundred dollars, you get fairly sizable speakers with 4-inch woofers, not to mention 13mm tweeters for that high end, and 24 watts of power, all encased in a classic wood finish.

Of course, you’re limited compared to some of the other options here. The R980T are two bookshelf speakers that can’t be expanded to include a subwoofer. They also don’t come with Bluetooth or USB connectivity; you’re limited to an analog connection. That said, you get a surprising amount of bass, almost too much, and the sound quality overall is pretty solid as well.

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Edifier R980T

The Bose Companion 2 Series III are among the more expensive speakers included here, as well as some of the most stripped-down. There’s no Bluetooth or USB, and you won’t be able to connect a subwoofer. Plus, its design, including its single volume control on the front, seems about as current as computer speakers from twenty years ago.

So why include them? They produce a lot of sound and at high quality. There may be no subwoofer, but you’ll get plenty of bass. You’ll also get a lot of highs and mids as well for a balanced but full sound. And, their soundstage is wider than you would think, making these ideal for watching something on Netflix when you’re supposed to be working.

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Bose Companion 2 Series III

Considering the price, it’s shocking how good the Klipsch ProMedia 2.1 THX sound. The satellite speakers and accompanying subwoofer may look like they’re from the early 2000’s, and that’s because they really are, but the sound quality has stood the test of time. Movies and music sound equally good on this system, with plenty of volume, plenty of low end, and a good balance of everything else.

As a system that’s old enough to go to college, it does do without many modern amenities such as Bluetooth or USB connectivity. And its only controls are a volume and bass knob on the left satellite. But, before you start up your favorite playlist beginning with “Bye, Bye, Bye,” know that this is a THX certified system. It’s in the name after all. And, as such, you’ll forget about any shortcomings once the music starts.

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Klipsch ProMedia 2.1 THX

If you are looking for a pair of reasonably priced but feature-filled speakers for your Chromebook or Chromebox, then maybe the Creative T100 are the ones for you. Not only do they offer surprisingly full-sounding audio, if a little light on the bass, but there’s enough power for you to turn it up without distortion.

They also have all the connectivity you could need. There’s Bluetooth 5.0, of course, analog, optical audio, and even a USB port, though the USB is for plugging in a thumb drive with MP3s on it. The Creative T100 also comes with a remote with EQ presets to adjust for different media. And their small desk footprint means they’re ideal for those with cramped or limited space to set up speakers.

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Creative T100

Chromebooks are surprisingly versatile machines, and at least some musicians have managed to use them for making music. But, one of the most critical factors in producing or mixing music is accurate sound reproduction, which most cheaper speakers can’t do. Enter the Mackie CR3-X.

Almost everything is geared toward making music. Inputs include RCA, 3.5mm, and TRS connectivity (all analog). And the sound response is fairly neutral so that you can hear everything the way they’re supposed to be heard, though the Mackies are a little light on bass. Of course, you can add the ​​CR8S-XBT subwoofer (which also adds Bluetooth capability) for a little more low-end oomph. The important thing with these, other than their lime green on black colorway, is that they won’t unnecessarily color your sound.

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Mackie CR3-X

What to look for in speakers for Chromebooks and Chromeboxes

Speaker technology has not changed nearly as much as monitor or computer technology has. You could theoretically figure out a way to plug in some good ol' speakers from the 70s, and they would probably impress. That said, the cheaper speakers are, the more likely they’re going to compromise on the sound, whether that’s missing some low end or having a hyped and brittle sound signature to make them sound louder than they are.

Sound quality is the main factor when considering what to purchase. When putting together this list, we focused on ensuring the sound quality is not just an improvement over what Chromebooks can offer but also sounds good without any caveats. Also, consider if you need a little more low-end; maybe you’re planning on watching movies on that Chrome-based computer. A subwoofer is a crucial part of the equation, then.

Beyond sound quality, though, connectivity is essential. All the speakers here are active speakers, meaning you don’t need a receiver or power amp to use them. You just plug them into a power outlet and then connect them to your computer. And, since they’re meant to be used with computers, they offer connections like a 3.5mm audio port (the same as a headphone jack), USB port, or Bluetooth connectivity, so you don’t need to deal with speaker wire and extra components to get your sound sorted out.

So, what are the right speakers for you?

While we’ve avoided recommending anything too expensive – you can spend thousands of dollars on some speakers – we’ve included a bit of a range of prices and quality to choose from. The Creative Pebble Plus, our value pick, sounds good for the money. But, it’s not going to offer quite the same sound quality as the Audioengine A2+. The A2+ are probably the best sounding pair on here, even without a subwoofer. But, they’re also the price of a cheap Chromebook.

The Logitech Z407 then is our pick for best overall since they sound very good, the price is right, and they come with features you just won’t find in many of the other speakers here.