Best laptop speakers: five to buy
17th Mar 2011 | 14:30
Improve your laptop sound with these speakers
We're increasingly using our laptops as portable media players - from watching a film in bed to listening to music while we work or surfing the web away from home.
Although there are a few exceptions, most laptop speakers are small, underpowered and just not up for the task of playing media in all its glory.
As it is, the best speakers for a laptop are standalone external units created by some of the biggest names in audio technology.
We've gathered together five of the best laptop speakers on sale today. They come in all shapes and sizes but they have one thing in common: they'll transform your enjoyment of music and sound on your laptop.
1. Logitech Speaker Lapdesk N550
As well as poor sound reproduction, laptops have the problem of getting very hot whilst in use - especially when they are being used to watch high definition movies - and this can make them uncomfortable to use on your lap.
The Lapdesk N550 offers an elegant solution to both problems by combining high-quality stereo speakers with a laptop tray. The speakers connect to the laptop via USB, and buttons along the side let you alter the volume. The sound quality is a huge improvement on a laptop's standard speakers, and it's an excellent marriage of convenience and function.
£36.22 from Amazon
2. Altec Lansing InMotion AIR
When looking for the best speakers for laptops it doesn't mean that you have to settle for speakers that are attached by wires. These speakers connect to your laptop via Bluetooth - which offers enough bandwidth to transmit audio wirelessly without any noticeable loss in quality.
Altec Lansing has a 70 year history in audio technology - and its expertise is evident here in the great sound and build quality of these speakers. One of the benefits of using a laptop is freedom from wires, so why let your speakers hold you back?
3. Creative Gigaworks T20 Series II
These laptop speakers are the most traditional. You need to plug them in to both the laptop and the mains power, and they lack the stylish design of the other speakers we've looked at. However, what they lack in portability and aesthetic charm they more than make up for in sound quality.
The Gigaworks T20 Series II speakers have been professionally designed and tuned for the best possible audio experience. Highs and midranges in particular are extremely well reproduced here.
£55.10 from Amazon
4. Altec Lansing Orbit IML237
If you've got an ultra-portable slim laptop or netbook that you take everywhere with you, then you're not going to want to get speakers that end up being twice the size of your machine.
The Altec Lansing Orbit speaker combines very good audio quality with a compact design that lets you easily carry it around with you.
£21.39 from Amazon
5. Mimi Qube Wifi Speaker
The Mimi Qube Wifi Speaker is another good looking single speaker laptop speaker and you can connect it wirelessly to your laptop with the included wireless dongle.
Even better, you can buy standalone speakers and connect an unlimited number of them wirelessly to your laptop - allowing you to surround yourself in music.
£34.22 from Amazon
Liked this? Then check out Best gaming headset: five pairs on test
Sign up for TechRadar's free Weird Week in Tech newsletter
Get the oddest tech stories of the week, plus the most popular news and reviews delivered straight to your inbox. Sign up at http://www.techradar.com/register