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7 Best Retro Computer Speakers (2020)

Computer speakers are no longer a luxury accessory. Watching movies and listening to music on a PC is more popular today. So, a good set of speakers can turn your computer into an unexpected home entertainment rig.

If you are like me, and like old school stuff, you will love to have a retro style computer speaker. In this post, I will review the best retro computer speakers. In the tail end, we will look at tips on how to choose a sound system for your computer.

Cool Retro Computer Speakers

Below, you can find a list of one of the best old school computer speakers I consider worth buying:

1. Audioengine A5+ 150W Speakers

Audioengine’s A5+ powered speakers are highly regarded as one of the top retro computer speakers on the market. In 2018, Audioengine introduced the A5+150W Wireless speakers.

This latest addition is identical to the original Audioengine A5+ speakers, but it has a built-in Bluetooth that allows you to stream content. What it means is that you don’t need to wire up the speakers to your PC.

Just like the predecessor, A5+, the Wireless speakers are eye-catching and appear to be scratch proof. It also produces excellent sound quality. On top of this, it comes with 24-bit DAC and a built-in Bluetooth receiver.

With these additions, it is easy to stream Tidal or Spotify from your mobile device. The good thing is that A5+ Wireless speakers support high-res streaming like AAC, Bluetooth aptX, and SBC. They also come with several connectivity options.

A5+ Wireless speakers are ideal for any streamer who is looking for affordable and versatile high-quality speakers. Activating the speakers is as simple as flicking a switch on them and connecting through your computer’s

Bluetooth settings. But you should watch out for volume controls. Sometimes the volume of your computer and the speakers get mixed up.

Key Features

  • Self-powered and portable
  • Built-in 24-bit DAC
  • It is compatible with the new Bluetooth aptX HD format
  • Can play from any PC or smartphone with Bluetooth, RCA audio cable, or 3.5mm mini-jack
  • Has Subwoofer output
  • Powerful to support numerous applications, from the stereo sound in the mid-size room to desktop gaming

 

2. Wharfedale – Denton 80th Speakers

The befittingly named Denton 80 is a throwback speaker that was designed to celebrate Wharfedale’s 80th anniversary. The retro design is easily noticeable.

This retro speaker posses an easy-going nature with a solid build. Its cabinet features a real mahogany wood, which is rare to find on budget speakers. So, these wood speakers scream 1980s for lovers of classical look.

Besides this, both the tweeter and woofer have been enhanced to a soft dome tweeter and a proprietary woven cloth blend. Its specs reflect the intended purpose, while the power handling is low enough to handle a lowered 6 Ohm impedance.

So, these speakers might not be ideal for loud streaming. The other tradeoff is that the Denton 80th Anniversary might be heavy and large due to the cabinet being wood. You will need a significant amount of space, say a square foot, to store the speakers.

Comparably, the Audioengine A5+ has invested a little more finesse in the design. Nonetheless, the Wharfedale Denton 80th Anniversary is nice retro speakers with a fine legacy of rich and warm sounds. After all, heritage is a desirable trait that cannot be falsified, bought, or duplicated.

Key Features

  • Frequency response of 44Hz – 24kHz
  • Hand–veneered mahogany with the ed results being pure sonics, craftsmanship, and incredible value
  • The base unit features uniquely woven Kevlar cone, fitted on a classic die-cast chassis

 

3. Kanto YU6 Bluetooth Speakers

Gone are the days when your guest room, studio apartment, or dorm room needed to have an audio rack with lengthy cables. To enjoy music or stream content, you need a Bluetooth speaker.

But note that a bare-bones Bluetooth speaker isn’t enough. You need a pair of powered speakers with a phono preamp.

The Kanto YU6 is exceptional in that it is counted as one of the few powered speakers with a built-in phono stage. This Canadian brand has subwoofer outputs that have 200-hertz low-pass filters.

To get the desired output, you dial down the high-pass filter on your subwoofer until you achieve the right blending. Even without touching the treble or bass adjustments, the Kanto YU6 offers a well-balanced sound.

The cabinets have a 1-inch silk dome tweeter. Other than this, YU6 has a 5.25-inch Kevlar woofer housed in a rear-ported 0.75-inch fireboard enclosure. Unfortunately, there isn’t any grille to shield the tweeter.

Another setback is that the USB jacks on the YU6 are meant for charging only, which appears like a missed opportunity. Nevertheless, the Bluetooth 4.0 input comes with a higher-quality aptX codec. Thankfully, most Macs and PCs are compliant.

If you are looking for a functional and good-looking pair of speakers, then the Kanto YU6 might appeal to you.

Key Features

  • Phono preamp, amplifier, subwoofer outputs, and digital inputs
  • Powered USB output that can function as a charger
  • Bluetooth streaming capability
  • New bamboo finish that gives it an appealing look

 

4. Audioengine A5+ Classic 150W Speakers

With this premium powered bookshelf speakers, Audioengine has brought back the traditional high-quality audio machinery into the digital age.

The speakers are designed with custom Audioengine components, such as silk tweeters, aramid fiber woofers, and built-in power amps.

Though they may appear small, they deliver a big sound that can fill any room. The sonic balance is quite exciting, a noticeable change from the smoother sound of older models.

The speakers are better all-around when compared to the originals. Actually, the plus (+) symbol on the name is not there for the show. There are a lot of noticeable improvements. For instance, the cabinet, now, has a heat sink on the rear and a new port system.

Not only does this addition improve the overall sound, but it also enhances efficiency at high volume. Apart from noticeable sound improvement, another worthy addition is the remote control that comes with basic volume controls.

The A5+ Classic speakers sound subtle, are light on their feet, and boast impressive dynamics. Their sonic scale is impressive for its price point.

With impressive features and performance, the A5+ Classic speakers are a must-have for any computer speaker checklist.

Key Features

  • Built-in power amplifiers, 50 watts per channel RMS
  • Custom silk tweeters and Kevlar woofers RCA and 3.5mm inputs
  • Built-in power amps that are wrapped in hand-crafted wood cabinets

 

5. Edifier S1000DB Audiophile Speakers

Edifier is a new and lesser-known player in the speakers market, but it is already making a wide range of excellent bookshelf speakers.

For instance, the S1000DB is one of their high-end models that boast a higher caliber design and more power. It features primary wood polished cabinets. The front interface is coupled with two woofers of varying sizes.

While most computer speakers use a removable foam-grill cover, the S10000Db is unique in that it has a partial cover that contours look great in contrast to the wash-wood MDF cabinet and the black vinyl front. Apart from this, this model boasts an upward angle.

The S1000DB powered bookshelf speaker is not only ideal for PCs, but you can also use it with gaming consoles.

The good thing with a powered speaker is that there isn’t any need for a receiver. You just plug it right into the wall and you are ready to go.

Overall, the Edifier S100DB Active boasts impressive specs for a powered standalone bookshelf speaker. It might be a bit expensive, which can appear as overkill for computer speakers, but few would resist their great unique features.

Key Features

  • Optical and Aux inputs, which make it possible to attach the speakers to multiple sources simultaneously
  • Remote control with admirable volume controls
  • 5-inch mid-range unit that combines with Digital Sound Processing (DSP)

 

6. Fluance Ai40W 70W Speakers

Fluance is a Canadian-based audio products manufacturer with a history of producing high-fidelity turntables. Its new Ai40 powered bookshelf speaker hit the sweet spot between performance and price.

With 70 watts total output and a 40HZ – 20 kHz frequency response, you should expect better quality from these bookshelf speakers.

Though smaller, the A40 bookshelf speaker carries the same DNA of the bigger model. Its capabilities and constructions are more or less likely the same, only that the Ai40 is a scaled-down version.

The A40i is available on Walnut, Black, and lucky Bamboo. Most users are smitten with the looks. The build quality is also impressive, especially Lucky Bamboo. Other than this, its cabinets are engineered MDF and sealed with acoustic suspension design.

What is even more impressive is that Fluance A40iW powered speakers are powered by a 70-watt Class D amplifier. Also included in the package is a 100-240 power adapter, a remote control, a 3ft 3.5mm Aux to RCA cable, and 8ft of 18 gauge speaker wire.

The Ai40 powered bookshelf is ideal for consumers who are looking for a pair of dedicated speakers but would normally not consider them because of budgetary reasons. It might not be the most advanced speakers, but it offers simplicity and lovely sound.

Key Features

  • 1-inch silk dome cooled tweeter
  • 2 driver powered bookshelf speaker
  • Bluetooth aptX and RCA inputs
  • Integrated Class D amplification that utilizes 70 watts per channel of continuous average output

 

7. Cambridge Audio SX50 Bookshelf Speaker

This model offers impressive performance at an affordable price point. One of the noticeable features of this speaker is its compact size, making it ideal for limited spaces.

The SX50 features a custom-designed 5-inch driver, full range ported bass-reflex design and silk dome tweeter. Other additional components were hand-picked by Cambridge Audio’s engineers.

In terms of performance, SX50 offers a truly superb sound with clear output. With 87dB of sensitivity at 8 Ohms, these speakers can be driven by most amplifiers.

Sticking to Cambridge ‘Sound First’ design principle, you wouldn’t find unnecessary or complex features on this model. The SX50 model comes with a custom bass driver with treated paper. It also has robust and efficient woofer magnets to deliver bass without straining your amp.

The dedicated foam damper at the back of the tweeter minimizes reflections and improves soundstage depth. Its silk dome tweeter combines a soft, rich sound with high levels of detail.

On top of this, the MDF cabinet was modeled using CAD in order for the speaker dimensions to reduce standing waves. Finished in dark walnut, the SX50 is delivered with an attractive grille.

Overall, the SX50 bookshelf speakers are well-balanced with an impressive soundstage. So, if you are looking for a compact and powerful computer speaker without breaking the bank, then SX50 might be your choice.

Key Features

  • 1-inch silk dome tweeter
  • Frequency response of 50HZ to 22kHz
  • Rigid MDF cabinets with rear-ported design
  • High-standard, gold-plated binding post speaker terminals

 

How to Choose a Good Computer Speaker?

Before you settle on any retro speaker, please check out these tips for choosing the right computer speaker.

Sound Quality

Regardless of how good looking your speakers might appear, if they can’t produce good sound, they are worth the investment. In any case, the ultimate goal of a speaker system is to boost sound.

Inputs or Controls

Most users who need a computer speaker often require only a single input for their desktop or laptop. But sometimes, you might want to connect to multiple devices at a go.

There is a frequent need for speakers to have an input for a pair of headphones. Unfortunately, some speakers lack a headphone jack. If you foresee a multipurpose use, then you might need a speaker with a ton of inputs and controls.

Size

Needless to say, but you have to assess your room to find out the size of the speaker it can accommodate.

If space is not an issue, a large speaker might be ideal, if it can offer better sound quality. Nevertheless, some of the best speakers around can fit perfectly to a computer desk.

Portability

Apart from space, you should also take into account your mobility. If you are buying speakers for your laptop, you may want to consider models that are more portable than the standard speakers.

These are often compact and light, making them easier to fit into your laptop bag.

Amplifiers and Subwoofers

As you buy your computer speaker, keep in mind that extra watts won’t add any value if your device doesn’t have the power to make use of them.

To use those extra watts, you can add an amplifier to your device. Alternatively, you can connect an external amplifier to the soundcard.

Standard computer speakers lack one thing: bass. Most speakers will have one subwoofer, but you can always have another one with the help of an external amplifier.

Bluetooth vs Wired Speakers

Choosing between wireless and wired connections is probably the easiest decision to make. But their advantages might not be immediately clear. Generally, Bluetooth allows for an easier connection.

Moreover, new devices are going wireless. But you have to make sure your device can handle that. With that said, the best setups usually have a good mix of both wired and wireless options.

The above factors are the most important ones. But you may also want to consider aesthetics, price, and computer speaker systems.

Conclusion

Just because you watch movies and play music on your computer does not mean that you stick to low-quality sound. Investing in the right computer speakers can be the key to an outstanding audio experience.

Hopefully, you found the best speaker for your computer. If you don’t have a choice yet, follow the above tips for choosing a good computer speaker.

avatar I’m Martin Lead, the chief editor at Retro Squid. I’m an old school guy, with beard and mustache and I love retro, because retro never gets old. I help retro fans to find inspiration and products for their room or home. If you have any question about retro, or need help, please leave a comment below.

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