USB PC speakers?

CBCB Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄ƷDer Millionendorf- Icrontian
edited April 2020 in Hardware

I would like to get some USB speakers for my PC (The 3.5 output on my mobo is fritzing, and I don't have room on there for an audiocard, so USB speakers seems like the way to go). They don't have to be great. I'm looking like 50-100$ range maybe? I mostly use them for background music while working. When I want high-quality or stereo sound, I pull my cans off their hook.

Searching online is finding mostly USB powered speakers which still require 3.5 for the audio input. The only actual USB input speakers I'm finding are like 10$, and that seems like I'll be getting some really shitty speakers.

Anyone have experience with USB speakers? Or have any recommendations.

Bonus if I can get them on ZonDE, but ZonCOUK also ships to me.


  • TushonTushon I'm scared, Coach Alexandria, VA Icrontian

    What speakers do you already have? What inputs can they take?

    I think you might be looking for a DAC (USB -> speaker output).

  • primesuspectprimesuspect Beepin n' Boopin Detroit, MI Icrontian

    Yeah you don't want USB speakers per se; you're looking for a USB sound card

  • CBCB Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ Der Millionendorf- Icrontian

    My experiences in the past with USB sound cards is terrible, so I didn't even think of them. I tried a bunch of them when I was doing hardware reviews, and found none that were even acceptable, much less good.
    HOWEVER, that was like a decade ago, so maybe they're better now?

    HOWEVER I don't really want another thing sitting around in my office collecting dust. I'd much rather just plug some speakers directly into my USB port.

    Sono recommended this on Discord:
    But it seems silly to me to buy a 100$ thing to run sound to my 30$ Creative speakers.

  • CBCB Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ Der Millionendorf- Icrontian

    The discussion kept running on Discord, and I decided to try these:
    They are a lot cheaper than I was thinking, why worries me that they're junk, but they are also Logitech, which rarely steers me wrong. And if they're junk, I'll end them back. I got Prime. :)

    I'll report back whether these are adequate.

  • Straight_ManStraight_Man Geeky, in my own way Naples, FL Icrontian

    Dac == Digital Audio Conroller, ie a plugin sound card that uses USB in puts out standard audio qty 2-4 out, with adjustments possible per channel.

  • CBCB Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ Der Millionendorf- Icrontian

    Those speakers were junk. They couldn't even handle 'low-volume background music' use case. They are so buzzy that they are distracting.

    So, I guess I'll go for a DAC. :/ I just need to find one I can buy from here. The Schiit that @Sonorous recommended looks nice, but they want 40$ to ship it to Germany, and that's with the 45+ days shipping option. :p
    When I search for a DAC around that same price-point, it recommends these guys:örerverstärker-Kopfhörerausgang/dp/B07KR3RF4H/ärker/dp/B07JM6R7Y6/

    But I've never heard of either brand...

  • SonorousSonorous F@H Fanatic US Icrontian

    The FIio is what I would go with.

  • Unless you are using inefficent headphones this will be perfectly fine. USB in from your motherboard, has it's own digital to analog converter, headphone out, USB powered only so no external power supply so the headphone amp isn't super high end, but it will drive many decent headphones just fine, I've used this unit with a Phillips Fidelio and didn't have any issue getting plenty of volume. There is a standard stereo line out the back to send to powered desktop speakers. Unless you are ultra picky about all the other gear you want, just save some money and get that, it will work fantastic.

  • edcentricedcentric near Milwaukee, Wisconsin Icrontian

    No other outputs? Bluetooth or WiFi? I use a medium priced sound bar with sub. On one computer it is BT and the other there is an optical connection. In the past I used one with a WiFi and another using the headphone jack connection. Better than cheep computer speakers and out of the way.

  • BlueTattooBlueTattoo Boatbuilder Houston, TX Icrontian

    If you are just replacing the onboard 3.5 mm connector, not looking for an upgrade in sound, and don’t really need new speakers, I would go for something described as an “external sound card” that plugs into a USB port. That was the description for the device I bought years ago for a server that I was using for a desktop box because it didn’t have onboard sound. Mine is made by Siig, but they no longer make the same model. I have seen others available from about $10 to over $100. I paid about $18, I think, but like I said, years ago. It works plug-and-play with Windows and Linux (and maybe Apple), claims to be 5.1 and has 3.5 jacks and volume controls for microphone and headphones (or powered speakers) plus optical. I didn’t find a current model with optical. The sound is fine to my not-too-great hearing.

  • MrTRiotMrTRiot Northern Ontario Icrontian

    Have you tried switching your sound cables inside your case? There's usually "AC97" and "HD Audio" connections and switching them around might help (and it only takes a few minutes)

  • CBCB Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ Der Millionendorf- Icrontian

    Blootooth or wifi are not an option with this PC without buying yet more equipment. I've ordered the FiiO K3, and will report back when it arrives. It still feels silly to have a more expensive DAC than speakers, but the solution is under my original budget, so I'll give it a whirl. ;D

  • CBCB Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ Der Millionendorf- Icrontian

    The FiiO K3 is good. I would need better speakers to tell more, but it certainly sounds at least as nice as it did when I was driving these speakers from the 3.5 jack on the motherboard (when it was working).

    I still feel like it's weird that no one has chosen to make a product that fills the niche of 'good enough USB PC speakers', but w/e. I'm not a marketing wizard.

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