Whether you're a gamer, music fan or just want to beef up those plinky-plonky system sounds, a set of speakers has to be every computer user's number one peripheral purchase. After a keyboard. And a mouse. And a monitor. Okay pedants, number four peripheral purchase. On with the show!
Klipsch GMX A2.1 £100
The perfect gamer's speakers (above) with, at 50W output, atom-splittingly powerful bass. Good for movies too, although music is a little roughly handled. The thoughtful bods at Klipsch have also included a desktop control panel, making setup and control a breeze.
Eclipse TD307PAII £400
Eclipse's egg-shaped speakers use a single drive unit to improve pacing and remove distortion. But for rock and dance music the sound, while well-timed and impeccably detailed, can sound a tad harsh. However, complete with cone-shaped amp, they're undeniably stylish...
Logitech V20 £50
Slide these portables out of their tough protective shells, fold out the stands and USB them to your laptop to
annoy fellow travellers jazz up any journey. Music in particular is pumped out confidently (but stick to low volumes – crank it up and these lightweight speakers literally start dancing).
Acoustic Energy Aego M £100
If you listen to your tunes at tremor-inducing volume, this is the setup for you – a 2.1 package boasting two metal-clad satellites and a chunky MDF sub-woofer. Unsurprisingly, given the size of the sub, basslines sound amazing, but it's the overall sonic clarity that most impresses.
Creative Gigaworks T20 £70
At 14W per channel, the T20s (right) offer generous sound per pound. There's no subwoofer, but top-mounted bass ports more than compensate – in fact these are better timed than many 2.1 systems. Excellent for gaming and movie soundtracks, but less confident with mid-volume music.
Audica MPS-1 £250
It's immaculately finished with a unique aerofoil design, but is the Audica's beauty only skin deep? Thankfully not – music sounds pinpoint sharp when fed through the extra-sensitive phono input. There are USB and Firewire plugs too, making the MPS-1 a standout choice for the multi-gadgeted.
B&O BeoLab 3 £2,100
Three side-mounted mid/bass drivers and B&O's very own 'Acoustic Lens' tweeter sitting atop combine to project with crystal clarity and stunning, galaxy-enveloping bass. The resulting sound is big. As big as the price tag.