Some of us are blessed with giant speaker setups, $6500 projectors and dedicated home theatre rooms. Those who aren’t have to struggle by on far more modest systems for watching movies, sometimes employing a PC and flat-screen monitor. It is still possible to get great quality audio from a PC speaker system and enjoy blockbuster movies as they were meant to sound. Here are our sound system picks for enjoying movies on your PC:
Logitech’s Z-Cinema PC speakers are only 2.1 — stereo, not surround sound — but their SRS TruSurround HD software allows them to create a virtual surround environment. The included remote can be used to control media centre programs and the system's subwoofer generates a good amount of bass.
What’s Hot: Clear and balanced audio, great included remote.
The Final Word: Logitech's Z-Cinema will transform your PC into a mini home entertainment setup. If you're looking to use your PC for media related tasks, it's an excellent option.
For all-out power and prowess you can’t go past the Logitech Z-5500. Available in standard, digital and wireless versions, the Logitech Z-5500 has a reputation for bringing great home theatre sound to the PC. Five sizeable speakers and an enormous subwoofer mean that every movie you watch will be lively and sound fantastic.
What’s Hot: Strong bass, great sound overall.
The Final Word: If you need a great set of PC speakers for movies and games, then the Logitech Z-5500s should be a prime candidate. For music lovers they may not be the first choice, but their strong performance overall means they cannot be ignored.
The Razer Mako 2.1 Speaker System will suit Mac users and those looking for a stylish addition to their PC setup. Plenty of bass and a well-separated soundstage mean positional audio in movies is well represented.
What’s Hot: Funky design, nice bass, good sound quality, immersive audio.
The Final Word: The Mako speaker package from Razer surprised us a little, providing excellent if slightly bass-heavy audio and a sleek design.
Coming about as close to 'real' speakers as is possible with a PC system setup, the Edifier S730 features two bookshelf-style speakers and a massive subwoofer. The subwoofer delivers tight and powerful bass while the speakers have a crisp sound that is capable at all frequencies.
What’s Hot: Lively sound, great treble and lower bass.
The Final Word: As a PC speaker system for games and movies, the Edifier S730 is excellent. Audiophiles will be flustered by the slight lack of mid-range, but unless you're listening intently the speakers will be all but perfect for day-to-day tasks.
The Logitech G51 speakers feature a Matrix mode which up-scales stereo audio to output through all of the five speaker channels as well as the subwoofer. For non-surround-sound movies this is a bonus, but the speaker system is able to work with surround sound as well to create an immersive experience.
What’s Hot: Matrix settings, easy access volume controls for centre, subwoofer and surround speakers, speaker and microphone mute buttons.
The Final Word: Gamers will love this speaker system, even if audio aficionados don't. The Logitech G51 may not outclass the rest, but it delivers some bang for your buck.
These are only a few of the systems available but we think they are some of the best on the market for watching blockbuster movies on the small screen. You can also check out our other PC speaker reviews.