Most laptops and desktops are designed with small speakers. The low volume and poor audio quality that results from these units makes it difficult to enjoy music. Fortunately, there are several accessories that can be purchased to enhance the listening experience on a laptop or desktop.
The easiest and most effective way to improve volume and sound quality is to play the signal through a pair of external speakers. Computers can be connected quickly to an amplifier or other audio device able to power speakers. Buyers can also shop for a wide range of headphones and headsets. These are designed in several styles, and range from inexpensive and highly portable to expensive and bulky. In addition to enhancing the speaker system used, it is also possible to add a sound card to a laptop or desktop to improve its audio signal.
Laptop and desktop accessories can be purchased from electronics shops and department stores, as well as online retailers. eBay offers products to enhance your music and the high number of sellers on the marketplace makes it easy to compare prices.
Speakers for Laptops and Desktops
The limiting factor on most laptops and desktops when it comes to music is the speakers, so choosing a solid audio source should be the first priority. Speaker size often relates to sound quality, and bigger is usually better. This is especially true for the built-in speakers. Music played through these internal speakers is not only likely to sound washed out or tinny, but is often too quiet to be played for more than a few people gathered near to the machine. To enhance the volume and quality of music, buyers can play the audio through a set of external speakers.
The easiest way to do this is by linking the computer to a receiver, boombox, or other device that powers speakers. Buy a cable adapter with a 3.5 millimetre connector on one end and RCA connections on the other. Plug the 3.5 millimetre pin into the audio output on the computer. This may be the headphone jack or a designated audio port for desktops that are sold with external speakers. The RCA plugs connect to the corresponding stereo outputs on the receiver.
Stereo vs. Surround Sound to Enhance Your Music
It is worth considering the difference between stereo and surround sound when connecting a laptop or desktop to external speakers. Compact disc and MP3 formats are designed with only two audio channels. This means they are meant to be played in stereo, so a pair of good quality speakers can create an ideal listening experience. However, it is still possible to play music through a surround sound system. The audio is still technically in stereo, but the additional speakers add a surround sound effect to the listening experience.
The subwoofer used in surround sound systems plays a range of bass notes that cannot be reproduced on most speakers. If a surround sound system is not needed, it is possible to buy a 2.1 receiver and speaker set with the addition of a powerful subwoofer. These systems can be ideal for listeners who only need audio for music and not films.
Headphones for Laptops and Desktops
Instead of connecting to speakers, buyers can choose to use a headset or pair of headphones. There are three primary types of headphones available: in ear, on ear, and over ear. Consider the benefits and drawbacks of each type to choose the best items to enhance your music.
In Ear Headphones
Headphones designed to fit inside the user's ear, called earbuds, are the least expensive option available. They are highly portable and can be wound in a small carrying case when not in use to prevent the cord from becoming tangled. However, these headphones have the poorest sound quality, and may not even perform as well as the built-in speakers on a computer. These items can also cause hearing damage if used loudly for extended periods of time.
On Ear Headphones
On ear headphones and headsets are the most common type of full headphones available. The pads are designed to rest on the user's ears and can be comfortable to use for long periods of time. On ear headsets offer significantly greater sound quality than in ear products, and can still be found at relatively low prices. These models can also be transported fairly easily. Look for carrying cases or bags for easy storage. Most models can also hang comfortably from the back of the wearer's neck when not in use. Look for products that are comfortable to wear and do not place unnecessary pressure on the ears, as these can cause ear cartilage to ache over time.
Over Ear Headphones
Over ear headphones offer the best sound quality of all units. They fit over the user's entire ears, and the pads rest on the sides of the head. Some over ear headphones and headsets are designed with noise blocking capabilities, which can create an immersive audio environment for music. However, these are the largest of all products and can therefore be difficult to carry or transport. They are also more expensive than other options.
Sound Cards for Laptops and Desktops
Sound cards can be added to a laptop or desktop, and function in a similar way to video cards. They are primarily designed for musicians and others who make recordings and need to playback highly accurate sound, although a good quality sound card can also be useful for the average person. However, it is important to bear in mind that most computers already have a sound card installed. Once good quality speakers are in place, users can enjoy the full benefits of a good sound card.
Read Product Reviews
Due to the high cost of some laptop and desktop accessories, it is worth taking the time to read product reviews before committing to a purchase. Websites that specialise in electronics equipment often have professional reviews of new products. These focus on the performance, features, and design of the product as a factory new item. It is also possible to find customer reviews and ratings on shopping sites. In some cases, hundreds of product reviews are available for a single item. Customer reviews can offer additional insight into an audio product, such as its compatibility with a specific laptop or desktop and its durability. Find as much information about a product as possible to choose the best accessories to enhance your music.
How to Buy Laptop and Desktop Accessories That Enhance Your Music on eBay
Speakers, headphones, and sound cards can all be bought from sellers on eBay. An easy way to find these items is to type keywords into the search field on the home page. For example, enter "sound card" into the field to see all items tagged with those search terms. If you know the brand or model of sound card you would like to purchase, you may enter those keywords too.
Review the Item Listings
Review the item listings to ensure a positive buying experience. Read the full description provided by the seller, and look for a specification sheet from the manufacturer. To be clear about the price of the item, include delivery charges into your calculation of the total cost. It is also important to determine which payment methods are accepted by the seller so that you can pay as soon as the order is placed.
Review the Seller Feedback
Click on the name of a seller in the item listings to see information about his or her history and the satisfaction levels of previous buyers. Read comments from these buyers for details about the seller's performance, and compare it with the average ratings for the seller's communication, dispatch speeds, and item descriptions. Leave feedback of your own once you have received your laptop or desktop accessories to inform future buyers about your experience.
The built-in speakers for laptops and desktops are generally quite poor and are not designed to play music at optimum levels. To enhance the listening experience, buyers can connect their computers to a set of external speakers. Music is recorded in a two-channel format, so a good pair of stereo speakers with a subwoofer can be sufficient. A surround sound system can provide additional speakers for enhanced audio.
Alternatively, plug a headset or pair of headphones into the audio port of the computer. Headphones are designed in three primary styles. In ear models are the least expensive, but have poor sound quality. On ear headphones are still fairly inexpensive and can provide excellent sound quality. Over ear units are the most expensive, but can block outside noise and create an immersive listening experience. It is also possible to upgrade the sound quality of a computer with a sound card. Connect the computer to a good quality set of speakers to get the full benefits of the sound card.
Marketplaces like eBay have a wide range of listings for laptop and desktop accessories. Compare prices and read product reviews before committing to a purchase to find the right items to enhance your music.