Your Guide to Buying Computer Speakers on eBay

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Your Guide to Buying Computer Speakers on eBay

Computer speakers are also known as multimedia speakers. These are external devices that attach to a computer and generally disable the lower fidelity built-in speakers. A low-power internal amplifier is a part of computer speakers. The internal amplifiers are powered through an AC adapter. A 3.5 mm (1/8th of an inch, approximately) colour-coded, lime green stereo phone connector is the standard audio connection for computer speakers. An RCA connector is also used in some cases for input. USB computer speakers are powered by the USB port and use about 2.5 watts of output power. Advanced speakers also have equalisation features like treble and bass controls.

General knowledge of the numerous types, features, and applications of computer speakers is necessary for a buyer to decide on a pair of speakers. Computer speakers are available in a wide range of qualities and price ranges. Typical computer speakers are plastic, small, and have medium sound quality. They can be acquired online on the eBay site without ever having to leave home. eBay features a large collection of computer speakers in a number of variations for different needs.

Terminologies and Types of Computer Speaker Setups

An understanding of the various associated terminologies is imperative to intelligent decision making. The following table briefly describes the various types of computer speakers, their differences, and some important terminologies.

Type of Setup

Number of Speakers

Number of Subwoofers





Also called ' stereo ' speakers

Most inexpensive setup

Used for simple amplification in small-sized rooms





The subwoofer adds lower bass sounds

Creates a more holistic soundscape




Higher quality audio, high volume, and ' surround sound ' are achieved

Used primarily for creating a home-theatre environment




Most comprehensive and expensive

Delivers the most diverse sound and the highest volume

Used for gaming and watching high definition videos

The lower number is not necessarily a measure of lower sound quality, as some 2.0 speakers of high quality are extremely expensive and perform very well. A buyer should, therefore, base the purchasing decision on the needs and the budget.

Buying Considerations and Features of Computer Speakers

Computer speakers have several features that may vary from manufacturer to manufacturer and model to model. This results in variations in the quality and price of a particular speaker set. A greater number of features is not a measure of better sound quality. It just means that a buyer has several options, and he or she can make the most of them. Some top brands, for example, offer very few to no added features, but they still produce outstanding sound quality. A buyer should make any decision based on personal likes and the desired features. Some of the most popular features of computer speakers include an LED power indicator, a headphone jack, and volume controls.

Wattage or Power

Measured in watts (W), the power rating of a speaker is the maximum power that can be used by a computer speaker without damaging it. More power may or may not equal more volume. A buyer should be aware of the power required for delivering the right volume for a particular size room. Speaker power can be described as nominal power or peak power. Nominal power is the level at which the speakers can operate seamlessly without any risk of damage for a long period of time. It is generally displayed as root-mean-square (RMS). Peak power, as described above, is the power rating of a speaker.

Headphone Jack

A common feature on computer speakers is a headphone jack. It allows a user to listen to audio through headphones without disturbing the people in the surrounding area. Headphone jacks are particularly useful for shared workplaces, libraries, and other quiet places.

Room Space Consideration

Room space is an important buying consideration when looking for computer speakers. Buyers should not purchase speakers that are too loud and blow them away in a small room, nor should the speakers be inadequate for a large room. This should be kept in mind before placing any order.

Surround Sound

Multiple speakers placed strategically around a room generate organic surround sound. Imitation surround sound is a feature on some computer speakers in which the audio is delivered in such a way that it mimics the surround sound experience. This is common in 2.0 and 2.1 setups.

Wireless Speakers

Audio content can be streamed using a Bluetooth device or from the Internet using wireless speakers. These are versatile speakers that offer a lot of ease of use because the trouble of handling a jumble of wires is eliminated. Wireless speakers are usually a little more expensive than traditional speakers, and they often require some time for setup, unlike traditional speakers that are mostly plug-and-play.

Audio Cables

Resistance rating is one of the most critical factors when selecting audio cables (or speaker wires). It is the measure of the electrical conductivity of the wire. The lower the resistance, the greater the power that reaches the computer speaker. The impedance rating of the speakers should match the resistance of the speaker wire or else the audio quality may be reduced.


Impedance is the opposition to the flow of electricity caused due to the electrical components. Impedance for computer speakers is usually rated at 4, 8, or 16 ohms. Impedance ratings are often helpful in matching speakers to receivers and amplifiers. Mismatching can lead to poor sound quality or even component damage.


Subwoofers have the primary function of reproducing the very low bass sounds for a sound (or speaker) system. Subwoofers can be placed anywhere inside a room because the low-frequencies are generally not audible to human ears. An adjustable subwoofer has a sturdy enclosure that provides real bass.

Sensitivity of a Computer Speaker

Sensitivity, in this case, is the measure of how much volume computer speakers put out for a given potential difference. It measures the sound pressure level (SPL) in decibels (dB). The higher the sensitivity, the more efficiently the speakers translate the power into volume.

Signal-to-Noise Ratio (SNR)

SNR deals with the clarity of a signal. As the name suggests, the signal to noise ratio is the ratio of the audio signal you want to hear and the noise you don't want to hear. SNR is also measured in decibels (dB). The greater the SNR value, the clearer the audio signal. Computer speakers with greater SNR values are comparatively more expensive than others with lower values.

Total Harmonic Distortion (THD)

Total harmonic distortion is similar to SNR but is measured as a percentage. High-quality multimedia speakers generally have a THD value of less than 1 per cent. Consequently, they are also a little more expensive than the other options.

How to Buy Computer Speakers on eBay

Multimedia speakers of one's choice can be hunted down on eBay using the search bar on the eBay homepage. The search bar provides an easy way to explore the various options. You can enter queries, including computer speakers, multimedia speakers, stereo speakers, USB computer speakers, subwoofer, wireless speakers, et cetera, into the search bar to see the relevant results. For some queries, eBay also suggests a few related searches that may help in the decision making process and getting down to the desired product(s) in no time. You can always filter the results based on your personal preferences by simply selecting the various options on the results page.

To reduce or even eliminate the delivery charges, look for computer speakers in your neighbourhood. This can be achieved by simply entering your postcode as a filter. If you are lucky enough to find the speaker(s) of your liking in your vicinity, you can pick up the order at a time of your convenience from the seller as soon as the order is successfully processed. Also, don't forget to go through the feedback and reviews before placing an order so that you can better understand the seller.


Multimedia speakers or computer speakers have low-power internal amplifiers powered through an AC adapter. The standard audio connection for a computer speaker is the colour-coded, lime green stereo phone connector. The USB port can also be used to power some speakers. Bass and treble equalisation features are a part of advanced computer speakers.

Stereo speakers (two speakers, no subwoofer) are used for simple amplification in small-sized rooms and are the most inexpensive setup. The 2.1 type of setup (two speakers, one subwoofer) is a cost-effective option for creating a more holistic soundscape, as the subwoofer adds lower bass sounds that are non-existent in stereo speakers. The 5.1 and higher types of setups achieve surround sound and have higher quality audio and louder volume. The 7.1 setups offer the most comprehensive sound experience and are suitable for gaming and watching HD videos.

A basic understanding of the various types of computer speaker setups enables buyers to find the right speakers for their needs. Paying attention to offered features and personal buying considerations helps buyers make this decision. eBay boasts a large collection of products to help buyers find the perfect pair of speakers.

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