USB connectivity is probably the most convenient ways of powering up your devices from USB powered fans to USB powered speakers. USB powered speakers are convenient for listening to your media while at home or on the go. Conventional computer speakers that require an electrical outlet to work can be prohibitive because they force you to be close to the power supply at all times.
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Bose SoundLink Mini Bluetooth Speaker II
High quality sound, great bass and portable. What is not to love about this Bluetooth USB Speaker. Charges from USB or charging cradle.
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Built-in integrated computer speakers cannot deliver the same quality of sound as external ones do because their size is generally restricted. Portable USB speakers bridge this gap between usability and sound quality. They are often small and compact so they can be brought virtually anywhere. Some USB powered speakers are also equipped with Bluetooth, while others rely on a standard 3.5mm audio jack.
Since USB powered speakers come in all shapes and sizes, it is important to choose the right speaker that will suit your needs. Some speakers are built for specific purposes, like as an attachment for a monitor or USB speakers for computers. Other speakers are built exclusively for portable high-definition audio and extended battery life. By understanding how you will use your speakers, you will be able to pick the perfect ones that are right for you. Now, we will explore various different USB powered speakers and provide a few specifications about them.
Our Picks For The Best USB Powered Speakers
These battery-powered speakers are lightweight and portable. At 17.8 x 14.6 x 7.11 inches in size and weighing only 1.1 pound, they deliver quality sound within a 90 Hz – 20kHz frequency response range. They easily connect right into your computer via USB for charging and use only 1.2 Watts RMS of power. This means you can use your speakers for extended periods of time without rapidly draining your computer battery. These speakers also possess built-in volume controls so you can adjust the sound right from your computer. The Logitech S150 USB Speakers are a perfect to use at work or during travel because of their small and lightweight design.
These speakers are an excellent choice for anyone who needs to conserve space or desires portability. They are on the smaller side coming in at just 7.3 x 4.1 x 4.1 inches and weighing only 14.5 ounces. Don’t let their small size fool you, though. These gems pack rich 3D Stereo Effects and deliver power at 1.25W*2. They connect to devices through a standard 3.5mm stereo cable so they can be used with different phones, computers, and mp3 players. There is also a volume control dial conveniently located on the wire so you won’t have to adjust the volume on your computer.
The Dell USB SoundBar is perfect for Dell monitors. It’s sleek design and compact fit will blend in perfectly with your monitor while delivering rich and vibrant sound. The great thing about the Dell USB SoundBar is that it won’t take up any space on your desk because it connects directly to the underside of your monitor. It weighs only 16 ounces and is 16 x 1.5 x 1.9 inches in size. Since it can be powered completely through a USB port, you won’t need to worry about using up electrical outlets in your wall or on your extension board. However, AC is available if you decide to power it that way. This speaker is perfect for anyone who wants to bring great sound to their office without having to worry about a lot of clutter.
The Logitech Laptop Speaker is connected directly into your computer device through a standard USB cord. It’s lightweight rectangular body fits firmly on top of your laptop’s screen while delivering great sound through a set of dual drivers. It weighs only 1 pound and is 7.1 x 1.4 x 2.5 inches in size. The Logitech Laptop Speaker is easily used on both Windows and Mac OS. It’s slim design and and neat look make it perfect for professional and recreational settings. This speaker will provide you with hours of rich stereo sound without draining your battery life quickly.
The Anker Classic Portable Wireless Bluetooth Speaker delivers high-definition sound from a 3.1 x 3.1 x 2.4-inch body that can last up to 15 – 20 hours on a single battery charge. It is Bluetooth compatible and can connect with devices from over 30 feet away. It can also be connected through a regular 3.5mm audio port. Since this speaker is built to deliver quality sound on a single charge, it is perfect for people who will be away from a power source for extended periods of time. Its stylish appearance will blend in with just about any décor and is compact enough where it won’t take up a lot of space at your workstation.
This compact speaker is Bluetooth friendly and can reach devices from over 25 feet away. They come in different colors so you can choose the one that will fit your style. They deliver high-quality sound through 2 internal speakers while on a single charge that can last up to 15 hours. They can be powered and charged through a USB cable so you can bring them wherever you go. They also contain a build-in microphone, which is perfect for making recordings on your computer or for taking phone calls. The speaker is only 7.3 x 2.4 x 2.8 inches in size and weighs only 1.1 pound, so it is perfect for carrying around with you while on the go.
This speaker is easily portable and delivers great sound with a strong bass. It contains a Lithium-ion battery that can deliver up to 10 hours of high-quality audio. It’s Bluetooth friendly and charges from a USB or charging cradle. It’s elegant design blends in perfectly to its surroundings and contains a built-in speakerphone for voice calls. This speaker is lightweight, coming in at only 1.5 pounds. Its small 7.1 x 2.3 x 2-inch size is great for carrying around in a bag or briefcase. These speakers will provide you with hours of amazing sound.
These USB powered speakers are perfect for carrying around while on the go. They contain 2 neodymium drivers that deliver high-quality powerful sound. Each speaker is 2.5 x 3 x 5.2 inches in size and weighs only 11.4 ounces which is perfect for carrying around. They are exclusively powered through USB and do not contain a battery, so they are not rechargeable. They rely on a 3.5mm plug to receive sound so they will work with many computer devices. Their sleek design and sturdy body will blend in with just about any environment.
The C26 Waterproof Bluetooth Speakers are great for listening to music while on the go. They are perfect for bring on camping trips or hikes because they are built durable to resist shocks and drops. They are also perfect for people who have jobs where they need to carry around a strong speaker that won’t get damaged easily. These speakers are splash proof, which is great if you are near water or if liquid is spilled on them. They come with a subwoofer and 2 internal audio drivers that deliver 5 watts of high-quality sound. They are also Bluetooth compatible and can connect with devices that are located over 30 feet away. They weigh a mere 14 ounces and are only 7.3 x 2.4 x 2.2 inches in size.
A Buyers Guide On The Best USB Powered Speakers
Let’s delve into the world of USB powered speakers and see what there is to know about buying the best ones for you.
Why you might want to abandon powered speakers:
The short of it is that USB-powered speakers can do almost everything for you that big speakers can unless the space you are filling with sound is very large.
The long of it: There are two main types of speaker systems: powered and passive.
Passive speakers need to be connected to a separate amp, whereas powered speakers contain everything they need to work within them. Passive speakers look the classic big black box with the audio dish on the front; they are for audiophiles, sound technicians, and audiophile sound technicians. (If you are a rockstar you should probably be hiring a sound technician who is an audiophile.) Passive speakers are for audiophiles because the setup allows you customize the sound that you want coming out of your system.
Powered speakers are simpler to set up because the amp is contained within the cabinet itself. You don’t need to fiddle with the system to get precisely the right kind of sound; all you need to do is connect it to your music player, and plug the system into your wall socket. That is the big advantage. If you are not an audiophile and you are not a sound technician, you will probably want a powered speaker system to save yourself the hassle of setting up a passive system. In the audio world, powered speakers are Macs and passive speakers are PCs.
That being said, powered speakers have the disadvantage of being typically more costly than passive systems, in terms of upgrading.
At least, if you’re thinking of speakers the size of a cabinet. Outside the world of rockstar audio technicians and club DJs, there exist small, compact, portable speakers that plug into your computer, giving you room-filling sound with even less of the hassle of a cabinet-size system.
The different types of USB powered speakers
A three-piece system has a speaker left and right and one subwoofer, so you can get the low frequencies and the high frequencies. That is as many relevant pieces as a computer speaker system tends to have; while Logitech is selling a four-piece system the fourth piece is just a puck with a control dial.
Another way of thinking about different types of USB speakers is: do they get their power from a wall plug or from the USB connection? Wall-plug systems are a little more fiddly because you’re dealing with more cables; on the other hand they have greater potential for sound because you can only get 2.5 watts through a USB cable.
A third way of thinking about different types of USB speakers is: Do they come with a 1/8″ audio cable, or is the sound sourced entirely through the USB cable? You tend to get better sound quality through the audio cable.
For the most part your main concern about speaker type is probably number of pieces. Worrying about sound quality through cable type is for people who have more specialized audio requirements.
What to look for when buying USB powered speakers
The first rule of buying speakers is, ignore the specs the manufacturers give you. There’s no actual standardized testing methodology for speakers, so manufacturers tend to exaggerate the specs. You have to use your own ears to find a system you like. A good system will have an even balance between treble, midrange, and low frequencies, while preserving detail. Be willing to sacrifice the low frequencies in favor of balance between treble and midrange. If you can’t use your own ears use someone else’s by reading reviews from trusted sources.
In terms of speaker hardware that’s visible on the outside of the device, look for systems that have on-speaker controls. You want to be able to adjust the volume smoothly without having to rely on pushing buttons. If you can, find a system that lets you adjust bass and treble, preferably with knobs in an easily-accessible spot rather than on the back. If you are looking for a system that allows multiple inputs, look to see that the input ports are in easily-accessible spots, rather than on the back.
What USB powered speakers can be used for?
Stereo, Surround Sound, or 2.1: What’s the difference?
Stereophonic sound works in two dimensions: left and right. You hear one aspect of the music more strongly in one ear or the other. It does not exactly reproduce directional sound, but it gets the job done if you’re listening to music. The vast majority of music is recorded in Stereo, which means that stereo is all you are going to hear on CDs and MP3s. There’s no Surround Sound in iTunes.
The closest thing music has to Surround Sound is the 2.1 system. A 2.1 system is the three-piece stereo system mentioned above, that has the subwoofer to handle the low frequencies.
Surround Sound tries to reproduce directional sound as precisely as possible. It adds realistic direction and depth to sound. For example, a movie that has a man walking across a stage will use its surround-sound system to reproduce the sound of the man’s footsteps approaching from the right AND getting louder, then leaving to the left AND fading away. To give another example, let us consider the sound of a car passing by. The stereo system will make the car sound like “nyoom”, whereas the subwoofer will make the car sound like “nnnnnnYOOMMmm”.
To do this you need at last five speakers. The majority of movies are optimized for Surround Sound. Surround Sound is meant for movies. It’s possible that someone, somewhere, has recorded nature sounds that require Surround Sound to get the full audio experience, but for the most part your Surround Sound will be put to use in your Home Theater.
Benefits of USB Powered Speakers
Last Words On USB Speakers