Even if you're not an audiophile, you know the feeling of not being able to turn something up as loud as you would like without sound distortion.
Be it a dorm-room movie night or presenting from your MacBook Pro, sometimes the built-in speakers inside your laptop just don't cut it.
That's why you may need a great set of external speakers which will help turn your Mac machine into the ultimate home entertainment rig.
In this article, we'll point out some of the best external speakers for MacBook Pro in the market, and help you decide which are best for you depending on your personal preferences and budget, so listen up!
Bose Companion 2 Series III Multimedia Speakers are a great fit for those who want a mostly permanent set up at a single location that can deliver great sound day after day.
OfficeTec USB Computer Speakers Compact 2.0 System makes a great choice if you need a bit more sound power and a flare of personal style without breaking the bank.
Satechi Dual Sonic Speaker 2.0 Channel Computer Speakers takes up minimal space while offering a stylish design and bold, dynamic sound. Designed to be used in a single location.
Beats Pill+ Speaker connects via Bluetooth and offers a small size for an ultra portable approach to booming, high-quality sound wherever you go.
Who Should (& Should Not) Get This?
When it comes to items of convenience, you know yourself best, but we can still help you figure out if it's really worth it.
A speaker is definitely recommended for audiophiles who want to listen to music as they work, watch movies at full theatre volume, or generally have high-quality sound available at their fingertips. But another sign you might want a speaker is constantly finding yourself frustrated with your current audio capabilities or wishing you could turn things up just a little bit further.
On the other hand, if you normally use headphones with your Mac or don't consider yourself to have a picky ear, you could be fine with the built-in system until circumstances change.
Choosing a Speaker for Your MacBook: What to Consider?
You may have heard someone say that wireless tech will never be the same quality as wired, but this is hardly true. This may have been true half a decade ago, but today there are high-quality speakers of both varieties on the market and you should pick the kind that are most convenient for you. Bluetooth, AUX, or specially wired, look for speakers that are easiest for you.
Portability & Size
If you plan to keep your speakers at a specific location such as your work desk, this isn't much of a consideration unless you have limited space. But if you want something to match the portability of your MacBook Pro, then make sure to check on the size and weight of your preferred model before buying.
You're buying speakers to get better sound from your Mac, so don't let yourself end up with tinny or whisper-quiet models! Always check the spec sheet for your speakers to see exactly what they can deliver and read multiple reviews to decide whether or not they'll deliver high-quality sound. You can also look for easy custom balancing of bass and treble.
Best Speakers for MacBook Pro: Our Picks
Please note that the external speakers listed below are chosen based on the criteria mentioned above. They are, however, not intended to be ranked in this order.
If you're looking to upgrade your setup at your desk, this stereo set from Bose will take your games, movies, and work experience to the next level. Two AUX connections mean you won't need to unplug from your Mac to use your iPod with these speakers.
- Pros: Stationary setup has great sound definition and is easy to install. With two input sources and a built-in headphone jack, you won't be short on connections. Sturdy and with a small footprint; each speaker has a base approximately 3 x 6 inches.
- Cons: The connecting cord that goes from the right speaker to the source is notoriously short and you may want to purchase a longer one separately.
Just need something to get you through the day once in awhile? These little guys from OfficeTec use USB for power rather than a wall adapter and take up just a 3 x 3 space each on your desk. While you shouldn't expect a big sound from them, you'll get more than you would with built-in speakers, in addition to portability and ease of use.
- Pros: Extremely small footprint and overall means you can set up just about anywhere. Ideal for travel, and compatible with consoles or other devices with a USB besides your MacBook. Available in a variety of colors to match your decor or personal style.
- Cons: Not capable of producing extra loud sound or the rich bass you would find in more expensive models.
Built with the details in mind, this set of dual speakers from Satechi will both look and sound beautiful day in and day out. Small rubber feet prevent surface scratching while the blue accents shed a light glow on your Mac. USB powered.
- Pros: Quality at a dynamic range of bass, mids, and highs from both the right and left speakers with a 3-foot connecting cord. Available in black or silver to seamlessly blend in with the rest of your desk while delivering considerable volume.
- Cons: You cannot turn off the blue glowing light along the bottom without taking the entire bulb out.
Beats has a well-deserved reputation for great music, and this Bluetooth Pill+ Speaker is no exception. It's as portable as your Mac and connects via Bluetooth for loud, rich music on the go or at home.
- Pros: Uncompromising sound quality optimized to deliver dynamic sound even from a single speaker. Works with all your Apple products and looks sleek doing it. Extremely light at just over a pound and ready to bring the volume with you wherever you go. It also has a 12-hour battery life.
- Cons: Not waterproof unlike a lot of other portables and wireless design leaves you vulnerable to battery drainage.
Additional Tips and Tricks
If you've already upgraded from the built-in speakers but have yet to consider an alternative to the built-in mic, there are a few places to look whether you're a gamer, professional musician, or just want to Skype with more clarity. This article should get you headed toward the best external mics on the market.
Additionally, if you're going to be using your speakers for listening or in conjunction with recording equipment, you may want to check out Apple's guide to connecting to audio equipment to their laptops. It will guide you through any setup needed for the most common types instruments and stereos.
A great set of speakers can really take the experience of using your Mac to the next level. Whether it's pumping up your private dance party, background music while you're working, or playback for the project you're working on, any of the speakers we've highlighted here will deliver both volume and quality. Want to tell us what speakers you've used in the past? We're all ears if you do.
Published Dec 21, 2017.