What speakers should I get for my computer?
Computer speakers come in a few different types. You can get a 1-piece speaker system, which help to add convenience and portability to your sound system, and are often compatible with mobile devices, such as iPhones and Android smartphones, through Bluetooth, but most have a 3.5mm auxiliary port as well. Single piece speakers are usually battery powered, though some have rechargeable batteries and even the ability to use a power cord.
2-piece speakers for computers include a pair of satellite speakers that support stereo audio, one for left and one for right, usually one of which holds controls for power and volume. Two piece speakers are most often only compatible with a 3.5mm audio jack, and are usually powered through wall plug, though some may use USB ports or have the option to use batteries as well. Some models of two piece speakers may use the USB port for audio.
2.1 channel speakers, or 3-piece speakers, have a stereo satellite speakers along with a dedicated sub-woofer. These are able to provide a more robust audio experience with stronger bass thanks to the sub-woofer. These are usually 3.5mm audio jack compatible, and the sub-woofer at least will most likely be powered through through a wall plug as they require more power. Some other audio connection possibilities for 2.1 systems are RCA plugs, or even speaker wire, in which you might need banana plugs to install your speakers. Make sure to check on your computers compatibility with RCA, speaker cable and banana plugs as you may need to install a compatible sound card to support these types of connections.
For bookshelf and wall mounted speaker systems, or home theater speaker systems, you'll likely need to have compatibility with banana plugs, but you may be able to install speakers using RCA audio plugs as well. Home theater speakers are able to provide a true surround sound experience by through the use of four or more satellite speakers and a dedicated sub-woofer. With this kind of sound system, you'll get to hear every word and noise come from the appropriate direction in respect to what's happening on the screen. Audio technologies, including Dolby Digital and DTS, help to provide the best home theater surround sound experiences.
What is the difference between computer speakers and home theater speakers?
The line between computer speakers for PC use and home theater speakers for living room / man cave use is blurring as more and more people integrate their PCs into their home entertainment setups. At the most basic physical level, computer speakers tend to use a different interface vs theater speakers. Usually computer speakers will connect via 3.5mm or USB, while theater speakers will use spliced speaker wire, RCA, COAX, Optical, or a proprietary connector type. Another major difference is that computer speakers tend to be optimized for short-range use while theater speakers are better optimized to fill a larger area (like a living room). The reason for this being that when you're using your computer there's a very high liklihood you're sitting a few feet away from your front satellites while when you're watching TV in your theater you may be much further away (sitting on your couch).