Help me pick speakers for my desktop PC

Shopping for tech products has become incredibly hard. Good brands are bad, bad brands are good, and there are a million options for everything including low priced gems and high priced garbage!

I have a lovely new basement home-office and I'm ready to retire the 3 inch pair of 20 year old speakers for something new. I'm getting a relatively narrow desk at 47 inches and I expect my 2 side by side monitors will take up 50... that leaves no space for speakers on either side, so what about a sound bar?
A short pair of speakers would work too. The monitors will be mounted on arms that are height adjustable so 3-5 inches beneath them is reasonable.

I'm thinking the $80 - $150 range. I dont need any bells and whistles really, just good sounding 2.1 system.

If you want quality sound without spending a mint, headphones are extremely cost-effective. Good quality ones will usually rival speakers at about ten times the price.

here's a recent thread on the topic:

That topic is a year old, is looking for a different class of speaker, is mostly troubleshooting, and has one link to a listicle. I appreciate your effort to conserve bits but the thread isn't too helpful

Speakers don't change very much, so it being a year old actually doesn't matter. A good set of speakers from the 1980s will still sound wonderful today, although they'll sometimes need some service for crumbling foam or cracking surrounds. The major change over the last four decades has been bringing good sound down into cheaper units.

I'll repeat my advice from the last thread that it's best to avoid anything related to "computer sound", because they almost always suck. The Klipsch Promedia 5.1 speakers were a rare exception, in that they were decent at everything (soundstage, bass, treble, overall tonal balance.) They wouldn't blow you away, but they were competent. They don't make the 5.1s anymore, but they still do 2.1s, and those would probably be acceptable.

Thin_J is probably the closest we have to a resident expert, and he was saying that Parts Express is a good way to get decent speakers for not much money, so that's probably where I would start.

$150 for speakers PLUS a sub means you're not going to get anything especially impressive. A $400 subwoofer and $600 pair of mains, on the other hand, would probably shake your house a little and light up your life. Add a $250ish receiver and you'd be amazed at what it could do. And the speakers and sub will last a long time, possibly a large fraction of your life. It's common to get multiple decades out of them.

FWIW audio gear in general has gone nuts in the last couple years and I am a bit out of touch.

Most of the speakers I own appear to be discontinued, replaced by newer lines with entirely different drivers and cabinet designs. And also it sounds like none of them would work for poly's needs anyway.

I've kept up some on headphones because I'm still a sucker and can't help myself, but the rest of the market seems to have shifted a lot to things I am *never* going to be a real fan or advocate for.

If a soundbar is what you really want, I'm useless.

Just do your research first and buy from a place with a good return policy so you can bail if you think it sounds like trash.

I've put in an order for this Yamaha ATS-1080 sound bar It got a number of good reviews outside of Amazon and they've got a refurbished version for half the price of new. I've had good outcomes from buying refurbished products there so we'll see how that goes.

It has Optical input and people have used them in small apartments and campers to good effect.