Can bookshelf Speakers Be Used as Computer Speakers?

You’ve just purchased a beautiful new set of bookshelf speakers or already have one. They’re elegant, they sound great, and they were surprisingly affordable. But now you’re wondering: can bookshelf speakers be used as computer speakers? 

The short answer is yes; you can use bookshelf speakers as computer speakers. However, you will need to purchase an external amplifier and connect it to the computer and the speakers. You may also need to purchase additional cables or adapters, depending on the type of connector your sound card has and the type of connection your amplifier requires.

In this article, we’ll discuss the differences between computer and bookshelf speakers, explain why you need an amplifier, and walk you through the steps of connecting your bookshelf speakers to your computer.

Bookshelf Speakers vs Computer speakers

The main difference between bookshelf speakers and computer speakers is the active and passive design. Bookshelf speakers are passive, meaning they don’t have their own internal amplifiers and need to be connected to an external amplifier. On the other hand, computer speakers are active and have their own built-in amplifiers, which allow them to be connected directly to a computer’s sound card.

Bookshelf speakers are designed primarily for use with a home stereo system and tend to have higher-quality materials and engineering. Computer speakers are designed to work with a computer’s sound card and include features such as headphone jacks and USB ports.

Bookshelf speakers generally offer better sound quality than computer speakers, but they may not be as convenient.

How to connect bookshelf speakers to the computer?

Connecting bookshelf speakers to the computer is relatively easy and can be done with a few simple steps.

But most importantly, you need to ensure which type of bookshelf you have; is it active or passive?

As I mentioned above, for passive speakers, you need a separate amplifier; for active speakers, you don’t need an external amplifier. A good example of active and passive bookshelf speakers is the ever-popular Edifier R1280T and Klipsch R-15M.

For passive speakers, you will need to connect the speaker’s cables (usually color-coded) to the amp and then plug in your audio source, like a phone or computer.

For active speakers, you can connect them directly to your computer via a 3.5mm jack or RCA cables. After plugging in the cables, you’ll need to adjust your computer’s sound settings and ensure they are working.

How to position your bookshelf speakers?

To get the best sound from your bookshelf speakers, ensure they are properly positioned. When positioning your speakers, keep these things in mind:

The size of the room: Larger rooms require more careful speaker placement than smaller rooms.

The room’s shape: Odd-shaped or asymmetrical rooms can cause sound waves to bounce around in unpredictable ways, so speaker placement is especially important in these cases.

The furniture in the room: Be sure to keep your speakers away from large pieces of furniture that could block the sound.

The layout of the room: The position of the speakers will also be affected by the overall layout of the room. For example, if you have a fireplace in the room, you’ll want to avoid placing the speakers too close to it.

Once you’ve considered all of these factors, you can experiment with different speaker positions until you find the sweet spot for your particular setup. Remember, it’s often a matter of trial and error, so don’t be afraid to move the speakers around until you get the sound you’re looking for.

Bookshelf Speakers vs. Dedicated Computer Speakers – Which one is better?

If you’re wondering whether to buy a pair of bookshelf speakers or dedicated computer speakers, there are a few things you should consider. Both types of speakers have their unique advantages and disadvantages, so it’s crucial to choose the right option for your needs.

Here are some things to think about when choosing between bookshelf speakers and computer speakers:

Sound quality

Bookshelf speakers generally have better sound quality than computer speakers. They are designed to produce a broader range of frequencies- so they can reproduce music more accurately.


Bookshelf speakers tend to be more expensive than computer speakers. Computer speakers may be a better option if you are on a tight budget.


Bookshelf speakers are usually larger than computer speakers. If space is limited, computer speakers may be a better choice.


Bookshelf speakers come in a wide range of styles to match any décor. Computer speakers are usually more basic in design.

In conclusion, the best way to decide between bookshelf speakers and computer speakers is to listen to them and see which ones you prefer.

While most bookshelf speakers will work fine for general computer use (e.g., playing music, watching videos, etc.), they are not ideal for gaming or other applications that require extremely accurate sound reproduction. If you’re a serious gamer or audio enthusiast, you’ll probably want to invest in a dedicated set of computer speakers. However, if you need some basic computer speakers and you happen to have a nice set of bookshelf speakers lying around, by all means, put them to good use!

Can you use bookshelf speakers for gaming?

The simple answer is yes; you can use bookshelf speakers for gaming. Many gamers prefer to use them because of their superior sound quality. However, there are a few things you need to keep in mind if you use bookshelf speakers for gaming.

First, ensure that the speakers are properly positioned. You won’t get the full benefit of their superior sound quality if they are not.

Second, you need to ensure that you have a good-quality sound card. Otherwise, you might not be able to take advantage of the full potential of the speakers.

Finally, keep in mind that bookshelf speakers are not cheap. If you’re on a tight budget, you might need to consider other options, such as gaming headphones. However, bookshelf speakers are definitely worth the investment if you have the money to spend.


So, can bookshelf speakers be used as computer speakers? The answer is yes—but there are some things to consider before making the switch. Think about the size of the speakers, the level of connectivity they offer, and the sound quality they produce. If you’re ok with sacrificing some of those things for the sake of convenience or cost savings, then using your bookshelf speaker system as your primary computer speaker system may be a good option for you. But if you place a premium on sound quality and easy setup, investing in a dedicated set of computer speaker systems is probably a better bet.

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