Pump Up The Bass

Shopping for better audio from your Mac or PC laptop or desktop computer? USB bus powered speakers aren't generally known for delivering much low-end frequency response or high volume. But with careful evaluation, you can find select speaker systems that don't require separate AC wall power, but deliver enhanced audio playback from the limited power that's available from a computer's USB port.

Here's some USB powered computer speaker systems that can take your music, movie soundtrack and computer audio experience to a deeper level.
   
Edifier 2.0 Desktop Speakers

Large 70mm Driver Cones
2.1 USB Speaker System

Mini Subwoofer + Satellites

Bigger Driver Cones = Better Bass Respons

If you're looking for good bass reproduction you'll generally need to look at 2-piece desktop USB speaker systems. Many other's are designed as loudspeakers for portability such as use with Apple MacBooks, UltraBooks, Netbooks and other PC laptops. So tradeoffs are made with small driver cones and a compact, portable enclosure for easier travel. With desktop systems, the drivers and enclosures can be much larger allowing for enhanced bass.
   
Amazon Basics USB Speaker

50mm Drivers + Volume Control
Gemini USB Desktop Speakers

High Quality Driver Cones

Limitations Of USB Powered Computer Speakers

Several factors limit just how big and loud a computer loudspeaker can be that's attached to a USB port. The Universal Serial Bus device specification has long standardized on 5 Volts of power on a port. The Ampherage available is generally 500mA. The amount of wattage available is calculated by multiplying the Voltage times Amps. So 5v X 500mA = 2.5 Watts. That's enough for room-filling sound - but not much more.

As such, the SIZE, QUALITY and SENSITIVITY of the speaker's engineering plays a huge part. For low-frequency audio signals, a large driver cone is needed to move alot of air for bass you can feel. The low-end signals below 100 Hertz (Hz) need to pull and thrust the cone a greater distance than the microscopic shifts needed to produce high frequencies.
   


The reasonably compact speakers here feature driver cones in the 2 to 4 inch range (approximently 50mm to 100mm) to deliver better bass than many others. Contrast these to more portable USB notebook speaker systems which typically only have driver cones in the 1 to 2 inch range (25mm to 50mm) and make tradeoffs in size to enhance portability.