USB Audio And Speaker FAQ

What Are USB Powered Speakers?

USB speaker systems are a great solution for improved computer audio - especially for many laptop computer users looking for improved sound volume and broader frequency response over your PC or MacBook laptop's tiny, underpowered, low-volume, built-in loudspeakers. USB computer speakers are of two types: Digital or Analog. Digital USB speakers deliver BOTH the stereo USB audio signal and power over a single cable. Analog USB speakers use a conventional analog 1/8 inch / 3.5mm stereo jack for audio, and use the secondary USB cable for power ONLY.

What Are The Best-Selling USB Speakers?

SoundBar USB SpeakerDesktop USB Speaker Portable USB Speaker
Edifier USB SoundBar

Portable Audio To Go
Affordable USB Speakers

$15 Logitech S150's
USB Altec Orbit

Speaker With Travel Case

How Loud Are USB Computer Speakers?

USB speaker systems get all of their power from a desktop or laptop computer's USB port. The Universal Serial Bus device specification for USB 1.1 or USB 2.0 ports provides a nomial 5 volts of power per port, with up to 500 milliamps of current. On its simplest level a long standing mathematical and electrical formula for calculating wattage is WATTS = VOLTS x Amps. In this case 5 volts times 500 mA = 2.5 watts of potential peak audio output. As such, if a USB speaker lists it's output wattage, you'll often see a rage of 1 to 3 watts listed. How 'loud' these speakers sound to the human ear varies widely depending on the quality of engineering the speaker driver cone, the loudspeaker enclosure, and it sensitivity and response of the electrical signal.

Can SuperSpeed USB 3.0 Benefit Loudspeakers?

With the advent of SuperSpeed USB 3 ports on modern PC's and Mac computers, USB 3.0 speakers can potentially deliver even higher wattage output. Thanks to the maximum 900 milliamps of power a USB3.X port can provide, we're seeing the first USB3 audio systems that can deliver around four and a half watts of speaker power: 5 volts x 900 mA = 4.5 Watts. That extra current will also allow computer speaker manufacturers to use slighty larger driver cones with larger magnets that can deliver significantly improved bass response.