As technology advances, the office desk has become increasingly mobile. Not the actual desk, mind you. Because a desk is, well, still a desk. As far as we know, nobody has invented a standing desk that moves in front of you and allows you to work while walking and also being a hazard to society. But, note to self: create this desk and get rich.
So desks remain stationary, but the items on them have advanced to a point where you can grab a small bag, pack it up and then have everything your Dad used in his office, except at a Starbucks or bar or wherever you want to work. Technology has given us freedom we never could have imagined 30 years ago. We can work wherever we want, whenever we want, and we can be effective doing so.
But still, there's something nice about a desk, about a place to sit down and consider yourself "at work" even if you usually work from the couch or by the pool. And if you want a truly great working environment, music is key. Yeah, your MacBook has pretty good sound, right? Not really. You think it sounds fine because you're used to it. In reality, laptop speakers are crap across the board, and if you want a truly great music experience, you need to invest in a decent pair of desktop speakers.
Luckily for you, we're here to help. Below are five of our favorites, ranging from fairly cheap to, well, true investment speakers.
KRK Rokit 5 G3 ($299)
Rokit's G2 speakers have long been a standard for budding music professionals. The latest models, not surprisingly called the G3, keep them mostly the same, including the same exact speakers found in the previous model. The G3's keep the high end adjustment knob from the G2, but these bad boys also give you a low frequency control knob, which means you have greater control when fine-tuning the sound to your liking. The yellow speaker cones are also quite visually striking.
Klipsch ProMedia 2.1 ($199)
The ProMedia line from Klipsch has been around forever. We had a set of these way back in the day, and they were awesome. The new model features the same 200-watt subwoofer, 2 speaker setup, but they're also wireless, which is a nice touch for those of you who keep your desks obsessively clean. We don't have that problem.
KEF X300A Wireless ($1000)
These speakers are also wireless. And they are expensive. The KEF's are for those who consider themselves discerning audiophiles. They are also for those who like to show off to their friends while pretending they are discerning audiophiles. We'll skip all the technical stuff, but just know that these black boxes are stuffed with all kinds of top-end technology designed to make your latest Spotify playlist sound as good as humanly possible.
Harmon Kardon Nova ($199)
This set doesn't include a subwoofer, but can still pump 40 watts of bass. They also include a 1.25 inch tweeter, giving you a broad and clean audio spectrum without breaking the bank. Another cool thing about the Nova's? They will automatically shut off after 20 minutes of silence. That'll come in handy for those of you who accidentally leave electronic stuff on when you go out of town for three weeks.
Bose Companion 20 ($250)
We included the Bose Companion 20 here simply because, over the course of our lives, it has perhaps been our favorite and most dependable every-day desktop speaker set. You've no doubt seen these things in a gleaming display at the Bose store in your local mall, or in whatever passes for a mall these days. Yeah, Bose stuff tends to be overpriced, and these aren't the cheapest on our list. But they sound fantastic and they are sturdy. And the separate volume knob is a nifty feature that we miss on every other speaker system we try.
What do you think?