Do Computer Monitors Have Speakers?

Do Computer Monitors Have Speakers? 1 -
Do Computer Monitors Have Speakers? 1 -

Do Computer Monitors Have Speakers?

Hey friend, setting up your computer workspace can be tricky business. As you look at potential monitors, you may be wondering: do computer monitors have speakers built right in? It’s a fair question to ask. The speakers on your phone or laptop are pretty convenient after all. But when it comes to desktop monitors specifically, it turns out the answer is not so straightforward.

Let me walk you through what I’ve learned about monitors and audio capabilities. I recently had to buy a new monitor myself, so I did a deep dive into the world of monitors, resolutions, response times, and yes…speakers. There’s actually a lot more to it than you might expect! Kick back and let me explain what I discovered.

Key Takeaways

  • Not all monitors come equipped with speakers, but many modern models do feature built-in audio.
  • Choosing a monitor with built-in speakers depends on your personal needs, including space, budget, and sound quality preferences.
  • For high-quality audio, external speakers are recommended over built-in monitor speakers.
  • Monitors with speakers receive audio input typically through HDMI or DisplayPort cables, combining audio and video signals.

Wait, Some Monitors Have Speakers and Some Don’t?

Do Computer Monitors Have Speakers? 2 -
Do Computer Monitors Have Speakers? 2 –

I know, it’s confusing. When I started researching monitors I assumed they’d all have built-in speakers like my laptop does. But in reality, speaker availability varies a lot between models. Some monitors focus purely on visuals, while others try to provide an all-in-one audiovisual experience out of the box.

What I found is that nowadays, more and more monitors actually do come equipped with integrated speakers. It has become a pretty common and expected feature, especially among mainstream consumer models from popular brands like Dell, Samsung, Acer, LG, and others.

For example, Dell’s newest UltraSharp line has speakers built right in to over 75% of their monitors. And Samsung includes speakers on the majority of their curved, gaming, and entertainment-focused displays. So there are definitely plenty of options out there.

That said, not all monitors have gone the speaker route. Many prosumer and professional-grade monitors still forego audio altogether. The logic is that folks shopping for high-end visual performance are likely using dedicated sound systems anyway.

So at the end of the day, while integrated audio has become more commonplace, the speaker landscape is still split when it comes to monitors. My advice is to double check the product specs before buying if audio is important to you.

How Can I Tell if a Monitor Has Built-In Speakers?

Luckily, it’s pretty easy to figure out. First, check the monitor’s product specifications on the manufacturer’s website. They should clearly list integrated speakers as a feature if they are included.

You can also look at product photos and descriptions on online retailer sites. Many monitors have visible speaker grills or mesh panels along the bottom, sides, or back of the display. Just keep in mind those dots or holes could also be for ventilation or heat dissipation rather than audio.

Finally, if you have the actual monitor in front of you, just check for speaker grills as mentioned above. You can also listen for audio playback when providing a sound input through one of the video connection ports.

So in summary, a mix of checking specs sheets, product images, physical inspection, and audio testing should give you confirmation one way or the other. If still unsure, break out that instruction manual for definitive answers!

How Do Monitor Speakers Stack Up to External Speakers?

Now you may be wondering, should I even care if my monitor has built-in speakers or not? That depends on your priorities…

There are certainly some advantages to going the integrated audio route. For starters, it reduces cable clutter by containing both the display and sound in one compact device. With fewer wires stretching across your desk, you get a cleaner-looking workspace.

Built-in speakers also save room and cost compared to setting up separate external speakers. For those with limited desk space or strict budgets, this 2-in-1 combo can provide a simpler, clutter-free setup that plays both video and audio.

However—and this is a big “but”—there are definite downsides too. After extensively testing both built-in and external displays, I found the sound quality of integrated monitor speakers leaves much to be desired.

See, fitting tiny drivers inside slim displays presents acoustic challenges. The end result is usually underpowered bass, harsh treble, and an anemic overall sound compared to dedicated speakers. Fine for YouTube videos and the occasional movie, but inadequate for music listening or immersive gaming.

Let me give you an example…A popular monitor like the ASUS ProArt has dual 4-watt speakers built in. Decent right? Well, compare that to Mackie’s multimedia CR3 speakers with 50 watts of power per channel. It’s no contest…the Mackies provide way better frequency range for fuller, room-filling audio. And that’s not even getting into high-end audiophile speakers and sound bars which are on a whole other level!

So while I appreciate the simplicity of built-in computer monitor speakers, they should not be expected to rival true external speaker systems. If audio performance is crucial to your user experience, old-fashioned separate speakers are still the way to go in my book!

How Do You Connect Speakers to a Monitor?

If you decide to get a monitor with integrated speakers or plan on adding external speakers later, you might be wondering: how do you actually hook them up?

Well, the way speakers receive input on a monitor is through the video connection between your monitor and computer. Whether that’s HDMI, DisplayPort, DVI, or something else, the key is that these digital interfaces carry both audio AND video signals together. So you don’t need separate cables for sound on the monitor side.

For example, if you use an HDMI cable between your monitor and PC, the HDMI port will provide sound to your monitor speakers. Just set that HDMI port as your default audio output device in Windows sound settings and you’re rocking!

The benefit of this combo input is fewer cables to deal with. The downside is that most monitors with speakers only have one or two ports in total. So if you prefer multiple inputs, you’ll need an external switcher or more cables plugging directly into the computer instead.

In terms of connecting external speakers, the same concept applies. You’d wire them to one of the available ports on your computer’s sound card or audio interface using 3.5mm, RCA, optical or other specialized outputs FOR sound. With more ports available, computers make connecting third party speakers much easier to expand your audio experience over time!

What are Some Good Monitor Models WITH Speakers?

If you’re looking for a monitor with built-in speakers, here are some more great options to consider:

Acer R240HY

This 23.8-inch IPS monitor from Acer offers vibrant colors and wide viewing angles. It has dual 2W integrated speakers, HDMI and VGA inputs, and an ultra-slim profile. The nearly bezel-less design makes it perfect for multi-monitor setups. And it’s available for under $150!


LG’s 32-inch display packs a VA panel for deep blacks and rich contrast. With a curved design for immersive viewing, 10W built-in speakers with Rich Bass technology, and AMD FreeSync support, this monitor brings entertainment to life. It’s a great option for movie buffs and gamers.

Dell U2718Q

If color accuracy is important for your photo/video work, Dell’s 27-inch 4K IPS monitor is fantastic. It provides over 99% sRGB coverage plus integrated 5W speakers and a clean, modern design. This one may cost more but it delivers beautiful, precise imaging and audio in one package.

Philips 246E9QDSB

For those seeking style and affordability, check out this elegant 24-inch Philips display. It serves up vivid 1080p visuals, punchy sound via the dual 5W speakers, and narrow bezels for seamless multi-screen tiling. At under $150, this monitor brings substantial value.

Whether it’s gaming, movies, music, or general productivity – there are some great monitor options out there with built-in audio. Hopefully, these recommendations give you a good starting point in your search! Let me know if you have any other questions.

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