The last time I used PC speakers they were an Altec Lansing 2.1 and I thought they were awesome 10-12 years ago. Since then I have become quite an audiophile and I've just hooked laptop or PC to my home theater systems. The other day I saw a friend of mine had these sitting on his computer desk. As you can see, these speakers are esthetically pleasing to say the least. I will go as far as saying, they look cool. Anyways, I asked him to turn it on and my opinion of PC speakers has been altered.
While it cannot compare to a 7.2 surround system, I was amazed by the clarity. The 2 speakers are made up of four 1-inch full-range transducers 10W RMS each speaker. Ironman was playing and the range between the sub-woofer and the speakers impressed me. Voices remained clear throughout the kaos.
I remember that Altec Lansing system I used for my PC 10 years ago sucked by today's standards. Bass had to be turned down when the Kaos started or it sounded muffled and distorted. When the action stopped you had to turn it back up. What a pain. I watched enough of a movie test on these HK Soundsticks III and we didnt have to adjust the volume once. It does have adjustable Sub volume though and touch volume and mute control. I was hell-bent on finding a way to discredit these things because I have never seen them before (apparently there was an HK Soundsticks II some years ago). Anyways, I happened to have some Bass music with me. I was impressed. The Sub-Woofer below the desk appeared to handle a surprising number of frequencies. Now realistically its a 6-inch, 20W RMS downward-firing powered subwoofer. So its not like you can expect to get blasted away but it was excellent performance never the less.
Seeing as I haven`t looked at PC Speakers in about 10 years, I looked around last night at a few different options in the price range that I`ve seen these at and nothing compares. There are better ones for $100 or $200 more but I wouldn`t pay $3-400 or more for computer speakers!!! You could buy a decent home theater in a box for that that would blow these things away and provide you with many more options and much more useability with different sources.
Sorry. I am normally HD only but I couldnt find an HD demo...So Heres a video for those of you who cant read ;)
Honestly, for a 2.1 computer speaker system to play your MP3 Player music, gaming or any PC audio these are ideal. The MSRP is $169 direct from Harman Kardon. I saw the price as steep as $220 but the cheapest I saw them for was $144.