Chromebooks are great for things like working in Google Docs or doing a little web surfing, but with many models having fancy swiveling hinges that can stand like an easel, they also make for excellent movie screens. Whether you’re streaming from Netflix, Play Movies, YouTube, or anywhere else, streaming video is a great way to use your Chromebook. There’s one thing though — the sound often sucks. That’s not a Chromebook thing; it’s just hard to put decent sounding speakers into a slim and light laptop. The solution, thankfully, is easy — external speakers. Here is a selection of six speakers (and a pair of headphones that become a speaker) that not only sound great but will also work with your Chromebook without any fuss.
Portable Bluetooth Booming Sound
Harmon/Kardon Onyx Studio 4
The Harmon/Kardon Onyx Studio 4 is one of the best Bluetooth speakers money can buy. Its booming bass and sound clarity are staples of the Harmon/Kardon experience, and the ability to connect to not only your Chromebook for watching videos and listening to music, but to a second device, such as a mobile phone to take calls, is invaluable. The speaker also comes with eight hours of battery life per charge, so it’s perfect for those beach BBQ parties or picnics in the park. Did I forget to mention that you can set two of these speakers up in a stereo configuration using the HK Connect app?
$150 at Amazon
Simple and clean
Cyber Acoustics CA-2014 Multimedia Speakers
Best budget pick
These basic speakers from Cyber Acoustics are a great way to get more sound from your Chromebook without breaking the bank. There aren’t any extras or fancy tricks here — just a good set of plug and play speakers for a great price.
$14 at Amazon
Best portable pick
OontZ Angle 3 Ultra
If you want something with a similar oomph, but small enough to take in your pocket, the OontZ Angle 3 Ultra should be on your radar. The OontZ Angle 3 Ultra has a 100-foot Bluetooth range and can be set up for wireless stereo audio. It packs a sturdy 20-hour playtime on one charge, or you can also hook up the speaker to your Chromebook via 3.5mm aux cable for passive audio.
$35 at Amazon
Get your bass here
Cyber Acoustics CA-3602 2.1 Sound System
A stylish and surprisingly loud (30 watts with 62 watts peak) set of speakers will separate stereo audio nicely, and the included 5.25-inch ported subwoofer sits out of sight and pumps out the bass. Set up is easy: You simply connect the control puck to your Chromebooks 3.5 mm audio port. Convenient volume and bass controls, as well as a master on/off switch, are built into the control pod, so all the adjustments are at your fingertips.
$36 at Amazon
If your Chromebook is the main piece of your home office setup, you’re going to need some quality speakers to go with them. The Logitech Z623 is a THX-certified 2.1 stereo speaker set that connects to your Chromebook via 3.5mm audio cable, and it can bring your music and movies to life with studio-quality audio.
$100 at Amazon
Surround Sound…because why not?
Logitech z506 Surround Sound Home Theater Speaker System
Okay, this might be overkill for a typical Chromebook, but if you have a high-end Chromebook that can handle 4K video, such as the Lenovo Yoga c630, it makes a bit more sense. The z506 connects via 3.5mm input, meaning no delay in transmitting audio. This makes it perfect for a home office setting when you’re just relaxing, listening to music, or streaming a movie after a long day’s work.
$73 at Amazon
Headphones to Speakers
SoundBot SB250 Stereo Bluetooth Wireless Speaker Headphone
Headphones that become speakers are a unique proposition, and the SoundBot SB250 delivers as both a speaker and a pair of headphones. It may last only about three hours in speaker mode, due to its 1000 mAh battery, but regardless of that, you’re sure to get nice and clear sound no matter which way you use them.
$30 at Amazon
If we’re making some suggestions…
None of these speakers are bad choices. Absolutely none. However, based on your needs, you would be tempted to go in a certain direction when picking the ‘perfect’ speaker choice for your Chromebook or Chromebook setup.
If you’re looking for portability with quality sound from a tried and true brand, Samsung’s Harmon/Kardon Onyx Studio 4 should be the choice you make. The bass kicks, and I mean kicks. I used this as my main computer speaker for a year, as well as for when my pre-K students graduated in June 2018. Just one of these speakers has enough sound to fill a medium sized room, and the carrying handle makes it easy for transport from place to place.
If you’re just looking for the simplest of simple hookups, Cyber Acoustics’ CA-2014 multimedia speakers are far from a bad choice. They’re small, compact, and are unassuming. They’re the epitome of ‘Keep It Simple, Stupid,” and that’s why you’ll love these speakers: simplicity at its finest.
If you’re looking to make the Chromebook the centerpiece of your home office setup, look no further than the Logitech Z623 2.1 stereo speakers. The Z623 offers THX-certified sound to help bring the audio from whatever you are playing on your Chromebook to life, with a crispy bass that will certainly shake the room.