Computer Speakers vs Monitors: Difference

Computer Speakers vs Monitors: Difference

Computer Speakers vs Monitors can have many similarities as they both give sound output but differ on how it gives off. Computer speakers range widely in quality, sizes, and price. Some of them have a subwoofer unit to enhance the bass output and an equalization feature such as bass and treble controls.

Monitor is a special type of loudspeaker. Monitor speakers are designed to let you hear the electronic sound exactly and lets you play the plain sound without any distortion through the frequency range which most loudspeakers do not provide in a uniform frequency response.

There is an important difference between computer speakers and studio monitors which is that the former are often performed in a way that affects the sound compared from what is recorded, like their frequency response may vary or may be bass heavy.

Studio monitors doesn’tcreate or produce a color of their own. It is perfect for reproducing the recorded or saved music and sound being played back. Computer speakers are designed for enjoyment while the monitors are designed for critical listening.

Though it is not clearly visible what the difference is between a speaker and a monitor, here is a clearer definition of monitors: Monitors are speakers, but it gives off a different sound and is designed to be used in recording studios.


Manufacturers do everything they can to design speakers that provide and enhance audio quality with a rich bass, middle and high frequencies. As for those who make monitors, they design themto not enhance the sound, but aims for a flat-response of all frequencies.


Computer speakers are made in order to give out sound evenly throughout the room while monitors are designed to give out sound at a very short distance to stop the room from coloring or enhancing frequencies.


The listeners benefit from computer speakers by offering enhanced sound that is evenly spread out while monitors benefits recording engineers by offering them a sound that is not mixed with any element for accurate music mixing.


The sole purpose of getting a speaker is to provide the user with great enjoyment in terms of music and sound, and as for the purpose of having monitors, it is to enable a clean sheet for creating and building music mixes on its way to a finished state.


Basic speakers are usually passive and are driven by an external tuner/amplifier while most monitors come with built-in power amplifiers which are designed for the demanding specifications and applications of the monitor speaker.

Other Facts

Monitors are usually called as a reference or a near-field monitor because of how they are used as a sound referencing tool in close-listening and low-volume environment inside a recording studio.

Monitor speakers are usually not recommended for home audio listeners for their lack of powerful and rich sound. But without monitors, it would be hard to professionally produce and finish music since it would not sound quite right.

Two Types of Speakers Referred to as Monitors

Studio Monitors

Studio Monitors are specifically designed to have a flat response with minimal distortion. It is intended to be used for audio production applications, such as recording studios, film making, projects, or home studios.

Live Monitors

Live Monitors are speakers that are used during live performances or playbacks during recording so that the performer will be able to hear what they and the rest of their companions are doing. It is needed to produce a sound loud enough for any situation at hand and must give a balanced output.

Two Types of Speakers Referred to as loudspeakers

Live Loudspeakers

Live Loudspeakers are speakers that are to be used to project the sound the performer gives out to the audience. It is usually referred to as the “PA”. The speakers overall power and distortion free output are the ones that are carefully thought of here. It may not have a perfectly flat frequency response sometimes but it is still acceptable since there are other speakers with subwoofers present to fill in the missing signal.

Stereo Loudspeakers

Stereo Loudspeakers are used in home audio systems to project the sound. For listening entertainment, it is tuned to produce a pleasing sound.

Two Basic Types – Studio Monitors

Powered Studio Monitors

The Active studio monitors are more common today and it features active crossovers and are built with amplifiers that are designed to provide the power you need for each individual speaker.

Un-powered Studio Monitors

The Passive studio monitors are rare today, but some engineers are loyal in using it. Though they need a separate power for their amplifiers, their lack of onboard electronics helps establish a reputation for them in having a pristine sound and high-end passive monitors.

Computer Speakers


  • It comes with the computer.
  • It is easy to operate.
  • Can be used for alerting the user.


  • They can occupy a fair amount of space on your desk.
  • They can distract people around you andit disrupts communal work area.



  • When making music, they provide you with a more appropriate representation of your sound.


  • They are expensive.


Computer Speakers vs Monitors is not that hard to asses as they differ with the purpose they are designed for. One is designed for leisure, for listening to your favorite songs, watching movies or playing video games.

The other is designed for critical listening. It is relied upon by mix engineers to provide them with the accurate details they need to make critical mixing decision.

It comes with various configurations with many options and each style and configuration has its advantages, though most monitors are designed to give off flat and uncolored sound as possible. There is a difference but they can aid one another.

It has become common recently for subwoofers to be in modern recording studios, standard stereo mixing, and surround sound media productions. Like having a 2.1 setup, it helps in extending the low-frequency range of the monitors and allows the low-frequency drivers to produce more efficient frequencies.

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