R 40 PM Grilles on Styled Home Office Desk 2000x2000

Can I Use Bookshelf Speakers As Computer Speakers?

Can I Use Bookshelf Speakers As Computer Speakers?

We discuss the pros and cons of using passive bookshelf speakers as computer speakers, and break down the alternatives.

Bookshelf speakers from Klipsch are beautifully engineered products designed to maximize sound in small- to medium-sized spaces. And while they look and sound great on an actual bookshelf, you can get creative with placement to suit your room layout and needs, like if you need a pair of computer speakers. But because bookshelf speakers are passive – that is, they require amplification to produce sound – they usually can’t be plugged straight into a computer to function as computer speakers.

R-50M On Desk

Say you have a pair of R-50M Bookshelf Speakers leftover from a previous home theater setup. You already know the Tractrix® horns sound amazing and you love the high-quality cabinet design, so you’d like to give them new life as you setup a home office space. You can absolutely use these speakers for your computer by connecting them to an appropriate amplifier, like an Onkyo TX-8220 Stereo Receiver so long as you’ve got the correct cables and adapters, and/or Bluetooth connectivity options for your computer or laptop. But…


We applaud anyone repurposing passive bookshelves for computer speakers. It’s technically possible if you’ve got the cords, know-how, and space. But for most people, it’s easier to get a pair of Klipsch’s legendary powered monitors.

Our powered monitors are similar in size to passive speakers, so they still work great in small- to medium-sized spaces. But because they’re powered or “active,” they’ve already got an amplifier and connectivity options built into them. This saves you extra space, budget, and having to hook up extra cords to a separate receiver or amplifier.

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The Fives Matte Black Front Grilles
The Fives Powered Speakers Matte Black Walnut
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KS 28 With RP 500 M Black Grille Off Beside White Chair 2000x2000
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Two of our most space-saving options for powered monitors include the R-40PM
and The Fives. Both are well-loved for producing crisp highs, deep lows, and being made from premium materials. The Fives are especially useful in a computer setup because they include an HDMI input. Both models can be elevated as well to save on desk space by attaching them to a KS Series Bookshelf Speaker Stand (we recommend the 28” model for optimal listening height).

The Fives On A Desk

Klipsch also offers the ProMedia 2.1 THX® Certified Computer Speaker system, specifically engineered for computer users and it even comes with a subwoofer. This is an excellent option for recent grads heading off to campus who want crystal clear sound in an affordable, minimalist package. But for just a bit more square footage and budget, you can get the ProMedia Heritage 2.1 Multimedia Speaker System. Combining our exclusive Tractrix® Horn tech, best-in-class bass, and gorgeous mid-century magnificent style elevates your work and study experience to a whole ‘nother level. And I know this, because I’m listening to these speakers while typing this article!

Heritage ProMedia


Klipsch offers a wide variety of speakers that can rock your world as you write emails or submit essays. Check out our site for full product details, but be sure to keep the following in mind as you choose:

  • Available desk, floor, and/or bookshelf space
  • Connectivity options on your computer
  • Style and aesthetic

Categories: Speakers