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Best 2020 Monitors with Built-In Speakers

Best 2020 Monitors with Built-In Speakers

Denis Leskovets
Denis Leskovets

Productivity Optimization Geek

If you are in the market to streamline your computer setup with built-in speakers, we have a few options. You may have noticed that premium-quality built-in computer speakers are hard to come by. It seems that you almost have to purchase a separate stereo system to get good sound.

But if you are set on built-in speakers due to space or budget concerns, LG UltraFine and Apple iMac are both suitable options. I think it is fair to say that most consumers rely on separate audio systems like headsets and stereo speakers to produce full-bodied sound.

Table of Contents

Top-Rated Monitors with Speakers

For many, built-in speakers add a little convenience as a backup audio source. If you use your computer for a lot of video or gaming, then most built-in speakers will leave you feeling underwhelmed. But if you only use them occasionally, a built-in speaker option can save you some money on your computer purchase.

Best 32-Inch Monitors with Speakers

If you are stuck on what size of monitor to buy, bigger is almost always the correct answer. The 32-inch screen size is most likely to offer the best performance, best resolution, and best hardware options for built-in speakers.

Specifications

This monitor features an ultra-sleek design with a super-thin bezel on all four sides. The IPS Panel display allows for wider viewing angles with less distortion so you can get the same great quality picture from any angle. It comes with an attractive, modern stand and is VESA mount compatible.

We like the LG UltraFine as one of the top picks for a monitor with built-in speakers. Its dual-speaker configuration is well-placed and produces enough sound that you almost cannot tell that you are using a monitor with built-in speakers.

What We Love

What To Consider

Specifications

For a full-size 32-Inch monitor with a stunning 4K UHD picture and single-cable connectivity, this monitor with built-in speakers by BenQ checks all of the boxes at an affordable price. It is an excellent choice for multi-purpose entertainment and gaming, offering AMD FreeSync for fluid movement.

Overall we are impressed with the sound quality from the built-in speakers on this budget-friendly pick. Add to that an attractive monitor design and a 4K UHD display, and it’s a strong contender for most users. 

What We Love

What To Consider

Best 27-Inch Monitors with Speakers

A 27-inch monitor is the most common size. It works well for a variety of applications, offers full 4K resolution on many models, and has a few options for built-in speakers.

Specifications

We are big fans of the LG UltraFine monitors. To reap the rewards of this option, it is best paired with a macOS device. The Thunderbolt 3 connectivity allows simultaneous audio, video, data transfer, and charging; but also true 5K when paired with macOS.

An integrated webcam, microphone, and speakers make this monitor a great all-inclusive choice for those with limited space. LG has a long history of providing quality electronics, and the UltraFine monitor is no exception. 

The bottom line on the LG UltraFine monitor is that it is a smart choice for macOS users. It includes many industry-leading features that simply are not available from competitors. Unfortunately, those perks are limited to macOS. Windows users will not be able to take advantage of the benefits that set this model apart from the rest.

What We Love

What To Consider

Specifications

If you are a fan of LG but spend more time on Windows operating systems, then LG’s 4K monitor is a fair compromise. It has built-in speakers that will get the job done, though the quality is not likely to blow you away.

Between its 4K UHD resolution and HDR10 compatibility, there is no doubt that this monitor can deliver a nice-looking picture. But it is more than just looks; with a long lineup of features, it is one of the most versatile monitors with built-in speakers available.

What We Love

What To Consider

Specifications

Sceptre offers another versatile workhorse of a monitor with built-in speakers that is ideal for everything from fast-action gaming to long hours of data entry. With a full 4K UHD display and 8 million pixels, the image detail is impressive. 

Multiple ports and a faster-than-average refresh rate of up to 70Hz makes this monitor equally capable for entertainment and gaming. And, you can work comfortably for longer periods with special eye care features including blue light filters and anti-flicker technology.

What We Love

What To Consider

Specifications

If you are truly looking for an all-in-one option, don’t overlook the iMac. Instead of just upgrading your monitor and trying to make it work with your current set up, give yourself the gift of modern technology that doesn’t compete with itself.

The Apple iMac is an all-in-one computer that uses the widely popular macOS operating system. What’s even more impressive than its operating system is the visually stunning 5K Retina display, ultimate connectivity with two Thunderbolt 3 ports, and high-quality 5-watt, built-in speakers.

What We Love

What To Consider

Best 24-Inch Monitors with Speakers

If you are looking for something a little smaller to fit on a small desktop, the 24-inch size monitor still provides full HD resolution with usable built-in speakers.

Specifications

ViewSonic delivers on a robust monitor packed with features in the smaller 24-Inch screen size that is complete with built-in speakers. This monitor is a great choice for all-day work thanks to the special attention given to flicker-free technology and blue light filters to reduce eye strain.

Additionally, it is fairly easy to use with optimized presets for gaming, movies, and text to easily change brightness, hues, and temperature for the best picture in any activity.

What We Love

What To Consider

Specifications

Always a fan-favorite, HP offers a competitive choice for most need. This 23.8-inch Full HD monitor features a 1920x 1080 resolution at 60 Hz. While it is not the 4K beauty that is available on larger and more expensively priced monitors, it’s not too shabby either.

What We Love

What To Consider

Buying Guide for Monitors with Speakers

Don’t make the mistake of narrowly focusing on finding a monitor that has built-in speakers. There are a few more boxes to check to make sure that your purchase will be compatible with your current setup and that it will fit all of your needs, aside from offering the bare minimum (which is entry-level quality sound).

Choose a Monitor Size to Fit Your Space and Your Needs

Modern computer monitors come in three main sizes: 32-Inch, 27-Inch, and 24-Inch. If you haven’t purchased a new monitor in the last decade, all of these probably sound enormous. The reason for such large displays is two-fold. 

A larger screen size allows more area to have multiple windows and programs open at once. At work, this means boosting productivity by looking at all of your information on one screen. And, for play, this means you can Skype, game, and watch a movie all at the same time.

The best option for your workspace depends largely on your preference. But here are a few key details that you should know.

If you want the ultimate viewing experience with true 4K UHD quality, then you need a 32-Inch display. A 27-Inch display is often still capable of a 4K display, but most would argue that anything smaller than 30-inches will compromise your picture quality in 4K.

Many people do not have the physical space to keep a 32-inch display on their desktop, especially if they are running a dual-screen setup. The good news is that these large displays offer plenty of onscreen real estate, so there is less need for dual displays. 

The 27-inch monitor size is a middle-of-the-road compromise. It is the smallest display that still produces a true 4K picture and is generally favored by those who are afraid of indulging in a screen that is too large. When it comes to gaming, I am not sure that ‘too large’ is a thing, but not everyone is a gamer.

If 4K UHD is not that important to you, then a 24-inch display will more than do the job. If you spend more time writing and comparing documents and less time streaming media, then 4K is possibly an unnecessary upgrade. You can save quite a bit of money by scaling down to a smaller size.

What to Know About Built-In Monitor Speakers

Perhaps you have noticed that most of the options on the market for monitors with built-in speakers are average at best, with some being downright poor quality. Why is it so difficult for a computer manufacturer to build a monitor with good sound? 

Generally speaking, monitors with built-in speakers are designed with a flat sound on purpose. The ability to amplify sound so that the human ear can hear it and the ability to enhance that sound so that the human ear enjoys it are independent actions. The latter is not the goal with most built-in computer speaker options.

Good sound produced by high-quality speakers and audio equipment artificially enhances the sound by boosting bass and treble. These modifications cause a lot of vibration, which is adequately handled by subwoofers and independent speakers through high-quality, sound-absorbing materials. 

In a computer monitor with built-in speakers, there is often not enough room to build the type of speakers capable of amplifying and enhancing sound. Instead, manufacturers focus only on amplifying the sound, resulting in a flat and less-enjoyable sound.

If that is not reason enough to explain why built-in speakers often fail to meet consumer expectations, also keep in mind that high-quality sound costs more money. Producing a computer monitor display is already an expensive endeavor. When push comes to shove, manufacturers tend to favor visual technology over audio technology.

That is not to say that there are no satisfactory options for built-in speakers. The Apple iMac is an all-in-one computer with built-in speakers that perform very well compared to competitors. Apple seems to spend a little more money on the hardware, upgrading to dual 5-watt speakers for a more full-bodied sound. The iMac will never compare to a high-quality sound system with a subwoofer. But Apple aims to please those looking for a competitive built-in option.

Choose a Monitor Based on Connectivity Options First

Choosing a monitor that offers a variety of well-placed connectors that include Thunderbolt 3/USB-C ports, HDMI ports, and DisplayPort ports are far more important than choosing a monitor because it has speakers. The great thing about speakers is that you can always purchase these as an aftermarket upgrade. 

Having a variety of connectivity options is the best way to future-proof your purchase. It is easy to identify what we need out of a computer or a monitor today, but it is impossible to know how technology will evolve. Make sure that your monitor choice comes with at least one USB-C/Thunderbolt 3 connector. This is a more modern connection type and is preferable because one cable can be used for audio, video, data transfer, and charging.

Built-in speakers are a nice option if you need them occasionally. But suppose you have to choose between built-in speakers and more important features like available connection ports, screen size, and display resolution. In that case, built-in speakers are a feature that can easily be compromised on.

The Takeaway on Monitors with Built-In Speakers

Just because you can buy a monitor with built-in speakers doesn’t mean that you should. At least not if you intend to use the built-in speakers as your primary sound output. If you don’t routinely need sound or tend to prefer to wear a headset, then having a pair of built-in speakers may occasionally come in handy.

However, if you routinely use your computer for media consumption, long video calls, and online training, good sound is something that you cannot afford to compromise on. While there are higher-end options available that will likely produce better sound than their budget-friendly counterparts, built-in speakers face too many limitations to be a primary sound output for regular use. 

If built-in speakers are a must-have for you, look for an option that includes dual 5-watt speakers like the LG UltraFine display or iMac All-in-One. Provided that you don’t want to mix music or watch movies with the volume all the way up, these two monitors should offer all the utility you need from onboard speakers.