Looking for laptop with built-in Direct firing speakers? With great sound quality.

I really did not know what forum to post this question.
So I posted it here in the Recording Equipment forum.

I’m looking for a laptop with built-in Direct firing speakers or on the top deck with great sound quality.
A built-in sub-woofer would also be great.
If anyone knows of such a laptop please give your recommendations.

Most laptops built today have the speakers on the bottom.
The sound waves from those speakers are designed to bounce off or
reflect off a hard surface, sending the sound towards your ears.
If you put the laptop on your lap, the sound has nothing to bounce off of, which makes it hard to hear the sound.
It is really a bad design.

My budget is around the $600.00 range.

Any help in this endeavor would be much appreciated.

I doubt that any laptops have “great sound quality” from their built in speakers. I’ve certainly never come across one. The problem is that laptops don’t have enough space to fit decent speakers. You may do better investing in headphones or external speakers.

I do have a note. The little MacBook Air has far better built-in sound than you think it should and it mops the floor with the direct-firing sound from the larger MacBook Pros. It has compression drivers behind the hinge and doesn’t even try to simulate larger living room speakers. I don’t have any trouble listening to movies or music with it on my lap.

But it wasn’t $600.

No matter what you do, you have to move a lot of air to produce good sound and that’s rough to do in a small space.

Can you get wireless earbuds for a Windows machine? I have newer generation (wired) earbuds that sound fine. I stopped using them. They physically hurt because they work by creating a vacuum seal.

I’m not a fan of wireless earbuds. It would take me about fifteen seconds to lose one. They are popular.


I should have not said “great sound quality”
What I really meant was a laptop with a good amount of volume level, with direct firing speakers.
Laptops that have the bottom down firing speakers, loose volume level when there is no reflective surface for the
sound to bonce off of. Like when the laptop is on your lap.
With the laptop on my lap, I notice when I place my hand under the laptop in the location of the speakers, the sound volume
increases quite a bit. The sound is reflecting off my hand.

For safety reasons I cannot use headphones and external speakers could be an option but would like a built-in solution
for mobility reasons.

I realize that you are not going to get a lot of high fidelity out of a tiny pair of laptop speakers.

Thank For the reply.

I will look into the little MacBook Air, although I have never use any apple products.
I only have Windows 7 & a little Windows 10 experience.

The $600 budget I know isn’t going to get me much, but I can’t believe they don’t make many direct firing speaker laptops for that
amount of money.

As far as earbuds go, for safety reason it is not feasible, (I have to hear whats going on in other parts of the home. i.e.‘elderly’)

I was thinking of the possibility of Bluetoothing the sound from the laptop to the sound system that the TV sound is connected to.
But was thinking there might be a latency issue and that solution would be a only available at home.
A direct firing speaker laptop with high volume would be the ideal solution.

Thanks for the reply,

I will look into the little MacBook Air, although I have never use any apple products.

I don’t think they would be a good match if you’re accustomed to Windows. I’m only using that as an illustration. I was surprised the direct-fire speakers in the heavy, more comprehensive laptop didn’t work nearly as well is the thin, tiny one.

I didn’t know about the down-firing systems. Yes, that means they have to fire into something.

I use the older series of earbuds (still available on-line) with separate foam coverings. They sound fine, fit comfortably and I can hear traffic around them as I hike around town.

I’ll see if I can get a pix. That would solve everything. You could use them while you’re searching for a laptop that sounds good.


The earbuds and the foam booties are separate makers.

I have a series of Koss earbuds with foam booties. I loved them, but they eventually died from wear.

I don’t like the newer earbuds, but Apple made an older model…

I don’t know they work on Windows machines, but I can try it later. This was before they made the earbuds crazy-fancy, so they should.

I can get you the contact info.


My HP Envy has a Bang&Olufsen audio set up with direct firing speakers - it’s pretty good, the best I’ve ever had in a laptop, bit still nowhere near as good as my connected active speakers.

And it’s double your budget …


Background info:
The main reason why downward firing speakers are common / popular these days, is because of a peculiar acoustic phenomenon: When the laptop is placed on a hard surface (despite the name, “laptops” are usually used on a table or desk), the small gap between the speaker and the desk acts in a similar manner to the “ports” of a bass speaker, and allows considerably better bass response from tiny speakers.

Yes, there’s a wide choice of wireless earbuds available for PCs.

Many wireless earbuds for PCs have a lightweight cord or headband connecting the two earbuds. This greatly helps to keep the pair together.
Completely wireless earbuds are also available, but as you suggest, it can be an expensive accident if you lose one.

That’s the opposite of what a lot of people want. There are a lot of “noise cancelling” or “isolation” earbuds / headphones that are designed to keep out as much external noise as possible. Fortunately, not all earbuds / headphones are like this. “Open back” headphones will often allow a lot of external sound to be heard. Local hi-fi shops may allow you to try headphones before you buy (though quite a lot of shops don’t allow this).

I don’t know they work on Windows machines, but I can try it later.

They do. I plugged them into the back of my Win7 machine and they run just fine. This machine has a surround soundcard, so I actually plugged them into Front Left and Right. I believe that’s the default Stereo connection for normal people.


You have three competing requirements: Terrific sound divorced from the environment, no user environment isolation, cheap and inexpensive.

Write back when you find something that meets your needs, and/or tell us how you did it.

I can blue sky one of the requirements. I bet I can make a small box sound terrific…at a battery life of twenty minutes. It may get a little warm in your lap.

Everybody underestimates how bass works. That’s the one that does all the work. That’s the sound that rattles your windows in a thunderstorm and moves furniture in a quake. Neither of those two is particularly bashful.

The amplifiers for a dance venue are a pile of medium power boxes driving distributed speakers in the ceiling. The bass is that rock crusher, coal-fired, steam-driven killer amplifier pushing the bass drivers sometimes built into the floor. The effectiveness of the bass system is not whether it moves your shirt in normal operation, but how much.

That’s hard to do cheaply and in a small enclosure, no matter what the application.

I did get a possible solution last week. Someone in a queue had a device about the size and shape of an oatmeal box slung over his shoulder. It was a portable speaker system that sounded way better than you would think because of its size. I assume it was blue-toothed to his phone. I didn’t ask.

I should have.


Maybe the JBL Flip 4?? It’s about the right size and shape and I remember it was by a name brand. None of the reviews had a shoulder strap, but I don’t think that would stop anybody.


Apparently, it has a killer battery pack inside and that’s how they got the bass and good sound. And probably much of the weight. Most of the many reviews liked it and the ones that didn’t were the usual ones with unrealistic expectations.


I don’t think you will get a good sound out of any laptop. I would invest in some monitors. I have a mac with the speakers where the keys are and the sound quality is pretty average. A soundcard and a pair of monitors will be a much better option in my view. All the best.

Please check the date of topics that you are replying to. If the topic is years old, then there’s no point posting a reply except in the case of posting a canonical solution.

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