Desktop Soundbar Is Ideal For PC Use

Soundbars are a rather strange category of speaker, most typically used with televisions to add some punch that the drivers crammed into a flatscreen TV simply can’t match. [Matt] of DIY Perks wanted a soundbar that was better suited to use on a computer desk rather than in a loungeroom, and set about creating one.

Regular soundbars aren’t great for a computer desk as they tend to deliver sound directed at one’s chest rather than one’s ears. [Matt]’s design instead angles its speakers slightly upwards, aimed at the user’s head as it should be. The build uses reclaimed wooden flooring for a cheap source of pretty wood that isn’t as ugly or flaky as MDF.

The design acts as a monitor stand and keyboard hutch, raising the screen to a comfortable height for viewing. The speakers themselves are in acoustic enclosures mounted on either side, also helping to provide good stereo separation. A subwoofer is also built into the shelf to add some bass response, with an impressively-neat bass chamber design. Finished off with some LED lights and a USB hub, the design delivers great sound along with a lovely desk environment for getting work done.

[Matt] does love a nice DIY build; his water-cooled outdoor TV is a particular delight. Video after the break.

17 thoughts on “Desktop Soundbar Is Ideal For PC Use

      1. A bar witch is a I-shape design vs this thing that is an U-shape. Sound bar is just another way to say speaker. So, if they can call it sound bar, op can call it too.

        1. I have a Vizio sound bar that was designed to sit beneath CRT televisions. The unit is literally pentagonal and very deep. Nothing at all like today’s sound bars, but it most certainly calls it a sound bar in the reviews and the manual.

        2. Blatantly false. The generally accepted colloquialism and the accepted official market term for a sound bar is one solid long speaker system. This is just a speaker stand. Not a sound bar

          1. That is a single housing containing an array of speakers spread across its width… What is the accepted market term for a speaker bar? A single housing containing an array of speakers across its width. 🙄 The term “colloquialism” doesn’t even apply. If I were a grammar cop, I might have pointed out that something is considered “colloquial” if it’s informal & generally accepted. That would make your use of “generally accepted” completely redundant. I’m not, though, so I won’t.

        3. There is no specific definition, the shape beneath where he is sitting a monitor is just a hollowed version ofa shape used by other manufacturers, where their intent was for you to sit your television upon it.

          So this fits the criteria just fine

      2. The speakers in TVs and desk top computers are generally bottom firing and compact because the screens are thin. They are also very low wattage. Soundbars are front firing and are usually designed by speaker companies whose engineers know how to create a better listening experience. In a typical soundbar, there are three speakers:left, right, and a center channel for a wider and more spatial listening enhancement. Simply put, a soundbar makes up for the computer or TV speaker deficiencies. Also, there are no additional wires that need to be strewn about. It often takes only one cable connection from soundbar to the TV or computer

  1. This is really well done, moreso for not requiring a CNC router/3D printer – anyone with hand tools (well, maybe a small router or even rotary tool) and a soldering iron could put this together to a pretty good level of functionality.

  2. ” wood that isn’t as ugly or flaky as MDF” – you’re thinking of particle board, not MDF. MDF is very smooth and uniform in color. It takes paint extremely well if you don’t like the color.

  3. I saw Matt’s DIY video and came away with “an awful lot of DIY for a marginal increase in speaker efficiency”. If you’re that hung up on speakers angled at your ears, then stick with separates, turn them inward, and stick a pencil under the front lip. These are projects for people who love woodworking a hell of a lot more than they love audio.

  4. I’m in the “that’s not a soundbar, it’s a couple of (poorly tuned?) speaker enclosures at the ends of a shelf” camp, plus it’s also ugly and would take up a lot of desk space.

    Semantics and aesthetics aside, while having the speakers angled towards your ears is preferable to them firing straight ahead at desk height, at short range the audio is still too “localisable” – it depends on the exact off-axis performance of your drivers, but as a general guide for near-field setups the speakers should be positioned slightly behind the monitor, about a quarter of the screen height up from the bottom and a quarter of the width out from each edge, and angled so that the speakers converge a foot or so behind the top of your head.

    1. I wouldn’t call it ugly (though not the style I’d choose), and looking at the shape and positioning I would say the speakers are aimed at just about the perfect spot for where the user is suppose to be, might not be entirely perfect but its really doesn’t look bad for that…

      As for eating up lots of desk space, its a monitor stand they do that, while being really useful at putting the monitor where it actually needs to be. Plus its probably not big enough for the legs my monitor came with either, Its certainly smaller than my ‘monitor stand’…

      (Mine doesn’t actually hold the monitor anymore – built an arm rig for the monitor so its more adjustable floating over the stand, but the ‘stand’ itself has a inbuilt bench PSU, Pi4 (actually now my primary computer), draw for the pens etc, and a spot for the amplifier inside, with the flat surface behind the monitor now holds all sorts of useful bits – so yes its eaten up about half of the table top, but in the process generated lots more useful space and initially put the monitor in a much better space.)

  5. While I generally quite like the DIY-aspects of Matt’s videos like the average hackaday viewer, unfortunately audio design is far more complex than just putting some speakers together in an enclosure. Sure, it “works”, but you can likely get much better results with commerical speakers (even DIY speaker kits that have been properly designed and are likely beru competitive for the price).

    Another nitpick – YouTube’s audio compression means that the comparison with the $1200 speaker is a fair bit misleading. I don’t assume malice on Matt’s part but I’m 100% sure that for $1200 he could get *much* better sound than using whatever he built.

    1. Certainly no way we can really tell with the Microphone’s frequency response and compression getting in the way (though assuming a fair setup for the comparison what else can he do – can’t invite us all to listen to it with our own ears…).

      But I’d not be surprised if what he built sounds just as good or better – he did say he spent lots of time fiddling with that filter to make each speaker do the bits its best at and create the sound he wanted, while the off the shelf will undoubtedly sound fine it might well not be as good, at least for his needs – as what you want is subjective too – far too many home cinema and gamer setups are far far too heavy on bass by default it seems to me, so those explosions really have presence, some also then focus far to much on the high tones so everything in the middle is muddier…

      Its not like hes using really crap low quality parts, and audio engineering is not some black art you need 40 years experience in to make something sound right, no speaker system no matter how pro set up will really sound perfect when cranked up to 11, turned down to night listening whisper mode, and on everything in-between, for all types of audio load but getting sound that sounds pretty good is really not hard…

      1. I always feel quite stupid when someone like LTT plays a sample of crab rave from some laptops to test them, and I’m just sitting there with my shitty Chromebook unable to tell the difference…

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