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Do Gaming Monitors Deliver Good Sound or Do I Need External Speakers?

Many current displays aimed at entertainment and gaming include impressive dual speaker designs.

Once upon a time reality forced PC users, especially gamers, into buying often-costly external audio devices. Monitors frequently had no speakers and when they did, sound quality left much to be desired. In other words, sound quality wasn’t good at all. Everything sounded flat and weak, so external speakers were needed. But just as motherboards evolved to the point where most gamers don’t buy dedicated sound cards, so have monitors improved. Many current displays aimed at entertainment and gaming include impressive dual speaker designs with an independent subwoofer, known as 2.1 audio. They produce strong stereo with deep bass, so you don’t have to go out and get external speakers unless you really want to. 

A changing (sound)landscape

The differentiation between monitors and TVs continues to narrow. Whereas in the past TVs emphasized both image and sound while monitors focused on visuals alone, today’s monitors essentially act as TV replacements by providing a full audio-visual experience. The rise of entertainment and gaming-focused monitors has especially encouraged the joint development of display and sound technology. Games demand the finest graphics performance but also depend on precise and impactful sound. Therefore, monitors designated for gaming very often boast impressive audio that can easily compete with that offered by TVs. Similarly, with more people using monitors to watch movies and TV shows via streaming services, the need for comprehensive built-in audio has become more obvious.

So the answer to the question posed in the title is clear. Modern gaming (and entertainment) monitors most definitely deliver good sound without the aid of external sound. Beyond saving money on unnecessary speakers, integrated audio also helps keep your desk neat by reducing cable and device clutter. Today’s gaming and entertainment monitors provide a full, all-in-one platform bolstered by a wealth of connections that accommodate your PC, consoles, streaming boxes, and more. 

Sound essential to gaming and entertainment

As video games grew into the biggest form of entertainment on the planet, they inevitably also grew in sophistication. While graphics may be the most apparent aspect of gaming, sound plays an equally important part in every genre. Action games require keen situational and directional awareness generated by sonic clues. Narrative-driven titles have lush soundtracks to convey emotions and empower stories. Grand strategy games use countless sound effects to let players know what’s going on. With poor sound, you miss out not just on experiences but on the ability to enjoy games at all. And of course, professional multiplayer gamers will tell you that without good sound winning becomes unlikely.

Monitors like the BenQ EX2780Q and EW3280U feature immersive 2.1 audio that does justice to all the hard work sound development teams put into each game, and of course into movies and TV shows. With the latter, good sound makes all the difference. Watch a movie or a show on a monitor with tinny speakers and you may not even understand what characters are saying, let alone get the nuances of the soundtrack. Enjoy the same content on a monitor with finely-tuned, powerful sound and new layers of meaning come to life.

And of course all modern gaming and entertainment monitors ship with headphone outs for you to keep things considerate. There’s no need to bother anyone with loud sound, so just plug in your favorite headset whenever required. 

Keeping things simple, efficient, and fast

We mentioned earlier that adding external audio systems to monitors remains possible. Sure, you can go out and get a dedicated sound bar or connect monitors to amplifiers. However, three factors work against that choice. Buying dedicated audio gear costs extra money, plus will jack up your electric bill because those external speakers or soundbar require their own power. Then you have all the added cabling and connections. Those quickly devolve into a big mess, and we heartily recommend you devote connections to source devices like PCs and consoles as opposed to external, and totally optional, audio.

Not all the same: the treVolo advantage

Do remember not all monitor audio is made equal. Many manufacturers use basic speakers and subwoofers that don’t sound great nor last very long. At BenQ, we developed treVolo audio technology with a team of some of the best sound engineers in the world. Neodymium drivers, durable speaker membranes, and tough construction are just on the hardware side of things.

Plug in and have fun

With technology we have so much to be thankful for. While in the past to get good sound on a monitor would have been nearly impossible or would have required a very thick and bulky display, now it’s easy. Contemporary gaming monitors fit spectacular sound into slim designs. On every practical level, there’s simply no need to buy external speakers as you won’t gain anything for the money you spend on them. If you want true hi-fi or room-filling sound then sure, go for big audio but then you shouldn’t be in the market for a typical 27”-32” monitor anyway. You’d be better served by what we refer to as a BFGD, or big format display (40” and above). Those combine the speediness of monitors with large TV-class sound and can envelope an entire room in sonic delight. Otherwise, get a monitor, connect your PC or console via HDMI, and start enjoying luscious sound. 

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2K QHD 144Hz IPS panel EX2780Q with HDRi and superior audiovisual features delivers the best immersive gaming experience. Featuring BenQ proprietary HDRi technology and FreeSync, EX2780Q is your best gaming monitor.

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