If you want to add 5.1-channel surround sound to your computer without breaking the bank, Logitech's X-530 multimedia speaker system will do the trick. Four satellite speakers, a center-channel speaker, and a subwoofer that houses the system's amp comprise the X-530 ($79 list), which delivers adequate sound despite lacking the power and the clarity of more formidable 5.1-channel multimedia speaker systems.
The X-530's physical design is a mixed bag. Each of the average-looking satellite speakers has a black-plastic casing, a see-through black-cloth grille, and a built-in plastic desktop stand that swivels and conveniently converts into a wall mount. The matching, horizontally oriented center speaker can be placed on your desk or perched atop the monitor; it tilts up or down. A power switch, a 1/8-inch headphone jack, and a system-volume control sit below the drivers on the front-right satellite speaker. Logitech put the bass control down on the subwoofer, which requires you to hit the ground to make adjustments. Another annoyance: with the lightweight satellites set up on our desktop, we easily and frequently nudged them out of position every time we accidentally tugged on their cords.
The X-530's satellites and center speaker have dual 2-inch drivers. One produces treble and midrange frequencies, while the other produces only midrange, helping close the gap between the satellites and the subwoofer. The ported subwoofer uses one side-firing 5.25-inch driver. The X-530's 70 watts (RMS) of total system power are normal for its price point: 7.4 watts to each satellite, 15.5 watts to the center speaker, and the remaining 25 watts to the subwoofer.