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best desktop computer speakers under $100Most laptops, and some desktops, ship with internal speakers. These are often adequate, but only just, and they’re certainly not a good choice for anyone who wants to enjoy media or music. Most computers still need a pair of external speakers to sound their best.

Fortunately, speaker prices have dropped like a rock over the last decade. Just $100 will buy you a sound-system easily capable of handling a living room or home office 3 Easy & Inexpensive Ergonomic Enhancements For Your Home Or Office 3 Easy & Inexpensive Ergonomic Enhancements For Your Home Or Office Most geeks are addicted to their desk. It’s particularly bad for those of us who both work with a computer and play on a computer. Humans weren’t made to sit in chairs for hours at... Read More . Here are five great picks among affordable speakers.

Creative GigaWorks T20 Series II

best desktop computer speakers under $100

Creative’s GigaWorks line is designed to package good sound quality into an attractive design at an afford price. And it works. Compared to most inexpensive systems, the GigaWorks speakers look worth their weight in gold. They feature attractive drivers, which can be covered or exposed, and one speaker is adorned with several adjustment knobs that look and feel solid for a system priced under $100.

Sound quality is excellent, as well. Both professional reviews and customers have raved about the GigaWorks T20; as a result, it’s one of the top 20 best-rated PC sound systems on Amazon. The only downfall is an absent subwoofer, and the system isn’t wired to have one added later. That means buyers who want deep, thumping bass should look elsewhere.

Cyber Acoustics Subwoofer Satellite System CA-3602A

best computer speakers

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Oh, did someone say deep, thumping bass? Well, here you go – the Cyber Acoustics CA-3602A. Currently an Amazon.com PC speaker best-seller and top-rated product, this budget system seems to strike a perfect balance between quality and price. It offers two speakers and a 5-inch subwoofer for less than $40.

That’s a deal that can’t be beat so, if you want bass on the cheap, you might as well stop reading and buy the CA-3602A. There are, however, a few problems. The look off the system isn’t remarkable, mid-range sound reproduction is muddled at times, and build quality what you’d expect from a $40 system.

Negatives aside, this is the obvious pick for those who want volume on a budget.

Edifer USA e10 Exclaim 2.0 Speaker System

best computer speakers

Edifer’s thin and affordable e10 Exclaim provides an alternative to thin-speaker systems from brands like Bose and Harmon Kardon. Both professional and customer reviews seem to agree that, despite the e10’s thin profile, sound quality is incredibly robust. Even bass is present thanks to the 3-inch woofers cleverly hidden in the bottom of each speaker.

Though capable of excellent sound quality, users who want volume may be unhappy with what these speakers offer. They are also, like most thin speakers, very directional – which means volume and clarity drops substantially as the listener moves away from center.

You’ll have to spend most of your budget to grab the Edifer e10s, which retail for $99 and rarely go on sale. They’re a bargain compared to similar competitors, many of which are priced at $150 and above – but larger systems offer a dedicated subwoofer for less.

Genius SW-G2.1 Speaker System

best computer speakers

The Genius SW-G2 is an attempt to bring gaming speakers to the budget market. Gaming 5 Solid Tweaks to Optimize Your Computer For Gaming 5 Solid Tweaks to Optimize Your Computer For Gaming Read More  speakers are known for their ability to deliver a lot of volume and bass, and the SW-G2 continues that trend. The speakers ship with a 5-inch subwoofer and dedicated control box with bass adjustment. The sub’s rated power output of 38 watts blows away even the Cyber Acoustics CA-3602, though these specifications should be taken with a grain of salt.

These speakers look as loud as they sound, however. The drivers are painted red and the speakers have strange hour-glass shape that likely won’t match anything on your desktop. And though they’re priced at $60 (twenty more than the CA-3602) the Genius speakers aren’t built better. You’re paying for volume, not quality.

Logitech Z523 Speaker System with Subwoofer

best desktop computer speakers under $100

Logitech is the king of low-end speakers in sales if not in quality. They offer numerous products below $100, but I decided to pick just one; the excellent Z523.

This sound system has everything you’ll need in PC sound system  Logitech Logitech G510 Gaming Keyboard Review and Giveaway Logitech G510 Gaming Keyboard Review and Giveaway Logitech has long been considered one of the leaders in peripherals for PC gamers. Everything from mice and keyboards to speakers and headsets are available from Logitech. The Logitech G510 keyboard comes with 18 programmable... Read More  has paired two attractive glossy-black speakers with a 6.5-inch subwoofer capable of delivering up to 40 watts of power – more than even the Genius SW-G2.1. Yet the Logitech is undeniably built to a higher standard of quality and provides built-in adjustment knobs rather than a seperate control unit.

Logitech’s reputation and quality will cost you. Though no expense, the $75 MSRP is nearly twice that of the Cyber Acoustics CA-3602A. And don’t think that you’ll receive superior sound because you paid more; customer reviews of the Z523 are positive but mixed, with a vocal minority saying the system is less pleasant than the price suggests.

Conclusion

All of these systems are a good choice. The Genius and Cyber Acoustics fit the role of big, cheap and loud while the Creative and Edifer sets take a more subtle approach. The Logitech? It fits somewhere in the middle.

I use a Sony 2.1 system that I like but is no longer produced. If I had to choose a replacement I’d probably go for the Logitech Z523, as I’ve had good luck with their speakers in the past.

What would you choose? Let us know in the comments!

  1. Hal Jordan
    November 23, 2016 at 7:39 pm

    Looking for something to plug into a raspberry pi to listen to at the plant I work at would have to be loud enough to hear over my wood cutting router

  2. George Melendez
    April 23, 2016 at 3:07 am

    If you want "The poor mans audiophile" speakers just get Cyber Acoustics Subwoofer Satellite System CA-3602A 2/1. You have 2 desktop speakers, sub-woofer and a pod control. I have been using this system for 4 or 5 months and it's excellent and for $39.95 it's unheard of. Pretty good volume and the bass is ridiculously "thumby". My friends are amazed when they hear what comes out of this system and can't believe what they're experiencing. You can get it at NewEgg.com.

  3. Jason
    September 12, 2013 at 3:40 am

    Given that each recommended speaker sets links to amazon, I'm guessing this site gets paid by the click. So I take these reviews with a grain of salt.

  4. Robert
    June 24, 2013 at 8:29 pm

    I've Owned the Cyber Acoustics CA-3602a for over a year now. I have to say I bought these as some alternatives for my PC speakers in my room, just picked it up off the shelf and decided to try it. I have these in a master bedroom about 13x19' and these sound great! Although the speakers have a cheap lightweight feel to them, the Subwoofer and Sound for the Price is unmatched. I am Looking to get one for my TV in the same Room, as for using these in the Living room I would say maybe get the next model as a step up, Like the CA 3614 or 3810.

  5. claudine ratelle
    April 29, 2013 at 2:45 pm

    Good article. Very useful! Thank you!

  6. Carlos González
    April 28, 2013 at 6:58 am

    I have the Logitech's Z523 and I cant complain about the quality for the price, nice performance but someday I will upgrade (for a better bass)

  7. macwitty
    April 27, 2013 at 2:09 pm

    For the desk I would go for Edifer Saying that for a media center I might consider Logitech. Both with the design in mind as we have to see them all days

  8. Patrick J
    April 27, 2013 at 4:14 am

    I've bought a Creative A60 speakers last year for about $16 and it sounds awesome! Although it is not meant as an alternative for a home theatre system (if you're making your computer one) or for the ultimate gaming experience, but has special channel for bass and is good for normal usage. But the thing is that it is just a set of stereo speakers, so it can't be comparable with the speakers listed here. Still, for normal usage, it is a great stuff, especially for its value for money. One can buy it off from FlipKart with Cash on Delivery option.

  9. Harish Anim
    April 26, 2013 at 5:04 pm

    i used a sony 2.1 before it was really cheap for indian money it was around 1.5k thats a lot less than $100 it worked pretty well it was a awesome set but i wanted to move on to 5.1 thats the only reason other wise they are still the best

  10. Mike C
    April 26, 2013 at 5:03 pm

    If you can catch Klipsch's ProMedia 2.1 system on sale, they're hands down the best computer speakers I've ever heard. THX certified, and particularly transparent sounding, they normally sell for around $150, but I've seen them go on sale for a fair bit less.

  11. Rani Karana
    April 26, 2013 at 4:56 pm

    Wish I read this article back when I was looking for some speakers for my desktop. I ended up going with the Klipsch ProMedia 2.1 speakers (retail: $150). Luckily, I found them on sale for $100 during Cyber Monday. Best speakers I've used yet!

    • Matt Smith
      April 29, 2013 at 4:23 pm

      Yep, those Klipsch speakers are awesome. If they were regularly in the budget I had for this article I would have recommended them.

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