Seeing how very few computers come with built-in speakers nowadays, you absolutely have to invest in a set of computer speakers sooner or later after buying or upgrading a computer. While some computers do indeed include small, inbuilt speakers, they are by no means a valid replacement for stand-alone speakers. These inbuilt speakers are designed for beeps and alerts, but when it comes to listening music, watching movies, or playing games, you simply cannot expect them to meet the same acoustic standards as computer speakers meet.
Like we said, different speakers have different uses, not just in terms of their output quality but volume and featured specs as well. Depending on how much you are willing to spend, you can either get an all-round set of computer speakers or a set built with a specific purpose. As such, you might have to choose between sound quality over fidelity or specs over volume if you plan on sticking to a certain budget.
Now, it should be said that computer speakers range in price and quality quite a bit, meaning that you might have to do a little research to figure out what type of speakers would best suit your needs. Seeing how the price for decent speakers ranges from twenty dollars or so to more than a hundred for a high-end setup, you should definitely take your time when choosing a set, especially if you’re on a budget. To give you some pointers on that matter, we put together a list of the ten best computer speakers under $50 you can buy at this point in time.
Best Computer Speakers under $50 – Reviews
Compatible with not only computers but also other audio devices with standard 5.3mm headphone jacks, the TaoTronics TT-SK018US is a reliable computer speaker system that provides impressive soundstage with a wonderful audio quality. This set is easy-to-use thanks to a plug-in-the USB port design and a simple dial knob for smooth volume adjustment. For added elegance, cute integrated LED accents add to the speakers’ aesthetics while a space-efficient design ensures that you will take your music, gaming, or movie experience a level higher.
9Creative Inspire T10-R3
With a stylish, elegant look and delivering pristine audio quality, the Creative’s Inspire T10 is a compact 2-way computer speaker system with incredible performance. With it, you get to enjoy a detailed music listening experience, thanks to built-in dedicated tweeters, instrument-like cymbals, and strings that can be clearly picked out. At the same time, its seismic drumming technology can be felt thanks to the incorporated BasXPort technology that helps produce vivid bass effects to match a subwoofer speaker system.
For greater entertainment in even smaller speaker units, you can go with the Genius SP-HF500A and their 2-way Hi-Fi wood speakers that are built to impress. Integrating a quality tweeter, this computer speaker system offers crystal-clear sound treble in a very small package. It also combines 3-inch speaker driver featuring unique sound structure design for producing better bass. Other highlights include an in-line jack for iPod, an MP3 player or CD player connection while the speakers are still connected to your PC, and a functional headphone jack for private listening purposes.
7Cyber Acoustics CA-3090
The Cyber Acoustics CA-3090 is among the best-selling computer speaker-subwoofer systems today, featuring efficient, timeless and compact design with classic lines. It delivers premium-quality audio while remaining very space-savvy. The satellite speakers support optimal angled audio listening experience with a stunning punch and a great sound clarity. You can also turn the speaker on/off easily with the system control pod, featuring LED power indicator, volume adjuster, headphone output jack, and 3.5mm AUX input jack.
If you’re looking to experience greater audio quality for your games, movies, and music on your computer, then the Creative A250 might be what you want. It is a computer speaker system with an advanced proprietary IFP design for improved sonic imaging for impressive audio. At the same time, the set’s ingenious Creative Dual Slot Enclosure design improves the bass response and volume, offering greater edge details and thus improved frequency distribution for the complete system.
You can boost your PC’s audio to pulse with the Satechi Dual Sonic speaker system, one that was designed to not only increase volume but output clarity as well. Featuring an in-line volume control and USB-powered, the plug-in and use speakers utilize Air Spring innovation to offer crystal clear audio. The system also offers an incredible bass, mids, and highs reproduction. The speakers also boast a modern, sleek, and elegant brushed metal finish adding blue LED accents and padded feet to ensure a greater stability and no surface scratching to speak of.
With the GOgroove BassPULSE, you have 2 high-delivery satellite channel speakers plus a bass-heavy subwoofer that stream audio from your computer with excellence. The side-firing sub, full-range speakers, and easy front-positioned controls offer a truly immersive audio experience. Moreover, integrated lights lend a bold flare and pulse alongside the beat if you turn up the bass equalizer past 80 percent.
3Genius SW-G2.1 1250
When looking for a system to deliver an impressive bass for your music and gaming experience, one has to consider not only the technical specs but the design as well. Take the SW-G2.1 1250 speaker system, for example, one that has a reliable subwoofer that utilizes an innovative 5.25-inch drive unit in a very sturdy MDF board cabinet, encompassing you with deep, solid and extended bass. Its curved-design satellite speakers feature magnetically shielded 3-inch cones, delivering full mid-range, properly balanced clear sound. Adjusting bass and volume is fun with an individual control box, which also features a microphone jack for chatting purposes.
Logitech as a brand stands out as one of the biggest names in the industry and it’s easy to see why that is just by taking a look at their S150 speaker system. Its simple USB connection design eliminates the need for AC cables batteries, which is a much-needed feature for many modern speakers. At the same time, it also has a stylish, sleek design, complimenting your slim laptop anywhere without drawing too much attention to yourself. Not only that but an integrated volume control and mute press button offer easy and fast volume management, which is always something you want to consider when buying computer speakers of any kind.
The Logitech Z623 is a top-rated computer speaker system that takes your movies, music or games a notch higher with its immersive studio-style audio. The speaker’s output capability offers clear loud sound while its on-speaker savvy controls ensure easy bass and volume dialing up or down. Moreover, the system features RCA and 3.5mm inputs, making it simple to plug in even 3 different audio devices at the same time. You also get 2 satellite speakers plus a high-performance sub-woofer that produce enough sound to fill even large rooms. Overall, it is perhaps one of the best computer speakers in this price range.
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Computer Speakers Buying Guide
Although the price usually reflects the quality you can expect from a set of computer speakers, there is really no need for you to spend more than fifty dollars or so for a decent pair. We say this because many of the features that high-end speakers boast aren’t really practical or even useful for common users who only want to play media files at a reasonable volume and a clear-enough quality. In this respect, you can definitely find budget speakers to meet all your needs, all you have to do is to take your time and learn about what makes a good computer speaker to begin with.
The first thing you want to do when checking out a set of speakers is to pay attention to the sound drivers. This is because small speakers that use equally small drivers cannot reproduce low notes. To ‘fix’ that, some manufacturers modify the speakers to produce more upper-bass frequencies in an effort to trick the user into thinking that the speakers deliver a clear sound output. When this happens, the speakers sound a bit ‘off’ because of how focused the sound is, in the sense that they fail to even deliver sound across the low-end sound spectrum.
Keep in mind that computer speakers aren’t spaceships, so you shouldn’t fall from any techno-lingo that the manufacturer might shove in your face. It is a well-known and common trick for manufacturers to include several references, mostly backed by scientific terms, to trick you into thinking that the speakers can deliver more than they realistically can. They will even exaggerate the speakers’ capabilities in this respect, often to the point where the information displayed on the packaging is laughably insincere. You can circumvent that by paying close attention to online reviews and to the wattage/ohmic specs of the speakers.
Another thing you want to consider is ease of use of the actual control knobs and the adjustments you can make on the go. While basic models do not feature any inbuilt controls, the higher you go on the price ladder the more controls you find on pricier models. In principle, you want computer speakers that are equipped with a volume gauge at the very least, along with a potential bass/treble knob. What you want is the capacity to fine-tune the audio output to reach a more personalized standard. As such, you should definitely be on the lookout for speakers with built-in controls.
Seeing how you mainly buy speakers to boost your computer’s sound levels, you absolutely want to ensure that the speaker system fits your device(s). Even though some speakers are equipped with a single audio connection, modern systems enable you to connect the speakers to a more diverse range of devices. In this respect, you should look for a speaker system with two or more additional inputs, including a second audio-input jack or any similar connection choice for any iPod, iPhone, or Android phone you might own.
Although this shouldn’t be your main point of focus when determining whether a pair of speakers are worth your while, you cannot ignore the fact that aesthetics play an important role in the choosing of most electronic devices. You basically want a set of speakers that can look good on your desktop, speakers that can be manipulated and repositioned with relative ease. At the same time, you should ensure that the design allows them to be easily stored for transport when needed.
One should also consider in this day and age whether a speaker system uses a 2.0 or 2.1 output system. With a 2.0 speaker system, you get a two-channel output with no subwoofer, with the amplifier usually crammed inside the body of one of the two speakers. With a 2.1 system, on the other hand, you not only get the standard speakers but a subwoofer as well. This usually involves a larger speaker/amplifier that you have to place underneath your desk, a component that delivers lower frequency sounds. Keep in mind that 2.1 systems produce a low-frequency trait called a ‘bass extension’ which delivers a lot more bass than what the small drivers of a regular speaker system ever could.
There is also a variant of the 2.0 systems called a ‘studio monitor’, which consists of powered speakers that you can use in a more professional setting. For this reason, these powerful speakers are a bit bulky and a lot heavier than regular speakers, but justifiably so. As such, you can expect a Studio Monitor setup to deliver a much better bass and finer sounds, all this without the need to employ a subwoofer. That said, we should point out that these speakers usually command a price tag to match, rendering them difficult to acquire by most pricing standards.
Last but not least, we should probably establish that when it comes to computer speakers, the price tag usually reflects the technological prowess of a speaker system to some extent. In fact, the reason why expensive speakers cost as much as they do is because of the large drivers and well-engineered output technologies. Not only that but high-end speakers also come equipped with a series of knobs, buttons, and gauges that you can use to personalize the sound output to your liking. Having said that, let us remind you that you can definitely find decent speakers on a budget but that you have to do a fair bit of research in order to figure out which of the thousands of models the market has to offer can actually meet your required standards.