Let’s face it, we’re all spending a lot more time at home in front of our computers these days! The built-in speakers that come with computers are usually pretty terrible. Sure, you could use headphones, but after a while, they can be a bit of a drag and uncomfortable. So that begs the question, what are the best budget computer speakers that don’t actually suck?
Sometimes, you want your ears to be free and want to fill the room with a nice and immersive blanket of sound.
In the following guide, we are going to help you out. Although it helps if you have a reasonable amount of money to play around with, we are going to show you the best budget computer speakers for a variety of uses.
How to Choose Budget Computer Speakers
Before we look at the five products we consider to be the best budget PC speakers, we thought it would be helpful for you to understand the kind of features and specifications you should be looking at when choosing the right ones for your own setup.
Wired or Bluetooth?
One of the first considerations you need to make when choosing budget speakers for your computer is whether you want wired or wireless Bluetooth speakers. Although there are plenty of advantages to both, we think that wireless is the way to go. Even if you currently have no use for wireless speakers and prefer to use a wired connection, in time, things may change.
You also need to think about the fact that more and more devices are going wireless, so if you want to ensure you have a measure of flexibility and future-proof speakers, opt for those compatible with Bluetooth.
You could arguably place sound quality above everything else we are discussing in this guide, because ultimately if you have speakers that don’t produce good sound, they’re not good speakers. When you add external speakers to your computer setup, the main goal is to improve and enhance the computer sound. If it doesn’t, then what is the point in having them?
You want speakers that are going to amplify the sound to your work, gaming, or streaming setup, as well as providing a great port for your tablet and smartphone to hook up to.
Now, you could argue that adding any speakers to your setup will improve the sound in some way. While that’s true, if you are looking to get your money’s worth, especially on a tight budget, you need to know how much better the sound produced is.
You do need to think about additional software, isolation pads, soundcards, and other things, but it really still boils down to how they sound to your ears.
As well as picking out speakers designed to handle a louder level of amplification, you need to also consider how immersive and in-depth the sound will be that they produce. That leads us nicely onto the third aspect of choosing budget PC speakers you need to consider.
2.0, 2.1, or 5.1 – Which Do You Need? Which is Best?
When you look at most speakers, not just the best budget computer speakers, but speakers for any application, you will notice a number. For example, 2.0, 2.1, or even 5.1. before you know which is best for you, you need to understand what they mean.
Without getting too specific, 2.0 refers to a speaker setup with 2 satellite speakers and no subwoofer. Satellite speakers are those that can be placed either behind or beside the listening area, in order words, your computer and the subwoofer is a speaker designed specifically to reproduce the lower-pitched frequency sounds of sub-bass and bass.
Therefore, a 2.1 speaker setup consists of 2 satellites and a subwoofer, whereas a 5.1 setup is five satellite speakers and one subwoofer. 5.1 speakers are more commonly referred to as surround sound.
It really depends on a few further considerations – your setup and available space and your sound preferences.
If you are a complete noob and are just looking to enhance the sound a little, but are by no means an audiophile, then 2.0, which is normally less expensive than 2.1 or 5.1, will be the ideal choice.
However, if you are looking to enjoy a really deep and pulsating bass sound, 2.1 will deliver that, while providing an immersive and loud enough sound for the other frequencies.
What about 5.1? Well, remember that 5.1 speaker systems mean 5 separate satellite speakers and a subwoofer, which means a lot of floor or desk space. If your gaming, entertainment, or workspace is big enough, then sure, you can go for it. Whereas if you are working with restricted dimensions, you may need to look at the smaller setups.
With that out of the way, it’s time to look at our pick of the best budget computer speakers.
Our Top Pick – Klipsch ProMedia 2.1 THX Certified Computer Speaker System
For our top pick, we have chosen this spectacular system as the best cheap computer speakers. If you know anything about cinema, you will likely recognize the name THX. The company that was established by Star Wars creator George Lucas involved the development of THX high fidelity sound reproduction standards for video games, car audio systems, gaming consoles, home theaters, screening rooms, movie theaters, and yes, computer speakers.
THX-certified next to any speakers means that the sound produced from your speakers will be how it was intended to sound when the engineers were working on it, recording, and mixing it.
With this set of speakers, you get the best THX and Klipsch sound. One of the key things that make the ProMedia speakers stand out is the utilization of the Microtractrix Horn tech. This basically means for each individual wattage of sound; more is reproduced from the original source and it is controlled and dispersed better to deliver a fuller and more authentic sound.
They produce a maximum of 260-watts of power, which means around 110dB of sound. Still a little confused? In general, live rock music generally ranges from 108 to 114dB when played at the optimum level.
In terms of setup, everything is made easy with the plug-and-play feature and although it is not Bluetooth-compatible, it will work with a plethora of different devices, including your computer, games consoles, and music players. We also love the fact that you get a nice control pod that allows you to adjust the main volume and the subwoofer gain at the touch of a button.
Best Computer Speakers Under $50 – Logitech Z313 Speaker System
Now, if you’re on an exceptionally tight budget, the above will be no good. If you are looking for something that doesn’t even pass the 50 bucks mark, don’t worry as we’ve got your back with the Logitech Z313 Speaker System.
Normally we would suggest that you proceed with caution when buying a speaker system for such a low price, but the Logitech branding and their wealth of experience, expertise, and enviable reputation speaks volumes (we’re not going to apologize for that pun – live with it buddy!) for the quality of their products.
For the dirt-cheap price, these are retailing on Amazon for, you get the full benefit of a 2.1 speaker system that still delivers a very balanced acoustic performance with enhanced bass rumbles from the ultra-compact subwoofer. Obviously, the trade-off is that it only provides 25-watts of power, but it’s the quality of each of those watts that really fascinates us about this set.
As well as being on a tight budget, if you have a small gaming or work setup and do not need to fill a huge and expansive room with layers of sound, then these will do the job perfectly well and are still going to beat the hell out of your onboard computer speakers.
With an easy, straight out-of-the-box setup, these are a real gem.
Best Ultra-Small Computer Speakers – Sanyun SW102 Computer Speakers
Okay, so what if the above, even in their compact and slick coolness is still a bit too big for your setup. Maybe you’re at home with your folks or have a wife, partner, or roommate that doesn’t understand your need for blaring the iconic Undertale soundtrack at top volume or enjoying every minute engine rumble, wheel spin, and skid across the track on your favorite racing game or to bring the sounds of Azeroth to life. For all these situations and more, you should consider the ridiculously small Sanyun SW102.
Now, we know what you’re thinking, if of course, you’ve been paying attention to what we’ve been saying in this guide, a quick look at the pictures of these speakers and the spec reveals a distinct lack of a subwoofer. Have no fear – remember, we spoke about 2.0 before.
There is nothing wrong with the lack of a subwoofer. It will make a difference, but Sanyun has designed their speakers with a unique and clever acoustic resonator-like structure that allows the lower register sounds to penetrate through and provide the foundation for the higher frequencies. While it is definitely a compromise, it’s not the end of the world.
In keeping with the extremely tiny setup, these are USB-powered which means you can connect them directly to your computer to power them.
Best for Gaming – Logitech G560 Lightsync PC Gaming Speakers with Game-Driven RGB Lighting
We’ve mentioned gaming quite a lot in this guide, and we definitely think any of the products we have showcased would be a great option to enhance your PC gaming experience. However, if you are looking for the best budget computer speakers for gaming and don’t mind making a serious investment, we’re back with Logitech for their exciting G560 Lightsync pc speakers.
Why have we picked this out for gaming? Well, as well as getting high-quality surrounding sound from the DTS:X integrated directional speakers and an explosive rumble from the powerful subwoofer, but these speakers have been designed to work with the Game-Driven Logitech RGB Lightsync hardware.
What does this mean? Well, picture the scene, you’ve got the main lights dimmed low or switched off completely and are relying on the illuminations from the screen and are being drawn into the action taking place in Runeterra (if you’re an avid League of Legends player) or blasting at the enemy through Verdansk in CoD Warzone or the pitch of Camp Nou in FIFA. Could this experience be bettered?
Yes, with the Logitech G560 as the speakers actually produce lights based on the sounds, to enhance the whole experience and make your gaming really come to life.
Best Soundbar for Computer – TaoTronics Computer Bluetooth 5.0 Wireless Soundbar
What if you are not looking for a large and space-consuming speaker system but still want to benefit from audio performance enhancements while you work, socialize, stream, and game from your PC? A soundbar that sits comfortably beneath the monitor is ideal.
The best soundbar, in our humble and honest opinion, is by far the TaoTronics Bluetooth 5.0 offering. Surprisingly for such a small device, it boasts 6 drivers to cover an extensive range of frequencies to provide stereo sound that not only has your mids and highs covered, but also bass.
You’re unlikely to miss any important dialogue or even those footprints you are listening out for when trying to be stealth in your game. The Bluetooth 5.0 makes it easy to sync up and with a one-button operation, you can make the adjustments you need quickly, rather than fussing and messing around with a multitude of different selections.
In a perfect world, we’ve all had computers that came complete with excellent sound systems. However, when you’re on a tight budget, you can’t always afford the best sound. Investing in an external sound system is the next best option. Sure, there will be certain compromises you may have to make when you are looking at these kinds of products with less money than you would like to play around with. As we have shown from our guide, however, finding the best budget computer speakers is easier than you may think.