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This is a topic that many of us just groan over when our current set begins its stuttering stumble to audio death.
Which speaker is the best for PC’s?
Not everyone is an audiophile who knows precisely what they want. Certainly, not everybody is interested in spending hours poring over the internet trying to figure out what to get.
Most of the time, you just want something that works fine and will last for some time.
With that said, let’s get on to looking at some of the best computer speakers under $100.
Quick List: Top 8 Computer Speakers Under $100
- Creative Gigaworks T20 Series II Speakers
- Bose Companion 2 Series III Speakers
- Logitech Z333 Multimedia Speakers
- Creative T3250W Wireless Speakers
- PreSonus Eris E3.5 Near Field Studio Monitors
- TaoTronics TT-SK027 Mini Soundbar
- Edifier E10 Exclaim Bi-Amped Speakers
- W-KING D8 Bluetooth Speakers
Looking At Computer Speakers Under $100
What are the best cheap computer speakers?
The term ‘cheap’ here is a matter of perspective. At the heart of it, you just want to know that you bought something worth its price tag. With a max budget of $100, you have a wider field of choice.
There’s so much to look at with different features that make each distinct. Keeping that in mind, we’ve tried to select speakers that stood out for specific reasons.
Sound is a priority because if they don’t sound at least decent, they’re not doing their job. Again, what sounds good to us may not sound good to you, but we’ll let you be the judge of that. At under $100, you can find the heftier speaker configurations with subwoofers, with extras here and there to enhance the audio experience.
We looked at the engineering that goes into the design. It’s the little things that make something a little bit more unique, setting them apart. Speakers don’t have to cost hundreds to be special, and we’re hoping to give you some cues with our picks.
The Best Computer Speakers Under $100
1. Creative Gigaworks T20 Series II Speakers
Creative continue their interesting offerings with the Gigaworks T20. Built to produce plenty of bass without having a subwoofer, the T20 lives up spectacularly well to expectations.
✔️ What we like: Superb bass output without a subwoofer
❌ What we don’t like: Nothing obvious
👌 Standout Features:
- Crisp clear sound
- Lovely bass without a subwoofer
- Control options
- Nice compact design
If you’re on the lookout for a great little speaker with rich sounds, then go no further than the T20. Slim and compact, their 2.0 stereo configuration (simply 2 speakers—left and right) can easily fit next to your laptop or beside your desktop monitors without taking up too much space.
These T20 speakers are fantastically clear. The mids and highs are well-defined with a warm tone that is comfortable on the ears. Using their BasXPort technology, these speakers were designed to produce more bass than a 2.0 speaker normally would.
And they do. They really do. Not the wall-shattering kind of deep bass a subwoofer would generate, but enough bass to satisfy most discerning listeners and angsty teens out to express their volatile emotions.
There are 3 control knobs—for volume, bass, and treble—which we like. The knobs are a little tight to turn, but that’s ok. It’s always a plus to have these options. It helps to manually balance out the sound, especially if you’re switching your audio source (for example, from your PC to your game console).
An RCA-to-stereo adapter is supplied to expand connectivity options to your TV, DVD player, or gaming console. There’s not much to nitpick about on these T20s. Maybe an excess of wires? Wires between speakers, wire to the power outlet, wire to the audio source. But then, this style of wiring is pretty common for speakers, so can’t complain much about it.
If you’re interested in more bass and bigger sounds, you could go for the T20’s bigger brother, the T40. But the T40 will also cost much more.
For its price, the T20 is an excellent buy with rich tones and superb bass capability without a subwoofer.
2. Bose Companion 2 Series III Speakers
Bose is a pedigreed name in the world of audio equipment. The Companion 2 is their version of lower end desktop stereo speakers. Don’t be fooled by its smaller size. It’s still very much a Bose at heart.
✔️ What we like: Great sound with depth and clarity, on a wide soundstage
❌ What we don’t like: Short wire connection to the audio source
👌 Standout Features:
- Crystal clear sound
- Durable, quality build
- Wide soundstage
- Sleek, low profile looks
When you get hold of small speakers like these Bose Companion, you’ll probably experience some trepidation. They’re small. How loud can they get without starting to crackle, right?
Well, whatever misgivings you have, you can put them aside. First, they’re awesomely quiet when you switch them on. No buzz whatsoever even if you turn the volume knob to max. Then when you do load some music (and please remember to turn the volume back down), you’ll get this incredibly balanced sound, with depth and clarity.
Quality audio will sound better than on your average speakers. On the flip side, not-so-quality audio will be waving their flaws like a red flag. You might want to skip playing any of your low bitrate audio on these.
The soundstage on these speakers is unexpectedly wide. This is especially fun for movies and gaming. You get to hear off-screen sounds that seem to be coming from somewhere other than the speakers.
The bass isn’t as punchy on beat-driven songs but it’s more than sufficient for most music genres. The Companion has no subwoofer, so that’s to be expected. On the plus side, you can up the volume without experiencing any distortion or those low-end bass vibrations.
Build quality is impeccable and the sleek, understated design works well with any computer setup. We do wish the wire from the speakers to the computer was a little longer. At about 4 feet, it could present problems if your CPU is located on the wrong side of the main right speaker.
At just under $100, the Bose Companion 2 gives a lot of quality for its price.
With crystal clear sounds for a wide array of audio applications, they really can’t go wrong.
3. Logitech Z333 Multimedia Speakers
Logitech has several speakers in the Z series. This Z333 takes the form of a wired 2.1 stereo plus subwoofer setup.
✔️ What we like: Nice 2.1 stereo system that’s compatible with many devices
❌ What we don’t like: Tweeters that are just for show
👌 Standout Features:
- Balanced, clear sound
- Sleek, durable build
- Connects to 2 audio devices
- Control pod
Before looking at anything else on these speakers, we need to mention something that’s come up often from customer reviews. The tweeters are decorative only. If you don’t know what that is, then you probably don’t care about them. They’re the small round speaker shape above the bigger round shape. Tweeters are meant to specialize in higher frequency output (like subwoofers handle the very low frequencies) but in the case of the Z333, those aren’t tweeters.
All right. Now that, that part is done, let’s talk about sound. Do the Z333 sound good? Yes, they do. They are wonderfully clear, and the subwoofer punches out some very decent mellow bass. Some may find the bass to be underwhelming (if you like the entire room to vibrate). However, we think the bass is fine and there’s no distortion even when it’s maxed. The sound quality works well for both gaming and movies, as well as music in general.
There’s a convenient control pod where you can manage power, volume, and headphone input. It’s fairly weighty that it won’t just fly off your desk. The bass volume control is on the subwoofer itself. You can connect to 2 audio devices at the same time via the 3.5mm plug and the RCA input. Meaning you can wire to your PC and console without having to unplug. That’s a nice bit of convenience.
Now to the inconvenient part. The audio input goes to the subwoofer (not the speaker, which is more common). Recall that the subwoofer usually sits on the floor. The cables are pretty short, so you won’t be able to move the speakers out very far unless you get extensions. It also means you won’t be able to use the speakers by themselves, without the subwoofer. Depending on how you plan to manage your speaker positioning, this could be a minor annoyance.
Build-wise, the Z333 is sleek, durable, and has a nice finish that doesn’t feel cheap.
Within their price range, they’re a good 2.1 option for computer usage, or even to upgrade your TV speakers.
4. Creative T3250W Wireless Speakers
Wireless seems to be a thing these days. So, here’s another Creative entry, this time featuring a subwoofer and Bluetooth wireless capability.
✔️ What we like: It’s a 2.1 speaker system with Bluetooth for under $100
❌ What we don’t like: Not 100% wireless
👌 Standout Features:
- Bluetooth connectivity
- Has a subwoofer
- Clear sound
- Multi-audio input
Let’s get one thing out in the clear. The T3250W is not 100% wireless. The speakers, subwoofer, and control pod are still wired to each other. This means you can’t happily put your speakers and subwoofer wherever you want. You still have to consider wire length, and they aren’t spectacularly long, unfortunately.
Audio input, however, is Bluetooth wireless. The pairing is fairly fast with your mobile or laptop. You do have the option of using an auxiliary cable with a 3.5mm plug into your audio device as well. Plug into your PC via the 3.5mm connector and watch a movie or play some music from your phone via Bluetooth.
Sound quality is clear but not particularly loud. It won’t shatter windows or have your walls vibrate. These aren’t speakers to fill a hall, but they’ll work well in a small room. The subwoofer is sufficient but if you’re a bass head, you’re probably better off looking elsewhere. Additionally, there’s no volume control for the bass, which is a bit of a bummer.
The control pod allows for volume adjustment and powering of the speakers. It also houses the Bluetooth receiver for the speakers. The speakers themselves have a fairly simple design so they won’t look out of place next to your PC or laptop.
If you’re in the market for something with Bluetooth connectivity and not particularly interested in heart-thumping bass, the T3250W might work for you. Just remember that it’s not 100% Bluetooth.
You probably would have to spend more for a system that’s all wireless, in any case.
5. PreSonus Eris E3.5 Near Field Studio Monitors
So, here’s something a little different. If you’re a content creator or like to mix music, you’d probably be interested in a pair of studio monitors.
✔️ What we like: Accurate sound production for recording on a budget
❌ What we don’t like: Cable quality could be better
👌 Standout Features:
- Accurate flat sound output
- Acoustic tuning
- Multiple input options
- Compact size
Studio monitors aren’t for everyone. If you want speakers that give you deep, thumpy bass or crystalline trebles, you’re probably better off looking for a home stereo speaker system.
Studio monitors are typically for those who create and mix audio. The monitors, therefore, have to produce audio that is as accurate as possible to the original source. This can sound rather flat to the uninitiated. But if you’re still here, then you probably know what studio monitors are used for anyway.
The Presonus Eris E3.5 are near-field monitors. They’re meant to have you sit near them to listen, not 10 feet away. Positioning them up should be fairly easy. They’re small and light, so you can mount them on rigs and fit into small spaces to get optimal triangulation.
Audio input comes in several options. There are unbalanced RCA inputs and a balanced TRS at the back. At the front of the monitors, there’s an auxiliary input to hook up to your PC and a headphone input for when you need to keep your sounds to yourself.
These E3.5 monitors also come with high and low tuning knobs for acoustic tuning. That’s a nice bonus for something this small, allowing you to compensate for room size.
Out of the box, the sound output is clean, flat, and distinct. Allow for a break-in period to get the drivers loosened up. The bass response is good but if you’re mixing a lot of lower frequencies, you may need a subwoofer.
Some customers report a hum on the monitors. This could be the power supply picking up interference from other equipment. If this happens, try to reposition the monitors or upgrade the cables. Yes, the cables are a minor point of contention. They could be of better quality.
The Presonus Eris E3.5 are excellent entry-level studio monitors.
If you’re into mixing audio and don’t want to spend a bomb, these are the ones to look for.
6. TaoTronics TT-SK027 Mini Soundbar
This TaoTronics TT-SK027 is touted as a mini gaming soundbar. That’s probably more due to the RGB lighting than anything else. We’ll touch on that more in a bit.
✔️ What we like: Slick soundbar with clear sound and easy Bluetooth pairing
❌ What we don’t like: Front display showing line or Bluetooth, and can’t turn off
👌 Standout Features:
- Clear sounds quality
- Fun RGB lights
- Minimalistic design
RGB lighting is all the rage in the gaming world these days, from keyboards and mice to motherboards. The speakers certainly don’t want to be left out. Here’s where the TaoTronics TT-SK027 comes in.
With a compact soundbar form factor, these SK-027 has some pretty RGB dressing mounted under it that will give your game station (or workstation) some glowy ambiance. The RGB lighting has several modes, including following the beats of the music you’re playing. You can’t pick a particular color to display though. But if you don’t like them, you can just turn them off.
The soundbar has all the control buttons placed conveniently at the top, which we like. At least you don’t have to fumble around the back or sides to find them. The cables could have been a little longer but since they’re not hardwired, you can get longer ones to replace them.
The overall design of the soundbar is very sleek and minimalistic. We do wish the front display had been utilized better. It only shows if the audio input is auxiliary line-in or Bluetooth and can’t be turned off. A clock display would have added some functionality.
Speaking of which, yes, these can be connected via Bluetooth. Even though it’s powered via a wall socket, it’s light so there’s some element of portability to it. Bluetooth pairing is fast, though we won’t recommend it for gaming. If you want gaming speakers we recommend you read our great post on those.
Use the auxiliary line to avoid latency issues. Otherwise, you can move this soundbar around to get some Bluetooth music.
Sound quality is surprisingly clear and appears to get better after the speakers are broken in. The bass is nothing to shout home to mama about, but it’s a soundbar, not a subwoofer. For the mellower music genres like jazz or classical and even pop, this soundbar works fine. There is some distortion at maximum volumes, so better don’t go there.
The TT-SK027 was not built to fill a large room, but at closer quarters, they perform admirably whether you’re working or gaming, or just running through YouTube vids.
7. Edifier E10 Exclaim Bi-Amped Speakers
The Edifier E10 Exclaim is hard to miss. With a unique, snail-like design, they beckon to be powered on just to see if they sound as good as they look.
✔️ What we like: Unusual, compact design that houses 6 active speakers
❌ What we don’t like: No headphone jack
👌 Standout Features:
- Unique, unconventional design
- Impeccable sound quality
- Solid build
- Small form for tight spaces
Do they sound good? Yes, they do. They’re pretty amazing for something their size and price range. You could attribute that to the unusual, rather innovative design.
The top metallic, rectangular part houses a tweeter and midrange active speakers with a passive radiator. The bottom rubbery, round part houses the woofer with another passive radiator. This produces some very crisp, clear trebles with good bass. Don’t expect the bass to compete at subwoofer level, but it balances well with the treble output.
These E10s works absolutely fine for different types of music and also for gaming and movies. There is some spatial depth to the sound, given that the trebles aim forward while the bass is aimed sideways. Just don’t expect a wide soundstage that’ll give positional accuracy for action gaming.
Note that these speakers are quite raw. They reflect whatever audio quality that goes into them. High-quality audio will sound awesome, and low-quality audio sounds even worse. If you want to have a great listening experience, run good audio into them with high bitrates.
The build is solid, and materials feel good. The volume and power controls are located on the side of one speaker. The bottom section is heavy enough that the speakers won’t topple over. We think it could be a little heavier as the speakers move when you press the control buttons.
These speakers can get quite loud, but they’re designed for use as desktop speakers, not for a home theater. They connect to the audio source via a 3.5mm jack. There’s no headphone jack though, which is a minor inconvenience.
The Edifier E10 Exclaim simply draws the eyes with its stylish sense. Combined with impeccable sound quality, they are a great buy for your desktop or laptop.
8. W-KING D8 Bluetooth Speakers
Interested in a portable speaker that’s built like a tank and is as loud as one? Well, maybe not as loud as a tank, but loud. The W-KING D8 has stepped in to fulfill your portable needs.
✔️ What we like: Portable with onboard power bank
❌ What we don’t like: Carry straps that can’t be removed
👌 Standout Features:
- IPX5 water resistance
- Has good thumpy bass
- Onboard power bank
So, the D8 is not your conventional desktop/laptop speakers per se. It can function as that. It can also be speakers for your mobile, your tablet… anything that can connect via Bluetooth or a 3.5mm audio jack.
Portability is its driving characteristic. Built to be used both indoors and outdoors, this speaker was made to survive. It’s sturdy and has an IPX5 water resistance rating, meaning it won’t fizzle out in the rain or if it gets splashed by excited pool bathers. Just don’t dunk it in a stream. Its battery claims to last for 24 hours. That will probably be dependent on how high the volume is set on. Also, dependent on if you’re drawing charges from the on-board power bank.
Yes, it has an 8000mAh power bank, to charge your phones and cameras when you’re out in the wild. You have no idea what a bummer it is when your phone suddenly dies, and you lose GPS navigation. It’s an interesting feature to add to something that’s primarily a speaker.
As a speaker, the D8 performs impressively well. They weren’t kidding about bass enhancement using those passive radiators at each end. There’s a defined thump to the bass output. The trebles are crystal clear too. And did we mention that these speakers can get quite loud? It’s almost unbelievable for something smaller than a toolbox.
Even if you’re not the outdoorsy type that wants to haul their music everywhere, you can still get plenty of satisfaction using these at home. Bluetooth pairing is easy. You can get a second D8 and link them together via TWS for a stereo effect.
The two quibbles we have is that there’s no charger supplied. You can use your phone charger with USB-C on these speakers, so it’s not too much of a hassle. The other thing is the carry straps can’t be removed.
For its durable build, quality sound output, and all the little extras, the W-KING D8 is a great buy to fit your portable needs.
Choosing Computer Speakers Under $100
How Much Will It Dent Your Wallet
How much do computer speakers cost?
The answer to this easily falls anywhere between super cheap $20 to over $1000. We have also done an article on the best computers speakers under $50 so if your budget is a bit smaller, that might be worth looking at.
Since we’re looking at the ones under $100, you’ve narrowed down your search much more. There’s still a wide variety of features to consider, so the next question will be: how will you use them with your computer? Music? Movies? Gaming? Studio mixes?
Wired or Wireless
This is the age-old question when making a speaker purchase these days. Bluetooth computer speakers have the advantage of no wires to tangle with, but you have to think about charging and potential latency issues.
Wired options won’t give you latency problems. Oh, what’s latency? That’s the delay between the audio and video running on your computer. You’ll notice the sound lagging on a video clip when there is signal latency.
How Does It Power Up?
Are USB speakers good? We assume you’re talking about USB-powered speakers. There’s a power limitation via USB, but for the most part, they’ll work just as well as one that connects via a wall socket. If you’re simply looking for clarity, a USB-powered speaker is fine.
But if you want something that generates more bass with a subwoofer, then more power is required, thus the wall socket option. There’s also the question of volume. The louder you need it to be, the more power it draws.
Compatibility (Will It Hang Out With Your PC, Phone, TV?)
Compatibility is something to consider. A 3.5mm jack will let you get audio from most devices like your PC, phones, gaming console, tablets. A Bluetooth connection can expand your audio source option a bit more, on top of allowing you to move around with your device instead of having it wired to the speakers.
Shape, Size, Configuration
Form factor. This is another mind-boggling category if you haven’t given it much thought. A soundbar looks pretty modern and minimalistic. Or are you looking for computer speakers with a subwoofer to push some solid bass? How much space do you have for placement? Do you want them to match with your furniture?
What about speaker configuration? What do the numbers 2.0, 2.1, 5.1 mean? Pure 2.0 stereo is just 2 speakers for left and right. The 2.1 configuration adds a subwoofer. 5.1 stands for 5 satellite speakers with a subwoofer that gives a true surround setup. And then there’s the newer 7.1 which is 7 satellite speakers with a subwoofer, for even more surround options.
Sound. Pure sound.
This, after cost, is probably the most important factor. If not more important. Some people like speakers that generate a lot of warmth and sweet trebles. Others want the bass to pump off the roof (and generate murderous looks from neighbors).
If you’re a fan of classical music, you probably won’t want a speaker system that specializes in pushing the bass. Someone who games a lot would likely prefer a balanced output for music, voices, and effects with a wide soundstage for surround. Test, if you can. Plugging your favorite music into different speaker systems at a shop is something fun to do.
Finding Your Fix In Computer Speakers
Shopping for new computer speakers can be a lot of fun. Or headache-inducing.
We’ve been on both sides of that fence.
Seriously though, it doesn’t have to be painful. At the most basic level, speakers function to amplify the sounds from your computer, so you can hear them. After that, it’s all about whatever else you want out of them.
Speakers that can capture all the nuances of what’s going in your source audio can be an ear-opening experience.
We’ve given you a footprint to start with.
The rest is up to you.