If you are thinking about upgrading your office or gaming computer but are on a bit of a budget, then here is a simple buying guide that can help you find the best pc speakers under 100 dollars as well as 8 of the best that you can get today.
You might not know it, but many of the more affordable speakers are either new and smaller to be more portable or are older and much larger. It is pretty easy to find the good-quality ones, but you might want to take a look at the dimensions if you are working with a smaller space.
Most of the older speaker models can connect to your computer through a 3.5mm audio jack and/or RCA cables (the red and white-headed cables), and many of the newer models do, too.
However, if you are looking for a pair of speakers that are a little more modern, there are some models out there that connect through Bluetooth or wifi. They can be more convenient if you have children and/or pets that like to pull or chew on cables, but they can occasionally have connecting issues and generally require regular charging.
The frequency range is the high and low pitches that the speaker can support, and they are measured in Hertz (Hz). Some speakers do not list their range, but instead their wattage; aka how much power they use.
A speaker with a low wattage generally is not as powerful or loud as one with a high wattage, but a high-wattage speaker can have trouble being as clear as a low-wattage speaker and vice versa.
You might see some pc speakers list that they have a volume boost of a few decibels (dB), and this can be a nice thing if you are looking for a more customizable speaker sound. The range is usually between 3dB and 10dB, but there are a few speakers out there that can have a larger range.
When it comes to the overall volume range, most pc speakers can get up to around 90dB, which is about the volume of a lawnmower.
For computers, you will mostly find speakers that come in either a set of 2 or 4 depending on if you want the normal, front-facing sound or a full surround-sound experience, but these are a bit harder to find specifically for computers.
Affordable, 2.0 computer speakers can be very easy to find since they are very popular. It can be a little harder to find one that you like based on appearance, but it can be very easy to find one based on sound quality alone.
They can last for several years, come in a variety of shapes and sizes, and they can be new or old-fashioned, too; the possibilities are practically endless.
Other than the features above, you could take a look at their appearance and installation. Most are designed to sit on top of a desk, but there are some speaker mounts that you can use if you are tight on desk space; you could also use a wall shelf.
When it comes to appearance, you could get the older-styled models that are generally larger, square-shaped and have controls on them or the newer-style models that are usually simple, small, and can come in a variety of shapes.
You should always make sure to follow the instructions when it comes to setting the speakers up and connecting them to your computer, and make sure that your computer is compatible with the speaker (wired connect vs Bluetooth vs wifi).
If you want the speaker to last for a long time, you should try to avoid using it at maximum volume since this can cause premature aging to the components and cause the speaker to buzz in the future; if not stop working altogether.
For parents and pet-owners, try to keep the speakers out of reach of your babies and furry babies as much as possible. You should also wipe the speakers down every week to a month to prevent too much dust and/or pet hair to build-up on them.
If you are getting your first pair of speakers or you see the phrase ‘2.0’ or ‘2.1’, then know that most/all 2.0 speakers are just like the ones you will see here: 2 speakers that connect to a computer.
The 2.1 speakers come with or are a subwoofer for deeper and more powerful bass; lower tones/pitches. They are usually larger and more expensive compared to the 2.0 speakers, and they are typically used for a full entertainment system (usually).
These two speakers are one of the older-looking models that can work amazingly for several years without fail. They are black/dark grey with wood vinyl sides, and the one speaker is soft covered while the other is exposed/bare.
They are also one of the few older-styled speakers that come with a remote, too, making them a little more convenient if you like the style but have them mounted or placed out of reach.
They are pretty basic when it comes to the connection type: they can connect through RCA cables or a 3.5mm headphone jack.
The sound quality is one of the best between the extra bass that does not drown out the higher pitches, and the tones can even be adjusted on the side of the speaker, making it one of the few that can be customized by hand.
These are some of the most popular speakers that have a style that is sort of in between the last model and some of the newer ones. They are the common rectangular shape that the older speakers have, but are much smaller and a little more compact like the newer ones.
They are also one of the few speakers that can be found in several colors (black with white accents or vice versa) and even bundled with other things like a wireless keyboard and/or mouse or a webcam, making it one of the better options if you are looking for an affordable bundle to an office renovation.
The sound and bass are pretty good and can even be adjusted, but the max volume does not seem to be as loud as other models, like the last pair.
Still, these are one of the more affordable pairs that can last for a while, and they are one of the few models that can be connected to two different devices at once through the two 3.5mm audio jacks on the one speaker.
These are one of the few speakers that have a uniquely angled rectangular shape, making them nice to look at but possibly not the best if you are planning on putting something on top of them; it might slide pretty easily.
Even so, they are one of the best pc speakers if you are technically challenged since they only have four plugs: one for power, one to connect the speakers, two 3.5mm audio jacks to be plugged into a computer or two, and one front 3.5mm audio jack for headphones.
You might like these speakers for their above-average bass quality and decent volume range. Although there are no bass or special volume/sound controls, the quality is good enough that you may find yourself rarely wanting to adjust it.
These, much like the second product, are a bit between the older and newer models when it comes to the size, specs, and appearance. They have the bare/naked style so that the components are semi-exposed and not covered with material, but the controls and appearance are more rounded like a newer-styled speaker.
In terms of shape, they are sort of a cross between the second and third product; they are rectangular but come down at an angle and are a bit more sleek than average.
Their connection is mainly the standard 3.5mm audio jack, but they can also come in a newer style that also has Bluetooth capability; it is slightly more expensive.
The sound is a bit higher-quality and clearer than many other models out there, especially with the advanced controls on the face of one of the speakers; you can control the bass, treble (high tones), and volume.
These are the more basic and classic looking speakers between the black-finished wood siding and top. Much like the first product, they can be connected through RCA cables and a 3.5mmm audio jack, but they are a bit more improved since there are 2 audio jacks.
They are also one of the best pc speakers out there if you are looking for ones that are powerful. They are 24W, and the volume and bass can be adjusted by the controls which are found in the back of the main speaker.
The treble (higher tones) do not come out as clear as other models, but if you mainly like bass-boosted speakers, then this is possibly the best speaker for you.
These are one of the newest-looking models with their semi-round and smaller shape and design. They are about the size of a hand if not a bit bigger and are pretty light-weight.
They can also come in a surround-sound model, a Bluetooth model, a model with a soundbar, and more, too, but this model, in particular, has a standard 3.5mm audio jack connection along with a headphone jack.
Because they have lower wattage, 5W, they do not get quite as loud as some of the older models and can give out more quickly when played at louder volumes. Regardless, if you are looking for a more modern pair that you will not use that often, like at work or in your home office, they are one of the more affordable and subtle options.
They are also pretty basic when it comes to their controls, making them a little more friendly for any of you out there who find modern technology to be too complicated.
The style and appearance of these speakers are very similar to the last product, but these speakers actually show their faces like some of the older models where the other ones did not.
They are also even more basic when it comes to the controls since there is only a single knob for the volume control on the face of one of the speakers and nothing more.
You might like these speakers best if you do not have that many power outlets around your computer, too, since they do not need a power adaptor; they are powered through a USB outlet that you can plug into your computer.
Although, if you do not have that many USBs, then you can always get a USB power brick and plug that into a wall instead; make sure the input and output wattage will be fine with the speakers first, though.
The last on the list, these speakers are one of the few that are as small as they are and are completely surround sound. They are also one of the most affordable and ‘futuristic’ looking between their cylinder shape and blue LEDs that light up the bottom of each speaker.
They are also USB powered like the last product and connect through a 3.5mm audio jack, and they even come with an adaptor.
The sound quality is fairly decent for the cost, but the bass is not as powered or noticeable as some of the others. However, this model can come in a soundbar model that has a better bass if you like the brand or want a similar sound as these speakers but with more bass.
When it comes to the best computer speakers under 100 dollars, the winner would have to be the fourth product, the Creative Labs 51MF1610AA002 GigaWorks T20 Series.
You can get them in the older or newer version, they have more control than most of the other speakers, and they can have several connection types or one depending on which style you prefer.
They are also a little more affordable than some of the higher-end speakers and have one of the highest-quality sounds for the price they are.
However, if you are looking for a more affordable set, then the runner up would have to be the last product: the Sanyun SW102 Computer Speakers. They are a bit less customizable but still have a decent sound quality and a newer-styled appearance that can look and work well with an upgraded office/gaming pc.