Affordable sound for the win

Say goodbye to maxing out the volume button on your computer during your next Zoom call.

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Now that are working from home full-time, a lot of us are spending a ton of time in front of our home computers. And if there’s one thing that’s true about most computers, it’s that they have pretty terrible built-in speakers. Chances are, you’ll max out the volume button on your laptop and still find the sound too soft to hear your boss on a Zoom or Google Meet conference clearly enough. And if it’s that bad for a conference call, can you imagine streaming a movie or listening to music?

Luckily, you don’t have to just accept your computer’s shoddy speakers as a fact of life. You can either listen to audio with headphones or, even better, with computer speakers. And here’s even better news: you don’t have to break the bank to get decent computer speakers. There are lots of great speakers for a shopper on a budget. 

What to look for when shopping for computer speakers

So what should you look for with computer speakers? A good place to start is with connectivity. Do you mind having wired speakers or do you prefer Bluetooth connectivity? 

Next, consider whether you plan to work at your desk all the time or if you want to move around the house. If you want to move around, you’re better off not getting giant speakers. Even if you do plan to work at your desk, consider how much room you have. No one likes working on a crowded desk. 

Then, consider what you’re getting these speakers for. Do you just plan to use them for work? Will you use them for calls? Are you a PC gamer? Do you want to listen to classical music while you work? Are you going to watch movies? Some computer speakers will be better than others for all of these different purposes. 

Finally — and most importantly — make sure you get speakers that deliver good sound. You don’t have to be an audiophile to realize that some speakers are just crummy. Computer speakers can also hiss and pop sometimes. 

To help make your search for the perfect budget computer speakers a little easier, we’ve rounded up some of our favorites that don’t cost an arm and a leg. Of course, everyone’s idea of “affordable” is different, so for the purposes of our search, we only included speakers under $100. 

Impressive sound • Support for two devices simultaneously • Good midrange definition • Well-built and durable • Headphone jack

No subwoofer • Not great bass definition • On the pricier side of “budget” • No wireless connectivity • Lacks treble and bass controls

While these speakers may be on the higher side of your budget, you won’t be disappointed with their quality sound.

Bose Companion 2 Series III

These speakers deliver amazing, crystal clear sound.

  • Supported Connectivity:
    Wired, 3.5mm AUX & PC input
  • Size:
    5.90 x 3.1 x 7.50 inches
  • Weight:
    3.97 lbs
  • Color:

There’s a reason Bose is so well-known in the world of speakers, and these certainly live up to their brand name in quality, even if they are on the pricier side of our definition of “budget.”
They offer impressive sound with little distortion, even when the volume is cranked all the way up. One Amazon reviewer writes “The sound quality is crystal clear. These are easily the best speakers in my house now, much to the chagrin of my wife who does not always share my taste in music.” 
Reviewers also particularly love the fact that, unlike many budget computer speakers, there is no telltale hiss when they’re plugged in but not playing sound. The speakers are easy to use, with the volume control right on the front, and they feature a headphone jack. In addition, you can plug them into two devices simultaneously — a feature that takes them one step up from most computer speakers. 

Plug into the headphone jack of a computer • Durable construction • Compact, tiny footprint • Simple to use • Can be used with more than just computers • Low price

Don’t connect by USB port • No Bluetooth connectivity • Wires are a little fragile

These speakers are a great choice for students or anyone on a tight budget.

Logitech S120 2.0 Stereo Speakers

These compact, durable speakers deliver the sound you want at the lowest price.

  • Supported Connectivity:
    Wired, 3.5 mm jack
  • Size:
    11.46 x 20 x 7.4 inches
  • Weight:
    2 lbs
  • Color:
Obviously, for this price, these speakers aren’t for audiophiles, but for their price point and size, they still deliver surprisingly good audio quality. One reviewer writes “They are loud enough and deliver excellent treble and bass. I’m amazed that the sound quality is so much better than I expected at this price.”
The speakers are easy to set up, plugging into any computer (or other device) with a headphone jack. They have a built-in knob for volume, and thanks to their compact size, they won’t take up much space on your desk. 
Many reviewers also love these speakers because of how durable and resilient they are. They’re hefty enough to resist easily falling over if you accidentally bump them, and even if you do knock them down, they can take most falls. In fact, one reviewer writes “I dropped them 100 times, they still work. I tend to be a klutz, and have knocked these guys over at least twice a week since I bought them Aug 2016. The cover flies off one and across the room, but I set them back up and they still work.”

Minimalist, modern look • Available in black or white • Includes USB-C connectivity • Features powerful 2” full-range drivers and passive radiators for richer, louder audio • Space-saving size for desks • 45-degree title for optimal desk listening • Can be bought with a subwoofer

No protective screen over the speakers themselves, making them fragile for traveling • Not the most durable • Wired

With a minimalist, modern look, these powerful, space-saving speakers are a solid choice for their price.

Creative Pebble Plus

These speakers are small, lightweight, modern and deliver powerful sound with minimal distortion.

  • Supported Connectivity:
    Wired, USB-C or 3.5 mm AUX
  • Size:
    9.57 x 4.96 x 4.96 inches
  • Weight:
    7 grams
  • Color:
    Black or White
Let’s face it: not all of us have a ton of desk space for big speakers. That’s why small, compact speakers like these are a great choice — especially at this price. Not only that, but they actually look good at your desk, whether you get them in white or black to match your office decor. 
Of course, the advantages of these speakers aren’t just their size and looks: it’s their audio quality. As Amazon reviewer Hawkmoon 269 writes “there is no distortion at loud settings and the bass is actually quite good. The overall quality of sound highlights both high and low midpoints very well.” 
The speakers also have a 45-degree angle tilt, which is ideal for a listener sitting at a desk because it projects the audio up towards them. Not only that, but if you don’t mind spending a little more, you can get the speakers with a powerful down-firing subwoofer to make the sound even better (though you’ll obviously need a little more office space).
While the speakers are definitely small and light enough to be portable, they are a little on the fragile side so may not be the best for taking with you on a work trip. 

Wide design for immersive soundstage • Minimalist, sleek design • Can be plugged into external headphones and mic • Easy controls • Highly compatible with computers, as well as phones, tablets or MP3 player • Portable • Bluetooth connectivity

Makes a loud beep when connecting/disconnecting Bluetooth • Not as loud as other speakers on this list

This speaker is highly versatile, portable and is a great choice for PC gamers.

TaoTronics Bluetooth 5.0 Computer Speaker

This speaker is highly versatile, portable and is a great choice for gamers or those with small desk areas.

  • Supported Connectivity:
    Bluetooth and Wired, AUX and RCA cable connection
  • Size:
    16.14 x 2.17 x 2.64 inches
  • Weight:
    2.2 lbs
  • Color:
    Black or Red
If you’re looking for a versatile, portable, Bluetooth compatible speaker, look no further: this speaker is sleek and compact, which is ideal for a computer speaker. It’s portable, easy to store if you don’t want to leave it out on your desk and, because it features Bluetooth compatibility, you can use it not only for your computer, but pretty much any Bluetooth enabled device.
But what matters most is the sound, right? And on that front, this speaker delivers, especially considering its price point. Amazon reviewer MVF writes “I can tell you that you will be amazed at the quality of sound that this little gem puts out. It’s loud for a 3W driver system; the bass has bass, and the mids and highs are great as well.” 

Cables included • Can connect two devices via AUX at the same time • Comes with a 2-year warranty • Great sound • Feature a bass knob • Real wood enclosures for acoustic resonance • Easy to set up

Large footprint • No Bluetooth connectivity • Heavier

If you have the office space, these speakers will deliver great sound from your computer.

Edifier R980T 4” Active Bookshelf Speakers

If you have the office space, these speakers will deliver great sound from your computer.

  • Supported Connectivity:
    Wired, RCA and 3.5mm cables
  • Size:
    5.5 x 8.9 x 7.5 inch
  • Weight:
    7.77 lbs
  • Color:

If you can’t afford high-end computer speakers and you have the office space, bookshelf computer speakers can provide amazing sound ideal for watching movies, playing music, or gaming. 
These speakers are a deal, with many reviewers expressing their surprise at just how good they are: They’re well made, easy to set up and feature wooden enclosures to minimize acoustic resonance. They also feature a flared bass reflex port to provide extra depth and bass quality. 
Even better: these speakers also feature a bass knob so you can change the bass level for your needs. 

Built-in blue LEDs look cool when streaming in the dark • Feature elliptical design for great sound • Great price • Connect easily via USB • Small footprint on desk • Portable

The bass is not the most impressive

These small, light and USB-powered speakers are a great choice for your laptop computer or your desktop.

Sanyun SW102 Computer Speakers

These small, light, and USB-powered speakers are a great choice if you use a laptop instead of a desktop computer.

  • Supported Connectivity:
    Wired, USB
  • Size:
    3.94 x 2.76 x 2.76 inches
  • Weight:
    1.15 lbs
  • Color:
    Black or White with blue toned LEDs
Take a quick gander at Amazon reviews for these speakers and you’ll find multiple reviewers surprised by just how good these speakers are for being USB-powered and so small. For example, one Amazon customer writes “These little guys are tiny but the sound is huge” and another reviewer writes “the sound is good enough that I can play the music on my laptop in one room and hear it on another floor.” 
The speakers also just look cool on your desk, thanks to their compact, modern design and blue LED lights. The lights are an especially nice touch if you’re watching a movie or listening to music in low light. They also don’t need much space — always a plus if you don’t have a large desk. 

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