Whether it’s the 9-to-5’er Spotifying music at their desk all day or the e-sports competitor refining their gaming skills at home, everyone deserves satisfying audio from their workstation setups. Sure, not everyone has the funds to pair their desktop or laptop with high-end computer speakers, but there are models that can deliver terrific sound for under $100.
Options are bountiful, but quality isn’t, which is why you’re here — to see what cheap computer speakers are worth the investment. Industry staples like Creative and Klipsch have great models that accommodate any setup, while popular brands like Razer sell inexpensive hardware that can boost the sound on your PC or game console. You’ll also find solid entries from Logitech, Mackie, and other well-known audio manufacturers.
Take a closer look at our prime picks for the best computer speakers under $100, based on hours of testing and research. And if your budget allows for something extra, consider adding a pair of the best cheap noise-cancelling headphones to your Amazon cart for private listening.
What are the Best computer speakers under $100?
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No. 1 on our list of the best computer speakers under $100 is the Creative Pebble V3. These tiny oval-shaped speakers are the perfect blend of quality sound and versatile functionality in a compact size. Expect full-sounding vocals, crisp mids, and some thump out of the low end. Having various port adaptors and Bluetooth support is incredibly generous for $39 computer speakers.
Creeping into second place is the Mackie CR3-X. These entry-level studio monitors grant you loud, high-quality sound and flexible input options, including AUX, headphone, and RCA ports. Mackie also lets you assign the left and right channel to either speaker. If you want something similar, but wireless, there is a Bluetooth version (opens in new tab) available for $20 more.
Third place goes to the PreSonus Eris E3.5. Bookshelf speakers with a clean look and cleaner sound output, you’ll enjoy great performance, thanks to special hardware that’s absent from most computers speakers priced under $100. Many reviewers find the Eris E3.5 ideal for content creation and video mixing.
Check out the full breakdowns for these top choices, along with our other rankings of the best computer speakers under $100.
The best computer speakers under $100 you can buy today
This might look like a basic set of desktop speakers, but the Pebble V3 is an awesome upgrade with louder sound and more input options than the previous version. It has a simple plug-and-play setup, as well as Bluetooth 5.0 for seamless wireless connectivity. The built-in gain switch amplifies audio, which is perfect for music and video games, though you’ll want to refrain from blasting music at high volume due to crackling sound. Creative’s Clear Dialog audio processing gives you rich and clear vocal output when watching movies and TV shows. And what’s not to love about the compact and chic design that looks cool no matter where you place the speakers?
At $40, the Pebble V3 is a bargain that appeals to all consumers seeking reliable, high-performance speakers for an incredibly low price.
Mackie has developed a solid reputation for selling affordable computer speakers with strong audio performance. The CR3-X is a super-affordable model that gets the job done, backed by noteworthy sound and studio-friendly connections. Reproduction is on point, creating immersive audio that you’ll find beneficial when watching movies. Expect to hear subtle nuances in music recordings as well. Being able to switch to the left or right channel for mono listening is also a nice option.
As sleek as the speakers look, along with striking details like the green accents and illuminating volume knob on the front, the build quality isn’t anything to rave about. In addition, sub-bass can be hit or miss, depending on the volume level and song selection, though it isn’t off-putting.
Casual consumers have likely never heard of PreSonus, but the Eris E3.5 is a great introduction for those looking to explore a new brand with reputable audio performance. These bookshelf speakers feature a 1-inch Kevlar tweeter and 3.5-inch Kevlar woofer, a combination that creates loud, wide sound not normally experienced on speakers this small. Lows sound tight, vocals are crisp, and the high-end reproduction is outstanding for hearing instruments accurately. The acoustic tuning knobs in the rear let you personalize sound, while the numerous inputs make these speakers ideal for engineers, producers, and other content creators.
Bass levels are decent, but nothing that will blow you away. Also, the speakers are built mostly from plastic, giving them less of a premium feel.
Razer’s gaming speakers come in different versions, though we’re most fond of the entry-level Nommo based on its overall performance and price. The design is sleek as hell, falling somewhere between a Dyson hairdryer and an ultramodern podium microphone. However, the beauty is in the details, and we tip our hat to Razer for its minimalistic approach; the black and gunmetal grey colorway with subtle branding allows the speakers to blend into any stationary desktop or office setup. The cylindrical shape also factors into the sound quality, allowing air into the bass ports for a more pronounced presence, and reducing distortion. Audio is faithful to gameplay and makes sonic details more immersive, from dialogue to explosions to footsteps.
The sad part is Razer reserved some of its more upscale features for the pricier models in the series. This includes the LED indicators, USB connection, and Chroma software compatibility.
Logitech sells a wide range of computer speakers, though the Z333 could arguably be their best deal to date. Two satellites and a subwoofer work together to produce robust, clean sound that can be enjoyed at high volumes, without any distortion. Bass is deep and nicely balanced, and mids come through clearly. Unique features like the control pod allow for seamless operation. The matte black plastic also gives the Z333 a chic appearance.
These are not ideal speakers for critical listening. In other words, don’t expect to hear striking highs or the most subtle nuances in complex recordings. Another concern is the short cables, which can be concerning for those with a wide desktop setup.
Monoprice isn’t a prestige legacy audio brand, but it is a respectable company that sells quality audio products, from headphones to speakers. The DT-3BT is essentially a wireless version of their popular computer speakers. That means you can expect some of the same performance perks as the standard model, including crisp midrange and highs, and serviceable inputs to expand your audio setup. Bluetooth inclusion now opens the door to stream music wirelessly, and the results are surprisingly good. These are also durable speakers that will last a long time and sit comfortably on most bookshelves.
Don’t expect a premium, fancy design, nor the greatest bass response for the price. Instead, appreciate the acceptable performance these budget speakers deliver.
Soundbars aren’t the most ideal option for computer speakers since they tend to occupy a lot of counter space. However, there are some that are designed to slide right underneath your desktop screen, like the Creative Stage. It’s a compact design that leaves plenty of room to operate freely in your current setup. Even better is that it can even hook up to other devices like your TV or Xbox Series X. Small details like the onboard screen make it simple to keep track of what input you’re using.
You’ll get some quality sound that can fill a living room, and pairing the Stage with the optional subwoofer amplifies the results. Creative gives you a remote to adjust treble and bass settings as well. Be mindful of volume because the higher you raise it, the more distortion comes out, especially on bass-heavy tracks.
Unless you’re looking to transform your PC setup into the ultimate theater or gaming experience, then owning a set of inexpensive, entry-level speakers is really all you need. The Monoprice DT-3 fills that void superbly, producing neutral sound with an emphasis on midrange to enjoy exceptional vocal clarity. These speakers aren’t massively huge in sound or design, so that makes them suitable for standard rooms like a home office or study. Bluetooth is missing, but you can still connect them to several devices, including your computer (e.g., desktop, laptop), TV or turntable via RCA inputs. There is also a headphone jack for private listening.
With less-powerful drivers than its competitors, the DT-3 does take a hit in bass and treble. It’s adequate for mixing, but those with fine-tuned hearing will find the low end limited and inaccurate when blasting boom-heavy records.
Edifier sells many low-priced computer speakers. However, the $29 R19U is an irresistible deal. Audio performance isn’t going to wow audiophiles, but this older, well-engineered 2.0 speaker system can still deliver full frequency response and crisp vocals. Build quality is much better than one would expect for the price. Its setup is simplistic, and USB support allows owners to connect the R19U with desktops, laptops, and even mobile devices.
Bass response is controlled well, though it lacks punch. In addition, using the headphone jack hinders audio quality, muddying up the low and midrange.
Creative speakers are famous for getting the most performance out of such tiny designs. The T60 is no exception. This dual-speaker system comes with a wide, balanced soundstage that separates mids and highs well to enjoy the vocals and details in recordings. You can connect a pair of headphones to it by holding down the surround button for two seconds, which switches the audio input to your cans of choice. SmartComms software brings advanced features into the mix such as voice detection to automatically mute/unmute yourself and NoiseClean-out to remove unwanted noises from the background in real-time.
Despite the lack of a subwoofer, bass remains impactful, giving music and movies livelier soundscapes. Something else you’ll want to be mindful of is the volume level, which can get really loud at mid-volume; 60 watts of peak power in such a tiny design will do that.
How to choose the best computer speakers under $100 for you
Wired or wireless is the first question you should ask. Most of the best computer speakers under $100 come with multiple inputs, including a 3.5mm stereo mini-jack, optical, RCA, and USB, just to name a few. Obviously, the more, the merrier, but just make sure essentials like an AUX or RCA port come part of the package. Some models also have Bluetooth for wireless connectivity with desktops, laptops, and mobile devices (e.g., smartphones, tablets, MP3 players).
Sound quality is another must. Essentially, you want speakers that sound better than what comes out of your current PC monitor. Look for options capable of producing full, detailed audio. Large drivers can ramp up the sonics as well. Furthermore, compare 2.0 and 2.1 stereo systems. The former is designed to play audio from both channels, whereas the latter adds a subwoofer to the stereo channels.
Your setup will play a vital role in how you consume sound. Look at the different designs out there and see which fits your space best. Bookshelf speakers are popular and come in different sizes, resting handsomely at each corner of a table or bookshelf. Soundbars are popular and conveniently sit underneath a screen. Then come full-on speaker systems with satellites and subwoofers, which can be spread out across a room.
Special features are often limited on sub-$100 computer speakers, but some do offer a fair amount. Keep an eye out for ones that have dials (e.g., sound adjustment, volume), built-in EQ settings, a headphone port or control pod.
How we test the best computer speakers under $100
As with all audio products, our reviewers evaluate key factors such as audio, design, connectivity, and value. We also compare each model to similar ones in terms of features, pricing, and setup.
Computer speakers are tested over the course of a week for 2 hours at a time. During this process, we analyze input/output performance, ease of use, and, most importantly, sound quality. Reviewers listen to numerous predetermined tracks across a variety of music genres: classical, EDM, hip-hop, jazz, rock, and R&B. Movies, podcasts, and video games are taken into serious consideration too.
With more streaming services offering high-resolution audio, we advise reading this audio codec FAQ to learn more about FLAC files, MP3s, and everything in between. The streaming service you choose could enhance sound quality.
Once testing is completed, we rate each model based on our five-point system (1 = worst, 5 = best). Any product that is exemplary is awarded a Laptop Magazine Editor’s Choice badge.
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