Computer speakers have come a long way in the past few years. Not only have high-end speakers gotten more powerful and fully featured, but the low and mid-tier options have also stepped up their game. You don’t have to spend too much money to get a solid 2.1 speaker system with decent wattage.
Whether you are an audio engineer, a gamer, a music lover, or a casual browser of the internet, there is probably a computer speaker system that can improve your listening experience.
Here is a list of the best desktop speakers that you can purchase for less than $100.
Logitech Z533 2.1 speaker system
Kicking off our list is the Logitech Z533 speaker system. This speaker system is a mid-tier option from Logitech, a company that no stranger to the consumer audio market. Although it is not Logitech’s best offering, the Z533 speaker system gives you a lot of bang for your buck when it comes to delivering powerful audio.
This 2.1 speaker system is the most powerful speaker option on this list. It features a 30-watt root-mean-square (RMS) front-facing subwoofer that is capable of room rattling bass. The subwoofer is paired with two full-range satellite speakers that draw 15-watts RMS of power each. In total, the system is capable of pulling 60-watts RMS and can peak at as high as 120 watts.
The satellite speakers are wireless, so you can position them wherever you want without worrying about managing long cables. Wireless speakers are a valuable quality of life feature, especially for those who value cordless minimalistic aesthetics.
You can connect audio devices to these speakers by using a 3.5-millimeter auxiliary cable or RCA inputs. This system supports as many as three connected devices at a time. Users can switch between the different devices using the included control pod. The control pod can also adjust power, volume, bass level, headphone volume, and auxiliary jack volume. This puck-like control pod is relatively standard with modern Logitech speakers.
If you are looking for the most powerful speaker system under $100, the Logitech Z533 speaker system might be a good option for you to consider.
The Alesis M1 Active 330 USB speaker system is a professional grade set of near-field monitors that connect to your computer via USB. Gamers and audio professionals trust these monitors to provide accurate stereo imaging and clear audio reproduction.
Near-field monitors are designed to operate more like headphones than traditional speakers. When set up properly, near-field monitors create a dynamic stereo image that simulates the soundstage of headphones. To get this effect, you have to be positioned in just the right spot within the monitors’ field.
The monitor field is based on the specific direction of your monitors. Typically you want to angle your monitors so that wherever you are sitting naturally will be the center of your stereo image. This might take some tweaking, but perfecting the angle is worth it.
This 2.0 sound system features two monitors that connect to each other via an auxiliary cable. Each monitor is outfitted with a three-inch aluminum woofer to provide rich and powerful bass tones. The speakers also both feature a one-inch silk dome tweeter for crystal clear highs. They draw 10-watts RMS of power apiece, and both peak at 20 watts. They aren’t the most powerful option on this list, but they make up in audio quality what they lack in power.
The Alesis M1 Active 330 speaker system values audio quality above all else. This product’s focus on professional audio isn’t the best for every speaker application. But for anyone who is making music, editing media, or gaming, the Alesis M1 Active 330 USB speaker system offers some seriously cool benefits.
The Logitech Z337 speaker system is another great mid-tier audio system from Logitech. While this speaker set is less powerful than the Z533 speaker system, it still provides plenty of power to produce crisp audio and has the added versatility of Bluetooth connectivity.
Just like the Z533, this is a 2.1 speaker system. It features a 24-watt RMS front-facing subwoofer. The two wireless satellite speakers pull eight-watts RMS each. In total, this speaker system features a wattage of 40-watts RMS and peaks at 80 watts. This is significantly less wattage than the Z533, so if you are looking for raw power, you should buy that system instead.
Unlike the Z533, the Z337 speaker system comes with Bluetooth 4.1 compatibility. This is a desirable feature to users who frequently switch what device is connected to the speaker. In addition to its Bluetooth connection, you can also use a 3.5-millimeter auxiliary cable or an RCA input to connect this system to an audio source.
Like most modern Logitech speaker systems, the Z337 system comes with a small control pod that adjusts the Bluetooth pairing, power, volume levels, and more. The control pod does not control the bass level, though. You can adjust the bass level using a small knob on the back of the subwoofer.
This is a great lifestyle-focused 2.1 speaker system. If you use Bluetooth a lot or don’t have a headphone jack in your phone, this speaker system has a lot to offer. If Bluetooth functionality isn’t important to you, consider the Z533 speaker system because it is more powerful.
The Creative T100 desktop speaker system is a high-fidelity set of compact Bluetooth-enabled speakers. This speaker system is a great option for anyone running low on desk space but needs a decent pair of computer speakers.
This 2.0 speaker system comes with two full-range wireless speakers. Both speakers feature 20-watt RMS drivers, making these speakers equal to the Z337’s satellite speakers. Each speaker features a 2.75-inch driver that delivers the entire audio spectrum on a single driver.
Generally, it is best to use multiple drivers to cover high and low frequencies. Multiple drivers are desirable because individual drivers can sometimes struggle to reproduce high and low frequencies at the same time accurately. This is why many of the speaker options on this list feature either built-in woofers or a separate subwoofer.
Instead of a control pod, this system comes with a remote that lets you swap between EQ selections, change your treble and bass, and control other settings.
The T100 comes with a large selection of connectivity options. You can use Bluetooth 5.0, Optical-in, or a 3.5-millimeter auxiliary cable. There is also a USB port that allows you to play music directly from a USB drive using USB FLAC technology.
As an optional accessory, you can buy the Creative BT-W3 audio transmitter. This USB-C device lets your T100 speakers use wireless audio with non-Bluetooth devices. Using this small USB-C device, you can connect your PlayStation, Switch, Xbox, or PC to your desktop speakers. This makes the Creative T100 speakers better for Omnigamers who are constantly switching between gaming platforms.
If you want a small set of versatile speakers that sound great without taking up too much space, the Creative T100 speaker system is a good place to start.
The Creative Pebble V3 desktop speakers are the third generation of Creative’s most affordable speaker line. These 45-degree speakers are the most budget-friendly option on this list and sound great for their price.
Creative’s Pebble 2.0 speaker system features two full-range speakers. Both speakers are eight-watt RMS devices and peak at 16 watts. The speakers are connected by a wire that will need to run behind your computer like the Alesis monitors listed above. If you use a 10-watt USB-C or USB-A port to connect your speakers to your computer, you can use the new gain boost mode to get the maximum volume out of these speakers.
The Pebble V3 speakers only feature a single driver in each speaker. The full-range driver in the Pebble is significantly less powerful than the T100’s full-range drivers and features less frequency separation. So these speakers have the muddiest sounding audio of any product on this list. That isn’t to say this system sounds bad, but it isn’t the best on the list.
You can connect to the Creative Pebble V3 speaker system using Bluetooth 5.0, a 3.5-millimeter auxiliary cable, or a direct USB-C or USB-A connection.
The Creative Pebble V3 desktop speakers are a great entry-level speaker system. If you are looking for an inexpensive speaker solution that will deliver decent audio quality for the price, the pebble might be a suitable product for you.
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