We like to carry our music with us. That’s why we feel forced to burn cash on high-end headphones. But when you are tied down to your desk, you should take off those headphones and let your ears breathe. Use a couple of speakers to stream your music. The best computer speakers create an immersive sound around your chair, if not the whole room. Even the speakers under $50 are customized to fire audio towards the area surrounding your ears. Being created for PC, they have ports that connect easily to a USB or a 3.5mm stereo cable. Some of them go the extra mile and give you a control pod as well. We looked at the myriad offerings of this market and picked out the 10 best computer speakers under 50 bucks. They delicately balance budget, audio and features for best value on money.
- 0.1 Do all computer speakers come with subwoofers?
- 0.2 Why do my computer speakers buzz?
- 0.3 Which are the best computer speakers under $50?
- 1 Top 10 Best Computer Speakers Under 50 in 2017
- 1.1 Altec Lansing VS2621 2.1 Channel Speaker System
- 1.2 Cyber Acoustics CA-3602 30 Watt Powered Speakers with Subwoofer for PC
- 1.3 AmazonBasics Computer Speakers
- 1.4 Altec Lansing BXR1220 2-Piece Desktop Speaker System
- 1.5 Logitech Z313 Speaker System
- 1.6 Logitech Multimedia Speakers Z200
- 1.7 Cyber Acoustics CA-3090 18W Peak Power Dynamic Speaker System with Subwoofer and Control Pod
- 1.8 Creative A250 2.1 Multimedia Speaker System
- 1.9 Earise AL-101 3.5mm Mini Computer Speakers
- 1.10 Logitech S120 2.0 Multimedia Speakers
Do all computer speakers come with subwoofers?
There are two kinds of speaker systems when we talk about computer speakers:
2.0 speaker set: This consists of two speakers that handle all frequencies: bass, midrange and treble. 2.0 speakers tend to be of average size and can be placed on either side of your PC. They do not require any extra real estate. However, the size constraint usually affects bass extension. This means that the bass presence at low frequencies like 30-300Hz will not be great. So the audio sounds relatively hollow compared to 2.1.
2.1 speaker set: This set is made up by one subwoofer and two satellite speakers. The extra piece is both an advantage and a disadvantage. The satellites are smaller because they only have to handle mid and high frequencies. So they might be smaller than 2.0 speakers in many cases. However, the subwoofer pumps out the low frequencies. So you have to make space under the desk for stowing them. 2.1 speakers are hard to execute, especially at a low budget. The subwoofers usually carry a hint of boominess or end up lording over the audio response. But there are some 2.1 computer speaker systems that can combine the sub/sat sound effectively. They have been picked in our best computer speakers under 50 list.
Why do my computer speakers buzz?
There are a number of generic reasons for why you hear a buzz from your computer speakers. You will most likely notice it when the speakers are plugged in but no music is playing. There are a few tips to make sure this doesn’t happen to you:
- Grounding issues are the main culprits of the humming noise. Make sure you use a 3-pin adapter which has the grounding connection as well.
- Check that all the speaker ports and cables are tightly connected
- Remove any Radio Frequency transmitting devices from the speaker’s vicinity. They can interfere with the transmission through thin cables.
- Move the cable and see if the humming stops at some point. If it does, that indicates cable damage.
- Sometimes the problem can lie with the playback device. Plug a headphone into the output port of your PC and check if the humming persists with them too. If yes, the soundcard of your PC is causing the problems.
Which are the best computer speakers under $50?
There was a lot of junk and overhyped marketing to wade through before we rounded in on the 10 best computer speakers under 50 bucks. There were a number of factors that figured in our calculations:
Audio: As far as any speaker is concerned, we focus most on the audio. Any amount of convenience features cannot replace crackly or distorted audio. Since we are working on a low budget here, we did not critique the audio much with an audiophile eye. Rather we looked from a casual listener’s perspective for generally pleasant audio.
Return-on-investment: When you are counting dollars, you would want to get the best audio for your investment. We checked if the speakers were easy to use and played acceptable audio. We crossed off those speakers which faced durability issues in a short duration or were not backed up by good customer service.
Features: Any additional perks like a control pod, headphone jack, USB power options etc. make the best computer speakers versatile and easy to install and use. So we gave them all brownie points for the meticulous planning of speaker architecture.
Looks: The computer speakers are going to sit on your desk, next to your PC. It will be a shame if they look too cheap or oddly-structured. So we took the looks into consideration when we picked the best computer speakers under $50.
Top 10 Best Computer Speakers Under 50 in 2017
|1. Altec Lansing VS2621 2.1 Channel Speaker System||4 Ohm, 8 Ohm||$$||4.5|
|2. Cyber Acoustics CA-3602 30 Watt Powered Speakers with Subwoofer for PC||4 Ohm||$$||4.2|
|3. AmazonBasics Computer Speakers||6-8 ohm||$$||4.2|
|4. Altec Lansing BXR1220 2-Piece Desktop Speaker System||4 Ohms||$$||4.1|
|5. Logitech Z313 Speaker System||4 ohm||$$||4.1|
|6. Logitech Multimedia Speakers Z200||4 Ohms||$$||4.1|
|7. Cyber Acoustics CA-3090 18W Peak Power Dynamic Speaker System with Subwoofer and Control Pod||4 Ohms||$$||4.0|
|8. Creative A250 2.1 Multimedia Speaker System||4 ohms||$$||4.0|
|9. Earise AL-101 3.5mm Mini Computer Speakers||4 Ohms||$$||4.0|
|10. Logitech S120 2.0 Multimedia Speakers||6 Ohms||$$||4.0|
Altec Lansing has walked through some untrodden paths in the audio history. Their Model 19 is one of the best speakers of all times. After changing hands with a number of owners, they have struggled to maintain the same quality standards. But their sonic acumen remains unscathed. The modern VS2621 computer speakers show you a great time in a limited budget. They come as a stylish-looking 3-piece set that experiment with a unique look. Apart from a lack of a couple of controls, VS2621 offers big bang for the bucks. It is a no-brainer for the best computer speakers under 50 list.
Design and Features
Altec Lansing VS2621 PC speakers have an engaging appearance. They come as a set of subwoofer and two satellite speakers. The sub is all black with metal stubs at the bottom. The satellite speakers have a trapezoidal metal-finish frame on which they are mounted at an angle to the vertical. This way they fire the audio towards your ears when they are placed on the desk.
The wooden cabinet of the subwoofer hides a side firing 4-inch speaker. There’s a port in the front for bass extension. It works on 13W RMS power. The satellite speakers have a 2-inch driver each inside a plastic body with 7.5W amplifier. The right satellite of this computer speaker holds a volume and a tone control knob in the front. There’s an auxiliary port to connect the speaker to the playback devices. It also sports a hardwired cord that ends in 3.5mm plug. An AC adapter is used to connect VS2621 to power.
Altec Lansing VS2621 desktop speaker has a tonal balance that Cyber Acoustics CA 3602 finds hard to rival. It performs well throughout the frequency spectrum. We prefer it more for music that gaming especially because of the lack of bass volume.
The bass is punchy and has a bump in the mid-bass area. It is not agile, so complicated bassy tracks will baffle it. At higher than 70% volume bass distorts and bleeds into mids. But we never had to turn them up as loud as that. The mid-range is relatively clean and offers moderate amount of details. The vocals and guitars stand out without much effort. Treble partners well with the bass. It is bright to the point that’s not unpleasant for the ears.
- Punchy bass with balanced audio
- Good clarity and instrument placement
- Stylish looks
- Aux-in and hardwired aux cable
- No bass knob
- No headphone jack
Cyber Acoustics hit the home run with their CA-3602 computer speaker. Although it hits the top end of our budget here, it can be often found on discounted prices. Even for its original price, it is worth the greenbacks. This is a 3-piece set of subwoofers and speakers. A control pod adds to the usability of the product. The build quality is durable and aesthetically pleasing. At 30W power, your dorm-room party can get loud. Wild horses couldn’t have kept the CA-3602 out of this best computer speakers under 50 list.
Design and Features
The Cyber Acoustics CA-3602 PC speakers occupy minimal space on your desk. The sub measure 7.25 inches in length and width and 10 inches in height. It has a bass port in the front and a 5.25inch driver on the side. The satellites stand 8 inches tall with two 2-inch drivers each. The whole set uses a blend of matte, glossy and regular black finishes for a suave look. The construction is built to last. There have never been any durability issues with these speakers.
The control pod is a nifty little device. It is a flat circular disk of around 2.5-inch diameter. Its top face is actually a volume wheel. On its sides it has the power switch and bass volume wheel. An auxiliary input port and a headphone jack are also present on the sides. This makes it easier to connect 3.5mm stereo cable from the computer to this PC speaker. The power cable originates from the sub. The speaker-to-speaker span is 11 feet.
The Cyber Acoustics CA-3602 desktop speakers are equally suited for music, movies and gaming. The bass volume adjustment gives you enough room to exploit their versatility. For regular listeners, it can hit high volumes. The low-end has oomph except for a small gap in the audio response. Bass tends to roll off at around 260Hz and leaves the lower-registers hanging. For a purist, these subtle points are significant but they might not register with most folks.
The high end extends as high as 18kHz and remains clear all the way through. It sparkles without much bite. There is no distortion at any volume level.
- Comes with subwoofer and a control pod
- Has bass volume knob
- Has headphone and aux port
- Clear highs and healthy bass
- Bass lacks clarity
AmazonBasics, Amazon’s store brand has a number of useful, affordably-priced products. So when we searched for inexpensive computers speakers, this was the first place we checked. They offer amazing value for money, which was the case with AmazonBasics PC speakers as well. This simple plug-and-play set has all the basic traits to connect to computer. The audio quality surpasses expectations from its price. What more does it need to be on the best computer speakers under 50 list?
Design and Features
AmazonBasics Computer speakers are available in two models: AC powered (A150) and USB powered (A100). As a casual listener who uses a laptop, the USB powered speakers will be more useful and portable. They power on and off with the PC. You can also avoid having a wire nest around your work area. Otherwise you can hook it(A100) up to AC power near your desktop PC. Like most other products from the store brand, these speakers look simple. Their body is completely black and the front side carries speaker grille on the entire surface. We feel that they could have done more aesthetics-wise.
One of the speakers has a volume knob in the front. Right under that is a 3.5mm headphone jack that can be used when you want to listen in private. It also has a 3.5mm stereo audio cable attached to it for PC connection. The cables are long enough for proper placement of speakers. These PC speakers occupy very less space on the computer desk. They have a robust construction that feels durable.
The AmazonBasics computer speakers are a hit because of their audio. Each speaker has a 2.5W power capability, totaling 5W a pair. The sound gets loud enough near the desk. It can be heard in a small room easily. Lower-registers are powerful enough that the audio sounds full. They don’t sound tinny like small speakers usually do. The midrange has good clarity for its price. There’s no noticeable muddiness for a casual listener.
Treble- bass balance was what we liked best. Both sides of the spectrum keep up a vigorous performance.
- Highly affordable
- Both USB-powered and AC-powered version available
- Cords are long
- Has headphone jack
Altec Lansing will not give up no matter how low the budget is. They create quality sound at even prices as low as that of BXR1220 computer speakers. These have a funky, stage-light type of architecture which directs the audio at your acoustic sweetspot when sitting on the desk. They are USB-powered and eliminate the probability of creating a wire trap behind your PC. Their low weight adds to the portability afforded by the USB power.BXR1220 offers many perks to be part of the best computer speakers under 50 list.
Design and Features
Altec Lansing BXR 1220 PC speakers have an innovative design. They look like uber-cool sentinels standing guard around your computer. The design is similar to a stage light. They have a cylindrical structure laid on its side. They are 8inches in length and positively tiny to accommodate. The speaker grille is on the round face. They look like they have been propped on a metal stand. The audio fires forward and up toward you. The stand has a fixed angle. We wish they could be angled as per our choice.
These computer speakers are USB-powered. The USB cable that connects to playback devices is hardwired to the right speaker. It carries a volume wheel on the top and a power button on the back side. The power-cum- stereo cable is 4.5 feet. The span between the two speakers is only 3.5 feet. The lack of a headphone jack did not strike us as disastrous. But the absence of an aux-in port was definitely disappointing.
Altec Lansing BXR1220 computer speakers offer the same quality of sound that we have come to expect from their pack. The volume is loud enough for a person sitting in front of the desk. This is not a speaker to take to parties with noisy teenagers. The lower-end has a taut control and does not spill into the mids, a common mistake that most other speakers in this price range make. The clarity of midrange makes for decent audio that casual listeners will greatly appreciate.
The audio is balanced and sounds natural. The bass isn’t as guttural as bigger speakers but it is good for the price and size. These lie comfortably in the top percentile of well-performing speakers.
- Compact and lightweight
- Audio and power through same USB cord
- Decent audio
- Stylish design
- No aux-in and headphone jack
Logitech has built a niche in affordable computer speakers. In our given price range, Z313 speakers deliver great sound for entry level system. They manage to keep the boomy and tinny at bay. Their sonic performance is consistent across the spectrum. They do agreeably well with a moderate level of details in bass, mids and highs. Casual listeners who want the PC speakers for movies, music and gaming will find Z313 to be adept at all of these. This 2.1 system bassed its way up to our best computer speakers under 50 list.
Design and Features
The Logitech Z313 PC speakers come as a set of subwoofer, two satellite speakers and a control pod. The woofer is plain-looking and can be seated out of the way of your system. It carries a 4-inch down-firing driver for low-end frequencies. The satellites occupy less real estate than many speakers in the market. They stand 5.75 inches tall on a 3.5-inch square base. Their back arches to fire the sound angled upwards towards the user.
This desktop computer system is semi hardwired. A wired control pod is used to perform the basic functions on Z313. It has a volume and a power control. A line-in port allows you to connect to the computer. A headphone port on it allows you to quickly drown the music and listen to it through headphones. The absence of bass volume knob was conspicuous since this system comes with a sub. But it’s convenient to have all controls and ports so close to the hand.
Most people go for a 2.1 system instead of a 2.0 system because of the bass. If you use your computer for gaming, then subwoofer can transform your gaming experience. At least Logitech Z313 desktop speaker sure can. The bass is full and punchy. It comes through clearly without any distortion. The midranges are given enough attention. The bass does not muddy the mids at the transition frequencies.
The treble lacks the same punch that we got from bass. So the highs sound a tad blunt. It can be boosted with the equalizer on your system.
- Punchy bass and natural response
- No distortion or sibilance
- Has a control pod
- Compact satellite speakers
- Treble is lean
- No bass level control
Logitech Multimedia Z200 computer speakers are a handsome-looking set. These are a pair of dual 2.5-inch driver speakers that play a bit into the bass enthusiasm. The audio is clear and way more dynamic than what you would expect of a sub-$50 speaker. All the controls are handily placed. They come in black/silver combination and a white/grey combination. We are in love with the latter.So much so, we picked them up to be on our best computer speakers under 50 list.
Design and Features
The Logitech Z200 PC speakers stand 12 inches tall and have a 4” x 4” base. They are positioned at a slant on an attached metallic stand. The two drivers on the front face are encircled by a contrasting color. This simple highlight makes them look extremely classy in spite of their price. Height-wise, they do hog more place than the usual speakers like Earise.
The right one of this PC speaker set carries all the controls and ports. Its front side has the volume knob. Flanking it are a headphone jack and an aux-in port. Off to one side of a speaker, you have the tone control wheel which controls bass. Apart from the power cord and cord to the other speaker, there’s also a stereo cable hardwired to it. This ends in a 3.5mm jack and can be directly connected to the audio-out port of the computer.
Usually the 2.0 speaker systems do not produce good bass. Logitech Z200 desktop speakers make use of their height to include a passive radiator. As a result, the bass performance is remarkable. You get the proper underscoring for the music and movies. When you are gaming, the whirring chopper blades and gunfire sound full. Midrange and highs are decently littered with details. We would not say that any aspect of their audio is breathtaking. But given the price, we found bass surpassing expectations and midrange and treble meeting them.
Z200 does distort at high volumes. And low volumes are not very potent. So it works best at moderate volumes.
- Punchy bass
- Volume and bass controls
- Long wires
- Stylish looks
- Bass distorts at high volume
- Bass volume knob is not effective
Cyber Acoustics CA-3090 computer speaker is a highly affordable 2.1 speaker system.Cyber Acoustics won us over with the sheer amount of features they offer at this price. The good haul of accessories and all controls being comfortably reachable convinced us of putting CA-3090 on the best computer speakers under 50 list. It is almost like the CA-3602 but the power-handling capability of CA-3090 is lower. For a casual listener who works near the desk all day, this change is not significant.
Design and Features
The CA-3090 PC speakers from Cyber Acoustics include a subwoofer, two satellite speakers, a control pod and a phone rack. The subwoofer packs a 4-inch Power Pro driver for the thundering bass response. The satellites are done in glossy black with a metal stand. Each of them holds a 2-inch driver. All the important controls and ports of the speakers lie on the controls pod. The rack is simply a stand that holds your smartphone or MP3 player when it is attached to the speakers.
These computer speakers use the control pod for powering on and off. Its top face is a volume dial lined with muted LED lights that indicate power status. It also carries the headphone jack and the 3.5mm aux-in port. There’s a bass control knob on the right speaker to regulate the bass levels.
The Cyber Acoustics CA-3090 desktop speaker set has one 2.5W driver each on the satellites. The subwoofer can handle RMS power of 5W. Together these can create enough ruckus for a small-sized room. The volume gets loud for the person on the desk. The amount of bass that the sub churns out is reasonable. It’s nothing visceral but it will do.
The midrange and highs sound crisp and full. With an audiophile, the opinion may differ. But then she or he should be investing more to buy hi-end speakers. At its price, CA-3090 is a downright bargain.
- 1 speaker system
- Very low price
- Comes with a control pod and phone rack
- All controls are within reach
Creative has a whole array of creatively-priced speakers and A250 computer speaker is one of them. This 2.1 speaker set looks a tad dowdy for our taste but it gets the job done, so we can’t complain.The audio it brings is its biggest victory. It also utilizes the ground space well so your computer desk will not be filled with speaker junk.It misses out on some controls and ports we would have liked, but nothing irreplaceable. A250 sure completes themost important requirements of being on the best computer speakers under 50 list.
Design and Features
Creative A250 PC speaker system goes light on footprint. The subwoofer turned out to be smaller than we expected and we rejoiced at the little favors God does for us. The two satellite speakers also occupy limited space. They don’t look especially suave but they are better groomed than the AmazonBasics speaker set.
The sub has a down-firing driver with a passive bass radiator in the front. There is no bass knob on the speakers. The volume control is on the right side of the right satellite. We missed the bass volume knob, aux-in port and headphone port on these computer speakers. They connect to the playback source via a stereo cable that ends in a 3.5mm plug.
Although the absence of the ports and bass volume is disappointing, the audio response of the Creative a 250 redeems it. The sound is full with healthy bass undercurrent in the music. The midrange and highs are based on this strong stand of lower registers. The general partnership between bass, mids and treble is good. This creates a tonally balanced response. The refinement is consistent across the frequency spectrum. The audio of this speaker bangs big for its price. It cannot match the costlier CA-3602 though.
- Full, balanced audio
- 1 speaker set
- Has stereo cable attached
- No bass knob
- No headphone, aux port
Earise AL-101 mini computer speaker is a surprise product we found while searching for the best computer speakers under 50 bucks. This relatively unknown speaker is being sold at rock-bottom prices. So we decided to give it a try. To our surprise it did everything we expected of a sub-$50 speaker. It is a compact and lightweight set which looks very cool for its price. The audio is agreeable for a casual listener. We found it adorable enough to be on the best computer speakers under 50 list.
Design and Features
The Earise AL-101PC speaker is a lightweight peripheral that takes up negligible space on your desk. It measure 4” x 4” at the base and stands around 7 inches tall. The total weight of the pair of speakers is only 14.4 ounces. Weight-wise they are portable. If you are heading for a holiday and have space in your luggage, you can probably take these with you. The front side is all black with a yellow highlight around the metallic-colored driver. The other three sides have a glossy grey finish that is easy on eyes.
The two computer speakers are connected to each other via a wire measuring 58 inches. Another wire attached to the right speaker is used to connect to power and audio output. The wire is divided in 3.5mm audio jack and a USB jack. You can get a USB hub to connect to power. There’s a volume control in-line that spans the whole volume range.They are highly durable for continuous use. We haven’t heard any complaints about frequent breakdowns even for the price.
There’s no point critiquing the Earise desktop speakers, given their cost coordinate. As a casual listener, the sound was clear and nuanced. There wasn’t any booming of bass. Bass cannot match up to the 2.1 sets here but it is pleasant. The sonic response is well-rounded. Treble is nicely balanced with bass for a natural sound. All elements play together very well. There’s no distortion from the low end. There is no crackling in the silence between two songs. The highs do not get sibilant. That’s more than we expected from these computer speakers.
- Pleasant sound
- No distortion, sibilance or crackle
- Good-looking speakers
- Cords are short
Logitech S120 computer speakers area dirt-cheap simple set with the audio standard of Logitech. They look pretty sleek and occupy limited space on the desk. There’s something about the subtle curves that makes them look rather Bond-like next to the PC. They are exceptionally stable and armed with only the most important controls and ports. You can use them for movies and music and a regular customer. If you are a music aficionado, you must broaden your budget. Logitech S120 makes an excellent return on investment and speeds through to the best computer speakers under 50 list.
Design and Features
The S120 PC speakers by Logitech look great on your desk.They measure 7 inches tall each. The base is 2.5-inch long and broad approximately. The front face has speaker grille placed in an aesthetically pleasing way. There is a separate panel on the right speaker with a volume knob. Under that is a headphone jack. There’s a power indicator LED on the right speaker. There are rubber stubs at the bottom that maintain the balance of S120 on their small base.
This computer speaker has an AC charger cord. It does not use USB power in spite of its size. A power switch is located on the right speaker as well. A stereo cable comes out of the back and ends in a 3.5mm jack that connects to the audio-out port of your laptop or PC.There is no hefty external battery brick.
The Logitech S120 desktop speakers allow a power handling capability of 2.3W. They pump out their audio via a 2.5-inch driver each. We were quite happy with the audio performance for the price. You get loud sound. As a casual listener, you will not notice any glaring irregulatirities like distortion or sibilance. That’s the most we could ask of this price-point.
If you are into classical or orchestral music and want to hear every note and cleft, move on to a better computer speaker like Altec Lansing VS2621.
- Suave looks
- No external battery brick
- Decent audio
- Audio quality is okay not great