Top Pick for
Budget PC speakers
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We chose the products on this list by searching through actual customer reviews to find out which speakers real users say are the best of the best. We compared those reviews with information from professional reviewers to ensure we can give you confidence in the quality of these products. For budget speakers, we set our price bar at $50. The mid-range speakers max out at $250 with premium speakers starting at $250.
Choosing the "best" in any product category is tricky, but the Bose Companion 2 Series III speakers balance features, quality and price to offer a sensational package. With a great rating of 4.6 out of 5 from over 5,500 Google reviews and almost 8,000 Amazon reviews, as well as great scores from almost every tech reviewer that's tested them, Bose has walked a delicate tightrope to balance quality and cost.
Although they look like a pair of generic desktop speakers, Bose has managed to pack its signature sound quality in with more bass than much larger speakers. They also benefit from crystal clear vocals and good mid-range performance. That's because Bose has included its Truespace stereo digital processing circuitry to ensure the sound coming from your PC is given the best chance of sounding like the creator intended.
Connectivity to your PC is via a 3.5mm cable (there's one in the box). There's a volume control on the right speaker as well as a 3.5mm headphone jack so you can connect headphones when you want to keep the sound to yourself.
Sure, there's no subwoofer or Bluetooth, but when it comes to bang for buck, Bose has delivered in spades with the Companion 2 Series III speakers.
For the price, these speakers are tough to beat and that shows up in the online reviews we looked at. Although they score a touch under 4 out of 5 across Amazon as well as with professional reviewers, the Edifier M1250 speakers tick almost every box for PC users.
Sound quality for most audio is solid owing to the speaker drivers being larger than most other USB-powered speakers. But the compact form factor comes at a cost – bass response is pretty thin. However, if you're looking to listen to podcasts, online video and other web content, the speakers pass the "good enough" test. But if you're looking to rock out to some powerful, bass-heavy tunes then these may not be the speakers you're looking for.
While these speakers will take up a USB port, there's also a 3.5mm passthrough so you can easily connect your headphones for those moments you need to keep the audio a little more personal.
The Edifier M1250 speakers offer a solid option when you weigh up the features, price and strong customer reviews.
With thousands of customer ratings on Amazon grading these speakers at 4.7 out of 5 and professional reviewers grading these just as highly, it's crystal clear that the Logitech Z623 speakers are a sensational set of speakers that will suit almost every PC user, whether they're listening to music, gaming or watching the latest blockbuster on their computer.
It's tough to find a negative review for these speakers. They deliver strong bass with support for THX thrown in for good measure. The subwoofer delivers some great rumble with some reviewers noting that when placed on a wooden floor it's able to deliver great low frequency response. Others have noted that the Z623 can fill a room with sound making it a useful speaker set for parties.
The right speaker has a volume control as well as a knob for adjusting the bass and a headphone passthrough so you can keep things a little quiet when necessary. There's also a power button so you can easily power the speakers down at the end of a long day. The connection from the right speaker to the subwoofer uses a proprietary cable which you'll want to ensure is never lost.
While the Logitech Z623 are right at the top of the price range for this category, they'd fit right in with the more expensive high-end speakers.
If you're after a serious audio experience from your PC then a surround sound system, which supports multiple inputs including Bluetooth, is for you – like Logitech's Z906 flagship system. With a strong consumer rating of 4.4 out of 5 from over 4,700 Google reviews, this is a serious set of speakers for discerning PC users.
The Logitech Z906 boasts Dolby Digital & DTS decoding, three digital inputs and supports Stereo 3D, 4.1 and 2.1 output modes with a massive 500W of power. Managing this five speaker and subwoofer array is made easy with a desktop controller module so you can adjust the sound for whatever you're doing, whether that's watching a movie, playing a game or chilling to some tunes.
Build quality is top notch with the main complaint from reviewers being that all the wired connections are handled at the subwoofer, which is probably the one component that, once placed, is least easy to access. However, the subwoofer includes a 165W amplifier making it a powerful addition to manage all those connections.
If you're looking for a high-powered system with great sound quality and lots of connectivity options, it's hard to go past the Logitech Z906.
This was perhaps the toughest category to pick as there are so many great options. That's because gaming PCs can be connected to high-powered desktop PCs, the emerging world of gaming laptops or PCs connected to big-screen TVs in dedicated gaming rooms. In the end, the combination of great looks, strong reviews with an average Amazon rating of 4.5 out of 5 and Google score of 4.4 out of 5 backed by solid professional reviews, and a compact form factor, gave the edge to the Creative Labs GigaWorks T20 Series II.
If you've been gaming since the days of Commander Keen and the original Duke Nukem, Creative Labs will be a brand you'll know from the old Sound Blaster days. Although the Creative Labs GigaWorks T20 Series II look like a regular, albeit nicely designed, set of PC speakers, they pump out powerful and warm sound. Experts say the "BasXPort" – a port hole at the top of each speaker unit – makes this possible.
Many gaming speaker set-ups rely on a subwoofer to deliver big bass but Creative has eschewed this approach. Instead, it has built the GigaWorks T20 Series II with high quality material and components, delivering rich sound in a compact package without a premium price tag. The right speaker has volume, bass and treble controls with a headphone input as well as an aux port.
The Creative Labs GigaWorks T20 Series II may not look like your typical gaming speakers but don't let that put you off. They deliver great sound without taking up lots of space or totally maxing out your credit card or emptying your wallet.
If you have some space on your desk and a sense of style, the Audioengine A2+ is a premium set of speakers that can work with your PC as well as a slew of other devices. With a solid 4.5 out of 5 rating from purchasers and great reviews from the media, Audioengine has delivered a great set of speakers.
Unlike most other speakers, Audioengine offers this rig in a variety of colours including red, white and black. And while the Audioengine A2+ uses the regular 3.5mm connector to connect to your PC, there are also speaker cable connectors, micro-USB and Bluetooth, making these a very flexible set of speakers that can work with your Hi-Fi system, PC or smartphone.
Sound quality is excellent with reviewers reporting very little distortion – even with the volume maxed out on both the speakers and the sound source. For those seeking extra bass, you can connect an optional subwoofer, although once the speakers are raised on a slight angle, so the bottom is not flat against your desk, the sound quality improves significantly. There's great stereo separation and clean sound.
The biggest quibble is the placement of the volume control. For some reason, Audioengine has placed it on the back of the speaker making it a pain to adjust. But otherwise the Audioengine A2+ is a great set of speakers for listening to tunes at your desk.
With high ratings from a number of prominent audio system reviewers and a solid 4.4 out of 5 from almost 500 Amazon reviewers, the Edifier Luna e25 HD Bluetooth delivers funky styling, great sound and a number of different audio inputs.
The Luna e25 have a space-age look with the back resembling the hangar entrance to a spaceship. That's not just an aesthetic thing – the opening allows air to be pushed through for enhanced sound quality. Along with the design, Edifier has chosen to use some digital tools to enhance sound quality. DSP and DRC, Digital Signal Processing and Dynamic Range Compression respectively, are meant to even out the sound. Sometimes, this can lead to reduced sound quality but reviewers say Edifier has managed to avoid this problem.
The speakers work as a pair but for true stereo performance, you'll need to link the two speakers with a cable. There's also a remote control and you can choose between red, white and black models. You can get them off your desk with optional floor stands although the shape means wall mounting is off limits.
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