Paul taught audio and visual digital media creation for may years and it remains a passion. Born in the UK, he now lives in Florida.
As I know from my own experience over the years, choosing the best computer audio system can be a challenging experience, especially if you don't want to pay more than is necessary for the system that you need.
Luckily, there are some great options for those seeking audio systems that are capable of delivering a crisp and accurate mid and higher range, accompanied by a deep bass for a full sound, for an affordable price.
You won't get the high fidelity of a top range system for less than $50, of course, but you can expect to obtain something that exceeds most people's needs. Audio technology has been advancing in leaps and bounds in recent years increasing both quality and value for money.
Below are my choices, followed by details and experiences.
Two Things to Consider When Buying Computer Speakers
- Power Output - Not only does this affect the maximum volume, but also the sound quality. A system operating close to its maximum is more likely to distort, so generally speaking, the higher the power output, the better, in terms of audio quality.
- Connectivity - Most speaker systems are wired, which is to say that they connect up to your computer with a 3.5mm jack, or USB cable. Some of the more modern systems are wireless, however, allowing you to stream from your computer or device using wireless technology such as Bluetooth.
2020's Top 3 Affordable Computer Speakers With a Subwoofer
Here are my three selections.
- The Cyber Acoustics 30W (CA-3602A): Affordable and Accurate Audio
- Creative Inspire T3300: Durable and Punchy
- The Logitech Z323: Sturdy and Full Sound
I explain my experiences and choices in detail below.
The Logitech Z323: Sturdy and Full Sound
I'm currently using a Logitech Z323 speaker system in my home office. I've been a fan of Logitech for years when it comes to affordable speakers and this model has lived up to my expectations from day one.
The system delivers 40 watts (RMS) of power for a full and pretty accurate sound. The sub is down-firing with a 6.5-in pressure driver.
My Logitech Z323 Pros:
- The sound quality is excellent for the price (I paid just under $50 online).
- The subwoofer is compact, but loud enough to fill a medium-sized room with bass
- The speakers have a little weight and rubber feet which makes them a bit more stable than most.
- System is easy to install and I've had no problems or issues since I bought the speakers two years ago.
- Independent sub controls allow me to set the bass to the level I want.
My Logitech Z323 Cons:
- Certainly an excellent buy for my home office computer, I would spend more if it was for watching movies or listening to music in the main room, though.
The Cyber Acoustics 30W (CA-3602A): Affordable and Accurate Audio
I use this Cyber Acoustics 30W system in my bedroom and it never ceases to impress me, especially when I consider the price I paid for it! I run the TV, computer, plus my iPhone through it and it delivers a very full and accurate sound for system in its price range.
The Cyber Acoustics 30W (CA-3602A) consists of three-piece speaker system with two 2-Inch magnetically shielded satellite speakers and a 5.25-Inch subwoofer. For such a relatively inexpensive system, it is is pretty well built, with the sub housed in an acoustically balanced wooden cabinet.
My Cyber Acoustics Pros
- The control pod is an easy way to switch the system on and off, as well as control the volume and bass levels of the subwoofer and speakers.
- The control pod also has a headphone jack, which I use late at night when I don't want to wake my wife or daughter. There is also an auxiliary input for plugging in other devices which comes in useful sometimes.
- Relatively solid and durable, considering the main construction material is plastic.
- Very easy to set up.
- There is MP3 cradle, which I can sit my player in.
- Excellent value for money. I picked my system up for just under $45, which is a steal.
Cyber Acoustics Cons
- The speakers are a little top heavy and the base isn't that big, making them easy to knock over.
- The 30W output is more than enough power for my (smaller) bedroom, but you would almost certainly want more for a bigger room.
Creative Inspire T3300: Durable and Punchy
I had a Creative Inspire T3300 computer audio system in my home office for a time. The only reason I replaced it was because my daughter went off to college and I gave it as a gift to her to take. It's an excellent speaker and subwoofer set up for the price and I have no qualms about recommending it.
Despite delivering just 25W, it is surprising loud, certainly a big enough sound for a smaller room.
My Creative Inspire Pros
- Straightforward to set up and long enough cables for a desktop.
- Subwoofer delivers punchy bass, given its compact size i was surprised by the power at first.
- Bass levels are easy and convenient to control.
- I liked the stylish look of this system.
- Durable and well built for the price in my experience.
- Excellent value for money.
My Creative Inspire Cons
- On/off switch is combined with volume, so you can't just turn it on and off and leave the volume at a setting you like.
This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.
© 2015 Paul Goodman
Paul Goodman (author) from USA on April 03, 2019:
Subwoofers fill out the low frequencies giving the sound output more depth. Small speakers generally output mid and high frequencies but limited bass, due to how they are designed and function. Both music and movies sound much better, closer to how they were intended to be experienced with a full sound.
Haley from Baltimore, MD on April 03, 2019:
Why do I care if a speaker has a subwoofer? Is there a large quality difference between speakers at a similar price range if they have/don't have subwoofers?
George on March 30, 2016:
Definitely, Cyber Acoustics is the best buck for your money....