From our earliest childhood we have believed that the most expensive is absolutely the best . We would take those home appliance catalogs thrown in the mailbox and start them from the back, looking for the star product. Any expert in electronics would tell us that we could not be more wrong: high costs can meet an exclusive design, a robust construction or a premium on demand. But they are not an absolute guarantee of anything..
What to ask for speakers below 100 euros ? This is a question with substance, tricky, difficult to solve. But nothing better to exemplify this maxim: if we know how to search and, in this case, listen, the result will be worth it .
Different options for different profiles
First of all, in order not to get lost in a morass of technical specifications, we must attend to a series of basic points. Do we want cables or avoid them at all costs? Let's not forget that the performance of wireless ones will be slightly lower than connected ones in most cases. Will we have them hanging on the wall or on the table?
We must also understand that the overall quality can be affected if we look for a 5.1 or 7.1 group. The classic pair, arranged to the right and left of the PC monitor, are, after all, the best solution of all. Thus, we are going to try to elucidate where the best models are and why they are.
Computer Speakers: Minimum Features
The usual thing in a pair of speakers is that it offers a good performance in both power and definition. As for the first, the ideal would be around 40-80 Watts - we will not need more and a forced compression can result in a poorly defined sound..
In terms of definition, it is better if bass and treble are separated, just like in professional studio monitors. Regarding the frequency response, the standard is between 60 and 20,000 Hertz .
Models with cables
Edifier Studio R1280T. This pair of high-performance speakers is one of the best speakers you can find under the $ 100 range. Its finish is truly professional, with a wooden loudspeaker and both bass control —with exclusive, 4.5 ″ woofer and textile cone— and independent treble — with its own tweeters . Its dual RCA input is ideal to connect, simultaneously, both our PC and other external audio gadgets ..
It also includes a remote control to modify the parameters and three side knobs for analog control. Ideal for watching movies or listening to music with rich sound in mids and bass, even for playing video games, these speakers could ask for little more: they are the perfect example of great quality at a very low price , sound fidelity - with a sensitivity 85 decibels — and off-road performance.
Genius SP-HF2020. From Tapéi, Taiwan, Genius is a specialist brand in consumer electronics. This variation of the 1800s also includes wood paneling and they are true monsters: with 30 W each speaker, we go to 60 with the couple , more than enough to fill the largest room in a house with sound. Even a professional quality DSP (Digital Sound Processor), three equalizers (WideSound, DeepBass, AudioAlign), designed for different types of use: movies, music, television or video games.
The key to these speakers is in their robust construction, weighing more than 2 kg per speaker. Like the Edifier, it includes a remote control, a front headphone jack and an infinite-turn knob to control volume impossible to find in this price range. A delight.
Scratching the 100 euro band we can find what is perhaps the most awarded speaker of its series: The Logitech UE ROLL offers 360-degree sound and, being transportable, includes a series of additional protocols to take into account: it is waterproof and completely immersive underwater, light - barely 331 grams -, it includes a battery with about 9 hours of duration and works both via bluetooth - with up to 20 meters of range - and by microUSB. The sound is not remotely like that of the speakers mentioned above, but it allows you to take it anywhere, pair it with another Ultimate Ears and control it with its own application from your mobile.
The Bose Companion 2 (Series III) are another example of great performance in a small space. They consist of a self-powered central monitor and a wireless secondary monitor. They can't get wet but can easily stand up to other wired speakers. Its antimagnetism coating allows us to bring them closer to the PC monitor without risk of interference and the result, especially in bass and medium, is to take into account. After almost 3 years, on sale since September 2013, they have not yet been beaten in relation to quality / price.
Also from 2013 we would have some classics: the Creative T30 Wireless, direct heirs of the GigaWorks, have been updated version after version and are currently one of the brand's bastions. The Signature series with NFC (Near Field Communication) protocol allows playback from any compatible device. Like the Bose, they include a front headphone jack with a 3.5 mm plug , control via knobs of the frequencies and compatibility with standard codecs (aptX and SBC).
Its independent transmission of treble and bass give it a very wide dynamic range. In fact, they do not include a physical subwoofer , but instead use two tweeters with intelligent response fiber cones. In addition, a couple of notes: its design, slightly inclined (10 degrees) backwards on its point of gravity, makes the two speakers merge and we get a rich resulting sound.
Thinking about gaming
The GOgroove BassPULSE 2.1 are one of the most attractive gaming speakers on the market. They consist of two 5-watt satellites and a 10-watt subwoofer. With a total power of 20W RMS, it includes a front headphone input, bass control and a button to regulate the lighting of the LEDs. They are speakers from which we can demand a good bass performance: their ultra-rigid fiber panels prevent vibrations and the cones include a magnetic protection shield.
And, to conclude, we should look at one of the best performing speaker pairs on the market, used in hundreds of amateur recording and music composition studios as well as in gaming centers .
It is not just any toy, it is the Alesis M1, active loudspeakers inheritors of the 'Monitor One' technology and with enviable features: frequency response from 80Hz to 20,000kHz, very useful USB connection, 20W of power in an extra-compact design and a lightweight 3 ″ woofer -polypropylene cone and high-power voice coil-, offering a clear response in the mids and bass -with a bass boost of 4.8dB towards 100 Hertz-, ideal, as we said, for any task focused on audio.
On the other hand, with some equipment you won't even miss mounting speakers. Systems like the new ThinkPad X1 Carbon ultrabooks or the P series of ThinkPad notebooks, offer very complete audio systems. As we explained in this article, the B50 notebook mounts powerful JBL Dolby Home Theater certified speakers of 3W each. And the Yoga Tablet 2 Pro hides even more power: 2 JBL 1.2W speakers and a 5W subwoofer , more than enough power and guaranteed definition thanks to its compatibility with drivers and a Wolfson Master audio chip.
Avoiding the hassle of mounting additional speakers is served with these systems. In fact, it is common to find yourself in work environments where it will be practically impossible to mount large speakers, due to space or budget limitations. On the other hand, all these Lenovo systems include a headphone output with a 3.5 mm minijack plug , ideal for listening to music or watching movies anywhere and in any situation. If you can't find your favorite speakers, you know, you should look to your favorite equipment.