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What Are the Best Budget Computer Speakers Under $100?

Question: I use my computer for most of my TV and movie watching and music listening, but my machine's built-in speakers sound bloody awful. I want a set of computer speakers that sounds good whether cranked up loud or turned down soft. And I don't want to spend a fortune.

Advice: The underpowered speakers built into laptops and desktops can suck the life out of any video or song. They're too small to handle bass, and not of a high enough quality to reproduce most of the detail and richness in the audio.

While expensive add-on speakers, like the Razer Mako ($299) and Bose Companion 5 ($359), sound great, you don't need to empty your wallet to fill a room with sound. M-Audio's Studiophile AV30 speakers list for just $100 and provide full detail, with powerful bass.

We've listened to countless albums and movies on these, and we've yet to be disappointed. Jazz sounds crisp, with clear acoustic bass; and we had no trouble picking out the different guitar and vocal layers of our favorite rock albums. Explosions in movies had plenty of bang, too (at least, as much as you can get without a subwoofer).

And the AV30 speakers are simple to set up. Input jacks in the back and front of the left speaker make it easy not only to hook them up to a computer, but also to plug in any portable gadget -- MP3 player, portable DVD player, and the like -- that has a headphone jack. They're a bit boxy, but the speakers have a fashionable matte-black finish and a cool, blue LED ring around the volume knob.

M-Audio also makes bigger (AV40) and smaller (AV20) versions in the line, but the M-Audio Studiophile AV 30 strikes the best balance between size and sound quality.

M-Audio's Studiophile AV30 speakers


Tags: budget, features, household, justtellmewhattoget, speakers, students, top

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