Finding out the best budget computer speaker system was another tedious job for us. We have tried to cover all kinds of speakers in one go but it didn’t add up too well. So we decided to break it up into parts as best budget portable speaker, budget home theaters, and this post-budget 2.1 speakers for computer.
Who doesn’t love quality sound? Every time we work on our pc we turn on music to soothe our work or to block outside noise. Or many of us don’t own any smart TV, in that case, a good monitor and a good sound system are what we crave for. Our movie or gaming experience not only depends on a good keyboard or good mouse, without good audio-visual effects it is nothing to brag about.
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After hours of testing and several noise complaints from our neighbors, we decided that Philips MMS-4545B is the best budget computer speaker we can get under Rs. 4,000. We have implied all the demands of an average computer user in our test scenarios. Along with the best pick, we shared our other top 4 picks for you guys to make your own choice. All of them are having all the basic inputs, user-friendly and long lasting controls and great sound quality according to their price.
Philips MMS-4545B 2.1 Channel Speakers System
This list actually consists of contenders with a shoulder to shoulder level performance. Philips MMS-4545B outranked them only by a bit and won the title of the best budget computer speaker. With a fairly loud sound, a negligible amount of distortion, great aesthetics this speaker simply own our hearts. If you have used any Philips speaker or headphones previously I am sure you are aware of their quality.
Great build quality, FM functionality, USB and Memory card readability made this speaker is simply one bang for bucks. Philips MMS-4545B won us over with its great performance in a closed environment. Scoring high in all of our test scenarios, this speaker even outranked Creative SBS-E2800 in terms of features. But one word of caution this speaker is chosen for room/closed rooms, do not take these as a hall speaker.
Build and Design
The speaker is built of a wooden back shell with a plastic front cover. The design is very stylish from the front and kind of satisfies a gamer profile user. The front plastic cover is quite high-quality ABS plastic and feels premium on touch. The whole body is made out of wood providing a very good bass level and great clarity.
Philips MMS-4545B is having a simpler build with 1 sub-woofer and 2x satellite speakers. The speakers are also made out of complete wood with ABS plastic front panel. But the greatest con for these speakers is there are no wall mounting options. A sound system in this price point should at least have a mounting hook or mount point. The wires coming out of these satellite speakers are thin and low profile. This also might be a negative point if you move your speakers around a lot. One hard pull or accidental drop might cause damage to the wires itself.
The sub-woofer itself is having 6 button controls on itself and a mini display to show your current settings. You can use these controls to select the source or tuning the FM or turning the volume up or down. The sub-woofer is having a metal grill over the actual speaker giving more of a safety measure. On the top of the woofer, you will get the USB port in an SD card slot. In our opinion, they are very poorly placed locations as dust will be collected in these ports. A front area port would have been a more viable choice for the manufacturer.
For the environmental testing purpose, we have used several types of rooms. Small bedrooms, mid-level rooms, halls, open bedroom, closed bedroom, everything was included in the test session. We played various types of songs and movies on each sound system in each room respectively. According to each aspect and for every type of room we rated the speakers. We calculated the average score of each speaker and ranked them according to the score. The rankings here are not solely based on the sound quality or bass. We have considered every aspect like aesthetics, features and build quality to determine which contender is having more weight in terms of our score.
Philips MMS-4545B performed really well in most of those tests slightly been outranked by Creative SBS-E2800. The sound quality can be well observed in bedrooms or small rooms rather than any hall. This speaker itself is for small rooms only. You will not get a good punch of a sound in your living room or hall. The sound profile is built for good vocals with preferable Mids. Also, the sub-woofer creates and nice and open highs with limiting the number of lows. The bass kind soothing and can be in a limit from 1-30 but we recommend 25 or less. After the point 25(bass level) the sound will be a little bit distorted.
MMS-4545B is providing great vocals and balanced mids to the listeners without being too forward. The lows and highs are also not at all on a minus side. The powerful sub-woofer really makes up for the lows and highs also. In our opinion, there are not many deals around which will provide these many features with this price range.
It comes with a Bluetooth receiver built in. You can connect your smartphone and play music directly to the speakers. Although the sound quality goes a little down if Bluetooth is being used. On the side of it, the 3.5mm AUX cable jack is located what can also be connected with your phone. You can also connect your headphone jack in that port. While connected with headphones the woofer or speakers will go silent. The woofer is having all the necessary inputs at the back side.
The sound system is totally remote controlled. You will get the remote in the package itself with RC to 3.5mm connector and one FM jack. It does not include any AUX cable; you will have to get your own. The remote does not come with batteries. One warranty card is also included in the package please keep that somewhere safe. If you need to get to the warranty it is a must-have.
You can play FM on the speaker directly through the speakers. Simply connect the FM jack at the back side (you can keep it connected) and select source as FM. Voila!! You will get your FM running in no time. Use the remote to tune through radio channels.
Bit of nerdy note each of the satellite speakers is 8 watt-RMS each and the woofer is 20 watt-RMS. So basically in total, the sound system is 36 watt-RMS.
Philips MMS-4545B comes with a manufacturer’s warranty of 12 months. Philips is being in this market for a very long time and gained customers trust through their service and well-maintained products. There is a very low chance of having any defects on this speaker. If you are having any problems within the warranty period simply make a call to the customer care. The defective item will either be replaced or fixed and returned to you. The servicing process is very fast and reliable.
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Creative SBS-E2800 2.1 High-Performance Speakers System
If our best pick is not available or if you opting for better sound quality Creative SBS-E2800 is your thing. In terms of sheer sound performance, SBS-E2800 does beat our best pick but lacks in features. We also didn’t get any bass or treble adjustment on the speaker itself. That is also a negative point for this speaker. But if you have ever had any creative speaker or even heard one you are familiar with the superior quality. Till date, I am using an old creative model (Creative SBS 350) without any kind of issues. The new models are way better than that.
Build and Design
The whole speaker is made out of plywood providing repeating bass effects. The front panel is made of plastic with a glossy finish. SBS-E2800 looks very premium in build quality through the front panel attracts dust. The body of the subwoofer and satellite speakers is matte finished contrasting with the front panel. The external and housing build quality is hard to get in this price point.
Creative SBS-E2800 is having thin wire and wire joints to the satellite speakers are loosely made. This might be a great issue if you move your speakers a lot. During testing also we had to be very careful while shifting the speakers to different rooms. Another big con of this sound system is that it lacks any mounting points similar to our best pick. We expected a better wire management and versatility but we were disappointed about it.
On the top side of the speaker, there is the USB port and the SD card reader. Similar to Philips MMS-4545B we also take this as a con because it might collect dust. The woofer speaker is bottom of the housing which provides a better thumping bass. But our concern was with the down-firing woofer and speakers (woofer and satellite) are exposed. They are lacking any kind of protection. A little bit mishandling and the speakers might get damaged.
The front panel is having one little LED display and 6 buttons. You can control the source, up or down the volume, change tracks and play pause items. The same can also be controlled with the remote provided with the sound system. The build and design could be better for the price point, we hoped better from creative. Though the model is very old (2015 released) this one is an evergreen among the simple users.
This is where creative speakers really shine. The quality of sound output we had with this speaker is mind-blowing in its genre. Inside of the bedroom or even in a hall SBS-E2800 really gave us soothing experience with any kind of music. We observed clear vocals with a great level of mids coupled with excellent highs and lows. Each and every aspect of music had their prominence without too much bass or treble.
We haven’t faced any kind of distortion or noise or muffled sound until we reach 20 points of volume. When we went up to 25 there was very little noise but totally negligible. At the highest volume, the noise is somewhat noticeable. Then we played in an open area at the highest volume. We noticed very little noise without any kind of muffling effect. That quality was expected from Creative and it outranks most of the speakers in this price range.
But if you are a bass lover then I might make you aware that this speaker lacks physical bass and treble control. You cannot make tune the bass high for every song. It is very balanced in terms of sound and is built for purists. Creative SBS-E2800 is the best speaker on this list in terms of sounds quality.
Creative SBS-E2800 is consists of 1x woofer and 2x satellite speakers and comes with a remote control option. Inside the package, we found RCA to 3.5mm converter cable also but you will not find any kind of AUX cable inside.
It is having only one set of input ports, unlike our best pick. You can only connect it with Smart TV using 3.5mm as the speaker is having TRS connector socket. So if your TV supports Optical Audio Out and 3.5mm both you will not be able to connect the Optical Audio Out port anywhere. But at the same time, you will be receiving an inbuilt FM radio with the speaker.
We read many comments on Amazon that they were unable to run/configure the FM radio. But we assure you the FM works fine. But the antenna is a bit small so it might be the problem with signal. This speaker doesn’t come with any Bluetooth functionality or Bluetooth receiver. It is for old school people who love sound more than features.
The whole sound system is 50 watt-RMS. The woofer is 24 watt-RMS and the satellite speakers are 13 watt-RMS each. So you can already guess the sound output is better than our best pick.
SBS-E2800 comes with 1-year manufacturer’s warranty. And Creative is a big brand which can be trusted with their product as well as service. If you face any issue within the warranty period there is a high chance your product will be replaced. If not replaced they will fix the issue and send you back. The process might take 7-10 days for fulfillment.
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Philips MMS-2550F/94 2.1 Channel Multimedia Speakers System
If you are looking for a cheaper option with the same brand as our best pick our recommendation is Philips MMS-2550F. This speaker is kind of a stylish but strips down version of MMS-4545B with less amount of features. After unboxing it we simply felt like it was speaker designed for gamers. With black and orange color profiles. We thought with this speaker a lot will be sacrificed because of the price point. But that certainly wasn’t the case. We received a very good sound profile with all the necessary features except Bluetooth and that too with a cheaper price point.
Build and Design
Philips MMS-2550F is a partial wooden body build. It consists of 1x woofer and 2x satellite speaker which comes with a strong long lasting metal mesh grills. The build quality and the design itself is awesome. We got a very premium feeling when started unboxing.
The main unit is fully made out of quality wood. The front panel only is matte finished plastic built. On the top side of the subwoofer, you can find the USB cable and SD card reader. At the middle part of the front panel, you will find one LED display and control buttons. The buttons are having a great tactile feedback to it. The color scheme is black and orange which does look very good if you are a gamer.
The satellite speakers are made out of high-quality plastic and having a clean matte finish. At the front of the speakers, there is metal mesh protection. But we observed that the base is too slippery and no rubber grip was provided for the speakers. As good looking as it is, a slipping/broken speaker is no good to anyone. The wires that come out of the satellite unit also feels wobbly. We were in a constant terror that we might break the wire while testing.
Below the main unit, you will find the sub-woofer. It is situated at the bottom of the speaker. The rubber stands give a good height to the speaker (1.5 inches) securing the exposed sub-woofer. However, if you move your speakers always you have to keep in mind you should not touch the bottom part. You might damage the woofer in the process. At the back of the subwoofer, you will also find the bass controller, which is made with a very premium knob.
We performed the same previous tests to see how this unit scores against others. And we figured the sound profile was actually not bad at all comparing the price. The vocals and mid-range were crystal clear. The highs were a little bit muffled and lows were also a bit muddy but not too shabby. When we are writing a bit then it is a bit only. You will not feel the difference if you don’t compare it with the best picks.
Bass profile was also very good for this speaker. You can control the bass level as you please. We don’t recommend the bass at the highest all the time. It might feel like a cheap local speaker as the bass will turn to be very low quality. The noises and distortion will be very high with that kind of bass. We tested on any kind of songs and movies. This speaker suited for every kind but do not expect quality as good as Creative SBS-E2800. But whatever you are getting with this sound system at this price point is crazy good of a deal.
With MMS-2550F you will receive 1 RCA to 3.5mm auxiliary cable. The speaker doesn’t support AUX functionality so you need to connect it with RAC to 3.5mm only. Keep in the note there is NO BLUETOOTH support with this speaker. If you are looking for something with Bluetooth functionality please go for our top 2 picks. You can also get a Bluetooth stereo adapter if you want to go with this pick.
The main sub-woofer is having 10 watt-RMS and satellite speakers 5 watt-RMS each. In total it is 20 watt-RMS which will provide 2500W PMPO. We chose this sound system only because of its acceptable sound quality and measurable features. Without the Bluetooth also this speaker performs very well in our testes and give good competitions to others. And it also comes with a remote controller (without batteries) for better accessibility. You will get 12 months standard warranty with it from the date of purchase.
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Creative SBS A-120 2.1 Channel Multimedia Speaker System
Creative SBS A-120 is another low-cost pick of this list. It is for those users who are in a very tight budget but still want to enjoy creative sound profile. This sound system is a beast in its price range. There is simply no competition if your budget is under Rs 1,500. But as it is a super budget pick it also has a fair share of cons also. We will discuss everything this speaker has to offer below.
Build and Design
Creative SBS A120 is having a quality build like all others on this list. The subwoofer is made of pure hardwood and has a matte finish. Contrary to that, the satellite speakers are plastic (high quality) and having a cloth cover over the speakers. It looks like an old fashion speaker which got revamped.
The sub-woofer is having the woofer air hole directly at the front. Beneath the system, you will find the actual woofer. It is having a good height provided by the base so there is nothing to worry about damaging the speaker.
The whole unit is quite lightweight. In terms of portability, this speaker can serve you very well. We set up the whole thing right on our computer table during tests.
Similar to many speakers on this list SBS A120 also doesn’t have any mounting points. So most likely with the woofer, you have to place the satellite speakers on the ground or on the table too.
If we omit additional features and consider only sound quality, SBS A120 is a bang for buck speaker. We experienced great sound quality similar to Sony HT-IV300 playing at a low volume. With a marginal base and clear highs and mids, this sound system kills it. In this price range, it took the crown from any other competitor effortlessly.
We have tested this speaker in an open hall also. We didn’t find it too attractive and the bass felt lower than usual. Because the hall was very big and we set up the speaker in one corner even with full bass it was kind of shabby. But when we again tested in the bedroom it put the smile back on our long faces. You will not get a high thumping bass on this speaker but it will not disappoint you if you prefer balanced bass levels.
We are talking about a super budget-friendly computer speaker here. If you are thinking about Bluetooth, FM, USB please choose top 3 picks from this list. This sound system is for tight budget users with no additional features. If you are in a tight spot and want sound, no, good sound then you will better go for this.
Inside the box, you will get the sub-woofer, 2x satellite speakers and AUX with volume remote. You can connect the AUX remote and use it to control volume as you wish. Or simply use a normal AUX to connect it directly to the system. You will not get any wireless remote control with this speaker.
With SBS A120 you will get a manufacturer warranty of 1 year. You can trust Creative with their customer support with closed eyes.
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