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2.1 or 2.0 (preferably 2.0) computer speakers for under $100 USD?

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 

Exactly what the title says.  I had a pair of Altec Lansing VS2420 speakers for my computer (since 2007), which were pretty good besides the somewhat muffled sounding lower end, but I'd like to see if I could get something better for under $100 USD.  Yeah, I know $100 isn't really a big budget for speakers.  But considering I'm not that big of an audiophile and I had been somewhat pleased with the VS2420s, I figure I couldn't go wrong with a $100 budget.  I'd like to see what sort of bang for my buck I can get in this range, and I'm pretty sure I can do better than the usual Logitech/Creative/Altec stuff I see at Best Buy and elsewhere.


This will be for personal listening in a small room with a variety of genres, so it doesn't need to be super loud or anything.


Ideally, I'd like it to have some bass, but not too much.  Mostly I'm interested in the output being balanced and clear-sounding.

Additionally, I don't have a lot of space, so I'd like to not get a big subwoofer at the moment (don't want to disturb neighbors either), nor do I want the satellite speakers to be really big (like the M-Audio AV40s).


I've taken a look at some of the threads here, and at some other reviews online.  Currently, I'm looking at the following:


Behringer MS16 active monitors

Lepai LP-2020a+ amp with Pioneer SP-BS21-LR

Lepai LP-2020a+ amp with Sony SS-B1000



Some ones I've already looked at, and rejected for various reasons:

(amp) with Dayton B652 -- I'm not sure about how the current quality of these are like.  There was the flurry of Reddit and YouTube posts wailing about how they've been ruined, and some other posts here and elsewhere claiming the problems were fixed in the latest batch (and others still, saying NO THEY'RE NOOOT).  In all, I'm a little apprehensive regarding the Daytons.


(amp) with Monoprice 8250 -- Reasonably priced, but with varying reports about the sound quality.


Klipsch ProMedia 2.1 -- Good reviews on sound quality. Tempting, but I'd rather not get a subwoofer at the moment.  Also, I've read reports of poor build quality, especially with the DIN socket/plug on the subwoofer.


M-Audio AV40 -- Over $100 budget, and bigger than I would like. Plus, I've read that M-Audio's support isn't exactly the greatest.


M-Audio AV30 -- I keep reading about poor build quality with the AV30 (particularly with left speakers dying).


Creative T20 Series II -- One of the first ones I looked at.  Seemed decent, but I read reports of hissing or ringing sounds with these.  Plus, I could probably get something better for $90.


HiVi Swans M10 -- I would rather not get something with such a large subwoofer.  Additionally, I read of people receiving unwanted radio interference (!) on these.




Any suggestions would be most appreciated.

Edited by onlyw - 11/4/13 at 2:33pm
post #2 of 9
Thread Starter 

Hmm, maybe the Daytons have been fixed after all:



So I guess it would be either Behringer, Pioneer, Sony, or Dayton.


In short, I'm not too picky, I'd just like something not too huge that will be better than the VS2420s were for a decent price.

Edited by onlyw - 11/4/13 at 4:49pm
post #3 of 9


The AV40's are hardly big. But if that's big to you, you will be severely hampered with choice as the size of the speaker cabinet (internal volume) and diameter of the diaphragm getting smaller and smaller means less and less low frequency performance. Small speakers are horrible in my opinion, as you're listening to upper mids and treble and that's it. I would just use headphones. If size and space is an issue, and you have neighbors, then maybe speakers are not for you at all anyways.


Very best,

post #4 of 9
Thread Starter 

Perhaps I misjudged the size...


Looking at some other pics (people's speakers next to their screens), the AV40s don't seem as big as I thought.  Standalone pics on Amazon and other reviewers' descriptions can be a bit misleading I guess.


Also noticed the Cerwin-Vega XD3 mentioned in another rec thread with positive remarks.


Any word on if the Behringer is any good?

Edited by onlyw - 11/4/13 at 5:08pm
post #5 of 9
Thread Starter 

It seems like the Behringer MS16 is not quite suitable for production, at least according to this guy.  I'm not a music producer, so it might still be suitable for my purposes (it's probably still better than the VS2420)?


Looking for a set of speakers is turning out to be more difficult than I thought.

post #6 of 9



Let's simplify it.





Wire it up.



Very best,

post #7 of 9
Thread Starter 

I'll have to think about it some more.  Thanks for your help.

Edited by onlyw - 11/4/13 at 6:42pm
post #8 of 9
Thread Starter 

I've been thinking about it some more, and I keep coming back to the M-Audio AV-30/AV-40, as well as some of the other near-field studio monitors in that range.  The only thing I'm really not sure about with M-Audio is its reliability.  I keep reading about people encountering capacitor problems, particularly with the AV-30.


Maybe I'll look at what I can find used (I found the Audioengine A2 for $150 used), or wait for some deals at the end of the month.  I'm not exactly in a hurry.


Any good 2.1 recommendations for under $100 or so? I might be willing to get something decent with a sub if it allows me to have smaller desk satellites and not have to fuss with separate amps/wiring and such.

Edited by onlyw - 11/4/13 at 11:04pm
post #9 of 9
Thread Starter 

[mistaken double post]

Edited by onlyw - 11/10/13 at 9:46pm
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